April 12, 2013

Gun culture and the conservative reliance on the false specter of the "slippery slope"

GOP Congressman Duncan offers us a great example of "gun culture" when he compared a possible gun registry to genocide.  Of course, a gun registry is not up for debate now, but the NRA and gun culture people are warning that more background checks will result in one.  It is a "slippery slope," in this case leading us to genocide, evidently, with a stop in a national registry of gun owners.

I am not suggesting that there are no slippery slopes in politics, mind you.  But I believe that conservatives have used that in a very cynical and dishonest way over the past 10 years.  Raising taxes is a good one.  Once you raise taxes, we are told, then the government will just raise more and spend more.

Except that nothing has proven politically easier than cutting taxes.  Raising taxes is the hard thing to do.  Cutting taxes is actually the slippery slope, because it has led us to the place where any tax increase is tantamount to tyranny.  Or have we forgotten the origins of the modern Idiot Party--oops, that is supposed to read Tea Party.

Likewise, since the heyday of modern gun control in the 1990s, the slippery slope has been to move away from control toward freer access to guns--giving us the Arizona's of the world where access to guns is much easier than access to healthcare or reason.  But those Arizona idiots aside, the general tenor of the American public has been less supportive of gun control over those years.  As a result, it has been much easier to ease restrictions on guns than to restrict them.  And here we are a few months after Newtown when the initial response was going to be AWB and other restrictions to the now where we might get universal background checks, but probably won't get anything.

But somehow, in the gun culture mindset, even this minor move forward is a step on a slippery slope to registration and then, of course, genocide.  

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