A Fine Madness Continued

There have been two more episodes of gun madness since north Oregon.There is the element of contagion in these but that accentuates rather than diminishes the danger.In view of the enormity of these events,  the negative response of a community to a presidential visit pursuant to the event requires examination.

President Obama in his role as chief mourner and sympathizer showed up in Roseburg in the wake of the Umpqua Community College shootings and was preceded by a mass demonstration mostly in  favor of maintaining guns and declaring that his presence was”political” and aimed at removing their guns.In fairness,there were some who applauded his presence and condemned gun madness.They were clearly in the minority. The “gunsels”(nineteenth century slang  for gunslingers?)were allowed to assemble fully armed in the public streets.For these people Obama is that “other” who wishes to take from them something of value symbolic of defiance,independence and power.A view of the gun strongly touted by the NRA and its gun lobby.I assume that  the secret service is aware of the risk to our President in trying to deal with(what should be) the grief and loss of those who hate him.

The old NRA helped me learn to shoot.(very well in fact:  there are some medals lying around…)This  new NRA (about three decades?)stresses the ability to kill and not particularly game since the instruments(automatic and semiautomatic) are borrowed from war and will shred game.Since it is still a world of symbolic interaction, perhaps there may be some hope in evolving games that allow us to deal with our hatreds in the context of the game.Frequent change of sides and alliances would have to be built in.This genre of game is not to be confused with the big game of three dimensional chess alluded to before;these deflector games are strictly for the hoi poloi although the big players will have to be aware of , and approve  them.



  1. An unusual stretch…NRA main function?…Follow the money! It used to be un American to blame the victim ,at least since the holocaust.Maybe Dr Ben was too busy to notice…

    1. It would truly be sad if the full exercise of logic were to be considered un-American. Consider the complexities of cause and effect. We should understand that there are usually a multitude of causes orchestrating to cause any effect that we may choose to isolate. Ten people dead is an effect caused by many factors. Yes, a killer was the key cause, but once confronted by such a person, how those who were threatened chose to behave impacted significantly on the painful degree of this effect. Those who study losing battles of war are not usually accused of “blaming the victims”. The act of analysis of what went wrong and how to be better prepared must be of some importance. A stretch is assuming that it is “un-American” to analyze how a losing battle might have been less disastrous. Also of interest, what are the causes that induce some good minds to make this kind of a stretch to negative judgment?
      About the NRA – follow the money? Display for us a factual money trail that describes what? Implied is some nefarious motive. Please provide more detail. I think that we can agree on the following: No one should support a harmful entity. No one should dislike a positive entity.

      1. Factcheck.org is a good source of information on the complex money flow.”Golden Ring of Freedom”and”Million Gun Challenge” should be noted.The flawed Democratic debate was a relief from the name calling and mindless biceps flexing of the internicine GOP competition.

  2. Is it madness, or is it something else?
    A few premises: Guns are a form of power. Power can be used well or poorly. Guns can be used to foment crime. They can be used to deter bad behavior. The power of guns will be available to most who want one. When used to deter bad behavior, effectiveness is increased by being skilled in the use of guns. Education about the use of firearms is the main function of the NRA. Weaken the NRA and you diminish the potential for this power’s best use.
    If our sentiments lead us into conflict with realities, maybe it is inappropriate sentiments that bias people to “madness”. For instance, in reference to the Oregon mass shooting, Ben Carson was asked specifically what he would do in similar circumstances. His response, his emotional attitude, would lead him to attack the killer – actually, induce all to attack at the same time (“Let’s roll”). Had the victims chosen this action some of them would likely be alive today. Interestingly many on the left are choosing to criticize Carson’s probable life-saving sentiment as something to be ashamed of. Somehow a recommendation that would likely save lives is “felt” to be something improper. This should get everybody’s attention – reasonable people would not want to be driven by irrational (mad?) sentiments.

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