"Gun control" extremists get terribly upset when I accurately refer to them as anti-rights cultists, but I have made my case for that phrase, and, impressively, no one has found fault with my logic, not even the cultists themselves.
However, those poor, misunderstood, persecuted, downtrodden, and otherwise marginalized cultists get even more terribly upset when I accurately refer to them as "fetishists"; unfortunately for them, that shoe not only fits, it appears it was custom-made for them, and I have found an example so perfect it might as well have been delivered on the wings of angels.
First, however, what does "fetishist" mean? The root word, "fetish", has been somewhat muddled over the years by folks who really mean "sexual fetish", but drop the modifier out of laziness; the original term meant, "something, especially an inanimate object, that is revered or worshiped because it is believed to have magical powers or be animated by a spirit" or "An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit"* or "an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others". Thus, fetishists are those who believe certain inanimate objects are worthy of worship – or even fear – because they possess certain magical or supernatural powers, or, as the last link says, "fetishism is the emic attribution of inherent value or powers to an object".
With those definitions expressed and fresh in your mind, I give you Fonderie 47, fabricators of obscenely expensive jewelry like the ring to the left, which "starts" at $16,000. I do not think any of my readers, or I, will be buying from them any time soon.
So how did this company catch my eye? Their name might clue you in – supposedly every product in their collections is fabricated using repurposed materials from demilled AK-47s. Obviously this does not include the diamonds, gold, platinum, and other pretty-fying materials, but that is the claim. Better (if that is the right word) yet, funds from each sale are diverted to destroy assault rifles in Africa.
And right about then, this otherwise ugly art factory fell off the rails straight into Crazy Town. What follows is a fisking of their Vision and Transformation statements, and I swear I am making none of this up; you know me, and you know I probably could not emulate this level of derangement even if I wanted to.
We envision an Africa free from the fear of assault rifles. Today some twenty million assault rifles plague Africa – remnants of various conquests, conflicts, and failed strategies. They are responsible for countless deaths every year, enable and exacerbate violence against women and children, cause misallocation of resources and prevent economic growth.
The dearth of global and local leadership to address the presence and use of assault rifles must be remedied.
Oh, where to begin? I suppose we can start with the phrase "assault rifle" – in this particular case, that may a strictly accurate use of the phrase, in that some/most of the AK47s recovered in Africa are unquestionably the "fully-automatic" varieties. That may be the only aspect of this entire sad charade that may be to the credit of the folks at Fonderie 47, but we might as well mention it.
Now, it is good to have goals in life, but it is generally better to have realistic ones. Given the size of Africa, given the scope of its "borders", both as a continent and as the individual nations inside of it, and given the sheer number of firearms contained not only within that continent, but also the entire world, even remotely believing that it is possible to remove all assault rifles from the continent is… well, absurd. Furthermore, a lack of fear about an inanimate object is all well and good… but what about the fear of the people who use that object? Assault rifles do not get up on their own and start mowing down innocents; someone has to use them. Removing assault rifles, even if it were possible, does absolutely nothing about those murderous thugs.
How does an inanimate object "plague" anything? Plagues are, by their very nature, something that does something – one can be plagued by endless questions, or by an actual, honest-to-God plague. Firearms just kind of… lay there.
"They are responsible for…" Oh for the love of… How on God’s Green And Fluffy Earth can a firearm – an inanimate hunk of metal – be "responsible" for a damned thing? You might as well say rocks are "responsible" for Abel’s death. Oh, what is that? The rock was wielded by Cain? Well no gos-se, Sherlock, and firearms are wielded by a living, breathing human being as well, and it is that person who is responsible for the deaths they cause, not the tool they just happened to be using.
Oh, and let us talk about deaths for a moment… People my age and older will probably remember the Rwandan Genocide that took place over the course of around three months back in 1994, with a total death count of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 souls. Do you know what tool the Hutus favored the most when slaughtering the Tutsis? A machete. They were cheaper than firearms, did not require ammunition, and did not even need to be kept up in any significant way. A significant number were imported, but even I could manage to mass produce something approximating a "machete" out of sheet metal and a basic set of tools.
