Can’t get satisfaction and I don’t care what you do

I don’t need to tell you that there’s something horribly perverse about the public dialogue surrounding gun tragedies in this country. It starts with “never again” and it ends with inaction and more gun tragedies. This piece by Benjamin Kunkel (via) seems apropos:

If you wished to characterize the Democrats and the Republicans in terms of true exaggerations, you might say that the Republicans have become the Party of Psychosis while the Democrats have become the Party of Neurosis. The Republicans are psychotic because they have lost contact with reality, and orient their behavior not toward realities but toward fantasies. The Democrats are neurotic because they are aim-inhibited, as an old-fashioned shrink might say: their anxieties, hang-ups, and insecurities mean that they can’t attain satisfaction, since in a basic way they won’t even allow themselves to know what they want.

Many features of the Republican psychosis are well known: Global warming isn’t caused by humans; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for the financial crisis; the President, who may be a foreign-born anticolonialist undermining America at the bidding of his father’s ghost, has eliminated the work requirement for welfare; and so on. There’s never much point in talking to psychotics, though we can speculate about the particular delusions they exhibit. Most of us probably subscribe to an interpretation of the Grand Old Psychosis (GOP) that goes something like this: The trauma of American decline as experienced by white people, older people, and men—and above all older white men—has caused a psychic break producing a classic paranoid delusion, in which that segment of the population which through its race, culture, and creed embodies the American virtues responsible for the country’s former greatness is being attacked by a composite monster (dark-skinned, sexually deviant, non-Christian, and anticapitalist) bent on stigmatizing family as patriarchy, religion as ignorance, and free enterprise as predation. Here as in many cases of persecution delusion we might suspect the displacement onto others of a terrible guilt, in this instance surrounding war, racism, climate destruction, and so on. This interpretation of Republican loss of contact with reality is cartoonish and speculative but, in my considered opinion as a democratic ecosocialist and citizen–clinician, probably true as far as it goes.






84 replies
  1. 1
    efgoldman says:

    Great find, DougJ.
    Only better thing would have been to see it before the election.

  2. 2
    Howard Beale IV says:

    As long as the NRA exists and the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment exists, nothing will change.

    Let me repeat that: As long as the NRA exists and the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment exists, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    Did it change with Columbine?

    Did it change with West Virginia?

    Did it change with Colorado?

    It won’t change with this tragedy nor the next tragedy yet to come.

    Period.

    End of Line.

    $EOF

    /*

  3. 3
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Despite their electoral victories, gun ownership as a percentage of the population has been dropping for decades. It’s only the same group of dummies loading up on ammo. Sooner or later, people are going to look around and ask why we’re allowing all this killing for a “right” that they don’t exercise.

  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    I really hate it when people diagnose psychological conditions or worse ascribe mental illnesses to those whose politics they disagree with. The terms Kunkel uses refer to specific maladies that individuals, not groups, suffer from.

  5. 5
    Paddy says:

    At the risk of getting thumped, if you missed the vigil tonight, do not miss Rabbi Shual singing a Hebrew prayer of mourning. I’ve never heard anything like it. I made Jeff sit and listen (he was raised Jewish) and he said yeah, good voice, but he had heard better Cantors at Temple. F him. Just incredible.

    Video- Rabbi Shaul Praver sings Hebrew prayer at Newtown vigil

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    I admit, I’m not really sure how it is that large segments of a population go completely insane or how to deal with it, which is why I’ve said before that modern conservatism was a matter for psychologists rather than politicians.

    What fascinates me (like a car wreck you can’t look away from) is the way things like this manage to take root in good times, relatively speaking. It’s common to credit madness like the Nazis or the KKK to war or economic disaster (Civil War/World War One and aftermaths), but I think it’s the other way around. The roots of these movements were around and the core ideologies popular long before the crises, and in fact secessionist paranoia in the South and nationalist madness in Europe precipitated the disastrous wars in the first place, not the other way around – the dudes in ghost sheets and brown shirts were just building on what was already there and had been for generations. There’s not really a materialist explanation for how that sort of right-wing psychosis emerges, that I’m aware of. Which brings me back to what I said in the first paragraph.

  7. 7
    wrb says:

    @Paddy:

    That didn’t do much for me, but I thought the overall service very moving, especially Obama’s knock-it-out-of-the-park sermon.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Did it change with Columbine?

