By Dan Shea

I am continually amazed at how gullible people are, and how quickly they take refuge in rumor or falsehood when presented as convenient fact. Dan Quayle, as Vice Presidential candidate, corrected a child during a spelling bee - Quayle spelled “Potatoe” as he was taught in his classical education. I know this, and knew it at the time, because I personally was taught to spell it as “Potatoe” in the fine U.S. public schools of the 1950s and ‘60s. So, when people start talking about “Common Knowledge” and mock Dan Quayle for this event, dismissing him as an intellectual lightweight for adding the ‘e’ to the spelling of potato, I’m skeptical of the depth of their understanding of the lynching tactics of modern media. As reference, this quote from the Oxford Dictionary:

“The spelling of potatoe, while not terribly common, existed for almost the entire 20th century. For example, the New York Times was still occasionally spelling potato with an –e in 1988. In fact, one can easily find spellings of potatoe all the way up to 15 June of 1992, at which point they suddenly drop off or become used in an ironic way, referencing this incident.” – Ammon Shea, Oxford Dictionaries.

So, one of the most common misconceptions in “common knowledge” is total baloney, concocted and driven hard by the media in order to destroy a conservative Vice Presidential candidate during the re-election campaign. A very successful disinformation campaign, it worked to make a laughingstock out of Dan Quayle in the eyes of the uninformed. Read that as “most American voters.”

My point in this example? Only that people are damn gullible. They read things, and are easily led. Thus, we come to “gun control” in the U.S. A complete nut, maybe on too many meds or off them and destabilized, gains access to a firearm, and massacres some innocents. Most of the time the killer is avowedly anti-Christian, has lots of leftist beliefs, might be into Satanism, and damn sure is not a typical American firearms owner. So, who gets blamed by the media? The basic, rock-solid gun owning public of America. What’s called for? Is it more control over the proven mentally ill so they’re not allowed to purchase firearms? Nope. Is it perhaps arming people in the schools so they can defend against the actions of a crazy person? Nope.

We have to ban different classes of firearms so that law-abiding, morally grounded, properly trained, responsible American firearms owners can’t enjoy their Second Amendment Right to be armed in a modern fashion. That’s the vast majority of us. Typical, isn’t it?

Thankfully, this time the silly, pointless, and impotent laws that were proposed, that would never solve the problems, were defeated without having to go through ten years of ridiculous impositions on firearms owners. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more attempts, and very soon at that. We need to discuss reasonable, rational solutions to the problems of a crazy person with a weapon - how to protect our children in the schools - with real solutions, not theatrical pronouncements and impositions on the Rights of citizens in misguided efforts at gun banning. The first step in trying to accomplish this is to understand that the gun-banners are irrational first, dealing only with emotions and misinformation, and that they are NOT the majority of Americans. It’s best to offer real solutions, to deal with these issues head on, not just hope they’ll forget about us for a while, because they won’t, they’re just backing up to regroup.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V17N3 (September 2013)
and was posted online on July 19, 2013


Comments have not been generated for this article.