“We’ve Got to Change”

President Obama at a memorial service last night for the victims of the latest shooting rampage:

A quote:

Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?

Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

Maybe this time — finally — the answer will be “no.” Dozens of dead college students weren’t enough. Dead high school kids weren’t enough. Randomly shot citizens weren’t enough. Maybe 20 dead first-graders will be enough.

I read somewhere that, although the vast majority of people in the US back sensible gun laws, it’s not politically possible to have them because the people who oppose them, though a minority, are single-issue voters. And of course, they’re backed by the NRA, which punishes any politician who dares to suggest that being ass-deep in guns contributes to the tidal wave of deadly violence in the US.

I got a robo-call last night from the Superintendent of Schools in my county, which is more than a thousand miles away from Connecticut. She just wanted to let us parents know our schools would have extra security today. This is the sort of thing that can turn someone into a single-issue voter.

[H/T: Rumproast]

143 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    WHY IS PAT LANG”S BLOG LINKED HERE????

  2. 2
    Hal says:

    Even if sensible gun legislation somehow makes its way to Congress and becomes law, the NRA will just appeal and Scalia and pals will strike the laws down as unconstitutional unless one of the more conservative Justices is replaced soon.

  3. 3
    Bruuuuce says:

    Speaking of single-issue voters, it looks like there were a bunch of perturbed football fans last night when NBC decided that the President, like Heidi, was more important than the game: http://deadspin.com/5968935/ta.....t-football

    Assholes.

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Hal:

    . . . the NRA will just appeal and Scalia and pals will strike the laws down as unconstitutional unless one of the more conservative Justices is replaced soon.

    Maybe not.

    But we have to try, anyway.

    I can think of no good reason for owning an assault rifle, except to mow down humans. A simple .22 rifle can protect a household against all kinds of predators, even the two-legged kind. How much fire power do you need?

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Hal:

    Supreme Court precedent hasn’t stopped the right from pushing antiabortion bills. Why should our side not be equally as persistent.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    If the “vast majority of people in the US back sensible gun laws” then it is a corruption of our democracy that we don’t have them.

  7. 7
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Hal: Perhaps. Then again, there are LOTS of precedents where explicit Constitutional rights (and ownership of weapons is disputable all on its lonesome, withe the “well-regulated militia” clause) may be regulated legally, when it’s in the public’s interest to do so. (IANAL, but this one is as obvious as the fake orange tan on Speaker Boehner, considering all the ways the rights in the First Amendment are limited.)

    The non-ScalitoThomas votes can see that without trying hard.

  8. 8
    weaselone says:

    The answer to these problems seems to be “getting God back in the schools” if one goes by memes on the internet.

  9. 9
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Baud: This is actually a very good point that I haven’t seen mentioned before (although I haven’t read every thread about this topic – too depressing).

    @WereBear: It is like that on a lot of issues. And one of the features/flaws of representative democracy that we live under.

  10. 10
    Paul says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    North Alabama player tweets racist Obama comment after speech pre-empted NFL game, now gone from team

    At least something good came out of it as he got kicked off from the team for his bigoted comment.

  11. 11
    Napoleon says:

    @Baud:

    We should push them. Even if the Rep in the House kill it, or the right on SCOTUS it will highlight who is killing it and how voting for the guys in the white hats could solve the problem.

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    On other forums, where I read what conservatives write about how stupid gun-free zones around schools are and how we need to arm teachers and any gun-free area like a movie theater or shopping mall are just tempting targets for mass murderers – ’cause you know they never attack a shooting range – I realized what right-wingers are pushing for is a Mutually Assured Destruction type of equilibrium in our day-to-day lives, where everyone is armed so no one having a gun gains a first strike advantage.

    It was bad enough growing up with the Soviets having 10,000 nukes aimed at us, but I don’t get why right-wingers want to recreate MAD type situations, when you step out of your house.

    That is basically what all the conceal carry and stand-your ground laws are pushing us towards; a society where being armed is necessary to prevent someone else perceived first strike advantage.

    I don’t think I can live with that level of paranoia.

  13. 13
    R-Jud says:

    Timely republish on the Grauniad of this list:

    10 Ways the NRA Has Weakened Gun Laws:
    I imagine your local wingnut would have trouble defending this one:

    The NRA has strongly opposed legislation to prohibit the sale of guns to people on the federal government’s terrorist watch list. Under current law, a suspected terrorist can be put on the no-fly list and be kept off a plane, but can’t be prevented from buying a gun.

    But then, I am an optimist.

  14. 14
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I am kind of worried that this will, in fact, be the incident that finally breaks America’s addiction to schools.

    I’m actually amazed that I haven’t yet seen this used as an argument for the dismantling of public schools and the voucherization of education (since for-profit schools will naturally care more about the security of their customers than the evil gubmint, and can pray into God’s protection racket too), but I’m sure it’s coming.

  15. 15
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Bruuuuce: Assholes is too kind a word for those scum.

  16. 16
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    While I back stricter gun laws (although no outright bans), I think we’re losing focus of the real problem, and that is the state of mental health in this country. A guy who goes to a school to shoot his mother and, just for the hell of it, a bunch of kids, has problems. The guy who shot up the theater had problems. The guy who shot Gabby Giffords had problems. Hinckley. Berkowitz. And on and on and on.

    Overall rates of gun violence has gone down on its own as the Boomers aged out of the hoodlum demographic, but spree shootings as a percentage of gun violence appear to be on the rise (have not quantified this with any certainty, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t have multiple mass shootings in the same year back in the ’70s and ’80s), and spree shootings are not about lax gun laws, but about psychological problems that are not being addressed.

    Yes, we need to make sure that someone can’t take out dozens of people by acting on impulse, but we also need to make sure that the impulse is being addressed proactively so that they won’t feel the need to gun down a classroom. Yes, that is far, far, far more difficult than restricting magazine sizes, but it’s far more necessary.

  17. 17
    c u n d gulag says:

    Guns don’t kill people.

    People with small, pale, impotent peckers, kill people.

  18. 18
    Todd says:

    @weaselone:

    The answer to these problems seems to be “getting God back in the schools” if one goes by memes on the internet.

    It’s the inherent laziness that is structurally built into modern movement conservatism.

    Praying over things means accepting and magnifying the status quo, thereby ensuring that you not only don’t work for a solution, but you also get to vilify those who agitate for a secular solution. God becomes the balm for all of the failures of the status quo, and if you don’t like that, then you are a God hating “other”, whose opinion is of no worth.

