Three 9/11’s a Year, Every Year

We are just a sick, sick society when it comes to our perverse love affair with guns:

However, the figures themselves are astounding for Brits used to around 600 murders per year. In 2010 – the latest year for which detailed statistics are available – there were 12,996 murders in the US. Of those, 8,775 were caused by firearms.

The FBI crime statistics are based on reports to FBI bureau and local law enforcement. The figures are not complete – there are no stats for Florida on firearm murders and the data for Illinois is “incomplete”. But even so it provides a detailed picture of attacks by state.

When we were hit on 9/11 and 3,000 people were killed, we then spent a decade and trillions of dollars fighting ill-fated wars. How many of you still take your fucking shoes off at an airport because of ONE fucking shoebomber attempt? Yet every year, we have the equivalent of three 9/11’s due to gun violence, and our response is to let the Assault Weapons Ban lapse and then underfund mental health care and can’t even spend enough money to computerize records so the background check to purchase firearms. I’m used to Republican stupidity and obstructionism (and there are plenty of Dems on the wrong side of the gun debate- JOHN DINGELL, I AM LOOKING AT YOU), but other than the drug war, find me a way our congress and political leadership have failed us more than this.

If there was any justice in the world, Wayne LaPierre would choke to death on filet mignon at the next NRA fundraiser.

141 replies
  1. 1
    mclaren says:

    It’s not just guns. One third of all American women who enter the women get raped by other soldiers. That is true in no other society on earth. America leads the world in prison rape. And we joke about it. We think it’s funny. HAW HAW HAW! Giggle giggle, snicker snicker.

    America leads the world in the production of torture porn, ultraviolent films like Saw and Hostel so sadistic and so brutal that hyperviolent U.S. films and video games must be edited to remove much of the violence before they can be viewed by other countries.

    America is a sick twisted culture, but not just because of its degraded warped love of guns. America is a sick twisted culture before it worships pain and adores suffering and dotes on torture, and despises joy and hates pleasure and fears and detests the human body.

  2. 2
    scottinnj says:

    Once again, The Onion is the only paper that gets it.

    Right To Own Handheld Device That Shoots Deadly Metal Pellets At High Speed Worth All Of This

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....-me,30742/

  3. 3
    SuperHrefna says:

    We’ve got to keep up the pressure on this one: harness people’s horror at the Sandy Hook massacre and get some real regulation for gun owners.

    This is America’s own Dunblane and something just has to change after this. I kind of doubt America would go for Britain’s solution to the mass slaughter of tiny children at school (Banning guns. All of them. Full stop.) But there just has to be some serious regulation of gun ownership. At the very least you shouldn’t be able to get a gun license until you have completed gun safety classes, got a clean bill of mental health from the doctor & reached a certain level of competency. We don’t let people have a driver’s license until they have passed tests on theory & practice and proven themselves to be physically fit to drive a car (not blind, not epileptic, etc) why do we let people have gun licenses when they are crazy & don’t know how to safely shoot & store weaponry?

    I’m just sick at heart for everyone involved in this nightmare, all of those shot at and every one who loves & loved them. Rest in peace little ones, I just want this disaster to have some meaning, to make a better world, one where 5 year olds can go to school without being shot to death. Everyone is devastated. But being devastated isn’t enough if this is just going to keep happening over & over again.

  4. 4
    Ash says:

    Please don’t say “we,” the majority of us either detest guns or simply tolerate them.

  5. 5
    redshirt says:

    The saddest part for me is all this madness is just about money – gun sales. A lobbying group (NRA) has proved so successful that we no longer can discuss this issue at the national level.

    But then, that’s the issue with global warming too, and arguably that will kill even more people than guns. Oh well! As long as Fat Cats are making money right now…

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Raven says:

    @mclaren: And you are a sick fucking ghoul.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    We have a problem with the deficit.. TAX the AMMO …$5000.00 here and there can really help and the second amendment is safe and secure… Guns don’t kill people, ammo does..

  9. 9
    powerb says:

    ” there are no stats for Florida on firearm murders and the data for Illinois is “incomplete” ”

    What in the name of fuck?

    I don’t know what to say.

  10. 10
    cathyx says:

    This is nothing that more guns can’t solve.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    The old mantra then criminals will be the only ones that own guns doesn’t apply because criminals don’t execute kindergarten students. Tax the ammo..then then the second amendment doesn’t apply.

  12. 12
    Alison says:

    Apologies if this has been discussed in previous threads, but I haven’t been able to deal with reading much till now. So of course those of us with brains and hearts and souls want to see some fucking gun control legislation happen, some stronger regulations and such. But that would require Congress to 1) not be shit-their-pants afraid of the NRA and 2) actually be able to do fucking anything at all.

    So I’m curious, because I honestly don’t know how it all works – is there anything along these lines Obama can do on his own? I see people saying “Obama needs to do something” etc etc, but I feel like this is another situation where there just isn’t much power vested in the presidency, where he’s limited in what he can do all on his own…right? Or are there executive options that would actually have an impact and not require the snakepit of mendacious inertia known as Congress to lift a finger…?

  13. 13

    @SuperHrefna:

    My Dad died the same day as Dunblane, I will never forget my Mum saying “your Dad is carrying the souls of those children to heaven with him” Dunblane resulted in a total ban of hand guns in the UK and serious restrictions on rifles (can only be kept in Gun Clubs). Last year there were 39 deaths due to guns in the UK in a population of 70 million. In the US there are that many gun deaths A DAY.

  14. 14
    Shakespeare says:

    How about a pile of 5-year-old corpses at the doorstep of NRA headquarters?

  15. 15
    Heliopause says:

    If there was any justice in the world, Wayne LaPierre would choke to death on filet mignon at the next NRA fundraiser.

    If I may disagree, dying a quick, accidental death is not just. This bag of maggots should be in prison, prosecute him under RICO.

  16. 16
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Cole,
    You’re on to something here. And you can do something about it.

    Maybe you or one of our front pagers can post a weekly update on gun violence?

    I posted on this topic over at the GOS.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....il-to-Wage

    If we’re going to win this thing, we need to start to fight … together.

    Nobody (not even NRA wingnuts) want their children executed in their schools.

