Open thread

Since one of you douchebuckets signed me up for a Tea Party newsletter, I get hourly alerts with titles like this, from ten minutes ago: “Sandy Hook Should Cause Us To Embrace our Guns and our God.”

Dear illiterates: you only get to pick one.

Pic of Max to wash out the stupid.

Max, Ruby and the bone

Chat about whatever.






122 replies
  1. 1

    Two cops were shot to death yesterday. Pity they weren’t armed, they could have defended themselves. Oh wait….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....gun-murder

  2. 2

    Nice to have you back ’round here Tim. Max pics are a welcome distraction from all sorts of idiocy.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    How telling that Guns are referenced first (and at all).

    Oh, and MAX! Peaceful pup pictures perfectly powerful presently.

  4. 4
    Laura C says:

    Someone signed me up for all sorts of Republican stuff. At my parents’ house. So all through the election they got every damn robocall Scott Brown’s people did.

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    Max is good to look at, as always. Who’s his friend?

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    I wish they would clutch their guns and then immediately go embrace their god. It would be a drastic improvement on the world.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    jl says:

    I have lost track of what Mr. Tim F’s dogs are. Max is the handsome rangy hunk lounging in the doggy dog cave.

    Who is the dachshund? That isn’t Max, right?

    With reminds me, you want some fearless little killing machines who will protect you or die trying, get some dachshunds.

    New Constitutional Amendment, the right of the people to own dachshunds will not be infringed. The gun nuts can trade in a standard unit of firepower for a dachshund.

    If the gun nuts resist, the U.S. gummnint will Whiskey Rebellion them, like in the good old days, when we had the fricken Founders and Framers with fricken brains and guts strapped into their heads who knew what was what.

  9. 9
    Roger Moore says:

    Dear illiterates: you only get to pick one.

    Only if you assume their God is YHWH. If you accept the truth- that the people who say this kind of thing actually worship the almighty Gun- then you can see how easily they can do both.

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    What a good doggie, sharing his treat with his friend. Very nice pause in all the stress.

  11. 11
    Lee says:

    I had an idea while working out.

    Turn one of the Tea Party little rants back on the Republicans.

    Make Congress subject to the same gun laws as the rest of the country (meaning none). That way we can all pack heat while walking around Congress visiting.

    I wonder how quick the laws would change.

  12. 12
    Robin G. says:

    As a side note, I did a little number crunching today. Instead of talking about the number of gun deaths in other countries, we should probably talk about the murder rates.

    In Britain, there is one homicide per 88,208 people.

    In the United States, there is one homicide per 20,935.

    Near as I can tell, there are only two arguments to be had about this. Either Americans have access to more effective methods of murder, or Americans are just inherently more sick and evil than the British. I’d love to see the latter argument be made by the AMERICA EFF YEAH crowd.

  13. 13

    I think a big light bulb is starting to go off for a big chunk of the population, sorta like the light bult that went off in regards to the Tea Party: that the NRA really is just a group of extremist Republicans and gun manufacturers.

    I know a lot of people say they’re “life-long NRA members” who support sensible gun laws, like banning assault rifles and mega-round clips and all that. I’d say if you’re one of those people to resign your NRA membership publicly, now. The NRA has not represented you or your interests for years. You’re straddling a fence and it’s time to pick a side.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @Robin G.:

    Either Americans have access to more effective methods of murder, or Americans are just inherently more sick and evil than the British.

    Yeah, I was just looking at this kind of thing. It turns out that the rate of non-gun homicide in the US is around 1 per 76,000 people. You can take that two different ways. One is that we’re obviously worse than them because we have a higher murder rate even if you ignore all the people murdered using guns. The other is that our non-gun murder rate is moderately close to the UK rate, so the big difference is the added effectiveness of guns as a murder weapon. I’m inclined to think that it’s some of each: we’re more violent and we have access to more effective murder weapons.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    I sure am bad you decided against running away from home. More Max pics, and it is reassuring to this GBCW drama queen, that frontpagers R too. Takes down the stigma a notch or two. But you’ll have to rinse repeat to catch me and ABL. In fact, I am due my regular Christmas hissy fit any day now.

  16. 16
    Ted & Hellen says:

    But it’s a great comfort to know that President Obama and Congressional Dems, having learned the lessons offered by all the horrific gun violence over the last 20 years, have been pushing relentlessly since his first inauguration for stricter gun control laws…

    …oh.

    Wait, what?…

    …never mind.

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    Mitch McConnell is silent on guns when questioned by reporters. The NRA has been silent. I think they know they are in deep shit.

  18. 18
    Bobby Thomson says:

    On a happier note, any ideas what to get my big sister for her wedding this Friday? She’s been with the same woman for decades and raised three kids together, two of them in or graduated from college, so they don’t need a toaster.

  19. 19
    Bobby Thomson says:

    What about that requires moderation? I just wanted ideas for a wedding present for someone who has been in a committed relationship for decades but only recently allowed to marry.

  20. 20
    the Conster says:

    @bemused:

    Exposed as heartless chickenshits when everyone’s watching. This is a very interesting development.

