Insanity

I think this is completely appropriate:

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 3.55.47 PM

And I’ll say: I’ll accept no lectures about “sensitivity” on days of tragedy like today from people who work the other 364 days of the year against any attempt to prevent such tragedies.

It’s bad enough to have a gun lobby. It’s the last straw when that lobby also sets up itself as the civility police. It may not be politically possible to do anything about the prevalence of weapons of mass murder. But it damn well ought to be possible to complain about them – and about the people who condone them.

If you want a sense of just how crazy some of the gun nuts are, here’s a pretty good example:

Crazy






275 replies
  1. 1
    Mike says:

    I think they are being sarcastic . . . .

  2. 2
    wesindc says:

    Petition to the White House re/ talk about gun control. Spread it around

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/begin-national-conversation-sensible-gun-control/kFc2C6Yx

  3. 3
    SatanicPanic says:

    Hell yeah. I agree 100% with David here.

  4. 4
    Chris T. says:

    Arm everyone with nukes! Pretty soon there will be no live people, and everyone will be totally polite. Dead people are the politest!

  5. 5
    Mike says:

    A bit more from Frum on the issue – one of the rare moments when I agree with him 100%:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....ntrol.html

  6. 6
    Spankyslappybottom says:

    What Digby said:

    When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, nobody said that we should just pray for the victims and do nothing about it. When terrorists used planes full of people as missiles and killed thousands of Americans, few suggested that it was an inevitable tragedy that shouldn’t be politicized. The country took action to prevent those things from happening again. In fact, the nation went far beyond the bounds of decency and reason to do so, locking up entire races of Americans, starting needless wars and ramping up an expensive and unnecessary police surveillance state. Multiple Constitutional rights were and continue to be violated.

    But very few went out of their way to suggest that the only reaction to these tragedies should be solemn mourning. These incidents involving heartbreaking loss of innocent life were intensely political, and appropriately so. In fact, to have done nothing in the wake of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor would have seemed to most Americans to have shown callous disregard for the victims, and disdain for the lives of victims of similar attacks to come.

    There is no reason that these almost routine gun massacres in America should be viewed any differently. Those who wish to take steps to ensure that the next massacre be prevented–and they are entirely preventable–are showing the greatest respect for the lives of the victims. They’re the ones who are trying to make sure that they didn’t perish in vain, and that similar future massacres don’t claim any more innocents. It is intervention of the most necessary kind.

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    So, we hate teachers, they’re all liars, they don’t teach our kids, they don’t work hard, they just take our tax money and fail our children, they fake test results, we pay them too much, and we’re sick and tired of paying for their rich pensions.

    On the other hand, we believe in arming them. Because we trust them to carry handguns to school and to carry these around our children. Because they’ll only use them for such situations of self-defense, and of course they’ll all undertake every bit of training and safety preparation necessary, and will exhibit the highest degrees of both at all moments.

    Sure. Makes sense.

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    @Spankyslappybottom:

    Purely by coincidence, we responded to the people with non-white skin differently than we do to people with white skin.

  9. 9
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    This is my thumb.
    This is my gun.
    One is for sucking.
    The other’s for shooting motherfuckers.

    – A Child’s Garden Of Verse

  10. 10
    slag says:

    @Mike: One would think. But apparently not.

  11. 11
    👽 Martin says:

    When Frum isn’t just disagreeing with, but now snarking the right, well, I think it’s fair to say that they’ve gone fully around the bend.

  12. 12
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Charlie Manson is on twitter? There should be a law against that.

  13. 13
    kc says:

    @El Cid:

    Yes, arm elementary school teachers. Because they don’t have much else to do, and there is absolutely no chance a youngster would get a hold of a teacher’s gun, libbats.

  14. 14
    lamh35 says:

    Ugh. This journos interviewing the children on the news shows should be damned ashamed of themselves. And I hope it haunts their fuckin’ dreams! So what if the parents are okay with the children talking. That’s the problem with our media today.

  15. 15
    David in NY says:

    There’s no reason the production and import of semi-automatic handguns couldn’t be strictly regulated to the numbers necessary for military and police purposes. If semi-automatics were as hard to get as, say, stinger missles (available only from FBI informants), then the number of massacres of this sort would drop dramatically.

  16. 16
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mike: The 2nd one isn’t – he’s serious about that. Frum is clearly being sarcastic, though.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Mister Harvest says:

    Shorter NRA: Our guns are more precious than your children.

  19. 19
    👽 Martin says:

    @me: That’s awesome:

    Fischer said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre, but didn’t because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted” and so if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer:

    The kids are dead because Connecticut residents hate God.

    Like I said, unspoofable.

  20. 20
    Dork says:

    I saw a comment on a previous thread that said that Limbaugh claimed this was a Dem-sponsored event in a way to institute gun control. Please, for the love of Pete, tell me he didn’t really say this. That the commenter was joking.

  21. 21
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    I called the NRA, waited 15 minutes to talk to a person. I said, “I just wanted to congratulate you guys. We have 18 [at that point] babies dead down the road here thanks to you.” He said, “You should be ashamed of yourself for saying that,” and hung up as I screamed in impotent rage.

  22. 22
    Walker says:

    I am not saying to do nothing about the guns.

    But we have a better chance of making a difference if we attack the mental health situation. We are experiencing an epidemic of mental illness in this country and it has a lot to so with this as well.

  23. 23
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mister Harvest: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of five-year-olds.

  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    @👽 Martin:

    God damn it.

  25. 25
    Baron Elmo says:

    Man, I’m feeling more impressed with David Frum every day.

    If you need more evidence that the American right has gone completely around the twist, look no further than the leftward drift of this former Dubya shill.

  26. 26
    gogol's wife says:

    The NRA is now a terrorist organization. Full stop.

  27. 27
    👽 Martin says:

    @gogol’s wife: Dude, don’t go shortchanging the NRA on their accomplishment. It’s 20 now. Two more died at the hospital.

  28. 28
    mouse tolliver says:

    If the shooter had screamed “Allah Akbar!” right before he executed 20 kindergartners we wouldn’t even be having a conversation about whether or not now is the right time to talk about doing something.

  29. 29
    SatanicPanic says:

    @👽 Martin: God might have more believers if his spokesmen didn’t suck so bad.

  30. 30
    TooManyJens says:

    @Walker: People always say this, and I am all for ensuring that everybody has access to quality mental health care. But would it have prevented this? Do we have any reason to believe the shooter didn’t have mental health care access, or that he would have sought it?

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I know, that’s why I said “[at that point]”

  32. 32
    EGrise says:

    Instead of unarmed people wearing signs, maybe we could come up with a sort of graphic icon like red concentric rings or something.

  33. 33
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m a Christian, and usually I find it a difficult but doable thing to love my enemies, but right now I am filled with rage — not so much at the no doubt insane murderer, but at the supposedly sane people in the NRA and the Congress who have made this situation the way it is. I hope to God people like Mark Kelly and Michael Bloomberg will — I don’t want to say pressure Obama, but help him do something about this. He needs to not have to stand alone, because that will just increase the craziness.

  34. 34
    mclaren says:

    No, no, no, encouraging the teachers to carry guns doesn’t go nearly far enough. Arm the teachers with flamethrowers and train ’em to be pre-emptive and proactive. If a student even looks suspicious, pull out the flamethrower and roast ’em.

  35. 35
    The Other Chuck says:

    I think we should all start every day with a prayer for Bryan Fischer’s agonizing painful death.

  36. 36
    handsmile says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    There have been a lot of superb comments on these related BJ threads today, but this may be the single best one yet. Abso-fucking-lutely right!

  37. 37
    Napoleon says:

    @Baron Elmo:

    the leftward drift of this former Dubya shill

    Thing is there really has been no leftward drift with him, he just hasn’t gone insane, which is not exactly the same thing.

  38. 38
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I’m so tired of hearing, reading, watching about the suffering and death of innocent people because irrational profiteers have an outsized voice in OUR society.

    Leadership often requires taking people where they don’t want to go, doing things they’d rather not do.

    I don’t think I’m overreacting too much to say we have a political party who is given the privilege of leading and governing and does neither. It follows the basest elements of its polity and elevates those lizard brain ideas to advance their own desire for power and wealth.

    It is far past time that the Republican party be called out continuously for the danger it has wrought on each and every one of us.

    I’m tired of this shit. We’re better than this, or at least we could be.

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    I’m kind of liking the idea of arming teachers.

    I want them all to be armed and carrying next time the neo-Confederate Birchers go to bust their union and take their contracted pensions away.

    I want all the union thugs and public employee moochers and the terrible no-good government school teachers armed & carrying next time they march to fight the next collection of neo-Confederate Bircher Deregulationist Talibangelical assholes attacking them.

  40. 40
    Ash says:

    @Walker: Is there really an epidemic of mental health problems in this country? I’m asking honestly. Are there more psychos out there today? Or it’s just easier for the psychos that do exist to get guns?

  41. 41
    Mister Harvest says:

    @👽 Martin: Hey, if the parents want their children to be safe, they should get their own damn Constitutional amendment protecting them.

    God, this whole thing makes me sick.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    God might have more believers if his spokesmen didn’t suck so bad.

    This.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    jl says:

    @TooManyJens: Well, better health care wouldn’t stop every nut from doing something awful, so why bother? /snark.

  45. 45
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ash: No, not really. There are more or less the same number of crazy people as there have always been. But the last 30 years of gutting mental health services has resulted in a lot more of them being “placed in the community,” which is to say dumped on the curb.

  46. 46
    Ben Franklin says:

    I have some knowledge of Charlie from Colorado, the person in question, and I believe he is serious.

  47. 47
    gene108 says:

    I’ve concluded there’s a subset of white folks in this country, who are just paranoid about getting mugged, even though they live out in bum-fuck nowhere and aren’t likely to have such problems.

    I don’t know what to do with these paranoid mofo’s to have them chill the fuck out about “criminals will get guns” if gun access is restricted.

    They have a deep seated problem with their world view and that needs to be addressed.

  48. 48
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    If the shooter had screamed “Allah Akbar!” right before he executed 20 kindergartners we wouldn’t even be having a conversation about whether or not now is the right time to talk about doing something.

    Except that “something” would be invading Iran.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    So can we assume that Dancin’ Dave Gregory’s show on Sunday morning won’t be exclusively about how Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration as possible Secretary of State candidate is “Obama’s Waterloo”, but he’ll leave some room to talk about this kindergarten massacre? Maybe invite Wayne LaPierre to appear, and let John McCain solemnly talk about while he deplores the death of children from handguns, the 2nd Amendment must be defended at all costs?

  50. 50
    handsmile says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    My off-line life insists I attend to it (I’ve been paralyzed with grief and anger), but before signing off, I just wanted to express my respect and thanks for your calling the NRA office.

    I could not have summoned the self-discipline today to speak to one of its representatives (and you had to endure 15 minutes on hold as well.) Admirable and inspiring!

  51. 51
    👽 Martin says:

    @gogol’s wife: Apologies for ‘dude’ing you, btw.