  17. 17

    I do not mean to diminish what happened today. But eight times as many children have died in drone attacks.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/.....index.html

    Perhaps this will help us empathize.

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    Note, though, that some of this is just that we’re murderous people. Our rate of non-gun murders (about one per 73,000 people) is higher than the total murder rate in Britain (about one per 86,000 people). I don’t think the guns are helping, and it would be great if we could get rid of a lot of them, but there’s something beyond availability of weapons that’s driving our higher murder rate.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Last year there were 39 deaths due to guns in the UK in a population of 70 million.

    And while people do get stabbed, you don’t see 26 people stabbed to death in less than five minutes by one person.

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    It’s all part of the same problem, actually.

    Gun nuts are, let’s face it, nuts. If you are going to get all screaming and paranoid about some background checks and other reasonable precautions; if you think anyone with a mental disorder is simply a sissy who should “get over it,” and are callous enough to disregard the death of five year olds when they get in the way of your “principles”…

    then you might be a Republican. And that’s a problem.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    @Doc Sportello: You be happy if the planes had had pilots on board?

    What a fucking moron.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    Don’t we also have more people locked up per capita than any other country? Mostly for so-called victimless crimes (i.e., possession of small quantities of drugs).

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @Heliopause: If the FSM is inclined to grant this bag of maggots a quick, accidental death at least let it be via self-inflicted gunshot wound. Filet mignon is much too good for the likes of him.

  24. 24
    smith says:

    @MikeJ:

    Exactly.

    There were 22 children stabbed in a Chinese school today by a madman. However, since it was a knife and not a gun, they all lived and are recovering (traumatized, but at least they are alive).

    And the NRA and especially the Gun Owners of America can go fuck themselves ten times over.

  25. 25
    Felinious Wench says:

    My gun rights freak friend (has Converse with the 2nd Amendment printed on them) has been very silent today.

    He has twin girls…age 6.

  26. 26
    redshirt says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Of course not! That’s why you should homeschool your kids. They’re not safe in “Public” (read, Godless) schools.

  27. 27

    @MikeJ: Exactly. Wait, no.

  28. 28
    redshirt says:

    @Mike in NC: Yes. Our incarceration rate is the equal – literally – of Stalinst USSR. We lead the world today! USA! USA! Land of the Free!

  29. 29
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I’m so sorry about your father. Dunblane was a horrible day for all of us, but especially bad for your family :-(

    Having lived in America half my life I get why Americans are full of self loathing at times like this, but as Dunblane shows us this ISN’T just an American problem. It’s a human problem, but it’s compounded by some weird American politics. The American culture war has led to the crazy situation where saying that Guns Kill People is a controversial statement. Of COURSE guns kill people, that is what the vast majority of them (barring air guns & hunting rifles) are designed to do. There was another crazed attack by an adult on schoolchildren today – in China. By a man wielding a knife. He injured 22 kids but he didn’t kill even one of them because a knife is not as deadly as a gun.

    Banning or properly regulating guns won’t stop humanity being vicious and/or insane but it will lessen the consequences of the actions of those vicious, insane people. It has to get done. And in the memory of those little kids we have to make sure that it GETS DONE.

  30. 30
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Yup. My brother-in-law did himself in with a 357 14 weeks ago. If he hadn’t had an arsenal in the house we might have has an opportunity to intervene. The same house, by the way, where his father did the same thing 8 years earlier.
    Oh, and let’s talk about another brother-in-law who accidentally shot his friend to death at his kitchen table in 2008. OOPS! But they all still like guns. Sick.

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @Shakespeare: @Heliopause: @beltane: Do you all read what you wrote? You all are giving perfect examples of how violent this country has become in it’s way of thinking and talking.

  32. 32
    freelancer says:

    @Doc Sportello:

    These were not children living in a country where the US has an active military presence and is waging a war. There is a distinction between unintended collateral damage and a senseless act of violence perpetrated by a gunman with intent to do deliberate harm to innocent children. But, no. DROOOOOOOONESSSSSS!

  33. 33
    JWL says:

    The democratic party withdrew its support from gun control advocacy so long ago that it no longer can no longer react on the issue, much less speak with a unified voice, even on this terrible day. It hasn’t been an issue with the democratic party for decades. The president’s remarks today were appropriate, to be sure. But for all practical purposes, when the need for political action is paramount, his remarks are no more relevant than an undertaker’s condolence to the bereaved.

  34. 34
    matt says:

    I disagree. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of children and lone gunmen.

  35. 35
    PhoenixRising says:

    I will not be first to suggest the 12/14 Parents Legal Defense Fund, I hope.

    Because if my kid had been sacrificed on the altar of the only amendment that isn’t subject to reasonable regulation, I’d be on the way to NRA HQ to burn shit down. And no one would blame me.

    Sick, sad and shameful that we can’t do better than “it’s not the time”, on this day of tragedy. Why can’t the President call Congress back, lock them in the chamber and provide food and water in exchange for substantive proposals to keep public spaces free of assault weapons?

    They can have all the muzzle loaders and flintlocks that state militias want to regulate. Everything else is on the table.

  36. 36

    @smith:

    And yet Hannity was screeching today that 22 children were murdered by a madman wielding a knife in China. He was telling his listeners totally false information and no one will call him on it.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @smith: When my son was over today he saw his mom come close to breaking the tv over Clint van asshole on nbc bring that up and saying it was a culture of violence worldwide. He at 34 heard more profanity from my mouth then he ever heard and he changed the channel and gave me hugs..
    sorry for the caps…but TAX THE AMMO .. we can do this is Scalia can do nothing…

  38. 38

    Approximately 13K in murders. And also 18K in alcohol-related vehicular deaths.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....ted_States

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: What has been making all the gun nuts so paranoid? Could it be a certain “news” channel, perhaps?

  40. 40
    redshirt says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: So sad. My condolences to your family.

    This is a key point in the problem: Many people get depressed from time to time in a way they would not describe as clinical or permanent. Others do get repeatedly depressed. Many people get more depressed on alcohol, and go to dark places in their mind.

    Having a gun in the house at these times or not can be the difference of hundreds of American lives a year. And that’s just the suicide case. The same could be said of every single legitimately accidental gun death.

    Guns suck.

