National Republican Association

I like Kirsten Gillibrand but this piece about her “evolution” on gun safety describes pretty typical Democratic behavior:

As a freshman member of the House of Representatives serving New York’s rural 20th district, Gillibrand received a 92 percent rating from the National Rifle Association. She told Newsday in 2009 that she kept two rifles under her bed. “If I want to protect my family, if I want to have a weapon in the home, that should be my right,” she said.

Now that she represents all of New York, she doesn’t have guns under her bed and she’s getting a 0 rating from the NRA.

The NRA had a pretty good thing going with Democrats in purplish districts. If the Democrat channeled Wayne LaPierre on guns, as Gillibrand did, there was a good chance that the NRA would leave them alone, as long as the NRA was pretty sure that the Democrat would win. That’s as far as NRA “support” of a Democrat would usually go, because the NRA always has been a Republican organization, even though some Democrats or possible crossover Republican gun owners have historically belonged.

The NRA has so completely owned this issue for decades, and Democrats who weren’t in safe districts have so fully capitulated, that I don’t think that we’ve really tested the limits of NRA power. My opinion–not backed by any polling because pre-Sandy Hook polls are dated, and post-Sandy Hook polling is too volatile and unfocused–is that there aren’t many crossover voters in the NRA anymore. Most people who want to stock their house with an arsenal of assault rifles have a paranoid world view that is explicitly catered to by Republican media outlets and politicians. In her district, Kirsten Gillibrand probably could have turned her basement into an armory and slept with a rocket launcher and she still wouldn’t have gotten many the “new” NRA member votes. But Democratic politicians still behave as if NRA support is make-or-break. If I were a Democrat running for office in 2014, I’d want to poll my district pretty hard before I was convinced that the NRA owns it.

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169 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Robert Bork died.
    according to the nytimes
    rip wish I could say something nice but I can’t

  2. 2

    @JPL:

    Am I supposed to be sad?

  3. 3

    I know you all hate him but Scarborough was saying this morning that when he ran for office the NRA heavily supported the other guy and that he still won. I believe that in this most recent cycle they put a lot of money into various races and got nothing in return. I honestly think that they believe that they are more powerful than they really are, and unfortunately the politicians fall for their bullshit.

  4. 4
    Napoleon says:

    I wonder if several Democrats, like the Sen from WV, suddenly saying they are viewing things differently really is how they have “viewed” gun control all along but they felt up to now that there was no percentage in rocking the NRA boat but that now they feel a passable bill is within reach.

  5. 5
    Holden Pattern says:

    If I were a Democrat running for office in 2014, I’d want to poll my district pretty hard before I was convinced that the NRA owns it.

    No, no you wouldn’t. Because like most of the Dems running in any purple district, you’d be, or at least act, like a Blue Dog corporatist. So you’d perform the ritual genuflection to the various wingnut lobbies as a way of showing your “independence and moderation” relative to the designated untouchables of American politics — the left.

  6. 6
    Comrade Jake says:

    Take a guess as to what Michelle Bachmann’s favorite gun is. You have to watch the video. OMG GUNS ARE SO MUCH FUN!!!

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    The President is having a news conference at 11:45. If I had his ear, I would ask him to please move forward on magazines, clips and assault weapons. Tax the heck out of all ammunition. Enough is enough.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL:

    I can say something nice about Robert Bork.

    Whatever his judicial theories, a very gracious and kind man in person. Seriously.

    (Only say that because I used to see him in an elevator from time to time, and he was unfailingly pleasant.)

  9. 9
    dan says:

    Dems aren’t afraid of NRA supporters, they are afraid of NRA money.

  10. 10
    red dog says:

    I read that the NRA has only 4 million members so this tiny fraction scares Congress…no. The NRA is such a powerful lobby that all of GOPer congress and locals take their money.

  11. 11
    Cassidy says:

    @Comrade Jake: It’s the favorite of a lot of people. *The Navy Seals use it. The Army and marine Corp use it. The SAS and SWAT teams use it. And they think they are just like them when they use it.

    *channeling the gun fetishists

  12. 12
    japa21 says:

    There are probably a lot of NRA members that vote Democratic. After all, probably 50% of what the NRA does has some value. The problem is that, AFAIK, there are no real alternatives out there that provide the postive services while at the same time avoid the paranoia and promote reasonable regulation of firearms.

    Give those members an option and they will go for it and leave the NRA in a second.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    You know who else was a kind and gracious man in person, don’t you?

    Fuck Bork. He was a bitter and insane wingnut who would have been happy to see all of us suffer. His nominating hearings were only beaten in outrageousness by that of Clarence Thomas. I’ve never been so happy as when we dodged that particular bullet.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    You’re right to call them the National Republican Association. If there was any doubt, they removed it by backing Romney, who actually signed gun control legislation as governor of Massachusetts, and demagoguing Obama, who actually expanded gun rights, as a gun-grabber.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    Matt Miller: Buy back guns; it’s economic stimulus too.

    Make gun owners an offer they can’t refuse. Instead of a measly $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500. After all, overpaying powerful constituencies to achieve public policy goals is a time-honored American tradition; we do it every day with Medicare drug benefits and defense contractors, to name just two.

    So imagine a $100 billion, one-time program aimed at buying back 200 million firearms at $500 a pop. We issue the payments in prepaid credit cards that expire in three months (good thinking, Los Angeles!) to be sure the money is spent fast.

    Presto! So long as the federal money is borrowed, we get an immediate boost to demand, jobs and growth. And with long-term interest rates at all-time lows, there’s never been a better time

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @japa21:

    I have a feeling some folks are putting together a sane gun safety and shooting sports association as we speak. It’s time.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    Bushmasters aren’t assault rifles in GA, they are called sporting rifles in GA. Sporting for what?

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Since a few days have passed, expect the wingnut pundits to start breaking their silence on the 20 murdered children in Newtown, CT. Today Cal Thomas came out and suggested people should keep their kids safe by home-schooling them.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @Mike in NC: I’m not a psychologist, but I would think that lack of social interaction is not a good idea. Lanza was home schooled, btw.

  20. 20
    katie5 says:

    I just wish that MediaWhoresOnline was still around to cover the multiple orgasms the press is having covering (creating) the violence porn of Newtown. Watching Last Word and Lawrence O’Donnell donning his serious glasses while reporting from Newtown makes me ill. There’s no downside for the media in a tragedy like this. They get to act like the serious investigative reporters they imagine themselves to be. Pulitzer, anyone?

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @japa21:

    Around here, it’s impossible NOT to know a lot of NRA members. And also a lot of gun owners who aren’t members. It has been my experience that the NRA members are exponentially crazier than the other gun owners I know. Most of the hunters I know (and I know an awful lot here in Western PA) are not members, though they have often taken safety classes through the NRA. I also know a lot of competition shooters, who also tend to not be NRA members but who belong to an organization for their particular type of competitions or a sportsmen’s club (which is what they call shooting/hunting clubs here). Bucktails Clubs were founded here. The people I know who are involved in these things aren’t firing semi-automatics, even though I’ve read that such guns are becoming more popular among deer hunters. With the exception of revolvers and pistols, most of them use bolt or pump action guns. The .30-06 is still the weapon of choice for most deer hunters I know.

    These are the people who can be reached. NRA members not so much.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @Mike in NC: Yes, because children must remain locked-down under permanent house arrest so that assault rifles may be circulated freely.

    Cal Thomas should be confined to his basement without internet access or TV and with no companionship other than the singing wingnuts that reside in his head.

  23. 23
    TR says:

    The NRA is awful, of course, but as Drew Magary noted in his amazing piece over at Gawker, they’re really a shiny object that distracts us from the real problem — the gun makers.