  19. 19
    amk says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: The usual nra bs. Yeah, it’s the mentally ill that is the real problem, not the fuckwad leges and nra that push deadly guns into their hands, directly or indirectly.

  20. 20
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Stephen Marche at Esquire wants Obama to own this tragedy because mass killings ‘ballooned’ on his watch. That’s so wrong I’m not even going to link to it. With one hundred million guns in Texas alone, a Democratic President was supposed to make us all safe somehow over the last 4 years? Ridiculous.

    ETA: Here if you must look:
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/c.....27?src=rss

  21. 21
    Cassidy says:

    I just sent off an email, through the Brady website, to the [only] chapter in South Florida. I can’t find any local gun control advocacy groups, so I guess I’m on my own. I got some great suggestions from the other thread which I bookmarked so that I can follow the links and do some research. That’s all I’ve got right now. I ain’t the smartest guy, but I’m stubborn. I have a few idea of where to start, but I need to get smart on citizen advocacy and all that first. But I’m not going to sit around and be angry anymore.

  22. 22
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @weaselone: Meh, that meme started in 1962.

  23. 23
    John of Indiana says:

    They should finally close that “gunshow loophole” where no paperwork is filed for a transaction between 2 private parties. You want to sell a gun? Take it and the buyer to a licensed dealer and have him run the Form 4473 and background check.

    And some kind of psychological testing.

    As a gun owner, I have no problem with either one of those measures,even though the last 2 disasters involved stolen firearms.

    Unfortunately, it seems the popular solution is to have somebody who learned everything they know about firearms from watching “Bowling for Columbine” to arbitrarily decide what I “need” and what I don’t “need”.

  24. 24
    JohnK says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Guns arn’t the problem, Schools are: Brilliant! Here is another, it isn’t a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    We received a similar phone call from our school superintendent last night. I will confess I was afraid to send my kids to school today but nature intervened with a snow storm making my fears moot for the time being.

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Having the state monitor everyone’s psychological well-being 24/7, even if possible (psychologists are not gods, and determining if someone is about to snap is not as simple as a breathalyzer test) would turn us into the type of surveillance state the likes of which the earth has never before seen. If we all must live under virtual house arrest so that some people can pursue their fetishes unimpeded, that’s a pretty shitty commentary on what Americans view as “freedom”. With freedoms like that, I too would hate us for our freedoms.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Well, I agree that access to mental healthcare is important, but in this case, it doesn’t look like access was an issue — the shooter was from a well-to-do family. I don’t know whether or not he was getting the treatment he obviously needed, but it apparently wasn’t out of reach.

    Same thing with the nutbag in the Aurora shootings — I believe he was actively in treatment when he went on his rampage. Definitely access to treatment is needed. But we’ve got to get rid of these high capacity magazines and automatic weapons. There’s no legitimate civilian need for them.

    As a parent, I understand the power of denial, but I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the gun nut mother allowed her troubled son access to her arsenal. She paid with her life, but WTF was she thinking?

  27. 27
    Paul says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Do you really think Americans are the only ones with mental health issues in this world? No, the difference is that our country is the only country where it is laughingly easy for anybody to get a gun. Hell, it is harder to get a driver’s license than to buy a fricking gun.

  28. 28
    wilfred says:

    I’d like to see the results of the computer searches. It’s been my experience in working with the mentally ill – almost 10 years before changing professions – that they rarely are violent; they’re more terrified than anything else. I’d not up on the literature anymore but I recall that violent acts committed by the mentally ill were mainly from people suffering from psychotic depression, not schizophrenia.

    I followed the trial of the Norwegian mass murderer and he clearly was not insane – mass murder is not in itself an insane act; if it were, we could ban war.

    As far as I can tell, his mother owned these weapons legally. Banning assault rifles is a great idea – banning all guns would be better – but barring a mystical perception of the future, no one could see this coming.

    I think part of the blame for these acts has to with a culture obsessed with violence, possessed by it in all its forms. Now I wonder if they find that this kid participated in the more disturbed forms of on-line violence porn, or the worst kinds of video game violence. Would people call for bans or controls on that?

    I would.

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @John of Indiana:

    Unfortunately, it seems the popular solution is to have somebody who learned everything they know about firearms from watching “Bowling for Columbine” to arbitrarily decide what I “need” and what I don’t “need”.

    Here’s what I “need” — to be able to send my child to school without worrying that some fucking lunatic is going to shoot her and her classmates dead with a Bushmaster.

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    @beltane:

    THIS.

    Not to mention how ridiculous this all sounds, to be blaming this problem on mental health issues. There are people in every country of the world with mental health issues and in all but the most anarchic or dictatorial or religiously fundamentalist countries, these incidents are extremely rare. What make it different here is how ridiculously easy it is for these mentally unbalanced people to get weapons that guarantee that their victims will die.

    It’s not mental illness that is the problem. It’s that anyone who is mentally ill has easy access to the worst sort of deadly force.

  31. 31
    Chyron HR says:

    @John of Indiana:

    Unfortunately, it seems the popular solution is to have somebody who learned everything they know about firearms from watching “Bowling for Columbine” to arbitrarily decide what I “need” and what I don’t “need”.

    Meanwhile someone who learned everything he needs to know about parenthood from “Look Who’s Talking” wants to have the power to decide how many children people “need” and “don’t need”. Go figure.

  32. 32
    Tsukune says:

    Time to call up the “well-regulated” militias of these gun owners. 5:00am on January 1st for several hours of marching and gun safety lectures. Failure to report for duty resulting in felony charges of being AWOL.

  33. 33
    debbie says:

    Not to mention how ridiculous this all sounds, to be blaming this problem on mental health issues.

    I guess it depends on how you define mental illness. I think those who advocate packing guns in churches and schools have lost their connection to humanity every bit as much as a mass murderer.

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Paul: Mental illness is a universal fact of life in every human population. It cannot always be detected easily, it can never be cured, and it can only sometimes be treated, and rarely adequately at that. Even the best of metal health systems cannot preform miracles, and our understanding of mental illness seems to be well behind that of other medical conditions. Also, people who do not normally suffer from obvious mental illness can be pushed into it at any time due to external events or medical conditions such as a brain tumor or degenerative disease.

    Since the mentally ill will always be with us, it may be a better idea to electronically monitor the activities of gun owners. That way, they can own all the devices they want while the rest of us can be assured that they are being watched. If these gun owners aren’t doing anything illegal they should welcome this type of surveillance, right?