  41. 41
    Keith says:

    Well said, sir. On the other hand, I have a suspicion that this event may be the last straw, if for no other reason that the media is going to have a difficult time trying to appear balanced.

  42. 42
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    This sort of thing knocks you snarkless.

    Can I just say that I feel for you guys, and I hope you all see better days.

    We had ours at Port Arthur nearly 20 years ago. You seem to have yours every other week.

    That said, like all the previous massacres, this one will be a historical curiosity by next week. Except of course for those who lost friends and family.

  43. 43
    redshirt says:

    @JPL: I like the “tax the ammo” strategy on the surface, but then I think: Doesn’t that mean that only rich people will have ammo? And I’m not sure I like that as a concept at all.

  44. 44
    Montysano says:

    @mclaren:

    America is a sick twisted culture

    QFT.

    Yes, this is about guns, and yes, I’d be fine with aggressive new gun legislation tomorrow, and yes, it’s a mental health issue. But I’m afraid it goes a lot deeper than that, to the point where if only revolvers and single shot rifles were available, this shit would still happen. For chrissakes, a guy in China assaulted 20+ kids with a knife.

    As mclaren said, we’re a culture that worships violence, that sneers at empathy and compassion. What else would we expect?

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:
    This explains why people who live in a house with guns are several times more likely to die of gunshot wounds than ones who don’t have guns in the house: suicide, accidents, and the ease of a domestic argument escalating to murder. It’s all those incidents that take one and two lives that cause the real death toll from guns, not the occasional spectacular mass shooting.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: If hell exists it would not have a deep enough, hot enough pit to properly contain the diseased souls of Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and their stable of worthless whores.

  47. 47
    smith says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Hannity is an a**wipe. I doubt he’ll correct himself either. Wingnuts never do.

    @JPL:

    I have sworn and raged more today than I have in months. It is just beyond belief.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    I’ve already heard that it was unfortunate that the gunman committed suicide rather than dying by police fire and I asked what matters what bullet killed him..
    Can someone explain that talking point to me.. a bullet is a bullet ..

  49. 49
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t think of Americans as a murderous people so much as a stressed, frightened people. (This is coming from someone who has divided her life 1/2 and 1/2 between the US & the UK, BTW). On average, life is just *easier* in the UK than it is in the US. Sure, it sucks if you get sick, but you don’t worry about bankruptcy or affording medical care. There isn’t a widespread culture of fear with the news media constantly touting the new threat to your life & limb. Lots of people in the UK have an inadequate diet but almost everyone gets at least some food every day. There isn’t a proper safety net in the US so most people are rightly terrified at the prospect of falling.

    Fear & stress make people lash out like underfed rats in an overcrowded cage. We need to work on this if we want to make life in the US better for everyone.

  50. 50
    TOP123 says:

    <blockquote
    If there was any justice in the world, Wayne LaPierre would choke to death on filet mignon at the next NRA fundraiser.

    It may be wrong to wish ill on anyone, but I’ve certainly thought at least once this day that Wayne LaPierre deserves nothing more than to be in the next mall, movie theatre, school… but then there would be others.

    T in SW Conn.

  51. 51
    jwb says:

    And here is Rupert Murdoch:

    Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.

    Either a change of heart or he’s an even bigger asshole than I had imagined.

  52. 52
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Remember in the James Bond movie where the bad guy gets the gun and tries to shoot Bond but is prevented because the gun has the ability to detect who is holding the pistol is not Bond?

    There are many ways in which and which we can skin this cat.

    How about Gun & Ammo companies be required to insure society for Eleventy Billion Dollars for every death caused by a firearm?

    You think that if in 2012 the arms dealers had to pay the cost of their industry they would not figure out how to minimize the cost?

  53. 53
    Calouste says:

    39 murders by firearm in the UK last year. 8,775 murders by firearm in the US. Corrected for population, that is a difference of a factor of 40. Who’s saying stricter gun laws don’t work?

    That’s not counting suicides and accidents. And as pointed out above, the non-firearm murders per population are actually higher in the US than in the UK.

  54. 54
    JasonF says:

    It’s disgusting the way we fetishize guns in this country. I read today that Texans own 100 million guns. This was reported with pride. A gun is a tool. Imagine if somebody reported to you with pride that every man, woman, and child, from the youngest infant to the oldest centenarian owned, on average, four hammers. You’d think they were crazy. Taking pride in the number of pens, or forks, or USB drives in your state would be madness, because they are objects with no value outside of facilitating the ability to write a note or eat dinner or transport a computer file.

    But guns are somehow different. Guns are worshiped. They are idolized. People talk about how you’ll need to pry them from their cold dead hands. It’s nuts.

    Look — I appreciate the Second Amendment. I think it’s important. I think it’s valuable. But I feel the same way about the First Amendment, and if I knew someone who was constantly going on about how many typewriters he owns and about the conspiracies to take away his typewriters, and how if things get too bad, he’s going to use his typewriters to overthrow the government, I’d wonder what the hell was wrong with him. Yet we hear that sort of talk from gun enthusiasts all the time and half the country thinks it’s perfectly normal.

    It’s not perfectly normal. It’s bizarre and obsessive and strange.

    And it saddens me because I think there’s nothing we can do about it. And it saddens me to think about 3-D printing and realize that no matter what kind of laws we put in place regarding limits on magazine size or requiring background checks or licensing or what have you, here is the reality: by the end of the decade, anybody will be able to download a gun off a torrent site. Unless we figure out a way to change our culture quickly — mclaren nailed it in the first comment — things aren’t going to get any better any time soon.

  55. 55
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I own firearms. I was raised around them. I would have no objection to a 100% excise tax on firearms plus an additional 100% import tax on imported ones. Ammunition? Make it expensive, very expensive, and traceable.

    The Second Amendment doesn’t require that firearms and ammunition be cheap and I’d add that the words “well regulated militia” would seem to allow any sort of regulation that the government sees fit to impose on those putative militiamen who find it necessary to own semi-automatic firearms equipped with high capacity magazines.

  56. 56
    The Dangerman says:

    There are at least two hot button issues of the day where the battle is over and everyone might as well find a way to deal with it; one is abortion and the other is gun control. Abortion will never be eliminated; neither will guns. On both matters, the best that can be done is reasonable restrictions (i.e. assault weapons and high capacity clips bans), education, and protection (I find it interesting that the guns were the Mother’s and, presumably, didn’t have gun locks on them even though she probably knew that she had a whacked out son). Fighting for gun control is like pissing on a raging forest fire.