    Did it change with West Virginia?

    Did it change with Colorado?

    As my Baby Boomer father rightly points out, if the JFK assassination didn’t do the trick, it’s hard to imagine what will.

  9. 9
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Paddy: And that Muslim kid who did his prayer was good also, I bet they had to pass out the smelling salts at Faux News, when he did it.

  10. 10
    Ted & Hellen says:

    The Democrats are neurotic because they are aim-inhibited, as an old-fashioned shrink might say: their anxieties, hang-ups, and insecurities mean that they can’t attain satisfaction, since in a basic way they won’t even allow themselves to know what they want.

    Bingo.

    But…HOW DARE YOU, SIR?!

    This is the party of which Barack Obama, the finest and hunkiest man ever to live, is the president and he needs us now; NOW I say, now more than ever!

    I for one, along with my fellow BJ Bots, kneel before Barack and the party and will stay on my knees until something, something I tell you, comes to fruition!

    I know him well and he is the awesome!

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @Paddy:

    Didn’t see it, but here’s NYTImes article about his comforting of the youngest victim’s family. Sounds like a humane man.

    RE Rabbi Shaul Praver: Finding words for a mother burying her son

    Twenty child-size coffins have been donated. A small town is burying 20 children.

  12. 12
    barath says:

    I do wonder when there’ll ever be a rational discussion about all threats that we face based upon their actual threat level.

    That is, I’m glad we’re having a discussion about gun control now, but consider the fact that climate change is expected to be the primary cause of death for about 100 million people over the next 2 decades, with another possibly 1 billion people dislocated. That’s a whole different league than guns, which is a whole different league than the minimal threat of terrorism. And yet the hierarchy of focus is reversed. When’s the last time we’ve had wall-to-wall blog/news coverage about ecocide?

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    bent on stigmatizing family as patriarchy, religion as ignorance, and free enterprise as predation.

    Well, the religion these assholes subscribe to IS ignornat, and the form of capitalism they subscribe to (epitomized by the GOP presidential candidate) is predation, but not just that, it’s also parasitic in nature.

  14. 14
    Ted & Hellen says:

    mocking

  15. 15
    tuna says:

    The only thing to make it different will be for the mothers of the murdered children to organize like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. They should forget about congress and go after the money behind congress. This is a battle mothers can win.

  16. 16
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Deadspin had a round-up of stupid racist tweets by people who didn’t like Obama’s speech pre-empting Patriots-49ers. I don’t know what possessed me to click on it, but I did. My first impression is that anyone who thinks that Gen Y isn’t racist as a rule oughta double-check that. My second impression is that it’s astonishing to see people’s twitter feeds with hugs-and-kisses type smileys to their girlfriends in tweet and the most vile racist garbage imaginable in the next tweet. The one who said she blogged from the “free republic of Arizona” and whose every tweet was a link to some conspiracy-nutter crap was almost less depressing: at least I’d know to stay away from her more quickly.

  17. 17
    Paddy says:

    @Elizabelle: Thank you, lovely sad story.

  18. 18

    @tuna:

    THIS! It is about time that mothers who have lost children to gun violence get the same power that MADD have. MADD made the drinking age 21 and yet a kid a young as 10 can legally own a gun. Mothers Against Gun Violence should organize and stop this shit.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    It’s kind of funny how Israel deems it necessary to flatten Gaza in response to near-casualty free rocket attacks and yet we shrug off almost weekly NRA-sponsored carnage like it’s nothing. Maybe when popular culture starts accurately depicting our suburban cammo wearing “patriots” as the sad-sack, bedwetting castrati they are (and this applies to both sexes) then maybe we will make some headway.

  20. 20
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I highly doubt a bunch of tweets are an accurate represenation of Gen Y.

  21. 21
    Taylor says:

    @barath:

    Kerry has been a climate change hawk, so maybe as SoS, and in the wake of Sandy, the administration will start talking about it.

    SoE Chu is a physicist and likely knows how terrifying the future is looking right now.

    And Rahm is in Chicago, out of harm’s way.

    One can hope. Even a President as timid as this one must be thinking of the planet his daughters are going to grow up on.

  22. 22
    hitchhiker says:

    Obama seems to have decided that trying to comfort grieving families 4 different times in 4 years is more than enough.

