They decide and the shotgun sings the song

Not surprising:

According to sources, David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air… The directive created a rift inside the network… During the weekend, one frustrated producer went around Clark to lobby Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice-president for news editorial, but Clemente upheld the mandate.”

The same stuff happens at MSNBC, which is just a liberal Fox, as you all know.

122 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    I know a job’s a job and all, but how the hell can anyone work at Fox and still respect themselves when they look in the mirror?

  2. 2
    the Conster says:

    Well, since all the Republicans work for Fox, that explains their refusal to go on the Sunday shows (except certifiable lunatic Louie Gohmert) and the NRA’s silence – the gun manufacturers’ PR/legal teams haven’t issued the talking points yet. I’m very curious to see what spin they settle on.

  3. 3
    Gex says:

    I think it is getting to me. The sheer volumes of mendacious, evil, BULLSHIT the right can spew to twist the dialogue and ensure that the conversation gets held on the stupidest of terms. The way that too many believe the opposite of observable fact. It can be gun control, evolution, or climate change. What you believe from your ideology is true, observable reality be damned. It is endless.

    And people eat it up when they give in to fear.

    There is far too strong a drive to champion stupidity and violence in our culture, if you ask me.

  4. 4
    Patricia Kayden says:

    What do you mean by the same thing happens at MSNBC? You’re joking, right?

  5. 5
    Keith says:

    They won’t talk gun control, but video games and birth control are fair game.

  6. 6
    the Conster says:


    Everything is to blame for gun deaths except guns.

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Recalibrate your snark meter, please.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    @the Conster: Absolutely. Anyone who wants any regulation of buns (Edit: I meant guns. I absolutely want NO regulation whatever of buns, of all kinds) at all, well that foolish do-gooder will scare a gun nut, who will then go out and spray the town with lead. That do-gooder should STFU or have blood on his or her hands.

  9. 9
    Roger Moore says:


    how the hell can anyone work at Fox and still respect themselves when they look in the mirror?

    Maybe they don’t have a reflection. We all know that self reflection has never been a strong conservative trait.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    The same stuff happens at MSNBC

    It does. When has MSNBC ever had a serious story about Obama’s apology tour, or about the New Black Panthers?

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Didn’t Murdoch tweet something that was more-or-less a call for new gun laws? I’ve seen vague reports before that Murdoch gets a lot of heat from his family about Ailes’s over the top partisanship and ‘wing-itude. I’ve always assumed Murdoch was much more interested in money and power than politics. I wonder how this will play out.

  12. 12
    Tom The First says:

    This is why we need to read more newspapers. Yes, headlines are there to makes sales, but the rest is content… information that someone had to actually gather, think about and put into words instead of spout off after their five minutes in the makeup chair.

  13. 13

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It is now obvious that Murdoch does not watch Fox News, his views are so far to the left of his network’s it is not even funny.

  14. 14
    bemused says:

    At least one person has no conflict with working at Fox News, calling Obama voters zombies while having donated $500 to Obama’s 2012 campaign…Jesse Watters. Go figure.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    Fox will try to shield the GOP from blowback on this issue, but ultimately they’ll cut the NRA loose if it looks like their party will pay a political price for gun support.

    Fox is the media wing of the GOP.

    There is no question about this.

  16. 16
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Too many drownings. What we need to fix it is more water.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    I’m still breathless at Megan’s solution…

    Can I propose a new form of glibertarian? Megan can the chief ideologist of the Lemmingtarians.

  18. 18

    Wow. And yet, Rupert Murdoch — a gun control advocate — criticized President Obama on Twitter for not showing “bold leadership”.


  19. 19
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I was thinking that the old western sheriffs had it right when they had people drop their weapons off at his office before being allowed into the town.

    There’s a reason they did that.

  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    Because people kill people, we need better gun safety laws.

    My revision of “guns don’t kill people…people kill people.”

  23. 23
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Southern Beale:

    This may be a tangent, but it there any more useless phrase in politics than “he needs to show more leadership?” Politics doesn’t run on leadership, it runs on votes, and either a president’s got the votes or he doesn’t.

    I mean, I don’t want to sound like an asshole, but this isn’t Mr. Smith goes to Washington. The number of congresspeople who can have their votes changed by an impressive or heart-tugging speech is vanishingly small.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The irony of Doug’s title for this thread is of course utterly lost on wingtards, who imagine that “Don’t Get Fooled Again” is some sort of “conservative” manifesto song.

  25. 25
    MikeJ says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The number of congresspeople who can have their votes changed by an impressive or heart-tugging speech is vanishingly small.