    Gun manufacturers have successfully managed to shift virtually all blame for lax gun laws in America onto their lobbyists and their customers. It’s no coincidence that companies like Sig Sauer, Freedom Group and Glock (which also made one of the weapons used in the killings) are privately held. They strive for minimum transparency, and they have achieved it. The NRA, bless its heart, is a front—a perfect little whipping boy designed to weather all of your abuse so that Ron Cohen can drive to and from his office without a reporter shoving a microphone in front of his stupid fucking face. They have taken phrases like “Gun control” and “the Second Amendment” and crafted them into permanent, bulletproof diversions. They’ve done such a good job of shielding themselves that Sig Sauer doesn’t even feel compelled to issue a public statement when one of its weapons is used in a mass tragedy. They don’t have to express their regrets or spew some bullshit about being dedicated to making sure guns are used safely. Higher profile companies have to send out public apologies when they send out a bad tweet. Big Gun does nothing and doesn’t have to. Isn’t that remarkable?

  24. 24
    negative 1 says:

    I agree and I’ll add this as a caveat – since we just determined the power of statistical modeling, shouldn’t all dem congressfolks and senateers do this on most issues before just pretending to be republicans? You’re telling me the folks who vote for Blue Dogs meant to vote ‘R’ but pulled the wrong lever? Maybe it turns out that democrats in purple or red districts are actually, you know, democrats.

  25. 25
    Waynski says:

    @JPL: If you’re going after a deer with a semi-automatic weapon, it’s not hunting, it’s killing. I don’t hunt, but I understand the sport of it is that the animal has a sporting chance. You get one or two shots. That’s it. When you can fire ten rounds at it in 5 seconds, that’s just slaughter. No sport in it at all.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @red dog:
    I’d bet that a big part of it is the standard approach of everyone who requires intimidation to maintain control: intimidation. They don’t really have the resources to go after every Congressional race, so they focus on trying to make an example of anyone who defects. As long as that’s no more than a handful, they can go after them hard enough to make it very tough to be reelected, which gives then an aura of invincibility. But if half the Republican caucus decided to ignore them on something, they wouldn’t have the resources to primary them all, which would expose their weakness and make it easier for the next round of defections.

  27. 27
    whidby says:

    Interesting breakdown of party affiliation and gun ownership: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n.....-is-sharp/

  28. 28
    Cassidy says:

    @whidby: No “OBAMA SOLD US OUT!”? You must not have had your coffee, yet.

  29. 29
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    There’s no upside for a Dem to even speak to the NRA much less ask for their support. They support Republicans, period. I wish I had one of their newsletters still – I used to be on their mailing list. It would make the point better than I ever could.

    I’d go so far as to say that if a district is “owned” by the NRA, it’s not winnable by a Dem. Of any stripe.

    As to the formation of an alternative to the NRA, here’s the problem. The NRA isn’t a citizen’s organization, it’s a manufacturer’s organization. That means your gun store is a member. Your shooting range is a member. And they’re not going to allow a competing organization in to distribute literature, sign up members, etc, because it’s really not in their economic best interests to do so.

    The thing that will work – and I’m pretty convinced it’s the only thing that will work – is to “steeplejack” the NRA. Get five million libs to join and force the entire leadership out. The manufacturers will cut them off immediately, of course, and form their own organization to buy politicians, but that takes time and money and I don’t think they’d be able to get it together before some serious inroads on gun ownership could be passed.

  30. 30
    Ann Rynd says:

    I spent Saturday with my niece and 7 year old grand-niece in Times Square. They were visiting from their home in a very upscale suburb in Connecticut. At lunch we were talking about Newtown which is about 40 miles from where they live. My niece told me she was “concerned about the way the country was going.” She told me that she and her husband had just gotten their gun permits and that they were going to teach their daughter “safe gun practices.”
    I looked at this child and my mind nearly exploded. I could see her standing against a wall with some lunatic pointing a rifle at her, and yet I could not help thinking that in 15 years she could be the one pointing the rifle.
    What the fuck’s wrong with these well off people who live in the burbs? So much fear and guilt and hatred.

  31. 31
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Kathy Hochul took $3k from the NRA, about typical for a house member. She didn’t need the money and should have enough confidence not to take money from extremist groups. If she doesn’t think the NRA is run by extremists, she hasn’t been paying attention and is bordering on idiocy.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Waynski: Actually, after the first shot the deer is either down or running. If you missed, a second shot doesn’t/shouldn’t come into play – the deer is gone. If you killed, you don’t need a second shot. The only reason for multiple shots is if you wound the animal. At that point, you must find and kill it. You don’t need 10 rounds to do that. A second one should be enough. A bolt action rifle will let you do all the shooting you need to hunt deer. A double barreled shotgun is all you need for birds or small game.

  33. 33
    Ellyn says:

    Nuts Run Amok

  34. 34
    geg6 says:

    @Ann Rynd:

    You should probably ask your niece that question. Not to be too snarky, but she, at least, can illuminate what the fuck is wrong with paranoid suburban Americans.

  35. 35
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @JPL:Bork’s name lives on as a verb.

    That bad tank of gas borked my car.

  36. 36
    28 Percent says:

    @geg6: Thank you for this. My husband started collecting guns, especially assault rifles, when he was in the Army, he has about 10 of them currently, and he’s far from a “crazy” – he’s not in the NRA (although he does read their magazine, in the same spirit that DougJ reads TownHall) and he’s doing some pretty serious questioning of whether it’s morally defensible to keep them at this point. Our neighbor across the street, on the other hand, is an NRA member who (at least he says) doesn’t actually own any guns, he’s in the NRA strictly to support their politics. So I ask you, which of these guys is a “guntard?”

  37. 37
    TR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Pretty much.

    If you need a semi-automatic, all you’re doing is announcing to the world one of two things: “I am a horrible shot” and/or “I have the tiniest pen!s in the world.”

  38. 38
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    If you’re going after a deer with a semi-automatic weapon, it’s not hunting, it’s killing. I don’t hunt, but I understand the sport of it is that the animal has a sporting chance. You get one or two shots. That’s it. When you can fire ten rounds at it in 5 seconds, that’s just slaughter. No sport in it at all.

    @Waynski: Well, the point of hunting is killing the animal, not “sporting”.

    Let me tell you what “sporting” according to your definition means: Let’s say I’m a lousy shot and I go out deer hunting. I shoot my one shot and hit the animal but don’t kill it.

    That animal wanders around for a week or two, seriously injured, in a lot of pain, until it finally dies of a raging infection. Is that humane?

    Believe it or not, hunters actually give a shit about this. Wounding an animal and letting it get away is the most declasse move you can make as a hunter. If word gets out to your friends that you’ve done this you’ll never be invited out again.

    I can give you five good reasons not to hunt with a battle rifle, but the one you just provided is just about the only justification to use a battle rifle when deer hunting.

    ETA: Omnes makes the point much better than I did. And for all kinds of reasons, a bolt-action rifle chambered for at least a .30 caliber type cartridge is really the only appropriate weapon for deer hunting.

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @Ann Rynd: There is something about suburban life that offers a toxic combination of isolation without privacy which lends itself to feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. Also, most suburban communities are extremely homogeneous, both racially and economically, which lends itself to a feeling of being under siege by legions of scary outsiders who are all just dying to break into these suburban enclaves and steal everyone’s stuff.

    It’s a type of mindset that never ceases to fill me with disgust and scorn.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I think the idea is that those who hunt SA are planning on squezing off multiple rounds in the hope of hitting something vs someone witha bolt action taking the time to line up the shot, etc. That’s what I got from it anyway.