    All that can be done beyond those reasonable restrictions is hardening of targets (which, reportedly, is what was done by the Principal at the school recently, though obviously not hard enough), getting people into mental health that need it, and eliminating stressors like the economy (I read that the Father is a VP of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services; I’m sure he’s saved GE millions while ignoring the costs of those “savings”).

    ETA: I am not a gun owner and last fired a weapon over a decade ago (trap shooting).

  57. 57
    MikeInSewickley says:

    Yet again we rise up in righteous indignation over this act but all the real criminals (those are constantly making sure their “rights” are not violated) are lying in wait as this blows over.

    I’m old enough to have seen this so many times before. However, as soon as I heard who was killed, please forgive me, my first thought was “OK, this time it is different. If sympathy and the coming sight of near two dozen hearses in this small town in the next week doesn’t shake our country up, nothing will.”

    So what do I read next? That slimeball in a sea of puss, Bible thumping Huckabee saying it is because God has been taken out of our schools. That implies, you bastard, that these children were abandoned by a so called loving God because the government and their parents didn’t let them pray in school. Assholes like him are what made be become an atheist and, if one person tells me that God needed new angels, I will tell him or her to kill themselves so they can shepherd this young ones in heaven.

    This kind of shit coming so quickly also tells me that those who think this will finally allow for sensible gun control (whatever the hell that is) are dreaming. I truly fear for the future of this insane, batshit crazy country we have become.

  58. 58

    Why are there no stats for Florida on firearm murders? Is this some kind of wingnutty “ignorance is bliss” nonsense?

    Also, don’t forget accidental shootings. Like that dad who shot his kid in the head in the parking lot of Rigs Reloading Den.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    @redshirt: rich people and criminals who don’t execute little people… They could pass a law where the old fashion bullets for hunting are cheap but the other stuff not so much.. I’m thinking 500 to 10,000..
    As you can tell I’m not the most savvy on bullets.. They could tax guns to. I really don’t care if the Koch brothers are the only ones with guns and they can sleep with them.
    I just want them to become less prevalent.
    I don’t want to live in a society where everywhere you go there is a medal detector.

  60. 60
    Heliopause says:

    @cathyx:

    Uh, I quite explicitly advocated that he not meet a violent end.

  61. 61
    mclaren says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Note, though, that some of this is just that we’re murderous people. Our rate of non-gun murders (about one per 73,000 people) is higher than the total murder rate in Britain (about one per 86,000 people). I don’t think the guns are helping, and it would be great if we could get rid of a lot of them, but there’s something beyond availability of weapons that’s driving our higher murder rate.

    Exactamundo.

    Ban handguns, to be sure. Ban assault rifles. Sure. But that’s only a start. We need to stop making films that glorify mass murder and violence. We need to stop putting so many people in prison. We need to shut down school bullying that turns life into living hell for kids for year after year after unbearable year. We need to stop militarizing our society and glorifying violence as the solution to everything.

    Where the fuck do people think so many damaged hate-filled ultraviolent Americans come from? They get beaten by their parents, brutalized by sports, savaged by bullies, and eventually they turn into monsters of hate.

    Mike Lofgren talks about the studies linking early child abuse to conservative outlook and authoritarian personality development later in life in his classic article The Right-Wing Id Unzipped.

  62. 62
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    This has to be a people powered crusade, the Democrats are are still shell shocked from the NRA rampage on them back in 1994.
    I would like to think that this is the time for people to wake the fuck up. But I am not confident, and if this is the wake up call, for a national conversation, this will be a long marathon, and more blood will be spilled especially coming from the dead-enders in the gun-worship community.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Yup..
    Solve the deficit and make people think twice about whether this is how they want to spend their money…
    fu scalia..you can’t overturn this one.

  64. 64
    Lurker says:

    @JasonF:

    it saddens me to think about 3-D printing and realize that no matter what kind of laws we put in place regarding limits on magazine size or requiring background checks or licensing or what have you, here is the reality: by the end of the decade, anybody will be able to download a gun off a torrent site.

    Prop guns, maybe. I doubt we’ll see quality, functioning guns printed using metal on home printers by the end of this decade. Good, cheap home printers that can print good guns might take another ten or twenty years.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @Felinious Wench:
    He’ll get over it, soon enough.

    Lord, I’m missing my kid tonight. She’s at a sleepover and I could really use a hug.

  66. 66
    WereBear says:

    @beltane: For sheer numbers of people Ailes and company gleefully inflict terror upon, they could rival some of those despots of the last century.

    I think the key to why we never have “the gun conversation” is how it would expose the irrational, paranoid, fact-free world of the wingnut. They run from self-awareness like Dracula from sunlight.

  67. 67
    Calouste says:

    @JasonF:

    You can’t 3-D print working cartridges.

    I also doubt that by the end of the decade home-quality 3-D printers can create guns that can withstand being fired more than once, if even that.

  68. 68
    trollhattan says:

    @redshirt:

    Reloading would become REALLY popular and they’d keep on keepin’ on. Not saying it’s not worth a sh…try, but IMHO we need a national policy of careful regulation of gun sales and a Big Brother database of serial #s. As a start.

    The patchwork of state regulations is farcical.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @trollhattan: When I lost it earlier today my 34 year old son was the one that gave me a hug. No matter the age, hugs are good.

  70. 70

    @SuperHrefna:

    My sister and her husband are the equivalent of CNA’s in the UK, they have a fantastic life, two or three vacations a year (usually cruises or Turkey or Spain) constantly doing up their house (of which the mortgage is minimal), able to stash away money into savings to pay for those vacations. When she visits me over here she views me as the poor relation.

  71. 71
    mclaren says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    Having lived in America half my life I get why Americans are full of self loathing at times like this, but as Dunblane shows us this ISN’T just an American problem. It’s a human problem…

    This is just not true. Your statement is factually incorrect. It is flatly wrong. It directly contradicts observed reality.