    Obama, can’t get the crazy half of congress to vote to keep the United States a continuing operation. Not that anybody else could either. He’s dealing with lunatics. Nothing is going to win their votes.

  26. 26
    jl says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Horrible story. Here is the line in the story that bothered me:

    ” It is unclear why Blakely was in San Francisco, but his father lives in the Bayview district, and Blakely visited often, multiple sources said. ”

    So, it was unclear why Blakely was in the SF Bayview district (probably the most dangerous neighborhood in SF, sometimes seems like a free fire zone, from the news stories), except, oh yeah, his dad lives there.

    The guy was (probably) at least part African-American, so who the hell did he think he was that he could like, go some place or other to see his dad? Did he think he was like, some kind of equal citizen with right of free association, and maybe see his family members, or what?

    Edit: a friend and I got lost driving one day, and ended up driving around the Bayview. Very scary place, especially for a person who, from a distance, obviously does not belong. Way scarier than anything I experienced in Los Angeles.

  27. 27
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @jl: When will we have better bun control laws in this country?!??

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Ugh. The poor kid probably either got mistaken for a gang member or was unlucky enough to be the wrong color in the middle of a gang war. There’s a nasty race-based gang war that’s been ongoing here in Southern California where (for example) a member of a Black gang gets killed by a member of a Latino gang, so the Latino gang goes out and kills the first Black person they see, and the Black gang retaliates by shooting the first Latino they see, and on and on and on, with lots of innocent people getting caught in the cross-fire. No idea if that same insanity has worked its way north, but I really hope not.

  29. 29
    redshirt says:

    Here’s a dispatch from Free Republic: They think Fox is too liberal. Chew on that one for a bit.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Rosie Outlook: In the mean time, you being a responsible BJ commenter, I assume you will keep yours under control.

  31. 31
    JenJen says:

    DougJ, would love your thoughts on the Scarborough thing this morning. I’ve been watching his bullshit for so many years that I can’t even look at it objectively.

  32. 32
    jl says:

    @JenJen: Neither can I. It is difficult for me to care what brutal minded oafs like Scarborough say, since a sensible utterance gives no information at all about the sense of what they might say next.

    I figure, if Scarborough sticks with his current line long enough to be of some use in stopping the carnage and damage our nutcases are doing to civilization,, fine. If not, who cares? Certainly do not rely on this guy to be sensible or reasonable from one hour to the next.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    the Conster says:


    Scarborough is just a typical conservative – they can’t see a problem until it’s up their own ass. He noted that he has an Aspie, and he lives near enough to go there, and he has kids that age, and he went to see the school for himself. If he didn’t, there wouldn’t be any problem (for him) at all.

  35. 35
    Xenos says:

    The closest thing to an equivalent of Fox News is Russia Today. Not in terms of tacky blondes, himbos, and noisy, splashy effects but in terms of a very strict and complicated system for what can be reported, and how.

    A good example of this is a long report they had on yesterday about neofascists in Europe, meaning Germany and Hungary. Of course there is no reference to Russian extremists, or even extremists in any slavic countries.

    There was an interesting nugget at the end of the report on Germany. The movement had gained a foothold in a number of towns, but had been slowed dramatically when the charismatic leaders had been busted for weapons charges.

    Accumulating guns, bombs, mines, and such is a critical way fascists bring followers into the fold, and enforcing gun laws is the first, most effective to take these people out of circulation. So even RT, for all of its dishonesty, has some useful value.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @the Conster: Thanks for info. I just watched a short clip, so didn’t know how self centered his thinking was. Figures, though, sadly I am not surprised.

    Why rely on somebody like that? As soon as the wind shifts slightly, for whatever reason, he will shift to whatever is most convenient for him. I keep hoping most of these celeb corporate media pundits are not as damaged and impaired as they seem to be, but so far I see no reason to bet that they are not.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    I have so little sympathy for Fox News personalities and their sporadic, weak attempts at “ethics” and “responsibility”. They never win these battles, but we always hear about how sad and upset they are.

    Regular people make work decisions every day, and many of them choose NOT to be corrupt and captured. It’s always this epic battle between good and evil with these guys, and evil always wins, but they fought the good fight! They were very “frustrated”, right before they followed the order!

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @the Conster: Who cares why?

  39. 39
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    what frustrates me about Chris Hayes is his constant toeing the party line /sarcasm

  40. 40
    Ryan C says:

    I really think we could kick some ass on the gun control front if we proposed some new ideas. Put something out there that is new, but reasonable enough that only the die hards could object. What about this idea:

    If your gun is used in a shooting, there will be legal consequences for you.

