Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Time to ignore Joan Peterson's Commongunsense blog

Joan is the writer of Commongunsense.com, and apparently on the board of directors of the Brady Campaign.  The theme of her blog is her activism to reduce gun violence in the U.S., motivated at least in part by the murder of her sister by her brother in law, who used a gun as the murder weapon.  She talks about the murder openly on her blog.

It's a sad story and we all feel for her. But she's been using the tragedy to argue that gun ownership is inherently dangerous, because normal, educated law-abiding people like her brother in law can just snap and shoot someone.  In other words, gun violence is not concentrated among gang members, drug dealers, and career criminals, it's distributed equally throughout the population (Josh Sugermann's "the enemy is ourselves" argument).

Joan has been lashing out at anyone who pointed out government statistics confirming that most murderers have a prior criminal record... like here:
Then I suddenly get jolted by one too many comments. One such was from one who comments regularly. The man was somehow convinced that my former, now deceased brother-in-law must have been a criminal before he shot my sister to death. He must have had a record of some kind. After all, (I imagine him thinking) law abiding gun owners don't shoot people.
The commenter, Sean at An NC Gun Blog, was just pointing out the government stats, and didn't say anything about her brother in law, so Joan's strong, personalized reaction was surprising (and telling).  It turns out there was a book written that describes Joan's brother in law as a total nut job.  You can get all the details at Sean's blog.

If it's true that the brother in law had a record, then Joan has been completely disingenuous about the whole incident, and it really undermines her narrative.  She really appears to have misrepresented a personal tragedy to push a political agenda.

I had been fascinated by Joan's writing because of its unusual rambling style, her snippy reactions to the pro-gun comments, and her constant arguments by vigorous assertion.  It's interesting in the same way that Tommy Wiseau's 2003 film The Room pulls you into its bizarre world, free from any cinematic conventions, continuity, lighting, and social norms.  They're both wonderful in, well, their badness. 

But after finding out what she's all about, I think I'll stop commenting at her blog and writing about her here. Part of Joan's appeal was her sincerity and overzealousness, and now that we know she's in fact quite insincere, I don't see the point in paying her any attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment