Taking Aim at the 'Controllists'

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

Taking Aim at the 'Controllists'


Byline: Albin Sadar, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Whenever a serious dilemma arises in America, a debate soon follows. And whoever is able to frame the debate gains the upper hand. For example, abortion is not about taking the life of the unborn, it's about choice. And marriage is not defined by the formal union of a man and a woman, it's about equality. Control the argument, win the debate.

In Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns, author Glenn Beck takes on the heated debate over the ownership and use of firearms in America and beyond. Mr. Beck, founder of the Blaze television network and one of the current administration's peskiest antagonists, uses an arsenal of statistics, with a variety of studies, charts and graphs, to clarify misconceptions associated with the phrase More guns, less crime.

Many among the controllists - Mr. Beck's word for those who wish to dictate that which citizens can and cannot do - envision a Wild West scenario associated with increased gun possession. But Mr. Beck notes that Switzerland, despite having a higher gun-ownership ratio than the United States, has one-sixth the gun-related homicides. The difference? [N]ot the guns; it's the people and the culture. 'Social conditions are fundamental in deterring crime,' Peter Squires, professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Brighton in Great Britain, told Time. [Mr.] Squires has studied gun violence in different countries and concluded that a 'culture of support, rather than focus on individualism, can deter mass killings.'

Mr. Beck's arguments in Control are divided into two sections: Part One: The Truth About Guns takes on some of the myriad quotes made by popular newsmakers who, according to Mr. Beck, mislead the public with opinions based on emotional reactions to national tragedies - most recently, the mass killings in Newtown, Conn. Much of their argument can be summarized: The gun is to blame, not the maladjusted person using it. Mr. Beck points out, however, that in cases where knives or automobiles have caused intentional or accidental death, no one has suggested prohibiting their use.

Mr. Beck also reveals how even the word control is being wiped from the lexicon of the gun-control debate by those seeking an overall ban of all firearms (not just so-called assault weapons). These crafty campaigners are now talking about gun safety, not control. Americans, after all, have a negative reaction to being controlled.

One of the most compelling arguments in Control is found in Part Two: Winning Hearts and Minds, where Mr. Beck states, We must stop looking to assign blame to the choices we are offered - whether it's guns or large sodas or tanning beds - and instead take personal responsibility for our choice and our lives. …

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