    @TooManyJens: It’s motive and opportunity. Between lax laws and volume, guns are cheap. Not just cheap financially, but cheap in terms of time to access. If you want a gun in the next 2 hours, even if you’re a felon, you could almost certainly find a seller online and arrange to buy in person in a city of any size.

    Because opportunity is so cheap, you don’t need to add a whole lot of motive to get a bad outcome.

    The gun advocates argue two competing thoughts:

    1) Criminals will always find a way to get guns, no matter how expensive (including time) they are to acquire.
    2) Mentally ill people will perform acts like this regardless.

    What they gloss over is that by making guns expensive, it becomes much more difficult for mentally ill people to acquire them (you need a lot more motive). For one, illness like that isn’t easy to overlook over a period of time, especially if you are being forced to do a background check, and being casually evaluated by a firearm proprietor. The more you force both criminals and the mentally ill into the sunlight, the more likely we are to head these problems off. And the slower you can make the process, the less likely that illness will persist over that period, or go undetected.

    And we have no system in place to force responsibility on gun owners. There is no national registry, there are no consequences to retailers that sell to criminals (basically, put a malpractice statute on them), and so on. Even without banning guns, just much better regulation should go a long way to getting a handle on this. FFS, we have national registries for lojacking your goddamn dog, but we can’t do the same with guns?

  52. 52
    gnomedad says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Fischer deserves a special place in the hell he wants to send all the infidels to.

  53. 53
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The Blood God is well satisfied today. Please continue with your NRA and Holy Second Amendment, America, because the Blood God is still hungry and many thousands more must die in His Holy Name.

  54. 54
    AndoChronic says:

    I agree with TooManyJens. Adam’s (apparently not Ryan’s) behavior could be confused with a normal cultural behavioral aspect. Sometimes clinicians confuse these aspects with mental health disorders. After all, this is the new American normal, right?

  55. 55
    BruinKid says:

    Yeah, the Ron Paul people are already saying that everyone should be armed, because then obviously nobody would want to start any shit. Unless they had a fucking bulletproof vest and advanced weaponry. Which this asshole seems to have had. Or trying to compare this to drone attacks and saying it’s because we’re brainwashed by “statism”. This is what one of them said:

    How weird that after all the stuff I post on gun control and why there shouldn’t be any, you still fail to see the logic. Still think we need MORE gun control? What if the teachers were armed? Nice try but my principles stay as my principles because they are solid and strong arguments. The logic behind gun control is a fallacy in itself and in every area where there is strict gun control, things like this happens and in every area where there isn’t strict gun control, the exact opposite happens.

    Yes, that’s completely a lie. See Japan, for example.

    Some others I’ve seen are trying to deflect the attention from guns to that of mental illness. That’s sort of nice, I guess, but why not talk about BOTH? It’s really unclear to me that we even have the medical knowledge to accurately diagnose 100% of people who are mentally ill, and even then, only some are actually dangerous to others. What’s wrong with trying to also make sure if they fall through the cracks, they cannot also go out and easily get an AR-15 and the like to shoot kids up?

  56. 56
    gogol's wife says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I’m a college teacher, so being called “dude” doesn’t faze me!

  57. 57
    Walker says:

    @Ash:

    Yes. We have started to screen for it in college admissions because the problem is so bad. Look at the age range of all the recent shooters. This is the age when stuff like schizophrenia hits full on.

  58. 58
    dedc79 says:

    And let’s all never forget for one moment that part of the NRA’s plan for blowing holes in what remains of gun control in America is to make exactly the argument they’re making today – which is that gun control doesn’t protect anyone. This shouldn’t surprise us because it’s a common GOP strategy – destroy the thing you hate and then, when it no longer works, use that as evidence that we don’t need it.

  59. 59
    gogol's wife says:

    @handsmile:

    Someone on BJ posted the number, and I just had to call. My heart was pounding the whole time I was on hold. But I thought the guy would at least argue with me. It was very frustrating.

  60. 60
    evinfuilt says:

    @me:
    I saw a response to that on Pharnygula.

    Dear God,
    Never mind. If you’re so weak that a local legislature can keep you out, you clearly aren’t going to be very effective against a murderer with a weapon of mass destruction. And if you could have stopped it and didn’t, you’re clearly evil. Please stay away.

  61. 61
    Glyph_2112 says:

    1 – Once again the NRA/Far right solution will be more guns less regulation. Of course this will not fix the problem, it will just create an environment where we have shootouts every day. They never want to deal with the real issue.
    2 – The small Rightwing nutbags have once again have created the problem and refuse to take any responsibility or any sane actions to fix it. I believe most gun owners are responsible and would be perfectly fine with sensible gun laws.
    3 – This is the same MO on every issue the Right tackles. Oil spill, less regulation. Unwanted pregnancy, outlaw abortion. They never want to put in place any policy that could prevent these problems.

  62. 62
    Lex says:

    @Baron Elmo: He’s making progress, but he still has the blood of 4,000 dead American troops and upwards of 100,000 dead Iraqis on his hands.

    Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate his speaking loudly on the side of the angels today. I mean that absolutely without snark.

    But he’s also the guy who gave us the “axis of evil,” and he has never publicly apologized for his role in the U.S.’s crimes against humanity. I hope, partly on the basis of his behavior today, that someday he will.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash:
    You actually need to ask if there’s an epidemic of shootings, since the total number of murders and gun murders is trending down. Mass shootings are terrible and hog the news, but even with the current rash of them, they make up a tiny percentage of the total gun murders. Apparently the singleton shootings are trending down faster than the mass murders are going up. That suggests that it makes sense to focus specifically on the causes of mass murders rather than murders in general.

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    My comment over at Frum’s joint got eated by some weird Facebook thingie, but this is approximately what I said:

    It’s not guns per se, it’s Americans.In Switzerland, for example, the vast majority of adults have a military reserve obligation that runs to age 35, and most reservists keep a full spread of infantry weapons at home.When was the last time you heard about a massacre like this in Switzerland? Yeah, I can’t remember one, either.Americans have repeatedly shown that we can’t be trusted with guns. How many more innocent children have to be sacrificed on the altar of this insanity before we wake the hell up?

    One final point: the Constitution can be amended.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @BruinKid:

    If you wake up and your house is on fire, better just turn over and go back to sleep and hope you die from smoke inhalation before the flames burn you up, or maybe the fire will die out anyway.

    You might not get out anyway, and everywhere there are fire departments, smoke alarms, and building codes, you see a few fires and sometimes people die in them, so obviously all these policies are failures.

    Maybe that argument is logically valid. Maybe the Paulites should apply that logic consistently in every area of their lives (not that I would hope they do, for that would be immoral on my part), but, hey, maybe they could.

  66. 66
    evinfuilt says:

    The NRA is now a terrorist organization. Full stop.

    @gogol’s wife:
    Yes, their job is to make us live in fear of our lives, the lives of our children. They have demands and even if we meet their demands they ask for blood sacrifice.

  67. 67
    scav says:

    Gun Rights are the American Moloch.

  68. 68
    TooManyJens says:

    @👽 Martin: Not sure how that’s a response to what I was saying, but I agree with it.

    @AndoChronic: No, you don’t agree with me. Or at least, your response has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I must have expressed myself poorly.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    When I was a hipster youngin’ I saw me Bunel’s El río y la muerte (The River and Death). Never thought I would live to see a day when gun and ammo industry mercenaries and nutcases in love with their home ammo dumps would advocate for a world like that.

  70. 70
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    This Tweet really pissed me off. It’s not the worst thing that’s been said thus far, but man, what an asshole that guy is.

  71. 71
    Maude says:

    @burnspbesq:
    I would be very careful of even thinking about amending the Constitution.

  72. 72
    Paul says:

    @BruinKid:

    Yeah, the Ron Paul people are already saying that everyone should be armed, because then obviously nobody would want to start any shit. Unless they had a fucking bulletproof vest and advanced weaponry.

    That’s just dumb. He assumes every gun/rifle is equal. And he is arguing a shoot-out in a school. Seriously?

    This is not 1850. We should be a tad more advanced than we we were 160 years ago than have to resort shoot-outs. Hell, other countries are. Why is it so difficult for people in this country to understand that if you make it harder for the bad guys to get guns, they may actually either give up, or get something less lethal. It fricking works in other countries.

    Nothing will change until there is a counter-organization to the NRA, a counter-organization with some power that will hold politicians to their feet. It will happen at some point. The only question is how many people’s sons or daughters will have to be murdered before it happens.

  73. 73
    gogol's wife says:

    @Maude:

    Why? Why are we all terrorized by something that was intended for guys with muskets in the eighteenth century?

  74. 74
    me says:

    @👽 Martin: People on twitter are saying that Mike Huckabee has joined Fischer on the waste of space wagon but I can’t find any link with confirmation.

    Edit: Here’s a link.

  75. 75
    cathyx says:

    If we want to put blame on something, then let’s blame video games.

  76. 76
    Wapiti says:

    @TooManyJens:

    To buy and carry a gun, licensing should require annual psychological exams.

    And liability insurance. I’d expect the insurance industry could determine a fair price for such a product.

  77. 77
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Maude:

    Heh. He thinks amending, or revising the 2nd amendment is doable, but federal laws wrt marijuana, are a bridge too far.

  78. 78
    burnspbesq says:

    @Maude:

    One of the smartest things the Framers did was make it really difficult to amend the Constitution. But I can dream, can’t I?

  79. 79
    Mike G says:

    Require people who ARE NOT armed to wear a sign

    This must be an NRA meme, since I’ve heard this from several gun nuts of my acquaintance — “I’ll put up a sign in front of your house saying you’re pro gun-control and aren’t armed, hahaha.” How smug. They think not owning a gun is a moral failing and deserves to be broadcast to invite attacks from criminals.

    To which I reply, “That’s great. And next time you go on vacation, I’ll put up a sign, ‘[Gun nut]’s house is unoccupied until next Friday. He has a big-screen TV, laptop and a cool stereo.'”

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @wesindc:

    Thanks. I signed and shared.

  81. 81
    beltane says:

    The NRA stands along NAMBLA in my mind . Both organizations cater to the sick needs of niche hobbyists and both organizations are dedicated to harming children.

    Since the gunophiles think it’s OK to sacrifice a pile of tiny bodies on the altar of their “rights and liberties” maybe they should be the ones to wear identifying insignia so that they can have a better chance to die a martyr’s death. Too many innocent humans have had their lives stolen on account of America’s other “peculiar institution.”

  82. 82
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Where did I say “doable,” shithead?

  83. 83
    Edo says:

    @👽 Martin: The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of five-year-olds innocents.

    Fixed that for you.

  84. 84
    Culture of Truth says:

    Huckabee has the answer:

    When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?

  85. 85
    jl says:

    @burnspbesq:

    But, looks like in terms of acquiring arms outside of military service, gun laws in Switzerland are much stricter than in US.

    One point I notice in particular is that every gun in the country has to be registered with an ID number stamped into it. They can all be traced back to last legal owner, looks like. That in itself would make a difference. Don’t see any loopholes for gun dealers in keeping complete records.

