Fearful Symmetries

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21 December, 2012

Limbaugh Makes a Good Point

Over the years Rush Limbaugh has proven himself to be a grade A douchebag. However, he did make a good point recently concerning calls for gun control in the wake of the Newtown massacre:

On his syndicated radio show this afternoon, Rush Limbaugh went after the “anti-gun media” for, in his belief, not caring about gun violence when it affects urban neighborhoods like Chicago and Oakland.

“You guys ever been to Chicago? Do you know what happens in Chicago every night?” Limbaugh rhetorically asked the pro-gun politicians like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who’ve now become pro-gun control in the wake of last week’s massacre. “What happens in Chicago in a week dwarfs what happened in Connecticut. Just nobody’s reporting it. There’s no cameras up there. You don’t see it. All you see is the mayor warning the gangbangers to kill each other instead of other people. That’s all you ever see.”

Limbaugh continued: “Have you ever heard any politician go on an anti-gun rant when you’ve heard about urban violence? Does it ever happen? I’m asking. Those stories out of Chicago were happening daily. Drudge was highlighting them. But take your pick. The Rodney King incident, whatever, the Watts riots, pick one. Post-Katrina looting in New Orleans, was the anti-gun control out in force there? They never are, are they? I wonder why that is? Why is it the anti-gun people never use violence in urban neighborhoods as an example of why we have to get rid of guns?” he asked.

Chicago has had 450+ deaths from gun violence this year and, while Chicagoans know all too well about the shootings in their city, seemingly very little is said about the epidemic outside of it. It doesn't generate national headlines and CNN doesn't report 24/7 on it like the Newtown massacre. The NRA doesn't fall silent when black youth are cut down on Chicago's south and west sides. "Pro-gun" politicians don't suddenly find themselves willing to enact gun control legislation.

Why is this?

Does skin color matter? Do people extend empathy for children in relatively well-off communities easier than those in poor communities? Perhaps it's simply the magnitude of the Newtown massacre and the rarity of such events in contrast to the frequency of shootings in Chicago where one or two children are killed at a time. Still, those numbers in the Windy city add up.
|| Palmer, 2:27 PM

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