  21. 21
    Allen says:

    It’s bad news for the NRA when news like this makes international news. We are seeing here in Portland of making NRA members unwelcome in business establishments.

    As an aside, the best dog I ever had was my Dobie, kind, sweet and gentle. But had all of her ears and tail. Looked like a giant, long legged Dachshund.

  22. 22
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Mark S.: #7

    Wow.

    First, blasphemy. Absolutely.

    Second, I wonder if that is sort of what the Romans saw when they looked at the itinerant preacher we call Jesus? Is that why they offed him?

  23. 23

    @Robin G.:

    The problem with having quick and easy access to weapons is that there is no “cooling down period” when you get pissed off at someone. Over in the UK guns have to be kept in gun clubs and hunting clubs and such.

    My uncle was an avid hunter and he would go check his shotgun out of the club, spend the day hunting and then return it when he was done.

    So say you get into an argument with some guy at a bar, you punch him in the face rather than shoot him cause it’s too much of a pain in the arse to go to the gun club to get your weapon.

  24. 24
    PurpleGirl says:

    Ruby is a cutie.

    (If you mouse over the photo, you’ll see that Tim named both dogs — Max and Ruby.)

  25. 25
    CW in LA says:

    @Lee: Don’t forget the supreme court. What’re you getting all worked up about, Mr. Scalia? We’re just practicing our sighting and aiming.

  26. 26
    Garbo says:

    @Ash Can: ISWYDT:

    . Very nice pause in all the stress.

  27. 27
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’m being annoying because this is the third time I’ve posted this today, but last night you were looking for advice on community organizing. I called the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence, and the executive director Josh Horwitz told me to e-mail him at jhorwitz-at-csgv.org, because they are going to send out packets with advice for volunteering in the next few days. I have no idea how helpful this will be, but just in case.

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    Who is their god and how is he different from everyone else’s god? The teabaggers must be some very special people to get their own god.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Robin G.:

    I have to admit, a line from Barcelona has been going through my head lately: “Americans aren’t more violent than other people, we’re just better shots.”

  30. 30
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I just wanted ideas for a wedding present for someone who has been in a committed relationship for decades but only recently allowed to marry.

    A down comforter.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:

    Oh, and I wuv Max! The dachshund is sweet too. Thanks so much.

  32. 32
    Cassidy says:

    @gogol’s wife: Ooh thank you. I’m still waiting for the Million Moms chapter here in Florida to get back to me. Thank you.

  33. 33
    OldDave says:

    What a pretty long-haired pup. Max, of course, is beautiful. My heart belongs to Dachshunds, however.

  34. 34

    I wondered if one solution — because there will be many, not just one — might be to require all gun owners carry liability insurance coverage, say $1 million or some such high amount? The way we do for automobiles? Because while mass shootings may be rare, accidental shootings are all too common — some idiot leaves their gun lying around a toddler finds it, or a loaded gun slips out of someone’s waistband and fires, whatever.

    I wondered if liability insurance would help a) pay for the damages from negligence and b) maybe be a deterrent to owning mass quantities of guns for some people. I dunno, someone I suggested this to said it was a stupid idea, and maybe it is. Just throwing it out there.

    Looking for some fresh ideas here is all.

  35. 35
    bemused says:

    @the Conster:

    Yes. Funny how they, other than teapartiers, can’t come out and stand up with courage for their “convictions”.

    They really cannot stop themselves from overreaching even to the point of their own destruction.

  36. 36
    hitchhiker says:

    Sigh. It’s days like this that I’m forcibly reminded that my siblings are redneck assholes. I don’t even want to think about seeing them anytime soon, after glancing at what they’ve put up on facebook.

  37. 37
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Yeah, that would work. Thanks.

  38. 38
    AliceBlue says:

    @Mark S.:
    That’s…I don’t know, I just can’t…

  39. 39
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It’s almost like they’re bitter and they’re clinging to something.

  40. 40
    flukebucket says:

    When they embrace their gun they are embracing their God.

  41. 41

    Also, don’t laugh, but why don’t we have “doc in the box”-type psychiatric facilities? I mean, I’m not a doctor so I don’t know. Is it because psychological disorders are harder to diagnose and treat than, say, broken bones and colds and flu?

  42. 42

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It’s almost like they’re bitter and they’re clinging to something.

    OH MY GOD HOW DARE YOU (cue faux outrage machine …)

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @bemused: Bob Costas must feel vindicated.

  44. 44
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    “Sandy Hook Should Cause Us To Embrace our Guns and our God.”

    “And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” — Barack Obama, 2008.

    (Emphasis mine.) Did he call it, or what?

    [Crossposted with Matt McIrvin.]

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @Robin G.:

    Either Americans have access to more effective methods of murder, or Americans are just inherently more sick and evil than the British. I’d love to see the latter argument be made by the AMERICA EFF YEAH crowd.