    American per capita deaths by gun violence are way off the charts. Even in countries like Switzerland, where every household is required by law to have a gun, even in countries like Columbia, where there are huge numbers of guns per capita, these societies don’t have anywhere near the number of gun deaths per capita that America does.

    It’s true across the board. No other country on earth has anywhere near the per capita prison incarceration rates America does. No other country on earth engages in anywhere near as many foreign wars as America does. Over and over again, America stands out as wildly exceptional in our violence.

    Someone called me a “sick fucking ghoul” for pointing out these documented facts. Deny the statistical reality as you will; the statistics remain a fact, and the reality remains undeniable. This chart of America gun deaths per capita proves beyond a shadow of doubt that America is way way wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more violent as a society than any other developed nation on earth.

    The claim that “it’s just human nature” and “all other countries are like this” is a lie.

    It is FALSE.

    It is flatly provably untrue.

  72. 72
    piratedan says:

    sorry to be cynical, same pattern post Tucson, hope this will have a better footprint to make things happen, to regulate, tax, register. To stop treating folks as disposable and actually have R’s stop stripping mental health care from every budget.

    this is all so intertwined….

    we aren’t allowed to take care of own for fear that someone will skate by and freeload off of the system and while the folks above love setting us against each other like rats. All of that set aside against the fact that for the last 30 years, only one niche of folks are busy living the american dream and until some of that is restored to the rest of us, when people can stop feeling that they are running in place and the treadmill has been sped up.

  73. 73
    Mister Harvest says:

    @cathyx: Guns cannot fail us. We can only fail guns.

  74. 74
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JWL:

    The president’s remarks today were appropriate, to be sure. But for all practical purposes, when the need for political action is paramount, his remarks are no more relevant than an undertaker’s condolence to the bereaved.

    Okay then. Let’s change that.

  75. 75
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Yeah. When I go home to visit & tell people that the food pantry I operate twice a week has a special program for veterans & serving military their jaws drop in disbelief. It is unfathomable to them that veterans & serving military wouldn’t have enough to eat.

    Americans hear so much “We’re Number One!1!” propaganda & have so little exposure to foreign media that I don’t think most of them understand how low the standard of living is here compared to other first world nations.

  76. 76
    The Other Chuck says:

    @mclaren:

    American per capita deaths by gun violence are way off the charts. Even in countries like Switzerland, where every household is required by law to have a gun, even in countries like Columbia, where there are huge numbers of guns per capita, these societies don’t have anywhere near the number of gun deaths per capita that America does.

    I’d also like to point out to the Mike Huckabees of the world that Switzerland and well, pretty much the rest of Europe, is a far more atheist country too.

  77. 77
    amk says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    How about Gun & Ammo companies be required to insure society for Eleventy Billion Dollars for every death caused by a firearm?

    Excellent idea. Tweeted this suggestion along with this Cole’s piece.

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We can change that without touching the 2nd amendment…. TAX THE AMMO
    I really believe that going after the bullets might be the key.

    I thought the President was touching and was surprised he brought up the fact that now is the time to talk about guns and society.

  79. 79
    mclaren says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I’ll see your veterans and serving military using food pantries and raise you PhDs on food stamps.

    I was talking with a local group of Phds, most of whom now survive by writing grants because all the tenure track positions have been taken up by postgrads working for minimum wage, and two of ’em were on food stamps.

    Go America! Number one!

  80. 80
    Decrease Mather says:

    Note, though, that some of this is just that we’re murderous people. Our rate of non-gun murders (about one per 73,000 people) is higher than the total murder rate in Britain (about one per 86,000 people).

    Actually, that sounds like we have a pretty similar non-gun death rate to the Brits.

  81. 81
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    When she visits me over here she views me as the poor relation.

    But you’re the free relation. And doesn’t that make all the difference?

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Doc Sportello: Jesus. And you people wonder why no one listens to you?

  83. 83
    Shaun Appleby says:

    Perhaps it is time to see advocates of unrestricted gun ownership, corporate deregulation and limited government for what they are… Anarchists.

  84. 84

    @SuperHrefna: The very idea of military personnel on foodstamps should be a disgrace to this country but apparently it is okay. I have no idea why this has not got more press.

  85. 85
    Chet says:

    I still think we should adopt Mike Royko’s rewritten national anthem, from a column he wrote after Bobby Kennedy was killed in 1968.

    Oh, say can you see by the pawn shop’s dim light
    What a swell .38 with its pearl handle gleaming.
    In a gun catalog is a telescope sight;
    I’ll send for it quick, while the sirens are screaming.
    And the TV’s white glare, the shots ripping in air
    Give proof through the night that our guns are still there.
    Oh, don’t you ever try to take my guns away from me
    Because the right to shoot at you is what I mean by liberty.

  86. 86
    Felinious Wench says:

    @trollhattan:

    @Felinious Wench:
    He’ll get over it, soon enough.

    He will, but I won’t. My patience with the people around me who cling to their guns is gone now. Will cost me friends, but I’m done with being tolerant of their fetish.

    Sorry your kiddo isn’t with you. I get it completely. Husband is traveling, and my little guys and I are sleeping in our bed.

  87. 87
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: true but you people… really…really… that only diminishes your statement.

  88. 88
    Keith G says:

    Come on. Knock off the “sick and twisted culture” bull shit. Yeah we have a gun problem, but it can (and will) be mitigated. It’s gonna take some time, imagination, and a fair amount of party discipline, but this is doable.

    And again, we aren’t a sick culture.

    Remember, even our President, who was shedding tears today, has purposely had little to say about gun issues til 1) after the election and/or 2) a bunch a children got shot. I believe he is very sincere, but his timing is a bit off.

    That’s sorta on us as we did not require him to take a stand. It was a logical cost benefit decision. Sometimes the cost we get are not what we hope for, but it’s still on us.

    As we enlarge the coming Democratic majority, we need to make sane gun ownership legislation a priority. We have to hold politicians accountable. We have to be willing to say no to some candidates we might otherwise like. And we have to be cagey as we let Father Time remove a layer of gun NRA absolutists as we engage younger voters an win them over.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @smith:

    I have sworn and raged more today than I have in months.

    Literally (literally!) seconds before I read your comment, I said to someone that I had cried more today and used more bad language today that I didn’t even know I knew.