    So I don’t buy your idea that it is just difference between mentalities of Swiss and US populations that makes the difference.

    Gun politics in Switzerland
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....witzerland

  86. 86
    Paul says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Just curious; Why do think it was smart? Our country has gotten so polarized that it is pretty impossible to ever amend the constitution. And the document was written in an era, which has very little to do with today.

  87. 87
    El Cid says:

    @Glyph_2112:

    Once again the NRA/Far right solution will be more guns less regulation. Of course this will not fix the problem, it will just create an environment where we have shootouts every day.

    Wait — you’re saying that would be a bad thing?

  88. 88
    Maude says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    There are better ways to go about this.
    Never mind how the 2nd Amendment has been twisted, I don’t want any government to be able to have all the weapons.
    An extreme answer to an extreme tragedy won’t bode well.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @gene108:

    ” I’ve concluded there’s a subset of white folks in this country, who are just paranoid about getting mugged kicked off their imaginary or not so imaginary white person’s gravy train, ”

    And, yeah, wrong kind of people get too many bennies, maybe shooting up the place will fix things, some how. Not sure how, but might help, and could let off some steam. Heck.

    There, fixed for you, snark from a white guy (who is in the club so to speak, and has opportunity to hear what some of my sad sack brethren really think).

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    It really does seem like they believe having a gun on you or in your house confers a kind of magic protective power, even if never used, mere possession of it means you can never be robbed, or mugged, or shot, or hurt or killed. I mean, if believed that, I want one too.

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike G:

    To which I reply, “That’s great. And next time you go on vacation, I’ll put up a sign, ‘[Gun nut]’s house is unoccupied until next Friday. He has a big-screen TV, laptop and a cool stereo.’”

    And a safe full of guns for them to steal.

  92. 92
    Snarla says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    did he say that today? or is that old?

  93. 93
    Paul says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?

    OK – I spent a year in school in Denmark. It has become a very secularized country. Education of most religions are taught in high school. They don’t preach eternity or God or the 10 commandments there. Why then, Mr Huckabee, do they NOT have a bunch of school shootings there?

  94. 94
    AndoChronic says:

    No, TooManyJens I get what you’re saying and you are right to some extent. Mental health providers, therapy, and medication can only do so much for someone. However, some assessments would have been able to tease out some of what was troubling the shooter, perhaps enough to even diagnose a significant disorder, i.e., significant enough to be flagged on a background check for a firearm purchase, or at least I would hope so. What this guy did was so far beyond I can’t even begin to imagine what his thought processes were leading up to it and during it, obviously there was something profoundly wrong with him. The mental health practice isn’t such a soft science where it couldn’t of found this out prior to this act. Although, if we are now considering Adam’s act “normal” behavior in this country then that must be considered in diagnosis.

  95. 95
    👽 Martin says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Not sure how that’s a response to what I was saying, but I agree with it.

    Yeah, I got a little lost there.

    Essentially, what I’m saying is that strong gun regulation is a counterbalance to weak mental health support. We’ll likely never know if the mental health system, or even a better mental health system could have prevented this – but it might have disqualified the person from gun ownership with better gun laws, even if the health system wasn’t able to contain the individual.

    That’s actually one of the modern challenges with the modern health system. We used to just institutionalize anyone that was out of bounds in any way (even if they were undeserving of it) and that took care of the gun issue automatically. But removing that mechanism (and good riddance), we haven’t modernized the rest of the health system to compensate, nor other systems that now get affected.

    So, you need to fix it by improving a bunch of different things together, each one covering a gap in the other systems.

  96. 96
    sacrablue says:

    Until the right wing assholes solve this type of baby killing they must be denied any ability to act on abortion, contraception, death panels, healthcare. They have lost all moral authority. Screw their interpretation of the 2nd amendment and screw the NRA. Enough.

  97. 97
    Maude says:

    There has been an overwhelming amount of hatred being spewed in the country for a long time.
    This is an aspect that has made reason fly out the door.
    It’s not okay for Rush Limbaugh to spout racist statements.
    It’s not okay for Republicans to demean women.
    The divide and conquer method of winning elections is harmful.
    We have a serious set of problems in the country.
    We are going to have to figure out what to do.
    It is the intangible problems that cause the most damage and are hardest to fix.

  98. 98
  99. 99
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Never mind how the 2nd Amendment has been twisted, I don’t want any government to be able to have all the weapons.

    @Maude: You’re one of the people I pray tries to make a heroic last stand when a Styker brigade shows up outside your front door to haul you or a family member off for some crime.

    There wouldn’t be enough of you left to blot up with a sponge.

  100. 100
    gnomedad says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Huckabee has the answer:

    No problem. Plenty of room in Hell for him and Fischer.

  101. 101
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Paul:

    Heh. He’s walking it back to snarkdom...

  102. 102
    El Cid says:

    Don’t ever forget that they don’t care about the things they’re saying.

    They don’t care whether or not people carrying firearms in this or that situations makes them safer or not, or any of the other things they say.

    It doesn’t matter.

    They want what they want. The 2nd Amendment fetishists want to wallow in firearms and firearms fantasies and everything else is just shit they have to or feel like saying to make sure they can get what they want.

    The NRA and such don’t care whether or not what they say is true, they want to get more guns sold and more ammo sold and more expensive and more profitable shit sold and it doesn’t matter who buys them and to what nations they go and whether or not it saves innocent lives or kills lots of innocent people.

    None of those arguments matter to the people who make those arguments.

    They don’t care.

    They just want what they want, and if they have to make such arguments (whether for legislative aims or just to keep others from making them feel bad about their firearms fantasies) then they will.

  103. 103
    RareSanity says:

    Why? Why are we all terrorized by something that was intended for guys with muskets in the eighteenth century?

    @gogol’s wife:

    That reminds me of a bit a saw comic do on guns and gun control…I can’t think of the name of the comic, but it must have been one of those 30 mins deals on Comedy Central.

    Anyway…

    He said something to the affect of, “To all of the people that talk about not regulating guns, and saying that it violates their 2nd amendment rights…I propose that, yes, you can have your guns, and as many as you want…

    …as long as those guns are the ones that were available when the 2nd amendment was written. Yeah, that’s right, we’ll see how many mass millings there would be if you had to go through the whole process of manually loading and packing a musket to take that next shot.”

    Comedians and The Onion…sadly some of the most sane voices in this country.

  104. 104
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Snarla: What, you think Huckabee is some kind of insensitive monster? He waited 15 minutes until after the shooting.

    non snark answer – today

  105. 105
    👽 Martin says:

    @Culture of Truth: Because telling the 5 year olds about responsibility and accountability would have made them impervious to bullets – in only 3 short months.

    These guys must really be feeling the pressure, because they’re getting nuttier by the day.

  106. 106
    Ash Can says:

    @Maude: You’re right. Let’s not think about it. Let’s fucking DO it.

    The Second Amendment is broken, and the country along with it. If we’re not going to change it, then we need to get serious about the other half of this horrific equation, which is guns getting into the hands of the mentally ill. If people are going to have to own guns, then they need to be regulated at least as strictly as automobiles — education and testing before licensing, expensive insurance, periodic retesting. And that includes a note from one’s doctor in order to get a license, attesting to mental stability, and including this as part of the retesting (maybe making it the only part, even). And to anyone who may say, “but the constitution doesn’t contain any guarantees regarding automobile ownership,” then FIX THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION. The constitution is not a fucking suicide pact. It’s about goddamned fucking time we stopped treating it like one.

  107. 107
    g says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability”

    funny thing, America has had some church shootings, too.

    Killers shoot up schools because that’s where the people are. Not because of what takes place inside them.

    In most cases, killers shoot up schools because that’s where they believe their tormentors are – their peers who have rejected, bullied or hurt them. This case appears to be unusual, because the killer brought his own domestic conflict to the lives of other families. I cannot imagine what was going on in his mind – did he intend to hurt his mother even more than he could by killing her students along with her? How unbearably sad this is.

  108. 108
    chopper says:

    @Mike G:

    I love the idea that the pro-freedom gun nuts now want to require that you be forced to wear a sign against your will.

    Maybe we could make it in the shape of a six-pointed star. Just for old times’ sake.

  109. 109
    Seanly says:

    @Ash: There is. Public spending on mental health services dropped greatly during Reagan and has never recovered. Most private insurance doesn’t cover mental health access too well.

    While we no longer need the asylums of the 19th & early 20th centuries due to improved medicines and counseling, I think access to those services are drammatically reduced.

    There will have been warning signs about this shooter.

  110. 110
    Mike G says:

    @Paul:

    we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?

    Right, because there are no gun crimes in the South, where the culture is saturated with Hucksterbee’s brand of hateful, ignorance-worshipping fundamentalist religion and god-botherering.

  111. 111
    Elie says:

    It must not be forgotten that in addition to the gun problem, we have a serious, underdetected and definitely undertreated violent mental illness problem. This is further exacerbated not only by the guns, but an ambient propensity for the use of violent language against each other. Some with sever, paranoid mental problems have problems handling aggression even without being egged on by so much aggressive language. We treat each other with disrespect and cruelty and many times, it passes for humor. We have to remember however, that it sets the tone and sends very deep messages to people with problems with aggression and who feel themselves disrespected and alienated.

    It starts with US folks. Yes, end the easy access to guns, increase early screening for mental illness but also — ALSO — watch how you speak and treat others. This is why the US has such a problem… we have guns, speech and mental illness detection problems. Most countries only have one or at the most two of these.

    Finally — please pay attention to your teen age children and their friends. Please please please take notice of the loner, the child whose parents are constantly fighting with them or who fights with others. Pay attention in your own families to the cousin, brother or uncle who is having anger issues. I imagine a few people are scared of some of their relatives. Please reach out to NAMI for what to do… there are more folks than you know living in great anxiety and fear…We need a major initiative in this area for this country — we need to talk about it more openly and figure out how to help families and these (typically) young men.

  112. 112
    jl says:

    @👽 Martin: Martin, you silly liberal (or ignorant slut, I am not sure what the fashionable buzz word is right now) no measures are perfect, so anything we do is an obvious failure, best to do nothing at all, for fear UN black helicopters will steal your women and you beer.

    /snark

  113. 113
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike G:

    Best as I can divine, they’re tired of keeping us unarmed moochers and parasites safe; because, you know, it is only them and their Holy Gunz(pbut) standing between us and brown-colored anarchy and/or the gummint and/or the UN from doing all those bad things to us that they’re planning on. All that ammo costs bread, man, so why should we be benefitting?

    And no, I don’t think I’m stretching here.

  114. 114
    👽 Martin says:

    There will be no Weekly Republican Address this weekend so that President Obama can speak for the entire nation at this time of mourning.

    Shorter Boehner: The GOP is unable to contain our inner asshole at this time. Please stand by.

  115. 115
    1badbaba3 says:

    This is the one where the gun nuts will go too far over the top in their zeal, and display unconscionable insensitivity towards these victims. As long as they were sounding reasonable, the average citizen went along. There is nothing reasonable about showing disrespect to slain children in a cack-headed defense of an out-moded concept.