    I think there’s something to be said about the latter, but in a different way. Culturally, we have extremely different attitudes about guns, and the more backstory we’re getting about Newtown, the home of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the more it sounds like that local culture laid the foundation for this – and that might be part of why the right is so silent here. This seems decidedly less random:

    But in the last couple of years, residents began noticing loud, repeated gunfire, and even explosions, coming from new places. Near a trailer park. By a boat launch. Next to well-appointed houses. At 2:20 p.m. on one Wednesday last spring, multiple shots were reported in a wooded area on Cold Spring Road near South Main Street, right across the road from an elementary school.
    __
    Yet recent efforts by the police chief and other town leaders to gain some control over the shooting and the weaponry turned into a tumultuous civic fight, with traditional hunters and discreet gun owners opposed by assault weapon enthusiasts, and a modest tolerance for bearing arms competing with the staunch views of a gun industry trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which has made Newtown its home.

    This was developing into the kind of town that the right dreams about – where lots of people own high powered guns, and where that liberal gun policy would make everything awesome. And we’ve now seen the outcome – poorly secured weapons in an environment where guns are fetishized has led to tragedy.

    That’s why the GOP will have so much trouble spinning this. This was the town where everyone had a gun.

  46. 46
    gogol's wife says:

    Tim F., you’re so good at community mobilization. What should we be doing?

  47. 47
    Waldo says:

    @Lee: I’m picturing Boehner calling a session to order by banging the butt of a loaded six-shooter — with predictably hilarious results.

  48. 48

    @JPL:

    @bemused:

    Bob Costas must be PISSED OFF. I know I would be.

  49. 49
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I’m all for these fuckers hugging their guns so long as the barrel is snugly nestled underneath the jaw.

  50. 50
  51. 51
  52. 52
    Bulworth says:

    This was developing into the kind of town that the right dreams about – where lots of people own high powered guns, and where that liberal gun policy would make everything awesome. And we’ve now seen the outcome – poorly secured weapons in an environment where guns are fetishized has led to tragedy.

    That’s why the GOP will have so much trouble spinning this. This was the town where everyone had a gun

    All true, but the GOPteabag is still spinning this. Effectively or not I don’t know. But spinning they are.

  53. 53

    I’m not a big Susie Madrak fan but I would like to point people to this item about gun manufacturers being exempt from tort liability, thanks to Bush The Lesser.

    Seriously, WTF? Did someone see that movie “The Jury” or something?

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    @JPL:

    Costas and many others.

    I’m just curious to see how long the NRA is going to stay silent publicly. It might take awhile for them to come up with some Frank Luntz bumper sticker spin they hope will work with their members who aren’t totally gun insane.

    The NRA must be doing some frantic communications with their members. Anyone know what they are emailing their membership?

  55. 55
    jl says:

    I do not understand why Josh Marshall, who is a historian by training, is tip toeing around the issue of whether it makes a lick of sense historically or constitutionally to say that a supposed unlimited constitutional right to gun ownership is some kind of mechanism to prevent tyranny in the U.S. Or even paying attention to writers who say that debunking that nonsense is no way to appeal to gun nuts. Forget appealing to gun nuts, they are nuts, Be polite to them, and at least start with a civil conversation, but who cares about negotiating with yourself before you address an audience of which a substantial proportion is nuts?

    The idea unlimited and unregulated right to bear any kind of arm anywhere and anyhow has anything to do anything thing the Founders, even drunk off their asses, thought about how to maintain democracy and liberty is just nuts. As I think any fool can see from Whiskey Rebellion. Let us take a look from Wikipedia on how that ended:

    ” In October, Washington traveled west to review the progress of the military expedition…. Convinced the federalized militia would meet little resistance, [Washington] placed the army under the command of the governor of Virginia, Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Washington returned to Philadelphia; Hamilton remained with the army as civilian adviser.[93]

    The insurrection collapsed as the army marched into western Pennsylvania in October 1794. Some of the most prominent leaders of the insurrection… fled westward to safety. After an investigation, federal government officials arrested about 20 people and brought them back to Philadelphia for trial…. a federal grand jury indicted 24 men for high treason.[95] Most of the accused had eluded capture, so only ten men stood trial for treason in federal court.[96] Of these, only Philip Vigol (later changed to Wigal) and John Mitchell were convicted. Vigol had beaten up a tax collector and burned his house; Mitchell was a simpleton who had been convinced by David Bradford to rob the U.S. mail. Both men were sentenced to death by hanging, but they were pardoned by President Washington.[97] Pennsylvania state courts were more successful in prosecuting lawbreakers, securing numerous convictions for assault and rioting.[98]

    LegacyT
    The Washington administration’s suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion met with widespread popular approval ”

    Edit: (link) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiskey_Rebellion

    So, in addition to what I think is good evidence that Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin would not go along with the NRA industry front group BS on constitutional rights, there is what happened in history.

    The commie Hamilton would obviously not go along, merely on the basis of his stated approach to constitutional interpretation.

    And Washington was a confirmed Hamiltonian, an inconvenient fact that Washington’s contemporary reactionary fan boys and girls never fail to forget.

    So, as soon as we get a better Supreme Court, pass some laws, and confiscate some things and make everyone register everything else, there may be another more dispersed Whickey Rebellion. It will be too bad for the nut cases, but they had a choice.