    He seems to have decided that if that should happen to him again, he wants to be able to go in there knowing that he actually tried as hard as he could to prevent it.

    I’m encouraged for the first time since Friday morning.

    Seriously incredible words from him, starting at 1 hr and 23 min in.

  23. 23
    barath says:

    @Taylor:

    I hope so. It’ll take some serious guts and luck, though, for him to do it. Add the negative consequences of the drug war, which is intimately tied to gun culture (but is more damaging and goes beyond it), and you have a host of hot-button issues that have been getting worse for decades: gun regulation, the drug war, and climate change. And all of them get no mainstream media attention and have powerful lobbies making sure no reform happens.

  24. 24

    You guys have got to see this

    http://deadspin.com/sandy-hook-shooting/

    The fact that 20 kids died were minimal cause it interrupted their football watching. Wow.

  25. 25
    Zam says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: The fun thing is they just moved the game to CNBC during the speech.

  26. 26
    hueyplong says:

    They know clips from magazines, but they can’t work their remotes competently enough to find CNBC or the NBC Sports Network.

  27. 27
    Eric U. says:

    ya, I watched the game instead of the speech. They even switched over early so that you didn’t have to see Obama at all if you didn’t want to.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    That’s just … as ABL would say, I can’t even.

    Holy shit, the ugliness around us.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I clicked on quite a few of those Twitter feeds. It’s kind of shocking how many of them, if you scroll down in their feeds, RT or quote some Bible verse. I don’t think they have any idea how inconsistent what they say and do is with what they purport to believe.

  30. 30
    hitchhiker says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    It is about time that mothers who have lost children to gun violence get the same power that MADD have. MADD made the drinking age 21

    The story of how MADD got started is instructive. Two moms, one whose young teen was mown down in the middle of the day and one with toddler left quadriplegic by a man drunk at 10 am, were both told by the police that probably nothing would be done about the drunks who had destroyed their kids. This was the outrage back then — that it was just understood that it was okay to drive drunk. I know a man whose dad was told by police when found to be driving drunk (with his whole family in the car) that he should “take the back roads” and sent on his way.

    What’s not generally known is that the idea of a “designated driver’ was heavily pumped by television writers, who had a lot of influence on the culture back in those pre-cable, pre-internet days. They purposely wrote that phrase into sitcoms, daytime soaps, and nighttime dramas, and suddenly it was understood that driving drunk was only for stupid people. Public awareness isn’t just the result of advertising . . . it happens when there’s an organized effort that involves being in every possible venue.

    What’s the 2012 analog to convincing teams of sitcom writers that drinking and driving needs to stop?

  31. 31
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @wrb: I realize it’s standard, but I’d have preferred he didn’t lay on the biblical stuff quite so heavy.

  32. 32
    redshirt says:

    @Violet: I’m not shocked. I’ve reached the conscious awareness that if you self identify as a “Christian” I can assume you’ll be more ignorant and violent than any self identified atheist. Welcome to 21st century America!

  33. 33
    Capri says:

    @Howard Beale IV:
    This is what gives me some hope here. The NRA has bound themselves completely to the GOP. Take a look at their board of directors and how they spent their money last election cycle. Maybe that’s not a real bright move as the GOP loses members and influence.

    So what happens to the NRA in places where the GOP has lost virtually all its influence? Like New England?
    I don’t imagine some NRA uga-booga about a primary opponent is going to up the fear in the heart of someone from NY or Conn the way it would in the south or midwest.

    By aligning themselves so strongly with one party, the NRA may be hastening their own irrelevence.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @beltane:

    It’s kind of funny how Israel deems it necessary to flatten Gaza in response to near-casualty free rocket attacks

    Excuse, not reason. Israel is flattening Gaza because they want to, not because it’s a reasonable response to the situation.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    I really hope this photo redefines the President
    http://www.facebook.com/photo......38;theater

  36. 36
    Ken says:

    @tuna: This is a battle mothers can win.

    I’d like to agree, but I thought the same about the 9/11 widows.

  37. 37
    Ken says:

    @Capri: The NRA has bound themselves completely to the GOP.

    The giveaway was when they endorsed the candidate who had signed gun-control legislation while he was governor.

  38. 38
    Paddy says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: I felt so sorry for him, you could her his voice waver with emotion.

