Run for It! The Authorities are Coming!

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
The Houston Mayor's Office of Homeland Security and something called the regional Catastrophic Planning Initiative have produced a public service video
called "Run, Hide, Fight," advising people on what to do if somebody wants to shoot them.

I personally wish to nominate this production for the 2012 "No Shit Sherlock Award," which I have just invented, for the dramatic use of video, music and special effects to tell adult human beings important things that 2-year-olds already know.

The video has scary music in the background and what I assume are nonprofessional actors depicting a guy with some kind of sawed- off shotgun (not my model) shooting people in an office building. An authoritarian voice-over advises people to do one of three things:

Run away. Always a good idea. Hide. Yup, smart if you can do it. Or bash the guy with a vase. We all remember that one from Three Stooges shorts. This particular movie neglects to remind viewers of the all-important first step in bashing an armed person in the head with a vase: shouting, "Hey, look at da grouse!"

You know what scares me? I am deeply frightened by the absolute transparent absurdity of stuff like this and the real message, deliberate or not, that it conveys: bend over and kiss your ass good-bye.

The video starts off with a baritone voice-over assuring us that, "The authorities are working hard to protect you and to protect our public spaces." Then it shows hapless defenseless people getting blown away without a moment's warning. And from there it proceeds to show other people doing all this stuff that anybody would do by instinct, like running away.

So did the makers of the video think ill-informed people might run toward the shooter?

The real message of this video is that we are utterly defenseless and utterly unable to take care of ourselves. Therefore our best bet and only hope is to throw ourselves into the arms of "the authorities."

It's a crappy day for us but a wonderful season for the authorities, isn't it? The president sits at a coffee table in the Oval Office poring over a set of baseball cards with pictures on them of the people he is allowed to kill today, in utter secrecy and without due process.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is hard at work on draconian new secrecy laws to stop us from discovering information that isn't even secret, especially about who's going to get secretly killed on any given day.

Why would any of that be OK with us? It's only OK if we buy into the real propaganda message of this video, that we are hopeless, helpless suckers who will be squashed like cockroaches by guys who look like a bonkers Bruce Willis if we don't allow "the authorities" total sway over our lives and deaths.

What? We're helpless? No, we're not. In fact, wait. We're the authorities. We don't have to cower in our cubicles while Bonkers Bruce Willis stalks us with his shoulder cannon. We have the power to go to Washington, change the laws and make it very very difficult for the bonkers guys to get those guns, get that body armor, get that ammo.

Attack him with a vase? How about we attack him with a bill in the Congress?

You know, the absolute political stasis on gun control is part and parcel of the same message of paralysis and personal insignificance that the video preaches. I don't believe -- yet -- that it's all deliberate and coordinated. I think the mentality of the video and the mentality of the gun nuts are elements of a consistent culture. It's a culture that wants to make us feel helpless so it can feel powerful.

But the problem is, the security culture is really powerful already, and it is literally ravaging the landscape of our freedoms on an almost hourly basis. The only way we can fight it is by seizing back into our own hands the monopoly of violence, and the way we do that is not by wetting ourselves under our desks or pulling a Three Stooges attack on an armed madman.

Mr. Smith needs to go back to Washington. He needs to march straight up to that gun lobby and those sold-out sleazebags in the Congress. The first thing he needs to tell them is: "Hey, man! Look at da grouse!"


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32 comments
keeponcarryinon
keeponcarryinon

"The real message of this video is that we are utterly defenseless and utterly unable to take care of ourselves."

 

This has been the liberal dogma for years.

roo_ster
roo_ster

Mr. Schutze:

 

Nonobservant or immune to irony?

 

Surely you saw the 30.06 signs on the front of the entry door?  The reason the folks inside had to rely on fire extinguishers and LEOninjas to save their bacon is because they were deprived of the means to defend themselves with their own firearms.

 

JS wrote:

"I think the mentality of the video and the mentality of the gun nuts are elements of a consistent culture. It's a culture that wants to make us feel helpless so it can feel powerful."

 

I guess the answer is "nonobservant," given that absolute misreading of those who advocate for a plain reading of the Constitution.

CraigT42
CraigT42

So the problem is that the government is taking away too many of our freedoms and rights (I heartily agree) and the solution is for the government to take away more of our rights? Great logic there Jim. Not your best work

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

Jim, I think you owe a mea culpa, as I do.  When Bush passed concealed carry, I opposed it.  I imagine you did too.  I feared yahoos would shoot recklessly.  But, that didn't happen. 

 

I think Phelps has it right.  Gun Prohibition will be as effective as drug and prostitution prohibition.  I have a firearm or two, but I'm no gun nut.  I have friends who are gun nuts, and I'm glad they're out there.   I fear mobs, and the like; but them packing doesn't seem to be a great problem. 