    Strategically, this kicks all the common gun nut arguments right in the teeth. You center the entite conversation on irresponsible gun owners. We’re not coming for your guns. But if you don’t want that kind of responsibility, don’t own one.

  41. 41
    scav says:

    NRA and FAUX both went silent. What a coinkydink. and if they’re not liking the optics. . .

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    No need to rely on him, but there’s no reason not to use him for as long as he’s useful.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    RIP Sen. Daniel Inouye .

    Inouye was a World War II hero and Medal of Honor winner who lost an arm to a German hand grenade during a battle in Italy. He became the first Japanese-American to serve in Congress, when he was elected to the House in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Well, of course Faux is too liberal! Look at that name! It’s French. Now, if they were Fuchs, then we’d be getting properly “conservative”!

  45. 45
    MikeJ says:

    @Raven: I’m with you. I’ve heard this more than once today, that the republicans don’t care until something horrible happens. Well, something horrible happened. If they’re on our side now, at least on this issue, welcome them. Even if they are idiots about everything else.

  46. 46
    magurakurin says:

    Aside. I thought this had to have been a photo shop hoax, but it’s real and the editor had to apologize for it. Un-fucking-believable. But then again it is South Carolina.

    Paper runs ad for assault rifles next to Sandy Hook story.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    I believe this incident is a tipping point. Because it let everyone take a good, long look, in harsh, stark light, at this world the wingnuts have wrought for us.

    The kind of world where we don’t work enough hours to qualify for benefits, so we have to get two jobs where we don’t work enough hours to qualify for benefits.

    The kind of world where Doctors Without Borders comes to our town.

    The kind of world where a classroom of first graders, and the teachers who tried to save them, are just the way the cookie crumbles.

    I think most people really looked at our world the way it is now… and decided that we have to do better.

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    @scav: My Glenn Beck chalk board is in the shop at the moment, but imagine if you will me drawing a bunch of circles all connected to a larger circle at top. Some of the smaller circles are labelled “Fox”, “NRA”, “Big Oil”, “Think Tanks” and such. What’s the big circled labeled as?

  49. 49
    cmorenc says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    This may be a tangent, but it there any more useless phrase in politics than “he needs to show more leadership?” Politics doesn’t run on leadership, it runs on votes, and either a president’s got the votes or he doesn’t.

    But leadership *can* function to corral enough votes to pass important stuff. See: Abraham Lincoln and the 13th Amendment or in more modern times, LBJ and civil rights legislation. However, a substantial portion of the leadership function corralling enough votes is done in back rooms, rather than by public speeches. Public posturing and speeches help lay the foundation for the necessary back room deals, but the part of leadership needed to actually get stuff passed is still mostly done in formerly smoke-filled rooms.

  50. 50
    Irving says:

    I have this nagging feeling that there’s another shoe yet to drop, and the NRA knows it. Nancy was almost certainly an NRA member. Was the kid?

  51. 51
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Ryan C:

    Sorry, that won’t work. You can lead a conservative to logic but you can’t make him think.

  52. 52
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @cmorenc: LBJ and civil rights legislation.

    1965 Senate: 68 D, 32 R
    1965 House: 295 D, 140 R

    That’s what I call ‘leadership’.

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:


    Accumulating guns, bombs, mines, and such is a critical way fascists bring followers into the fold, and enforcing gun laws is the first, most effective to take these people out of circulation.

    Why do you think the Republicans hate gun laws so much?

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @redshirt: hhmmmm, not the olympics . . . looks like a smokestack belching toxic fumes as seen on Googlemaps. . . Dante’s Inferno Lowest Circle or at least the one where they’re trapped and eating each other’s brain after eating their own children . . .? Where DID I put my glasses?

  55. 55
    JenJen says:

    @jl: I mostly agree with your assessment. The Villagers listen to Joe so if it’s good in the short-term, I’m all for it. But? I feel like there’s a but somewhere. I just don’t trust that pin-eyed poorly-tailored fool.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: Because the 101st Chair Force cannot fail, it can only be failed. Or something.

  57. 57
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:


    I just don’t trust that pin-eyed poorly-tailored fool.

    Which demonstrates that your (psycho)pathology meter is in good tune.

    DougJ, how are you holding up since McMegan has eclipsed her own spectacular stupidity by orders of magnitude?

  58. 58
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The Fox News memo went out to the weekend staff — that is, the ones who haven’t completed the brainwashing required to be trusted on weekday coverage, who’d need much less guidance from on high.

  59. 59
    karen says:

    I just saw something that made me burst into tears…one of the kids, Jack Pinto was a big fan of Victor Cruz, a wide receiver for the NY Giants. Yesterday, Victor Cruz wrote on his sneakers “RIP Jack Pinto and Jack Pinto is my hero.” I was already sad but for some reason, seeing that picture Cruz posted on Facebook just really brought the tears. I don’t have any kids but it still touched my soul.

