Emotion over reason.

obama on guns 04-17-13 -02

Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, April 19, 2013.

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Emotions are running high following the Senate defeat Wednesday (04/17)  of legislation that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases and limited the sale of some military-style rifles. The president was visibly angry. Vice President Biden actually wiped away tears.

The key word is “emotion.” Since the horror of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, proponents of strict gun control laws have been appealing to raw emotion at the expense of logic and common sense.

The president has staged public events flanked by parents of dead Sandy Hook students and even turned his weekly radio address microphone over to Francine Wheeler, the mother of a six-year old who died at Sandy Hook.

The pain on the faces of those parents is real and it is soul wrenching. But putting that pain on display doesn’t offer even the tiniest scrap of evidence that the rejected Senate bill would have prevented, or even mitigated, the horror of Sandy Hook — such being the minimum test necessary to pass laws restricting the freedoms of law-abiding citizens.

On the books already are laws against murder, burglary and sexual assault. Yet every day there are murders, burglaries and sexual assaults. Those inclined to commit such crimes are not much deterred by even the most tightly-worded statutes.

Why, then, would we expect that someone so deranged as to go shoot first graders would somehow be magically deterred by new statutes regarding the buying and selling of guns?

Whatever the emotional appeal of expanded background checks or limits on magazine capacity, arguing that either would reduce gun violence is wrong at best and sophistic at worst. There will always be an element of society that has no intention of submitting to a background check or indeed abiding by any law.

Neither will they surrender their high-capacity magazines. Restrict the sale of 15-round clips and all you will accomplish is to create a thriving criminal black market for the millions of such clips already in circulation.

Not that a high-capacity magazine is even required for carrying out mass murder. Eric Harris carried several small-capacity magazines and simply swapped them out when he and a partner shot up Columbine High School in 1999. Seung-Hui Cho did the same thing when he killed 32 at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

I could go on.

But there’s something else about President Obama’s use of grieving parents in his campaign to pass gun legislation. I can’t help my belief that putting the raw emotion of parental grief on display is less about supporting the president’s position than it is about delegitimizing his opposition.

The president is using the stark images of agonizing mothers and fathers to his purpose of transforming legitimate debate concerning gun ownership, self-defense and second amendment freedoms into a simplistic up or down vote on gun violence.

If you support the president’s position, you are, ipso facto, a decent, caring, empathetic person who opposes violence. If, however, you disagree with the president, your opposition is not principled objection to the limiting of freedom with no offsetting benefit to public safety. You are, instead, a de facto supporter of gun violence, lacking even sufficient humanity to grieve the loss of innocent children.

It’s cynical, brazenly political and unworthy of a leader. But it is potentially very effective if the goal is to keep emotions running high – something the president will have to do if he is to get the kind of legislation he would be unlikely to get if he had to rely solely on facts and rational argument.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. Odus says:

    He is nothing more than a used car sales man he tell people what they want to here,he hasn’t governed this country yet.he lets nut cases like palosi and reed dictate to him he has no common sense.he has done every thing wrong nothing right he setting his party up to get re elected by giving every thing away so he’s buying votes for dems he knows nothing about patriotism .he doesn’t take this job serious .i put in lots of over time to make my job right .i think he’s trying to start another civil up rising in this country.

  2. C M Solomon says:

    Paul, you have accurately described the level to which this creep will sink in order to get his way, no matter what. This is not just emotion over reason; it is the worst kind of exploitation of grief to gain political support for a ROBBERY of our guaranteed 2nd Amendment Rights as stated in the founding documents of this great country.

    It is the most despicable form of dishonest “non-debate” that Obama habitually uses to destroy his enemies (anyone who disagrees with His Majesty). He will, in no way, honor his oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America”. Frankly, his techniques and oratory (filled with lies) reminds me of many of the demagogues of the last century.

    The demagogues made sure that their enemies were saddled with ALL the evils of society at that time in order to gain power and become a “savior”, i.e., dictator in which the elimination of his opposition was the only solution to save the country. Upon achieving the dictator status, the despot ultimately murdered tens of millions of ordinary freedom loving souls that were only guilty of having a different opinion.

    Obama’s irrational anger exposes his basic dishonesty, and I hope this episode helps many to see beyond his well-manufactured facade. I do not trust his respect for honorable behavior as President and I see no evidence that he would limit his desire for revenge against his enemies if he could get away with it.