    We’re not even through day one and the backbenchers are already being horrible. Just wait until the first-stringers wade into the idiot pool. They’re not going to make it very far without coming like ghouls.

    And we still have 20 plus funerals to get through…

  116. 116
    Elie says:

    @Elie:

    I have no idea why my comment is being moderated. Weird

  117. 117
    jl says:

    @trollhattan: I don’t understand the sign business. Patches would be better, sew them right in our clothes so we can’t take them off and masquerade as worthy armed self-supporting citizens.

  118. 118
    trollhattan says:

    @chopper:

    Their new Kristallnacht translation will be “night of meth.”

  119. 119
    Culture of Truth says:

    we’ve systematically removed God from our schools

    It was a school-to-school search. The almighty is a crafty one.

  120. 120
    smith says:

    @Seanly:

    There were. The neighbors interviewed said the younger son (the shooter) was “troubled.” Sounds like we’ll be hearing in the next few days that warning signs were flashing all over the place (like with the Aurora shooter).

  121. 121
    RSA says:

    @Spankyslappybottom:

    There is no reason that these almost routine gun massacres in America should be viewed any differently. Those who wish to take steps to ensure that the next massacre be prevented—and they are entirely preventable—are showing the greatest respect for the lives of the victims.

    I agree that we should do something. We should get started. I think we should also recognize that it might not be a solvable problem in our lifetime, even leaving aside political considerations. Take an analogy to landmines: there are something like 100 million landmines throughout the world; they kill thousands of people every year; almost everyone would like to get rid of them. Some people think it’s doable but that it could take centuries.

    Now guns. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million guns in the U.S. alone. (That’s about a third of all guns in the entire world.) A gun can last for decades in working condition. They’re as deadly as landmines, in practice. And people would actively hide their guns from being taken.

    I don’t know how well this analogy works, but it makes me think about how long a slog it might be.

  122. 122
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @EGrise: Or how about yellow stars? Or pink triangles. No one has tried this before. What could go wrong.

    /puking

  123. 123
    chopper says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    remember, owning a gun also gives you awesome abilities like instant nerves of steel and perfect aim when someone in the movie theater tosses a smoke bomb and starts shooting up the place.

  124. 124
    Paul says:

    @g:

    funny thing, America has had some church shootings, too.

    Yup, I will never forget FoxNews villifying Dr Tiller to the extent that one if its viewers when to his church and murdered him during church service. Yes, Mr Huckabee, I’m pretty sure they taught about eternity, God and the 10 commandments (like “thou shalt not kill”) at that church.

    These people are just sickening…

  125. 125
    👽 Martin says:

    @1badbaba3: All of those tiny boxes. Each carrying a receipt for someone else’s right to be an asshole.

  126. 126
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Culture of Truth: Seriously? Well at least they don’t blame the gays this time. Just the usual atheists. (Which if anyone remembers the first weekend post columbine, before they could blame Marilyn Mason and goth music, some columnists decided that the shooters were gay lovers and put that little tidbit in their columns. Cal Thomas, I’m looking at you).

  127. 127
    Maude says:

    Yahoo News headline: Mayor Bloomberg slams Obama on guns, the headline went away and I am paraphrasing.
    So much for political unity.

  128. 128
    JenJen says:

    I re-tweeted Frum’s tweet earlier today, because I thought it was profound and fitting. Next thing I know, I’m inundated with uninitiated, horrible tweets from gun-crazy lunatics. I understand Our Lady Of Perpetual Outrage unleashed the Hounds of Twitchy to attack anyone and everyone who agreed with Frum.

    I just seriously can NOT with these fucking people today.

  129. 129

    Ezra Klein has an interesting item up debunking the myth that Israel and Switzerland are gun-toting utopias. Worth a read.

  130. 130
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    The constitution is not a fucking suicide pact.

    But it is, apparently, a homicide pact.

  131. 131
    Maude says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:
    How sweet of you. I appreciate your kindness.

  132. 132

    @JenJen:

    Even worse, one of the people I follow is re-tweeting all of that gun loon horseshit he’s getting. I had to temporarily unfollow him. I cannot deal with that crap today either.

    I just block the loons. Don’t even respond, it’s like candy to them.

  133. 133
    TooManyJens says:

    @👽 Martin:

    That’s actually one of the modern challenges with the modern health system. We used to just institutionalize anyone that was out of bounds in any way (even if they were undeserving of it) and that took care of the gun issue automatically. But removing that mechanism (and good riddance), we haven’t modernized the rest of the health system to compensate, nor other systems that now get affected.

    Yeah, this is the part I’m having trouble figuring out. There are cases where people know something is wrong with them but simply can’t get help because our social safety net is so shredded. It’s those people for whom expanding access to mental health care is vitally important. It’s not clear that this is one of those cases, though, which is the question I was asking in my original comment.

    Then there are the cases where nobody seems to know anything was wrong until the shooting starts, or where people know but the individual refuses to get help. I’m not sure what you do about that. It’s not an issue of access, at least not in the way we usually think of access to health care, but of the people who need care actually realizing that and seeking it.

    We need to change how we think about mental health, make it something people are willing to talk about, not something that’s considered a mark of weakness or shame. That would help, I think.

  134. 134
    Upper West says:

    @Baron Elmo: Frum will not redeem himself until he repudiates everything about the Republicans over the last 12 years. Did he condemn Bush when Bush violated his campaign promise and didn’t ask for renewal of the assault weapon ban? (a quick google didn’t find anything) I doubt it, though.

    Frum et al. enabled these lunatics to take power. it’s not enough for him to now say they’ve gone too far. If he does the full David Brock, I’ll be convinced, but until then he’s still an enabler.

  135. 135
    Suffern ACE says:

    @👽 Martin: One of my facebook pests decided that we need to teach children to always look for the escape route and that would have prevented this tragedy. Because, you know, Kindergarteners need to look after number one a more.

  136. 136

    Gawker has a piece up that says 5 of the 12 most deadly mass shootings in the U.S. took place in Obama’s first term.

    I find that hard to believe but … here it is.

  137. 137
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    I am saying that I don’t trust governments.

  138. 138
    TooManyJens says:

    @Southern Beale: It’s hard not to feel that a madness has befallen this country.

  139. 139
    Paul says:

    @Maude:

    Does it really matter whether our government has all the guns or not? They have all the nuclear bombs in our country…

    It seems to work fine in other western countries.

  140. 140
    Drunken hausfrau says:

    I want to march on the NRA In DC. I know that is probably useless…. But what if we had a few million people already on hand, like say Jan. 21, 2013?

  141. 141
    Keith says:

    Well, Huckabee seems to have the worst attempt at opportunism of the day – he believes the shooting was dye to taking God out of schools. Schmuck.

  142. 142
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Culture of Truth: How is he blaming the school for that? The students weren’t shooting anyone. What an asshole. I suppose it’s the forest’s fault when deer get shot.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    @Southern Beale: Thanks, interesting interview from Klein and good on him for noting that an informed person has a good criticism of one of his recent posts.

    I did not know that both Swiss and Israeli armed forces were moving guns into depots, rather than allowing them to be stored in troop’s homes.

    The prof has a good point, that cultural explanations are not very strong, for example that Israel is not a particularly peaceful or cohesive society. She doesn’t mention Switzerland, but more than half of that is Swiss German. Hey, that is more than half of my damn family. Those are cantankerous ornery people. The Swiss are not very cohesive and peaceful, that is a PR move when they made when they decided to make international business their mercenary war gig by other more feasible means (just bidness, just bidness, mind you… I think a lotta Texans from Switzerland BTW). Ask any Swiss person, especially any Swiss German about any canton that they were not born in, the love and understanding will just overwhelm you.

  144. 144
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Southern Beale: It would be interesting had they actually listed out all of them, as that might explain why they went with 12 and not the usual ten.

  145. 145
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    How sweet of you. I appreciate your kindness.

    @Maude: I aim (haha, get it?) to please. You and your ilk who think that individual gun ownership would in any way deter a government from doing anything it wants slay (haha, get it?) me.

    I’ve heard that argument since I was a child and known it was a crock of shit the first time I saw an M2 open up in basic.

    Your gun, whatever kind you own, is a toy in that world. You’d do better opening up on “the government” with a Nerf gun and hoping that someone laughed hard enough to pop a rib.

  146. 146
    Glyph_2112 says:

    Each of these gun nuts that can’t see that there is a problem are also the ones that run around with a perpetual hard on just waiting to be able to use there detachable penis. They picture themselves in the situation like today and believe if they had been there, they would have simply gunned down the assailant and saved the day. Of course while they wait for their shinning moment, they tend to gun down unarmed black teenagers.

    As for the constitution, what were the “arms” like when they wrote that? Flint locks. Do the gun nuts really think that our founding fathers would have condoned the kind of weaponry of today?

  147. 147
    AndoChronic says:

    @Southern Beale
    You know why that is right? The freak-out back ordering of everything guns n’ ammo since even the first hint of another potential Dem. president. Now the guns are out there en masse just rusting away in safes, being stolen, and/or in the wrong hands.

  148. 148
    trollhattan says:

    @Maude:

    Bloomberg:

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, who has been a vocal advocate for gun control in the United States, issued an exasperated statement criticizing national leaders for failing to do more to stop gun violence.
    __
    “We have heard all the rhetoric before,” he said. “What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress.”
    __
    Mr. Bloomberg waited to issue his statement until after Mr. Obama spoke, hoping that he would hear something more specific on gun control. But he did not.
    __
    “President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12.....=0&hp

  149. 149
    LanceThruster says:

    The picture of the little girl crying in fright as she and her schoolmates are escorted out is heartwrenching…yet she is one of the fortunate ones.

    We need PSAs offering rewards to those contemplating murder/suicide if they skip the “murder” part.

    I truly can’t think of anything else that might help avoid these horrific tragedies. Trying to put the gun genie back in the bottle seems largely rather ineffective to me at this point.

    Unlike the NRA, I do not object to sensible and potentially effective legislation, but quick-fixes tend to make bad laws. In CA where I live, there was a ban on (supposed) assault weapons (I say “supposed” because assault weapons were already illegal). So you could not buy weapons that *looked* paramilitary, but my fully legal Ruger mini-14 shoots the same rounds as a Vietnam era M-16, has a removable high capacity magazine, but looks like a ranch rifle. Same lethality, just does not *look* like military issue.

    So often the solutions seem like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Like I said, I would propose greater resources towards mental health, and a promise to somehow subsidize those who do not murder before their suicide.

    There was a sci-fi story I read about a culture that had a suicide leap off a building. If done that way, the person was promised that their family or loved ones would be cared for. For those that actually took the leap, a net popped out part way down and rescued the person where they were given full and intensive mental health care to assist them. IIRC, they even had an opportunity to actually go through with the suicide later if they so chose. It seems a bit far-fetched, but how to you use logic only to deal with emotional pain and rage of that level, particularly in dealing with a “broken brain” to whatever extent?

  150. 150

    I don’t get the point of having people who aren’t armed wearing a sign saying so. Is that so the people who are armed can use them for target practice? Don’t get it.

