Humour / Politics

“Gun nuts”: not such a myth after all?

In light of the recent Sandy Hook tragedy in the United States, and those preceding, and the legislative response to these on gun control, arguably a shift to the left for many Democrats, spearheaded by Joe Biden, this was going to be a very measured and analytical post about the drawbacks and benefits of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Then Alex Jones appeared.

Wow. Not only does Alex Jones want to deport Piers Morgan for speaking up about gun control, a response as equally tyrannical and totalitarian as the governments he claims his guns protect him from, he’s also an Olympic gold medallist in the 800m Talk Utter Rubbish. From 0:33-1:05 of the first part of the interview, a grand total of 32 seconds, Jones explains that he wants to deport Piers Morgan because:

  • He is a foreigner. Erm… okay, Alex.
  • “Russia, the official government of China (the official one, as opposed to their unrecognised, but legitimate government of zany cartoon rice product mascots fighting for just and free capitalism)” both have bans on firearm ownership.
  • Mao killed “about 80 million people”
  • “To point out that this is globalism”
  • Reuters are “bragging” that there are gun control advocates in the US (This is Reuters, the news agency, described briefly as a “megabank”)

Of course, in 32 seconds (or in 32 years) there is no way to phrase all of these points coherently, and with valid supporting evidence, so they tumble down this man’s many chins in a hurried slew of half-sentences which appear to be masking some horrifically advanced form of NRA-sponsored Tourrette’s syndrome. I had to replay that 32 second clip SEVEN times whilst writing that short bullet-point list in order to make sense of Jones’ quasi-conspiracy theory polemic.

Throughout the entire interview, Piers Morgan manages to make one point, in fourteen minutes; last year there were just over 11,000 gun murders in the United States, whilst in the United Kingdom there were 35. Jones does, just barely, in the few seconds that rabid spittle and bursting veins are not totally obscuring him from sight or hearing, concede that this is an argument for gun control, but counters that the overall crime rates in the UK are higher, and that this is because the UK has less guns, which are apparently the best way to stop any form of crime from happening.

Citivas Crime issued a report on crime in the UK at the beginning of this month, which compared us to other OECD countries. If we study this, we can see that the US outranks England in terms of the number of crimes committed per 100,000 members of the population in homicide, rape, and vehicle theft, whilst we outrank them in burglary, robbery and assault.

This actually does back up a very thin sliver of Jones’ theory; in a country where many homeowners and businesses have firearms available as a means of protection, there are less robberies and burglaries, and less assaults due to fears that many civilians will be carrying concealed weapons. HOWEVER, as a result there are also OVERWHELMINGLY more fatalities by homicide, the US being 1st in the world by a factor of almost five times its nearest competitor, and as they outrank us in rape and vehicle theft, there is little to suggest, as Jones does, that the widespread availability of guns is some sort of panacea against all crime. He points out that Switzerland has far less crime than both the UK and the US, and (much more heavily restricted, with bans on automatic and semi-automatic weapons) has private gun ownership laws. Could this possibly be more to do with the fact that Switzerland also has one of the highest Gini coefficients (the measure representing how much economic equality a country has) in the developed world?

Jones shouts at Morgan, points at him, gestures wildly and violently at many points, calls him a “foreigner”, a “redcoat” and a “lemming”. This is a man who apparently owns 50 firearms (as he tells us in an almost surreal mock-British accent toward the end of the second part of the interview, a Monty Python-meets-Twilight Zone moment that genuinely made me remove my glasses, open my window and ensure I could still breathe and understand sensations to verify that I wasn’t dead or hallucinating.) He is a man who, at several points, claims that the medical profession misdiagnoses people in order to put them on Prozac and similar SSRI drugs, so that they will go and murder people, or kill themselves. (He did actually say that, I find it unlikely that you’ll understand the first few watches so trust me, it is in there amongst the drooling, gurning and worryingly Confederate attitudes.)

Who would you rather deport from your country? And whose views on the ownership of lethal weapons do you trust?

 

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