 

I tell you what, if you want stricter gun laws, let's start with looking at concealed carry.  If you can find empirical evidence that shows it to be an accessory to greater gun crime, accidents; then start there.  I don't see assault rifles being a particular problem.  A handgun seems to be just as effective for armed robbery.  In fact, an assault rifle doesn't really add all that much to these criminals.  They'd be better served to bring a handgun, or even your trusty shotgun.  I don't understand the need for assault weapons, but i can understand gleaning some thrill from shooting an automatic rifle in a safe locale. 

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Or am I to interpret your comments as your belief that making guns illegal will keep criminals and loons from getting them and using them?  Please don't tell me this is it...

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Jim,

 

Is it really that surprising that a society that expects government to provide replacement housing in the event of a disaster, money in the event that a job is lost, healthcare in the event that you get hurt also expects government to make everything safe?  It is a logical, and dangerous, extension of the nanny state.  Glad to see you are against it.  You have taken the first slide-step toward the center.

gmit
gmit

Man Jim are your phoning it in, the real BS is how much the city of Houston got to pocket or give to their crony buddies for "production costs" from the government grant, sure as hell had to be some healthy profit margin in there

imagepimp
imagepimp

This was the most ridiculous "after-school special" type of video that I have seen in years. Am I the only one that thought of Patches O'Houlihan's (Rip Torn) five rules to dodgeball ("Dodge, Dip, Dive, Duck, and Dodge!") as the narrator s gave instructions ("Run, Hide, or Fight!")?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

How about, move laterally, find hard cover, and return fire? We've been "making it harder to get" all sorts of drugs for the last 50 years, and you see how that has turned out. If it gets any harder to get them kids will be setting up pot stands at the elementary schools. Whack jobs do crap like this on a regular schedule. What doesn't get reported is instances like last week where a whack job starts stabbing people in a store -- but was stopped after the second victim by a citizen with a gun. If you really want to stop these, you want more law abiding citizens with guns. It's not a coincidence that he went to a cinemark property -- where the owners try to prohibit its customers from being able to defend themselves with concealed weapons.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @keeponcarryinon Sorry, buddy, but Arabophobia and disdain for the constitution were Bush/Rove specialties, heartily endorsed by Teapoids jealous of Mexicans, Christofascists jealous of people who have intercourse and gun nuts jealous of peple who are tough without guns. 

observist
observist topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps It could be there's a difference between a proliferation weapons used to kill people and a proliferation of plant material used to make people giggle.  Countries with more lenient marijuana laws have comparable or lower rates of marijuana usage.  Countries with stricter gun control laws have fewer murders, even when they have comparable violent crime rates.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist Absolutely, completely wrong.  Otherwise, Chicago wouldn't be the murder capitol of the world, beating out Mexico City and Sao Paolo.  The more privately owned guns in the hands of law abiding citizens there are, the safer the region is.  John Lott's research on that is pretty much uncontroversial at this point.

roo_ster
roo_ster

 @keeponcarryinon  @JimSX Like "The Wall," that comment by Jimbo is understandable only if you are drunk or as high on shrooms as Jimbo was when he wrote it.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @observist there's still beer wars, but they're more akin to the cola wars than gangland tuft battles.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist "As for a civil right, we both know the differing interpretations of the first amendment, but as it stands now, yes, religion and speech are civil rights.  It could change.  Overall, I think it is pretty clear that wealthy societies with strict anti-blasphemy laws are better off than those with 'free speech'."

 

Also, comparing the UK murder rate to the US is not the proper measure.  It's to compare UK murder rates before and after enacting tighter gun control.  Each time they do it, murder rates increase, violent crime other than murder and rape SKYROCKETS as they petty criminals know that as long as they are strong and have a knife, they are safe from law-abiding citizens.  Even as recently as the 97 handgun ban, the UK saw a 15% increase in gun murders AFTER the ban.

 

(The reason is simple.  Law abiding people don't murder, and murderers won't turn in their guns just because they are now illegal.)

 

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110218135832/http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/hosb0110.pdf

observist
observist topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps   Straw purchases are part of the problem, legally licensed gun dealers are part of the problem, thefts of legal guns are part of the problem.  You're not denying the strong positive correlation between the amount of legal guns and the amount of illegal guns.  Most guns used in crimes in the US were purchased legally at some point.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by the murder rate not being affected -  the UK has 1/4 the murder rate of the US (1.23 vs. 4.8 per 100,000 in 2010), with less than 50 murders committed with guns per year.  Remove the 50-60% of US murders committed with guns and the US rate would still be higher, but not multiples higher.  Some gun murderers would just use a different weapon to commit murder, but a vastly larger portion of murders would simply not occur if the perp had to use a knife - it's just harder to kill someone with a knife.

