Showing posts with label gun lobby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gun lobby. Show all posts

Sunday 14 July 2024

Polarised American society, gun access and aggressive rhetoric led to Trump shooting

Polarised American society, guns and aggressive rhetoric led to Trump shooting
Image: AP - Getty Images.

American society has become more polarised. Discourse is more black-and-white. I am not referring to black people and white people. I'm referring to strong views at either end of the political spectrum. People are less inclined to have thoughts in the middle ground. The grey area. The area of compromised solutions.

In general there are more extreme thoughts and that kind of issue is occurring across the Western world I would argue. It's why we have far right groups doing so well in France, Germany and the UK for example.

Trump attempted assassination
Photo-edited version by MikeB

And there are more stresses in society I feel. The world has become more stressed. People have become more anxious and fearful. That's partly because the background tension in the world has increased. This is due to various factors such as climate change and Putin's invasion of Ukraine. And we are still post-Covid which caused a lot of financial stresses, still felt today.

And then in America they have more guns than there are people (433 million guns and 341 million citizens). No country has so many guns available. And if you combine these polarised viewpoints as I've called them plus aggressive rhetoric with the easy access of guns which are not, some may argue, regulated as well as they should be in America, you end up with the Trump attempted assassination.

Of course, he is a divisive character. You either love them or loathe them. And I'm sure a lot of people are unsurprised that he was shot. He was shot in the right ear so the shooter was targeting his head apparently with a rifle from a roof from which he had visual access to the rally which apparently (ironically) was supported by a gun lobby.

But underpinning this attempted assassination of Donald Trump is the black-and-white nature of American politics and society being somewhat split down the middle between Republicans and Democrats. Some might argue that there will be a civil war as this split is so severe.

The argument now is that Trump's attempted assassination will boost his campaign to be the next president. A strong survivor compared to Biden, the weak and rapidly declining geriatric.

One remarkable aspect of this assassination attempt is that Trump immediately knew that he should use it to his advantage because we see some amazing photographs of him with his fist raised showing a very strong, dominant character and behind him is the American flag. 

Surrounding him are Secret Service personnel trying to recover him and take him to a safe place. It's an amazing photograph which he will no doubt use from now until he becomes the next president.


Update a few hours later:

There's a lot of talk about the aggressive rhetoric, which I mention. The general consensus now is that it should be dialled down in order to stop provoking these sorts of incidents. Freedom of speech is important but it can cross the line to inciting violence and there needs to be a fresh look at that. This would apply not only to the United States but the UK as well because there has been violence and intimidation in the UK during the latest general election.

And there are ructions in France with their recent elections and extremist views coming out.

The shooter is Thomas Crooks. He lived at Bethel Park and his home is being searched by the FBI as I dictate this.

He was seen on the roof opposite the stadium where former president Trump was speaking by a bystander and a Trump supporter. This man saw the shooter very clearly and he pointed it out to law enforcement but apparently they took no action. There was confusion before the actual shooting.

There are concerns about the lack of efficiency of law enforcement and Trump's security team in allowing this to happen. The man who saw the shooter before he was actually shot by security staff said he was up there for about three or four minutes and he shot five bullets one of which grazed Trump's head and took a nick out of his ear. That bullet went on and killed a man behind him it seems.

Two other people behind Trump were injured. They are hospitalised.

Trump immediately after being shot in the ear apparently shouted "Fight, fight, fight!". This further incited violence. It's understandable he said this but the argument is that the shooter was incited to violence and now we have former president Trump responding by also inciting violence. It is a very unhealthy situation. Trump's post on his Truth Social website is far more conciliatory however.


Some Democrats have stated that the shooter was working on behalf of the Democrat party. They blame the Democrats for organising this attempted assassination. This will further polarise the Democrats and Republicans.