  56. 56
    beltane says:

    @Southern Beale: Psychological disorders are hard to diagnose and harder to treat. Often they are not treated very effectively even in the best of circumstances. And many times the treatment itself can cause additional problems with some meds causing violent and/or suicidal behavior in certain patients, even ones who may have responded well to a certain drug previously. Many personality disorders can hardly be treated at all. There are so many variables and unknowns when dealing with mental health that I doubt we’ll ever see a time when someone will be able to pop over to a clinic, be diagnosed with, say, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and walk away with a prescription that will fix them.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    bemused says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Vindicated and pissed off.

  59. 59
    Liberty60 says:

    @Robin G.:

    or Americans are just inherently more sick and evil than the British. I’d love to see the latter argument be made by the AMERICA EFF YEAH crowd.

    Sadly, I can already see the argument:

    Murkins are more honest and God-fearing than the British.

    Now those people….y’know who I mean…c’mon, THOSE people- are nasty and dangerous and violent.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I love the historic meanings of comfort too (mufflers were also called comforters). beyond the solace, it also brings warmth, aid, support and strength. Very good imagry for a wedding.

  61. 61
    Mark S. says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    Private Christ’s first day at boot camp would have been an appointment with the fucking Army barber.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    Lovely photo of Max and Ruby. Thanks, Tim.

    @Southern Beale:

    Also, don’t laugh, but why don’t we have “doc in the box”-type psychiatric facilities? I mean, I’m not a doctor so I don’t know. Is it because psychological disorders are harder to diagnose and treat than, say, broken bones and colds and flu?

    Where to start… Because mental health issues have long been ignored, brushed under the rug, treated as weakness. Heard some discussion on NPR (Diane Rehm, I think) today and an expert she had on pointed out that mental health requirements to be denied a gun haven’t changed since 1968. One of them is that you can’t be labeled “mentally deficient”. What does that even mean? It’s an outdated label that is pejorative toward the individual and practically meaningless.

    Even today, many if not all health insurance programs treat mental health as something separate from “health”. It bills differently, it has fewer visits allowed, etc.

    And yes, it’s not as easy to diagnose mental health issues in a quick visit the way it is to diagnose the flu or a broken bone. Several visits, plus trying (and probably changing and trying again) various types of medication until you find the right ones. And then following up on compliance.

    The issue with mental health is that the non-normal mental state IS the disease. Unlike with thyroid disease or a broken bone, where the person might ALSO be experiencing mental issues, but the primary issue is not the person’s mental health, with mental health issues the brain changes and that’s the disease. Fixing it requires the person’s compliance (unless committed) and that can be difficult because they don’t have the energy, interest, desire, whatever to comply.

  63. 63
    KS in MA says:

    @Matt McIrvin: LOL! (And to think it took 39 posts to get there …)

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Along those lines, they might appreciate a silk comforter.

    Just as wonderful as a down comforter, but better better for handling the hot/cold issues one might have at a certain age. They make a really nice silk comforter at soft surroundings.

    Edit: they do not come with the kitty that is shown in the photo.

  65. 65
    Mark S. says:

    The NRA’s been silent? They aren’t behind the “if we only armed our kindergarten teachers this never would have happened” line of argument? Or is that argument only teabag-grade stupid?

  66. 66

    @Mark S.:

    There’s a subset of evangelical fundie Christians who insist Jesus was clean shaven and had short hair.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl: Have to say, I’m happy that DeadSpin stays on Racist Tweet Watch when stuff happens involving the President. They are holding people accountable for what they say, which is kind of refreshing. This is not the first time they’ve done this.

  68. 68
    LanceThruster says:

    I love Dachshunds. I miss mine from years past (Salud! Willy and Max!).

  69. 69
    PeakVT says:

    @Robin G.: Sadly, the gun nut crowd will just blame that particular bit of American exceptionalism on “those people.” And at a superficial level it’s true – the homicide rate (both offender and victim) is much higher in the AA population than the white population. But the superficial level also ignores some pretty ugly history that goes a long way towards explaining the discrepancy.

  70. 70
    bemused says:

    @Mark S.:

    The NRA has been silent as in no twitter or facebook since Friday. Other pro-gun groups are another story.

  71. 71
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Either Americans have access to more effective methods of murder, or Americans are just inherently more sick and evil than the British. I’d love to see the latter argument be made by the AMERICA EFF YEAH crowd.

    @Robin G.: Too easy. The AMERICA EFF YEAH crew will simply and calmly explain to you, without batting an eye, that our murder rate is higher because we have more non-whites.

  72. 72
    JCT says:

    @Mark S.: They have been officially silent. Not even a “don’t politicize this tragedy” comment. They are desperately hoping this will lose steam like all the other massacres. Not this time.

    The arming of teachers is an constant refrain from the gun fappers, nothing new there.

  73. 73
    tinare says:

    I have that exact same dog bed. The cat steals it from the dog frequently, though.

  74. 74
    Schlemizel says:

    As for the presence of the Great Hairy Thunderer at Sandy Hook:
    He was with Moses in the desert for 40 years
    He was with Noah on the Ark
    He was with Daniel in the lions den
    He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace
    He was with Jesus on the cross

    But a 1962 USSC decision that schools can not force you to pray and teachers can not lead a prayer is all it takes to defeat Him.