  60. 60
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ryan C: I was thinking along the same lines & posted to that effect when the news was fresh: Make the owner of a gun used in a felony prosecutable as an accessory before the fact. No exceptions, not even if the gun had been stolen out of a locked cabinet. This would probably require redefining ABF to remove the provisions requiring the state to prove intent and affirmative participation.

    At the same time, provide supervised governmental storage of an individual’s firearms, with fairly liberal check-out privileges, for free (or at some nominal cost included in licensing fees). Give a discount to any owner willing to have his weapons tagged with RFID & for weapons that stamp forensic ID on fired bullets.

    This way gun owners have a choice–keep the weapons themselves & be prepared to face consequences for their misuse, or allow local law enforcement to keep them & be indemnified against such responsibility.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    The logistics of such an approach are formidable, but not impossible.

    However, the paranoia of the gun nuts will work hard against this. They want to have their cake (their precious guns) and eat it too (be absolved of responsibility for them).

  62. 62
    amk says:

    Yay. More gun fun. Man blows his face off while showing off new gun’s “safety”

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They want to have their cake (their precious guns) and eat it too (be absolved of responsibility for them).

    In other words, they want rights without responsibilities.

    Wingnut projection strikes again.

  64. 64
    Jay S says:

    @amk: Natural selection at work.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Perhaps more of them can go straight to eating their gu…cake.

    Oh shit, some gunluvah is going to accuse me of being uncivil. Hrrumph!

  66. 66
    Jay S says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This is a case where we could use their “no true gunman” arguments as a flanking maneuver. Like every idiot that shoots themselves or others accidentally, everyone whose weapon is taken from them is part of the irresponsible other.

  67. 67
    amk says:

    @Jay S: Just wish that mother nature would do a rush job of it.

  68. 68
    scav says:

    @Jay S: that is probably the card, their other usual is it must have been illegally obtained, as though legally obtained ones only had bullets that would seek out bad people that deserved it.

    ETA Come to think of it, the no true gunman defense also absolves the manufacturers from liability of safety catches that don’t do what they say on the tin. Nice racket they’ve got going.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    Why do we only have one Soledad O’Brien? We need an army of them.

    How you could say we should have fewer laws, not more, it boggles the mind. If you would come and talk to the people in the town here, they would be stunned by you.

  70. 70
    Jay S says:

    @amk: They did say it was a new gun. Looks like she worked as fast as she could on this one.
    ETA He managed to provide an abject lesson in the process.

  71. 71
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    If only the teachers had guns, they would have been able to prevent this.

    Just like how there were no casualties at the Fort Hood shootings.

  72. 72
    Tom Q says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Actually, his numbers weren’t quite that good for the original Civil Right Bill in ’64. But there he had an almost perfect storm: his own long-time relationships with Congresspeople who were used to him coordinating their efforts, and the shock of the country post-JFK’s killing, which enabled him to (as they used to say after Lincoln’s assassination) “wave the bloody shirt” to whip up support.

    I’ve just read Caro’s account of all this, and he makes the case that only Lyndon Johnson, ascending to the White House in that exact way, was capable of getting the Civil Rights Bill passed. Without that circumstance, blacks might still be disenfranchised throughout the South.

  73. 73
    Jeff Spender says:

    Daniel K. Inouye has passed away.

    Respiratory complications. Aged 88.

    Sad day.

  74. 74
    GregB says:

    Fox News, the GOP’s Ministry of Disinformation.

  75. 75
    Jay S says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: You need a tune up on your snark generator. From the Wikipedia entry, and consistent with my memory:

    President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Paul Helmke, said that “This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places.”[118] However, Lt. General Cone stated: “As a matter of practice, we do not carry weapons on Fort Hood. This is our home.”[119] Military weapons are only used for training or by base security, and personal weapons must be kept locked away by the provost marshal.[120] Specialist Jerry Richard, a soldier working at the Readiness Center, expressed the opinion that this policy had left them unnecessarily vulnerable to violent assaults: “Overseas you are ready for it. But here you can’t even defend yourself.”

    ETA Arming teachers is all kinds of stupid, but Fort Hood is not a counter argument.

  76. 76
    BobS says:

    @Xenos: I disagree. Spend a week watching RT and you’ll come away better informed about national and world events than the same week watching any American news channel. I do agree they’re at their weakest when it comes to critical coverage of Russia, but that I can get in spades from any other channel, not that it’s always accurate- American news stations didn’t exactly shine with their reporting of the 2008 South Ossetia War.
    Anyone getting their news from RT and/or Al Jazeera- or better yet, Pacifica Radio- isn’t nearly as ignorant as someone relying on any of the major American networks or cable news channels.