  151. 151
    cathyx says:

    I read that the shooter was developmentally disabled. Has that been confirmed? And if so, how did he get any gun?

  152. 152
    jlow says:

    If I understand “constitutional originalism” correctly, the 2nd amendment guarantees the right to bear a black powder musket and no more. I have no problem with that.

  153. 153
    TooManyJens says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    How is he blaming the school for that? The students weren’t shooting anyone. What an asshole. I suppose it’s the forest’s fault when deer get shot.

    Well, you know, if they had prayer in schools, that would form a magical shield that would prevent outsiders from coming in to do the kids and teachers harm.

    I guess that why there’s never any violence in churches.

  154. 154
    TooManyJens says:

    Oops, TooManyLinks in that last comment. Any moderators around?

  155. 155
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I don’t get the point of having people who aren’t armed wearing a sign saying so. Is that so the people who are armed can use them for target practice?

    @Southern Beale: Yeah, that’s the point. Charming, ain’t it?

  156. 156

    This just in:

    @NBCNews
    UPDATE: Weapons used in shooting were legally purchased and registered to gunman’s mother, law enforcement officials tell NBC News

    Sigh.

  157. 157
    JenJen says:

    @Southern Beale: You’re right about that. Much better to ignore them. They honestly make my soul hurt.

    OT, but how about a nice slow-clap for Gary Bettman and the NHL, who announced today they’re filing a class action lawsuit against the NHLPA? That’s the season, folks! Bastards.

  158. 158
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Southern Beale: Oh, it’s just a crabby crab because the concealed carry folks don’t like it when it is suggested that they should give have to wear some sign to signal that they are armed. That has been suggested.

    The real reason, you see, that they want concealed carry is that open carry kind of reveals who is “that douche who’s got such a small ego that he’s taking his gun grocery shopping in a town where maybe one person a decade has actually needed to use one in self-defense.”

  159. 159
    cathyx says:

    @ NBCNews : UPDATE: Weapons used in shooting were legally purchased and registered to gunman’s mother, law enforcement officials tell NBC News

  160. 160
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I read that the shooter was developmentally disabled. Has that been confirmed? And if so, how did he get any gun?

    @cathyx: No laws against selling a gun to a “developmentally disabled” person.

  161. 161
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Maine state constitution — modified by referendum in 1987 — states “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

    Never. Be. Questioned.

    It’s clear that we’re dealing with a state religion. Not Protestant Christianity, not even Christianity.

    Guns.

    As Tertullian of Carthage said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

    20 more witnesses to the faith today.

  162. 162
    trollhattan says:

    Until Edroso reports back from the RW swamp, TBogg’s done his diligence and of course, finalist in the banality of evil competition is Glenn Reynolds, professor of something evidently not worth studying.

    EVERGREEN: In the New York Daily News: People don’t stop killers. People with guns do.
    __
    Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 2:39 pm

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....ing-floor/

  163. 163
    DH says:

    Granted Huckabee’s comment is horrible, but how about this today from Jeffrey Goldberg:

    4)” People should have the ability to defend themselves. Mass shootings take many lives in part because no one is firing back at the shooters. The shooters in recent massacres have had many minutes to complete their evil work, while their victims cower under desks or in closets. One response to the tragic reality that we are a gun-saturated country is to understand that law-abiding, well-trained, non-criminal, wholly sane citizens who are screened by the government have a role to play in their own self-defense, and in the defense of others (read The Atlantic article to see how one armed school administrator stopped a mass shooting in Pearl Mississippi). I don’t know anything more than anyone else about the shooting in Connecticut at the moment, but it seems fairly obvious that there was no one at or near the school who could have tried to fight back.”

    See, this is how we solve the problem. We get more armed people to shoot the first people with the guns.

    However, I have a question: What if someone in the 2nd group, starts shooting people?
    I think the answer is obvious: arm a 3rd group of people to be ready to shoot the shooter in the second group of people….and on and on and on…..

    Goldberg, despite the fact that he shilled for the Iraq War, is a “serious” political commentator, and gets to write THIS FUCKING INSANITY TODAY.

    I vow never to waste a second reading him ever again.

  164. 164
    trollhattan says:

    @cathyx:
    Am sure “Patrick” from the other thread will be ’round to apologize.

  165. 165

    @JenJen:

    Aw fuck. I didn’t know about the lawsuit. Well, a local Nashville attorney is asking Bettman for a refund:

    “[C]ould we get some of the $6 million subsidy back because there’s a pot hole in front of the Bridgestone Arena that I hit almost every morning I drive to work,” Briley writes.

    I fell in that pothole after The Who concert last week and fucked up my hand.

  166. 166
    Paul says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I don’t get the point of having people who aren’t armed wearing a sign saying so. Is that so the people who are armed can use them for target practice? Don’t get it.

    I am a Christian so I would never ever buy a gun (thou shalt not kill). I guess the NRA supporters want every Christian to wear a sign saying they are Christian like the Jews in Germany.

  167. 167
    Haydnseek says:

    As usual, I’m late to the thread. I haven’t read any of the comments. It doesn’t matter. Nothing will change. We’ll have a week of platitudes and hand-wringing, the usual MSM blather, a bullshit, self-serving statement from the NRA, and the usual geek chorus of slippery slope justifications from the wingnuts. Cynical? Nope, just someone whose watched endless, similar atrocities for decades.

  168. 168
    WereBear says:

    @wesindc: Thanks, glad to have an outlet for the despair and rage.

  169. 169
    Narcissus says:

    Our society is sick. It’s just sick. The mass killings are just the most visible symptom of the underlying sickness.

    Thinking about it this way is the only way I can process it without crying about dead children

  170. 170

    @AndoChronic:

    Someone, can’t remember where I read it, posited the theory that since guns are the perfect manufactured product — they last forever, once you have a gun you really don’t need another one — the NRA and manufacturers have had to gin up all these weird reasons to keep people buying the product.

  171. 171
    Mister Harvest says:

    @jlow: Apparently, “cruel and unusual” must be interpreted according to the common definition in 1783, but “arms” is allowed to stay bang up to date.

  172. 172

    @Paul:

    …. like the Jews in Germany.

    I guess that’s his point.

  173. 173
    Ash Can says:

    @Maude: Well it’s way too fucking late for that. Our government already owns all the nukes and tanks and planes and shit, and controls all the armed forces.

  174. 174
    Mike in NC says:

    @Drunken hausfrau:

    I want to march on the NRA In DC. I know that is probably useless…. But what if we had a few million people already on hand, like say Jan. 21, 2013?

    Sometime in the 90s the NRA moved from DC to a shiny new headquarters building in Fairfax County, VA (visible from Route 66). It would be a real shame if thousands of people showed up there to denounce them as a terrorist organization.

  175. 175
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: He got them from his mother, who apparently didn’t trust him with them, but obviously did a shit job of hiding them.

  176. 176
    slag says:

    @DH:

    I don’t know anything more than anyone else about the shooting in Connecticut at the moment, but it seems fairly obvious that there was no one at or near the school who could have tried to fight back.

    So, we’re going to now force guns on people? Who’s going to do that? The government? State or federal? Because I don’t know how you solve this without going one way or the other.

  177. 177
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Someone, can’t remember where I read it, posited the theory that since guns are the perfect manufactured product—they last forever

    @Southern Beale:

    Not true. If you’re a weekly shooter, you’ll go through about one every three to five years or so – assuming you clean it religiously and store it in a dry place, no moisture. They take a tremendous amount of physical stress and they do wear out. Some last far longer than others. There are still 1950s era AK-47s in Afghanistan being used today.

  178. 178
    LanceThruster says:

    @Narcissus:

    We need a multi-pronged approach that includes to addressing the sickness.

    I forget which comic I saw do the bit but he talked about the supposed “absolutes” involved in suicide. But if the suicide prevented hurting a child or killing an innocent, the suicide would be something honorable instead of a cause for “eternal damnation.”

    As sick as society is, I think we need to find a way to make not maximizing the harm done to others somehow pay off for the ones who have no regard for their own existence.

  179. 179
    SatanicPanic says:

    @slag: Well, it’s not out of line with all the other victim blaming they do.

  180. 180
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    He got them from his mother, who apparently didn’t trust him with them, but obviously did a shit job of hiding them.

    @SatanicPanic: Guns are pretty well impossible to hide. So ma had a couple grand to drop on some war rifles, but didn’t have $500 for a gun safe? In a house with a “developmentally disabled” adult?

    Good going, ma. That’s some thinking skills on display, there.

  181. 181
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I should clarify, I don’t know if she was hiding them or had them in a safe. The bottom line for me is that if you have someone with these kind of issues in your house, owning a gun is never a good idea, regardless of how many precautions you are taking.

  182. 182
    Haydnseek says:

    @Wapiti: Yeah, just like healthcare insurance.

  183. 183
    slag says:

    @SatanicPanic: You know…I wonder if it will ever occur to these geniuses that there may be a reason that so many law-abiding, safe, responsible people want nothing to do with guns. And if it ever has occurred to them, and they think that reason is anti-gun propaganda, then, I wonder if it will ever occur to these geniuses that giving a bunch of easily brainwashed people guns may not be such a good idea.

  184. 184
    cathyx says:

    Why did his mother own them?

  185. 185
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Mike G:

    To which I reply, “That’s great. And next time you go on vacation, I’ll put up a sign, ‘[Gun nut]’s house is unoccupied until next Friday. He has a big-screen TV, laptop and a cool stereo.’”

    I think it’d be more effective to say “he’ll reach for a gun. shoot first.”

  186. 186

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Really? I hear of people using their dad’s and grandad’s guns.

  187. 187
    AndoChronic says:

    @Southern Beale
    Indeed. However, you have to properly accessorize as there is a gun for every occasion! Plus, the paranoia that the Dems. are going to take away high-cap .30 cal. assault rifle(s) (which aren’t reasonably used outside of combat anyways) means people have to buy all of them. Plus, the 10’s of thousands of rounds of ammo to go with the hundreds of hoarded high-cap mags. Gett’in ready for an Obama ban. Fear and anger rule the day in America and it will continue to feed on itself.

  188. 188
    SatanicPanic says:

    @slag: They’re always trying to push everyone else into buying guns too. I don’t want one, for reasons of my own that I think are compelling. But that makes me a SHEEPLE to them. Oh well. Fuck them.

  189. 189
    DarcyPennell says:

    @Ben Franklin: Holy crap, I know that guy (Charlie). At least I knew him about 20 years ago. I’m going to lie awake tonight remembering every interaction I ever had with him, looking for signs of the asshole he’s apparently become. I heard he had gone full-on wing nut, but wow. That tweet is just, wow. What kind of a sick fuck do you have to be to say something like that the day 20 children are killed?

  190. 190
    Calouste says:

    @Ash Can:

    In a democracy, the constitution is seen as a living, working document that can be amended as needed. In the USA, the constitution is revered as if it was written on the back of those stone tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain.

  191. 191
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I don’t get the point of having people who aren’t armed wearing a sign saying so. Is that so the people who are armed can use them for target practice? Don’t get it.

