September 23, 2006
And poverty is violence!
Anyone remember the slogan "FOOD NOT BOMBS"?
Pennsylvania gun control activists have come up with one of their own, and a T-shirt to go with it:
Outside a busy Sneaker Villa store downtown, Qayyum, wearing a T-shirt that read "Jobs Not Guns," addressed a crowd of men milling around the neighborhood.I guess the emotional appeal of "FOOD NOT GUNS" would have been slightly tarnished by the obviously imitative nature. But the logic is the same, which is none at all. There's a host of social problems which have no relationship at all to the Second Amendment, but the goal is nonetheless to conflate the constitutional, individual right to bear arms with something that doesn't involve rights (the availability of jobs). To see the latter as a "right" involves redefinining rights as government obligations.
It's apples-and-oranges thinking (yes, I'm being charitable there) which makes sense only to people who want it to make sense.
If this were just a small group of "community activists" it wouldn't be worth more than a passing observation about the misuse of logic. But the group has major support from Mayor Street, who is to be joined by New York's Mayor Bloomberg and other notables:
Yesterday, Mayor Street said the event will send a message to state legislators that the status quo is not acceptable.Bloomberg. I just read about him. He's a Republican mayor who's not only against the Second Amendment, but whose city commissions combat free speech in video games! Why not add a slogan?
JOBS NOT VIDEO GAMES!
(Well, as long as we're playing logical suspense, why not? We could even throw in the arts! "ART NOT GUNS!" Something for everyone. "JOBS NOT PORNOGRAPHY!" Be creative! Is "BUNS NOT GUNS" too risque?)
Back to the Inquirer:
"We're going to send a sense of urgency that hasn't happened," Street said at a news conference in his City Hall reception room. "I don't think we've had such an organized effort like this."Elected officials? Town Watch? But I thought gun control was a loser of an issue -- at least for the Democrats. Hasn't anyone told these people?
There's also something about a "committee of the whole," which I don't understand:
The state House of Representatives will convene all day as a committee of the whole to discuss a multitude of legislative proposals, including limits on the sale of handguns to one per month; a ban on military-style assault weapons statewide; additional funding for police and police equipment; and a requirement that gun owners report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours.
The Inquirer seems to be promoting the event, and links to the web site.
As I don't imagine the Inquirer plans to present the other side of the argument (much less link to the NRA), I thought I'd present the NRA's side (from an NRA-ILA email):
September 26th - Committee of the Whole Meeting: On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the House of Representatives will resolve itself for one day into a "Committee of the Whole" to focus on crime and violence in Pennsylvania. The Committee of the Whole is a rarely used legislative mechanism designed to allow for a more informal, free-flowing public debate of a particularly critical issue facing the Commonwealth. Topics expected to be addressed include "One-Gun-a-Month" legislation, elimination of statewide preemption, semi-automatic firearm bans as well as other anti-gun legislation that would limit your rights as law-abiding gun owners. The time is NOW! NRA members across Pennsylvania must call or write their State Representatives and send the message that stiff punishment of criminals who commit crimes with guns is the key to stopping gun violence. Please contact your State Representative at (717) 787-2016 and State Senator at (717) 787-5920.I'd love to hear my rep explain the "JOBS NOT GUNS" logic.
My favorite of these apples-and-oranges slogans has long been "POVERTY IS VIOLENCE."
"EMOTION IS LOGIC"?
(Yeah, I know... IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.)
MORE: This might not be the moment everyone's been waiting for, but I found an online picture of the "JOBS NOT GUNS" T-shirts.
I share because I care!
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Considering that lead activist Bilal Qayyum is elsewhere described as an official with Philadelphia's Department of Commerce (a job he apparently still holds), as well as the fact that Mayor Street is involved to the hilt with the anti-gun campaign, might this whole junket be financed with taxpayer dollars? Why do the Inquirer and other papers present Qayyum solely as a grass roots activist, and fail to disclose his official status?
What about the taxpayers on the other side of this issue? Why isn't there any government official charged with protecting their constitutional rights?
posted by Eric on 09.23.06 at 07:18 AM
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