  77. 77
    Gex says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I keep seeing this solution and wonder, how does it deter the murder-suicide shooter?

    Frankly, I’m beginning to think that a gun owner should require two non-criminal sponsors, each required to carry “sponsor insurance” who would also be liable if the person they vouched for committed a crime with the weapon who could also revoke their sponsorship if necessary.

    Crazy people won’t turn themselves in. However, if you are going crazy, and those two people are going to be held responsible by society if they continue to let you have them as you circle the drain might help us respond when gun aficionados start going nuts. And it prevents the government from being the entity that makes the decision to revoke your guns.

    Maybe it can end the stalemate. Maybe it’s a stupid idea. But if you can’t find two people of your choosing who believe you are responsible enough to own a gun, maybe you shouldn’t. But if we are going to continue to put guns out there as much as we do, we need to 1) develop incentives for people to be watching what’s happening with these gun owners and 2) develop some incentives and processes that can disarm dangerous people BEFORE they slaughter children.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay S:

    Arming teachers is all kinds of stupid, but Fort Hood is not a counter argument.

    Depends on the argument. My version would be, “Why are we supposed to allow more guns into an elementary school than we do on an Army base?”

  79. 79
    Jay S says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, I know, but you have to know what happened at Ford Hood to make it. The original comment maker failed. I’d have tidied up my ETA, but the edit is sluggish and I didn’t have time.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    However, the paranoia of the gun nuts will work hard against this. They want to have their cake (their precious guns) and eat it too (be absolved of responsibility for them).

    It’s not just that; it’s bad politics. To pass any kind of gun regulation, it’s necessary to split the sane gun owners from the gun nuts. That means laws that are sensible enough and easy enough to comply with that the sane owners won’t see them as an attack on their legitimate desire to own firearms for hunting, target shooting, home defense, or whatever. A law that would make gun owners accessories to crimes committed with their guns even if they were careful to keep them out of the wrong hands is exactly the wrong thing. It will convince the sensible gun owners that you hate them and drive them into the arms of the crazies.

    I’m also worried that the proposed law would create perverse incentives for gun owners. It gives owners an incentive to own guns off the books so they won’t get in trouble if they’re stolen. It may even reduce their incentive to lock up their guns carefully, since even the most careful precautions won’t give them any legal benefit in the event their guns are stolen. We want people to lock up their guns when they’re not in use and to report thefts to the police promptly; granting them legal protection if they do those things acts as an incentive to behave the way we want them to.

  81. 81
    Xenos says:

    @BobS: I don’t disagree – in my location we have 24 hour English programming on BBC news, ql Jazeera, CNN Intl., and RT, and a few hours per day in English from France 24 and DW (Germany). Having multiple POVs is very useful.

    As for RT, while it is generally honest, it is similar to Fox in that a systematic bias about which stories to tell and which to avoid. When the editorial line is in flux (like re. Syria over the last week) they are at a complete loss and just stop covering the issue as much as possible. RT hqs some very worthwhile programs, but the channel itself is part of a propaganda system, and is subservient to the goals of that system.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:


    Frankly, I’m beginning to think that a gun owner should require two non-criminal sponsors, each required to carry “sponsor insurance” who would also be liable if the person they vouched for committed a crime with the weapon who could also revoke their sponsorship if necessary.

    I don’t think this is a very workable solution. It would raise the cost of owning a gun by the cost of the insurance, but the true crazies would always be able to find like-minded folk to hold the insurance for them. Remember, the crazies don’t think they’re crazy or criminal, so they’re not going to be afraid of holding insurance for their brethren.

  83. 83
    Calouste says:

    @Jay S: Lakewood is a counter argument. 4 on duty police officers shot and killed by a gunman.

  84. 84
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    I can’t sleep. This shit is literally giving me nightmares. From climate change to war to ubiquitous personal armamentation it just looks like humanity is on the verge of stupiding itself out of existence. I wish there was another point of view that would make me feel more positive about the future. And yeah, I know this isn’t the place to be looking for it.

  85. 85
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Roger Moore: To properly disincentive things like a Bushmaster .223 rather than something like a shotgun or a lever action 45-70 is going to require a lot of political capital. In fact, I forsee any argument of regulation getting lost in the weeds, and eventually the industry skirting those regulation like the auto industry did with their “light trucks” and their CAFE requirements.

