Tag Archives: US

Guns, Violence and Policy in the USA and Abroad: A recopied Facebook Note

by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:19am ·
President Barack Hussein Obama has come out with his gun policy intiatives. There is no doubt that former US Representative Gabby Giffords, Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will find many opportunites to say, write aand support a wide variety of people who will discuss the future of the country and the role guns will play in that future. There will be many experts discussing the current situation. This has been a time with many high profile shootings since President Obama came into office and there were already many high profile shootings.

I have written of gun policy before. I would support a regime that allowed federal licensing of transport of guns acorss State and other jurisdictional lines except by licensed wholesalers. Any retail or personal transit would require a not too expepensive federal license and be recorded. Jurisdictions could then also make rules for themselves. Beyond that I have proposed a whole new constitution. Howver, I will leave aside my own radical vision for now and eal with what we have. Some states may fortify schools, some have extensive gun control. The feds could tax all guns and ammo with a single 10% value added addition to all other taxes and prices. Half of this woulod go to the records and policing of the new law by the ATF. The rest would go to the general treasury. I think the national registry of not nice people is a really horrible idea. It is both eveil and idiotic. those are its good points.

This is a time when many Americans are concerned about the killing of Americans with handguns. I feel that I must weigh in on the issues related to handguns, AR-15 rifles and the numbers involved in killings in this country. I also feel that I must weigh in on policy concerns. America is certainly a nation with many firearms. Their is little more to it than that which almost all Americans will agree about. We do not agree about how many guns there ought to be or anything else along those lines.

The truth is that the President of the United States has ties to people in the Weather Underground, has supported the Occupy Wall Street and the larger Occupy Movement and has been silent about the role of the Black Block Anarachists and others in this whole world of people who make trouble for a living when there is such work to be had. I respect more people in that world than perhaps many people in my readership do. It has been years since I had any real prospertity or a mortgage, I know lots of people who have been bankrupt, in jail or otherwise in trouble. I kinow some really wretched people who live in nice homes and have many financial assets and in many cases they know I despise them. But it is this vast mob which has so much increasing influnce under President Obama who are most deterred by guns. They will be free to remake the country into their own image when the guns are more limited and be much more bold in undertaking that national transformation.

Popular questions in the media and the public today are focused on how to stop people shooting up schools. There are few wondering how to stop the destruction of a society in which schools are possibly worth attending. I think things are pretty horrible already but they certainly can and likely will get worse.

“Why Do Riots Occur?” may be a hard question. But there is no doubt that a heavily armed populace is a deterrent to the pursuit of mob rule across a society.

Remember what happened after the Rodney King beating? That did not spread far beyond the neighborhoods in South Central Los Angels in large part because large numbers of people in the frenzied mobs were aware that other people with different points of view were well armed at home. The plague of angry idiocy which has been the downfall of many civilizations was contained then and has often been contained thus. Britain has countless more cultural resources to deter riots than we have relative to the threat. However since disarming the populace the role of riots has greatly increased. That violent riots are part of the discourse in Britain is evident when one discusses the 2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests which connected with the sometimes violent student protests of November and December 2010, and was prompted by cuts and changes to the welfare like and unsustainable realtively new system funding various forms of higher and further education in England. Significant in the UK was that a student protest included a violent protest when students attacked the automobile in which Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were riding. This is a symbolic attack equal to only a handful of possible symbolic acts in the United States.

But overall these anti-austerity protests were nothing compared to the 2011 England Riots proper. Are any Americans remembering images of England’s firefighters blasting water hoses on a shop and flats destroyed by arson during the initial rioting in Tottenham?

Across large parts of London from the 6th to 10th of August 2011 as well as in Birmingham, the West Midlands, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Bristol and elsewhere there was a wave and network of rioting, looting, arson, mugging, assault, and murder. The numbers killed were fewer than in one mass shooting but the effect on life and culture and the message to those in society was very strong. After such events it hard to trust other reports because people do not report violence. Code fo this problem in the UK is that anti-social events occurred under Blair but crime went down. That simply means that the honest live in perpetuial terror. Low-grade and limited terror but terror nonethless.