    Sorry to keep harping on this, but we all have to take this grief and rage and turn it into some kind of useful action. I’m fucking sick and tired of candlelight vigils and Teddy bears and notes written in uncertain childish printing and group hugs when nothing ever changes. I said earlier in another thread that I’m sensing a difference in the reaction vibe today. Let’s make it so.

  90. 90
    Helen says:

    I think the problem is men. Throughout history, it’s always men who have done the raping and robbing and pilaging and murdering. And their victims are mostly women and children and minorities. Let’s get rid of the men.

    It’s kinda like the rape problem. Every rape should also be a civil rights crime and therefore a federal crime. Let’s face it; rape victims are chosen because they are women.

    This is snark – but kinda not.

  91. 91
    SuperHrefna says:

    @mclaren: Yeah, but I didn’t say “all other countries are like this” did I? I said Americans aren’t uniquely murderous people – I said people become murderous when they live in unrelenting fear & stress. Which Americans do to a much greater extent than people in other first world countries.

    China is having a rash of violent attacks on large numbers of strangers too – they are also a people under huge stress. And their attacks aren’t as deadly because its HARDER TO GET A GUN IN CHINA. Guns are the problem here. And the culture war in America that has led to it being incredibly hard to get modern weaponry regulated properly.

  92. 92

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Ha! She views me as the idiot who is working in a country that doesn’t provide health insurance for its populace and quite merrily bankrupts its people thanks to health issues. She has told me on several occasions that this country “is evil, just truly evil”.

  93. 93
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Pentagon is trying to run wars on the cheap. It’s way easier to field a giant military force if you don’t pay them enough to feed their wives & children back home.

  94. 94
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: For emphasis I was going to add

    Edit, Oh and I neglected to again add…..Fuck this “Sick Culture” bull shit.

    That is so intellectually lazy and just passing the buck.

    But WP had other plans..FYWP

  95. 95
    JPL says:

    @Keith G: I had CBS when the President spoke and before hand Schieffer said the pres would not mention gun control and afterwards, Schieffer was fawning over the President’s statement. Earlier Carney had said now is not the time so a little statement meant a lot to msm…
    TAX the AMMO.. f.u Scalia

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: This. It changes when the people who want fewer, better-regulated guns reliably outvote the people who want more, worse-regulated guns. Democrats as a group didn’t give up on guns for spite, they gave up because pro-gun voters started voting for the other guys and made them lose election after election after election. And it’s been baked into the political cake for a long time now: let’s not forget that a big proportion of the initial appeal of Howard Dean 2004 was that he had an A rating from the NRA and could thus credibly appeal to rural and working-class voters.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    America leads the world in the production of torture porn, ultraviolent films like Saw and Hostel so sadistic and so brutal that hyperviolent U.S. films and video games must be edited to remove much of the violence before they can be viewed by other countries.

    Never heard of Takashi Miike, Dario Argento, or Chan-woo Park, have we?

    Sorry, contrary to what you seem to think, Americans by no means have a monopoly on screen violence. In fact, films by those directors have often been censored for American audiences because they’re too extreme for our sensibilities.

    So for me the question is not “why do we make such violent movies?” It’s “why do we decide that violent movies are reflective of reality when other countries can make movies that are even more violent and still view them as fantasy?”

  98. 98
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jwb:

    Does Murdoch not realize that he is uniquely positioned to guide that conversation among the politicians he seemingly deplores? Fucker.

  99. 99
    Valdivia says:

    As an immigrant here count me as someone who never got the gun culture/obsession of my adoptive country. Just totally baffles me.

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    We do need some tighter laws on gun sales, especially the lax person to person sale that most states don’t require a background check. And the biggest hole in the law is the goddam gun shows, where you can trade and swap military style weapons, no questions asked. Data bases need updating and fully funded to id those whose should not own a gun. The assault gun ban would be a sane start, as well as banning 50 cal sniper rifles where you can kill someone a mile away.

    I am for all of that and more, but won’t delude myself into thinking it will be corrected any time soon. We have roughly 30 percent of this country who sit around all day dreaming about revolution and anarchy, that carry hate around for those not like them like Mary with the typhoid. It is big business, and there are more guns than people out in the populace. 300 mil plus.

    I do have a theory about these mass shootings though, that is kind of off the wall, but I think it is valid. Like when was the first public mass shooting in this country like the ones we get now, that are getting to be every couple of months? It was in 1966 and the U of Texas sniper. Roughly a decade from when teevee was invented and in most households. Now we have everything blaring on cable news and the internet, and round the clock opportunity to become famous, or infamous.

    And anyone with the forethought to plan one of these killing sprees, I think likely wants to be known as doing something special, in their sick minds killing a bunch of people. There are other factors for sure, but why go through the trouble of putting together the complex logistics of a mass killing, unless you want the world to know and that becomes part of the motivation. Too easily Getting the weapons to do it, is part of the problem, as is personal psychology. But most folks who want to check out, just off themselves without the fanfare.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Helen: Plus, you know who killed Jesus? That’s right, men. (That’s a key rhetorical move in a wry pro-feminist poem from the 17th century, Aemelia Lanyer’s _Salve Deus Rex Iudaeorum_.)

  102. 102
    Trakker says:

    I’m not ashamed to say this 67 old man broke down and bawled like a kid when I heard about all those kids shot to death this morning – and I suspect I’ll bawl again when I see pictures of 20 little coffins lowered into the ground next week.

    Then came the news that my daughter gave birth to a son this afternoon.

  103. 103
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Trakker: Congratulations Trakker! I’m glad something good happened on this terrible, horrible no-good day.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Valdivia:

    And as a native-born American, count me as someone who never got the gun culture/obsession of my mother country. Just totally baffles me too.

  105. 105
    redshirt says:

    @mclaren: I’ve dug your posts in this thread. Preach it man! We are a literal death culture, and I’m not even sure how we got here. But we’ve got to collectively snap out of it or some serious bad shit is gonna go down.

  106. 106
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: And, to piggyback on this, the whole question of what it means to “glorify” violence is exceptionally difficult. What if the film/novel/artwork/text’s point is that murderous violence is repugnant? One person’s glorification is another’s exposure of atrocity. And it’s not like it’s always going to be easy to tell the difference. Even the Marquis de Sade said his works were supposed to be understood as warnings about how NOT to behave.