    To properly regulate, there needs to be some sort of easily identifiable dividing line between hunting and target guns, and everything else. Or IMO, biometric tethering of one gun to its registered owner.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’ll go back to my proposal, which I’ll be sending via snail mail to my rep and two senators this week:

    Register all guns.

    License all owners.

    Ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds for civilian use. If you need 20 rounds to kill a deer, you shouldn’t be hunting.

  87. 87
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Chad Orzel has a pretty sane column from Monday. He’s a lefty author of books popularizing theoretical physics, and a professor at Union College.
    His basic idea is that to change gun laws you have to be as much a persistent asspain as the crazies who pushed nonstop for the lax laws that we have. It’s not a short shouting match after a tragedy that will make a difference, but nonstop resistance until the national consensus changes enough for new laws.

  88. 88
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Chad Orzel has a pretty sane column from Monday. He’s a lefty author of books popularizing theoretical physics, and a professor at Union College.
    His basic idea is that to change gun laws you have to be as much a persistent asspain as the crazies who pushed nonstop for the lax laws that we have. It’s not a short shouting match after a tragedy that will make a difference, but nonstop resistance until the national consensus changes enough for new laws.

  89. 89
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Sorry for the dupe posts. I’m on the world’s slowest connection and get impatient.

  90. 90
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Mnemosyne: While I agree with your strategy, I think it misses the part that actually works: Cost

    Why is it that smoking and ownership of certain pets can drive up health and housing insurance rates, but owning a gun doesn’t? Why can’t it be required, a revokable bond, renewable every 3 years with re-certification? All of these requirements with costs would then have surcharges associated which would be used to permanently fund a portion of States’ burden of the regulations’ attendant bureaucracy, and some portion set-aside to help victims of gun-violence.

  91. 91
    BobS says:

    @Xenos: I don’t notice that they’re avoiding covering Syria at all- in just a few minutes of sporadic watching today I’ve seen reporting on the attack on the Palestinian refugee camp, Patriot missiles in Turkey, what the situations in Syria and Egypt mean for Israel, and an interview with a Hezbollah spokesman exclusively about the war in Syria.

  92. 92
    Jay S says:

    @Calouste: Yes, a better counter example than anything you can say about Fort Hood. Mnemosyne’s version of Fort Hood can be attacked by the counter factual dreams of imaginary armed warriors. The Lakewood WA police attack can not, although I’m sure the response would be more armed civilians could have carried the day.

  93. 93
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “The paranoia of the gun nuts” is why we’d need the carrot of free storage & indemnification to go along with the stick of prosecution–it will help peel away the hunters & target shooters from the Wolverine-wannabes. Heck, we might even want to get the local & state police to run shooting galleries & ranges (colocated with the gun lockup facilities).

    @Roger Moore: I hear you re perverse incentives. Let me think…

    Maybe we could set standards for home gun lockup: To meet the requirements for “safe storage” (& indemnify the owner from prosecution if a gun is taken) the cabinet would have to be a fixed installation of a certain strength (to resist forcible opening or a breach in the walls) with heavy-duty locks (possibly biometrically operated) & some sort of electronic alarm & registration system to record when the cabinet was opened, which firearms were taken from which racks & when they were replaced. All records would be kept in the cabinet itself–no access from the outside–until & unless they were needed as evidence for the defense of the owner. Keep the alarm circuits separate from the registration circuits & offer a link to a monitoring service so that if the cabinet is breached without authorization, the cops treat it like a burglary. Make the cost of the cabinet tax-deductible or something.

    That’s just off the top of my head & needs to be fleshed out (& thrashed out).

    But once we’ve made it as easy as possible for the owners of licensed weapons to keep them safely, we need to come down extra hard on weapons owned illegally. I don’t think there’s any way to get around that.

    The only other approach I could imagine is to regulate not the guns but the ammunition they use. After all, “Guns don’t kill people–the bullets fired from them kill people.” But size & cost issues means smuggling & illegal possession of ammo would probably be a huuuuuuge problem… Or maybe regulate the clips, with the same objections…

  94. 94
    BobS says:

    @Mnemosyne: Michigan limits you to 6 rounds in a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun (excluding .22 caliber rimfires). Frankly, if you need more than a couple rounds you shouldn’t be hunting.

  95. 95
    equs_personus says:

    ‘If you can’t hit it on the first shot, you shouldn’t be shooting at it’ – Barry Goldwater

  96. 96
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: 3-D printing will soon make the regulation of magazines useless. Much better to make the purchase of ammo something you schedule, with a warehouse of your choice, molecularly ‘fingerprinted’ for a specific gun. I imagine it being like going to your optometrist every few years for a check-up and a fiddle with your Rx. This is the easiest way to get through regulations which limit the size and frequency of ammo purchases for calibers known to be associated with spree-killing weapons.