  41. 41
    Ann Rynd says:

    @geg6: She skirts around it with the phrase “we’re concerned about the way the country is going.” This can be interpreted to mean, “Niggar, niggar, niggar president!” Although those words will never pass her lips.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @28 Percent:

    Yep, my ex-BIL is also a collector of big deadly guns, an offshoot of his military career. I never felt comfortable with all those crazy guns around (and I’m comfortable around your everyday handgun and hunting rifle). Even though he kept them locked up tight, it just seems like such a fetish to me. I learned that guns were tools, not some sort of object of worship. You could use that tool for several things, such as target shooting in competitions or hunting, but it didn’t define you or your life and politics. For too many NRA members, that’s exactly what guns are…objects of worship and not a particularly dangerous tool.

  43. 43
    Kane says:

    If I were a Democrat running for office in 2014, I’d want to poll my district pretty hard before I was convinced that the NRA owns it.

    Or you could skip the polling and just do the right thing.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I wouldn’t be surprised if he got campaign contributions from the NRA too, and just didn’t want to say so. The NRA contributing to his opponent doesn’t preclude their hedging their bets and contributing to him too.

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: This will sound strange to some people, but the deer hunters I know all tend to really, really love deer and are aghast when incompetent hunters cause them unnecessary suffering. They also tend to be contemptuous of those who take deer out of season, those who hunt from their trucks, those who bait the deer, and those who use lights to gain an unfair advantage.

  46. 46
    Sinnach says:

    Remember when the Republicans were going to vote Holder in contempt of congress? A majority of Democrats actually walked out on the vote, leaving only a small contingent to cast meaningless no votes.

    17 Democrats stayed behind instead to give a giant middle finger to their party and vote for the GOP’s meaningless witch hunt. Why? The NRA was scoring the vote as a vote for gun rights.

    Now that is power. They were able to swing a tenth of the democratic caucus to vote for something their party was boycotting simply because it would be on their score card.

    People saying that the power of the NRA is overstated are simply deluded. Wait until actual concrete policy positions start being proposed over this and you’ll see how quickly they get water downed or killed.

  47. 47
    Jay C says:

    Kirsten Gillibrand. Heh. I remember when Gov. Patterson appointed her, and seeing the flood of anguished diaries on Daily Kos bewailing the fact that she was an “Upstate gun nut” and that any chance for her support of anything remotely progressive was minimal. Of course, these were the same folks who were equally anguished that Caroline Kennedy hadn’t gotten the seat, so go figure….

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I wouldn’t be so sure of the NRA’s abilities to pressure folks on the individual level – down to where it would make joining an alternative organization unpalatable – gun shops and shooting ranges may “have” to join/associate with the NRA, but (outside of the wingiest of wingnuts) are they really going to want to harm their own business(es) by applying “purity tests” to their customers? If the NRA “brand” becomes toxic? I don’t think so….

  48. 48
    Ann Rynd says:

    @beltane: Yes, it’s about protecting their stuff which they feel everyone else wants to take from them forcibly, with guns. It’s about living on their acre of land, being in big houses in the scary night feeling someone’s out there in the dark feeling the same hatred for them that they are feeling for the ones outside.

  49. 49
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    She skirts around it with the phrase “we’re concerned about the way the country is going.” This can be interpreted to mean, “Niggar, niggar, niggar president!”

    @Ann Rynd: I typed “we’re concerned about the way the country is going” into Google Translate and got the same results you did.

  50. 50
    katie5 says:

    @Ann Rynd: I remember hearing that the parents of Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters moved to the burbs of Colorado (Littleton) from Plattsburgh, NY because they sought the safety lacking in the urban areas.

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: someone else already posted this yesterday, but Dick’s sporting goods was seemingly looking for some kind of citizenship pat on the head for taking “modern sporting rifles” off their shelves. That would be the Bushmaster AR-15

  52. 52
    David in NY says:

    @whidby: Nate Silver’s piece was interesting (25% of married Dems have a gun in the house; 62% of Republicans, if I’m remembering the numbers). We had no gun in the house when our kids were growing up, and I was thinking that was how it was when I was a kid.

    But that wasn’t true. My Dad had been a hunter when I was very young, and he kept a hunting rifle. But I never saw it in all the years I lived at home. I remember an old hunting outfit (heavy red plaid woolen coat), but no gun. I don’t know where he kept it, but he didn’t talk about it, and he didn’t show it, and he didn’t tell us where it was.

    There is a safe way to keep a gun in the home, I guess.

  53. 53
    RSA says:

    She told Newsday in 2009 that she kept two rifles under her bed.

    Only two?

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Well, the point of hunting is killing the animal, not “sporting”.

    I’m not convinced that hunting is a single-purpose activity. I certainly get the impression that many hunters enjoy the process of hunting- going out into the wilderness away from other people, knowing enough about the animal they’re hunting to figure out where to find it, getting close enough to get a good shot, etc.- at least as much as the outcome. Look at the scorn shown to “hunters” like Dick Cheney and Paul Ryan who are seen to be less than sporting in their approach to hunting. Look at the number of disparaging sayings (e.g. sitting duck, shooting fish in a barrel, etc.) about people who take a less than sporting approach to hunting. Look at the laws on the books that ban hunting practices that are effective but unsporting. It looks to me as if sport is a major point of hunting, even among people who genuinely need the meat.

  55. 55
    beltane says:

    @katie5: And Plattsburgh, NY is hardly an “urban area” by most definitions. Maybe a black family or two moved in and caused them to pee their pants and flee to Colorado.

  56. 56
    David in NY says:

    @katie5: Plattsburg? An urban area? The nearest urban area to Plattsburg isn’t even in the US (Montreal). There’s many places in Colorado a lot more urban than Plattsburg.

    That story is wrong or the place name is wrong or the parents were seriously misguided.

  57. 57
    Pemulis says:

    Lived and worked at a gas station in Gillibrand’s district while I went to school. Voted for her half-heartedly in 08. It’s a rural-ish area with some weird culture clashes between the people who’ve lived there most of their lives, students, and more and more NYC weekenders buying up the area on the river. My purely anecdotal experience was that it was light on the Evangelical/Values Voters types, but good god some of those dudes loved their guns, and you knew that because they’d wear a pistol strapped to their hips while they ran out to buy a pack of smokes, like they thought they were Wyatt effing Earp.

    That’s only a few of them though. The bigger issue, again purely anecdotally, but I think it applies, is that the guys, and gals, who hunted got their info on gun laws from the nutters and the nutters don’t draw any distinctions, so people who wouldn’t mind, or would even support, a ban on assault weapons and what have you, think any pro-gun-control Dem wants to take away their hunting rifles. The NRA guys are weirdos, and won’t vote D regardless, but they poison the well.

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @Kane:

    Or you could skip the polling and just do the right thing.

    If you don’t win you don’t get to do anything.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I typed “we’re concerned about the way the country is going” into Google Translate and got the same results you did.

    Oh, have they added wingnut to the list of languages they can translate?

  60. 60
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @geg6:
    I’m in a similar situation here in rural North TX. The folks around here are, for the most part, very conservative, religious and fiercely independent by nature. The F.F.A. has a greater influence than the N.R.A. here and I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. I doubt they’d own an assault weapon on a bet. Unfortunately, in a state that ‘s very much myth driven, the slippery slope argument begins and ends the conversation on guns. Their kids may be a different story.

  61. 61
    Phoenix_rising says:

    I could be wrong, but wasn’t Gillibrand part of the blue wave that also raised Gabbi Giffords to Congress?

    I’m almost certain that both their husbands indicated that they were pretty good friends, right after Giffords got shot in the head by a lunatic with a high capacity mag in her district.

    So, you know, the politics are never secondary…but I’m thinking that having a friend from work get shot in the head while doing her job might change one’s thoughts about guns? Independently of the I’m sure cogent analysis above?