  39. 39
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @JPL:

    It’s a great pic, but in what way do you mean, that he needs to be “redefined?”

  40. 40
    Pongo says:

    So the tinfoil hats are on and buzzing in wingnut world. Turns out that CT was a ‘false flag’ operation orchestrated by Obama (from a commenter on MSNBC news site):

    Please help me out here, I am liberal in a very conservative family..I got this from my great-nephew today:
    “In a magazine I real awhile back it said if Obama got re-elected he would try to make it impossible to own guns. A month after he gets re-elected a shooting in a school happens, he then in the speech given today hints he is going to try to start the battle to make it next to impossible to own guns. I think the government paid this guy off to do this. So he can try to make it harder for all of us to own guns. I say make it easier, if we all have guns, and the teachers at the school in new town had guns this wouldn’t have happened.”

    These people are truly, deep-down horrible.

  41. 41
    Kristin says:

    @JPL: Do yourself a favor and don’t read the comments.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    @Ted & Hellen: re-enforced?
    The facebook page is of the dad that felt blessed for the short time he had his daughter. The President now has the podium to help us all reach greater heights. We can build a better society without arming Principals and teachers. The President has side-stepped our violent society and now wants to change that. The picture shows hope and happiness in a troubled time.

  43. 43
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Kristin: Which is why I always find it funny when people insist that having a FB log-in will help comment sections be more civil.

  44. 44
    Kristin says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Exactly. People have no problem saying terrible things under their full name.

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Let me repeat that: As long as the NRA exists and the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment exists, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    I’m not convinced of that. The first play out of the gate from the left is the assault rifle ban. I think that’s a huge mistake.

    How about assault rifle regulation instead? Anyone with a demonstrated need for one can apply for a permit and registration from ATF, and must maintain that annually, including the justification for ownership. That’d likely have the same effect, in the end. The folks with demonstrated need would be a very small list, and their ongoing registration would make them very visible to law enforcement.

    That would create a framework for extending that registration/licensure setup for other firearms, with the demonstrated need requirement removed.

    Going immediately to a ban seems as though it’s just going to shut down any hope of getting anything done.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hitchhiker:

    suddenly it was understood that driving drunk was only for stupid people.

    You know.

    Like Paris FUCKING Hilton.

  47. 47
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Kristin:

    When I see this sort of thing, I occasionally fantasize about, were I ever to rise to a position of fame, I’d take a few times each week to round up some viciously racist tweet and facebook postings, find the e-mail, phone, and address of the posters, and just send them out to everyone. It’s the sort of fantasy that only works if you don’t think about the consequences (as distasteful as these people may be, I don’t really want to see them killed or hurt, and I don’t want to put myself in danger either), but it sure would be nice if people who cheerfully and smugly called the president a nigger on Facebook had to deal with some sort of consequences for it.

  48. 48
    👽 Martin says:

    Only 23% of people 35 and younger own guns. That’s quite low. By comparison, 38% of those 35-55 own guns.

    Once again, the population that is rewriting gay marriage laws and helping pass pot legalization and getting people like Obama elected may be the ones to turn out and change this.

    I’d start building a movement with young people. They should be more sympathetic to the effort and their political power is growing rather than waning.

  49. 49
    👽 Martin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    but it sure would be nice if people who cheerfully and smugly called the president a nigger on Facebook had to deal with some sort of consequences for it.

    Actually, that’d be a pretty fun micro-site to build. Basically write a bunch of filters to search Facebook comments or twitter looking for keywords and then pull them across with the persons profile. One-stop-shopping.

    There are manual ones, but nothing automatic that I’ve found. Someone already wrote the filters, but put up a nice map instead of doing the whole fun shaming thing.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Paula says:

    @barath:

    Well, it is entirely possible that you can’t focus on a higher order of global worry if you have to worry about your immediate surroundings gradually turning into a vigilante hell scape.

    Just like, it is entirely possible that you can’t highlight the hypocrisy of mourning dead American kids when your govt is fighting a war overseas that harms civilians until you can get them to a place where their personal and financial security is no longer a constant matter of survival. People’s interest in foreign policy wanes during domestic crises for a reason.

  52. 52
    JordanRules says:

    @DPS: Makes me wonder if she wasn’t tied to the school, if he would have chosen another place. Should we do better screening for who is allowed to be around schools at all?

