Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Does the Republic just not get any letters from gun proponents that make any sense?

Maybe it was the green beer. Was it flowing all day in the Arizona Republic newsroom yesterday? The local newspaper published, on its website, the following letter, at 9:39pm March 17, 2014
Regarding "Guns may be coming to the local library" (Valley & State, Saturday):
Laurie Roberts' column about guns in libraries shows gross ignorance about guns.
There has never been a shooting in a library or school by a law-abiding, gun-packing citizen.
To ban guns from any place where people gather is to invite crazies into the gun-free killing zone.
Shame on you, Laurie Roberts.
Ken Hilderbrand, Yuma

This is a classic example of circular reasoning.

In deconstructing this bullshit argument, let's first figure out if there has ever been a shooting in a library. Of course, we KNOW there are too many examples of school shootings for me to have to even consider citing references.

June 2013, dateline Santa Monica, CA.
A fifth victim of the horrific shooting spree in Santa Monica, Calif., was confirmed dead Sunday as law enforcement officials revealed the name of the suspected gunman. [...]
The [Santa Monica] police chief said Saturday that law enforcement officials had an unspecified brush with the man seven years ago, but Seabrooks did not comment on the 2006 incident because he was a juvenile at the time. 
To society, until the day he went on his murder/shooting spree, this gunman was a law-abiding citizen.

Having debunked the support for Hilderbrand's claim, will he now simply say, or more importantly, do the editors at the Arizona Republic actually believe, that the fact the Santa Monica shooter murdered people, including at a library, proves the conclusion that gun bans "only invite crazies into gun-free zones?"

There are plenty of people who still do and will believe that conclusion. The important thing here is that there was NO logical argument made to support that conclusion.

My contention is that since there has been a dearth of social science (academic) research into causes and interventions into violent behaviors, we do not know whether Hilderbrand's conclusion makes sense or not.

We do know, however, that there IS a positive correlation between the number of guns owned by citizens in a given state and homicide (which includes suicides, accidents and intentional violence) rates.

Since the Republic MUST realize that this letter is completely fallacious, why did they publish it?

Perhaps there is a clue in the picture they posted with the story. It looks like a visual dog-whistle*, if you ask me.



Is the Arizona Republic really THAT hard up for customers that it has to pander to the likes of Alan Korwin in order to stay afloat?

If you read this, Alan, I'd be happy to publish a well-reasoned rebuttal. But you'll have to do a helluva lot better than Ken Hilderbrand.

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*NOTE: I do not suggest the Republic is implying anything with any racial overtones or undertones. However, code-words that act as dog-whistles are not limited to race. Cathi Herrod uses code words like "religious liberty" when she means to establish the legal right to discriminate against the LGBT community or limit access to birth control. Tea Partiers and other groups have both extensively used, responded to and rallied around dog-whistles related to race, religion, and guns.

Why else would calls for closing the gun show background check loophole cause uproarious consternation? Why else would, in the wake of the Tucson shootings or Sandy Hook, can we NOT get Congress to take even one-step in the direction of outlawing 30-round gun magazines? And why have we not, as a country, awakened to the reality that overwhelming proliferation of firearms has NOT protected Americans from the rising tide of gun violence?


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