  35. 35
    Ron says:

    I see that even that well-known librul soshalist Joe Manchin has said that we need to have to look at our gun laws.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: Anyone who “needs” an assault rifle almost certainly needs therapy and meds as well.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    In my arguments with the gun/wingnuts this weekend, I’ve been telling them there is a fundamental difference between a gun owner and a gun user. A gun owner is a scared person. They are full of fear and irrational paranoia and they are hoarders. Their gun is their totem or fetish and gives them something to cling to to make them feel less scared, more brave, sleep better at night; it’s basically a metal teddy bear. They don’t train with it. They just hold it and have imbued it with some magical power that makes them feel better.

    A gun user is someone who uses gunsa dn when used properly makes something dead, because that’s the purpose. A gun user recognizes that a gun is a tool and nothing more than an extension of the mind and body to complete whatever task is necessary.

    The gun owner needs the gun to feel confident and safe; the gun user already feels that way and simply chooses th gun as the most efficient tool.

    tl; dr I’ve been calling them cowards but dressing it up in the couch ranger talk they like. It’s been funny to watch as it sinks in.

  38. 38
    geg6 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Bravo!

    FTR, we have guns in our house. I grew up with guns. I learned to shoot from my dad, had a shooting range just down the street from my childhood home, went hunting, and had a neighbor who has won world championships in target shooting. He even made the US Olympic team many years ago. I know a lot about guns, even though I’ve watched and appreciated Bowling for Columbine many times. In fact, knowing where Michael Moore is from, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also had a similar background to mine. Perhaps not every gun owner thinks like John of Indiana, that any attempt to control the amount of firepower a regular citizen can get is an affront to his ability to project his manhood onto his weaponry. Perhaps most gun owners and real gun enthusiasts actually agree that some regulation of guns, ammo, and their sales is perfectly reasonable and certainly what an advanced society would do.

    Sadly, people like John of Indiana prefer we not become an advanced civilization because then his paranoia might have to be dealt with in some way.

  39. 39
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m prepared to say we are powerless. I lived in Florida at the time of the original assault weapons ban and saw the reaction to it in a gun nut state. Not just the huge spike in sales of restricted weapons but gun show under the table deals and tutorials on how to build your own assault weapons and large capacity clips from spare parts that were still legal.

    There is an entire cottage industry out there actually hoping for new gun laws because of the windfall they will receive from it. Then there is an other who industry waiting to make political hay on the increased paranoia and anger. The guy who drives my car pool is a reliable Democrat right up until anyone mentions any sort of gun laws (Fridays ride home was a delight).

    This is like the Middle East: We will keep killing our kids as long as we hate gun laws more than we love out children.

    I know thats a very dark assessment and I doubt it will be well received here but its how I feel.

  40. 40
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @weaselone:
    I’m fairly certain God was present in this school building and it didn’t help them much.

  41. 41
    Napoleon says:

    @John of Indiana:

    I will tell you what you, and everyone else it this country outside of the police and the military don’t need and that is military style firearms. There is no good reason anyone should be able to lay their hands on those just like there is no good reason that someone off the street should be able to buy tons of that stuff the Ok. City bomber used (which I think is now regulated).

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @geg6: Anecdotally, most gun owners, myself included, have never had an issue with gun control. It varied on the level of gun control, but your average gun owner has no issue with background checks, etc. it starts to veer off the rails with waiting periods and limits.

    It’s the NRA that has the problem. As they’re activities doesn’t stop them from doing what they want and doesn’t personally affect them, they don’t care.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    It is a mental health issue.

    It lies in the abundantly displayed attitudes of anyone who finds a massacred first grade class insufficient reason to discuss our firearm situation.

    Considering the level of paranoia gun nuts display, where they have to cock and carry 24/7, I suspect that most of them were beaten as children. They don’t think about that… they simply know that when they have a weapon ready to go, the terror subsides.

    Ask them. Every single one I’ve managed to get to a discussion point will say something like, “Yes, my daddy beat me, but I turned out fine!”

    I realize it is a small sample size. But it made an impression.

  44. 44
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Hmm… A ‘Bushmaster…”

    Seems about right.

    See my comment at #17.

  45. 45
    Schlemizel says:

    @John of Indiana:

    Have you SEEN BFC? It doesn’t sound like it from your comment

  46. 46
    f space that says:

    @Raven: Agree 100%. His gun fapping is disgusting. Went over there Friday, but i guess he was too lame to post anything then, other than how to cook a ham. His disadain for civilians is also disgusting. If he wants to gun fap so bad he needs to reup his retrograde ass back into the Army.

    Delink now !

  47. 47
    Schlemizel says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    Maybe it was the wrong God! There was a shoot em up at a Christian university out in California earlier this year, maybe that was the wrong God too!

  48. 48
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Napoleon:
    A gun?
    Any gun?

    Pretty much any feckin’ idiot or lunatic can go and get one.

    You want to see some tough laws?
    Go and try to buy some Robitussen for your cold or flu.

    And anyone can sell their gun to anyone else, pretty much with no liability.

    I’d hate to see what would happen to you or me if we decided to sell some antihistemine we’d just bought, to someone who used it to make meth.
    The mind, it reels!

  49. 49
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    Sorry I am not aware of all Internet traditions – WTF is Pat Lang & which is his blog?

  50. 50
    beltane says:

    @c u n d gulag: If a bartender sells a drink to someone who then causes an accident, the bartender is liable. If a bartender sells an assault rifle to someone who kills 10 people-nothing.

    We are a deeply f*cked up country.

  51. 51
    amk says:

    @John of Indiana:

    Unfortunately, it seems the popular solution is to have somebody who learned everything they know about firearms from watching “Bowling for Columbine” to arbitrarily decide what I “need” and what I don’t “need”.

    We, the gun hating rubes, need to know jacksquat about guns except that they kill. Which the gun owning crowd doesn’t seem to get what with their usual nra brainwashed ‘guns don’t people’ turd.

  52. 52
    maurinsky says:

    @gene108:

    I feel exactly the same way.

  53. 53
    Paul says:

    @Schlemizel:

    The little I read from her blog seems to indicate that he/she thinks people have every right to shoot police officers if need be. That’s where he/she lost me.

  54. 54
    raven says:

    @f space that: I didn’t realize it until now but his 2nd amendment post is an update of one he did in June.

  55. 55
    magurakurin says:

    @geg6:

    It’s that anyone who is mentally ill has easy access to the worst sort of deadly force.

