Thought on the mass media
I recently read a book by George P. LeBrun, New York CIty medical examiner in the early 1900s, and who wrote that he was the actual author of the Sulivan Act.
What was interesting, also, was his list of reforms that he'd pushed and of which he was proud. One dealt with increasing traffic deaths by creating a "driver's license" and requiring a driving test before getting it. Before then, people were just buying cars and figuring they'd learn to drive on the way home ... in the process running down pedestrians and smashing things up. Another required that poisons be conspicuously labeled as such. Bug and rat poisons were often sold in drug stores, and sometimes had their nature mentioned only in fine print -- a legislator had died after the drug store messenger gave him the wrong tin.
I wonder if the mass media have an underlying world view, at a subconscious level, that stems from the days of the progressive era, when almost nothing was regulated, the new measures proposed were sensible and modest, and the move for them was a crusade for reform? Might the media value system have carried over for a century, into a radically different world? Values such as more government is *always* good, more laws are *always* good, these things will make the world safer. Not to mention that anyone who resists this is ignorant or selfish, government operations are always altruistic, etc.
The quote I'd heard recently that summarizes both sides of this argument nicely is:
"Government HAS to do something, otherwise it has no value."
One side (ours?) thinks less government is better because the value government adds is too expensive. Less government = less expense.
The other side believes that government inherently has value, and must exercise power to add it. More government = more value add.
It's interesting to me that the one statement can contain the diametrical opposites in meaning.
Posted by: Jim D. at February 21, 2011 10:11 AM
The Sullivan act in NY historical, my understanding, was to limit firearms possession by the "lower" classes. The upper classes had their guards who were armed, sometimes with automatic weapons, but they did not want those low class people to have handguns. In part because they could be concealed and therefore act as threats to the wealthy. Remember around 1900 there were lots of "anarchists" running around and before that the rich used well armed private "police" to break strikes often violently.
Posted by: Rich at February 21, 2011 10:25 AM
It is possible that LeBrun came up with the idea of handgun licenses, but if you read NYT editorials from the period the Sullivan Act was deliberately aimed at immigrants, specifically Italians.
An interesting point to note is that I have been told by people looking for information that the NYS legislature does not have the debate records, memorandum, etc. on the original Sullivan bill.
Posted by: Jacob at February 21, 2011 11:31 AM
Rich and Jacob are partly correct on the NYS Sullivan Act. The short story is a. the Irish controlled Law Enforcement and didn’t want any of the other Great Unwashed to be armed. b. It’s true a militant labor movement was active and it behooved the Elites to limit access of handguns to labor organizers. c. “Big Tim” O’Sullivan was a Tammy Hall Politician that controlled the Five-Points Gang in NYC. He was a mobster.
Posted by: Mark-1 at February 21, 2011 11:46 AM
Strange then, that when I wanted to move my Penna handguns into my new home in New York, the judge who would decide the matter had an Italian surname.
The intended victims of the Sullivan Law are now its keepers.
Posted by: Fuz at February 21, 2011 03:28 PM
Your underlying assumption is that the "main stream" media's bias against the right to bear arms stems from their altruistic belief system. I disagree with your assumption and believe that the media's bias stems from a more fundamental belief; that they are somehow inherently more intelligent, wise and superior.
It is my belief that most liberals, including the MSM, feel that this intellectual superiority gives them the right to determine what "privileges" should be granted to people they feel are "less equal" than themselves.
I feel that most liberals' belief in their inherent superiority is directly threatened by the notion that "all men (and women) are created equal" and "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable (natural) rights". I also believe they feel that all the rights afforded to citizens by the Constitution are subject to "their prior approval" as the intellectual "landed gentry" of our country.
This notion of liberal aristocracy is no different than what our founding fathers fought against, except now it is home grown rather than imposed by King George. The restrictions they seek to impose on those they consider "less equal" are hauntingly similar (gun control, politically correct speech, increased taxation without true representation, "public sector" labor unions, health control) to policies the British imposed on their colonies.
One would hope that after 200+ years of freedom in country, those that oppose liberty, justice and equality would have given up their quest, but alas, they have not. They have been hiding in plain sight and were patiently awaiting the right moment to rise once again.
Evil never rests and the price of our liberty is the same as it's always been; constant vigilance. Understanding that the MSM's liberal bias is NOT altruistic is part of that vigilance. The notion that the liberal media is "not evil, just wrong" is just plain foolish. Anyone that would deny you your rights while protecting their own is both wrong and evil by definition.
Just one old farts opinion.
Posted by: Jeff Lynch at February 21, 2011 09:03 PM
Posted by: opnlsmbkaf at February 24, 2011 08:47 AM