  62. 62
    Culture of Truth says:

    moved to the burbs of Colorado (Littleton) from Plattsburgh, NY because they sought the safety lacking in the urban areas.

    Plattsburgh as urban hellhole? What, did a black family move into the county?

  63. 63
    slag says:

    @Comrade Jake: Maybe they market that gun specifically to pie-eyed sociopaths.

  64. 64
    Cassidy says:

    @David in NY: Isn’t Plattsburg near Watertown/ Fort Drum area? Lots of AA’s in the military.

  65. 65
    max says:

    Most people who want to stock their house with an arsenal of assault rifles have a paranoid world view that is explicitly catered to by Republican media outlets and politicians.

    Exactly. The NRA, which at least used to take pains to appear to be non-partisan, has essentially converted itself into an out member of the Republican coalition, full stop. They should probably be understood as essentially Karl Rove in camo.

    In her district, Kirsten Gillibrand probably could have turned her basement into an armory and slept with a rocket launcher and she still wouldn’t have gotten many the “new” NRA member votes.

    Quite. I think the guy on TPM over the weekend saying that the gun culture had gone weird over the last 20-odd years had it exactly right. (At this point, they seem on the verge of leaving the hunters and whatnot behind.) It’s all about ‘living white’ as the forum I saw over the weekend was named. (In another words, you can’t just own an old school hunting rifle – if it isn’t a semi-automatic that is easily converted to full auto and could appear as prop in the movie version of The Turner Diaries, it’s some kind of pussy weapon and how anybody could think you could defend yourself with one (never mind how many have in decades past) is apparently impossible to understand.)

    It’s all about the negro zombie hordes, as Katrina proved.

    max
    [‘Blah.’]

  66. 66
    Culture of Truth says:

    If you’re using a gun to kill a docile deer you have an unfair advantage. Why don’t these hunter play paintball or something. I bet you’d get more of an adreline rush.

  67. 67
    beltane says:

    @Cassidy: Plattsburgh in on the other side of the Adirondacks from Watertown. The closest “city” to Plattsburgh other than Montreal is the very scary urban hellhole of Burlington, VT which sits right across Lake Champlain from it.

  68. 68
    Hob says:

    @TR: I’m not impressed with that Gawker piece. It’s smug reflexive contrarianism of the kind we see every day from commenters like Spatula. I mean, for crying out loud:

    Every time a tragedy happens and you, Mr. Gun Control Advocate, decide to lash out at the NRA, or at “our national obsession with guns,” or at the classic straw man hunter who needs a 50-bullet clip just to chase down a squirrel, you’re doing Ron Cohen, Sig Sauer, and everyone else at Big Gun a huge favor.

    Magary seems to think that no one other than him understands that the NRA, like every other powerful lobbying organization in existence, does what it does on behalf of business interests. Also, no one but him has actually devoted any thought to their support of gun control– they’re just “lashing out” and “doing what they’ve been trained to do.” So, to justify all this mind-reading, how carefully has he observed the arguments of gun-control advocates? Pretty piss-poorly, since he thinks that they like to blame hunters, whereas the actual argument is “the gun lobby likes to pretend they’re standing up for hunters, but that’s bullshit since hunters don’t actually use assault rifles with 50-round magazines; the gun lobby is really standing up for gun manufacturers and paranoid wingnuts.” Magary is using “straw man” in the most unintentionally ironic way possible.

    I guess “rebranding” may be a useful concept sometimes, but here it’s just an excuse for someone to dismiss everything anyone says about observable real-life events because they’re not saying the exact magic words he wants to hear. In this case, he’s really pissed that no one is specifically blaming the executives of gun companies; never mind that the other anti-corporate campaigns he mentions favorably were not based on identifying individual executives. Turning a bunch of interchangeable boring greedheads into villain-celebrities would feed Magary’s righteous anger, but how would it actually help? Why should we think Ron Cohen gives a shit what anyone thinks of him? Why wouldn’t the NRA just use “attacks on businessmen who just want to help you protect yourself” as a rallying cry? Most people don’t object to the act of manufacturing guns, or to being a wealthy business owner; they do object to dishonest political manipulation, and the NRA is the dishonest political arm of the gun industry.

  69. 69
    Culture of Truth says:

    The deer in my backyard just stand there. I could read Glen Beck’s book to them until they died from the stupidity.

    Granted, that would be inhumane…

  70. 70
    Phoenix_rising says:

    @David in NY: Our dad showed us his gun, which he stored empty, and specifically called me out for being the only one of his kids who might have found it on my own–along with the totality of all the gun safety instruction I received in childhood: Never ever touch this until I’ve taught you how to use it. It’s a machine to kill with. I hope never to need it to feed you.

    He kept his ammo locked up separately, in a metal storage locker that I use in my office today. Feet are up one it right now.

  71. 71
    kindness says:

    I’m feeling the worst we can do is the best we can do on the whole gun regulation front, which is limit clip sizes to 10 rounds and ban older larger clips. And honestly that would be a big improvement over the 95 law which grandfathered in the older larger clips.

    Defining what semi-automatic rifle is an assault rifle and what is a hunting rifle is difficult to impossible. I don’t really care if someone has an AR-15 so long as they have to reload every 10 shots. In that case an AR-15 is no more effective than a Mini-14. They just look more military but their actual productive use is no different so long as they also have less bullets to start with.

  72. 72
    katie5 says:

    @David in NY: I always thought it was Union, NY. But yes, to people in upstate NY, there are several scary, “gritty” cities up there. The degree of urbanness is relative. I remember talking to a couple of people on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, who were talking about people living on even remoter islands who were afraid of coming to the big city of Stornaway.

  73. 73
    Cassidy says:

    @beltane: I was thinking there was atown starting with a “P” in that area. I know we used to go to Abay and Sackett’s Harbor, etc. And some of the housing was in Carthage, but I’m finding nothing. Disregard completely, lol.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @TR:

    If you need a semi-automatic, all you’re doing is announcing to the world one of two things: “I am a horrible shot” and/or “I have the tiniest pen!s in the world.”

    I’m having a hard time with instructions on how to find out exactly how tiny my pen!s actually is these days.
    Is it if I own a gun at all? Where’s the chart that describes how much it shrinks by specific purchase or ownership? That would be helpful.
    I swear in all my days I’ve never seen anyone wax erotic about their gun, so that leads me to believe people who are afraid and/or misunderstand gun owners are the ones fixated on people’s cock sizes.

  75. 75
    PeakVT says:

    @beltane: Hey, it is scary. There’s a murder here at least every third year.

  76. 76
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Probably the first and last time I can say this: great article in the NY Daily News, where a Bangladeshi guy cuts through all the bullshit and gets right to the heart of the problem in one sentence:

    “When I hear of this my heart explodes and my eyes shed tears,” said Mohammed Siddique, 48, a Bangladeshi immigrant and home improvement contractor who stood with his palms facing the funereal sky. “I come to America because it is such a great country, where I can give my six children a better life. I love America. But the only thing I find wrong with America is so many guns. Guns make weak people crazy with power. They feel like big men with a gun. They even shoot babies. And my heart was so heavy when I heard this news that I prayed to Allah since Friday for the children. Although I am a Muslim, I drove here from New Milford to pray some more. I hope it helps to stop the crazy guns.”

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I could read Glen Beck’s book to them until they died from the stupidity.

    That seems like a dangerous approach, since I’d expect you’d be a much greater risk than the deer. Maybe you could put in earplugs and play the audiobook.

  78. 78

    Look, I’ve said this before, I said it on Monday and I said it yesterday: The NRA is not a “real” organization. They don’t represent gun owners or sportsmen, they haven’t for years. They say they do, but they don’t. Something like 70% of their membership has favored things like waiting periods and closing the gun show loophole and whatnot and the NRA does not listen to them.

