Gun nuts

Gun nuts are definitely nuts.  Heard this story on NPR today about how all the gun nuts out there are hoarding ammo because they are afraid that Obama is coming to take it away from them as part of the new socialist world order.  Get a grip.  Anyway, Salon's Gary Kamiya has a nice piece on how the right-wing noise machine fans the flames of all this:

 It would be easy for us to cordon Poplawski off, pretend that his
ugly and paranoid worldview had nothing to do with the Obama hatred
spouted by the American right. But the truth is that Poplawski's
hateful views cannot be separated from the increasingly extreme
ideology and rhetoric that characterize the contemporary American
conservative movement. As his friend, Edward Perkovic, told the
Associated Press, Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the
way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon."

obsessions don't come out of a vacuum. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the
GOP have been whipping up hatred and fear of Obama and "liberal
Democrats" for years. Joined by the National Rifle Association, which
has run false and irresponsible ads claiming that Obama is planning to
take away Americans' guns, they have encouraged and helped to create a
pathological right-wing subculture in which free-floating hatred of
"the government" mixes with a maniacal fetish for guns. Poplawski is
the diseased fruit of that ugly tree…

Poplawski's black-helicopter and anti-Semitic ravings put him at the
outer edge of the right. But his paranoid fear that Obama was going to
take away his AK-47 is mainstream among conservatives. That fear,
fomented by the NRA and echoed by right-wing commentators from Lou
Dobbs to Limbaugh, is ubiquitous online. A right-wing, pro-gun Web site
I Googled at random, Theodore's World
(slogan: "The PC Free Zone Gazette is American first and Conservative
second. It is never anti-American!"), highlights several stories about
black men who killed police officers. Commenting on one incident in
which the suspect was wounded by another policeman, someone posting as
"Bob F" writes, "It's too bad when the cop's partner shot back, he only
wounded him. Now the taxpayers are going to have to pay for medical
treatment and prison. The cost of a bullet is probably only .50 cents.
Unfortunately, it's only going to get worse on the streets as Obama and
his minions disarm law abiding citizens while criminals run rampant."

of the responsibility for this paranoia lies with the NRA.

How is the NRA responsible?  Read the whole thing– it's short and sweet (and I'm going to bed instead of excerpting further quotes).




American Public: It is okay to execute innocent people

I was going through some statistics, etc., preparing for a discussion of the death penalty in my public policy class this week when something really jumped out at me.  Support for the death penalty these days is typically in the mid-60's.  No suprise, that's been quite stable for a while.  However, I came across a poll result I had not seen before: 95% of Americans believe that sometimes innocent people are convicted of murder.  Thus nearly 2/3 of Americans support the death penalty despite thinking that it will occassionally lead to the state-sanctioned execution of innocent people.  Personally, I find that quite disturbing. 


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