    What a wimp you must think this Cosmic muffin is! What a pathetically weak and useless deity you must assume Him to be.

    My God is much stronger than that – I shall pray to him now and you, the US Supreme Court and all your armys may try to stop me from praying – go on. Try to stop me!

  75. 75
    👽 Martin says:

    @Violet:

    Fixing it requires the person’s compliance (unless committed) and that can be difficult because they don’t have the energy, interest, desire, whatever to comply.

    That’s really the problem. There’s a whole social stigma we’re still working to overcome, but even once you get over that, it’s hard to get non-rational people to act rationally on a consistent basis. And when you get them on their meds and they get better they decide they don’t like the side-effects, or that they’re better, and go off their meds.

    We used to commit everyone, and thank goodness we don’t do that any longer, but the cost of that good decision is that we needed to erect a whole slew of additional services and laws, and that didn’t happen. We just yanked most of the people out of the asylums and turned them on the street where a lot of them remain.

    We have a young man (early 20s) who roams around our neighborhood. 90% of the time he’s a nice guy, but 10% of the time he’s not. He may have had some psychological problems, but either way he’s burned his brain out on drugs and though we’ve been interacting with him for 5 years he acts like its the first time he ever met us (though we’re familiar to him). We kind of look out for him (which sometimes means calling the police) but his mom is a school administrator. She’s a wonderful woman, but she has a job and a 20+ year old that she can’t control but remains responsible for. Her husband died some years ago in an accident. How’s she to do that? Quit her job and stay home? The guy is an adult. She can’t force him to get psychological help, though she tries. The only additional structure we have is that the neighborhood tries to keep him reasonably contained and the police visit him about once a week. That’s it. It’s just a huge hole in our society that this guy fell into, until such time that he fucks up badly enough that he winds up in prison.

  76. 76
    IowaOldLady says:

    I was driving along listening to NPR (Totebagger. I know. I don’t care.) and they were saying that more and more people were open to the idea of gun control, “even some Christian conservatives.” That “even” probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I hadn’t realized that conservative Christianity had become associated, perhaps most associated, with NRA lunacy.

  77. 77
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Also, don’t laugh, but why don’t we have “doc in the box”-type psychiatric facilities? I mean, I’m not a doctor so I don’t know. Is it because psychological disorders are harder to diagnose and treat than, say, broken bones and colds and flu?

    @Southern Beale: I was standing in a gun shop in Southern California when a rather disheveled woman came in. The shop got quiet as it was obvious that something was up. She looked around for a few minutes and then asked if she could buy four .38 caliber bullets.

    Everyone froze.

    “Ma’am, I’m afraid you’re going to have to leave.”

    She did. God only knows what the cashier prevented that day.

    But they’re almost always not that easy, not by a long shot. You work with mentally ill people. You share freeways with them, Rotary meetings, PTA functions. They’re everywhere. And they’re really hard to diagnose even after months of study, never mind a single sixty minute session, unless they are so insane as to be literally disabled. Especially if they’re well enough to be working.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    Also, even more so than with physical disease, consistency of care is vitally important for mental health treatment. You need to be able to see the same person every week to build up a level of trust with them, not see a different “doc in a box” every time.

    Meds are great and they have changed people’s lives, but every reliable study I’ve ever seen has shown that they’re vastly more effective when combined with therapy — or, as therapists like to say, “Pills don’t teach skills.” Giving a schizophrenic medication may help their delusions, but they won’t help that person find a job or build better relationships with their family.

  79. 79
    Mark S. says:

    @Schlemizel:


    It reminds me of that Star Trek
    where they find Apollo on some planet, who gets strong when people worship him and weak when they make fun of him.

  80. 80
    Tim F. says:

    @gogol’s wife: F*cked if I know. Community mobilization works best when an issue has already ripened to the point where the thing to do is clear and you only need some extra political momentum to push it over the top. Most of all you need a simple and coherent message: Pass the Damn Senate Bill, or man up and propose the fiscal cliff cuts that you say you want. IMO blogs are not a great place to mature a policy agenda from vague goals (fewer gun killing sprees) to a specific pressure-your-Representative action plan (maybe a ban on high-capacity magazines?).

    Maybe we could do some good if we all phoned our Reps and asked them to at least ban semi-auto assault rifles and ammo magazines of ridiculous size. A consistent and noticeable uptick in that kind of call could get the attention of politicians at every end of the spectrum. I will think about it.

  81. 81
    👽 Martin says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    I hadn’t realized that conservative Christianity had become associated, perhaps most associated, with NRA lunacy.

    Jesus is my copilot point gunner.

  82. 82
    Mandalay says:

    Words fail me. This article isn’t four years old, it is from today….

    Controversy over President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president surfaced anew Monday during a ceremony to record Arizona’s Electoral College votes for president…

    The state Republican Party chairman and two other Electoral College members spoke up during the ceremony to voice doubts about Obama’s eligibility as a native-born U.S. citizen.

    “I’m disappointed that the other candidate, Barack Obama, has not been properly vetted as a legitimate candidate for president,” said Don Ascoli, a party leader from Gila County.