 

Regarding drug vs. gun prohibition, well, the purpose of drugs for better or worse, is to alter your senses and perceptions in some way, which doesn't inherently pose any risk to anyone but the user. The purpose of guns is to kill or maim people other than the user, easily, at long distances.  I find that to be a pretty distinct difference.  You're insisting they're critical for self-defense without acknowledging that they're also the main threat that needs to be defended against.

 

As for a civil right, we both know the differing interpretations of the 2nd amendment, but as it stands now, yes, it's a civil right.  It could change.  Overall, I think it's pretty clear that wealthy societies with few guns are better off than those with many guns. However, I don't know if there's any realistic way to transition from the latter to the former 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist Sorry, but the BLJ statistics say that less than 8.5% of the illegal guns are from straw purchases.  (No word on how many of those straw purchases were Fast and Furious guns that the Administration was using to intentionally arm the cartels.)

 

Automatic weapons have essentially been banned since 1934.  Any manufactured before 1986 are completely banned for civilian ownership. That has done absolutely nothing to prevent gangs from having fully automatic AK-47s.  

 

England has the sort of draconian gun laws you are looking for.  Not only that, they are on an ISLAND.  And yet, the criminals still end up with handguns and rifles, and the murder rate hasn't been effected -- the murderers simply use knives.

 

Finally, at the end of the day, we are talking about a CIVIL RIGHT.  That one person abuses a civil right doesn't mean we abrogate the rights of everyone.  How can you argue that we have the right to do as we wish with what substances we put into our own bodies (which I agree with) but then in the same breath argue that we don't have the right to defend those bodies?

observist
observist topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  Most illegally-acquired guns in the US were legally acquired at some point by someone else in the US.  It's not like criminals are smithing them in their basements or smuggling them in from Colombia.  They just get their not-yet-criminal friends to buy them at Bass Pro Shop.  The more legal guns you have, the more illegal guns you end up with.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

 

observist
observist topcommenter

 @scottindallas  Just pointing out more legal gun ownership is mostly irrelevant to the situation in Chicago.  I agree that the best solution is to legalize drugs.  No turf wars over beer any more.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist  How would forcing the bystander to be defenseless change your hypothetical?  You are acting as if gang members who already break countless laws and smuggle illegal materials into the country would somehow be unarmed if we simply disarm the law abiding.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @observist  @scottindallas My solution would be to legalize drugs, to shrink the black market.  Making guns illegal would only create a new black market, expanding the problem. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @observist  @scottindallas what's you're solution?  Nothing you propose would stop that, certainly not the police.  They prefer to come after the fact, after all the shells have landed and cooled.

observist
observist topcommenter

@scottindallas @observist So one gang member is doing a silly walk down the street, and three members of a rival gang gallop up on invisible horses and start shooting at him. The silly walker pulls a gun out from under his bowler hat and starts shooting back. What's a packing bystander going to do? Shoot all of them?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @observist but they never expect the Spanish Inquisition, nor the bystander packing. 

observist
observist topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps 

You've made three points here:

1) Bans on guns don't reduce their availability

2) More legal gun ownership reduces crime

3) Gun control in Chicago has caused the recent spike in murders.

 

Regarding 1) The US is awash in guns, so attempts at municipal-level control are pointless.  It's like picking a 6-foot square at the beach and trying to ban sand.  Gun control in Chicago will not be effective when you can buy all the guns you want 30 miles away in Kenosha.  However, in Europe where there are national-level gun controls in most countries, it effectively reduces overall access to guns for both criminals and non-criminals.

 

Regarding 2)  Western European murder rates are roughly 1/3 of those in the US, even though violent crime rates are comparable.  50% of murders in the US are committed with guns.  Europeans are murderous and violent, they're just not as successful in killing because it's simply more difficult physically and pyschologically to kill someone without using a gun.

 

Regarding 3)  Much of the spike in murders in Chicago is gang-related - in essence, criminals killing other criminals, and much of it is between teenagers who could not own a gun legally in most other states anyway.  This increase in murder is not caused by gun control, and would not be diminished by loosening gun controls.  Most of the people shooting already expect their targets to be armed. 

observist
observist topcommenter

Um, I said countries, not counties.

 

 If anything is absolutely, completely wrong it's your ridiculous assertion that Chicago's control control laws have anything to do with the recent increase in murders.

 

Chicago's murder rate has spiked up in the past year, but otherwise had gone down by ~50% from1992 to 2010, just like most everywhere else in the US.  As of 2010 it had the 18th highest murder rate in the US. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

 

There was no significant change in Chicago's gun laws in the past 2 years.  There's not even a correlation between Chicago's change in murder rate and any change in local control laws, let alone causation.

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