Call everyone

The psychologist William James once observed that “since God produces real effects in our world, then God must be real.” James did not so much mean that a great Wilford Brimley in the sky decides superbowl victories, rain and genocide. Rather he meant that by causing non-trivial things to happen to people whether they believe in Him or not, God or the concept of Him is a tangible thing and should be treated that way.

And thus works the Overton Window. Guardians of public discourse have pretty clear limits on what you can and cannot say on a Sunday show and get invited back for another go. However, these limits move around. Take torture (please). One week everyone agrees that even thinking about it brands you a crazy tinpot tyrant. The next, Chris Matthews strokes his chin and nods while everyone adopts weasel words to justify waterboarding, stress positions etc. and mock hippie pacifists who think that this not-torture-wink-wink is wrong and we should prosecute people do it. How that particular window moved could fill a book but be assured that it took dedicated work by not a small number of people.

About guns. Some TPM correspondents summarize it well: years ago most gun owners would take careful steps back from anyone who said they need a tactical rifle, flash suppressor and thirty round clip. Through an odd coincidence I rode the Senate elevator with Senators Paul Simon, Dianne Feinstein and staff on the way to a major press conference about their assault weapons bill and nobody seemed that worried about it putting them far out from the mainstream of political thought. These days a national politician has to be stone crazy to propose a similar bill, or really any bill that does not make the NRA wet its pants with pleasure. Beyond the Overtonnish problem you also have to ask whether the political risk is worth the chance that our present Supreme Court will overturn the thing and enshrine even nuttier gun rules in its place.

This situation is, in a word, nuts. We could change all that if we had a handful of obsessive billionaires, ALEC and some massive industry groups funding a ginormous coordinated media blitz, but we don’t have that. We have you. That is to say a lot of informed, frustrated and pissed-off people who constitute a majority and then some. The actual grass roots. We outnumber by a comfortable margin the nuts who drive policy, but nobody writes you or me a check for speaking up. Instead people like us get politely tolerated or abused, trouble at home and at work and maybe a discreet thumbs-up from people who agree but also feel it’s pointless to rail against The Way Things Are. Even so there are a lot of us, and the message is pretty simple: there is no civilian excuse to own semi-auto weapons with suppressors and huge ammo capacities. This fetishistic need to have what the military uses (or whatever comes closest to it) costs the lives of other peoples’ kids and gives us zero safety in exchange. People who need that crap should feel embarrassed to say it in public.

We can make a difference. Maybe. It would only work if ‘we’ included a whole hell of a lot of people who start to speak up about the insane status quo, if we persist with it and if we speak up at every possible level. That means making wiping uncle gomer’s angry spit off your shirt and glasses. It means losing friends on facebook, putting your real name on letters to the editor and spending time and phone bills or postage speaking your mind to every elected official who answers to you. Every call and letter, tweet and facebook whatevertheycallit lets Democrats know that their ass may not be hanging quite so far out in the wind and reminds Republicans that many Americans do not jump to each stupid NRA blast fax. You made a huge difference on the Affordable Care Act, so I think that we can handle this, but it calls for a lot of people to get very noisy. If enough of you care are ready to get loud then I would be happy to do my small part and cheerlead.

88 replies
  1. 1
    gypsy howell says:

    I do think shaming can be part of the process here. We need to make it a political embarrassment to have accepted money from the NRA. We need to make it an embarrassment to admit you are a “card carrying member of the NRA.” Find out how much your representative took from the NRA. Confront them with it. How much was each child’s life worth to them in campaign contributions? $1000? $400? $25?

    We have to turn this around.

    We need a Right to LIVE movement.

  2. 2
    David in NY says:

    One note: the Supreme Court is not going to establish a constitutional right to possess assault weapons. As Cass Sunstein notes today on Bloomberg:

    On the contrary, the court said [in Heller, “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    To this the court added that the sorts of weapons it was protecting were those “in common use at the time” that the Second Amendment was ratified.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....laims.html

  3. 3
  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @gypsy howell: Ammunition is cheap. You can now kill someone for pennies. The Right to Life republicans need to do some soul searching. Mail or internet ordering should be banned. I have to sign for a decongestant in my state but can by thousands of rounds of ammunition.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @Comrade Jake: Is this the first Malkin Award for McMegan? I think it might be.

