Monday, December 24, 2012
In retrospect, it's easy to see that the big tobacco companies would have been far better off to fully cooperate with reformers once the cultural paradigm regarding cigarette smoking began to shift. Instead, they stubbornly resisted change, and in the process made themselves look very bad.
Now, in the wake of Newtown, Connecticut, the cultural paradigm regarding high-capacity firearms is shifting even more rapidly than we saw with smoking, as people turn away in sorrow and disgust from the terror of high-capacity guns in the hands of maniacs. However this reality was lost on Mr. LaPierre of the National Rifle Association when he addressed the Newtown massacre on Friday, when he repeated all the mistakes made by the Marlboro Men and added a couple new ones of his own.
It's not just the weapons that now arouse our widespread revulsion, but the mentality that has driven the marketing of them. Maybe the doomsday preppers are at least partly right, and we're in for some interludes of real anarchy as the oil economy passes away and the "finance industry" is made to deal with the consequences of its massive Ponzi schemes. But surviving such interludes cannot be done solitaire; only strong, organized communities can have a chance of accomplishing that.
There's a romantic sickness loose among us, the ideal of the lone-wolf macho homo who through his own strength, toughness, and intelligence survives in a hostile world. The main problem with this scenario is that many who believe in it are actually hoping for it, sensing consciously or unconsciously that it would be an exciting and fulfilling alternative to their present routine, boring and meaningless existence.
These are the ones who lie awake at night worrying that "Obama and the liberals are coming for our guns," but truly, we're only interested in the exotic ones -- AK's, AK knockoffs and wannabees, semiautomatic pistols, etc. Rest assured, you can keep that Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, and even without the Bushmaster you'll still be a guy.