Monday, July 9, 2007

Editorial: "Gun designers provide tools to protect freedom"

Well, well, I come back to the blog from a little break and the unnamed Courier editor comes up with a piece so stereotypically hackneyed it might be taken for satire if not for its top-left spot in the layout.

Right at the top we have the standard gratuitous reference to a cowboy movie, in a lame attempt to illuminate a hack idea that the editor apparently mistakes for sage insight. This is of course in defense of the expanding production and willy-nilly distribution of deadly weapons for all, on the occasion of the birthday of the AK-47. For me this model designation instantly evokes pictures of African child soldiers, and of course in unmodified form it is completely illegal within the US borders, but that doesn't phase the editor. The local angle here utterly evades me. The editor sees these weapons as tools of freedom, missing entirely that they are far more often tools of oppression and hate. Is this really appropriate use of a small-town editorial column?

The kicker is that all the while the editor is intoning stentoriously about the virtues of this death device, he lets slip just how much he knows about the subject by consistently misspelling "Kalashnikov." Way to go, man.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice, the preferred weapon of terrorists, Viet Cong and other groups that took many, many thousands of American lives is being upheld by the Courier. Wow, what a day to come back, Steve. Why don't they change the Courier nameplate to the NRA logo? This is shameful at best. Here's a hint: If you don't have anything to say, then say NOTHING and don't spew idiocy like this. jared

Granny J said...

Hey,Steve-- why don't you go one step further and suggest we copy England where it's pretty well illegal to defend oneself or one's home...

Anonymous said...

All you pansies out there: Why do you need a weapon to defend yourself? jared

Steven Ayres said...

Careful about name-calling, folks, we're all friends here.

J: I lived for many years under very strict laws about weapons (in Japan), and I've never felt more secure in my person and property as I did then, even in one of the largest concentrations of humanity on the planet. Personal security doesn't derive from a gun, but rather from a strong social contract.

As for your example, I'd suggest taking a look and comparing actual rates of violent crime in the US and Europe.

We have a lot of ideas circulating in this culture and taken as common sense that are just plain wrong. What's important to bear in mind is that the media we rely on to inform us about these issues are just as mired in those wrong assumptions and unwilling to examine them objectively, thereby reinforcing them at most every turn.

mileset3 said...

As a former Viet Nam-era Marine, I take extreme exception to this editorial. It's condescending and irresponsible, and it has nothing to do with the real problems facing Prescott.

I have yet to see an editorial questioning why so many of our young men and women have to die in Iraq, yet this editor has the audacity to praise Mr. Kalashnikov.

Does he really believe that the AK-47, for decades the weapon of choice of Soviet-sponsored anti-government forces and terrorists (including those killing our soldiers in Iraq today) is a tool "to protect freedom"?

Isn't it about time the Courier and its editor forgo the gratuitous cowboy references and take on serious issues like the area's water shortage, corporate strip-mining and municipal sanctioning of over development in the name of economic "growth"?

Steven Ayres said...

Welcome, mileset3. I know there are more than a few vets in our town who feel the same way, and I have to wonder whether anyone's thought of getting some of them together and having a chat with the Courier editors about the real world. It might make a difference.

mileset3 said...

Thanks, Steven. Yes, that might be a good idea, but do you really think a chat with the Courier editors will make a difference? If we're not careful, we might be collectively labeled with the "L" word!

Steven Ayres said...

To predict that it will make difference would be optimistic. But I do think that facing a group of people who've actually been shot at will force the editors to at least listen assign some credibility to their point of view.