Guns Destroy Communities

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This is a house in predominately white, middle-class Webster, NY, burning out of control after someone with a gun shot the firefighters dispatched to save it. Webster and Newtown are the places people who crave safety and security go to avoid violence and raise their families. Well, more of those families are mourning now, and others are in the intensive care unit of a hospital wondering if someone they love is going to survive. And the neighbors these firefighters came to help had to watch their houses burn, all because one or more of the 300 million guns in this country was used to commit acts of violence this morning.

Perhaps it might be dawning on all of us that there is no safe place, and something must be done.






76 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    Can’t even guess at the backstory here. Baiting firefighters? Cooking meth? Murder-arson?

  3. 3
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    What are you. Paul Revere?

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    Perhaps it might be dawning on all of us that there is no safe place, and something must be done.

    Wayne La Pierre says the thing to do is to arm all our firefighters and have them riddle houses with bullets before going in to rescue people. Something must be done, the NRA’s plan is something, therefore we must do it.

  5. 5
    Rafer Janders says:

    Plainly the solution is to arm all firefighters….

  6. 6
    MaximusNYC says:

    Ah, I see linkage in the previous post.

  7. 7
    Chyron HR says:

    Who are you to say how many firefighters I “need” to be able to shoot? #NRA4EVER

  8. 8
  9. 9
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MaximusNYC: See the first post down from this one for links.

    I watched the live feed for a few minutes. Even in that grainy, mostly black and white feed, the fire itself was a bright orange. It’s horrible.

    I hope they find the gunman and he gets life with no parole, preferably in Attica. Yes, sometimes I want to get revenge.

  10. 10
    The Dangerman says:

    Clearly the fault of video games.

  11. 11
    feebog says:

    Huffpost has put up a couple of headlines over the past week highlighting dozens of such incidents. Hundreds of people die each week from gun violence. And yes, we should be counting suicides and accidental deaths as well. A couple of weeks ago I read a story about the accidental shooting of a seven year old. His father had just purchsed a handgun and had it in his pocket. It went off accidentally as he got in the car, striking and killing his son. Totally, and completely preventable. Please tell me again NRA how guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

  12. 12
    MikeBoyScout says:

    …something must be done.

    Here in Murka there’s a very good chance somebody you know is going to receive a gun as a present on the day we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.

    Maybe a reminder that guns KILL and that guns kept in the home were 22 times more likely to be used in unintentional shootings, murder or assault, and suicide attempts than in an act of self-defense could be something a lot of us can do.

  13. 13
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Clearly, all firearms must be removed from the Public sector.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):
    You’ll get their guns when you pry them from their cold, dead hands.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    Perfect extension of Grover Norquist’s plan to get rid of government: easy access to guns means shooting government employees (or volunteers) and thus breaking down the fabric of society so that the free market can….

    OK, I lost the plot.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You’ll get their guns when you pry them from their cold, dead hands.

    Shall we proceed?

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    I hate to say it, but it seems to me that the most likely reason for shooting at firemen responding to a fire is amoral thrill-seeking. Especially since a commenter here has raised the possibility that the fire was set precisely to lure the firemen to the scene.

  18. 18
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Especially since a commenter here has raised the possibility that the fire was set precisely to lure the firemen to the scene.

    Really. Who could do such a thing? Imagination fails.

  19. 19
    max says:

    Well…

    In the Rochester suburb of Webster (motto: “Where life is worth living”) at least three firefighters were shot while responding to a fire

    Sounds like the Hutaree to me. Start a fire deliberately, and then attack the responders. To wit:

    Some articles suggested the Hutaree had not yet determined whom in law enforcement they would kill, or even that they wished to kill a law enforcement officer in order to begin a war with law enforcement, while not having any specific target.

    I’ve heard a couple like that over the past week or so. I think the Turner Diaries freaks are acting out their programs.

    max
    [‘One notes that there is no general honkey uprising going – but then, the whole thing was a lunatic plan in the first place. (Not just the Hutaree but the Turner Diaries.) They seem to have forgotten Marse Robert’s signal failure to get Marylanders to rise up in revolt against the Union in 1862 & 1863.’]

  20. 20
    RaflW says:

    Clearly the wild west is the model the gun nuts are after.

    Only problem is, the US is a much more crowded place now. Having tons of adults strolling around with Colt 45s and spurs on their boots seems romantic, until a whole lotta someones get hurt.

    I just find this vision of moar guns! to be a sign of a deeply disturbed mind … and culture.

  21. 21

    Perhaps it might be dawning on all of us that there is no safe place, and something must be done.

    That is why nothing will be done. It is now so blatantly obvious that the conservative position is wrong, even they can see it. For that reason they will unite in a frenzy to make sure nothing is done, or something deliberately counterproductive is done. It is how the narcissist mind works.

  22. 22
    Citizen_X says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Who could do such a thing?

    Terrorists. Call them what they are.

    See Max’s comment above for details.

  23. 23
    tavella says:

    @dr. bloor:

    My bet in the other thread: white male, either obsessed gun nut or related to obsessed gun nut, killed his family and then set the house on fire, with the plan of killing the firefighters. Most likely already committed suicide, though if we are unlucky he’s heading towards another target (again, most likely family, friends, or an ex.)

  24. 24
    Liberty60 says:

    I have been making the point, most recently over at Crooked Timber, that conservatives and liberals have switched places over the past few decades on the issue of liberty vs security.

    In the 70’s, liberals were constantly reminding us that the rights of the individual must always be preserved, even if that meant a loss of security.
    Conservatives made the point that if crime became out of control, then no one enjoyed liberty.

    Today it is conservatives who say the individual rights of gun owners need to be preserved, even at the cost of escalating gun violence. We need to make the case now that uncontrolled and unregulated guns do not ensure liberty, but destroy it.

  25. 25

    Addendum I was too late to edit in – Something happened four years ago that drove them off the deep end, that seemed absolutely unthinkable to them. One of their core beliefs was smashed, and now they feel like they’ve lost everything and must fight for whatever inches of control they still have. Can’t imagine what that might have been.

    Oh, and this sense of helplessness has made many of them very, very angry and afraid, to where they feel like violence is the only way out.

  26. 26
    wasabi gasp says:

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love aimed at me…

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    An interesting detail from the Associated Press story:

    Webster, a middle-class, lakeside suburb, now is the scene of violence linked to house fires for two Decembers in a row.

    Last Dec. 7, authorities say, a 15-year-old boy doused his home with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, 16 and 12. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped with injuries. He is being prosecuted as an adult.

  28. 28
    AxelFoley says:

    White peoples is crazy.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Alas, the evidence points to this…particularly those who can’t accept Obama as President, for two reasons: he’s got a (D) behind his name, and some other quality that I can’t put my finger quite on. No…don’t prompt me…it will dawn on me eventually…

  30. 30
    smith says:

    The chief of police in Webster has come out and stated that the fire was a trap and the person who set the fire did it intentionally just to shoot (and kill) first responders.

  31. 31
    Jewish Steel says:

    Where is whidby to proclaim that while he is against the shooting of firefighters, some will have to be grazed because it’s the best we can do under the circumstances?

  32. 32
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    What the fuck?! I don’t even …

  33. 33
    Ohmmade says:

    To of curiosity, I checked ou this story and the comments on some right wing blogs, and the majority of commenters claim this is a false flag operation setup by Obama and Holder so they can trick people into taking everyone’s guns away.

    They honestly believe that Obama would have firemen killed to push his agenda.

    I’m sorry, but even at its looniest fringe I’ve never seen people on the left act and talk like this. The Truthers are mostly paranoid anti establishment types, or far right wackadoodles like Alex Jones. It is just disgustingly striking at how far off the deep end the wingnuts are. Nd it makes me furious that so many of the leaders of th GOP and right wing media knowingly feed this type of demented thinking, knowing just how divorced from reality this is.

    I know I’m not saying anything new here, but the right wing, and the enablers in the GOP and RW media have purposefully deceived their side into this bloodthirsty mess, to achieve their political agenda. It is vile, and rage inducing. The blood is on their hands. They have whipped people into such a dark furor where I have no idea how to bring those people back to reality and I fear that for most, they’ll never return.

  34. 34
    The Red Pen says:

    Where there’s smoke, there’s FREEDOM!

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I hate to say it, but it seems to me that the most likely reason for shooting at firemen responding to a fire is amoral thrill-seeking. Especially since a commenter here has raised the possibility that the fire was set precisely to lure the firemen to the scene.

    so dark, twisted and probably true

  36. 36
    The Red Pen says:

    @Ohmmade:

    To of curiosity, I checked ou this story and the comments on some right wing blogs, and the majority of commenters claim this is a false flag operation setup by Obama and Holder so they can trick people into taking everyone’s guns away.