    They are another arm of the Republican Party. Just like Fox News is the media wing of the GOP, the NRA is an issue-based lobbying arm of the GOP. They represent gun manufacturers and arms dealers; they are another piece of the military-industrial complex. The NRA has actively scuttle the UN Arms Trade Treaty, ginning up some BS about it affecting U.S. gun owners when it does nothing of the sort.

    It’s all a charade. It’s time we blow the lid off who these people are. These aren’t deer hunters and people who like to go to the shooting range.

  79. 79
    Culture of Truth says:

    I keep dust bunnies under the bed. Sure, that doesn’t sound scary, but you haven’t seen these dust bunnies.

  80. 80
    David in NY says:

    @Cassidy: @Culture of Truth: A quick scan of Google’s offerings indicate that Eric Harris’s dad was in the military, the kids he associated with were of different races (probably military kids). Probably Fort Drum. But Plattsburg itself, like the Fort, is way in the North Country.

    I think we’d have to read the book about Columbine. The Google sources can’t even agree on the year they moved to Littleton (a suburb, considerably more urban than Plattsburg). Not clear why Littleton, from what I see. And Harris was friends with black and Asian kids in Plattsburg, but allegedly had a racist motive in the shootings.

  81. 81
    beltane says:

    I grew up in NYC during the high-crime decades of the 1970’s and 80’s, and never experienced the kind of ever-present existential terror these coddled and sheltered suburbanites live with. Yeah, when I took the subway home at night I’d choose to ride in the car with the most people, and yes, I had a double lock on my apartment door (everyone does), but I never experienced this general state of “OMG! The scary people are coming to get me!” that seems to afflict Real America.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @beltane: I was going to point out that students are most likely (but still not very) to be killed by their parents. Schools are probably still safer places.

    Bruce Schneier had a posting about safety and the appearance of safety. They are not the same thing.

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I could read Glen Beck’s book to them until they died from the stupidity.

    Good God. Remind me to never make you angry.

  84. 84
    Kane says:

    When the country was all gung-ho for war in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama showed how one could oppose the war without being painted as a dirty hippie. He stated that he wasn’t against all wars, but he was against dumb wars.

    The same approach needs to be taken on the issue of gun ownership. A politician can say that they support Second Amendment rights, but that they are against dumb gun laws. They can say that they support the right of gun ownership, but that there is a responsibility that comes with gun ownership.

  85. 85
    Culture of Truth says:

    On this point, CNN was breathlessly hyperventilating over the NRA’s “FOUR MILLION MEMBERS!1!!1” assuming that number is real, that they all believe they same things, they all vote the same way and are all one-issue voters. Which even if you believe the NRA is a poweful grassroots lobby group, is absurd.

  86. 86
    Waynski says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Also @ Omnes Omnebus — As I said, I’m not a hunter, but we seem to all agree that no one”needs” a semi-automatic weapon to hunt.

  87. 87
    Roger Moore says:

    @kindness:

    Defining what semi-automatic rifle is an assault rifle and what is a hunting rifle is difficult to impossible.

    I’ll go back to arguing that a removable magazine should be the dividing line. Once you’ve shot through your magazine, you should be stuck reloading one round at a time*, not with a whole fresh magazine. This should have negligible effect on hunters but a fairly dramatic one on mass murderers. At the very least, there should be much stricter regulation of guns with removable magazines, if not an outright ban.

    *Yes, I know about speed loaders for revolvers, but I don’t think they’re really relevant. If we can restrict would-be mass murderers to that, I think we will have made some progress.

  88. 88
    David in NY says:

    @Phoenix_rising: Sounds good.

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @kindness:

    In that case an AR-15 is no more effective than a Mini-14.

    Wow. Ummmm, there are some things I hate to tell you about a Mini-14.

    There is no distinguishing factor between a wood stocked Mini-14 and a black, military looking AR-15. They fire the same round and both can be modded to be all kinds of killer cool ninja “tactical”. I’m not making fun of you with that statement, but the people who mod the guns. The only difference at POS is how they look, but they are effectively similiar guns. That’s it.

    If we want meaningful gun legislation we need a complete ban on semi-automatic weapons, both rifles and handguns; at a minimum a [very] heavily restricted buying process that involves a waiting period and decent background check. We need a ban on high capacity magazines. We need people to be licensed and insured, just like owning a car. We need limits put in place as to how many guns and how much ammo a licensed person can have at any given time as well as stif criminal penalties for violating that. We need minimal standards set for strage of said guns as well as civil and criminal penalties for not complying. We need a minimal standard set for acquiring a concealed carry license beyond what is in place now; the current NRA class is a joke. Lastly, this all needs to be federally mandated as a baseline taking this out of the hands of the states, who have proven that they cannot effectively legislate this issue at their level.

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @Southern Beale: “They represent gun manufacturers and arms dealers.”

    And they have proven that fear sells even more guns than sex.
    Their message and the GOP message of fear work together.

    (I think sex is in the mix, too. Something about fear of emasculation puts the two together.)

  91. 91
    catclub says:

    @Culture of Truth: I have. They are probably developing a civilization.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A double barreled shotgun is all you need for birds or small game.

    A minor quibble. There’s nothing wrong with a pump shotgun for ducks or dove hunting. Many people have Remington 1100’s as well for hunting, although I could never afford one.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I keep dust bunnies under the bed.

    Most of the time when I’m sleeping, I have a fearsome attack cat under my bed. You’d better watch out, or he’ll head butt you, attempt to trip you by weaving between your legs, or immobilize you by jumping into your lap.

  94. 94
    EconWatcher says:

    I get mail from the NRA, and I’ve noticed in recent years that they send a lot about various right-wing causes that don’t have much to do with guns. I think they won their issue so completely and overwhelmingly that they were morphing into a general wingnut lobby group, to stay relevant.

    I believe they may be forced now to go back to their roots, to defend against the Newtown reaction.

  95. 95
    beltane says:

    @catclub: There are many, many Americans who hope that purchasing a gun will enable them to grow a pair. This is the human equivalent of “sharp-shyness” in dogs, a kind of viciousness brought about by fear and weakness.

    When did we become a nation of wusses?

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @Waynski:

    Also @ Omnes Omnebus — As I said, I’m not a hunter, but we seem to all agree that no one”needs” a semi-automatic weapon to hunt.

    I actually know disabled individuals who do need a different setup to engage in certain activities. But I grant that’s a small and special item.

  97. 97
    Culture of Truth says:

    dove hunting! Where’s the sport in shooting a bunch of damn cooing doves?

  98. 98
  99. 99

    @kindness: 10 rounds is a good start. More realistic would be five, or let’s just go with a classic, six. Seriously, you need more than that and you’re not taking a shot, you’re in a firefight. We don’t need to arm everyone for firefights.

    And handguns? Should require strict licensing and thousands of dollars of bond to own one. Per gun.

  100. 100
    chopper says:

    @geg6:

    when i first heard bork had died, my first thought was ‘thank you, teddy kennedy, wherever you are’.

  101. 101
    chopper says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    because doves are a symbol of peace. you get bonus points if the dove is carrying an olive branch.

  102. 102
    jibeaux says:

    Here’s a suggestion that I plan to do, whatever it’s worth. Send a letter to my rep and Senators from me, my husband, and kids, and explicitly state that we are lifetime NON-members of the NRA, that we don’t have $3 million to contribute to campaigns, but that we are all paying attention to who is taking the issue of gun safety seriously. Two of us vote, and two more of us will, in time. Going to get the kids to draw peace signs or whatever on it in case the message it too subtle.

