Guns are virulent viruses: wipe them out! Consider the phrase as a slogan. Mull it over in your mind. Really think about it: the phrase’s nuances, its connotations. Now, suppose a member of the public who has never given firearms much thought is continually bombarded with the slogan: “Guns are virulent viruses: wipe them out!” He hears the slogan on the evening news. He sees it in the newspapers. Pundits voice it loudly on the radio. Pastors preach it to their congregations. The public comes to see that firearms are indeed virulent viruses. Of course they must be wiped out! Perception is reality. Isn’t it?
Clinical psychologists and political propagandists know very well that, how a person perceives reality – how a person perceives the world around him – becomes the world a person lives in. No one knows this better than members of the antigun movement and those that support its efforts, including antigun legislators and billionaire globalists, all of whom see, in America’s Second Amendment, something incompatible with the new pan-Western ethos. They unabashedly seek not only to repeal the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but to debase it, to demolish it, to obliterate it.
The mainstream media is a useful vehicle for conveying the messages of the antigun movement. Thus, of late, we are witnessing a twist to the antigun movements’ messaging – a twist at once subtle but noteworthy. The mainstream media – the pawns of and at the behest of antigun groups and like-thinking intellectual and business “elites” both here and abroad, and of their friends and fellow travelers in Congress, in State Legislatures across the Nation, and in the Oval Office – has made a pronounced and explicit change to its messaging.
Heretofore, the public has been conditioned to associate guns with criminals, with lunatics, with terrorists. The phrase, “gun violence,” has been, and rightly so, inextricably tied to the individual – the sentient being responsible for the gun violence. The antigun movement has now, as a matter of strategy, completely severed that connection. The mainstream media, the voice of the antigun movement, is addressing guns as the sole true scourge of all violence associated with guns and paying less heed to the individuals who wield the guns and who commit violence with them.
Consider a few examples. In the July 31st 2016 edition of the NY Times, the editorial staff, in an article proclaiming the paper’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination, said, “Mrs. Clinton is a strong advocate of sensible and effective measures to combat the plague of firearms.”
A firearm, though, is merely a tool, a physical object, manufactured from metallic or non-metallic materials. By referring to the firearm, a non-living object as a “plague,” antigun groups, through the mainstream media, are subtly, diabolically changing the public’s perception of them. They are slowly, subtly nudging and shifting the manner in which the public perceives gun violence – shifting the public’s perception of gun violence away from the criminal, and the lunatic, and jihadist as the primary agents of violence, who happen to use a firearm to commit acts of unconscionable violence, and shifting the public’s perception toward the firearm itself as the primary agent of violence.
The firearm is depicted today as a virus that infests human beings. Not surprisingly, the numerous antigun movement requests for CDC studies into the “plague of firearms” is consistent with the incongruous attempt to associate firearms with virulent viruses that, as with all disease viruses, must be eradicated. Indeed, one left-wing web blog, “The Iowa Daily Democrats,” supportive of the antigun movement’s efforts, in an article, with the emotionally charged title, “Guns: Democrats vow to end the American Plague,” unashamedly and viciously attack the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms, by comparing firearms, incongruously, to virulent viruses. The world-wide web is filled with this claptrap. The public’s attention and perception is directed to guns as the primary agent for violence, rather than to the sentient beings who wield the guns and who, alone, logically, are solely responsible for the violence committed with guns.
The firearm, as the primary actor of violence, relieves the human actor of moral and legal responsibility. This idea is preposterous, of course. But, the rationale behind it is diabolically clever. It is the antigun movement’s response to the gun advocate’s argument that the law-abiding gun owner – tens of millions of us – do not and never will pose a “gun” problem. But, if guns are construed as disease viruses, then the mere existence of them is the problem. What sane person wants to be a carrier of a virulent disease? Obviously, no one. Ergo, a healthy society must eradicate the plague of firearms. This means the government can and must – and will – forcibly remove guns from those otherwise law-abiding members of society who feel comfortable living with the plague of firearms. This, of course, is all for the best – the Second Amendment be damned!
