.....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner
Posts : 72 Join date : 2013-11-16
Subject: .....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:11 pm
Once my former boss told me that sometimes we need someone from outside to point out the wrong things that we cannot see from the inside. In this case, pretty obvious. Funny that I showed this video to my tea-party friends and they reacted just like the ten percent mentioned on the video.lol.
Posts : 25 Join date : 2014-07-30
Subject: Re: .....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:41 am
The vast majority of crimes are committed by men and for me it's kinda obvious a correlation between guns as phallic symbols used by insecure men to show that they have the power. Its hard to find much about it because special interests are pretty good clouding the internet waters with their garbage, but I was still found this interesting article. damn foreigners again...
How Brazil Exploited Sexual Insecurity to Curb Guns: An Interview with Antonio Bandeira 86 MAR 8, 2013 10:43 AM EST By Francis Wilkinson a A Brazil has a gun culture, a gun industry and a gun problem -- much like the U.S. In fact, more Brazilians than Americans died of gunfire in 2010.
Yet Brazil's 2010 tally, 34,300 deaths, was significantly lower than its gun fatalities in 2003 (39,284), when the government enacted major gun-control regulation. I asked Brazilian political scientist Antonio Bandeira, who coordinates the arms-control program of Viva Rio, a nongovernmental organization in Rio De Janeiro, how the campaign for gun regulation succeeded in Brazil.
(This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.)
Question: What was the political context and background before the gun control campaign?
Answer: Until 2003, like your Congress, our legislature was against any changes in our permissive gun laws, which were an inheritance from the former military regime. (Brazil is the world's fourth largest exporter of small arms and light weapons.) Many Brazilian politicians have their election campaigns financed by the gun lobby, and others retain the machismo mentality that associates guns with masculinity. So changing gun laws was not going to be easy.
Q: What strategy did you adopt?
A: We decided to work with civil society, to build pressure to apply to parliament. First, we had to prove in scientific terms that gun control was necessary to improve public security. Brazil had more deaths caused by firearms than any other nation. In Rio de Janeiro, my team of experts was able to access and evaluate data on 720,000 guns seized by the police.
Our analysis destroyed many myths. For example, most people believed that narcotrafficantes used mainly foreign guns. We proved that 90 percent of illegal guns were Brazilian-made. People believed criminals relied on high-caliber weapons. We proved that 88 percent of guns used in crimes were revolvers or pistols. We also demonstrated that guns are good for attacking, but not for self-defense. (The surprise factor is the attacker's advantage.)
In addition, we found that most gun deaths were committed with legal guns, by previously law-abiding citizens -- and not by organized criminals. The perpetrators of gun violence are husbands shooting wives, neighbors shooting neighbors, employees firing at bosses, children's accidents, suicides, etc. All put together, they largely surpass homicides perpetrated by organized crime.
Q: What did you do with that research?
A: We convinced the main Brazilian media to open space and time to show these figures and arguments, to promote public debate on them. Unlike the NRA, our gun lobby doesn't produce fake research, so there was a contrast between our arguments, based on scientific knowledge, and the industry myths.
Q: You were trying to create cultural change, as well as legal change. How did that work?
A: We mobilized organized elements of civil society committed to a culture of peace and human rights -- churches, women's groups, minority groups, etc. We promoted debates and organized huge marches in the most important states' capitals. We were able to convince the most influential TV channel to introduce a discussion of guns on a very popular soap opera, "Women in Love." The actors participated in Rio's March Against Guns, when 50,000 people marched at Copacabana beach.
Q: But you also tried to stigmatize guns, even identifying them as a symbol of masculine insecurity. A popular actress equated gun possession with "a little problem" -- insinuating that men are attracted to guns in order to compensate for sexual inadequacy.
A: The use of guns is basically a male problem. In our societies, men subscribe to the old model of "warrior men" and to rural customs characterized by the use of force to solve problems. Movies keep alive the old macho model of masculinity. This backward tradition is reinforced by men's feelings of impotence in a hypercompetitive society. If they also have sexual insecurities, guns can make them feel stronger, more potent; with a gun, they will not be "naked."
One of our most successful media campaigns ironically associated sexual insecurity with the glorification of guns. Pretty and popular actresses said, "Good lovers don't need a gun." We deconstructed machismo, using the slogan "Choose Gun Free! It's Your Weapon or Me!" Young people loved it.
We also found that most men who handed in their guns had been influenced by women (mother, grandmother, lover). So we launched another movement, under the slogan "Mothers, Disarm your Sons!" These were specific actions to attenuate the devastating influence of the culture of violence disseminated though movies, TV and video games produced in your country.
Q: And in the end, you won?