    That’s been a go-to claim for years. I was told by an earnest wingnut that Clinton staged the Oklahoma City bombing because argle bargle. It’s becoming more popular because wingnuts are becoming more dangerous.

    Basically, according to them, if it weren’t for false-flag operations, no one would ever be hurt by guns.

  37. 37
    RepubAnon says:

    @RaflW: What people forget about the Old West is that firearms were not allowed to be worn in most towns. Hollywood movies typically don’t show this.

    Pioneer publications show Old West leaders repeatedly arguing in favor of gun control. City leaders in the old cattle towns knew from experience what some Americans today don’t want to believe: a town which allows easy access to guns invites trouble.
    What these cow town leaders saw intimately in their day-to-day association with guns is that more guns in more places caused not greater safety, but greater death in an already dangerous wilderness. By the 1880s many in the west were fed up with gun violence. Gun control, they contended, was absolutely essential, and the remedy advocated usually was usually no less than a total ban on pistol-packing.
    The editor of the Black Hills Daily Times of Dakota Territory in 1884, called the idea of carrying firearms into the city a “dangerous practice,” not only to others, but to the packer himself. He emphasized his point with the headline, “Perforated by His Own Pistol.”
    The editor of the Montana’s Yellowstone Journal acknowledged four years earlier that Americans have “the right to bear arms,” but he contended that guns have to be regulated. As for cowboys carrying pistols, a dispatch from Laramie’s Northwest Stock Journal in 1884, reported, “We see many cowboys fitting up for the spring and summer work. They all seem to think it absolutely necessary to have a revolver. Of all foolish notions this is the most absurd.”

    Gun Control in the Old West

  38. 38
    👽 Martin says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Really. Who could do such a thing? Imagination fails.

    Liberal atheists, whose god-lacking amorality allows them to sacrifice heroic americans to score political points and undermine the most pious of Christian holidays.

  39. 39
    Schlemizel says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If I may quote the bug from MIB, “Your proposal is acceptable”

    As a gun owner, hunter and occasional recreational shooter I am appalled by the defense of firearms that includes “the only alternative to more and more guns is taking them all away”. Even the furthest out organizations in favor of gun control are not asking for confiscation.

  40. 40
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Poe’s Law often fails

  41. 41
    Ohmmade says:

    @The Red Pen: I understand, but this seems to be the majority of the right wing. Not just some idiot fringe elements.

    On left wing blogs, there’s loads of information, what works in other countries and what doesn’t, what data and facts and evidence there is, as well as healthy debate on just what could be plausible in the USA. On the right wing blogs, even the big outfits like politico, it’s a total freakshow. And wow, the venom and misspellings and ALL CAPS are everywhere. There is no data other than the same “if we don’t have guns then the UN is going to take over our country” nonsense.

  42. 42
    Shalimar says:

    @The Red Pen: False flags, and gang members. White people never hurt anyone else, black people are dangerous and need to be disarmed.

  43. 43
    Schlemizel says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    A sniper in a pear tree.

    On the second day of Christmas my true love aimed at me
    two Gatling guns
    and a sniper in a pear tree

    and so on

  44. 44
    james says:

    Andrew Colmo, Governor of New York, suggested confiscation of specific types of weapons in a recent speach. Gun control, like anti-abortion, uses the model of small changes in an effort to move towards total banning.

  45. 45
    r€nato says:

    @Schlemizel: I think what the gun rights advocates fear is that gun control itself is ineffective, and so well-meaning gun legislation which inevitably (according to them) will fail, will result in more and more restrictions in the effort to make gun control more effective (or cause it to have any efficacy at all).

    This is actually one of the few anti-gun-control arguments which I consider credible; that is, it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that if gun control laws aren’t intelligently crafted, their ineffectiveness will simply result in more and more laws restricting the rights of gun owners.

    I don’t agree with this argument, but it is far more credible than the silly nonsense that often arises from gun nuts (many but not all of whom are rather ignorant and not very good at making an argument).

    The fact is that there *can’t* be a slippery slope. DC v Heller makes a distinction between handguns and rifles (individual right to bear arms, forget all that stuff about state militias), and other firearms – presumably including assault rifles and high-capacity magazines/cartridges. The phrase used is, ‘dangerous and unusual’.