    The point is three-fold:
    (1) To establish that owning and carrying firearms is normal, while not to do so is abnormal
    (2) To imply that the (abnormal) unarmed people are part of the problem, not part of the solution, and to shame and humiliate them
    (3) and finally, yes, to mark them as targets for killing. As in: “if you refuse to go along with us, you’re asking for it and deserve whatever happens to you.”

    I said in one of the other threads that the goal of the gun nuts who are leading the NRA is not just to protect and expand their legal rights, but to socially normalize widespread carrying of firearms and to condition our society not just to accept guns but to expect them everywhere and define their presence as the new normal. They don’t just want to break down legal barriers to carrying guns everywhere, they want to break down social norms and mores which stand in the way too. That is one of the aims of the concealed carry movement. If they have their way, eventually it will be considered quite rude of you to object when somebody brings a gun into your house without asking you. After all, I can bring my gun everywhere else, a bar, a movie, a mall, church, the day-care center, school. Why are you being such a prude about what everybody else finds so normal?

  192. 192
    Violet says:

    So people have the right to have guns. They don’t have the same right enshrined in the Constitution to have ammunition. Tax the hell out of ammunition and make ammunition purchases subject to all sorts of background checks and so forth.

  193. 193
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Calouste: Yeah, if the founding fathers wanted the Constimitushun to ever be changed, they’d have added some way to amend it!

  194. 194
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @The Other Chuck: I so much want to find a practicing Aztec priest to hand that assclown over to. Of course the poor friggin’ priest would probably wear out his obsidian knife sawing around in that chest cavity trying to find anything that even remotely resembles a heart…

  195. 195
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Really? I hear of people using their dad’s and grandad’s guns.

    @Southern Beale: Sure you do. I have my grandfather’s Colt, in fact. I’ve taken it to the range about a total of five times, which is about the total number of times it was fired while grandpa owned it.

    On the other hand, a target shooter – someone who does it competitively, like my maternal grandfather used to – will go through a barrel every year.

    Like I said, depends on how often you shoot and how much care you take of your firearm.

  196. 196
    Ben Franklin says:

    @DarcyPennell:

    He sometimes comments at Just One Minute, but he is a PJ Media contributor.

    If you run across him, tell him I said to go fuck himself.

  197. 197
    beltane says:

    @Calouste:

    In a democracy, the constitution is seen as a living, working document that can be amended as needed. In the USA, the constitution is revered as if it was written on the back of those stone tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain

    This etched-in-stone quality of the US Constitution only applies to the 2nd Amendment. The 1st Amendment, for example, is apparently OK to water down to a great degree.

    We could always put the 2nd amendment on parity with the 1st by creating specially designated “free shooting zones” where gun enthusiasts can be kettled away from other citizens and use their firearms on each other as long as they are able to stand.

  198. 198
    Calouste says:

    @Glyph_2112:

    Do the gun nuts really think that our founding fathers would have condoned the kind of weaponry of today?

    The US constitution as originally written allows for issuing of Letter of Marque and Reprisal. That’s a rather empty gesture unless you allow private citizens to own well-armed ships. So they didn’t seem to have a problem with the private ownership of a ship with a dozen or two cannon on board.

  199. 199
    debbie says:

    One of the smartest things the Framers did was make it really difficult to amend the Constitution. But I can dream, can’t I?

    I’ve Googled without success several times. Does anyone know of a good source to learn what, in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was?

  200. 200
    Tehanu says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    I want to scream at them, “At long last, have you no decency?” But the problem is, they don’t — and they don’t care; they have no shame. Until decent people will have nothing to do with the gun nuts and the NRA, there won’t be any change no matter how many babies’ bodies are shot up. (And no, I am not advocating the abolition of guns, just some kind of reasonable laws about proper training and permits. You want to go shoot deer for your dinner table, fine, but you don’t need a fucking AK-47 to do it).

  201. 201
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @El Cid: I shouldn’t be responding here. I’m a retired teacher. I lost a toddler granddaughter this year … and I haven’t been able to stop crying since I read today about the babies who who died in this awful, awful event. What was I going to saw? I forget. I have to try to stop crying, stop thinking about my granddaughter, about my beautiful five year old grandson. The only comfort I can take is that those little lost ones – and my darlings -are loved. So very loved.

  202. 202
    Haydnseek says:

    @cathyx: Why, simply by being an American with a bit of cash!

  203. 203
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    saw=say

  204. 204
    DarcyPennell says:

    @Ben Franklin: If I ever run across him (unlikely, it’s been decades and we clearly don’t run in the same circles anymore) I will hope he doesn’t see me. It sounds like he’d be carrying a gun.

  205. 205
    scav says:

    Well, at least the ‘merkans are united behind keeping the really dangerous instruments under control, like metal forks on airplanes and ballots in the hands of the wrong people.

  206. 206
    Paul says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Yeah, if the founding fathers wanted the Constimitushun to ever be changed, they’d have added some way to amend it!

    They did. But if you compare the difficulty of changing our constitution to constitutions in other countries, it is a comparison that is not even on the same planet. Heck, 2/3 thirds of Congress and 3/4 of state legs. We are never going to have any meaningful changes to constitution in a very long time. In the mean time, children are being murdered.

  207. 207
    Steeplejack says:

    @TooManyJens:

    “We do live in a fallen, depraved world destined for the fire.” (Erick Erickson, via Twitter, October 25, 2012)

  208. 208
    Ben Franklin says:

    @DarcyPennell:

    I’d advise some distance. He’s a former bouncer and an enforcer at Teahadist rallies.

    Has a bun on about just about everything, and is potentially dangerous.

  209. 209
    LanceThruster says:

    @Steeplejack:

    “We do live in a fallen, depraved world destined for the fire.”

    I blame the alleged manufacturer. I thought Noah’s flood was supposed to fix all that.

  210. 210
    jl says:

    @debbie:

    ” Does anyone know of a good source to learn what, in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was? ”

    I don’t think there is much record of what they thought about the second amendment that is relevant to the extreme interpretations we see today.

    It would be interesting to see whether there were any court cases about a private citizen wanting to drag around a canon loaded with grape shot just in case some one messed with him, or wanted a dozen or so just in case he planned to get a letter of marque and needed to warship up.

    I do remember reading that in his draft constitution for the state of Virginia, Jefferson’s version of right to bear arms limited it to while being on one’s own property, so I suspect they would not be NRA style crazies if they were alive to participate in the current debates with industry front groups like the NRA and their (for the most part) scared white dupes.

  211. 211
    BethanyAnne says:

    Yeah, someone above said video games. And that might have been snark, but there’s a kernel of truth there, I think. I think there is an environmental level of violence. Maybe not video games, but the callousness of much of our culture, the way we treat poor folk, the mentally ill, the different. There’s something about the intersection of this culture and a metric crapton of guns that makes it a really really bad combination.

  212. 212
    👽 Martin says:

    Mass shootings take many lives in part because no one is firing back at the shooters. The shooters in recent massacres have had many minutes to complete their evil work, while their victims cower under desks or in closets

    So, in this case either mom should have pre-emptively shot her son, or one of the 5 year-olds should have whipped it out.

    Yeah.

  213. 213
    danimal says:

    @Wapiti: I agree.

    Liability insurance and annual psych evals are smart regulations, and the Second Amendment definitely refers to a “well-regulated militia” so these should pass constitutional muster.

    We need to drive up the cost of gun ownership to balance the social costs associated with gun violence. Nobody is looking to take your guns away, but it’s time gun users share the costs of gun violence with random kidnergarteners and moviegoers.

  214. 214
    danimal says:

    @Violet: Agree with this as well. Drive up the costs of ammo.

    The gun control debate got seriously derailed when the argument drifted into what types of semi-automatic weapons are legal or not. There are lots of ideas for reducing gun violence that don’t threaten the Second Commandment Amendment. Oops, I forgot for a moment that Moses didn’t deliver the Bill of Rights from Mt. Sinai. My bad.

  215. 215
    GregB says:

    Conservatives response to this horrible shooting is to call for the arming of teachers.

    According to the rhetoric coming from the Republicans and the far right this year, won’t that make them well armed union thugs?

  216. 216
    jl says:

    @debbie:

    ” in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was? ”

    And Franklin was publicly dubious that a society that relied too heavily on an extreme interpretation of individual rights as a foundation would be practically feasible. He felt as long as citizens disgruntled with the decisions of a democratic society could leave and see for themselves exactly how well they could do all alone by their own damn selfs, that was a good check.

    So I doubt Franklin would be with the NRA crazies either. But it is pointless to speculate about exactly what some one dead over 200 years ago would think about specific contemporary policies and solutions to problems, we can just make educated guesses about their general attitudes.

    My educated guess is that neither Franklin nor Jefferson would be what we would call today a second amendment absolutist.

    Hamilton would not be either, I guess, merely on the basis of his own stated principles of Constitutional interpretation.

  217. 217
    Miki says:

    One of the best comments I’ve read today was on DKos and can be found here.

    Add to that the September 2012 Minneapolis shooting that killed 6, the shooting 3 days ago in Oregon that killed 2, and today’s shooting ….

    Insanity doesn’t begin to describe it.

    It’s fucking madness.

  218. 218
    Hill Dweller says:

    Saw this on Twitter:

    Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt: “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands”

  219. 219

    Gun owners of America just posted this

    “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”

    These people are sick.

  220. 220
    Yutsano says:

    The Original Text of the Second Amendment:

    A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

    How far we have fallen without defining what the hell we were doing creating a right to bear arms in the first place.

  221. 221
    jl says:

    @Yutsano: Well sure, people like Madison wanted to prevent conscientious objectors from being forced to serve in the military. But I am sure he would be fine with the idea of forcing unarmed citizens to walk around with patches sewn into their clothes, in order to ease the path of those who wanted to walk around with whatever firepower they felt like packing. That conclusion clearly follows from strict geometrical logic.

  222. 222
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @debbie:

    Does anyone know of a good source to learn what, in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was?

    Here’s a relevant short essay by Lois Schwoerer: TO HOLD AND BEAR ARMS: THE ENGLISH PERSPECTIVE.

  223. 223
    Brendan in NC says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And a safe rack full of guns for them to steal.

    FTFY – gun safes take too long to open

  224. 224
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: For whatever the hell it’s worth, consider yourself cyber-hugged. Yes, this tragedy is stupefying, and it makes us face how very fragile life is. I am sorry for your loss. I found myself staring at my 11-year-old daughter and having to face the fact that what happened in Newton, CT could happen anywhere, anytime. We do, indeed, as B.O. said, hug our children a little more tightly tonight.

  225. 225
    cathyx says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: We could then just have a shoot out. And no one would get killed in the crossfire because no one gets killed in the crossfire on TV.

  226. 226
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I truly don’t get what that would accomplish in a case like this. Guy with gun strolls into school, out of nowhere starts killing people. At some point someone else with gun comes on the scene, kills him. How is that a better outcome? It certainly doesn’t stop the random outburst before it happens. The guy with the gun and the element of surprise will always be able to kill a lot of people, even if _every other adult in the school_ is an unerringly lethal marksman.

