Run From My Gun

If you want a listenable summary of the current state of guns – how the Bushmaster became so popular, how the NRA has shut down the discussion of gun-caused deaths, why the assault weapon ban was toothless – you won’t do much better than this Fresh Air interview of Tom Diaz, a policy analyst for the Violence Policy Center.






36 replies
  1. 1
    Balconesfault says:

    As I tell all my NRA advocate friends – the Association has stridently failed the American public by refusing to be a constructive part of the gun debate. Even those who are pro-gun enthusiasts and who reflexively defend the NRA can be pretty easily convinced that the NRA has served them poorly, by instead of participating in the process by saying “regulation y is pointless … here is what you want to regulate if you’re trying to achieve x as a goal” .. the NRA has stood on the sidelines shouting “you don’t know what you’re talking about – so STFU”.

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    The Bushmaster has become popular because it produces a reliably working product for cheap. That’s it. Bushmaster is the Natty Light of AR-15’s.

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    Good post title.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    Have the loons set up “Bushmaster Appreciation Day” yet?

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    @gnomedad:

    Have the loons set up “Bushmaster Appreciation Day” yet?

    It’s an informal day that’s scheduled whenever there’s a mass shooting. Their goal is to ensure this means every day that ends in “y”.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    I’ll second the recommendation of the Tom Diaz interview.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    You know, I understand that guns like the Bushmaster are a heck of a lot of fun to shoot, so I wouldn’t have a problem with licensed and bonded shooting ranges being allowed to have a couple on the premises for customers to rent and use on the premises, but private ownership of them is pretty self-evidently a disaster at this point. Buy ’em all back slightly above market value.

  8. 8
    Comrade Mary says:

    I’ll have to listen to that, thanks, right after I finish playing this.

  9. 9
    Elizabelle says:

    Add 2-year old Sincere Smith to the list of 2012 gun deaths.

    Sincere picked up a loaded gun Rondell Smith left on a table in his house, and shot himself with it on Christmas Day. Conway, SC.

    Rondell has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

  10. 10
    Another Halocene Human says:

    “I was living in a dream world.” He said he changed his mind listening to gun violence victims.

    Maybe it’s time for some PSAs to run on AM radio.

    I would say Hollywood oughta do something, but it seems like everyone hated CRASH. There were things not to like about that movie but I think that scene of the young man laughing because he and the cop have something in common and the paranoid cop shooting him dead says everything about the dynamic that guns introduce into society. A bullet is a mistake you can’t take back.

  11. 11
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I think in the UK(?) you can go to the range and shoot whatever. You have to keep the gun at the club, though, not at home. Seems like a good idea.

  12. 12
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @Cassidy: The Bushmaster is worse than natty light. It is Coors Light. You can get a Bushmaster anywhere. It is cheap, but it is also ubiquitous.
    The NRA has done worse than stand on the sidelines and yell shut up. They spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Prior to the 2010 elections, the NRA had a full fund raising campaign calling relatives of members. I had a nice talk with the script reader and asked him how the scary Obama was planning to take our gun rights away by allowing us to bring hand guns into National Parks. I remarked that Obama had already done more for the loosening of gun laws in his first year than GW had in his second term. I have not recieved another call.

  13. 13
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Elizabelle: The gun owner getting charged at all is the NRA’s nightmare. Quick, introduce more ALEC bills in the SC legislature.

  14. 14
    mouse tolliver says:

    I’m getting a sinking feeling about where all this is headed. We might get Feinstein’s assault weapons ban — which is really just a ban in name only. The next phase of the debate will be about how big of a pay cut teachers will have to take so we can put a cop in every school. There will hardly be any mention of the armed security at Columbine and the armed cop at the Gabby Gifford’s shootings who couldn’t do anything because the shooter was surrounded by unarmed civilians. Then after the next massacre the gun nuts will tell us that assault weapons bans don’t work even though we didn’t get an actual assault weapons ban. And all the serious people will give credence to the idea that more guns will solve the problem.

  15. 15
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Here’s the thing. That’s the rifle I’m used to shooting. I’m very good with it and if I were to buy an assault rifle, that’s the one I’m getting, just a different brand. But, they’re useless for home defense. If I want a home defense gun, nothing beats a pump action shotgun. Their range and the nature of the bullet isn’t ideal for hunting; you want a bigger, beefier, less tumbly round for that. My only reason for possibly “needing” that rifle is to protect myself should all these armed, clueless fucks decide to lose their shit and start a civil war.