Incidentally, Thomas Crooks was a registered Republican interestingly. We don't know his motivation for the shooting. But a large segment of Democrats appear to have assumed that his motivation was to shoot the leading Republican, the Republican candidate for the presidency to knock him out of the race. But that's an assumption which has not been verified as yet with evidence.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Arguments against animal rights - a discussion

Arguments against animal rights are likely to come from people who feel that their interests are negatively affected as a result of granting animals rights. These sorts of people are likely to be business men making a profit out of animals (or businesses ancillary to that kind of business), or people involved in the wholly unacceptable business of sport or trophy hunting, or indeed politicians connected with these businesses. In short opponents will be people who feel that their human "rights" will be eroded by an extension of animal rights.

A hunter who would be against animal rights
A hunter who would be against animal rights. She is Renee Sullivan with the 3 kittens she killed for the hell of it. Montage: MikeB

My thoughts on the montage above:

This is an Australian female hunter, aged 20, who likes to kill cats of any age which includes kittens with a compound bow and arrow. She believes that she is carrying out a service on behalf of the nation and her community. Her behaviour enrages cat lovers and animal rights advocates. She can't understand the criticism. There is a chasm between cat lovers and hunters who like to kill cats. That chasm is the comprehension that when you shoot an animal such as a kitten with a bow and arrow you are going to cause a lot of pain. It is an inhumane way to kill an animal no matter what justification you wish to put upon the action. Cat lovers find this deplorable and criticise them on social media very heavily. The hunter can't understand.
There is a natural competition between animals on the planet and that includes the human-animal competing with non-human animals (apologies to the people who think we are special and created by God - the creationists). 
"When humans give rights to animals, they give away some of their rights" - Michael (and if it is true, it is acceptable and a good thing).
Granting rights to humans gets in the way of unscrupulous business people who wish to abuse human rights to turn a better profit. Think about people trafficking, for example, or wages that are too low, or child labour. At a more fundamental level human rights abuses will be instigated by politicians against people who threaten their power. 

In other words, unscrupulous people will tend to abuse people or animals that get in the way of things that serve their interests.

Arguments against animal rights will therefore be founded on a shaky premise. But turning a profit is not in itself bad, it is what makes the world tick. It is just that people have got to be managed to prevent excesses. Often, it seems, we get lobbying from, for example, people of the sport hunting fraternity (these people are probably connected to the gun lobby people). 

These people want their voices to be heard in government and the former president, Bush, was one of those presidents who tended to listen. What his government did was more likely to be against both the environment and animal rights (the two go together and can stand in the way of business profits).

Animals don't have a voice. We give them a voice through animal rights. People like to use animals to their advantage. One day we will see this as unacceptable. Animal rights exist in the West but not in the Eastern countries of the world to the same extent (Japan excepted). 

This shows that this is a developing area, still. For cats it is a long time coming as they were domesticated some nine thousand years ago. They still do not have true animal rights and some people (the chief exec. of Peta, Ingrid Newkirk, being one) think that there should be no companion animals as the only way to ensure true animal rights.

There are no arguments against animal rights that truly stand up. We share the planet with our fellow animals. They enhance our lives in many ways and provide us with food. Even on a commercial basis we need to protect them in the long term. Businesses tend to think short term and ruin things in the process (think over-fishing, for example). 

The only question is about how many rights we allow, their nature and extent and whether we can find a balance. In a perfect world, animal rights should be granted at a most fundamental level. Where there is a break down in animal rights there will usually be a corresponding loss of human rights, the two are linked.

The counter argument: If you were one of those "masters of the universe" alpha male types, you might argue that humans are the top predator, that we rule the world and that animals are on the planet to do with as we please. You might argue that humans are the direct creation of God and we have the right to use animals for our benefit. That 'man' has dominion over animals as per the bible. Here is a direct quote from the bible. Christianity is to blame for a huge amount of animal abuse and it has worked against animal rights for centuries.

Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Such people would say that if we gave animals to many rights, it would run counter to these biblical arguments. We would be stopped from using animals, which is our God given right. That is the only argument against animals rights and it doesn't stack up on so many levels.

Religion: I believe that all animals are equal and that includes people (the human-animal). I do, though, understand the high numbers of religious people in the USA. I think the bible is bad doctrine in respect of animal rights. Did you know that the cat is never mentioned in the bible? And unspeakable cruelty has been perpetrated in the name of religion against animals.

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