  227. 227
    gbear says:

    I’m kind of willing to take Charlie Martin up on his offer. I’d be willing to spend this winter wearing a button on my coat that says “I Am Not Carrying A Gun”. I’d like to see hundreds of thousands of people wearing that button.

  228. 228
    gogol's wife says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    Not to be pedantic, your sentiment is beautiful, but it was Newtown, not Newton.

    @gbear:

    Me too.

  229. 229
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Yutsano: How much of that is driven by a fear not of overweening Redcoats, but of servile rebellion? How long are the shadows Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner are casting over present controversies?

  230. 230
    gogol's wife says:

    @gbear:

    If such a button could go on sale through Balloon Juice, I’d buy a metric f–ton.

  231. 231
    The Nameless One says:

    How can the influence of the NRA be reduced? How do the reasonable members who support reasonable gun control get Wayne LaPierre and the other shills out of their leadership roles? How can the reasonable gun owners be convinced to break away from the NRA and form their own lobbying group with support for responsible gun ownership?

    The recent election shows that money from the big boys is not enough to gain or maintain power if the grassroots support against them is strong enough. Recent boycotts have shown that consumer influence can change corporate behaviour. It can be done but how can the anger and despair that reasonable people feel be harnessed to bring sanity to the gun laws?

  232. 232
    gbear says:

    @gogol’s wife: I was thinking of visiting a local store that sells buttons and asking if they’s be willing to make a couple hundred up for the store to sell. I think it a lot of people would wear them.

  233. 233
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Yutsano: All of which makes marginally more sense in a world where there isn’t supposed to be a permanent professional military or “standing army” in the first place, so any time the government wants to do something with weapons it has to first get approval to summon up “the militia,” then piece together some weaponry from whatever happens to be on hand. “The people” are supposed to have access to guns, e.g. via a local armory, IMHO when needed, or in a crisis, which is not the same thing as each individual person having unfettered close-to-hand access to his personal gun.

  234. 234
    Keith G says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Good going, ma. That’s some thinking skills on display, there.

    Well she won’t do it again.

  235. 235
    JPL says:

    Solve the deficit TAX THE AMMO…

  236. 236
    👽 Martin says:

    @debbie:

    Does anyone know of a good source to learn what, in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was?

    The circumstances around that time were less ‘clean’ than we learn in school. The war of independence lasted about 5 years – until 1781. The constitution was ratified from 1787 to 1788, but there was still concern that Britain wouldn’t leave well enough alone (and they didn’t – as we felt we needed to declare war against them again in 1812).

    The concern then was that Britain might occupy the US and disarm the citizenry, depriving the US of it’s military. Much of the debate during the forming of the constitution was typical federalist issues – should we have a federal standing army (as we do now) or should we have state militias that aggregate during wartime – a little bit like what we endeavor with NATO, but this is what the National Guard does. So, we have both.

    But the Bill of Rights is basically a set of anti-federalist amendments, so presumably the intention here was to ratify that the national defense would come not from a permanent, professional standing army, but from assembled militias comprised of volunteers from the states relying on their own weaponry, at least in order to assemble a rapid response to any issue. The intent really was that every able bodied male would own a musket and be ready to fight if called upon. The intent was not unlike what the nutters do out on their ranches every weekend pretending they’re in Red Dawn II.

    So the intent was not for hunting, or self-protection or any other such thing. But it also did not exclude anyone. Any male (or at least, any white male land-owner) would have unrestricted right to a musket. There was a self-protection angle there, as there were effectively no police anywhere in the colonies back then, but more in the way that everyone who lives in Alaska damn well should own a rifle lest you be eaten by a bear. It’s a legitimate problem for many people that live there.

    But it was also drafted as sort of a ruse. Madison actually believed in a strong federal standing army – he felt it was inevitable if the thing we were worried about was Britain or France. We were operating on home territory as a bunch of insurgent farmers with guns, but next time we might face the full brunt of the British force and those farmers wouldn’t cut it. The anti-federalists worried that this new federal government would come and take away their guns to build their standing army, so in order to calm them the fuck down, Madison said ‘fine, we’ll always need militias, so everyone has a right to a gun, happy now?’ and was done with it.

    The 2nd amendment is about as determined a bit of legislation as Obama releasing his birth certificate to shut up the birthers was. They had the same people 250 years ago freaking out over so-called socialism and federal overreach and FEMA camps and shit as we do now, and they put that legislation in because it was wholly uncontroversial. Further, they left no intentions toward what might come of assault rifles or concealed carry permits or extended magazines because they simply didn’t fucking care. They figured we just write new laws as new things came up.

    I don’t know why the right constantly considers the founders to be men of such wisdom that they could lay down rights for a population in a time that the couldn’t even have dreamed of, let alone predicted. Our modern equivalents to the founders can’t even fucking poll an election properly. They might have been wise men back then, but they were still human. We now have a standing army that largely negates the original militia intent and we have police and other agencies to protect the populace from itself. They couldn’t entirely forsee that – nor could they forsee a day when a firearm wasn’t the 2nd most powerful weapon that an army could possess, after the cannon.

  237. 237
    cathyx says:

    @JPL: Since the government is the biggest buyer of ammo, we taxpayers would be footing that bill.

  238. 238
    JMS says:

    Sooo… what are the good gun laws we can get behind? Are they on the state level? The federal level? What are the ones that are the most likely to be effective and the most likelky to pass? Look, I like to vent as much as the next person, and I am absolutely horrified, but do you remember all the feet to the fire holding on behalf of Obamacare, or ending DADT or other big changes? Those things didn’t just happen on their own.

    How can we expect everyone else to act if we don’t have a response beyond complaining about the NRA and wringing our hands? I want to know how we get some laws passed AND how we make it so socially unacceptable to let crazy people (or sociopathic ex hubsands, say) have guns that casual gun use goes the way of smoking. How do we do that?

  239. 239
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Provocative, but I don’t think so. It dovetails with the rest of the Constitution’s suspicion about executive power tending to be expressed through military force unless properly checked by various expressions of The People, such as (but not limited to) the Congress and the “militia.”

  240. 240
    Unsympathetic says:

    Instead of worrying about the NRA or gun laws, we should be pumping millions into mental health services. Even if .001% of psychotic teens will shoot up a mini-mall, if one incident is averted that’s 20 lives saved. And countless other teens with horrible stories who could be given tools to lead productive lives – who today thanks to Rethuglicans – are at best unemployable higher than a Red Robin waiter and at worst are homeless.. for which we all support anyway.

    Why can’t we as a nation have the conversation about “how horrible that third grader’s life is?” No, everyone is NOT a beautiful snowflake, and that kid probably will NOT figure it out eventually if we just leave him alone!

    Mental illness is not at all hard to see — we just as a nation don’t want to.

  241. 241
    MikeJ says:

    @cathyx: Government purchases don’t pay taxes. And even if they did, the money would go right back into the treasury so it would be a wash.

  242. 242

    @JPL:

    As someone said upthread, there is nothing in the Constitution about ammo. Tax the fucking ammo! Make it almost impossible to buy. You can keep your gun in your cold dead hands but we ain’t going to let you have the fucking ammo to put in those assault rifles.

  243. 243
    mclaren says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    I’m so tired of hearing, reading, watching about the suffering and death of innocent people because irrational profiteers have an outsized voice in OUR society.

    Sorry, buckaroo, that’s not why America has so many of these insane shooting rampages.

    America has these insane shooting rampages because America is a sick twisted society that worships torment and death and despise pleasure and hates and fears the human body.

    In America, anything that makes you feel good is bad, while anything that makes you feel bad is good. Murdering innocent people makes people feel very very very bad, so your Americano dotes on the murder of innocents. Nothing makes an Americano feel as delighted as hearing about the murder of innocent women or children.

    In America, the depraved motto “No pain, no gain!” holds sway. In America, our movies are filled with torture porn to which American audiences respond with delight — but show a picture of a naked breast at the Superbowl for 10 seconds, and your Americano explodes with outrage.

    America is a sick degenerate ultraviolent culture that worships death and suffering. Think of your Americano as an Aztec: the slaughter of innocents fills him with delight. Americans make jokes about prison rape, and watch torture-porn movies like Hostel and Saw III with rapturous joy.

    Americans are born bully-worshipers, cowards all, trained from birth to adore torture and despise sexuality. Nothing brings your Americano to his feet spontaneously reciting the pledge of allegiance like the sight of a strapping 250-pound musclebound man beating up a crippled child…unless it’s the spectacle of a crazed gunman going on a shooting spree.

    If we banned guns, America would still qualify as the most violent nation on earth. America exceeds all other cultures in savage sadistic violence even in knife deaths, in domestic violence, in bar fights, you name it…America’s lust for violence and adoration of torment and suffering and death is well known, and this sick depraved country has a centuries-long history of mindless genocide and slaughter. Americans raped and tortured and murdered their way across the continent, destroying native American indians wherever they found them: when American ran out of native American indians to torture and slaughter, we invaded the Philippines and tortured and slaughtered our way through the Filipinos.

    Within the first year of the war, news of atrocities by U.S. forces—the torching of villages, the killing of prisoners—began to appear in American newspapers. Although the U.S. military censored outgoing cables, stories crossed the Pacific through the mail, which wasn’t censored. Soldiers, in their letters home, wrote about extreme violence against Filipinos, alongside complaints about the weather, the food, and their officers; and some of these letters were published in home-town newspapers. A letter by A. F. Miller, of the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment, published in the Omaha World-Herald in May, 1900, told of how Miller’s unit uncovered hidden weapons by subjecting a prisoner to what he and others called the “water cure.” “Now, this is the way we give them the water cure,” he explained. “Lay them on their backs, a man standing on each hand and each foot, then put a round stick in the mouth and pour a pail of water in the mouth and nose, and if they don’t give up pour in another pail. They swell up like toads. I’ll tell you it is a terrible torture.”

    Source: “The Water Cure,” The New Yorker, 25 February 2008.

    And when Americans ran out of Filipinos to torture and murder, we moved on to Germans in WW I, then WW II, then the Korean War, Vietnam, and on and on and on.

    American history is a tapestry of genocide and mass rape and torture. Per capita, America murdered more native American indians in proportion to our population than the Nazis murdered Jews in Germany in the 1930s, or Pol Pot murdered Cambodians in the 1970s.

    The solution isn’t gun control. The solution is to get rid of this miserable shitstain on world civilization misnamed “American society.” There’s a strong argument to be made that America should be treated like Carthage: its population wiped out, every dog and cat killed, all the fields sowed with salt, all the wells poisoned. Personally I’m non-violent so I can’t advocate that kind of action. But you can bet there are plenty of people out there looking at this miserable country with disgust and disbelief who aren’t non-violent, and Americans would do well to contemplate that fact and change their behavior toot suite.

    This shithole of a country had better pray there’s no such thing as karma. Because if there is, there will be a holocaust visited upon America (I know not from where; perhaps a pandemic, perhaps mass starvation caused by global warming or peak warming; perhaps Americans will fall upon each other like rabid dogs and tear themselves apart from sheer manic bloodlust) such as has never been seen before on this earth.