  6. 6
    Dave Ruddell says:

    …said they need a tactical rifle, flash suppressor and thirty round clip.

    I’m reliably informed that they are called ‘magazines’. Calling them clips clearly marks you as a commie-pinko-girly-man.

  7. 7
    floridafrog says:

    Called my congress critters yesterday – even Marco Rubio. I was on hold for quite a while with all of them and got the impression from the polite young aides that they were getting a lot of calls. Hope they were from the right side.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Here’s some information on purchasing Claritin D

    A 2006 federal law requires anyone purchasing pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine, to show ID when purchasing it. Since then, doctors report hearing increasing complaints from patients, who say that they have trouble finding medications containing pseudoephedrine. Some say they don’t think that phenylephrine, which has replaced pseudoephedrine in many over-the-counter products, does a good job of unclogging their noses.

    yup protecting the society from one dripping nose at a time.

  9. 9
    Cassidy says:

    @Dave Ruddell: Or a cook.

  10. 10
    Someguy says:

    So realistically the talk should be about whether or not we ban all guns, which would move the Window enough so the center mass is about which ones to ban and what requirements to put on owners.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Someguy: They could use the power of the purse to make it expensive. Ammunition has to be regulated.

  12. 12
    Cassidy says:

    @floridafrog: I sent emails this morning. I’m going to wait for the response before I call. I want to see what is said in writing so I can politely confront them about that. Cliff stearns has an A+ rating and I was surprised to see BIll Nelson with a B+. I guess I hadn’t paid that much attention.

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    I’m going to be happy if they limit clip sizes to 10 rounds. I think the 95 bill was poorly drafted in many respects. It illegalized particular models which the gun companies then came out with new similar models called a different name. The 95 bill made pistol grips on rifles illegal. Me? I don’t care if a gun looks just like an AK47 or an M16 so long as the person has to stop and reload every 10 shots.

    Yea you can still do a bunch of damage with 10 rounds but a whole lot less than 30. Oh and yea, no grandfathering in the larger clips. make them all illegal.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @Cassidy: I sent my email yesterday to Chambliss and Isakson. I called Price’s office last Friday and was politely hung up about the fiscal cliff issue. That was at nine. I’ll contact them in a few days.

  15. 15

    Well Murdoch’s views have obviously been passed down to Ailes and filtered to his spokes person.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2.....ger/191890

    the government has a right to register and regulate firearms

  16. 16
    NonyNony says:

    @kindness:

    I’m going to be happy if they limit clip sizes to 10 rounds.

    I’m going to be happy if they limit the number of rounds a gun can shoot before reloading to 1. And put a massive load of background checking into place. A requirement of a psychological analysis performed by two different independent psychologists before you can get a permit to purchase a single gun. A hard limit on the number of guns you can own. A buyback plan in place to get the guns already out there off the streets.

    Limiting clips to 10 shots would be a good first step, but it wouldn’t make me “happy” so much as it would be an indication that the country isn’t quite as crazy as I’ve been thinking it was.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “since God produces real effects in our world, then God must be real.”

    This is fucking nonsense. It’s as stupid as “A is A”.

    Also, never forget that the NRA is, first and foremost, a lobbying arm of the weapons and ammunition manufacturers. This is about moving product, and creating FUD (“Obama is coming to take your guns!”) is great for sales. Why, just look at them now…another product demonstration, this time on a bunch of elementary school students in CT, and sales are booming!

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, but stopping this madness is going to be difficult, especially when Mammon worshiping assholes are in your way.

  18. 18
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    I’m still not convinced we’re ever going to make any headway on this. it feels like the false dichotomy of ‘BAN ALL GUNS OR TOTAL FREEDUUUUUUMSSS!!’ is so fucking fiercely engrained that the moment even the most tepid of gun regulations is suggested, full force “DON’T TAKE MY FUCKING GUNS AWAY YOU GODDAMN FREEDOM HATING COMMIE LIB FUCKER!!” blasts out, even from folks nominally liberal on everything else.

    It’s just…how the fuck do you deal with that, when even when you fucking try to clarify, they hate you all the fucking more and make it clear you’re a fucking total alien in this country?

