It’s an interesting juxtaposition of words, almost the dictionary definition of oxymoron. Here’s another two words strung together which approach an oxymoron: “President” and “Trump.” So it is fitting that oxymoronic terms should hang out together. This term is expressed by Brad Parscale who according to the Palm Beach Post (great local reporting in this case) is “the ‘genius who won Trump’s campaign,’ and how he’ll get him reelected.
I guess we’ll hear more about this digital / marketing “genius” as the 2020 election gets underway. Stoking the Trump base and bringing in other digital followers will be his responsibility to get Trump reelected.
This digital gunslinger is more than that, a modern day Elmer Gantry who tackles his calling with a evangelistic fervor, whipping up his crowds, “It’s not just me and my computer and a bunch of algorithms that are going to save us. It’s all of you that are going to save us.” By saving us, he means from immigrants, “socialists,” and gun control advocates. The details of these issues are not discussed, but are to be dropped as puns, one-liners, the repetition of talking points, etc., “truthful hyperbole.”
At his disposal will be a war chest to turn sites like Facebook into an endless stream of propaganda and fake news, oh, sorry, meant to say, “truthful hyperbole.” His plan is to turn out an army of faithful automatons, 1.7 million “volunteers,” “super Trump fans.” A soon to-be-released app “’gamifies’ the experience of waiting in line to get in” to Nuremberg style Trump rallies. How “exciting” is that?
It is the stuff of the great dystopian novels and we will be living it with people such as Brad Parscale the Wizard behind the curtain, pulling the switches.
Meanwhile, in the real world, there is the Virginia Beach massacre: twelve people shot dead by a deranged, supposedly aggrieved person. Not an immigrant. Not a Muslim. Not a person of color. Most of these shootings are not by such people -- as we all know. Most are committed by angry white men. Yet, we still hear about the murderers pouring over our borders. Among the “solutions” espoused by this administration is to separate families, “build the wall” of course, and not achieving that just put into place tariff taxes by executive order. Punish the innocent and let the NRA’s propaganda propagate.
It’s in our blood. Guns. The blood is on your hands, NRA. We allow this? How preposterous in a so called civilized society? The 2nd amendment now goes hand in hand with “truthful hyperbole.” The right to bear arms never, never would have applied to automatic weapons or handguns with enlarged clips for rapid firing, had the writers of that amendment could have conceived of such weaponry.
I’m going to simply “reprint” one of the pieces I published a couple years before, the one I think that comes closest to the beginning of a solution. And indeed, it’s only a beginning. But no more “truthful hyperbole” please about “bad guys” crossing over the border. Congress, face up to what is needed!
I’ve now written dozens of times about gun control and in particular the need to outlaw military type weapons, institute stringent background checks, age limits, etc., all the usual ideas and have seen the usual push backs to the same.
I’ve also (not uniquely) suggested that firearms be regulated in the same way automobiles are, requiring registration and tracking when one is sold.
I go back to this argument as it is more of a total solution than any others.
There are of course persuasive arguments against the bureaucracy of establishing a Federal or State system of a “Bureau of Firearms Control.” Expensive. Loss of freedom, Big brother watching, etc. etc. But we tolerate those for automobiles, which also includes testing, insurance, inspection, etc. We do so for the greater good of society. We establish laws governing their use and prosecute when those laws are broken, even by generally “law abiding citizens.” Gun ownership advocates make virtual talking robot arguments that gun laws only hurt the “good” people while “evil” ones ignore them and thus, we should have fewer gun laws. Talk about circular logic.
We take off our shoes at airports because someone tried to blow up a plane with a shoe. My constitutional rights allow me to wear shoes!
Annual gun deaths are now approaching those caused by motor vehicle incidents (the latter declining and the former steadily increasing).
Getting to the difficult part, implementation.
First, indeed institute stringent background checks, age limit laws, and ban the use of military style weapons.
Secondly, as Congress now sees fit to increase our national debt, go further and institute a Federal program for buying back weapons voluntarily surrendered, with higher premiums for military style weapons. Pay fair price. Return them no questions asked for a specified grace period.
Those choosing to keep their weapons, and those buying new ones, must register them with renewals required. If the registered weapon is given or sold to another, forms have to be completed, the item identified, with the new owner’s name and address. Then the new owner has 30 days to register them. Registration fees will support the process.
Gradually a data base will be developed and ones who have a collection of weapons, an arsenal, would be identified and flagged as dealers, subject to another level of scrutiny and regulatory control.
This is complicated stuff and the devil is in the details.
Indeed, some (especially the “bad guys”) will ignore all of this, but they will be subject to prosecution if found with unregistered weapons, or if someone is found with an unregistered weapon purchased or given by them. It will take time, maybe decades, to work through this group. It has to start sometime.
And while more regulatory control and knowledge of our lives is abhorrent to me, something has to be started NOW and a more comprehensive solution needs to be sought by our lawmakers. No more Sandy Hooks, Parklands, Santa Fes. Now. Please.
We don’t even hear much anymore about thoughts and prayers regarding the latest incident. It’s as if we’ve all become inured to them. That strategy never did work. We have heard enhanced rhetoric about turning our schools into heavily armed prisons. Is that really preferable to a “Bureau of Firearms Control?”