  16. 16
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: Reminds me of this Bill Burr bit.

  17. 17
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: Reminds me of this Bill Burr bit. (I actually changed the link to a longer, better quality version.)

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: I’ll have to watch it later. I can’t pull up youtube.

  19. 19
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: The duplicate comment has a liveleak link if that is any better.

  20. 20
    jibeaux says:

    I said it here before, and I take you at your word that the Bushmaster is “cheap”, but my local paper (you know, talking to gun shops about how brisk their business got) quoted the price of those things at $2400. For the life of me, I don’t understand spending that kind of money on that kind of thing. I may be light on testosterone, but to me that’s an awesome vacation, or a decent bathroom renovation, or a car payoff, or a year’s worth of deposits in the college fund. Not in a million years would I spend that kind of money on a stupid gun.

  21. 21
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cassidy:

    But, they’re useless for home defense.

    Not exactly useless. God knows that SWAT teams use them all too fracking often and they are pretty good at killing whoever is in the way…they just have no business being used if you don’t want to kill your neighbors and two or three folks the next block over. Any sort of center fire rifle round has over-penetration problems and will leave your house and go into somebody else’s house.

    A pump action 12 gauge is probably the best for home defense as you said.

    Over at Policeone (right wing cop blog and news aggregate site. Only police or retired police can sign in. The comment section will often make you want to drink bleach) there is story up today on a homeowner in California who stopped a home invasion with one robber shot dead and several others wounded. No word yet on what he used.

  22. 22
    Anoniminous says:

    Assault Weapons Ban, the political situation:

    Under existing Senate Rules, which may change, it takes one Senator to bring any Bill to a halt. So forget it unless the Senate changes their rules.

    Romney won 24 states which equals 48 Senators that are almost certainly going to vote against an assault weapons ban. Obama won Florida, Virginia and Ohio where the sitting Senators should be (IMO, YMMV) considered iffy.

    The real stopper is the GOP is going to control the House and there’s no advantage for the GOP in this issue and some real downside for sitting GOP members. Since the Speaker controls which Bills are brought before the floor it’s inconceivable (IMO, YMMV) an assault weapons Bill would be put to a vote. Meaning, the GOP maintains it’s grip on the Gun/Wing-Nut vote by doing nothing.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: Unfortunately, no. The network doesn’t like streaming video, so I’ll have to wait until I get home. I like Billy Burr, though.

    @jibeaux: Gun shops have a very low margin on guns of any kind, so when something happens that increases demand (ZOMG! THEY’RE GONNA BAN AR-15’S), they don’t hesitate. FYI, if you know anyone who paid that much for a Bushmaster, then they’re an idiot. Smith & Wesson, Colt, Mossberg, and several higher quality brands sell for less than that.

    Secondly, people pay for brand names when it comes to guns. For instance, you can get a nice, well made pump action shotgun with a pistol grip for $200 at Walmart, Dick’s, Academy, etc. Or you can buy almost the same thing but with the name Benelli on it for $900.

    Lastly, a lot of these guns (AR-15’s) are overvalued because of after market accessories; nicer magazines, rail systems, red dot sights, etc. are usually included with the gun, but the owner is trying to recoup what they paid for everything and that kind of stuff quickly adds up.

    A stock Bushmaster usually runs in the $900- $1300 area. Bushmaster sells a “brand” more than anything else. The other manufacturers I named earlier make much better weapons, and are actually cheaper than Bushmaster.

  24. 24
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You know, I understand that guns like the Bushmaster are a heck of a lot of fun to shoot, so I wouldn’t have a problem with licensed and bonded shooting ranges being allowed to have a couple on the premises for customers to rent and use on the premises, but private ownership of them is pretty self-evidently a disaster at this point.

    I really, really enjoy shooting semi auto and full auto weapons.

    I always volunteered for every range detail when I was in the army, because I knew I would get to help shoot off all of the excess ammo so it would not have to be turned in.

    Shooting a machine gun or even a semi auto rifle can produce an endorphin effect a bit like riding a roller coaster.

    Others here have sneered at the “stupidity” of actually enjoying shooting firearms. No doubt, I would laugh at the seeming inanity of their own past-times.

    In any event, my enjoyment of something I did harmlessly has been forever perverted by the events in Arizona, Conn, New York, Penn et al.

    I like shooting. I sure as hell do not like what other people have been doing with the weapons I used to shoot at cans and paper.

    I suppose I could surrender them…but to what effect?