  244. 244
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Thanks so much … but thanks mostly for loving your daughter.

    @gbear: Let’s do this … how do we start?

  245. 245
    Yutsano says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The history of the Second Amendment is fascinating, especially the initial influence from English law. Our world might be quite different if we had the longer verbiage, but they were worried that wouldn’t fly in some states.

  246. 246
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @👽 Martin: IANAL but I’ve read a lot of 18th-century writings in English on liberty and the people, and I think everything you’ve described rings true as a description of that era.

  247. 247
    WereBear says:

    It’s probably far better to concentrate on mental health services.

    Mass murderers are, almost without exception, paranoid loners with low social skills. These things don’t come out of nowhere, do they? John List was an accountant who made sure his children went to church, but he had no people skills, had trouble keeping a job, and such issues led to the financial crisis which then led to him murdering his whole family.

    There’s always flags with these things. It’s just that we have hardly any mental health system for the people who need it the most; if anyone doesn’t want to admit they have a problem, nothing happens. That’s an even bigger problem than too many guns.

  248. 248
    Raven says:

    @mclaren: Anything you can use to promote YOUR fucking agenda right? Even the blood of the kids. You fucking ghoul.

  249. 249
    Ben Franklin says:

    @WereBear:

    That’s an even bigger problem than too many guns.

    The truth of this can’t be exaggerated.

  250. 250
    Suzanne says:

    I feel destroyed tonight. God. Yesterday at work, one of my coworkers found out that his brother was killed in a plane crash. Then this today. We all drank in the office today.

    This dumbass broad I went to high school with (who barely graduated) posted a whole NRA-ful rant yesterday. Would it be bad form to tell her to fuck herself?

  251. 251
    beltane says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: It’s a scary thought that such mentally diseased people are gun owners.By definition, anyone who thinks guns belong in schools is too fucking stupid to own any weapon more lethal than a roll of toilet paper.

  252. 252
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    Instead of worrying about the NRA or gun laws, we should be pumping millions into mental health services.

    I don’t know about this, honestly. I mean, yes, there should be a much better set of mental health services generally available, but even then a lot of people (especially poor and otherwise disadvantaged ones) are going to slip through the cracks and be able to lash out violently. And IMHO it’s always going to be easier to control guns (as hard as that is) than to control unwell people.

  253. 253
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WereBear: OK, but how do you figure out who these people are in order to act preemptively? And who has the power to see that they’re carefully watched? It’s not like mental institutions have a sterling record of being used only for the side of goodness and light.

  254. 254
    virginia says:

    You can bet that the White House will be getting a flood of email and phone calls saying enough with this “today is not the day” bullshit that we’ve been hearing time and time again. I know I wrote our President, whom I greatly respect, and said, Dr. Mr. Pres. — YOU are the only one who can begin this conversation — Do it! Today is absolutely the day. The failure of national leadership to address this issue needs to be a top priority. It’s not surprising that no one wants to really touch it but it is disgraceful.

  255. 255
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @MikeBoyScout: I hope if there are laws to deal with this insane arms race, people will re-elect those who propose those laws, instead of having them twist in the wind. It is time to publicly declare the NRA an public nuisance.

  256. 256
    El Cid says:

    Again, we hate teachers because they are lazy moochers taking money from the government and failing our kids and so we want to fire more and make them work harder and cut their pay and take their pensions and benefits and unions away, but we do want them carrying around firearms at all times so that they can shoot some potential attacker and protect our children.

  257. 257
    Sterling says:

    The news is reporting that the shooter’s handguns belonged to his mother. So a better licensing system wouldn’t have helped much. However, if we had prohibitions on handgun ownership then she and the children might still be alive.

    The sad part is that even in a blue state like Connecticut, you are not going to see any movement to get rid of handguns. Just too many people here who love them.

  258. 258
    El Cid says:

    @mclaren:

    There’s a strong argument to be made that America should be treated like Carthage: its population wiped out, every dog and cat killed, all the fields sowed with salt, all the wells poisoned.

    Yeah, but it’s really hard to pass bills like that, and there isn’t a lot of model legislation laying around, and the lobby for that’s pretty underfunded.

  259. 259
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Suzanne:

    Would it be bad form to tell her to fuck herself?

    Probably … but you need to take into consideration she might enjoy that.

  260. 260
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Sorry I didn’t say how sorry I am … really. You have had a truly shitty weekend so far.

  261. 261
    Paul says:

    @El Cid:

    Thank you! On a sad day like today, you gave me something to laugh about. Hilarius!

  262. 262
    gbear says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: I went to the Balloon Juice store and followed it back to CafePress. If you click on stickers, there is a link for buttons. If you go to the bottom of that page, the last thing is a link to design your own button. I’m playing around with designs right now.

  263. 263

    […] ” As we all know about the tragedy in Connecticut by now the White House is declaring that this isn’t the time to talk about gun control. Many liberals beg to differ. […]

  264. 264
    Gex says:

    The God’s honest truth is that wage stagnation, job insecurity, and the 1% who need to squeeze us ever more for every penny they can. It stresses people, it makes them angry, it makes them competitive instead of cooperative, and it leads people to snap.

    All of it. The need to feel manly when you have to work too many shit jobs to support your family or you lost your desk job and are delivering pizzas. Being so put upon by the system that you need to have some sort of feeling of power. Having so few resources and a social safety net that fills in fewer and fewer holes.

    No wonder GOP and the NRA are married. One provides the conditions to make deranged gunmen. The other makes sure those guys have maximal weaponry. One benefits politically from fear, the other makes money from it. And as they stir up the fear, it feeds right back into this system.

    I’m too fucking sad to deal with this. I hate us right now.

  265. 265
    Keith G says:

    @WereBear:

    Mass murderers are, almost without exception, paranoid loners with low social skills. These things don’t come out of nowhere, do they?

    Yeah that’s it. Lets mail out a 5 point check list to all households and encourage them to be very vigilant.

    What do they say at train stations? “See it. Report it.”

    Fun times, mate.

    Guns are the issue, in that certain guns make killing numbers of humans very easy. If a polity can determine what is a “street legal” auto, I am thinking that the same polity can determine what is a street legal gun.

    It will take a few more election cycles and at least a few more mass casualty shootings, but it can be done.

    A free society can not prevent such things, but at least we can make it very hard for one person to kill groups of folks with gun fire.

    Working on better mental health support is it’s own good thing which we should do. But unless we are willing to be very personally intrusive in examining problematic behavior, I do not see this as the best way to combat mass violence. We have already surrendered too many rights over the last decade.

  266. 266
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Unsympathetic: It doesn’t have to be an either/ or: we can do both. I totally agree with what you’re saying about mental illness. My daughter in law, mother of our two precious grandsons, is bipolar schizophrenic, and and is receiving adequate care … and has expressed to me her happiness about moving to this state where she can purchase a gun, despite her mental illness. (Me: “But why would you want to purchase a gun?” DIL: “So I can kill my family.” ME: “But why would you do that?” DIL: “Because I have to kill myself … and my children and husband could never live without me.”) Trust me .. we are so dealing with this, including showing her photo to every gun dealer within 200 miles. But it would really, really help if we had real gun regulation laws (like NOT SELLING FUCKING GUNS TO FUCKING SCHIZOPHRENIICS). Sorry … sorry. Every time I think that this is allowed in this country/state, I start to lose it.

  267. 267
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Ash: Short answer: yes. Incidence of mental illness in us is higher than, say, Scandinavian or Japan. Although there are differences in screening and reporting.

  268. 268
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @gbear: Ha! Me too .. but I’m an idiot with this stuff. Hope you’re doing better than I have been.

  269. 269
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @gbear: BTW – put me in for 25 or 30 dollars. Write Betty Cracker for my email address… if she still had it? Please, Bets?

  270. 270
    moderateindy says:

    Actually the 2nd amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, not just guns. People could own any arms including cannons and such back in the day.
    So the fact is, we already don’t follow the second amendment. And I don’t really think there is anyone out there that thinks all “arms” i.e. weapons should be available to everyone. An RPG could be considered arms as well as Anthrax, unless you advocate that citizens have a right to bear these arms then you don’t believe in the second amendment. You see everyone believes in “arms/ gun control” they just draw the line at different places in the sand.
    Honestly, when it comes to gun control I think it’s like the war on drugs. Our culture is such that you won’t ever get rid of guns, the cat’s already out of the bag, so to say. Trying to ban them won’t work. Just like we can’t ever stop people from wanting drugs. That doesn’t mean we can’t have reasonable regulations around the issue.
    And anyone that thinks that conceal carry is the solution is deluded. The chance that in a middle of a massacre, anyone would be level-headed enough to calmly pull out their weapon and hit a moving target that is firing back at them is living in a fantasy. You are way more likely to kill a bystander, not to mention become a target yourself of a gun wielding maniac. That doesn’t even get into what happens if everybody is armed, and suddenly you become the target of some other person with a weapon that shoots at you because in a panic situation they have no idea who is the good guy or the bad guy, Friendly fire incidents happen all the time to soldiers who actually are trained. That doesn’t even consider the scenario of what happens when the cops show up and there are multiple people with guns blazing.

  271. 271
    gbear says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: I came up with something I liked and ordered 30 mini-buttons. Can’t afford more right now and I want to see how they look. They probably won’t arrive until after Christmas.

  272. 272
    WereBear says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m not looking for a punitive approach.

    Last century, in some places, the approach was that people who had mental problems were given a rest; literally, they got to have the pressure taken off.

    Do we have that now, for anyone but the very rich? People work two jobs and try to juggle child care and are one bad moment away from nothing… wandering the street begging for food.

    Addressing that would cost very little by comparison… and do a world of good. It’s a simple fact that stress increases mental disorders.

    Relieving the stress should do the opposite.

  273. 273
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @debbie:

    Does anyone know of a good source to learn what, in their own words, the Framers really thought about the 2nd amendment and what their actual intent was?

    The precedent was the English Bill of Rights, a century earlier, and the state constitutions that echoed it but removed the stipulation that it only applied to Protestants.

    I see it as a committee-room fudge between two different interpretations — the Virginia reading, of bottom-up self-organised militias, and the New York reading, of top-down state-organised militias. (A difference still evident in the two states’ constitutions today.) It is the one amendment in the Bill of Rights that is syntactically a mess, because it’s trying to satisfy both at once.

  274. 274
    debbie says:

    I’m sure you’ve all moved on by now, but thanks for the information and link. It’s always seemed obvious to me it would never have occurred to the Framers to have to even protect an individual’s right to have a gun. How else were people supposed to get food and eat?

    Last night, I heard how scholarly legal experts determined that the Second Amendment did in fact apply to individual rights to bear arms. I don’t get that.

  275. 275
    El Cid says:

    I imagine that the Founding Fathers weren’t assuming that there would come a time that instead of being rare and expensive, guns would be so cheaply and widely available that too many people having too many of them would be such a problem.

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