The stratagem places in high relief the salient goal of the antigun movement which really has little if anything to do with – and never did have anything to do with – criminal use of firearms. The stratagem has everything to do with dispossessing the law-abiding citizen of his or her firearms, that is to say, elimination of the firearm from American society. Thus, the U.S. becomes a society not unlike that of the UK, or Canada, or Australia.
Newspapers across America are jumping on the “guns are the problem” bandwagon, directing the public’s attention away from the individuals who create the violence and redirecting the public’s attention onto the mechanism itself: the gun as disease virus.
The Plain Dealer, A Cleveland, Ohio newspaper, in an editorial appearing on Sunday, January 3, 2016, by George Rodrigue, under the title, “Fear, facts, and the question of guns: George Rodrigue,” minimizes the importance of the Islamic jihadists who were responsible for dozens of deaths in San Bernardino, California, and emphasizes the implement – the gun – that they used. The writer says, “[l]ast month, two radicalized Muslims [and note the absence of the word ‘terrorist’ to describe these two] shot 36 people at a San Bernardino holiday party. That touched off an anti-Muslim backlash, along with a wave of new gun purchases. Those reactions overestimate the risk of domestic Islamic terrorism, and underestimate the risks of firearms.” What?
The writer of this Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial is strongly suggesting to the reader that the jihadists are not the primary agents of the despicable acts of violence they caused. It was the firearm’s fault. The killers were only along for the ride. The writer of the editorial is bluntly telling the reader that, if Islamist terrorists kill Americans, we, Americans, are to blame the gun for this – for our acquiescence to the existence of guns in our Nation – and we are not to blame the terrorist because there are more guns than terrorists in America. This means, according to the writer of the editorial, that more guns kill Americans than Islamist terrorists do. So, guns, according to Rodrigue, pose a greater threat to Americans, are more dangerous to Americans and, therefore ought to be despised more by Americans than ought the threat posed by Islamic terrorists. This is ludicrous. For those college students happening to take an introductory course in formal and informal logic, discerning and describing the numerous fallacies inherent in the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial would make for an illuminating, educational exercise.
If the antigun movement, and its supporters both here and abroad, succeed in their singular, all-consuming effort to end lawful ownership and possession of firearms, the right of the people to keep and bear arms will have been erased from the collective consciousness of the American people. The Second Amendment will no longer exist as a natural, right preexistent in the people. It will exist only as an obscure, fragmentary footnote in history, devoid of legal efficacy. In time the notion that the American people actually had a fundamental right to keep and bear arms – a right that could not be infringed by government – will become but a distant memory, relegated to folklore. The United States will have ceased to exist as a free republic.
The antigun movement doesn’t care. It is oblivious to the import of the Bill of Rights and to the notion of America as a free republic if such is conditioned on the existence of a right that the movement finds repugnant to its sensibilities. It intends to infect the entirety of the American public with its own psychosis.
Oh, how much easier, it would have been to constrain civilian ownership and possession of firearms if the Second Amendment had never existed or had, at least, excluded the cogent, independent and insufferable clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That it does exist, the antigun movement intends to change the public’s perception of guns so that the public will become, eventually, amenable to relinquishing them. Public perception can be molded. It is infinitely malleable.
So, remember, perception = reality. If the public comes to associate guns as living things and, too, as things, inherently evil, the public will come to feel ill simply to come into contact with a firearm. If guns are associated with disease viruses, which humankind obviously and with good reason, has a natural antipathy and, indeed, understandably, a raw, intrinsic fear of – think of Typhus, the Black Death, the Bubonic Plague, Influenza, the Ebola virus – then, naturally, and with good reason, the public will perceive firearms as a thing to be despised, and loathed, and feared. The antigun movement treats the American public like Pavlov’s dog.
So it is that antigun groups, through the mainstream media, have devised a new stratagem for getting rid of guns: equate guns with virulent viruses, and hit the public hard with that message.
The ludicrousness of the idea is lost in the perception of it that affects – and is meant to affect – a person on an emotional, visceral level.
Perception is, after all, reality!Copyright © 2015 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.