A: After all these public debates, marches and other means of raising public awareness, a national survey showed that 82 percent of the public favored new restrictions on guns. The gun lobby always uses money to influence Brazil's Congress; we didn't, but the voters were for us. So, Congress enacted our Disarmament Statute. According to the statute, the minimum age to buy a gun was raised to 25 years, carrying guns was prohibited, guns and the ammunition used by police were marked, so they could be traced, and 15 conditions were established, which a person buying a gun must meet: no criminal record, psychological and gun handling tests, etc. On Christmas 2003, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed the new law. Research showed gun homicides declined 8 percent in the five years after the law was implemented in 2004, saving 5,000 lives.
(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. Follow him on Twitter.)
Posts : 25 Join date : 2014-07-30
Subject: Re: .....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:54 am
Another interesting article from another foreign/domestic entity: Aljazeera America.
The National Rifle Association’s outsize influence on American politics, including its notorious suppression of universal background checks and further research into gun violence, is well known. But it may come as a surprise that the NRA influences U.S. foreign policy as well — specifically, the implementation of international treaties.
Most guns used in armed conflicts aren’t manufactured in the combat zones where they end up. They are made in more developed countries and then shipped elsewhere. This process is possible because of a lack of global cooperation in regulating arms shipments. As Oxfam has pointed out, there are more international laws governing the trade of bananas than governing guns. Governments simply don’t know when guns are being sold, where they’re going or how they’re going to be used.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the United Nations’ bid to assert some semblance of control over the unregulated $85-billion-a-year international arms market. As Reuters described it, the treaty “aims to set standards for all cross-border transfers of conventional weapons, ranging from small firearms to tanks and attack helicopters. It would create binding requirements for states to review cross-border contracts to ensure that weapons will not be used in human rights abuses, terrorism, violations of humanitarian law or organized crime.”
Most observers, including representatives of the 130 nations that have already signed, welcomed the effort to track where weapons are going and how they are used. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the ATT a “significant step” in making the world a safer place. Only three countries opposed the treaty: Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Enter the NRA, one of the most powerful pressure groups in Washington, with over 5 million members and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year. Even though the ATT would not regulate domestic sales, the NRA vehemently opposes U.S. ratification of the treaty. It charges that that the ATT would create a worldwide gun registry and transfer power from Congress to the U.N. But for all intents and purposes, the U.S. already tracks overseas sales of guns, and the ATT would not automatically create a registry of individual owners. Congressional authority to approve treaties hasn’t been impinged; the treaty, after all, will take effect only if it’s ratified by the Senate.
Membership dues and program fees constitute less than half the NRA’s budget. The rest comes from the $12-billion-a-year firearm industry. If the NRA’s complaints seem wild and unfounded, it is because the organization is not a think tank or academic institution. It’s a lobbying group whose strength is its influence in Congress. And power in Congress depends on more than cogent arguments. By its own estimate, the NRA donated $35 million dollars to candidates in last November’s elections. The politicians purchased by the NRA reliably defy popular sentiment and vote against gun regulation.
So in 2011, after the NRA came out against the ATT, 58 members of the Senate sent letters of opposition to President Barack Obama and then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said, “We will oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty presented to the Senate that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens to manufacture, assemble, possess, transfer or purchase firearms, ammunition and related items.” His statement is odd, since the treaty presented to the Senate contained no such provisions.
Besides dragging their feet on ratification, Moran and his cohort have even insisted that the NRA be allowed to voice its complaints during negotiations over the details of the treaty. Rachel Stohl, who was a consultant to the United Nations ATT process, wrote that the meetings were “only open to those organizations that could demonstrate a record of actively promoting the Arms Trade Treaty and supporting its objectives and purpose” — which makes sense, since the treaty is already international law. It would serve no purpose to let an organization that disagrees with the basic premise of the law obstruct its implementation.
Why would an organization whose original purpose was to advocate for gun safety and offer marksmanship classes expend so much effort attacking an international treaty that has no bearing on the Second Amendment? The bloviating makes sense only if you consider what the NRA actually is. It’s not an idealistic nonprofit like the ACLU. It’s not a populist defender of the Second Amendment. It’s not the voice of hunters and sportsmen. Membership dues and program fees constitute less than half the NRA’s budget. The rest comes from the $12-billion-a-year firearm industry. At least 16 firearm manufacturers and sellers contribute, with some even donating a fixed percentage of their sales to the organization.
The NRA speaks for business interests, not ideals. As former Ambassador Dan Simpson wrote for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, what the NRA “wants is not to preserve Americans’ Second Amendment rights. What it wants is to increase sales of guns.” We already suffer from the NRA’s stranglehold on our domestic gun policy. Now people in conflict zones around the world will suffer because the gun lobby has hijacked an important aspect of our foreign policy.
Scott Beauchamp is a veteran and writer living in Portland, Maine. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Bookforum and The Baffler, among other places.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.
Subject: Re: .....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner
.....and the best argument for gun control had to come from a foreigner