    “I hope our Congress will formally investigate the issue that has been brought to our attention and even investigated by our own sheriff, Joe Arpaio,” he said.

    http://ktar.com/22/1596079/Oba.....a-electors

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    @👽 Martin: I think the prisons are the largest mental health facility in New York now. Probably similar in other states. It’s an absolute crime what happened under Reagan wrt mental health (lots of other things too, of course). Closing down the mental hospitals and then cutting off funding at the local level means people are just shit out of luck.

    The Diane Rehm show was heartbreaking. People were calling in with similar situations are you describe and the “experts” had very little to offer. They’d say call this or that organization and the caller would say, “I’ve called all of them many times. They can offer no help.” Then the expert would say the child or young adult needed to be seen by a doctor. Whereupon the caller would say the child had been seen by many doctors since they were very young and nothing had worked. One woman just flat out said, “There is NO help for you at the time of crisis. Nothing.” And the experts just murmured, “I’m sorry” and “Best of luck.”

    It just fucking sucks for the person with mental health issues, for the families and sometimes for the communities.

  84. 84

    “I’m disappointed that the other candidate, Barack Obama, has not been properly vetted as a legitimate candidate for president,” said Don Ascoli, a party leader from Gila County.

    In a democracy, winning an election is all the vetting one needs.

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    @Tim F.: Thanks Tim. You’ve been great in mobilizing us to call. I think a strong and continued uptick in calls to Reps on this issue might strengthen their spines.

  86. 86
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mandalay: Head / Desk.

    You can’t make this stuff up; if you wrote a play around it, the critics wouldn’t believe it.

  87. 87
    Jay S says:

    @👽 Martin:

    poorly secured weapons in an environment where guns are fetishized has led to tragedy.

    This type of argument is really starting to bug me. We don’t know yet how well or poorly secured the weapons were. We just know that they were taken and used. This “poorly secured” statement plays into the fantasy world of the self righteous gun owner. The one who “always” clears the chamber, is totally responsible and would never have anything like this happen to him. Until it does.

    Nobody does anything perfectly all the time, we are human and the best training in the world still doesn’t keep us from making mistakes. Sometimes fatal ones. There are risks that you can’t eliminate by being careful, because you can’t be careful all of the time. It is not physically or mentally possible. The best you can do is mitigate risk.

    We need to recognize that gun owners are one screw up away from something bad happening, and stuff happens. Perhaps a common view of that can provide some push back against the gun rights absolutists.

  88. 88
    Lojasmo says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    1200 thread count sheets.

  89. 89
    TooManyJens says:

    @bemused:

    The NRA has been silent as in no twitter or facebook since Friday.

    Not just silent — they took down their Facebook page.

  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:

    @Lojasmo: Another idea (this time inspired by Lojasmo):

    Sheets made out of tencel. They are softer than soft and lighter than air. And keep getting even more so, every time you wash them. The same fabric also goes by the name Lyocell.

  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @TooManyJens: I call that “hiding”.

  92. 92
    PeakVT says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Well, no, it’s not. Otherwise the previous Indiana SoS would still have his job. But there’s no amount of vetting that would satisfy the kooks when it comes to Obama. What they really want is “vetting” that produces a different answer, one that is grounds for impeachment. They’re not going to get that, of course.

  93. 93
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Okay, is anyone else OBSESSING over the Star Trek trailer?

    I thought the use of music in The Hobbit: Part One: The Hobbitening SUCKED. Why didn’t Thorazine Soren Thorin have his own theme? The incessant repeat of the misty mountain song was like the experience of reading the Hobbit: too many dwarves. Break it up a little. And at times the music was more grandiose than the action. Hobbit is a little smaller than LoTR and needs to be treated appropriately. Howard Shore: phoning it in. Director/mixers: wake the fuck up. Otherwise, it ends up looking like this video, a masterpiece of action not fitting the music (poor Boa):

    BOA: Only One

    Cumberbatch versus Kirk, yeeeeee hawwwwww!

  94. 94
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @WaterGirl: Does tencel still feel rough as tree bark whenever it gets wet?

    I had tencel jeans once. NEVAR AGAIN.

  95. 95
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PeakVT: But there’s no amount of vetting that would satisfy the kooks when it comes to Obama.

    Exactly. It’s like that episode of TNG where the bigoted humans refuse to accept Data as a commanding officer. They can’t find a REAL reason to disqualify him but they’re sure… so sure… there’s just something.

    /star trek on the brain

  96. 96
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Clearly, the absence of gun massacres in Australia since banning assault rifles means that God has not abandoned them.

    @Violet:

    I think the prisons are the largest mental health facility in New York now. Probably similar in other states.

    Yep. The psych unit on Riker’s Island is the largest individual mental health facility in the entire US. In NC, the dedicated inpatient mental health unit at the central prison in Raleigh is a bit smaller than the non-correctional inpatient facilities (~200 beds to ~300) but that’s only because it’s reserved for the severest cases.

    You can say “there is a real problem with mental health provision in the US”. You can say “there is a real problem with guns in the US.” You can even say “there is a real problem with mental health provision in the US, especially in the areas where guns are most prevalent, whether rural or urban.”

