The Incestuous Relationship Between Government and Business and Their Love Triangle With The Media

My apologies for the length and breadth of this article. It takes a lot of talking to pull together a larger point. Perhaps I can streamline it in the future.

Rhetoric and Social Division

Most people I talk to these days would agree that the medial today does very little to enlighten thought. All major news outlets these days seem to first decide the objective they are trying to achieve, then dig their heels in and only report the news that proves their own particular viewpoint. What ever happened to objective journalism? What ever happened to reporting facts and putting more emphasis on truth than personality? If we ever had them at all, those days are long gone and we are left to our own devices if we want to know anything more than someone else’s opinion.

Naturally, because I am in favor of maintaining a constitutional standard, my opinions and viewpoints will vary from many other citizens. However, I have done a lot of research and mined a lot of statistics and believe my thoughts are as valid – and probably more factual – than about 90% of those regurgitated on either side of the pulpit of the popular press today.

Objectivity is Necessary to Create any Real and Lasting Solutions

The media and their viewers have, for the most part, divided themselves into two basic camps. Many of the people who embrace either side’s viewpoints do so because the sound bites sound relatable and they are a fan of those news personalities who espouse the viewpoint. Sadly, many people believe what they believe without really giving much thought to why or what it will mean in the long run for them, their loved ones or their country.

Any issue that is being debated in the press or by the public today can be looked at from two different mindsets. These two mindsets refer to themselves as “the left” and “the right” or “conservative” and “liberal” or “democrat” and “republican” but these terms, like any word in a language that is not dead, change meaning over time depending on who is embracing them and what they believe.

The Example of Gun Owners Rights, Gun Control and The Second Amendment

One issue that springs ready to mind is the case of gun control. The two opposing camps that the citizenry and press seem to be divided into seem to me to be as follows:

  1. Those who think that if guns were not present or available, there would be fewer deaths and that the government in this country has the right and possibly the duty to regulate gun ownership, manufacture and sales to at least some extent. The extent varies drastically from person to person, but the concept remains the same. The government can and should make society safer by limiting gun ownership or sales or manufacture etc as they see fit. They generally seem to believe that the Constitution is not as relevant as it was during the formative years of the country and that the Second Amendment is outdated.
  2. Those who believe that the government should be extremely limited in power and should only make laws or regulate society in a way have the greatest obvious good for citizens without restricting the fundamental rights and freedoms that they believe citizens of the United States are entitled to have. Because the Second Amendment was adopted into the Constitution so early on and because of the reasons that it was adopted into the Constitution they generally believe either that 1) the government has no right to control gun ownership of the citizens or 2) that the government should err on the side of caution and use the most minimal forms of regulation possible.

I am from the later viewpoint. I believe that from the time that the United States began to come together as the republic that we know today, the United States government was designed – more than any other country- to be controlled by the will people for the greatest possible benefit of the people. Many of those who founded the country and wrote the Constitution felt that the countries they had come from had tyrannical governments who perpetrated abuse on the citizens. Therefore they wanted to create a nation were individual citizens would have freedoms and rights (and therefore responsibilities) that were denied to most citizens (especially those without wealth or status) of most other countries.

So in my attempt to stay objective and think about the topic of gun control as critically as possible, I began evaluating the viewpoints that the media – on either side of the issue – currently espouse. I found that neither side could seem to articulate a well thought out viewpoint and most simply have an opinion and tell others how to think. Some are much smoother than others, but I couldn’t see much in the way of substance in the media.

Here are the statistics about causes of death in the United States and how common or uncommon they are in comparison to gun related deaths:

According to FBI murder statistics sorted by weapon used, 12,664 murders occurred in 2011. Of those, 8,583 were firearms related and 4,081 were murdered without the use of firearms. Other weapons include such things as hands, feet, knives, poison, fire, drowning, strangulation etc . While it is undoubtedly true that if there were no firearms available in the United States, then none of the people murdered with firearms in 2011 would have been murdered by the use of firearms. I do not believe that it could possibly be accurate to say that none of them would have been murdered. I speculate that some of them would have been murdered with another weapon, but I was unable to find research related to this topic.

To put this in a larger context, the population of the United States in 2011 was 313,914,000. Because this is such a small percent, i am going to reword it in various ways so that, hopefully, we can get a picture in our head of this number. That means that .000000318% of the population was murdered with the use of a firearm in 2011. That’s three ten millionths of one percent of the population. In fraction form that looks like this: 3/10,000,000. That’s three out of every ten million people were murdered by use of a firearm in 2011.

Again, to put this in context, according to medical errors cause as many as 187,000 deaths in hospitals each year of medical errors according to the April 2011 issue of  Health Affairs. So, one out of 59,000 people died due to medical error in 2011. So statistically that means that the percentage of people who died from medical error was 18,534 times greater than the number of people who were murdered by use of a firearm in 2011.

In the United States we tend not to give attention to issues in proportion to how many people they affect or how much damage they do in society. Rather the media constantly hammers away at whatever will bring them the most viewers and, therefore, the highest ratings and the biggest payday from either more sponsors or more money per sponsor.