  46. 46
    Schlemizel says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): I sort of assumed you were exaggerating for effect.

    Problem is to many gun nuts this is the argument.

  47. 47
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Problem is to many gun nuts this is the argument.

    But it is telling when people swallow that Flounder, whole. But I’m sure it was just for effect.

  48. 48
    David in NY says:

    The word, dammit, is predominantly. That is all.

    ETA: Actually, not all: “predominantly”
    From the adjective “predominant.”

    ETA2: More actually, somewhat a matter of taste, just that predominantly is more common.

  49. 49
    Ohmmade says:

    If a white southerner amasses a stockpile of weapons, he is practicing his 2nd amendment right.

    If a black guy in Los Angeles has the same weapons, he is a menace to society.

  50. 50
    Ohmmade says:

    If a white southerner amasses a stockpile of weapons, he is practicing his 2nd amendment right.

    If a black man in Los Angeles has the same weapons, he is a menace to society.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    H

    Here in Murka there’s a very good chance somebody you know is going to receive a gun as a present on the day we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.

    I don’t even want Ralphie to get a Red Ryder BB Gun.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    proterozoic says:

    One imagines the official response: http://i.imgur.com/va5qh.jpg

    Sorry for spamming images here, btw, it’s just the thing I know how to do.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ohmmade:

    This is not speculative, or a joke.

    It’s real.

    In 1969, the Black Panthers paraded with longarms in Sacramento.

    It took no cajoling or persuasion to get Saint Ronaldus Magnus, then Governor of California, to sign gun control legislation that was prompted by that display of firearms.

  55. 55
    Bago says:

    1. Wait for a mass shooting event.
    2. Wait for Media kerfluffle over gun control to drive up ammo/gun prices.
    3. PROFIT
    4. Donate to NRA. GOTO 1

  56. 56
    D. Mason says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Even the furthest out organizations in favor of gun control are not asking for confiscation.

    BJ is calling for confiscation, it’s certainly an organization and is by any standard far out (send SWAT teams after recently criminalized gun owners etc etc). The Mayor of NY is calling for confiscation too. While not an organization by himself he surely can’t be assumed to be speaking for his own ideas alone so I don’t know how you can support the above. The right wants to clearcut the already sparce landscape of gun-regulation while the left wants to strip the second amendment from the Constitution to start rounding up guns or gun owners and couldn’t care which. I predict we will get some ham-fisted legislation that will get struck down in the supreme court ending in basically nothing but a big pile of waste.

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @RaflW:
    Clearly the wild west is the model the gun nuts are after.

    And as you point out there are a few more of us now. But also think about how many towns outlawed the carrying of guns in town because people were getting killed. The old west was not the movies nor the dime novels. But the romanticizing of killing goes back a long way in this country(and probably before that) and we need to change the story, like drunk driving or smoking. And it’s not like those have gone away but they now are negative for the majority, not just something we live with. Not that killing is not negative but enough of us don’t think it’s wrong. And that is what has to change.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @AxelFoley:

    White peoples is crazy.

    Well maybe not all of them. OK I’ll give you a good percentage. Let’s see 10%? 20% Wait I’ve got it, 27%!

  59. 59
    gnomedad says:

    When is the GOP going to call this “terrorism”?

  60. 60
    different-church-lady says:

    @D. Mason:

    BJ is calling for confiscation, it’s certainly an organization…

    Oh you kidder you. It’s not so much an organization as it is a metaphysical dive bar filled with stray pets.

  61. 61
    red dog says:

    Let this crazy commit suicide BY HIMSELF. Quite making killing yourself a crime or sin or what ever then these clowns would stop doing these awful things to justify their own death. Just let go, no hotlines no talking down just fucking jump.

  62. 62
    wenchacha says:

    News names William Spengler (deceased) as the suspect. He spent 20 yrs in the pokey for manslaughter, after he killed his grandmother, back in the day. As of an hour or so ago, the whereabouts of his sister were unknown.

  63. 63
    scav says:

    yep. Merry Christmas from Brighton NY where the favorite holiday activity seems to be divided between watching minute by minute no-news-yet updates of this and calls for prayer (as though that would do anything constructive) and nit-picking critiques of people around same TV watcher doing anything whatsoever to advance the physical infrastructure of the holiday. Hou La! In other words, it’s the traditional Christmas overload and I should theoretically be grateful. These really are rather nice towns to walk around in the the snow as it falls dark — look eerily like many cards and children’s illustrations. I’m drowning in the traditional season. Best wishes to all. All hail knowing where the alcohol is!