  53. 53
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👽 Martin:

    This probably wouldn’t be possible to be done automatically (hell if I know anything about programming, and we’re already just idly dreaming), but maybe narrow the focus a bit. If the person has their job listed on FB, forward their post to their boss. If they’re in school, forward it to the principal and teachers. Maybe parents too.

  54. 54
    TS says:

    @tuna:

    This is a battle mothers can win

    Don’t ever forget the fathers – in Australia it was a father who lost his wife and 2 daughters to an “insane” gunman that got rid of the gun lobby under a right wing Prime Minister.

  55. 55
    Keith G says:

    @smintheus: I agree. As I read it, I pictured an academic with a book to push. Google showed me it is way worse. He’s an Ivey League MFA diagnosing societal emotional disorders.

    Great. As if dead first graders weren’t painful enough.

    @👽 Martin: I agree with you. Howard and others are not seeing the opportunities that exist. Of course, nothing good will happen if our friends hurl insults at gun owners. We have to sell some incremental common sense changes to people who own and use guns, but we won’t sell Jack if our opening gambit is to demean and criticize.

  56. 56
    Kristin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Even just some shaming by a celebrity without the disclosure of contact info might be worthwhile. ;-)

  57. 57
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Keith G:

    We have to sell some incremental common sense changes to people who own and use guns

    I disagree. It’s up to people who own and use guns and would prefer not to be considered part of the problem to propose ways to make that possible.

    Ball’s now in their court.

  58. 58
    Hill Dweller says:

    Twitter is saying two cops were shot and killed in Topeka, Kansas tonight. Shooter still at large.

  59. 59

    An added pisser to this whole situation is that the same people who pass laws to increase gun ownership, also vote to cut funding for mental health treatment.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @👽 Martin: yes, I think registration is much better of an idea, and for politics’ sake you could even pitch it as a way to make sure Fast And Furious couldn’t happen again.

  61. 61
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The first play out of the gate from the left is the assault rifle ban. I think that’s a huge mistake.

    @👽 Martin:

    Catastrophic. I’m the rarity, a left-wing gun owner, and the gun community is scared shitless and truly thinking “the gubbmit gonna take mah guns!” They will dig in their heels, not that they haven’t already, and with the House in GOP hands for the next ten years, gun control is dead out the gate with a ban.

    How about assault rifle regulation instead? Anyone with a demonstrated need for one can apply for a permit and registration from ATF, and must maintain that annually, including the justification for ownership. That’d likely have the same effect, in the end. The folks with demonstrated need would be a very small list, and their ongoing registration would make them very visible to law enforcement.

    THIS is the strategy, because you don’t need legislation to do it. It’s pretty much half the Bloomberg stratagem (the other half is stop and frisk, which I have huge problems with but you’re not going to solve the handgun issue any other way). You’re wrong about only one thing; this will be way more effective than a ban would be.

  62. 62
    GregB says:

    @DPS:

    She prepped for the wrong doomsday. It didn’t come at the hands of the government.

    Sad truth.

  63. 63
    Keith G says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: That makes a nice rhetorical flourish, but it will not get legislation through Congress, and I think that is our goal.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I’m the rarity, a left-wing gun owner, and the gun community is scared shitless and truly thinking “the gubbmit gonna take mah guns!” They will dig in their heels, not that they haven’t already, and with the House in GOP hands for the next ten years, gun control is dead out the gate with a ban.

    Here’s the thing, though, and it’s a genuine question: if they’re scared shitless of the gubbmint coming for their guns, then why do you think they’re going to agree to register their guns? Isn’t half the propaganda out there about how registration is the first step towards confiscation, so any attempts to have gun owners register their guns is just going to be the first sign of a general roundup?

    Frankly, I think you’re vastly underestimating the amount of paranoia out there if you think that gun owners will be okay with any kind of registration program.

  65. 65
    JordanRules says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Hmmm…

    the other half is stop and frisk, which I have huge problems with but you’re not going to solve the handgun issue any other way

    Are we sure there is no other way?? That doesn’t seem to work so well in certain places and certain people seem to be affected by those procedures more which also lends itself quickly to abuse of power, harrassment and re-enforcing stereotypes. And does it even work?

