Monday, July 30, 2012

Disarming Violent Criminals


CounterPuncher Patrick Higgins's spirited leftist defense of gun rights informs us of the above "billboard [that] was raised in Idaho [!] by a libertarian organization placing the face of the Aurora shooting suspect beside that of President Obama" — Gun Rights: From the Black Panthers to the NRA. The author continues,
    The text surrounding James Holmes’s reads: “KILLS 12 IN A MOVIE THEATER WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE. EVERYONE FREAKS OUT.” The text surrounding Obama’s reads: “KILLS THOUSANDS WITH HIS FOREIGN POLICY. WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.”

    The reaction of the Village Voice—“extremely offensive,” one headline states—to the billboard is exemplary of the chronic softness of liberalism on issues of war. In the media overall, this softness has led to the current emphasis on civilian gun control, which is an emphasis that is now actively removing the spotlight from the violence of the state while increasing fear of the general public. Surely the Village Voice that hosted the late, great Alexander Cockburn would never have so unforgivably favored etiquette over truth.
Would the Voice have been outrages had the same indictment been leveled against Mr. Obama's predecessor, and, to be would these Idaho libertarians posted the same billboard? An emphatic "no" to the first question and a "perhaps" top the second; libertarians tend to be more consistent than either liberals or conservatives. And even if the answer is "no" to the second question, this billboard, and the national discussion it raises, is an important development.

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