And yet you will see no mention of the folks at Fonderie 47 doing a damned thing about machetes, because those are not the flashy, big-ticket items like "assault rifles" are…
I will give them "enable" – all tools enable something to be done, that is kind of their point – but how can a firearm "cause" anything? Again, these self-righteous artistes completely and intentionally fail at root-cause analyses, instead taking the easy way out by blaming the tool violent predators choose to use rather than the predators themselves. On the one hand, you can hardly blame them – it is hard to do anything about violent predators without actually confronting those thugs, and who would want to do that? On the other hand, claiming to have accomplished anything while having done nothing about those self-same thugs is a self-deluding lie if there ever were one.
I just love the whole "misallocation of resources"… why, that makes it almost sound like someone lost a sheep or two, rather than roving, armed bands of violent, human-shaped predators murdered whomever they needed to in order to steal whatever they wanted. One has to marvel at how… sanitary this whole site is; we would not want to offend our rich customers with the cold hard truths of reality, would we?
As for the last sentence, I am just sure those roving bands of murderers will be eager to respond to "leadership"… Absolutely sure.
Our resolve began when we learned firsthand about the devastating effects of assault rifles in Africa. Cheap, abundant AK47s threaten not only lives, but undermine potential in all facets of development.
We decided to create something compelling and substantial in response – to change what people believed to be possible. Our belief has become Fonderie 47, a company dedicated to providing powerful means toward a stable and prosperous Africa free from the fear of assault rifles.
PETER THUM and JOHN ZAPOLSKI
Starting to notice a trend? The guns are "responsible", the guns are causing "devastating effects", the guns "threaten… lives", the guns, the guns, the guns… Never a single, solitary, remote whisper of a nod towards the people who are behind those firearms, pulling their triggers, murdering innocents.
Nope, all of these assault rifles are obviously operating on their own recognizance, under their own power… Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the fetishism iceberg.
We seek to inspire a new vision of what beauty and legacy can be and thereby to generate global interest and action in assault weapon removal and destruction in conflict and post conflict zones.
So, wait a second… you want to remove one of the most-effective means of self-defense from a "conflict zone"? You want to intentionally leave potential and future victims defenseless in the face of predatory monsters who will still exist, and still be quite keen on murdering, whether or not there are assault rifles handy or not? Oh, and I am sure those bloody-handed bastards will be willing to hand over their assault rifles for "removal and destruction".
We fund the removal and destruction of AK47s and other assault rifles from conflict zones, as well as programs to support young people to build prosperity in conflict zones – from child soldiers to exceptional youth leaders in business, civic and academic pursuits.
To date, we have funded the destruction of more than 20,000 assault rifles in Africa.
Great. How many of the mass-murderers wielding them have you put in prison?
Oh, what is that? You are only concerned about the tools, and not the people holding them? Again with that bright, vibrant undercurrent of fetishism… As if the removal of a tool can change the hearts of murderous men.
We aim to empower a generation of young African leaders – people for whom this mission is a common sense imperative – to help themselves, and others, to build prosperity.
So you seek to "empower" people… by stripping them of the power of defending themselves, their families, their friends, and their villages? I cannot say as though I will ever comprehend that short-sighted idiocy.
The Origin – The AK47 (Avtomat Kaliashnikova) type assault rifle serves as the origin for all Fonderie 47 pieces.
Well, at least they can get that much right – the guns they are slicing and dicing probably are not original AK47s, but they are of the same family. It is peculiar that we stumble across such a fairly well-educated-about-the-facts "gun control" extremist, but I guess that is what makes their rank fetishism all the worse.
Shockingly, the image they chose to pair with this particular text actually shows someone properly indexing their finger along the frame of the AK in question; I can only assume it was an unintentional coincidence.
A Journey Beings – The universal symbol of conflict embarks on its transformation; enveloped in fire.