    What you can’t say is “the gun problem is a mental health problem.”

  97. 97
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jay S:

    Nobody does anything perfectly all the time, we are human and the best training in the world still doesn’t keep us from making mistakes. Sometimes fatal ones.


    Remember this?

    We need to recognize that gun owners are one screw up away from something bad happening, and stuff happens. Perhaps a common view of that can provide some push back against the gun rights absolutist

    Like nuclear power, with great power comes great responsibility.

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    MAXPUPPEH!! And awesomesauce Doxie too!

  99. 99
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Sherlock Holmes intensity against Kirk. It should be fun.

    Also, trivia in the Hobbit: Radagast the Brown is played by Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor.

  100. 100
    👽 Martin says:

    @Jay S:

    We don’t know yet how well or poorly secured the weapons were.

    Yes we do – not well enough.

    Nobody does anything perfectly all the time, we are human and the best training in the world still doesn’t keep us from making mistakes.

    Fair enough, but this isn’t an isolated incident. Poor gun safety is rampant in this country. Most school shootings are committed by kids that access their parents guns. This happens on a regular basis:

    SEATTLE — A 3-year-old scrambled out of his child seat after his parents stopped for gas early Wednesday, found a gun police say was left in the car by his father and fatally shot himself in the head.

    PONTIAC — A 3-year-old boy from Pontiac will recover after he shooting himself in the face with his father’s handgun, Oakland County sheriff’s officials say.

    A 5-year-old Philadelphia girl shot herself while playing with a gun Tuesday night, according to police.

    8-Year-Old Finds Gun, Accidentally Shoots Self
    Police say the girl and her brother were playing with the gun when the shooting occurred.

    Ryder Rozier, a three-year old boy has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while playing with his uncle’s gun in a bedroom of his uncle’s home. Rozier’s uncle is an Oklahoma state trooper, and the gun was a personal weapon, not state-issued, according to The Oklahoman:

    Those are all just this year, found with a 60 second google search. The oldest here was eight – so those all preclude any kind of deliberate attempt to unlock a gun safe. We’ll tolerate the human error stories when stupid fucking behavior ones go away. It is perfectly reasonable to assume at this stage that any such tragic shooting has poor gun safety as a component, because it almost always has poor gun safety as a component.

  101. 101
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl: A miracle happened here.

    Hope everyone enjoyed the dreidlen and gelt b/c Hanukkah is finis and XMas approacheth like unto a freight train.

  102. 102
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Nothing new under the sun

    Mark Twain on America’s blind spot where guns are concerned

    Never handle firearms carelessly. The sorrow and suffering that have been caused through the innocent but heedless handling of firearms by the young! Only four days ago, right in the next farm house to the one where I am spending the summer, a grandmother, old and gray and sweet, one of the loveliest spirits in the land, was sitting at her work, when her young grandson crept in and got down an old, battered, rusty gun which had not been touched for many years and was supposed not to be loaded, and pointed it at her, laughing and threatening to shoot. In her fright she ran screaming and pleading toward the door on the other side of the room; but as she passed him he placed the gun almost against her very breast and pulled the trigger! He had supposed it was not loaded. And he was right — it wasn’t. So there wasn’t any harm done. It is the only case of that kind I ever heard of.

  103. 103
    Roger Moore says:

    @Schlemizel:

    But a 1962 USSC decision that schools can not force you to pray and teachers can not lead a prayer is all it takes to defeat Him.

    I think you’re missing their point. The reason God supported Noah, Moses, Daniel, etc. is because they had been faithful to him and asked for his help. The wingnuts believe that abandoning forced religious observance in school constitutes abandoning God. He is, of course, still all-powerful and could stop a school shooting if he felt like it. But because we’ve told him he’s not welcome in our schools*, he’s having a snit and will let kindergarteners be gunned down in cold blood to show us the error of our ways.

    *Yes, I know that there’s a real difference between refusing to force religion on other people and demanding that they refrain from observance. I don’t think the wingnuts get the distinction.

  104. 104
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Are you sure? Consult The Book and what it had to say about chariots of iron.

  105. 105
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Hey, is she bitter about not getting weird kitchen implements? Time to get that artichoke steamer or whatever W&S is pimping this year. Does she totally not? Then give the gift of an experience. Sending her on a honeymoon cruise may be out of your budget but I’m sure there are more affordable options. :)

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay S:

    We need to recognize that gun owners are one screw up away from something bad happening, and stuff happens. Perhaps a common view of that can provide some push back against the gun rights absolutists.

    It’s a tough sell, because everyone is always convinced that it’s other people who are the problem, not them. Maybe a “step outside your bubble” commercial, using an example where a family’s child is injured/killed by a gun at someone else’s house to show that their child wasn’t safe even though that family always kept their own guns stored safely. They used one here to great effect in California to defeat a parental notification law for abortion — basically, sure, you’re a good parent whose daughter will come talk to you if she’s in trouble, but are you sure your neighbor’s daughter can do the same?

  107. 107
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mark S.:

    A most excellent example & one I had forgotten until you mentioned it. Apparently this is what those followers of a sissy God must think of Him.