    Grumpy Code Monkey knows that. He’s a paid shit sucker for the NRA. A blood soaked troll, still wallowing in the warm blood of innocents. A thought the Rmoney trolls were low, but this creature flows from a deeper and more pure vein of evil.

    With a stroke of pen, the weapons used in this killing could be made illegal. Assault rifles have been banned. There is no constitutional issue in limiting the exact nature of what arms are permitted. If the Congress had the political will a bill could pass tomorrow allowing a citizen the right to a single revolver, single shot rifle, and a shotgun. More than enough for protection or hunting. Factories could be forbidden to make AR-15’s tomorrow just as they are forbidden to make DDT. Strict licensing and registration laws could be put in place tomorrow. Programs of gun buybacks could be started and slowly removed from circulation. In tens years the numbers of guns would decrease as would shootings.

    Instead we are told the answer is to solve the mysteries of mental illness that has plagued humankind since the beginning of time. The most difficult health issue there is. Yeah, that will yield quick results.

    Absolutely mental health should be improved. For it’s own sake. For the sake of the tortured souls and damaged lives that suffer from this inflictions. The overwhelming majority of whom have never ever fired a gun or committed any acts of violence. All of us “libtards” are for that. 110%.

    But don’t try to convince us that it will solve this issue of nearly unrestricted access to the most deadly weapons ever produced for mass consumption.

    seriously, don’t try. Just go die in a fire, Grumpy.

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    @amk: I was laughing last night. This one gun nut pulled out the “cold, dead hands” line re: the gov’t coming to take her guns. So I told her that when I was on Active Duty, we’d actually talk about stuff like that, just sitting around talking shop, and how we used to laugh at all the guns nuts and survivalists and that “cold, dead hands” remark and then wonder what we’d do after lunch when we got done taking their guns. The shitfit was funny as I informed her that she and her little popgun are a speedbump and that if the gov’t wants her guns, they’re taking her guns.

  57. 57
    jayackroyd says:

    Manchin!

    http://huff.to/12k04vx

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the strongest backers of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the Democratic Party, said it is time to sit down and have a “sensible, reasonable” debate about gun control in light of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., and expressed an openness to banning assault weapons.

    “It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way. … Everything has to be on the table,” Manchin said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday, adding that he had just come from deer hunting with his family.

  58. 58
    Paul says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Did he apologize for having supported the NRA?

  59. 59
    Napoleon says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    I didn’t say any gun – what they should ban outright is military style guns. Rapid fire, large magazines. The fact is that regardless of the 2nd amendment you are never going to outright completely ban defensive handguns and hunting or sport rifles. With those the best you can hope for is common sense regulation.

  60. 60
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: It’s on the blogroll

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/

    he’s an x special forces officer (who was spit on by a hippie) with a great deal of expertise in the Middle East. He’s also a VMI graduate and loves the confederacy, it was about honor, not slavery.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @magurakurin: Chill dude. Grumpy has been hanging around these parts for much longer than I remember you.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: Is he really ex-SF or is it the standard “Yeah, I was a SEAL/ RANGER/ Force Recon (for the really creative)”?

  63. 63
  64. 64
    jayackroyd says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    They have two answers.

    1. Assault weapons are fun to use on the range, and make you look really cool. http://wapo.st/VLvBQy

    “I could ask you why should anyone want a Ferrari?” Van Cleave said Sunday. “[Bushmasters] are absolutely a blast to shoot with. They’re fast. They’re accurate.”

    And there’s no denying that their fearsome, combat-ready appearance adds to their appeal, he said.

    “Guns are fun, and some of them are much more cool than others. It’s just like we have television sets that look cool, and others are much more boxy,” Van Cleave said.

    2. Treason may be necessary. http://www.infowars.com/second.....t-tyranny/

    “I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Obama said. “That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

    In fact, according to the founders, guns – including AK47s in the modern context – belong in the hands of the citizens and their state militias, as plainly and eloquently spelled out in the Second Amendment. Thomas Jefferson and the founders did not craft the Second Amendment to protect the right of hunters and target shooters. It was included – right after the First Amendment guareenting political speech – to ensure the right of citizens to violently oppose a tyrannical federal government if need be.

    AK47s and other “assault” weapons are the sort of tools that will be used if push comes to shove and the people must violently oppose the government.

  65. 65
    Kirbster says:

    I know this idea will never fly, but I think the Second Amendment should be overturned on the basis that we no longer rely on self-equipped militiamen for national defense. That clause about a well-regulated militia wasn’t in there for nothing. With that sacred cow finally slaughtered, maybe we could start to be semi-rational in our approach to firearms ownership, regulation, and safety.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: No, he’s the real deal.

  67. 67
    greennotGreen says:

    @Rational Subjectivist: Today I will be writing a condolence letter to my friends who lost their six year old daughter, their only child, in Newtown. I’m not sure discovering that friends who’d moved away were the parents of one of the murdered children has changed my feelings much other than to concentrate my grief in them. The Stephen Marche piece you linked to starts off with the idea that our kids aren’t dead, his kids aren’t dead as though that somehow means our shared sorry isn’t valid, that we can’t care about children that aren’t our own. I think that’s a mental illness. How can one be so lacking in empathy and love for other living things to not feel deeply about the loss of children? Maybe that’s how we blithely went to war in Iraq. Other people’s children didn’t matter.

    We have to fix the problem with too many high-powered weapons in our society, but we also have to fix the problem with too many people who have no hearts.

  68. 68
    ET says:

    I said it in a previous thread, the NRA have basically decided that they are willing to live with events like these on a periodic bases as the price we pay for EVERYONE’S unfettered ability to buy ALL types of weapons, AT ANY TIME and IMMEDIATELY, with NO speed bumps of any sort. They need to be called on that to. their. face. Anyone having a conversation with someone like that either in person or on TV needs to either make them admit that or let that be the last thing anyone hears. It needs to be said over and over and eventually people will understand that the NRA as an institution and political lobbying organization only cares until talk starts on regulations (even puny one) – then all bets are off.

    Sure putting some regulations likely won’t stop all situations from happening, but to use that as an excuse to not do a damn thing is weak and cowardly. Sadly the only way to really stop the NRA’s bullying of the entire country, is for members to quit and gun companies to stop funding them, but that isn’t likely to happen in my lifetime.