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: That is interesting. Perhaps Joe Manchin’s turnaround on the issue did not happen in a vacuum.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    As I said yesterday, I will be writing snail mail letters to my rep and my two senators with my modest proposal:

    Register all guns.
    License all gun owners.
    Ban clips that hold more than 10 rounds. If you need more than that to kill a deer, you have no business hunting.

    Feinstein is a DINO in many, many ways (particularly when it comes to national security) but she’s always been strongly in favor of gun regulation, so at least in this case she will be on the side of the angels.

  21. 21
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I sent the following email to the NRA entitled “Best Way Through This”.

    I know you all are just devastated about the recent massacre of 20 school children as the rest of the country and are trying to figure the best way through this that recognizes the horrific tragedy that just occurred while at the same time protecting your ground in regards to gun rights. I think in order to have the most effective response, you have to understand that the Connecticut shooting unmasks the fallacy that the answer to all of our country’s gun violence is unlimited access to weapons. This shooter, whose mom is reported to have been a member of the NRA and a gun enthusiast was the exact solution you have been proposing as the answer to every massacre – everyone should be armed, better guns, better training, etc. This shooter was raised on the gun range, developed into an excellent marksman and prepared for the eventual role as one of society’s defenders in the event of a crisis or societal collapse. This was your gun hero fantasy, until he went rogue and killed 20 little kids. We can’t bring those children back to life but we may be able to prevent the next class of kindergartners from being massacred if you stand with the majority of America on the side of commonsensical gun regulation. You can continue to marginalize your organization in the face of these unspeakable tragedies or you can be the heroes proposing sane and responsible gun safety regulation. I hope you will choose the latter. I guarantee you that you will be rewarded by society for it.

  22. 22
    Matt B says:

    We need to reframe the discussion away from gun “control” to gun “regulation”. As in “a well-regulated militia…”.

    Also, hoarding guns should be a priori evidence of mental illness.

  23. 23
    russell says:

    Right on. I’m in.

    Should make some of the family holiday get-togethers a trip and a half, but so be it.

    I’m with kindness, I don’t give a crap if you gun has a pistol grip. 10 shot clip is adequate for any reasonable civilian purpose, and in fact is more than generous for most.

    Disagree, with respect, with Someguy. If the demands are reasonable and incremental, you will peel off folks who are gun hobbyists and/or like to hunt, but who are not foaming at the mouth 2nd Amendment nutjobs. If you go long and demand no guns, you will not succeed. I.e., you will not only get half a loaf, you will get no loaf at all, and may in fact go backwards.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    I’m still not convinced we’re ever going to make any headway on this.

    Maybe not. But would you rather do your part and potentially fail, knowing that you did your best, or do nothing and always wonder if doing something could have prevented that failure?

    (Yes, I’m sure JSF is laughing up his sleeve at me right now after the health reform fight. But momentum is on our side in a way it wasn’t for health reform, and the time is now.)

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @gypsy howell: Not only an embarrassment to take money from the NRA but also a sign you are a wimp and have a small p3nis if you support own or own assault weapons. Turn having an arsenal into a sure tell for a small willy. The small brained idiots who want to own arsenals now will not want to be part of that.

  26. 26
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t find that nonsense at all. It doesn’t say there is a meddling god, but that if enough people perform acts because they believe there is a god, we might as well call it as such. Ghost in the machine and all.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Matt B:

    Also, hoarding guns should be a priori evidence of mental illness.

    This. I think we need to estimate potential body bag count based on the statistics of a hoarder’s collection and put him on a watchlist and have him visited frequently by mental health professionals and law enforcement officials.

  28. 28
    gypsy howell says:

    I just called my congressman’s local office, and among other things, pointed out that I knew he took over $28,000 from the NRA, and suggested he look into his heart and ask himself if $1000 per child was worth it to support the NRA’s agenda.

    They’re going to send me a form letter in reply.

  29. 29
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, but stopping this madness is going to be difficult, especially when Mammon worshiping assholes are in your way.

    And Moloch.

  30. 30
    JCT says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Again, this is only a very noisy minority. They only like to pretend (by SHOUTING) that they are the majority. It’s a dodge.

