Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michael McGough - Not Such A Phenomenal Phenomenon

In an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times titled Let gun-lovers lead the charge on gun control, Michael McGough presents himself as an example of a phenomenon receiving a good deal of attention, currently, in the media, which he describes as follows.

I offer myself as an example of a phenomenon that is receiving a good deal of attention in the discussion of whether the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., will lead to enactment of a ban on assault weapons or any other sort of gun control legislation. I refer to the cultural disconnect between editorialists (and others) who support gun control and the millions of Americans who own and use guns. As much as advocates of gun control insist that they respect hunters and target shooters and oppose the confiscation of firearms, the suspicion persists among gun owners that people like me (and Barack Obama) wouldn’t mind if every gun in America disappeared.

Mr. McGough immediately goes on to state that the above suspicion; “...that people like me (and Barack Obama) wouldn’t mind if every gun in America disappeared.; is trope, but a careful reading of McGough’s entire opinion piece suggests that Mr. McGough is not such a phenomenal phenomenon to take seriously when it comes to the subject of gun ownership, or restrictions thereof, and thus the suspicions of gun owners may carry more weight than Mr. McGough suggests.

McGough opens his opinion piece with these words.

The last time I fired a gun was when I was an 11-year-old inmate at Camp Fatima, a Catholic summer camp that combined Mass and marksmanship. The last time I held a gun was more than a decade ago during a show-and-tell by the Pennsylvania state police commissioner at the editorial offices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The commissioner passed around a selection of the types of assault weapons that were causing havoc in the streets of Philadelphia. The assembled editorial writers appropriately oohed and ahed; most of us hadn’t laid eyes on so much as a starter pistol in years.

McGough’s above self confession of his ignorance of guns could be, and should be, considered as disqualifying him from any meaningful contribution to discussions of gun ownership, or restrictions to gun ownership.  Additionally, I think McGough’s referencing of his time spent at a Catholic summer camp as a time of imprisonment when he was 11 years old, suggests that Mr. McGough has childhood “issues” which he may have difficulty in processing, and this also, in my opinion, disqualifies Mr. McGough from contributing anything meaningful to discussions of gun ownership.

To be fair, Mr. McGough does attempt to present his views as unbiased and realistic on the subject on gun control, but when an individual who favors restricting Americans’ access to guns, though recognizing Americans do have a right to gun ownership, describes guns as “killing machines,” as McGough does in closing his opinion piece; a Godwin’s Law statement; their anti-gun bias is displayed for all to see, and that’s not a phenomenal phenomenon to be considered as an example of individuals rationally talking about gun ownership.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/19 at 09:49 AM
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