  69. 69
    Sterling says:

    @John of Indiana: What do you need? It would help if you could list some examples of the times you’ve needed 30-round magazines.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Napoleon: Unfortunately, you can make very powerful explosives, as McVeigh did, from #2 fuel oil (aka diesel fuel) and fertilizer, both materials fairly difficult to regulate.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: Gotta check. My Mom knows, from the VFW, no less than two spec ops/ CIA/ super secret ninja killers from Vietnam who can’t talk about what they did and even admitting they were involved in something could have put her in danger.

  73. 73
    hep kitty says:

    @amk: Was thinking of her over the weekend, for some reason, and what a void she left.

  74. 74
    beltane says:

    @jayackroyd: They “need” assault rifles because they’re “cool”? Tells you everything you need to know about these emotionally stunted creatures who have yet to achieve manhood no matter what their age.

    Someone needs to break it to these losers that they are not cool; they are pathetic and weak looking.

  75. 75
    Napoleon says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I thought that is what he used and after that they made it more difficult to make bulk purchases of fertilizer. I am just going from memory here.

  76. 76
    Napoleon says:

    @Cassidy:

    Rule of thumb, the people who brag about that stuff or their battle experiance are lying.

  77. 77
    Skippy-san says:

    Nothing will change. When you have morons like John Fund writing articles saying the rate of gun violence has not increased in recent years ( all evidence to the contrary)-and you have hordes of people chanting the same refrain.

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Napoleon: I know. I think it’s funny, and I’ve only said something to her about it once, but she believes it and it’s harmless, for the time being. I tend to get very skeptical of anyone claiming to be SpecOps.

  79. 79
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: Yeas, I’ve been over there a good bit in the past few years. One of his Front Pagers is a famous Nam SF dude. We’ve exchanged some videos and shot. Pat has way to deep of a knowledge to be a phony.

  80. 80
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven:

    he’s an x special forces officer (who was spit on by a hippie)

    So we know he is a bullshit artist.

    Raven, do you ever go to VN veterans parades or events? I have not been in years but last time I would guess 30-50% of the guys there were wearing green berets. How could we have lost that war? I began wondering how many of the vets were even in the Army and of those how many ever set foot on those sunny shores

    “i was in dang bang, zang gong. i was all over that place. i was agent orange, that was was name agent orange.”

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Napoleon: That’s also my understanding. Ditto purchases of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals that can be used to make meth, as someone mentioned earlier. It is possible to regulate non-fetishized items.

  82. 82
    beltane says:

    @Kirbster: Either that or we can transform our unregulated militia of cowards and sad sacks into a regulated militia by housing them in barracks, making them undergo basic training, and requiring that they report for duty at regular intervals, preferably in Afghanistan. If they don’t want to belong to a well-regulated militia they have no business owning assault rifles as some wingnut fashion accessory.

  83. 83
    Bruuuuce says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Assault weapons are fun to use on the range, and make you look really cool.

    Great! Then they won’t mind if we require those weapons to be stored at the range, in lockers or other storage with serious security specs AS A MINIMUM; if they want to transport them between ranges, do it by bonded courier. Oh, and insure them and their ammunition with some serious liability insurance. After all, wouldn’t want kids to get hurt, would they?

    (Yeah, I know. If they can’t show off their hardware, how can they win their size contests? Except that the only people who care are ALSO at the range.)

  84. 84
    f space that says:

    This will be an epic battle. It will take many years. I’m in my 50s and don’t expect to see a lot of change before I am gone, but now’s the time. We should use the anti-abortionist model and begin by introducing legislation on all levels that start to roll back the gun fappers from many directions at once. Introduce bills to limit ammo sales, tax ammo etc., limit magazine sizes, etc. every time a bill is defeated introduce a new one, psych tests, annual gun inspection, sales limit one a year. Basically make their lives miserable.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    I spent the weekend with my four year-old niece. And, everytime she remotely came close to getting on my nerves, I just hugged her. I couldn’t imagine life without her.

  86. 86
    Rita R. says:

    @jayackroyd:

    AK47s and other “assault” weapons are the sort of tools that will be used if push comes to shove and the people must violently oppose the government.

    This is what it’s really all about, the crux of the whole thing. All the commentators asking puzzled, exasperated, even angry questions (See Joe Scarborough having his come-to-Jesus moment on gun control this morning) about who needs a semi-automatic rifle to hunt or to protect their family don’t get it. Or don’t want to accept it.

    It’s all about being ready to fight the government if need be to prevent the tyranny of the state! And you know they want to. It’s what they dream about. Never mind the stupidity in thinking that their assault rifles, no matter how many they have, would stop the might of the U.S. military. But, you know, Wolverines.

    I appreciate it when they at least admit it.

  87. 87
    Schlemizel says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    They do monitor fertilizer sales since OKC and they also mandate ‘tags’ that can be traced even after the explosion.

    So there is that

  88. 88
    Punchy says:

    I want to know why/how there was so much misinformation. Ryan Lanza was the shooter, until he wasnt. The mom worked at the school, until she didnt. He killed her at the school, until he didnt. All kindergardners were killed, until they were 1st graders. There was a second shooter, until there wasnt.

    He was let in the school based on recognizance until he actually shot his way in. He went to school there as a youngster, but nobody knows for sure.

    And the list goes on. Ridiculous and farcical how the media will run with any rumor at all with no fact checking whatsoever.

  89. 89
    Schlemizel says:

    @Punchy:

    being first is way more important that being correct – this is the tent our media circus performs in

  90. 90
    beltane says:

    @Rita R.: I don’t think their assault rifles would do much to protect them from a drone strike on their house. The idea of these soft-skinned, pampered and coddled suburban commandos waging war against the US military or any other foe who could fight back is laughable, the knowledge that we all have to live in fear because of these little men’s lurid little fantasies is obscene.

  91. 91
    jayackroyd says:

    @Paul: It’s a big deal that one of the NRA’s top rated senators is talking like this.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I’ve been to the Wall on Vets day a couple of times. Read from the list of the dead including my good buddy. I think the phonies shty away from those kinds of things. I remember being at a party in DC one vets weekend and a guy wearing a 1st Signal patch (my unit) was wearing a CIB. I didn’t say anything but just looking at him made him launch into an explanation. I’m also a founding member of a local group called LZ Friendly, We used to bring the Moving Wall here 2 years or so ago. I quit drinking a long time ago sop I don’t really do much with them but I still pay my dues. You can’t really fake it much if you spend time with vets because someone will know.

  93. 93
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I was also in the VVAW and at Dewey Canyon III. It did not help that Al Hubbard, one of the leaders, was found out to be a phony.