    There is no point in engaging these whackjobs. They deserve to be marginalized because their position on this facilitated the slaughter of 28 innocent people including 20 beautiful children. They need to be reminded that their “FREEDUMB and LIBERTY” nonsense is an essentially a “So what, shit happens” response to an unspeakable event and thus we are not interested in their input on this important dialog about what kind of country we want to live in.

  31. 31

    @beltane:

    Also interesting was the discussion on Morning Joe this morning of an idea which I mentioned I believe over the weekend. Drunk driving was “acceptable” until MADD was formed. They likened this situation to where a similar group should be formed to hold pols feet to the fire. MADD is now hugely influential and no pol wanting to keep their job would ever dream of crossing them. It is time for a Mothers Against Assault Weapons or some such.

  32. 32
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    (Yes, I’m sure JSF is laughing up his sleeve at me right now after the health reform fight. But momentum is on our side in a way it wasn’t for health reform, and the time is now.)

    I do a pretty decent job of not giving a damn about you most of the time, freakshow.

  33. 33

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think that is a lousy idea, these people are already paranoid, why make them more so? I think if that were implemented it would just result in a lot of dead cops and mental health professionals.

  34. 34
    El Tiburon says:

    Good post. We can’t let this go. I know I’ve made myself a pain in the ass on my Facebook page. As little as it may mean, I know my message is at least reaching a few dozen gun-nuts and many perhaps who had no opinion on this topic.

    If my words can alter just one or two minds, then I consider it a job well-done. But I want to do more.

    Perhaps Balloon Juice can update us on some good causes or other things we can do.

  35. 35
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: A watched pot never boils.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    “Nothing can be done!”

    Or was that Corner Stone? I’ve had him pied for so long I don’t remember anymore.

  37. 37
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mnemosyne: Who fucking cares? Can you just comment without feeling the need to pick a fight?

  38. 38
    Bulworth says:

    “I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once,” – Megan McArdle.

    Is McMegan volunteering to be first in line to charge the shooter?

    Also, too: isn’t charging the shooter equivalent to taking away his or her constitutional rights to fire their weapons?

  39. 39
    jp7505a says:

    What is the life of a child worth? Well on one online site selling ammo it is $8.99 for a 30 round clip.

    Now I know why I have no Christmas spirit this year.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    According to TPM

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) said Tuesday that gun control should be put on the table in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting, as well as a look at mental health issues.
    “I think that we can’t just stop at guns. We need to put the whole thing on the table,” Kingston said on MSNBC.

    hmm.. just no commissions.

  41. 41
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Bulworth:

    Is McMegan volunteering to be first in line to charge the shooter?

    No, she’s just blaming the victims for being killed. Whatever they did to stay alive wasn’t enough and so it’s their fault for dying.

  42. 42
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @JPL:

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)

    He’s easily the biggest idiot in Congress. I find this to be an interesting development.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    Imagine the future fun of the Group Rush in Stand your Ground states, especially those with concealed carry on school grounds laws: “A bunch of kids were running toward me! I was in Danger!”

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    It’s circular reasoning. It’s sloppy. It’s not rigorous. It’s assuming facts that are most definitely NOT in evidence.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav:

    You can bet your ass that they’ll go there, too.

  46. 46
    mcmullje says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Well said!!!!!!!

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    Simply put, we need to disarm this country. it needs to be radical. Fuck their little fee-fees and scawy wawy fever dreams. My personal wish is that the 2nd A gets repealed, laws passed to register all firearms, license gun owners and then start from the west coast and moving east, every single town, city, and hut is examined and all guns beyond the minimal need be confiscated and bought back. No voluntary buyback about this shit. Take them all.

    We had no problem tellingthe Iraqi’s they couldonly have one gun. We shouldn’t have a problem doing it here.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Is there a republican representative from GA that isn’t an idiot?
    My theory is they are going to bury by forming a commission.
    The reason there is so much silence on this issue, is because they know they can’t win.
    Republican Party .. As Morning Joe said the party of Glocks.

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    OT, but the Grey Lady has a devastating, long and meticulously researched piece about how Wal-Mart paid bribes to get things done in Mexico.