  103. 103
    Roger Moore says:

    @beltane:

    I grew up in NYC during the high-crime decades of the 1970′s and 80′s, and never experienced the kind of ever-present existential terror these coddled and sheltered suburbanites live with.

    I think they key is that the existential dread doesn’t really come from the place they’re living; it comes from the idea that white people, especially white Christian men, are losing their dominance of American society. They try to move to a comforting environment where they don’t have to think about it, but the outside world still intrudes, especially now that the President is near.

  104. 104
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    There is no distinguishing factor between a wood stocked Mini-14 and a black, military looking AR-15.

    @Cassidy: Oh yes there is. I’ve never, ever, ever had a Mini-14 jam.

    Cannot say the same for any AR-15 design I’ve shot.

  105. 105
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @catclub: And they have proven that fear sells even more guns than sex.
    Their message and the GOP message of fear work together

    I think it was on Monday that Chuck Todd and and Tweety were tut-tutting about how Hollywood and video games need-to-be-a-part-of-this-conversation (though to his partial credit I got the distinct impression that Tweety was saying that talking about “Hollywood” is just a bone to throw to the Whiners of the Right. Then on Tuesday morning, I heard Charlie Pierce say that the “entertainment industry” that contributes to this is the Glen Beck/Ted Nugent/ Chuck Norris nutbags who prattle ominously about FEMA camps and new Black Panthers and drive people like the shooter’s mother and George Zimmerman to think they need a personal armory to save themselves from the blue helmets, black helicopters (and dark skins) and all the other closet monsters of the ill lit corners of Real America. But I’m sure in his heart of hearts Chuck Todd and his ilk all think Quentin Tarantino has more to do with this than Beck or Norris.

  106. 106
    Whidby says:

    @Cassidy: On, no, I knew when I voted for him the second time that he would not make meaningful changes in drone targeting protocols.

    Fun fact, do you know a large factor in why civilian deaths during drone strikes have declined? If the person is male between 12 and 60, he’s now automatically classified as a combatant.

    But ,of course these aren’t young white children, so no need to fret.

  107. 107
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Culture of Truth: Dust bunnies? I have dust kittehs, the size of Tunch. I don’t understand this gun fetish at all, neither do I see any sport in hunting. I think it is somewhat understandable when you at least eat what you hunt.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @David in NY:

    My dad was a hunter as well. He kept his guns unloaded inside a deadbolted room that only he had the key to, and he only took them out when he was getting ready to go duck hunting with his buddies.

    When I was about 12, he had me take a hunter safety course through one of the local gun shops. He still brags to this day (30+ years later) that I scored higher on the test than any of the grown men who were in the class with me, probably because I was paying attention to the “how not to stupidly kill yourself while out in the woods” stuff while they were all wondering when we would get to the target shooting portion.

    (I’m pretty sure I outshot some of them, too.)

    So I really and honestly do not have a problem with actual hunters who take their hobby seriously and treat the tools with caution. I don’t even necessarily have a problem with genuine collectors who want to have neat-looking stuff in cases but never bother to load it. And I understand why people who live in rural areas where it could take law enforcement 20 or 30 minutes to get there in an emergency feel better having a gun available to them just in case.

    It’s the freakin’ gun nuts who think they need to have a loaded gun at hand at any given moment who freak me the hell out. Why do you need to walk around your suburb where there hasn’t been a serious crime in 40 years with a gun strapped to your hip just in case?

  109. 109
    David in NY says:

    @Cassidy: Labor MP Kelvin Thompson of Australia has written the Members of Congress here advocating that we adopt the measures they did, after a massacre of 35 people a decade and a half ago. They are similar to your list:

    “* Banning military style automatic and semi-automatic firearms;
    * Limiting the availability of non-military style semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to primary producers, professional vermin exterminators, and a limited class of clay target firearm users;
    * Introducing registration for all firearms, including longarms;
    * Grouping firearms into 5 broad licensing categories;
    * Requiring all licence applicants to establish a genuine reason for firearms ownership;
    * Requiring all licence applicants other than those applying for category A firearms to establish that they have a special need for the particular category of firearm;
    * Requiring that permits be acquired for every new firearm purchase, with the issue of a permit to be subject to a waiting period of at least 28 days to enable appropriate checks to be made;
    * Stricter storage requirements for all firearms; and
    * Requiring all sales to be conducted by or through licensed firearms dealers.
    Since these laws were enacted in 1996 Australia has not had a repeat of the massacres we had before they came into effect.”

    Sorry no link, received this on Facebook and can’t find an unblocked source on Google.

  110. 110
    👽 Martin says:

    @red dog:

    I read that the NRA has only 4 million members so this tiny fraction scares Congress…no. The NRA is such a powerful lobby that all of GOPer congress and locals take their money.

    Americans for Tax Reform has 60,000 members – about double my homeowners association, and they’re just as afraid of Grover as they are of the NRA.

    Never underestimate Congress’ ability to be afraid of shit.

  111. 111
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Roger Moore: Are they really losing their dominance? Look at the Senate or Congress or most of the Fortune 500 CEOs or the Governors of most states. There is just a sprinkling of minorities and women.

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: A fair point. Nevertheless, one still is not likely to need to fire more than two shells.

  113. 113
    jl says:

    @japa21:

    Fifty percent of what the NRA does has some value?

    Not so sure about that. I had an opportunity to go through what kind of junk mail the NRA sends out to its members this weekend (long story about going through late relative’s house to deal with estate).

    I didn’t see anything but scare mongering, sinister propaganda about how having enough guns and ammo to shoot up a small town was some kind of constitutional remedy for unspecified gripes (attacks on your FREEDOM), and come on’s and begs for money.

    And that was it, 100 percent. As far as I can tell, NRA is an industry front group. If they ever were a legit gun owners association that did public service anything, I guess it was long ago.

    Any NRA members here to can say anything different about the stuff NRA sends out to members? Do they ever send anything out about guns safety, training, etc., ever? Srsly, I am curious.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    @JPL:

    Bushmasters aren’t assault rifles in GA, they are called sporting rifles in GA. Sporting for what?

    The most dangerous game.

  115. 115

    @Culture of Truth:

    And to your point:

    Is the NRA bluffing about their millions of members? It appears the answer is yes.

  116. 116
    kindness says:

    @Cassidy:

    If we want meaningful gun legislation we need a complete ban on semi-automatic weapons, both rifles and handguns

    See and the difference between me and you is that I was speaking about what I believe is politically possible not what you might want.

  117. 117
    JCT says:

    @Cassidy: I’m pretty sure a Mini-14 was the gun used to execute two unarmed intruders in (I think) Wisconsin recently. Totally agree — no different than an AR-15 except for their reliability.

    I complete agree with the idea of banning semi autos (and I have a couple), but what to do regarding (for example) Ruger’s 10/22 ? There are *millions* of them out there. They go for less than $200 on sale.

  118. 118
    Whidby says:

    @beltane: yes!

    Crime is lower than it has been in 40 years in most categories, but there more fear than ever.

    I was at a Party in a very wealthy suburb this weekend. Their last serious crime was a murder suicide in the mid 1990s. There was a break in and burglary at a house down the street this fall, so these people sent off to Germany to get a trained guard dog. This is to supplement their home alarm and video surveillance system. Nuts.

  119. 119
    chopper says:

    @Cassidy:

    i’d love to see a ban of any magazine (or the equivalent)-based firearms, or at least very strong registration as to those. very strong.

    on one hand, i think that would face a wall not only in congress but at the supreme court, but on the other hand short barreled shotguns are very heavily restricted in this country. registration is pretty difficult from what i remember. this has apparently passed constitutional muster for 80 years.

    suppressors are also pretty heavily regulated. why? because they make killing people easier to get away with.

    we keep saying it here, but it bears repeating. if you want to defend your home, a shotgun or revolver is more than sufficient. if you want to hunt, a shotgun or bolt-action rifle is more than sufficient. if you need a semi-automatic to hunt a deer than you’re unclear on the concept of hunting.

    everything more advanced than these are aimed at killing people in groups as easy as possible.

    revolvers are designed to kill ‘a person’. so-called ‘assault weapons’ are designed to kill people, quickly and efficiently. that’s why they’re designed for use in warfare. where the user is likely to have to kill or maim multiple targets in a relatively short amount of time.

