Wednesday, April 16, 2008

(sigh) You don't need to use distortions to win an argument

Ever since the Obama elitist comment Rawstory has been scrambling to put together all the pro-Obama coverage relating to Pennsylvania that they can come up with. However, cherry picking stories that seem to have something positive to say about the candidate and then putting them together doesn't thereby disprove that the underlying issue is still there. Case in point, the article about how a hunters' group has come out in support of Obama in the wake of him saying that when times are hard people (in small towns presumably) turn to God, guns, and to scapegoating immigrants.

This is a link to " 'Hunters & Shooters' endorse Obama, group says he supports gun rights"

The group they're referring to is the American Hunters and Shooters Association. Looks great, right? A group of hunters and gun enthusiasts supporting Obama? A look to ye olde Wikipedia, the source for all knowledge, complicates things a little bit:

The entry says that this group was started in June 2006, making it less than two years old. On Their website they feature a blurb from a Washington Post article about them on their website declaring that they hope to take away members from the NRA, and a full copy of the article one click away.

It ends:

"Unfortunately for Schoenke, the Brady Campaign basically agrees with the NRA. "I see our issues as complementary to theirs," Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, says about Schoenke's association. "They're a positive group."

Helmke even contends that the two organizations are not far apart in approach. Helmke says he, too, shot guns as a boy and is as Middle American as he can be -- a former Republican mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind. "The Brady Campaign is not just East Coast liberal Democrats," he says."

They included the article, complete with criticism, on their own website.

The thing about the Brady Campaign is that they've sponsored legislation that's factually wrong. The assault weapons ban is a good example of this. Part of the ban focussed on the look and accessories of a gun as opposed to whether it was, in the classic sense, a military assault weapon. There was a helpful presentation when this was being debated showing how a regular rifle could be miraculously turned into an assault weapon by adding extra accessories which considered individually wouldn't be controversial but that would make the rifle look bad ass and threatening when put together. This included the ever impressive banana clip, which in this case was just an expanded clip for a rifle and not something capable of generating the kind of M-16 fire associated with movies.

For every position like wanting to ban .55 caliber rifles, very very large and powerful guns, that seem sensible (which Hunters and Shooters support), there are usually several more from the anti-gun lobby that are based on a flawed understanding of the basic issues.

Hunters and Shooters seems to be allying itself with the people who put out proposals like this.

So....does the fact that a new, liberal, gun group endorses Obama mean that they're reflective of opinion at the bottom?

That would appear to be what the editors at Rawstory are saying, thereby making everything groovy and cool between Obama and hunters.

*on edit: this issue is one of the reasons that Jello Biafra sucks.

On the side project with Ministry entitled "Lard", on the album "Pure Chewing Satisfaction", which is otherwise a pretty good record, there's a song titled "Foreskin of Liberty", which is about a dude talking about how "They're trying to take my guns."

The song kind of shoes in all supporters of gun rights into the category of mouth breathing red necks, not taking into account the possibility that some people may support them for actual reasons and not out of pure, mindless, reactionary impulses.

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