  66. 66
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Here’s the thing, though, and it’s a genuine question: if they’re scared shitless of the gubbmint coming for their guns, then why do you think they’re going to agree to register their guns? Isn’t half the propaganda out there about how registration is the first step towards confiscation, so any attempts to have gun owners register their guns is just going to be the first sign of a general roundup?

    Because between the really paranoid nutjobs and the sensible gun owners are a whole bunch of people that simply feel safer being armed:

    @davidfrum The gist of the rebuttal from many concealed carry advocates is that it’s more important to feel safe than to be safe.

    I think the folks who believe they need the guns to defend against the government is a pretty small group – very vocal, and in control of the gun rights bullhorn, but pretty small. I think the group that would accept registration provided that guns remained legal is much, much larger. Dems might as well hold on to that group and have them as allies.

    This is akin to Obama’s healthcare strategy where he got the insurers on his side early in the debate and used their power to help drive the debate. That alliance didn’t hold because folks like Jane Hamsher and Kos figured the Dems take on the entire healthcare industry all at once, well before anyone determined if that was even necessary. Start with registration and laws regarding safety and securing firearms and see what happens. My guess is it’ll accomplish everything Dems hope to get out of a ban, and get it done without losing enough of the electorate to put the GOP back in power.

  67. 67
    JordanRules says:

    @Mnemosyne: And we shouldn’t have to legislate around their admitted crazy should we?? There is nothing that’s going to convince them otherwise so let’s legislate smartly to the benefit of most of the country, with reality as the foundation.

    Reality needs more reinforcement these days.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    And just to be clear, I think licensing and registration of all guns has to happen, because this piecemeal “We’ll let you have these guns with no restrictions but not these guns” isn’t working. But I’m 100 percent sure that it’s going to have to happen over the objections of gun owners, because there is no way in hell they’re going to agree to it voluntarily.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I think the folks who believe they need the guns to defend against the government is a pretty small group – very vocal, and in control of the gun rights bullhorn, but pretty small. I think the group that would accept registration provided that guns remained legal is much, much larger. Dems might as well hold on to that group and have them as allies.

    Unfortunately, I think you’re wrong. I think that even “sensible” gun owners are going to resist registering their guns because they’re going to buy the “slippery slope” arguments.

    Again, it needs to be done, and it will be done over their objections if necessary, but I don’t think we can fool ourselves that suddenly a big group of “sensible” gun owners will step forward and agree to register their guns. Even the “sensible” ones are going to resist it with everything they’ve got, and we need to be prepared for that, because even they are gripped with an irrational fear that any government regulation of guns = banning of all guns.

  70. 70
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, all guns. But assault rifles (and perhaps a few other outlier classes like high powered sniper rifles) could remain legal with an additional burden that prospective buyers need to provide justification to own one.

    But licensing needs to be much more active – they need to be renewed, and automatically revoked under certain situations. Put the waiting period on buying guns when the license is issued, not per gun (stupid to have someone wait buying their 2nd gun). And limit how frequently a person can buy a gun – 1 every 30 days or something reasonable (even 1 per week would help), just to cut down on stockpiling.

    All guns must be actively registered and annually reregistered. Possession of an unregistered gun is a felony, even if you have a license. If you transfer a gun to another person, you have to ensure the paperwork is done on it, just like with a car.

    We just need to erect a framework that forces a certain degree of responsibility on gun owners. Most are responsible and these will have minimal if any impact, but not all are and this needs to force them to act. A woman in CT didn’t secure her guns even though she had a child that the neighbors believed wasn’t mentally stable and now 30 people are dead. She simply was not a responsible gun owner. Clearly we need to do something to push that along.

  71. 71
    👽 Martin says:

    Huh. Apparently there are a lot of irresponsible gun owners in Newtown.

    I don’t think it was like that when I was rattling around that area 20 years ago.

  72. 72
    Platonicspoof says:

    @👽 Martin:

    including the justification for ownership.

    Loop hole?

    “We are all gun collectors now.”

  73. 73
    amk says:

    @👽 Martin: Nice contrast between theory and practice.

  74. 74
    👽 Martin says:

    @Platonicspoof: ‘Gun collector’ doesn’t cut it. They can collect a disabled one quite easily. They need a justification for a functioning one.

  75. 75
    JoyfulA says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: A month or two ago, someone actually did track down some commenters’ high schools and sent the comments to their respective principals. So it can and has been done, and more power to them.