  120. 120
    Gindy51 says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Sigh. You follow the blood trail and finish the wounded animal off. That’s the way the hunters who hunt around my farm do it. If the animal wanders onto my land, they ask me if they can continue. Those who do not ask get busted by the cops. I always give permission for a hunter who has wounded an animal to continue and pt the creature out of its misery.

  121. 121
    jibeaux says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Hollywood stuff is crap as a “cause” of anything. But when I look at all our action movies and the fact that the top three selling games are violent first person shooter games (Halo, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed), I do think they are a reflection of our gun-fetishizing culture. The vast majority of the people enjoying those can separate out reality from nonreality, sure. First person shooter games have no appeal to me at all, can’t relate, but I like the Bourne movies, I like Justified (Timothy Olyphant is a total hottie), I understand liking big budget special effects movies. But the incredible oversaturation of violence in our entertainment, I think it does reflect — not cause, but reflect — an affinity for violence that we seem to have. For all I know, having a video game channel actually HELPS violent kids, but they give me the chills. And I think they contribute to people’s unrealistic expectations about what guns can and can’t be used for, i.e. the usual stuff about how if someone in the theater or the school or the mall had been armed, they could’ve been Chuck Fucking Norris and saved everyone. I don’t know where that fantasy comes from, but it isn’t from the real world.

  122. 122
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @👽 Martin: Never underestimate Congress’ ability to be afraid of shit.

    also, especially with the current GOP House caucus, never assume that the office holders are smarter than the dumbest of their voters. Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio are afraid to admit they believe in evolution. Paul Broun and Michelle Bachman are proud to declare they don’t. Helen Chenowith, who was still a comical outlier in the 90s, loved to go on TV and talk about black hee-lee-o-copters

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Plattsburgh as urban hellhole? What, did a black family move into the county?

    Well, there might be a dozen or so of “them” at SUNY.

  124. 124
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I have. Several.
    But, if is not guns, its stereo equipment, or trucks, or shoe size.Some folk just need to compare and feel they are “alpha”.

    So, e got that goin’ for us.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Culture of Truth says:

    well at least a dog is excellent home protection, a good companion, and won’t be stolen to commit suicide or a murder.

    as far as congresscritters being easily scared, make them scared of voters demanding reasonable gun rules OR ELSE they will find themselves another congressperson

  127. 127
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Amen. Its really bad risk assessment, IMO. Unless you’re actively looking for trouble, it would seen far more likely you will injure yourself more that need it for self defense.

    Its like the archivists who stock up on guns, but have no plan for fresh, potable water. At least in three days or so, they won’t be a problem.

  128. 128
    David in NY says:

    @chopper: “on one hand, i think that would face a wall not only in congress but at the supreme court,”

    Heller protects only weapons commonly available ca. 1789.

    “if you want to defend your home, a shotgun or revolver is more than sufficient”

    And Heller protects only weapons necessary for self protection.

  129. 129
    JCT says:

    @beltane: Courtesy of TBogg, this is a real Bushmaster ad apparently. “http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2012/12/17/penis-not-included Seems to answer your question. Sigh.

  130. 130
    Whidby says:

    @jl: their usual monthly magazines are about 1/3 scare propaganda, 1/3 gun/ product reviews, which are pretty much rewritten press releases, and 1/3 “history of some firearm we used to put down the savages.”

    They do have programs like training people to be range safety officers and training people to be firearms instructors that are useful. I’ve attended several of these to get certified as an instructor and they’re worthwhile. The pistol instructor course was 8 hours and had a written test and hands on demonstrations. I was pleasantly surprised at the sections on the dangers of lead inhalation and the pointed comments about how not to be a sexist asshole when instructing women. But those are paid for separately and IIRC, you just get a discount if you are an NRA member.

  131. 131
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I have to admit, on some level I’m worried that this is the new 1964 civil-rights moment. You know, in which some Democrats finally decide to do the right thing after dealing with the devil for 40 years, and it loses them the country for the next 40.

    One way or another, there’s no way around it, I guess.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    @mapaghimagsik: I am glad I do not know those people.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jibeaux: And I think they contribute to people’s unrealistic expectations about what guns can and can’t be used for,

    I agree, and when I heard that gun sales spiked after Aurora (and they spiked by and even greater number last weekend) my first thought was, “Do these fuckers think they’re Raylan Givens?” But our violent movies and video games are just as popular in Europe and Asia (I’m taking talking heads at their word) and they don’t have the actual violence we do. I know more than a few people who have guns for protection, and while I think most of them are overreacting, none of them take their guns with them when they run to the store for a gallon of milk or (as far as I know) think they’re going to be staving off invading hordes of UN troops trying to impose Sharia law.

  134. 134
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @beltane: I, too, lived in NYC during the 70’s and 80’s, took the subway at night, etc. Now I live in an area where the only “existential dread” is whether the raccoons will knock over the garbage cans, or whether the fishers will catch somebody’s cat. I don’t often lock the house, and I do often leave the car keys in the car in the driveway, because then I can’t misplace them somewhere in the house.

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @mapaghimagsik:

    Its like the archivists who stock up on guns, but have no plan for fresh, potable water. At least in three days or so, they won’t be a problem.

    You would think a librarian would be smarter about it than that.

  136. 136
    Whidby says:

    Heller protects only weapons commonly available ca. 1789.

    You mean like the first amendment only protects printing presses that were available in 1789?

    I don’t think so…

  137. 137
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Unless you live a very insular life, I’m making a pretty safe bet you’ll find one or two.ltd not a binary thing, and it is contagious. I see it a lot in software types, and at the right level, its productive.

    The negative aspects come in when it blinds good judgment and when it escalated. Good, healthy competition and all.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “Do these fuckers think they’re Raylan Givens?”

    I always like to fantasize that I’m Lord Raiden. But, of course, he uses lightning bolts to dispatch people and not guns.
    Where do lightning bolts fit on the scale for determining size of a pen!s?

  139. 139
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I loves me some auto-type.

  140. 140
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @jibeaux: I was going to say Assassin’s Creed isn’t an FPS, but the latest installment (which I haven’t played) sounds like it has more shooting in it than the others did. It’s flintlock muskets and such, though.

    Violent, yes. The series is more about parkour and climbing on stuff than anything else, though. And an incredibly wacky story arc.

  141. 141
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t know, but Zeus had to change himself into a bull to satisfy Europa.

  142. 142
    Chris says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    There’s no upside for a Dem to even speak to the NRA much less ask for their support. They support Republicans, period.

    This.

    Also pretty much exactly how I feel about the Catholic bishops.

  143. 143
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @@Corner Stone:
    Same answer as always: Never large enough.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @mapaghimagsik: Oh, if you meant the “alpha” part, then yeah sure I knew a bunch of that type. It was mainly in high school and they alpha’d around in all the usual categories.
    I was referring specifically to the “gun as erotic” part which I thought you were responding to.

    Interestingly, none of the alpha types I grew up with had any interest in guns or hunting. Which I think we can agree was for the best.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Had to? I just think it’s pretty clear all those guys were into some major kink. I mean, giving birth to your full grown daughter by splitting your head open, that’s got Fifty Shades of Grey all kinds of beat in the kinky.

