Ann Coulter – The Sandra Fluke of the Second Amendment
Gun rights – a women’s issue? That gal the libs love to hate, Ann Coulter, thinks so. She believes that her hometown, Washington, D.C., gun law makes her and other women easy victims for male, testosterone laden street tuffs, muggers, and rapists. Criminals feel secure in making victims of D.C. women whom they can be assured are not packing.
“What the arms-control faithful really want is a world without violence — not a world without weapons. These are the ideological descendants of the authors of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which purported to outlaw war. But we can’t have a world without violence, because the world is half male and testosterone causes homicide. A world with violence — that is to say, with men — but without weapons is the worst of all possible worlds for women. As the saying goes, God made man and woman; Colonel Colt made them equal.” – Ann Coulter
Gun control advocates, shall we call them the anti-Second Amendment crowd, are fond of citing statistics that seem to prove that we Americans are more endangered by firearms in the hands of people we know than we are protected by them from people we don’t.
It might not be possible to put an accurate number on crimes never attempted because the perpetrator had calculated that the victim might just be armed. But, a 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun,” and 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.” Which is Coulter’s point exactly – an armed populous is a powerful deterrent to crime. Additionally, we are beginning to see statistics showing that gun violence actually goes down as the number of registered guns goes up.
Our country is by no means the most dangerous place on earth in which to live. But, we know that it has now become at least a couple of standard deviations higher on the interpersonal violence curve than our grandparents would have thought normal. We all take this reality into account as we go about our daily business, make choices about where and when to travel, and whether or not to own a firearm.
Which brings us to sportscaster Bob Costas and his sermonizing during last Sunday night’s football game about the Jovan Belcher murder of Kasandra Perkins and the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker’s subsequent suicide. Quoting from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, Costas’s remarks, though he later denied it, were to all who were listening clearly anti-gun rights, anti-Second Amendment. They served to remove the blame from the person who committed these acts and to place it on the implement, but not that really. Costas’s and Whitlock’s thinking places blame on those Americans who insist on a right with which they disagree.
One aspect of the Whitlock piece is suspect as racist. “Our current gun culture simply ensures …….. that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.” As a police officer for more than twenty years I have been on the scene of many shootings, but none like Whitlock describes here. Does Whitlock suggest that it is a general reality of American life that teenage boys are being routinely shot in parking lots for playing loud music? At a time when Senators are accused of using racist code for suggesting that Susan Rice might be less than competent, would it be out of place to assume that Whitlock is describing minority boys here, and that most probably he has a white shooter in mind, one who had he been without a firearm would have returned home to “complain to this wife?” In light of the American experience, it is difficult to interpret Whitlock’s writing otherwise.
In a subsequent statement, Whitlock goes on to provide proof positive that he views the gun issue entirely through a racial prism.
“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].” – Jason Whitlock
Meanwhile, Costas’s attempt to deflect negative public reaction by claiming that he was not opposed to the Second Amendment right but only to America’s “gun culture” was less than convincing. Still, there is no denying that we do have a problem in our culture. But is it a gun problem? Is it Ann Coulter’s testosterone problem? Lorena Bobbitt was capable of mustering plenty of hostile action without male hormones or a firearm. I would argue that we have a “culture of violence” problem rather than a “gun culture” problem.
A societal problem with violence surely has more than one cause and it would be wrong to oversimplify. The breakdown of the family, the dysfunction of the education system, and the decline of religion come to mind. But still we must look most accusingly at an entertainment industry that in film, gaming, and music enriches itself by promoting gratuitous violence. The depiction of violence in these pop-culture productions seems of a completely different order than that which high culture has always shown us. A Matt Damon feature with killings and maiming delivered in staccato succession is, we sense, desensitizing, dehumanizing. It is violence delivered for its own sake, set in the thinnest of socially redeeming plots. We walk out of the theater, past posters of the actor posed with his weapon, just a bit more numb. Matt Damon has, by the way, taken public anti-Second Amendment positions.
When jilted Don Jose murders his lover in Carmen, when in Lucia Di Lammermoor the heroine stabs her husband to death on her wedding day and then goes mad, we are moved toward understanding – the opposite of desensitization. Sharing a less violent culture is the essence of civilization; man or woman, armed or unarmed we can move in that direction.