WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NINETY PERCENT?
Now that the smoke has settled from the mirrors advanced by band wagon politicians, the real victims of our violent culture are left to confront their personal loss in solitude. That doesn’t mean they will be forgotten. They simply will be replaced by more pressing headlines and kept in abatement until the next senseless atrocity. Senseless is the key word. Legislation has yet to be written that would inhibit the mentally unstable.
That said, we are now confronted with the issue gun control advocates considered a “slam dunk.” Background Checks was considered the point assault that would issue in a new level of gun ownership restriction. On its surface, Background Checks looked like a good compromising platform in an acidic debate that resembled a tug of war. Both sides had their merits and miss-steps. However, it was the gun control camp with media support that became proponents of the “Ninety Percent” endorsement. As holder of an accounting degree and business management graduate degree, I am familiar with the game of statistics. Immediately, the red flag goes up at ninety percent. Why not go for the whole pie and say One Hundred Percent? Both numbers are equally ludicrous. I challenge any statistician to show me anything of which ninety percent of Americans will find consensus. Even the horror of September 11, 2001 left Americans trapped in a culture of preconception. Who to blame? Assassins from the Soviet Union? A mysterious Al-Queda? A next door neighbor?
Let’s, for a moment, assume the Ninety Percent is a valid number. Who would compose that percentile? The answer, of course, is ninety percent of law-abiding citizens who would past the test with flying colors. A convicted felon submitting to a background check would obviously be among the mentally unstable. Statistics are no more than numbers left to be messaged. Example: Two opposing attorneys face a pool of potential jurors. Each samples the pool for the candidate that will be favorable to his/her argument. After sorting and dismissal, a jury is selected. The attorney who did his/her homework will probably win. Taking this concept further, it is only fair to inquire the size and location of the “Ninety Percent.” Rural America has a history of accepting the literal interpretation of the Second Amendment and a reluctance to disarm themselves. Unlike their urban cousins, law enforcement is normally miles away in a crisis situation. Ironically, crime rates are “statistically” higher in the urban arena. So much for statistics.
Moving on, we are now confronted with should have, would have, could have scenarios. Obama should have persuaded more democrats to vote in favor of the White House. A more denigrating attack on special interest would have the desired effect on the Senate. The posturing of the Second Amendment as obsolete could have resulted in more converts to the cause. Bottom line: the sound bites remind me of the fallow cries of a spoiled child after being denied his candy.
Back to reality, I find it difficult to believe a senator would knowingly end his/her career by voting against his/her constituency. Special Interest is an extension of that constituency. It’s called “target marketing.” Gun-control advocates failed to recognize Background Checks was not the sole reason for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s failure. Deeper concerns contributed to the outcome. Growing numbers of Americans perceive the government as dysfunctional. A much larger number of citizens (Ninety Percent?) reject government intrusion into their homes. And freedom of choice is worth dying for. Exploiting the pain of victims and their families by parading them on TV became another example of indiscretion. When will the advocates of gun-control stop shooting themselves in the foot? Pun intended.
A picture worth a thousand words.