Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(Not So) Big Think Pins School Shooting On Hunting

One would assume that a site called “Big Think" would contain articles by writers who, well, think big. Unfortunately, most of its articles tend to be emotionally-driven, intellectually-bankrupt drivel that is all too common among Ivory Tower elitists.

This is especially true following the recent Sandy Hook school shooting where most articles regurgitated the same trite “guns are the problem; gun control is the solution” talking points. But a recent article by “spiritual writer” Derek Beres is especially egregious, as it blames the shooting on hunting culture. (No, I’m not making that up.)

But first, as can be expected, the article starts off by blaming lack of gun control.

The recurring sentiment that ‘people kill people, not guns’ is one of the most treacherous and plainly false arguments being pushed by the NRA and its devoted legion.
As I mentioned before on this blog, on the same day as the Sandy Hook school shooting, there was a similar incident in China (which has strict gun control) involving a knife-wielding maniac slashing 22 kids. Granted, no one was killed, but it does prove that you don’t need a gun to instigate a school massacre. In fact, the deadliest school massacre in history involved a bomb, not a gun.

The connection between stricter gun control policies and low murder rates has been shown again and again.
Wrong! Most cities with the highest violent crime rates (Chicago, Washington D.C., London) have the strictest gun laws, and most mass shootings have occurred in “gun-free zones” (Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook). In fact, at the time of the shooting, Connecticut had the strictest gun laws in the country. And do I even have to mention the Oslo shootings, which occurred in a country with strict gun laws?

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, not only are private citizens permitted to own guns, but men of military age are required to own guns and receive military training to use them. And despite this, the country has the lowest gun-homicide rates in the civilized world.

But this is hardly the worst part of the article. As I mentioned before, this whole article is on hunting organizations and how their culture fostered the atmosphere that led to the recent school shooting. (Again, I’m not making this up.)

Christian hunting organizations—there are many, including Christian Deer Hunters, Christian Bowhunters and Christian Hunters and Anglers—use select biblical quotes to justify their hobby, often claiming that it is part of man’s earthly duty to fell any creature that cannot withstand the puncture of a Bushmaster. The divine dominion man has been granted here is, of course, arrogant: only a man would write that man is the creature whom god has chosen as his favorite. Yet when the fatal consequences of such a mindset result in mass shootings and domestic violence, the Christian Right throws up a smokescreen of invented liberal moral failings and supposed attacks on our ‘freedom.’
You read that correctly, folks: this author just blamed mass shootings and domestic violence on hunting. (I’ll wait for you to wipe up your brains that leaked out your ears onto the floor reading that before I continue.)

Ultimately, this author is insinuating that, because we allow people to hunt animals for sport, this has allowed people to view no difference between killing animals and killing human beings. (In other words, the same flawed logic that blames violent crime on violent video games--which clearly is not the case!)

Funny how vegetarians and “animal rights” activists can’t seem to tell the difference between killing animals and killing human beings, yet hunters and meat eaters can. And no, it’s not because of “divine dominion.” It’s because of neuroscience. Human beings are capable of mental cognition that animals are not capable of (i.e.: self-reflection). Because of this, animals are not equivalent to human beings, and killing animals is not morally equivalent to killing human beings.

The author goes on to complain about high murder rates in America, even though statistics have shown time and again that, the occasional mass shooting aside, violent crime is actually on the decline and has been since the 90s. We are currently living in the safest period in human history. The fact that people are worried about violent crime is due to the sensationalist 24/7 mainstream media that like to exacerbate events like the recent shooting for ratings. The fact still remains that violent crime is the exception, not the norm.

And yet the author continues his screed by blaming the murder of human beings to the “murder” of animals.

The idea that animals would be venerated is impossible in a culture that cheers the idea of blowing up entire Middle Eastern countries.... In a country where meat is subsidized to be sold as cheaply as possible, an ethical culture that understands value in the totality of life is unfeasible. The religious hunting mindset will continue to translate as human sacrifice, whatever the neurochemical imbalance.
Sheesh! Why not just say that allowing people to eat animals will eventually lead them to eating human beings? Blaming war and violent crime on hunting and eating animals is just silly. Yet this logic passes on a site called “Big Think.” With such shallow thinking among “intellectuals,” it’s no wonder that most Americans don’t have a high opinion of them.