Those who want only the Police to be armed would do well to remember that the British disturbances I am discussing here began on August 6, 2011 after a protest in Tottenham, following the death of Mark Duggan, a local man who was shot and killed by police on 4 August 2011. The protestors became angry after police attacked a sixteen-year old who provoked them. Several violent clashes with police, along with the destruction of police vehicles, magistrates’ court and a double-decker bus. The complete loss of many and severe damage to more civilian homes and businesses occupied by the disarmed British citizen-subjects of this era was likely nothing compared to what will happen here. This is completely forgotten now though it did get some attention from the media then . Before the wave of unrest ended a very conservative estimate of £200 million worth of property damage was incurred, and local economic activity was significantly compromised. The riots have occasioned debate among Brits of varied political, social and academic backgrounds regarding the causes and context in which they happened but have not brought back the hidden and polite British guns society which prevented total social upheaval of this kind. Well spoken people discuss the rioters’ behavior in terms of structural factors such as racism, classism, and economic decline, as well as cultural factors like criminality, hooliganism, breakdown of social morality, and gang culture. The absences of a gun-toting law abiding element is not discussed. The struggle is over and the future is determined. President Obama cannot get the country he wants with guns allowed to those depressed and not always able to keep the rules in a society sunk under rules. Most of those rules are badly thought out, badly written and ill-advised. The nannie-staters, the thugs and the cowards will have their unholy alliance to run our country. The honest tough, the mildy misanthropic and the law-abiding who deals openly with imperfection will become a legal underclass. None of us will survive this as a culture but we will be individually dead (most of us of old age or other such causes) before the final transformation occurs.

A Really Shallow Post on the Libyan War: Twelve Points

This list of points about the Libyan War is very shallow and somewhat incoherent and does not take the place od a longer essay style post later on in this process. But it is a start in thinking about this conflict in this blog:

1. This attack has given America the chance to prove that this country can and will operate in the United Nations and in the world of geopolitics and can use military force in this period of change and unrest in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab world. By involving ourselves in the war on Libya we offset some of the impression of weakness which is bound to come from the  failure of a long-time allied government in Egypt.   This in itself may not justify all the risks of this operation but it is a valid geopolitical interest and motive.

2. It is true that transliterating his name from Arabic to English is the most inconsistent thing in diplomatic and journalistic history but whether one call him Gaddafi, Gaddaffi, Qadhafi, Qaddaffi, Khadafi, Khaddaffi, Kadaffi or something else this leader has funded and supported terrorism and international crime. The Lockerbie case of the airliner bombing  is the most high-profile of many instances and the bringing home of the convicted undertaker of the offense brings all of this drama of violence into the present. When he was young few people were more committed enemies of the Western powers. That may not justify pursuing this exact course of action but it is a real reason to seek the defeat and ouster of this Libyan Premier. 

3. The United States has a large military and to really justify that we have to be willing to use that force when it is right to do so.  The war in Libya at the current level is a chance to keep the forces occupied.

4. The lack of investment in real embassy culture throughout the world and North Africa by the United States is very evident right now in how poorly we know the rebel opposition to the government in Libya. This is true despite the fact that  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been saying that the administration supports and wants a model of ambassador to each country being the State Department’s CEO in that country. America needs more investment in human intelligence, community relations, and regional expertise operating out of every embassy it has, Morocco and Egypt should have US ambassadors whose staffs can give lectures on the rebels.

5. By launching the strikes in the way it did the coalition may have been showing concern for the civilians in Libya. However, it also pushed the government of Libya into a use-it-or- lose- it situation and spurred them to attack cities more vigorously.  Civilian deaths have in effect been encouraged by the policy path we have chosen.

6. Libya’s leader is not the same kind of life-long and thorough-going thug that Saddam Hussein was nor is he the leader of a government as cruel and backwardly  progressive as the Taliban. We are fighting a competent, professional and functional family of leaders. This will mean it will be harder to make ourselves look like the good guys when mistakes occur.  

7. Libya is very close to Europe. This cuts in all directions. However, it means the conflict can more easily spill into Europe than wars fought very far away.  

8. It does seem that this opposition has armed some groups and individuals more radical and hostile to American interests than the Libyan premier. I t is reported that several arms stockpiles have found their way into Al Qaeda’s hands. This creates new regional risks.

9. Our political and social doctrine is such that we cannot address most of our real interests in countries which we fight over. Thus we have created a political philosophy which is out of contact with what form and concepts of winning would suit our needs and constitution, This is among our greatest sources of social decline.

10. Obama has set himself at war with his most powerful foreign endorser.  This will give him the distance he needs from these North African forces before the 2012 election. The Libyan War also helps the UK overcome shame about the release of the Lockerbie bomber.  Face-saving wars can be necessary but they are dangerous.

11. This is a lasting war no matter what happens in the short-term, Both the end game and our interest are not clearly known.

12. Libya is being ravaged by this war. Rebuilding in Libya will be a major crisis of opportunity and danger for Italy and at this economic time that is a really big deal.