[Fwd: Re: Guns etc]

Jeffrey St. Clair sitka at home.com
Thu Nov 18 15:44:27 PST 1999

Katha Pollitt wrote:

> Yes, as I said, in private,we both accept that guns are very dangerous
> (which Alex and Jordan do not);

Dangerous, yes. I don't know about "very". In the scheme of things, I worry more about dangers over which people have little choice and almost no control--contaminated water and air, getting booted off of welfare, losing their job, losing their insurance, bad brakes. Everyday shit like that.

> agree about what we would do personally
> (not have any or let our kids play with those who do); and differ on
> what the law should be -- although,interestingly, you haven't actually
> asked me what I think the law should be.

Well, you've told me without my asking. Restrict the sale of certain kinds of handguns, semiautomatic weapons, waiting periods, background checks. The like. If there's more I'd like to hear it.

> My point, however, was this: In public you present yourself quite
> differently, as having no problem with guns,

No way. I've never presented myself as having "no problem with guns." But I think the move to restrict and prohibit them is a greater danger. Look at all the sentencing enhancements associated with gun possession and look at who pays the price: it's used by prosecutors to keep young black males in prison for longer and longer periods; it's used for 3 strikes your out; etc. It's also used politically against groups and individuals the government doesn't like--could be us one day--ie,, Waco and Move (interesting how charges of "guns" and "child abuse" were used as pretext for both infernos).

> and you use dismissive
> language to describe my position: I am "obsessed" with guns (not alex,
> who has written probably a small volume's worth of pieces about how cool
> gunshows are and how stupid gun opponents are, whereas I haven't written
> even a paragraph about gun control, except on this list where we are
> just thinking out loud).

Admittedly, I haven't read everything that AC has written on guns. But really I think there have only been three or four columns over the past three years. Since Alex writes about 2.5 columns a week that works out to about 1 percent. Hardly the obsession Doug was trying to portray it as. My point was simply that in the past week you've written more on this list about guns than Alex has in the past year.

> I want to "make people feel guilty" about them.
> I want to take away people's gun fun (heavyhanded sexist castration
> allusion here--honestly, you should apologize for that).

You've associated "gun fun" entirely with males. Not true in my experience. Which is what I was poking fun at.

> Since, in fact, you DO think they pose
> dangers, why do you write as if those dangers were a joke and people who
> acknowledge them are wusses and/or ballbusters?

Mainly because those who fear guns the most (the white, educated, middle class) are at the least risk of being harmed by them.

> Are you afraid someone
> will describe you as "puffing" and too scared to get out of the car?

Hey!! I have stood up to Alex on precisely these issues (and more) and he signs my check.

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