    This is the sort of article that, as far as I’m concerned, nobody but a large print organization has the time or budget to run. Scores of interviews, countless hours of research in building permit files, zoning reviews, etc., etc.

    Wal-Mart was deeply corrupt all the way to the highest levels.

  50. 50
    Syrbal says:

    As some other comments have made clear, the too common American approach is the Idiot Either-Or. Either we must have all the guns we want all the time or we are not free. I am sick of the false dichotomy that makes the 2nd Amendment alone oh-so-special. If free speech is limited to not making dangerous statements (shouting “Fire” in a non-burning theater) why is it ok to have a gun to shoot UP said theater in quick time?

    Some hard light needs to be brought to bear on the idea of profits on dangerous and unnecessary weaponry. A large Maglite up certain asses might be the best approach…

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @Bulworth: I don’t normally follow links to commentary on McArdle because… well, just because. But this one really just takes the cake, the pie, the pudding, and the whole fucking salad bar.

  52. 52
    JCT says:

    Instead of reading the brain-dead mutterings of these pro-gun pundits, go read this ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12.....ng.html?hp ) and after you are done feeling sickened by what those children and their teachers experienced because an unstable person had access to a Bushmaster and apparently 100s of rounds of ammo, do what TimF said and start calling and emailing.

    The shooter clearly planned to kill everyone in that school based on that arsenal. That he had no trouble whatsoever in amassing.

  53. 53
    Dork says:

    @JPL: Kingston will either, in the next 2 hours:

    1) Declare that he has been concussed and speaking gibberish on the TeeVeez
    2) Blame MSNBC for taking his words out of context, saying that he indeed fully supports the First Graders With Glocks Program
    3) Stick with his statment and get a primary challenger by day’s end.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Maude says:

    The NRA is an organization of extremists. It’s time it was made obsolete. It may be well on its way to oblivion since Friday.

  56. 56
    nemesis says:

    McMegan wants the youngs to buck up.

    Its a new day in murika. We need a steady stream of volunteers who will be sacrificed weekly to the Lone Wolf Shooter. Each representative will be chosen through lottery and will be honored for their bravery for keeping the rest of us safe. 8-12 children a week is a paultry price to pay for the safety and security of the majority.

    As this is obvious snark, Ive read more than a few comments on McMegans article where folks are actually agreeing with her. Im serious. The topic of guns seems to be more toxic than any issue, including the right of choice.

    The ideas adopted in a time of crisis depend on the ideas lying around at the time. As usual, no progressive ideas see the light of day on Capitol Hill.

    Sadly, the gun fight may slowly fade into obscurity, while I imagine the gun fetishists will be energized by the believed threats against their rights and move to have state legislatures enact far more gun-friendly laws.

  57. 57
    Joel says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Someone should FP this.

  58. 58
    Joey Maloney says:

    @David in NY:

    To this the court added that the sorts of weapons it was protecting were those “in common use at the time” that the Second Amendment was ratified.

    So (as was observed elsewhere yesterday) -only breech-loading, smoothbore black powder weapons with separate ball and cartridge are Constitutionally protected?

    I would be all for that, but somehow I don’t think that’s exactly what the Court meant.

  59. 59
    gogol's wife says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Excellent letter.

    Here’s the letter I sent the NYTimes, which will never be printed:

    To the editor:

    Ross Douthat has the colossal nerve to invoke Dostoevsky in his essay on the Newtown massacre, an essay in which the word “guns” appears nowhere. According to Douthat, the Newtown “tragedy” has nothing to do with a society enslaved to the terrorist demands of the gun lobby; it’s just the way things are in the “blindly cruel cosmos.” Dostoevsky was at his best in depicting such hypocrisy and abdication of responsibility. Let’s trade Dostoevsky quotations. Father Zosima says, “Active love compared with contemplative love is a hard and awesome business. Contemplative love seeks a heroic deed that can be accomplished without delay and in full view of everyone. . . . Active love, on the other hand, is unremitting hard work and tenacity, and for some it is a veritable science.” Active love tells us not to sit back like Douthat and bask in our “appropriately respectful witness to their awful sorrow.” It tells us to engage in unremitting hard work to change this sick culture of guns. We true Christians need to stop praying, get off our rears, and stand up to the National Rifle Association and all its servants. And so do all men and women of good will. [Quotation from The Karamazov Brothers, trans. Ignat Avsey, Oxford World’s Classics, 1994, p. 73.]