  97. 97
    BobS says:

    @equs_personus: That’s pithy, but I wonder if Barry Goldwater always killed with one shot.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    Except that if we don’t know what people have, they can’t be insured because no insurer will take on the risk. Once everyone’s arsenal is registered and all of the owners are licensed, then it makes sense to talk about insurance. Otherwise, it’s like telling people they need to be insured before they buy a car.

    ETA: IIRC, the liability clauses of most people’s homeowner’s insurance covers them if someone is injured on their property. I’m not sure how you would divide out gun ownership specifically from other potential accidents visitors could suffer.

  99. 99
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree, but obviously I was not clear. My suggestions are meant to come after compulsory registration, by everyone, for every sale, new or used.

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:


    Ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds for civilian use.

    I’m inclined to think that the right answer is to ban removable magazines for rifles and shotguns. It isn’t just the size of the magazines that’s a problem, but also the speed of reloading. You put in a new magazine and you’re ready to go, as opposed to having to put the rounds into a built-in magazine one at a time. It’s something that’s really only useful if you’re in an extended firefight, which isn’t, or shouldn’t be, the purpose of civilian weapons. Maybe people who really want those kinds of guns could get them if they were in a much more restrictive licensing class.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    3-D printing will soon make the regulation of magazines useless.

    And by “soon,” you mean in 2030, right? Because that’s the closest date I’ve seen so far.

    So we’re supposed to forego gun regulation right now of current guns because of something that could happen 20 years from now?

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Mnemosyne: The question is whether in 20 years you believe a nation which has done the heavy lifting of comprehensive bans on high-capacity magazines–and assuming a drop in spree killings–will bother to proactively regulate a new industry with obtuse and unworkable prohibitions on certain geometries that their machines will not be able to manufacture.

    Even if you believed that would come to pass, what makes you think people won’t side-step the regulations the same way they easily side-step requirements that in-dash entertainment systems can’t be used for anything but GPS if the driver can view it while the vehicle is in motion?

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    So the solution is to not regulate the magazines that are currently available because everything will change 20 years from now?

    Sorry, I think you’re missing a necessary step in your logic there. Governments always have trouble keeping up with technology and have to play catch-up. If that bothers you, become a legislator (or a legislative assistant) and help write the legislation you foresee will be necessary in 2030.

    ETA: Also, I haven’t seen anything showing that ammunition will also be able to be printed with a 3D printer. And without ammunition, your cool 3D printed gun is pretty useless unless you have a good throwing arm.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris T.:

    McArdle is slapping her forehead saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!?”

  106. 106
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am not arguing to ignore high capacity magazines, what I am saying is that it’s a feel-good measure that’s easily side-stepped with enough time and money, which the gun lobby seems to have plenty of. I feel it is far more efficacious to deal with problem weapon platforms, rather than easily re-manufactured aftermarket parts. That was the point I was making up-thread with the example of “light trucks” and CAFE standards.

  107. 107
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jay S: He should be nominated for a Darwin Award.

  108. 108

    Something that drives me nuts about these sorts of things. At the end of the President’s speech at the memorial, he said about the victims that “God has called them home”. NO, NO, No. Some bastard MURDERED them. Unless you think that “God” made that guy murder those children, well, I don’t know what to say.

  109. 109


    That’s pithy, but I wonder if Barry Goldwater always killed with one shot.

    I wonder if he ever saw The Deer Hunter.

  110. 110
    bemused senior says:

    @Mnemosyne: Maybe require that homeowner and renter insurance must insure against gun injury. This then makes the home/renter insurance companies introduce pricing mechanisms to enforce gun safety (they’d probably raise rates for multiple weapons, they’d give discounts for highly effective safes, they’d ask about crazies in the house.) People have to have homeowner’s insurance to satisfy their mortgage holder.

  111. 111

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    The president was just using the standard words of comfort for those who have lost someone dear. Were you expecting a lecture on theodicy?

  112. 112

    @bemused senior:

    That’s what I was thinking. Strict liability for the gun owners. Just like for animals. Require proof of insurance for the purchase of guns or ammo. Big tax on guns and ammo to an insurance fund to back up the gun owners’ policies.

  113. 113
    bemused senior says:

    My other favorite suggestion is the one referred to by Uncle Cosmo above, where long guns have to be stored at a licensed facility (run by the police or perhaps a licensed gun club.) The Brits do this I believe. Should satisfy the legitimate hunters and target shooters. As for handguns, maybe limit the number that can be stored outside such a facility, since Justice Scalia apparently thinks everyone is entitled to have a gun under their bed.