    I think we should consider an actual owner registry similar to what machine gun owners are subject to (legally owned machine guns have been used in criminal activity something like only twice in the last thirty years) along with annual re-application, paperwork fee and finger printing. The guns must be stored in a safe or at a range.

    It will be next to impossible to get them actually banned or confiscated, but we can get gun owners to start taking more responsibility for what they own.

  25. 25
    Cassidy says:

    @celticdragonchick: True. If you’re remotely interested in not sending stray bullets into your kids bedroom or your neighbors house, a 5.56 rifle is useless for home defense.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I think a voluntary federal buyback would be helpful as well, as long as it’s coupled with strong licensing and regulation similar to what you detailed. Some people might decide it would be easier to turn their gun in for a cash payment than deal with the paperwork.

  27. 27
    Paul in KY says:

    Pendantic comment on interview, Mr. Diaz made this statement:

    ‘The only difference, Diaz says, between the semi-automatic rifles sold on the civilian market and those issued to soldiers “is that the purely military rifle is capable of firing what’s called ‘fully automatic fire,’ ” meaning the gun will continue to fire until it expends all of the ammunition in its magazine.’

    That is sorta wrong, as most military rifles also have a selection for a 3 shot burst (3 rounds shot in an automatic manner).

    It was a good interview. Short & worth reading.

  28. 28
    Linnaeus says:

    @Paul in KY:

    That is sorta wrong, as most military rifles also have a selection for a 3 shot burst (3 rounds shot in an automatic manner).

    Yeah, it is sorta wrong, although the burst fire setting that replaced full auto came later. And that’s still “auto” enough to do serious damage.

  29. 29
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @celticdragonchick: Making it hard for police to trace the ownership of guns after they’ve been used in crimes seems like the height of ham-fistedness to me.

    Also, too, making background checks easy to evade or useless. This is how most of these spree killers have gotten theirs. Ridiculous.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    LanceThruster says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I asked this over at Crooks and Liars but got no answer. I’ve never owned a replica or non-functioning weapon, but if it comes to it, would like to permanently disable my firearms in the event they were banned so I could legally keep them.

    They really are beautiful examples of technology, and some of them I consider historical pieces (the SKS and the Mosin-Nagant 91-30).

    A receiver could theoretically be replaced. Cut, drill, or weld the barrel?

  32. 32
    👽 Martin says:

    how the Bushmaster became so popular

    Asshole theory of politics:

    I own a Bushmaster because I can. And fuck you if you don’t like it.

    That’s the only reason it became popular.

  33. 33
    👽 Martin says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I really, really enjoy shooting semi auto and full auto weapons.

    And this is why I don’t think they should be banned, but instead should be severely regulated. I wouldn’t want individuals owning these, but if you own a shooting range and want to have a semi or full auto weapon available for your members to shoot, so long as they stay on the premises and the owner is way the fuck held liable for any violations – taking it off-site, etc. then I think that’s reasonable. It would still give people the opportunity to fire them – in fact, the same opportunity that’s afforded to members of the military.

    I think we should consider an actual owner registry similar to what machine gun owners are subject to (legally owned machine guns have been used in criminal activity something like only twice in the last thirty years) along with annual re-application, paperwork fee and finger printing. The guns must be stored in a safe or at a range.

    Honestly, I think this should apply to all guns, with more stringent restrictions for sport rifles like the AR-15. In truth, there’s just way too many of them going around to preppers and paranoid nuts now. Even with annual registration, I don’t think the modern group of people most inclined to want to own one of these weapons corresponds to a group of people we would trust to own them. These aren’t weapons that the general public should own.

    I know the North Hollywood bank robbers had modified fully automatic weapons. They wounded 11 police officers before they were killed – one self-inflicted. They fired 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Seriously, it’s a fucking miracle that more people weren’t killed, and it’s unconscionable that be allowed to happen. And that’s much of the problem with the semi-autos – too many are easily modified to full-auto. They had AKM and AR-15s. We issued M-16s to the LAPD in the event someone were to try this again. Escalation with civilians is a very bad trend.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Yes, but the North Hollywood robbers were influenced by the robbery gone wrong in “Heat,” so it was all Hollywood’s fault!

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I have no clue how one would do that, but if people wanted to have demonstrably non-functional guns that could not be easily made functional again, I would not have a problem with that.

  36. 36
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I think if you pour molten metal down barrel (as I have heard of people doing), that makes them completely non-functional. Would maybe want to take out firing pin or some other part that could be used on another version of that gun.

Comments are closed.