  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    So (as was observed elsewhere yesterday) -only breech-loading, smoothbore black powder weapons with separate ball and cartridge are Constitutionally protected?

    I’d be willing to allow any single-shot firearm to be legal as a compromise position.

  61. 61
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Bulworth: Of course not. McMegan is volunteering you (or your child) to be at the front of the charge.

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    The Republicans know that all they need is time for the uproar to die down. There needs to be more than assault ban on weapons because the manufacturers just change the weapons.
    The murderer killed dozens within four minutes. The police arrived quickly but it was to late.
    Video Games don’t come equipped with magazines and clips that are used to kill large amounts of people. Teachers wouldn’t have the time necessary to find a key and get out of his/her assault weapon. The NYTimes article said the second grade teacher didn’t have time to lock her door.

  63. 63
    Ash Can says:

    The Second Amendment: Fix It or Flush It.

  64. 64
    The Moar You Know says:

    We could change all that if we had a handful of obsessive billionaires, ALEC and some massive industry groups funding a ginormous coordinated media blitz, but we don’t have that.

    Now would be a really good time for Bloomberg, who has the money and certainly has a track record of repeatedly fucking the gun lobby good and hard, to jump in.

    Much as I utter loathe the bastard, he could do some real good here.

  65. 65
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @NonyNony:

    I’d be willing to allow any single-shot firearm to be legal as a compromise position.

    Sorry, that’s a slippery slope that will eventually lead to everyone carrying SAMs.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    One of the things about a “well regulated” militia is that it is organized. It meets and drills, regularly. There are standards that are set for what weapons are used, what ammunition, to make those nasty logistics (the bane of the weekend warrior) easier to manage. 18th century conventional warfare demanded drill and discipline, which is why Washington had little use for militia…they often did not drill, and they were often very undisciplined, in the “fire now, guys” sense of the meaning. It’s also why guys like Lafayette and von Steuben were such BFDs in the colonial cause…they drilled troops and got them in shape to face Redcoats and Hessians. Even the Green Mountain Boys underwent a great training as individuals and as a team to be effective, in their unconventional (at the time) tactics.

    None of that is seen, anywhere, in the interpretations of the 2nd Amendment today. The closest thing to the “well regulated mlitia” is the National Guard, and they’re a branch of ZOG, you know. You’d never get most of these “militia members” to assemble at a set time unless it was for happy hour during Monday Night Football.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Dork: The entire conversation is on Mediaite and he’s still an asshole and Josh did a disservice by taking that one line. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/msn.....assinated/

  68. 68
    proterozoic says:

    In addition, I would like to offer another point:

    An angry white man with a gun has never won anyone rights – only shot people who were fighting for rights (MLK, Harvey Milk).

  69. 69
    Joel says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: How are we going to defend against burglers flying Apache Helicopters?

  70. 70
    Kristin says:

    @nemesis: The comments on McMegan’s piece are perhaps the most disturbing thing I’ve read this week (save only for the nasty, racist comments to the picture of Obama with victims and their families posted on one of the victim’s Facebook page). Interestingly, their fevered rantings have only served to confirm my belief that regulations need to be enacted, ASAP. They all sound like paranoid, delusional loons. And, they think guns are more important than the lives of children. It’s unacceptable.

  71. 71
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):ditto free will

  72. 72
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Mothers Against Gun Stupidity

    M.A.G.S.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    It was supposed to be a joke. Sorry about that.

  74. 74
    JohnK says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think the Supreme Court found in District of Columbia v. Heller, the militia clause is prefatory and does not limit or expand an individuals right to keep or bear arms. The militia thing is kaput.

  75. 75
    gogol's wife says:

    @JohnK:

    Yeah, and they were full of it.

  76. 76
    roc says:

    years ago most gun owners would take careful steps back from anyone who said they need a tactical rifle, flash suppressor and thirty round clip.

    They still do. The problem is every minority group has found one another online and are self-reinforcing. So the social pressure of 95% of the country doesn’t matter one bit. All that matters is what we vote to allow or deny.

