Quote of the day–Joan Burbick

People in a society find ways to avoid conflict, and instead they find substitutes for it. I think the gun has become one of those substitutes.

Instead of addressing the root causes of the inequalities in our society, such as the limits of access to education, jobs, housing, the legal system etc., we invent or come up with crime scenarios. The gun becomes the substitute way to solve conflict in the United States, and the biggest conflict of all is crime.

So that’s how I view it as a political fetish — that it’s a substitution. This is a moment in the United States when access to political power is, I think, limited to a class of professional politicians and lobbyists. And the act of buying a gun can mimic political action. It makes people feel as if they are engaging in politics of political protest.

I’ll give an example of how I think guns have political meaning. One of my old friends who is an ex-Vietnam vet, a Navy pilot, said to me one night, “Whenever I get mad at the government, I go out and buy a gun.” And to me, that’s a form of mimicking political action. One is left only with a gun in one’s closet. One has not changed or affected the government at all. In that way, I see it as a fetish, a substitute.

Joan Burbick
October 16, 2006
Joan Burbick’s ‘Gun Show Nation’ Explains How the “Gun Rights” Movement is a White Male Political Power Play
[Just so you know what they think of you.–Joe]


7 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Joan Burbick

  1. wait, wait… if buying guns doesn’t change society appreciably, how can it be described as a “power play”? or do i not want to know the answer to that question…

    (i also don’t agree that crime is “the biggest conflict” in america today, or anywhere near it. in certain inner cities, maybe, but not in the U.S. at large.

    the largest problem i see is a political system dominated by two parties with near-identical policy positions (because the only way they can gain more voters is to appeal to one and the same middle ground, meaning they have to do the same thing) but which are totally unable to work together (because they have to demonize one another to avoid losing voters to the competition). worse, i see no way out of that situation, either. crime is marginal by comparison to such structural issues.)

  2. I need more practice writing. I hope I can get this across properly.

    She opens with the idea that society has indeed found a way to AVOID conflict. If I am reading this correctly, that way is “…addressing the root causes of inequality…”. (sounds like socialism/communism to me) Instead of following the socialist way, we choose to make-up crime. We then choose firearms as the way to SOLVE (not avoid) crime, which, at the end of the second paragraph, turns out to be “…the biggest conflict…”, and, not fictional after all.

    She then states “…access to political power is, I think, limited to a class of professional politicians and lobbyists.” (political elite) She then comes to the conclusion that buying a firearm is an effort to FEEL as if you are a member of the political elite. The firearms according to her is useless, as it is destined to end up in the closet.

    It is almost as if someone took a few piece from each of multiple jigsaw puzzles and forcibly jammed them together, then claiming to have solved the puzzle. As she seems to have a decent (probably better than mine) grasp of the english language, my only conclusion is that she has made the choice to be intellectually dishonest for the purposes of pushing the socialist/communist, and, disarmament agenda on those who are unwilling, or, unable to look at those issues in a logical manner.

  3. I know they do, Joe. I guess my purpose was to figure out what, exactly, her agenda is. Obviously, she has a problem with firearms. People come to feel that way for different reasons though. A lot of the gun grabbers, I think, are against guns through an irrational fear that somehow firearms inevatably cause death. It just seemed to me that was not her angle.

    After reading the Buzzflash link, it seems to me I was correct. What I am getting from that article is that her problem with firearms is that they give people, in her opinion, a false sense of self-reliance. She seems to want a socialist utopia where everyone is not an individual, rather, they are just part of the societal machine. her ultimate point seems to be that the ownership of firearms, more specifically the self-reliant thought that comes with said ownership, is a roadblock to people accepting socialism as the answer to the ills of society.

  4. Cobar, I agree. If you read more of her material on various websites it become more and more clear that it’s not the guns so much as the attitudes that she thinks come with the guns and that socialism is part of her agenda. “Woman’s issues” are a big part of her agenda too. Apparently she doesn’t realize that guns are a great liberation tool for women.

  5. No, I’d say she’s quite accurate, although she misses the point.

    I mean, in modern days we can’t do much about the political cycle. Some people can affect it — Instapundit, maybe, or the entire 3 million member NRA moving at once — but even they can’t make decisions, or really tap the people that do. People buy guns because politicians do things they don’t like : gunthing.com has a list of folk who went out of their way to get one before the Assault Weapon Ban went into place.

    She just doesn’t realize that it works. There’s no sane politician that wouldn’t be affected by the knowledge that there are 90 guns for every 40 votes. That sum’s just the perfectly law-abiding folk, but just to keep legal these days you have to know the letter of the law, and that tends to end up with the sponsor of each more problematic statute on your mind.

    Of course, hunting, self-defense, entertainment, varminting, and a whole host of other activities make sure we won’t leave most of them in the closet.

  6. it isn’t being a leftist that’s her problem, or at least not the whole of it. i’m a social democrat, and i can’t make heads or tails of her position.

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