Every death is tragic. There are no lives that are more valuable and precious than other lives, at least, not in my worldview. So, should we not tackle social issues in the order of how many people they affect and how severe that effect is? But I digress.

More statistics that show how disproportionately the media reports firearms incidents include the following:

In 2010, 1.22 per 100,000 were caused by drowning accidents. That’s .00122% or a little over one one thousandth of a percent.

When compared to all types of accidental deaths, guns came in well below many other categories including motor vehicle accidents, falls, fires, poisonings, and other types of mishaps.  As a percentage of all accidental deaths, guns accounted for 0.5%.

My point is not that gun related deaths are unimportant or that they should be ignored. My point is that in the United States often issues become politicized and, therefore, those who watch the news become less than objective. No one is up in arms demanding the removal of swimming pools from society even though many more people are killed by drowning in a swimming pool each year than by guns. The same is true for vehicle accidents.

How Do  These Gun Related Statistics Compare to A Society With Restrictive Gun Laws?

As I have cited in other posts, we have many examples of crime, violent crime and, even, gun crime increasing after gun regulations are put in place or guns are removed from society. Here are some statistics that i found relevant to the topic of gun control.

  • During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.
  • The homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower.
  • Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect.

So How Does Gun Control Affect the Public?

  • Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative CriminologyU.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
  • *A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.
  • A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”

A Survey Of Male Felons in State Prisons Found The Following About How Private Gun Ownership Effects Criminal Behavior:

  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”

 

When Considering the Above Statistics, Does it Not Seem Possible, if not Plausible, that Restrictive Banning of Firearms would Produce More Overall Crime and Deaths that It Would Spare?

The Probable Economic Consequences of A Gun Ban. With the Economy in Bad Shape, Why are We Shutting Down Manufacture and Sales of Goods and Why Is No one Talking About It?

The United States was originally designed to be a Capitalistic society. This means that all citizens had the right to set up a business and sell goods with as little government interference as possible. In a Capitalistic society, you should see the buying and selling of goods driving the economy. When a business-friendly environment is created by keeping low taxes and minimal restrictions on businesses, the number of businesses increases and the number of employees needed rises. This creates a very favorable environment for employees and potential employees. Businesses have to complete with higher wages and better benefits for employees. Compare that to a society that has fewer businesses needing fewer employees. Wages go down and and unemployment goes up.

Keep in mind that each manufacturer has to buy materials to make his products, and he pays a tax when purchasing these materials. Keep in mind that when businesses hire employees, each employee pays tax out of every paycheck. This is how the government is funded in a capitalistic society.

The United States Is no Longer A Capitalistic Society

I’m sad to report that our society is no longer what can objectively be called a true Capitalistic society. The incestuous relationship between government and business has altered the way business functions in our country. Government money flows into private businesses, effectively making them behave differently than they otherwise would. Government officials reward businesses and business owners with money in the form of “bail outs” and business owners pay government officials in the form of “donations”. Often people are bribed with high-level, lucrative jobs in exchange for some favor.

I said all of that to say this: Gun manufacturers would not be manufacturing guns if no one wanted to buy guns. People want to purchase goods, and manufacturers respond by producing more goods for them to buy. The more we inhibit the manufacture and sale of goods, the more we inhibit the economy. Manufacturers are not paying taxes on the goods they buy and there are fewer employees to pay taxes from their paychecks. When this situation becomes widespread, we call it economic depression.

The Critics of Capitalism Don’t Know What True Capitalism is Because It Has Been Manipulated By Government Money

One criticism of capitalism is that it gives businesses too many rights and that their employees and society suffer because of the businesses lack of regard for anything other than profit. But in a truly capitalistic society, society has all of the rights to shut down a business by not purchasing their good or services. Social education can expose bad behavior and damage the bottom line and, therefore, keep the behavior of that business in check. This process is negatively affected by this shifting of money between government and private business. This is what is referred to as crony capitalism  If government money is used to prop up a business, is it not more difficult for society to influence the bottom line of that business by no longer purchasing their goods and services?

For instance, Bank Of America was sued for foreclosing on wrong homes and selling customers private information illegally. Why should Bank Of America have received any government bailout money? If consumers had the power, once they became aware of their corruption, they would have taken their business elsewhere and the bank would have naturally collapsed as any business should when it abuses its customers. This process was interrupted by the so-called “benevolence” of our government. Since the government bailout, Bank of America has had several incidents of freezing accounts belonging to gun manufacturers even though the manufacturers are compliant with all regulations and laws.

In Conclusion

There are so many other points that I want to tie into this article, but I will save them for a second part. My primary point is that social issues should never be decided by who has the most emotion and how much political influence they have. We should all take care to carefully consider issues and do our own research into each issue facing out society. If we simply follow a doctrine that someone else preaches from the pulpit, we are all as limited in perspective as the person preaching. However, if we can objectively consider each idea and use careful consideration and sound logic to reach our own conclusions, we can have much power in society. As American citizens, we should demand the separation of government and business affairs. The incestuous and detrimental effects of rewarding bad behavior with money and power go far to deteriorate the quality of society.

 

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