  77. 77
    hep kitty says:

    feel it’s pointless to rail against The Way Things Are

    It takes the massacre of 26 kindergartners to get people to even sit up and take notice so, you know, forgive us our cynicism.

  78. 78
    hep kitty says:

    I don’t have FB but I heard the NRA’s FB page was down yesterday.

  79. 79
    different-church-lady says:

    And thus works the Overton Window. Guardians of public discourse have pretty clear limits on what you can and cannot say on a Sunday show However, these limits move around…. (snip) One week everyone agrees that even thinking about [torture] brands you a crazy tinpot tyrant. The next…

    Please do not confuse “Overton Window” with “Calvinball”.

  80. 80
    KS in MA says:

    @gogol’s wife: Now, that is one awesome letter. Thanks.

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @Comrade Jake: Has Sully named an award after McArdle yet? Really, she’s sui generis at this point.

  82. 82
    roc says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No. But you could make their arguments sound as small as they really are by bringing it up.

    We could propose the creation of county-level ‘militias’ . Membership necessary to own semi-automatic weapons. Have the state Guardsmen run it (no national database needed). Require a background check (include proof of citizenship for an added bonus; watch heads explode), training, certification and a day every month or two to show up, socialize, demonstrate competence with your weapons, etc. Semi-auto gun sales would require proof of active membership. Gun Shows could have the guard set up a booth to green-light would-be purchases. (vendor walks gun and customer to guard. guard ok’s purchase, records ownership in county-level database)

    Hell, I’d even offer to have the taxpayer’s dime front a few cases of ammo for gun owners who care to demonstrate loyalty to the commonwealth and responsible, competent handling of their weapons.

    I don’t think there’s a solid legal case, given the most-recent parsing of the second amendment.

    But you’d force people who hide behind “patriotism” and “responsibility” to essentially argue *against* their having to be responsible patriots. And you’d take one of the big legs out from under their “we’re scared of the national government” by making it all state and county-level operated.

    Can you imagine seeing some “true patriot” trying to argue they can’t trust the State of Texas and that they’re responsible, but can’t be bothered to commit to so much as a taxpayer-subsidized day at the range?

    They couldn’t point to their talking-point-version of Switzerland or Israel while denying that they have to show a *shred* of the service to the commonwealth demanded in those countries. The facade that they’re selfless heroes of a million possible fantasies would be gone for good. They’d be exposed as small and selfish, full of fear and hate.

    And, really, it wouldn’t be so bad of a compromise. Active members of gun clubs don’t go on gun rampages, because clubs are good at enforcing safety and sniffing out problems. We’d all be a hell of a lot better off if we could leverage that sort of social policing to identify people who need help or who can’t be trusted with such weapons.

  83. 83
    Heliopause says:

    The psychologist William James once observed that “since God produces real effects in our world, then God must be real.” James did not so much mean that a great Wilford Brimley in the sky decides superbowl victories, rain and genocide. Rather he meant that by causing non-trivial things to happen to people whether they believe in Him or not, God or the concept of Him is a tangible thing and should be treated that way

    Has anybody else in comments noted that this paragraph makes no sense?

  84. 84
    stinger says:

    In my lifetime, I have seen attitudes change radically concerning wearing seatbelts, smoking, driving drunk, and gay rights of any kind much less marriage. I even saw the Berlin Wall fall and a black man elected President.

    I expect to live a bit longer, and hope to see similar change in attitudes toward universal single-payer health care, abortion rights, and personal gun ownership. Also torture.

    We can do this.

  85. 85
    roc says:

    @Heliopause: This is a country that is currently at war with “Drugs” *and* “Terrorism”. That line may make no sense to me, but it accurately describes the way the country seemingly works.

  86. 86
    gogol's wife says:

    @KS in MA:

    Thank you.

  87. 87
    bemused senior says:

    @nastybrutishntall: Mothers Against Gun Excess — MAGE.

  88. 88
    greenergood says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: What makes me astounded is that the political agenda is driven by unelected **cks like Ailes and Norquist. I’m trying to think of unelected **cks on the Democrat side driving the agenda – any candidates?

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