Summary: As we mourn the latest crop of mass shooting deaths, let’s push to understand the key reason for American’s love of guns and indifference to the deaths they cause.
Another day, another mass shooting in America. Like most of our problems, it results from our inability to see the world clearly, our indifference to what works for our peer nations, and our credulous acceptance of propaganda (exactly like our debate about health care and the War on Terror). A majority of Americans are indifferent to the tide of blood from guns, refuse to see the staggeringly large difference between our rate of gun deaths and those of our peer nations, and belief in the mostly bogus propaganda from the NRA. Here is a quick review of the basic points in the gun control debate.
But before we start, review the numbers to see the obvious: more guns, more gun violence. I strongly recommend reading these two articles from the New York Times: “How to Reduce Shootings” by Nicholas Kristof, and “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” by Max Fisher and Josh Keller.
Another fake gun quote. Source here.
Cut thru the lies and myths to understand guns in America. – Especially those about the Wild West.
Fake quotes about guns are gun nuts most powerful argument.
Jefferson’s third draft to the Virginia constitution included this: “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]” — brackets in the original. This was not included in the Constitution. Source here.
A very powerful quote. It is very fake. Source here.
This theory was the basis for fun stories by Robert Heinlein; it’s crazy that people believe it: Debunking the myth: “An armed society is a polite society.”
We honor Washington by believing bogus quotes attributed to him. Source here.
Survival is learning. Failure to learn is the fast path to disaster. The number of children killed by guns in America makes us exceptional, not better. Don’t just mourn. Remember what we know about guns.
Make America strong by gullible belief in fake quotes from the Founders. Source here.
“In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
— Attributed to George Orwell.
Good governance begins with a clear view of the world. Without that, we are just easily manipulated pawns of the 1% — and their staff, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic.
Clear vision begins with belief that truth is powerful, so that we confirm before we believe. That truth is more valuable than ideology, so that we choose facts when they conflict with ideology. These are the first steps to the next American revolution, when we retake the reins of America. For more ideas see Reforming America: steps to new politics. I recommend starting with this, explaining our indifference to truth: Important: A picture of America, showing a path to political reform.
Also — the Orwell quote is fake.
For More Information
- America: A nation lit only by propaganda.
- The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions.
- We cannot agree on simple facts and so cannot reform America.
- American politics is a fun parade of lies, for which we pay dearly.
- Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda.
- Important advice: Learning skepticism, an essential skill for citizenship in 21st century America.
- We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today.
- Swear allegiance to the truth as a step to reforming America.
- Ways to deal with those guilty of causing the fake news epidemic.
- The secret source of fake news. Its discovery will change America.
Books rich with insights about this uniquely American problem.
- Robert R. Dykstra’s (prof history, SUNY Albany) book The Cattle Towns (1968), which shows that the Wild West was not very wild.
- Richard Shenkman’s (founder and editor of History News Network) book Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History (1988).
- Richard White’s (prof history, Stanford) book “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A New History of the American West (1993): “Those towns such as Bodie and Aurora that did not disarm men tended to bury significantly more of them.”
- Gun Guys: A Road Trip by journalist Dan Baum (2013). See Cole’s book review.
- Adam Winkler’s 2011 book Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America — a professor of constitutional law at UCLA. See Cole’s book review (gated).
- Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment by journalist Craig Whitney (2012).