Hookay then. I guess "art" requires touchy-feely gos-se like that, but then the wheels finally come off the train…
Forging a New Material – As the fire cleanses the metal of its past, our essential element emerges.
Do what? The metal has a "past" of being part of a firearm – that is not going to change simply because you melt it down and reform it into something else. Hell, part of your business model relies on that metal having come from the firearms in question; if you "cleanse the metal of its past", that kind of destroys the whole "hey, look this metal came from an AK47" notion, does it not?
However we are looking at this rationally; as soon as you remove that limitation and consider this statement from the perspective of a religion, it all suddenly makes sense. Why? Consider Christianity, for a moment – when it comes to disposing worn out Bibles, relics, and even the leftover wafers of Communion (if you are not holding them until next week), the tradition is "burn then bury". Again, why? The belief, and I do want to stress that word, is that the fire destroys any blessing or holiness the item might otherwise carry, so it is no longer profane to dispose of it, and if someone were to come across it and do something… untoward… with it, it would not be as bad. Likewise, if you go back to older religions (and, for that matter, Christianity during the darker stretches of its history), the notion of a "cleansing fire" to remove the evil from an are or object is about as prevalent as water.
But these are all religious beliefs, and all center around the notion that the object in question has "supposed magical powers" or "has power over others".
Where have I read those words before?
In short, the fetishists at Fonderie 47 are treating the AK47 family of rifles as religious totems, and they admit as much on their very webpage.
Sure, this is just a question of what Peter Thum and John Zapolski themselves believe, right? Well, consider what else they have said before this; consider how they incessantly blame the firearm for all the ills committed with the assistance of those tools, rather than the people who are wielding them; consider how they seem to believe that firearms have power imbued in them, rather than providing utility to their users; consider how they believe the destruction of a tool will change the evil that unquestionably lurks in all men but is expressed by a few.
Now, tell me those beliefs of Peter and John differ from the beliefs of your average anti-rights cultist. I dare you. Tell me that treating firearms like deodands by destroying "crime guns" is not just another form of fetishism, and a conveniently authoritarian one at that. Tell me that you have never had an anti-rights cultist take the position that if all firearms were to magically be teleported off the planet, the world would be returned to peace and happiness and no one would ever be killed.
In the end, "gun control" is nothing more than a fetishistic cult, and the good folks at Fonderie 47 provide a perfect example as to why.
Emergent Potential – Imbued with energy, our metal holds new promise.
Imbued? Seriously? We just keep treating firearms – and now metal in general, for that matter – as magical items capable of somehow carrying memories, energy, and Lord knows what else between their molecules. Romantic, perhaps, but definitely creepy.
Restored Power – Heat solidifies this potential and seals its renewal.
This is me, too damned flabbergasted at the continued deification of raw materials and inanimate objects to continue making fun of this idiocy; how do you further ridicule something this ridiculous?
A Symbol of Prosperity – Our material serves as a symbol of new prosperity, ready to become an inspiration in the hands of leading artisans.
I do not know… I would say that being able to legally own a legitimate, fully-automatic AK47, much less feed the bloody thing, is a surefire "symbol of prosperity", new or otherwise.
Casting a New Future Through Art – Expert craftsmen possessed of the highest caliber of mastery recast the future.
I guess closing out on a pretentious, presumptuous note like that is required when you are selling little lumps of metal that have price tags in excess of a significant number of automobiles.
Let us be honest here a moment – I am all for any program that will legitimately bring peace and prosperity to Africa, much less any other nation or area on the globe. However, cutting up AK47s and turning them into overpriced paperweights is not going to do either. The violent people who wielded those AKs and killed those innocents are still there, they are still violent, and they will still kill people; the only thing Fonderie 47 and their customers are changing is how those innocents are going to die.
The fact that Fonderie feels smug about this really tells you everything you need to know about them.
(* – Amusing side note: "fetish" can also mean "A course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment". Perhaps instead of "gun control" extremists, I should be referring to them as "gun control" fetishists? *giggle*)
(Ring picture borrowed from Fonderie 47.)
(Found by way of Gizmodo.)