  3. Brian Eggerman says:

    (Lights go up. Audience applauds. Emcee enters.)
    Hello and welcome to our show. You know the rules of our game. We have chosen 100 contestants at random, provided each with a handgun, and thus selected them as the next 100 people to kill someone with that gun. You can see the excitement on their eager faces, as they all have the same question on their minds. Well tonight we will answer that question as we play…
    “Who will I kill?”
    But first this word from our sponsor….
    With the latest medical technology, St. Victor’s trauma center can………..
    Welcome back. Now it’s time to play our game.
    Will contestants number 1 through 59 step forward please. You’ll be happy to know that you will kill….(dramatic pause and music)….Yourselves!!! (Audience erupts in applause) Two of you will kill yourself accidently, while the other 57 will commit deliberate suicide.
    Now will contestants 60 through 92 approach the podium. You’ll be happy to know that you are going to kill….(pause and music)…a friend or family member!!! One of you will do so accidently, but the other 32 will kill someone you know over an argument or domestic dispute. (Audience goes wild)
    Now can we have contestants 93 through 99. Boy, aren’t you the lucky ones, because you will kill….a total stranger while committing a premeditated crime. (Audience boos). That’s right, only 7% of all gun deaths are the result of premeditated criminal activity.
    Which brings us to contestant 100. You are the police officer who will shoot and kill a suspect, usually during the commission of a crime. (Audience applauds.)
    Well, that’s all the time we have for tonight, but be sure to…wait a minute, contestant 94 has a question.
    Won’t one of us kill an attacker or intruder in an act of self-defense?
    Not tonight. That only happens about once every 6 shows. It almost never happens. (More audience applause) So on that note, goodnight everybody.
    (Music plays. Surviving contestants shake emcee’s hand. Message appears at the bottom of the screen.)
    All facts certified by every gun death tracking entity in the country, and denied by the NRA.
    Now stay tuned for “When animals attack celebrities on ice.”

  4. L Miles says:

    I beg to apologize to everyone that reads this. I should know better than to respond to provocative drivel from left-wing utopians. However, the insane logic of the Left never ceases to amaze me.

    OK. Let us outlaw (and confiscate) any weapon (mechanical device) that is more sophisticated (deadly) than the “Bow and Arrow”, (B&A). Now, let’s look at the statistics with the B&A as the defensive weapon of choice. Accidental and suicide deaths surely will be harder to commit since I don’t know how to shoot yourself with one. As far as the other statistics (if true) they may have the same percentage but far fewer in number since there are no semi-automatic B&As with rapid fire capability, that I know of. Is it OK, now, to defend ourselves with a B&A from criminals since the number of deaths will surely be less? The Utopian Left would probably agree that this is a step forward.

    Wait, the B&A has unjustified and accidental death statistics also. Can we roll back the defensive weapon of choice to knives or clubs? I don’t think so. There is no way that we can reduce unnecessary deaths to the minimum until we force everyone to use their bare hands (and feet). Now that’s a solution: you get to bear part of the pain as you defend yourself. Now, the strong criminal can overpower the weak defender. Isn’t this wonderful? The best part is that the accidental and suicide deaths should plummet, right?

    I’m sorry, I forgot. Calling 911 is the preferred solution of the Left under all conditions. This way no law abiding citizen will have any sophisticated weapon that could cause unnecessary deaths. Only the police are trained and capable of confronting the criminal and defending the inept and ordinary citizen against assault, anyway. I’m sure the criminal is going to respect the new civility of the disarmed public at large as they don’t need guns anymore, right? In fact, the Utopian Left should show us the way by posting a “Gun Free Zone” poster in front of their property. A neon flashing sign would be nice. This way, they could take the credit for the new civil society that they had spawned.

    I’m sorry, I forgot, again. The Utopian Left solution has one “deadly” flaw. How do we get the criminal to disarm, peacefully, and give up his GUNS, those horrible inventions of 200 years ago? I forgot, again. The Left is not trying to reduce criminal behavior and unwarranted deaths, the Left is trying (once again) to protect us from our stupidity by the prohibition of our use of the same (or better) defensive weapon as the offensive weapon of the criminal.

    The Left loves and respects power even if it has to compromise with evil as long as the public at large is subservient to their tyranny. Individual self-reliance is the crucifix to the blood-sucking, Dracula-Left.

    The fact that the crime rate is greatest in cities with the most strict gun-control laws proves that the Left is blind, deaf, and incapable of learning. Can we assume a brain disorder, anyone?

  5. Sdrake says:

    I love it when I discuss this with a left leaner. They get that glazed look in their eyes when I point out that the locations of the Newtown, CT, and the Aurora, CO. killings were already declared “gun free zones” by law. How did that work out for them?
    As long as there is a military anywhere in the world, criminals will be able to buy all the guns they want on the black market, and there is no law congress can pass that would have stopped either of the killings we’ve experienced over any amount of time you would like to pick for discussion.
    Gun laws presented by the liberal “gun grabbers” aren’t about controlling possession of guns as much as it is about controlling the populace. PERIOD.
    Criminals don’t buy their guns at Gander Mountain where law abiding fill out federal paperwork, and wait for it to clear. They either steal them, or buy them on the black market.

  6. Bill says:

    As I heard your comments, it made me think about something I read recently that goes right along with your thoughts. According to the President’s words and the left wing zealots we have in politics,We’re not supposed to judge all Muslims by the acts of a few “crazies”.But the acts of a few American “crazies” is enough to judge all Americans who own guns!

  7. Cleve Clinton says:

    Good stuff, Paul.

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