  107. 107
    Ellyn says:

    If there were poetic justice, LaPierre would be shot.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I said Americans aren’t uniquely murderous people – I said people become murderous when they live in unrelenting fear & stress. Which Americans do to a much greater extent than people in other first world countries.

    This. As I said above, there are plenty of ultraviolent films out there that were not made in America, so now we have to ask ourselves what’s unique about America that makes us so prone to violence? I keep circling back to the same things: deep social insecurity (especially financial insecurity), poor access to healthcare (especially mental healthcare), and easy access to guns.

    The problem is not our popular culture, it’s our culture.

  109. 109
    Done. says:

    I’m ready for full ban of all firearms ownership not associated with well-regulated militias. And I’m not concerned about gun fetishists’ fee-fees.

    If one less child is shot because a mentally ill person can’t manage the logistics of getting an illegal weapon because his mother doesn’t have multiples he can access, it’s completely worth the whine-fest.

  110. 110
    hueyplong says:

    I don’t for a second believe that anything is going to be “done” in response to this latest mass killing, whether the thing to be done relates to gun control or increased funding for mental health services.

    We’ll be angry at assholes whose concept of God is an omnipotent asshole, and then we’ll focus on other issues on which our perceived political enemies are a little bit more vulnerable. Which is all of them.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The Second Amendment doesn’t require that firearms and ammunition be cheap and I’d add that the words “well regulated militia” would seem to allow any sort of regulation that the government sees fit to impose on those putative militiamen who find it necessary to own semi-automatic firearms equipped with high capacity magazines.

    Yes, exactly. Well-regulated.

    REG.
    U.
    LA.
    TED.

    Why is that such a challenging concept?

  112. 112
    Keith G says:

    @JPL: I see nothing helpful in taxing ammo. Too much out there. It’s too easy to hide and smuggle.

    We know the characteristics of guns that can be used to kill in high numbers and those types of guns can be banned. We can’t totally prevent persons from shooting guns at other persons but we can make events like today even rarer and much less deadly than they are now.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @redshirt:

    We’re not a death culture.

    We’re a revenge culture.

  114. 114
    Raven says:

    @mclaren: Someone shit asshole, I’m right here.

  115. 115
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Lurker: Did none of you take metal shop? Carving a piece of plastic to use as a mold is one thing, but machining metal on a printer? I don’t think so. Is your printer going to print the springs, the nuts and bolts? And who’s going to assemble all the parts?

  116. 116
    JCT says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Agree 100% – been thinking about this all day . It sounds heartless and clinical, but we need to leverage this tragedy for good – 20 little children slaughtered sitting in their kindergarten class. I lived in NYC during 9/11 – I feel as sick today as I did then.

    Not a single politician who takes money from the NRA should be let off the hook – why is what happened today “OK” with them? Apparently the guns used today were purchased legally. What is their answer to this? Shit happens or the 2nd Amendment is more important ?

    And I say this as a target shooter and gun owner. TAX the ammo. Yes, people will reload, but that is actually non trivial – mentally ill guys can’t do that.

  117. 117
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: @Litlebritdifrnt:

    …and quite merrily bankrupts its people thanks to health issues choices

    FTFY. But Mr. Cameron will, like some Walesa of the stockbroker belt, shortly spread freedom even unto your sadly repressed nation.

  118. 118
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: You are right. And even those violent movies and video games that are produced in the United States are seen and played in other countries just as much as they are domestically. One thing that does strike me about the US, at least compared to the European countries I’ve been in, is that Americans generally don’t seem to like each other very much. Yeah, there are numerous instances of people coming together in a crisis, etc., but on a day-to-day level it’s like this whole country is one big sprawling subdivision where no one knows, trusts or cares about their neighbors.

  119. 119
    Tehanu says:

    @Heliopause:

    If there was any justice in the world, Wayne LaPierre would choke to death on filet mignon at the next NRA fundraiser.

    No, if there were real justice, Wayne and his entire organization would be shot up by somebody with an AK-47. And it can’t happen soon enough.

  120. 120
    Valdivia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    see separated at birth! :)

    Seriously: my years in Georgia was when I was most exposed to it and I must say I was scared all the time there, more than when I had scud missiles raining on my head during the first gulf war.

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @Helen:
    I get your point. But those of us with male bits are not all complete fucking assholes. I’m not sure even half of us are. And I’ve met a few of those without the male bits who are complete fucking assholes. Not nearly as big a percentage that’s for sure.

    But your point is actually pretty spot on. Even the 101st basement commandos act try to act tough. I think it is in our culture. Act tough, tough it out, hang tough, given 10 minutes most americans could probably write 200 phrases like this. And you’d recognize all of them.

  122. 122
    Darkrose says:

    @Trakker: Congratulations!!

  123. 123
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    Someone earlier had said that the becoming famous after death, is part of it. Of course it is. Someone that crazy would like that. It;s not an off the wall thought at all.
    It’s step by step that we can start to lower this violence.

  124. 124
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JPL:

    Yes, you’re right. I mentioned ammo in a post earlier today on another thread, not in terms of taxing but in terms of regulating or tracking or something.

    I also thought the President came across as not only unbearably saddened, and angry, but also willing for the conversation to take place. I think this is one of those things where we have to make him do it. I’m game.

  125. 125
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    what’s unique about America that makes us so prone to violence? I

    Here’s some ideas:

    1. We come from two British cultures that condoned violence, the Cavaliers and the Borderers (Albion’s Seed). Once they were on the frontier, violence became a necessity.
    2. Most of the country was settled at the same times guns became mass produced.
    3. The gun culture came out of the settling of the west. Never mind that sheriffs disarmed cowboys as they came into town, that’s not the national mythos.
    4. We have a nation of many tribes that loath each other. I don’t have the stats, but IIRC South Africa rivals the US for murder rates. Similar situation.

  126. 126
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Side note; Saw was made by a couple of Australians.

    Personally, I think the ‘US has a culture of violence’ is a bit of a hand-wavy cop-out. Compare English and Scottish soccer hooligans with US sports fans. Compare Australian Rules (or the Canadian national sport, Ice Hockey) with Gridiron. They get a lot of concussions in Gridiron when people wearing big helmets ram each other. They get a fair few concussions in Australian Rules because of one player punching another in the face.

