Gun Debate and Conspiracy Theories
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22-09-2013, 09:07 PM
Gun Debate and Conspiracy Theories
I've been involved in a number of gun control discussions on another forum.

Basically, being British I'm don't really get the whole concept of "baring arms", and the culture that goes with it. So these discussions have been more about me trying to get a better understanding of the argument.

The guy I've been talking to is from Rhode Island... he's very much in favor of guns. On repeated occasions where I've asked him how he justifies the 2nd amendment after the various school massacres and shootings, he invokes conspiracy theories, claiming that all these shootings are actually false flag operations carried out by the Obama administration to push for gun control.

I've seen a lot of this kind of thing from other pro gun people... either simply calling anyone in favor of gun control a "communist", or invoking a full blown conspiracy theory.

I can't help but think this is a vein attempt to justify gun ownership in the 21st century... there are no major tyrant threats to American society anymore. No British imperialists, Nazis, Japanese kamikazes, communists etc...

So is this just inventing a tyrant to fight against?

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22-09-2013, 09:23 PM
RE: Gun Debate and Conspiracy Theories
So, the shootings and gun crime between 2001 and 2009 were... what, then? And before 2000?

Clearly every administration in US history is in on it. How they somehow maintain such control of successive governments and congresses - enough to plan and execute all this - and yet somehow lack the ability to just pass an amendment is beyond me.

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22-09-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: Gun Debate and Conspiracy Theories
(22-09-2013 09:07 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Basically, being British I'm don't really get the whole concept of "baring arms", and the culture that goes with it.

Watch a western movie or two. Eastwood did it the best in my opinion. We are a culture born of guns. We've lived by the gun, and we are dying by the gun. I'm all for the right to bear arms, but I'm all for some sensible control, as we seem to not have any at the moment. I propose no answers, I'm a hippy at heart but a realist in action. I grew up with guns so I have no qualms about having them around. That being said, I own one .22 rifle that I have never fired and no ammo. I may get around to shooting it one day.

In our current condition, I don't know that as a country we can have a fruitful discussion on gun control. We yell at each other until we are blue in the face, both sides have well thought out points, and our citizens continue to die at a disturbing rate.

I don't get into these debates much, because I don't see the point. Look at our history. Like I said before, we live by the gun, and we die by it.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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22-09-2013, 10:20 PM
RE: Gun Debate and Conspiracy Theories
I'm an American, understand the culture I live in, and generally am ok with the idea of gun rights. I think the basic right to defend oneself is in general a good principle.

However I know exactly what you mean when you talk about gun nuts getting into conspiracy theories. I've heard the line that shootings in recent years are 'false flag' operations so that Obama (specifically he) can take our gun rights away.

Where does this come from? The Internet encourages like-minded individuals to gather and exchange information. This has a tendency to reinforce divergent opinions held by individuals who would otherwise be moderated by mainstream culture. This forum even can be argued to be doing the same thing vis-a-vis atheism, though we might see it as freeing non-believers from the constraints of a religion dominated culture.

What is scary, though, is when paranoid individuals get caught up in conspiracy theories, this tendency of the Internet to reinforce divergent views traps people in delusional paranoia. The obsession started with a kernel of truth as it often does. It started when Obama was a candidate for president and was caught (legitimately, no conspiracy here) commenting on how a subset of the people in Pennsylvania are bitter and cling to religion and their guns:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/200...xplains-2/

From that point on, Obama was the anti-Christ in the minds of many right wing nutters, and the arch enemy of their gun rights and their religion. Those who watch mainstream press in the US or consume left leaning news do not understand the impact this story had on the right wing. "bitter clinger" is still a phrase used in today's right wing lexicon, years later.
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