  94. 94
    jon says:

    It was nice to see Morning Joe go off on the real problem this morning. He had to mention other issues because he’s a moral scold at heart, Both Sides Do It, and something finally made it about him.

  95. 95
    vtr says:

    I have a question regarding the provenance of the the second amendment. Carl Bogus, a professor at the law school at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, holds that the amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to mollify slave states which had reluctantly ratified the Constitution. They feared a strong central government would abridge some of their rights. Bogus says the first half of the 18th century was rife with slave revolts, and without an armed, “well-regulated militia” slaveholders would be powerless to put down these rebellions. Among constitution scholars, how is this argument considered?

  96. 96
    gogol's wife says:

    @Tsukune:

    I love it.

  97. 97
    Rita R. says:

    @beltane:

    Obscene is an apt word for it.

    Bloomberg is my mayor and he’s pissed me off a lot, but I have to say I’m glad we’ve got his billions on our side on this issue and that he’s shown willingness to spend big on it, particularly in the just passed election. Watch for him to do more after he leaves office next year. Taking on the power of the NRA won’t be cheap.

  98. 98
    chopper says:

    @Cassidy:

    the NRA doesn’t really give a shit about any individual’s gun rights. they only really care about the right of gun manufacturers to make and sell their products.

    all in all, this is at least in the short term going to be a windfall for the NRA and the gun companies. they get to point at all their idiotic statements about ‘obummer’s coming for yer guns!!’ and say ‘see? we was right!’ and scare enough idiots into buying up a bunch of shit en masse.

    gun purchases are going to go through the roof in the next month.

  99. 99
    Skippy-san says:

    @f space that: Maybe make someone have a vaginal ultra-sound when buying a gun. Oh you a guy? Well bend over you get one too………

  100. 100
    beltane says:

    @Rita R.: If Big Tobacco can be brought to heel so can Big Death. Unlike tobacco, gun ownership is only psychologically addictive.

  101. 101
    Paul says:

    @jayackroyd:

    I believe it when I see it. Talk is incredibly cheap. I have seen this before. Maybe they will set up a commission that will be done in two years. And by then everybody will have forgotten what even happened. Especially if the NRA is involved. I remember how the NRA ruined any type of reform talk after Colombine.

  102. 102
    Schlemizel says:

    @vtr:

    The history I read indicates that the founders saw large standing armys as a threat to peace and to freedom. Kings used these armys to start unnecessary wars and to control their citizens through force. The goal was to prevent the government from having a large standing army by relying on local militias. Towns used to have regular drills, a practice carried on in the South much more than the North in the years leading up to the Civil War. Part of that was a deep fear that the slaves would revolt not so much the government threat.

    But we have failed as we now have the largest standing army in the world and are using it to make unnecessary war just as feared. But the #2 nuts don’t see that as a problem and would never willingly give up one weekend a month & 2 weeks a year to drill.

  103. 103
    gogol's wife says:

    @Skippy-san:

    Nothing will change if we all sit back and say nothing will change. Do something. If even everyone I’ve read on this little blog for the last three days who has said “nothing will change” would get up and do something, there would be change.

  104. 104
    Schlemizel says:

    @chopper:

    the NRA doesn’t really give a shit about any individual’s gun rights. they only really care about the right of gun manufacturers to make and sell their products.

    Exactly and this needs to be repeated and repeated until even the mouth breathing #2 nut understand it. There is plenty of evidence – it needs to be drilled home.

  105. 105
    hep kitty says:

    I’m tired of hearing “we” have got to do this. Or, “let’s” do this together.

    There is no “me” in that “we” – it’s not me and it’s not anybody here on this thread. It’s wingers.

    They’ve got to change. They won’t, but please stop lumping me in with “we” because I have nothing to do with this and I don’t even own a gun. I support gun control laws and mental health parity and I vote for sane people.

    Just like the deficit. I didn’t do it. I BEGGED you not to do it. YOU fix it. I’m so effing tired.

    republicans destroyed this country and now I’m supposed to help them fix it like I had anything to do with it, like I didn’t fight like hell to stop it.

    And they don’t want to fix it.

    So, really, talk is cheap.

  106. 106
    Cassidy says:

    @chopper: @Schlemizel: Their motivations is immaterial. It’s what they accomplish. Of course their motivation is to lobby for gun manufacturers to sell more guns. But it is their actions, them specifically, that has led to this fucked up cultural fetish of gun ownership and easy availability of guns. They’re the ones we have to fight. The gun nuts are going to have to die out, but it’s the influence of the NRA that has to be strangled.

  107. 107
    sharl says:

    @Punchy: Yeah, that early mis-identification of the brother as the killer was our glorious press rushing to be first rather than accurate, as usual.

    Cartoonist Matt Bors offers an account of that, “I Am Facebook Friends With Ryan Lanza.”

  108. 108
    hep kitty says:

    @geg6:

    It is because mental illness is not taken seriously in this country that a mother with a profoundly disturbed son never even thought about the dangers of leaving those firearms easily accessible to him.

  109. 109
    Schlemizel says:

    @Cassidy:

    But the #2 nuts see the NRA as a gun owners friend and on their side. The remaining sane members must be peeled away and that can be done by demonstrating that the NRA does not operate to the benefit of its members or to gun owners but to the benefit of the manufacturers.

    I dropped my membership back in the 70’s when it became painfully obvious to me but most of todays members probably don’t remember a time when they were anything but the PR front for the industry.

  110. 110
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Rita R.: But at some level they believe that the U.S. Army will break ranks, mutiny and join them in opposing the evil government.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @Cassidy:

    really, the 2nd amendment has to go first. in one manner or another, if only a reinterpretation at the scotus (which would take a long-ass time and a pretty noticeable change on the bench). nothing as to handguns can happen until that happens first cause any substantive gun laws will be shot down by the courts.

    yeah, we were able to slowly but surely strangle big tobacco and the tobacco lobby, but there wasn’t a constitutional amendment and judicial interpretation thereof guaranteeing almost unfettered use and sale of tobacco in this country.

    we can demonize the gun manufacturers and the NRA (and i wholesale support this) but they don’t really give a shit as long as gun nuts can keep buying more guns and the courts throw out any challenges to this.

    tho an assault weapons ban is a good start and has been done before. at least we can do that.