  64. 64
    Ohmmade says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I wasn’t actually joking. This is the mindset of the GOP. I’d like to believe its just the 27% that think this way but I fear it is the majority of them.

  65. 65
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @RepubAnon:
    Tombstone actually did portray this; trying to disarm the outlaw “Cowboys” who were coming into town and causing trouble is what leads to the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral.

    (I’m talking about the movie, not necessarily the actual historical events.)

  66. 66
    Chris T. says:

    What I want to see, next time LaPierre is on TV, is to have the interviewer ask him: “So, which kind of mass shooting do you prefer the most? Do your manufacturer members sell more guns after a Columbine, or an Aurora, or a Newtown, or a Webster? Which murder system nets you the most profit?”

  67. 67
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m visiting my folks in Alaska, and the past couple of days have been punctuated by discussion of this issue with my father. He is a hunter and a sport shooter, and is a retired state trooper as well.

    The last time we talked about this, I pointed out that if the NRA and 2nd Amendment absolutists are not willing to compromise or accept some kind of middle ground, these near-daily shootings will push public sentiment to exactly the type of backlash that the NRA claims to be afraid of.

    I spent part of this weekend at a shooting range with my father. I consider it part of my Christmas gift, doing something with him that he enjoys. I’m not a bad shot, either, although my lifetime experience consists of shooting at cans and targets—nothing living—and my hope is that continues into the future.

    I haven’t shown him this story yet; I’m curious to know how long it’ll take for Fox News to pick it up (since we end up on that channel several times throughout the day). I’ve already told him that Fox News is not a reliable news source, but I really don’t want to spend my entire holiday trip discussing politics.

  68. 68
    jp7505a says:

    @Chris T.: 2013 should be a good year for the gun/ammo industry. Sales always spike after a mass murder. Of course their customers have to stock up on ammo since the Kenyan was re-elected. Several new markets are opening up, first with the arming of school teachers and now firefighters. I assume there also will be a market for heavier firepower, possibly small rocket launchers, to be mounted on the fire trucks and lets not forget the school bus market.

    In my more sane moments, I wonder what folks in Europe and Asia who read American news media and blogs think of all this. I’m not sure which they would find more frightening, the gallows humor of most of us or the NRA’s true belief insanity.(sigh)

  69. 69

    @Roger Moore:
    If they keep this up, they just might get their wish.

  70. 70
    Mjaum says:

    @jp7505a:
    Why wonder? Are you assuming we’re all americans here?

    (Most probably are. Not me, though.)

    And yeah, we think the US is insane about guns in general, and the NRA have gone completely around the bend. For them to suggest a national registry of insane people shows a disturbing lack of insight. And they’re disturbing enough already.

  71. 71
    jprfrog says:

    No place is completely safe, but I notice that none of the mass shootings (that is, of the Newtown-Columbine type)of the last few years have been in big cities. I live in Washington Heights, NYC and feel completely safe. I see women walking home from work at night, families with little kids, the restaurants have customers on Sunday at 11 PM and on warm days on the sidewalks there are old guys chattering in Spanish while they play dominoes hour after hour.

    A few years ago, I was driving through Wyoming with Massachusetts plates on my car and got some less-than-friendly looks in motel parking lots.

    What does this mean?

  72. 72
    D. Mason says:

    @jprfrog: It means the same thing as the “less-than-friendly” looks a person from the south gets in Massachusetts when they speak.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ohmmade:

    I know you were not. I was providing historical support that you said is absolutely on target about the reality of 2nd Amendment “rights” in this country.

  74. 74
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Jay in Oregon:
    BTW, I just checked the front page of Fox News. They have links above the fold for a block of articles claiming that the data shows that gun bans don’t work, whether arming schoolteachers would be effective, and—a bit down below—a brief mention of a gunman dead after killing two firefighters.

    Oh, and the link is broken, too.

  75. 75
    chuckieboy says:

    @Roger Moore:
    If there wasno fire, yadda yadda yadda, let’s outlaw fire.

  76. 76
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jp7505a:

    In my more sane moments, I wonder what folks in Europe and Asia who read American news media and blogs think of all this. I’m not sure which they would find more frightening, the gallows humor of most of us or the NRA’s true belief insanity.

    In my case, the latter.

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