  114. 114
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Chris T.:

    Expanded story on that 11-year old who took a gun to school in Utah. I too have no words.

  115. 115
    Lojasmo says:

    @Jay S:

    ETA Arming teachers is all kinds of stupid, but Fort Hood is not a counter argument.

    No, but Tucson is. In that case, a ccw holder shot the guy who wrested the gun away from the shooter.

  116. 116
    Nickws says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    LBJ and civil rights legislation.

    1965 Senate: 68 D, 32 R
    1965 House: 295 D, 140 R

    That’s what I call ‘leadership’.

    Actually, the anti-civil-Rights filibuster faction were almost all members of that 68-member-strong Dem senate caucus (Thurmond excepted), and they had an extra assist from the rules committee chairman down in the House; ergo on that issue the president’s main enemy came from within his own party.

    Not that I see the analogy to Obama today even being able to return to the Clinton assault weapons ban, seeing as he’d be starting from a standing start, and if Reid goes along with him he still doesn’t have a House leader willing to even entertain said legislation, etc.

  117. 117
    Xenos says:

    @BobS: I just looked into the history of RT, and it looks like RT International, which I get, is a different channel than RT America, wich I presume is what you are getting. Either way, I would not dispute that RT very often compares favorably to American cable news.

  118. 118
    Nutella says:

    It’s simple: Fox News and the NRA-supporting congressmen and senators invited to the Sunday shows are cowards.

    They’re hiding under their beds, whimpering with fear that they might have to accept blame for the all-too-predictable consequences of their political positions and actions.

    Cowards, in shocking contrast to the remarkable courage shown by those grade-school teachers and students in Connecticut.

  119. 119
    BobS says:

    @Xenos: In that respect it would seem they’re the opposite number of CNN, whose international version is superior to the one we get for domestic consumption.
    I don’t deny that RT has it’s weaknesses, but I think calling it “part of a propaganda system” singles it out among news channels for that transgression and gives someone unfamiliar with the station a skewed impression. What are CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. except “part of a propaganda system” i.e. advocates and enthusiastic cheerleaders for neoliberal economics and America’s global empire? The “propaganda system” that RT represents is one that is critical of those things- their daily reporting on Wall Street and the financial crisis puts to shame the best that MSNBC has had to offer. One program alone, Capital Accounts, has interviewed Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Dean Baker, Yves Smith, and Paul Craig Roberts (among many other excellent guests), none of whom make the regular guest list on the mainstream American news shows.

  120. 120
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @jl: Sadly, due to an allergy, I can no longer tolerate
    bunly goodness. So there’s nothing to control.

  121. 121
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Lojasmo: No, the CCW holder was smart enough to realize that he shouldn’t damn well shoot because he wasn’t sure who was the shooter. He did shove the innocent guy into a wall before he realized his mistake, though. He made the right choice in the end not to shoot: another armed, terrified but well-meaning person may have not.

    “I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready,” he explained on Fox and Friends. “I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this.” Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. “And that’s who I at first thought was the shooter,” Zamudio recalled. “I told him to ‘Drop it, drop it!'”
    But the man with the gun wasn’t the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. “Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess,” the interviewer pointed out.
    Zamudio agreed: “I was very lucky. Honestly, it was a matter of seconds. Two, maybe three seconds between when I came through the doorway and when I was laying on top of [the real shooter], holding him down. So, I mean, in that short amount of time I made a lot of really big decisions really fast. … I was really lucky.”
    When Zamudio was asked what kind of weapons training he’d had, he answered: “My father raised me around guns … so I’m really comfortable with them. But I’ve never been in the military or had any professional training. I just reacted.”
    The Arizona Daily Star, based on its interview with Zamudio, adds two details to the story. First, upon seeing the man with the gun, Zamudio “grabbed his arm and shoved him into a wall” before realizing he wasn’t the shooter. And second, one reason why Zamudio didn’t pull out his own weapon was that “he didn’t want to be confused as a second gunman.”

  122. 122
    SoINeedAName48 says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Got to be joking:

    Can we please stop with the false equivalency that MSNBC is a less-competent Fox? MSNBC is slanted, but here are the things that keep them distinct from Fox:
    1) They acknowledge their bias.
    2) They don’t ignore major news stories.
    3) They don’t invent news from fiction.
    4) They don’t fund/promote/create ‘grass roots’ movements and then cover them as spontaneous.
    5) They don’t attack and undermine non-partisan fact-checking sources
    6) They (particularly Maddow) attempt to get actual important figures from the right to come on, though those figures usually decline
    7) They don’t employ politicians who are currently running for office while covering those same politicians

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