  108. 108
    Jay S says:

    @👽 Martin: You misunderstand, I’m all for people trying to be more safe. But that alone isn’t enough.

    As to the weapons in this case being insecure, from the little I know from possibly erroneous reporting, they shot together, he had access to her guns. I believe the only thing that could have prevented his access was not to have the weapons in his environment.

  109. 109
    Schlemizel says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Judges 1:19
    And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

    From this I would suggest that automobiles are the cause of Gods wrath. We must end the scourge of chariots of iron from out country is we are to return to His good graces

  110. 110
    Tonal Crow says:

    (deleted)

  111. 111
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Right on!! ‘Cause it’s not like there were any other dire issues that needed his undivided atte-

    Oh wait, never mind.

    Good to see you around again Tim. You and Max. And…whoever Max’s buddy is.

  112. 112
    👽 Martin says:

    @Jay S:

    As to the weapons in this case being insecure, from the little I know from possibly erroneous reporting, they shot together, he had access to her guns. I believe the only thing that could have prevented his access was not to have the weapons in his environment.

    That’s the problem right there. She knew her kid had problems – enough so that she pulled him out of school over them. The kid struggles to handle school but she leaves him access to an assault rifle?

    There absolutely should not have been guns in that household (certainly not an assault rifle), and if there was a rifle or pistol, very security locked up where the kid didn’t have the combination.

    Gun safety isn’t just trigger locks.

  113. 113

    @beltane:

    Okay thanks.

    I read that “I Am Adam Lanzer’s Mother” thing, and while I also read the rebuttal to it, I do undersetand the overwhelming frustration of people dealing with the mentally ill. I mean, I deal with the homeless and I haven’t run across anyone violent or dangerous but just trying to get someone some mental health treatment when they are telling you that their relatives in France are of royal blood so social services can’t help them and it puts the royal relatives at risk… blah blah … well * sigh *

    It does seem like every day we’re learning new things about how the brain functions and how that affects behavior and all the different pieces that come into play. But it doesn’t seem like that’s translating out into the streets where people are needing help.

  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Interesting question. I never thought about the problem of getting caught in the rain!

    The sheets do feel heavy and rough when wet, but once they are dry they are amazing! Even so, my older tencel sheet sets are much less rough when wet than the newer ones are. I guess the sheets wouldn’t be good for someone who wets the bed, but they are awesomely light weight, particularly when it’s hot and humid in the summer.

    I also have tencel pants. They are very hight but they are not particularly rough when they get wet.

  115. 115

    @👽 Martin:

    There absolutely should not have been guns in that household (certainly not an assault rifle), and if there was a rifle or pistol, very security locked up where the kid didn’t have the combination.

    Gun safety isn’t just trigger locks

    Amen a thousand times AMEN I’ve been saying this for days. I know people don’t want to “blame the mother” when she’s dead, and none of us were there, but it all comes back to gun owners being irresponsible. There is no way in hell that mother should have had guns, let her mentally ill kid have access to them, and also: all of this shit about how if only the teachers were armed? As I said here, the very FIRST victim was more than adequately armed and it did her no good. In fact, it was her guns that Lanzer used to slaughter those kids. So suffice it to say if the mom didn’t have any guns none of this would have happened.

  116. 116
    Lojasmo says:

    @Jay S:

    This type of argument is really starting to bug me. We don’t know yet how well or poorly secured the weapons were. We just know that they were taken and used

    Bullshit. We know they weren’t well enough secured to prevent the kid from getting them.

  117. 117
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Since one of you douchebuckets signed me up for a Tea Party newsletter, I get hourly alerts with titles like this, from ten minutes ago: “Sandy Hook Should Cause Us To Embrace our Guns and our God.”

    Dear illiterates: you only get to pick one.

    Not really – the God of wingnuts is Moloch. The God of the people duping them is Mammon.

  118. 118
    LanceThruster says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    She looked around for a few minutes and then asked if she could buy four .38 caliber bullets.

    Do gun stores have the same rights as restaurants (i.e. right to refuse service to anyone)?

  119. 119
    Jay S says:

    @👽 Martin: I would agree up to the point you say this:

    and if there was a rifle or pistol, very security locked up where the kid didn’t have the combination.

    Between Murphy’s law, human error or human ingenuity, with physical access to the locking device and physical access to the holder of the combination, I can’t imagine any way to completely secure a weapon.

    ETA and I do not know that she did not do what you suggest. The weapons needed to not be there.

  120. 120
    Arundel says:

    Megan McArdle thinks tighter gun control is stupid, because she’s a Libertarian jerk, duh.

    So she advocates teaching kids to gang up and bum-rush heavily armed mass-murderers. Instead of running and hiding, they should physically overpower the assailant.

    She is insane. Via Chait:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....award.html

  121. 121
    Dieter says:

    They may look like they’re sharing, but I’ve seen this game played out with my Vizslas.
    Some whining, and some growling, and “Who’s the Boss?”
    Or maniacal running through the house and out the door.

  122. 122
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Arundel: McArgleBargle saw it on a cartoon show once, so it must be true!

Comments are closed.