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    Platonicspoof says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Don’t want to keep you up late, especially since I think there will only be token legislation in this country. However:

    Part of gun collecting is power tripping. With a plug welded into a gun, it’ll feel emotionally like just an expensive club.

    Hard to make a parallel with the ACA compromises, most everyone knew someone or were themselves getting bankrupted by healthcare. I pass within a half mile of Clackamas Town Center every week on my commute. Yet one gun shop in the local news here said sales were higher than any time in the last twenty years, which would include Gabby, Columbine, Aurora, etc. And Sarah! hasn’t even brought up the Gun Confiscation Panels yet (doesn’t remotely feel funny).

    Your going to have to convince Americans that not owning guns will make them more safe. This is different from registration, which a majority have supported in the past.

    Not since the invasion of Iraq have I felt as deflated as I did last Friday. This is the country that was talked into pre-emptive war, the greatest war crime in the Nuremburg trials according to one of the prosecutors, by a bunch of violent buffoons. Thousands of dead innocents. Bush re-elected.

    And I appreciate the commenting you do here at BJ. Thanks.

  77. 77
    Chris says:

    @Pongo:

    I think the government paid this guy off to do this.

    That’s right, the government paid the guy off to kill himself. That is most logical. And they’re not politicizing the tragedy, remember. Not when THEY do it.

  78. 78
    hoodie says:

    @👽 Martin: Thing is, there is no justification for a regular citizen owning an assault rifle, period. Recreational shooters can enjoy that sport in a heavily controlled environment, perhaps, such as a registered facility that allows such a thing only on its premises. So, respectfully, your arguments regarding the political efficacy of regulation over banning is a distinction without a difference. Turning this tide is not going to be easy. This is a new Civil War, and this issue gets more to the nub than the previous skirmish over Obamacare. It has to do with a basic conflict over the nature of a civil society. Obama’s speech last night, while directed to those of us horrified by what happened, was also directed to those that think that their “freedom” overrides the basic human right of not being shot when you’re six years old. It was also directed to those who live in a comfortable fantasy that having an assault weapon will keep their families safe –they are failing.

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    Lojasmo says:

    @👽 Martin:

    There is not one civilian in the nation who has a legitimate need for a thirteen round semiautomatic rifle.

  80. 80
    Elie says:

    @Paddy:

    I was an amazing prayer… I felt truly blessed to have heard it… What a voice he has and how beautifully it was used for us…

    Later in the ceremonies a Muslim boy also sang a chant which was also lovely. Both were very special gifts to those who grieve..

  81. 81
    Elie says:

    @beltane:

    We have to do more than regulate guns and provide psychiatric care. It is deeper than that.

    Our culture is deeply violent and negative. We are not ALL negative and violent — but we don’t take pains to focus on positivity and gentleness,. Our every day language (which shapes thought, after all), is mean and aggressive. We applaud “take downs” and even on this site, we use verbal sharp elbows with each other all the time. Sometimes its funny.

    The right wing is even meaner and more aggressive in its imagery and thought.

    Negative, mean thought is like slow poison. It hurts us more deeply than we realize. It marks and labels the “losers” in our society — frequently its vulnerable and fragile young men like the shooter in this and many of the other events.

    You do not quell violence with violence — either in action or speech. ..And has anyone mentioned the violent video games and their impact on youngsters who may have real psycosocial issues?

    We have to cultivate more kindness, more gentleness and figure out how to protect our children and ourselves with that energy in addition to making stronger doors in our schools, putting cops everywhere or restricting gun use.

  82. 82
    👽 Martin says:

    @Lojasmo:

    There is not one civilian in the nation who has a legitimate need for a thirteen round semiautomatic rifle.

    Sure there are. Adam and Jaime from Mythbusters. Guns used in movies. Companies that up-armor cars.

    It’s a very, very short list. But point of the exercise is to show that the list is indeed very short. Hard to do that when there is no list.

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    AxelFoley says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Please fuck the fuck off, you useless piece of shit.

  84. 84
    AxelFoley says:

    @Taylor:

    Even a President as timid as this one

    Fuck you and your bullshit. How is President Obama timid?

    This is the reason you pussies on the left lose–you spend all your time attacking those on your side. Assholes like you and Ted & Hellen deserve all that the GOP would unleash on this country if they really got their way.

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