Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learning About America

 
Jim Lippard posted this video on his blog [Gun-toting, Scientology-supporting, Bible-thumping, climate change-denying Pamela Gorman wants to be elected to Congress].

I lived in America for six years and I'm passionately interested in American politics and culture. But I don't think I'll ever understand America. If a commercial like this were ever shown in a Western European country, the candidate would be doomed. I'm not sure it would work even in Alberta or the conservative parts of Australia.



10 comments:

  1. America's not for understandin'. America is for believin'.

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  2. It wouldn't work in many places in the US as well -- the North East, for example. It's not clear that it'll work for her in Arizona, either.

    She is running for the 3rd Congressional District in Arizona, which is a heavily Republican-leaning district in a Republican-leaning state. The part of the American West where she is has long had a libertarian/small government streak and long-held support for gun rights (it should be kept in mind that Arizona is bigger than the UK, but has a smaller population than Switzerland, and there is still lots of land which has seen no development; guns as tools for hunting and self-protection against wild animals have been, and still are, a major part of the culture).

    However, there are several other Republican candidates, and she might not even win the primary in 9 days.

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  3. America was founded by gun-toting bible-thumpers. Perhaps that's how they intend to take it back too.

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  4. I don't have any problem with people owning handguns, rifles or shotguns, but I think automatic weapons (along with grenade launchers, surface-to-air missiles, attack helicopters, etc.) should be illegal for private citizens to possess.

    I guess that makes me subject to attack (no pun intended) from both sides.

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  5. There is absolutely no reason to believe that she would be any worse than the current crop of sleazy democrats. Only packaging is different.

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  6. If a commercial like this were ever shown in a Western European country, the candidate would be doomed.

    Exactly...

    Also, I don't know why I took the time to read her critics but the "association" with Scientology is merely a smear. But it's politics, so it's to be expected.

    I should buy a gun.

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  7. my guess is that america simply has a lot more ads than other western countries, so you are going to have more outlier ads like this one. if this is her campaign, she doesn't stand a chance. this looks wacky even to Arizonans.

    And maybe the ads in W. Europe are milder, but have you seen the platforms of some of the right wing candidates/parties in France/Belgium/Netherlands/Austria etc.... that typically get 15-20 percent of the vote. That sort of success by extremist national campaigns has not been seen in the U.S. since George Wallace over 40 years ago.

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  8. I don't have any problem with people owning handguns, rifles or shotguns, but I think automatic weapons (along with grenade launchers, surface-to-air missiles, attack helicopters, etc.) should be illegal for private citizens to possess.

    Bit of a derail here, but your opinion fits well with current Canadian law at the federal level. It's not at all difficult to get a Possession / Aquisition License (PAL) for unrestricted firearms in Canada, all it takes is an exam that includes a hands-on component (no actual firing, though). There's a training course, too, which usually takes about a day and a half. Cost ranges from about $40 to challenge the exam up to about $200 for a course with the exam at the end.

    Then you can legally purchase and use non-restricted firearms in Canada, which is basically rifles and shotguns. Most handguns fall under a "restricted" category, but it's relatively easy to get a license that covers restricted firearms, too (though actual ownership and where you can fire such weapons is more tightly regulated). "Prohibited" firearms includes the usual list of that's-not-for-hunting stuff: fully automatic weapons, tiny concealable handguns, explosive bullets, etc.

    I don't know the relevant legislation regarding self-guided missiles or really heavy weapons like artillery cannons, but such things tend to be extremely expensive in any case. And registering your tank as road-legal is a significant barrier for anyone who doesn't also own vast tracts of land.

    Back on-topic: I didn't watch the video (I'm at work), can I safely assume this is another example of over-the-top right-wing American political rhetoric? Given it's Arizona, is there much mention made of immigration, legal and otherwise?

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  9. I find the dichotomy of permissible and impermissible guns a little confusing. I understand the level of potential destruction is probably the reason for the dichotomy, but tons of massacres have been carried out with handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Off the top of my head, the Virginia Tech shooter, Mark Levine (Montreal), Columbine massacres, the sniper in Washington DC, not to mention everyday murders made possible by proliferation of firearms. A more consistent dichotomy would involve all firearms being impermissible. Somehow, I can't see massacres being perpetrated "successfully" by a kitchen knife.

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