  112. 112
    Schlemizel says:

    Not sure if this has been posted here before but it is a very worthwhile read. From a mom with a 13 yo deeply trouble child

    http://anarchistsoccermom.blog.....kable.html

  113. 113
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @geg6: Well, it is a fact that American mental health care is unusually bad. We used to have a much larger system of public mental institutions that got largely justly shut down for being places of horrifying abuse. There was supposed to be some sort of followup with community-based mental health care for people who were now out on the streets, but of course it never happened, because replacing the institutions with nothing was a way of saving a buck.

    This is, among other things, a part of the reason why the US has so many visible long-term homeless people. And it’s also part, though by no means all, of the reason we have so many people in prison; that’s the replacement system.

    That said, I’m not sure it intersects much with the danger of mass shootings, which are often performed by people who don’t have a history of violent behavior and wouldn’t have been institutionalized anyway.

  114. 114
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Schlemizel: they seemed to be a bit afraid of what soldiers start to demand, looking at the ways that the armies started to have influence in Rome. Soldiers, unlike say peasants, start to demand things that were the perigatives of their betters. They would rather not have that.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    Napoleon says:

    @vtr:

    Carl Bogus

    Anything that guy says is bogus.

  117. 117
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Schlemizel: My impression is that the standing army was a major issue of contention between pro- and anti-army factions, and Madison, who was basically for a professional army, drafted a vaguely worded Second Amendment as a sop to the anti-standing-army, citizen-militia faction to get them on board supporting the Constitutional government.

    In other words, the need to mollify the wingnuts was always there from the beginning.

  118. 118
    dcdl says:

    @Cassidy: Exactly

  119. 119
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I see that I didn’t make my point very clearly (which I blame on not being awake yet).

    My point is simply that I feel like we’re focusing too much on the weapons side of the equation, and not enough on the sociological and psychological side. We’re trying to build a better band-aid, without addressing the disease (IMO).

    Focusing on specific types of firearms – “assault” weapons – is losing sight of the forest for the trees. I have my grandfather’s old .38 service revolver and some speed loaders; under the right circumstances (unsuspecting crowd + a helluva lot of practice), I can do just as much damage as someone with a semi-auto and high-capacity magazine. There’s nothing magic about the specific weapon type; it all comes down to intent.

  120. 120
    mapaghimagsik says:

    I think part of the point is the circumstances need to be more right and you need more practice to be as deadly with a revolver as a semi auto.

  121. 121
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: You could fire 100 rounds a minute with a revolver? I don’t think so.

  122. 122
    WereBear says:

    @Matt McIrvin: We used to have a much larger system of public mental institutions that got largely justly shut down for being places of horrifying abuse. There was supposed to be some sort of followup with community-based mental health care for people who were now out on the streets, but of course it never happened, because replacing the institutions with nothing was a way of saving a buck.

    Exactly. Where do we put people with serious, violent, problems? We have to wait until they commit a crime, and then we put them in jail. What a stupid system.

    In addition, I forget where I read it, but it was an analysis of the Whitman incident (who turned out to have been beaten and abused as a child — why I think the way I do,) and this psychiatrist pointed out that while Whitman was made into a monster, some of them are born that way. As he put it, “Used to be, you’d run across a child who tortured pets or drank blood or something like that, and they would get put away for good, because we can’t cure that, and they were a menace to society. We don’t do that anymore.”

    I, for one, think we should. Let people who were abused get help, not told to suck it up. And make it easier to put away the terribly disturbed, like the woman with the violent 13 year old.

  123. 123
    hep kitty says:

    @WereBear: True, the push is for outpatient services because, of course, it’s cheaper but it’s not appropriate for everyone. Some people will likely never be able to function in society. It’s not like they shouldn’t have an opportunity to learn, but it doesn’t always work.

    Society doesn’t want this obligation to house the severely mentally ill and keep them off the streets, because, after all, it’s really the patient’s fault who is just malingering. Think happy thoughts, how hard is that?

    Until they kill somebody besides themselves. Then everybody sits up and takes notice, for a while.

  124. 124
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Hal:

    Even if sensible gun legislation somehow makes its way to Congress and becomes law, the NRA will just appeal and Scalia and pals will strike the laws down as unconstitutional unless one of the more conservative Justices is replaced soon.

    Which is why you have to be persistent. After Scalia strikes it down, re-enact it and send it back, rinse and repeat until he and his pals get the idea or fall off the bench.

  125. 125
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Baud:

    Supreme Court precedent hasn’t stopped the right from pushing antiabortion bills. Why should our side not be equally as persistent.

    Exactly.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John of Indiana:

    I will repeat my proposal:

    All guns registered.

    All gun owners licensed.

    High-capacity magazines banned.

    That’s all. No one in civilian life needs a high-capacity magazine. If you need 30 shots to kill a deer, you shouldn’t be hunting. We can think about other things later, like restricting the number of guns people can have by population (people in densely populated urban areas get 1 or 2 guns apiece, while people in rural areas where the nearest multiplex is 50 miles away can have more), but that’s the initial proposal: register and license.

    If you’re unwilling to register your guns and get a license for them, you’re not a responsible gun owner. Period.

  127. 127
    gvg says:

    Don’t be sidetracked by arguing with people who think a different part of the problem needs to be addressed first. THAT is one way you end up doing nothing. I’m seeing some people attack the NRA, others the mental health side of it. don’t get caught up in attacking the other opinion on that, just allow people to pursue multiple lines of ways to fix it. I see needs for both plus a few other things.

    It’s inevitable that the mental health angle come up because who but an psycho would go kill a bunch of kids?

    the majority of gun violence has nothing to do with mental illness but we do have a pathetic mental illness treatment system which needs a lot of build up anyway so for lots of reasons I’d like that to be pursued.

    The NRA is evil and a bunch of the gun nuts are just bad people. We need more regulation and some outright bans which will take a lot of work I want done. I don’t think this alone will fix everything but that just means don’t stop with this alone, not that it doesn’t need to be done.

    Maybe nothing will be done, but I am impressed so far that people have actually brought up repealing the 2nd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that response before. In the time of nukes and missles I don’t think guns actually do squat in protecting us from government. On the other hand a better press would really protect. I don’t see how to get what we have to be better but I really want some ideas on that.

    I know some gun nuts that aren’t nuts that way. they have collector syndrome and just like going on about the history and so on. they have serious gun safes though and keep their mouths shut about what they have because the true threat to them is from thieves. Bragging about what rare guns they have is a way for your house to get targeted and robbed even with those 500+ pound safes…they are never going to be killing children and hate unsafe gun owners.

    Have to see what happens next but I hope we get some changes started.