    Australian, British, French, German culture is plenty violent. The reason a lot less people die is because they just punch the crap out of each other rather than shooting each other. And the reason they don’t shoot each other is because they have far, far less guns around. The US has 88.8 guns (in the hands of civillians) per 100 people. France and Canada have about 30. Australia has 42.

    The US doesn’t have a more violent culture; it has a more gun-oriented culture.

  127. 127
    Heliopause says:

    @Tehanu:

    No, those are John’s words, not mine.

    I keep saying in comments that LaPierre ought to be prosecuted under RICO, not summarily killed whether by intent or accident, but somehow it just doesn’t sink in.

  128. 128
    sneezy says:

    @JPL:

    ammo..then then the second amendment doesn’t apply.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that “arms” doesn’t include both guns and ammo.

  129. 129
    BArry says:

    “If there was any justice in the world, Wayne LaPierre would choke to death on filet mignon at the next NRA fundraiser.”

    If there’s any justice in the world, he’ll be shot and paralyzed by some guy, who will walk after claiming ‘Stand your ground’.

    Who will then sue Wayne for unlawful prosecution, and end up living in Wayne’s house.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Trakker:

    This news made me smile genuinely for the first time in many hours. Congratulations!

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @beltane:

    One thing that does strike me about the US, at least compared to the European countries I’ve been in, is that Americans generally don’t seem to like each other very much. Yeah, there are numerous instances of people coming together in a crisis, etc., but on a day-to-day level it’s like this whole country is one big sprawling subdivision where no one knows, trusts or cares about their neighbors.

    This is, unfortunately, the legacy of a culture that was largely built on making sure certain groups were kept down by law. I said above that I think what we have is a revenge culture, and no one can relax because everyone is convinced that someone else is going to decide to seek vengeance for society’s ills at any time.

    I once read a really interesting book by a Canadian sociologist called Hunting Humans where his thesis was that mass shootings in America were generally done by people who were seeking revenge for the wrongs they felt had been done to them. I haven’t seen any facts from any mass shooting that seemed to disprove his thesis.

  132. 132
    Dexter's new approach says:

    What’s all this tax-the-ammo talk? It the context of the mass shootings, where the killers are on a suicide mission, how is that a deterrent? They empty out their bank accounts and due their evil deed with ammo to spare.

    And the basic gun-driven crime element is unaffected; how many shots do they get off a year per kill or maim or armed robbery? Not many.

    It will just piss off the “law-abiding” gun nuts that hit gun ranges 3x a week getting off on their revenge or hero fantasies. I’m fine with pissing them off- I want that fight – but let’s do it with over some policies that will be more effective (assault rifle ban, gun show loophole, concealed weapon permit restrictions, etc) in reducing these mass killing events.

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tehanu:

    I don’t wish violent, gun-inflicted death on anyone, not even Wayne LaPierre.

    I want changed minds and souls.

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Valdivia:

    see separated at birth! :)

    ‘Twas ever thus, my twin.

  135. 135
    JasonF says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: The point of the 3-d printer is you no longer need to be a machinist. Google “3-d printer gun” and you’ll find any number of articles discussing the fact that this is coming. Here is one:

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/.....n-at-home/

    If you want to say that my prediction that we’ll see this become commonplace by 2020 is too aggressive, I will concede that you may be right. But if it’s not 2020, it’ll be 2025 or 2030. It’s no longer a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.”

  136. 136
    Helen says:

    @Ruckus: Yeah. There’s a great bit in the George Clooney movie “Up in the Air” where a women who has been dumped by her boyfriend says to a straight woman “Maybe I should try women” And the straight woman says “I tried it – we’re no bargain either.”

    So, um, yeah. Except for the, you know, killing part.

  137. 137
    JasonF says:

    @beltane:

    Americans generally don’t seem to like each other very much

    We’re a country steeped in nearly five centuries of “Leave me alone! You can’t tell me what to do.” We were colonized primarily by people who were willing to take life in hand on a perilous transatlantic voyage so they could practice this version of Christianity instead of that one. Our founding myth is a tale of anger at a distant king and an imperial parliament, issuing laws without our consent and driving us to violent revolution. And that revolution was followed by a century and a quarter of people leaving the established areas and pushing further west into the “unsettled” frontier (pay no mind to the Native Americans!) for a piece of land each of them could call his own. I would guess we are the only culture in the world that speaks so glowingly of “rugged individualism.” Simply put, it’s baked into our national DNA.

    And generally, that kind of love for liberty is a good thing, but it also manifests itself in some chillingly destructive ways. We see it in the economic rhetoric of the right, where any kind of taxation is not simply an attempt to get revenue for national priorities, but an affront to liberty, an attempt to steal my money that I earned all by myself with me and only me. A social safety net is not simply a way to make sure none of us falls in the gutter, but a way to tie my hands to yours and make me responsible for your shortcomings when all I want is to be left alone.

    And, to your point, that whole “leave me alone” mentality easily metastasizes into an “I don’t really like you” mentality.

  138. 138
    Steve Crickmore says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I tried that on August 5th on the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin, and was vilified and threatened by some of the Balloon Juice regular ‘liberal’ commentators like gogul’s wife, for suggesting that Obama as President should actually make a more meaningful gesture, than simply attend another mass funeral and actually you know, as a human being, try and enter or initiate the debate, that he was asking for, to stem mass gun violence, maybe like appointing a commission to study massacres if nothing else. But I was strongly advised that nothing could be done, other than to wail and gnash ones teeth, since it would become an politicized election issue that might hurt the president, if he did something like that. It wasn’t the political moment. Maybe now, after the upteenth massacre in the last five or six years we are finally getting near the tipping point.

  139. 139
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Mnemosyne: oh, thank you. I read that and thought immediately of the current wave of French horror films. Obviously never heard of Martyrs, Inside, or High Tension. Not to mention Japanese tentacle porn.

  140. 140
    Cain says:

    Sometimes I wonder why these guys who attack children and schools can’t decide to take on a real challenge and attack and kill an NRA office.

  141. 141
    Paul in NC says:

    Hey hey NRA
    How many kids did you kill today?

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