Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sporting Equipment or Assault Weapons?

Derek Jeter recently hit his last home run. The baseball bat he used will become a piece of famous sports history. People will travel from everywhere to see it and take pictures of their children standing next to it. Now, how about that same sporting equipment used in Joe Pesci’s last scene in Casino? Or by Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables?

(go ahead - Google  "Joe Pesci Beatdown - Casino" even for me it is a bit too gruesome to post here.)

Doesn’t quite have the same feel, does it? Baseball bats are used quite often to bludgeon a victim to death, but we would look foolish if we called them “weapons” when we them on display at Walmart. Why? Because more bats are swung at baseballs than people, despite their origin as one of mankind’s first weapons, the club.

Similarly, the first use of a self-powered vehicle was to move artillery. In light of the tens of thousands of deaths by automobile, are they weapons or vehicles?

Firearms were originally designed as a battle implement. Their first purpose was to inflict human casualties; there is no argument to that fact. Today that is simply not the case - the vast majority of ammunition is produced and fired peacefully at paper targets. It is almost always incorrect to call pistols, rifles, and shotgun “weapons.”

So, why do some people insist on calling all firearms “weapons” in any situation? The answer is simple: Brainwashing.

Fear sells newspapers and keeps attention. This comes from our primal need to survive. On the 6 o’clock news, we all keep track of the Ebola virus. We want to know if it’s close to us. Some might tune out for sports and weather, but we will all have a universal interest in staying alive. Media knows that, so they provoke that emotional reaction the most natural and effective way possible–by implementing fear.

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