  128. 128
    Origuy says:

    @vtr: Take a look at the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor to the Constitution. In Article VI, it says:

    No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

    I think this makes it pretty clear what Congress had in mind by “a well-regulated militia”.

  129. 129
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    No, I would not be able to fire 100 rounds in a minute with a revolver. Figure with non-trivial amounts of practice I get to the point where I can squeeze off a round a second, take 5 seconds to eject spent casings and reload with a speed loader, figure I have 5 speed loaders, so if I’m really good I can get off around 36 rounds in the same amount of time. Let’s be even more conservative and call it 30.

    Does 30 rounds in a minute vs. 100 rounds in a minute really make a difference in the grand scheme of things? If I walked into a crowded room so armed, do you think the body count would be appreciably different?

    Don’t get bogged down in quantitative issues. Don’t try to make distinctions between weapon types. The issue is access and intent. There’s nothing you can do with an “assault” weapon that, with enough practice and determination, you cannot do with other weapons.

    The problem is much, much, much deeper than magazine capacity.

  130. 130
    mapaghimagsik says:

    Magazine capacity is a good start. Many other security and safety issues have been made better and worse by limiting access and capability.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    I think what’s different this time, beyond the horror of of the situation itself, is that people can’t separate themselves from this. I’ll try to explain what i mean by that.

    I used to work for a group that worked with rape victims. Time and time again I saw the response to hearing about another rape. Oh, she was walking alone at night? I would never do that. Sleeps with her windows open? I would never do that. Did you see how she was dressed / the bar she was at? I would never do that.

    They saw the horror that was one more woman raped, and they immediately moved to protect themselves from the horror, and it took the form of “I would never do that”.

    We saw it here at BJ after the aurora shooting: I would never take my kids to a midnight movie. etc

    Is there even one person here who doesn’t have a delightful young child in their life in some way? You’re a parent, grandparent, you have a niece, nephew, great-niece, great-nephew, a friends child, someone at your church.

    Is there anyone who doesn’t remember walking with your class in school with your teacher leading you to the cafeteria or recess or getting out of school, maybe holding hands so you all kept together?

    And teachers. You’re a teacher, your parent, spouse, sibling, neighbor is a teacher. You may have had some special teacher in your life who really touched you and made a difference in your life.

    And all these people who were horribly murdered were in fucking school. Unless there’s something deeply wrong with you, “I would never do that” is just not possible in this situation. There is no way to separate from this, no way to disconnect.

    That’s why this time it will be different I think we will see as abrupt a change in attitudes about guns, or at least assault weapons, as we did when Obama came out for gay marriage.

    I believe that something will be done this time.

    I think of all those people who were trained as organizers by Obama. Although we will probably never know, I wonder what impact all those people will have as they may respond differently to this (in terms of action) than they might have before.

  132. 132
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @John of Indiana:

    Unfortunately, it seems the popular solution is to have somebody who learned everything they know about firearms from watching “Bowling for Columbine” to arbitrarily decide what I “need” and what I don’t “need”.

    Boo fucking hoo. You’re the ones who abdicated responsibility and let things reach this point. Not our problem.

  133. 133
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cassidy: The appeal to longevity fallacy.

  134. 134
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Does 30 rounds in a minute vs. 100 rounds in a minute really make a difference in the grand scheme of things?

    Are you really that stupid?

  135. 135
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @WaterGirl: Homeschooling provides a possible way to disconnect. If you already believe that schools are unsafe dens of corruption, and that your own home is an impregnable fortress, and your kids are homeschooled in there, you might imagine that they’re still safe. Of course, it also requires believing that you’d never let anything happen in your house the way the shooter’s mother did.

    Homeschooling is still a minority thing, though: most people can’t or won’t do it, and even among homeschoolers, the idea that schools should be eliminated entirely is pretty extreme.

  136. 136
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Does 30 rounds in a minute vs. 100 rounds in a minute really make a difference in the grand scheme of things? If I walked into a crowded room so armed, do you think the body count would be appreciably different?

    Possibly yes. Who knows what the final story will be in the present case, but what they’re saying now is that the nutbag blew himself away when he heard the sirens of the first responders. Before they got there, he’d fired “hundreds” of rounds, which was damn easy because he had a military style assault rifle and high-capacity magazines with which he could spray crowds of fleeing and cowering human beings.

    If he’d had to reload a revolver — even if he were practiced at it — more people may have had a chance to get away or perhaps even overpower him. I agree that the problem is much deeper than magazine capacity and gun types, but that’s no reason to continue to allow practically unfettered access to efficient killing machines.

    @WaterGirl:

    And all these people who were horribly murdered were in fucking school. Unless there’s something deeply wrong with you, “I would never do that” is just not possible in this situation. There is no way to separate from this, no way to disconnect.

    Well put. And I hope you’re right.

  137. 137
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    problem is, it wouldn’t even get to scalia and his pals. a federal court would quickly enjoin the law and that would be it. any appeals to the scotus wouldn’t even get cert.

  138. 138
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper:

    @Tonal Crow: problem is, it wouldn’t even get to scalia and his pals. a federal court would quickly enjoin the law and that would be it. any appeals to the scotus wouldn’t even get cert.

    Even if so, what does it matter? You don’t win by giving up, but by persistently pushing your viewpoint. The wingers have gained tremendous ground on permissive gun laws, abortion restrictions, low taxes on the rich, etc., using this strategy. It’s time we used the same strategy.

  139. 139
    Cassidy says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Nah. it’s more of you have no ideaa what these people are, but they’ve been here and been a part of discussions, so coming in and calling someone a RW shill or someother such nonsense says a lot more about your ignorance.

    Shorter version: don’t be a dumbass.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Does 30 rounds in a minute vs. 100 rounds in a minute really make a difference in the grand scheme of things?

    A bystander was able to tackle Jared Loughner because Loughner stopped to reload. So, yes, it makes a fucking difference.

  141. 141
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Fair enough. Just speaking for myself, the difference in body count is academic; 1 is too fucking many. I just don’t want us to get distracted by the nature of the weapon used, as opposed to what causes people to go on shooting sprees in the first place, and try to address those problems.

  142. 142
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Fair enough. Just speaking for myself, the difference in body count is academic; 1 is too fucking many.

    The difference is far from academic to the people killed and injured beyond the one, and to their families, friends, and communities. Reducing the number of people murdered is a positive good. If we can do that by reducing the availability of weapons of mass murder, we should.

  143. 143

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