  146. 146
    David in NY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I didn’t mean to suggest that it was wrong to teach one’s kids to hunt, and about gun safety if you do. I just was struck that, unlike a lot of people these days, my dad had no identity as a gun owner. He just had a gun for when he went hunting, and when we moved to the city, he didn’t any more after a bit, and he just never mentioned it (except to tell stories about the deer he missed in the old days).

  147. 147
    Chris says:

    @Pemulis:

    and you knew that because they’d wear a pistol strapped to their hips while they ran out to buy a pack of smokes, like they thought they were Wyatt effing Earp.

    Whose MO for “cleaning up” cities involved strict bans on the carrying of firearms within the city limits, just by the way.

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jibeaux:

    But the incredible oversaturation of violence in our entertainment, I think it does reflect — not cause, but reflect — an affinity for violence that we seem to have.

    I suspect what it does is not necessarily make us more violent, but make us more afraid of the potential for violence when the violent crime rate has actually been plummeting for years. IIRC, there are more murders committed on television in a year than in the entire United States (and we have the highest murder rate in the world). So the constant drumbeat of our popular entertainment leads susceptible people to think that they’re in more day-to-day danger than they actually are.

  149. 149
    David in NY says:

    @Chris: @Forum Transmitted Disease: “They support Republicans, period.”

    Everybody should call the NRA just to hear Wayne Lapierre’s rant while you’re on hold. It’s entirely Obama hatred. Have to figure out how to record it and post it somewhere. No pretense of anything but anti-Obama (thus pro-Republican) views.

  150. 150
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cassidy:

    @whidby: No “OBAMA SOLD US OUT!”? You must not have had your coffee, yet.

    ROFL

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @David in NY:

    I think we’re pretty much in agreement. It sounds like your dad had an identity as a hunter, not as a gun owner. The guns were just the tools he used to hunt with. It does seem nowadays that there are a lot of (mostly) dudes running around out there whose identity is as a gun owner, which is so weird to me. It would be like if I identified myself as a “circular needle owner” rather than a knitter and spent a lot of time displaying my stiletto-point needles without actually making anything with them.

  152. 152
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Criminal Minds is hilarious. How can there be that many serial killers in the world?

  153. 153
    jibeaux says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: We think we’re a nation of Raylan Givenses, but we are mostly Dewey Crows.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    My sister-in-law is freakin’ obsessed with that show. When we were visiting this summer, I made her turn off the TV because I was not in the mood to watch some psycho pour battery acid down a woman’s throat right after eating dinner.

    Did I mention that her six-year-old daughter was in the room with us and it never even occurred to her that maybe having murder shows on 24/7 might not be a great idea?

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @jibeaux:

    But the incredible oversaturation of violence in our entertainment, I think it does reflect — not cause, but reflect — an affinity for violence that we seem to have.

    Why I like older shows like Mission Impossible and MacGyver. Leverage and to some extent Burn Notice I’d consider the spiritual successors to these.

  156. 156
    Rathskeller says:

    Speaking for myself, I’m a newly-born single issue voter on this. I won’t support any politician who is not in favor of gun control, and I will do my level best to help primary out every politician who is a gun nut.

    I will even strongly support Senators like Feinstein, who I dislike for so many reasons, but at least she knows what it’s like to have a fucking lunatic at her place of business holding a gun.

    The NRA and Gun Owners of America may or may not have political power. But I have fucking had it. I personally am committed to stop this insane part of American culture.

  157. 157
    Cassidy says:

    @Whidby: I know. It’s all about you and your fee-fees.

    @kindness: Your condescension aside, I’m simply stating what the minimum is necessary to have meaningful gun legislation for a long term impact. Will we get it? No, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have an endstate. I don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good, so I’ll take what we can get right now, but I want more and I demand more.

    @JCT: I’ve said it here before, I especially think the small “plinkers” should be included in the SA ban. A Ruger 10/22 with a high cap magazine and .22lr hollowpoints is still a weapon of mass destruction.

    @chopper: We need to move the conversation away from guns. If you really want to defend your home, all you need is a dog and adequate lighting.

    The big problem is that these things are fetish items. They think that by owning an M4 they are just like the Navy SEALS, completely discounting the extensive andintensive training and whatnot. We have to excise the fetish items; completely take them off the market. Only then can we start to combat this shit.

  158. 158
    Cassidy says:

    Help! I’m in moderation! Oh and….DROOOOOOOOOONNNNNEEEEEZZZZ. Just for you whidby.

  159. 159
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Are they really losing their dominance?

    They are losing but have not yet lost their dominance. White men are still at the top, but there are more and more of those people every year. Obama really freaks them out because he’s obviously a sign of things to come.

  160. 160
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It does seem nowadays that there are a lot of (mostly) dudes running around out there whose identity is as a gun owner, which is so weird to me.

    I assume this is because they they bought their guns to do something they don’t want to talk about in public. Talking about their love of guns is a way of talking around, rather than about, their issue. I’d bet that if you presented yourself to them in private as a politically sympathetic gun owners, they would open up about exactly who they were planning on gunning down with all that firepower.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m not sure all of them would be able to articulate it. For at least some of them, it’s because of “threats” that they can’t quite name, but feel subconsciously.

    ETA: I’m not saying that it’s not because they feel threatened by minorities or women gaining power. But at least some of them aren’t entirely conscious of that being the reason they feel threatened, so they feel an all-encompassing sense of anxiety that someone out there is threatening to them. Those are the truly dangerous ones, because they’re the ones who will decide that a school full of first-graders is dangerous to them and needs to be destroyed.

  162. 162
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cassidy:

    If you really want to defend your home, all you need is a dog and adequate lighting.

    I honestly think that defending your home is the wrong attitude to start with. If you’re worried about your stuff, your best bet is a safe for your most precious valuables and a good inventory and insurance for things that are replaceable. If you’re worried about your life, your best bet is a good escape plan. Cases where you should plan on confronting somebody who breaks into your house are few and far between.

  163. 163
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t have an issue with people wanting to defend their home. We’re territorial creatures by nature. I forget where I read it, but the possibility of guns being in the home is far less of a deterrent than adequate lighting and a dog.

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Cases where you should plan on confronting somebody who breaks into your house are few and far between.

    Which cases would be included there?

  165. 165
    Cluttered Mind says:

    I think it is grossly unfair to Senator Gillibrand to tag a post about her with “Democratic Stupidity”. She was elected in a pretty red district, did what she had to do to get herself re-elected in that district while still supporting the Democrats as much as she could given the restrictions of her constituency, and then once she was freed of that restriction she started being a very reliable vote for liberal causes. I don’t really see how her career is anything other than a template for how the Democrats should behave everywhere. If she behaved like she does now when she was still representing her old district, she would not have been able to get elected, much less re-elected. As much as it sucks, sometimes you have to take unfavorable positions in order to get yourself elected and try to do the most good you can. Gillibrand’s record since becoming a senator should more than prove her worth as a Democrat. I was proud to vote for her re-election a month ago.

  166. 166
    Stuart_b says:

    “I forget where I read it, but the possibility of guns being in the home is far less of a deterrent than adequate lighting and a dog.” I would actually suspect that guns in a home where the owner was gone would be an incentive to rob it.

    Unfortunately, the rhetoric that includes statistics on more criminals being killed by armed citizens than by police suggests that protection isn’t as important as the idea that one might get to murder the right someone and be thanked for it instead of put away.

  167. 167
    Cassidy says:

    @Stuart_b: I think that’sa reasonably accuarate observation.

  168. 168
    the Conster says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Just like the GOP Fox News is the media political wing of the GOP Fox News

    fixt for accuracy

  169. 169
    Jorge says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvR5qTUOTuY

    Blue Dog John Barrow as John Wayne. Voting for this guy sucked.

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