In the wake of the ghastly Newtown massacre perpetrated by yet another deranged loser, I wondered how long it would be before we were treated to another gem of deep thinking by George Bryjak. That it was this long is surprising. His conclusions, as always, were not.
George cited gun industry revenues, which have no bearing on gun violence. Maybe he was equating the industry with drug dealers trying to push their products onto children. It's hard to say. He went off into La-La Land when he implied that anyone who works for a firearms manufacturer has the blood of children on their hands.
He demonized the NRA and the money they spent on political action. They have to, George; it's the only way their message gets out, not having the benefit of free advertising through our "mainstream media," as the anti-gun mob does. Media bias is an old story, and there's no need to address that now. The fact that Mr. Bryjak listed media outlets as sources for what appears to be his "research" speaks volumes. More on this later.
After a little more attacking the NRA through a Rambo analogy and claiming that the organization is indifferent to mass murder, he moved on to gun buy-back programs and how ineffective they are. Hey George, the NRA could have told you that, saving you time and effort. Gun buy-backs are no more than feel-good gestures put on for public relations, not really much better than trying to save the Earth by buying a Chevy Volt.
Then George moved on to religion, interesting in light of the fact that by reading some of Mr. Bryjak's past works, I got the impression that he has no use for belief in God. Yet, citing a single "interfaith" source, Mr. Bryjak trashed Mike Huckabee, claiming that the Fox News personality believes in a vengeful God wreaking havoc on society by claiming a number of innocent children. This is when Mr. Bryjak really made me wonder how low he could go. How about this, George? Being a regular viewer of Fox News, as you undoubtedly are not, and being familiar with Huckabee - not my favorite political figure by any means - I will bet that Huckabee meant something quite different: that a society that has lost faith in God has lost its bearings, and that diminishing Christian faith, however imperfect, which taught humility and the value of others besides oneself, will inevitably turn society more coarse, inconsiderate and violent. I'm no theologian, George, but neither are you. It's just something to think about.
Mr. Bryjak saved his masterpiece for near the end, using psychobabble from one Rollo May to declare that the reason anybody owns a gun is flaws in their personality. Namely, it's insecurity about one's manhood. How this explains the women who own guns, Mr. Bryjak doesn't make clear. Needless to say, George, anybody who bases his argument about guns on the manhood angle is usually the one with a hang-up about his own. Again, though, another topic, another time.
So let's recap his article. It goes from gun industry revenues to smearing gun company workers, to body armor, to NRA lobbying, to NRA as Rambo fantasy figures, to gun buy-backs, to Christian bashing, to guns as phallic symbols, to the ban-guns, make-peace finale. Zoinks! He crammed everything he could into this piece, including the kitchen sink. Somehow this is supposed to depict what George considers America's "gun culture."
Mr. Bryjak, again, loves to use media outlets as his sources, undermining his credibility. These are not objective, nonpartisan sources required for being taken seriously. As I have noticed from past commentaries, however, George shops around for any source that will support his pre-determined conclusion. This is propaganda.
Put aside this imaginary mass of psychological defectives that Mr. Bryjak claims are typical gun owners, and be realistic. Some gun owners, particularly here, are hunters. There is usually a tragedy or two in a typical year from accidental shootings, but you don't see them going into schools and slaughtering children. Then there are those folks who want guns in their homes for protection, people smart enough to realize that a call to police in an emergency generally means several minutes of waiting, possible life or death. This population, too, doesn't go off on murder sprees. Guns belonging to these groups come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and calibers, but still share striking similarities. First, the bullets don't feed themselves into the clips which hold them. Second, the clip doesn't levitate itself into the gun. Third, the action on the gun doesn't cock itself to load the first round into the chamber. Finally, the trigger isn't suddenly animated and squeezes itself to fire the gun. All of these require human action. It's a person, George, who makes a decision to use the gun for right or wrong, not a 30-round magazine.
One would think that Mr. Bryjak, with 24 years of teaching sociology touted in every article he submits, would be fascinated with the human part of this problem. Unfortunately, though, apart from slamming those hypocritical Christians and manhood-deprived NRA members, he shows a complete lack of interest in this. What possibilities there are for exploring the degeneration of a society that produces such murderous savages, a phenomena that was virtually unknown 50 years ago, a mere two generations. Or consider the knowledge possibly gained in determining what has caused some Americans to be such moral cripples who consider another person to be as disposable as a bottle cap; therefore they can be the targets that the loser can vent rage on. This would be a very weighty project, involving cold-eyed research using far more serious sources than ABC and NBC News, CNN or Newsweek, which Mr. Bryjak is so fond of. Of course, if George's intention was to turn out a quickie hit piece, then he did exactly the right thing by taking the easy route in ignoring individual accountability and blaming guns. The simple answer is to just ban guns, and then everything will be fine, right?
Mark Lashway is an NRA member and lives in Moriah.