On Being Safe, with Guns

There’s been some really interesting arguments about guns in America in the Atlantic recently. James Fallows has repeatedly discussed “Gun Safety, Not Gun Control“:

.. I will henceforth and only talk about “gun safety” as a goal for America, as opposed to “gun control.” I have no abstract interest in “controlling” someone else’s ability to own a gun. I have a very powerful, direct, and legitimate interest in the consequences of others’ gun ownership — namely that we change America’s outlier status as site of most of the world’s mass shootings. No reasonable gun-owner can disagree with steps to make gun use safer and more responsible. This also shifts the discussion to the realm of the incremental, the feasible, and the effective…

only to discover, via a reader who’s an epidemiologist, that “a restricted understanding of “Gun safety” is likely to be very vigorously defended” (by the the comitted gun fetishists, as Fallows does not say).

Marketeer Marc Parrish argues that “Big Data Can Solve America’s Gun Problem“. Given the (highly profitable) rightwing paranoia about government confiscation, I’m not sure Parrish’s enthusiasm is necessarily helpful, but if you want a counter-argument against “too many guns already, can’t be counted, might’s well not try”, he’s your guy.

But the argument that really impressed me — and not just becasue he articulates my own feelings — comes from the invaluable Ta-Nehesi Coates, “On Living Armed:

It is not enough to have a gun, anymore than it’s enough to have a baby. It’s a responsibility. I would have to orient myself to that fact. I’d have to be trained and I would have to, with some regularity, keep up my shooting skills. I would have to think about the weight I carried on my hip and think about how people might respond to me should they happen to notice. I would have to think about the cops and how I would interact with them, should we come into contact. I’d have to think about my own anger issues and remember that I can never be an position where I have a rage black-out. What I am saying is, if I were gun-owner, I would feel it to be really important that I be a responsible gun-owner, just like, when our kids were born, we both felt the need to be responsible parents. The difference is I like “living” as a parent. I accept the responsibility and rewards of parenting. I don’t really want the responsibilities and rewards of gun-ownership. I guess I’d rather work on my swimming. And I think, given the concentration of guns in a smaller and smaller number of hands, there’s some evidence that society agrees…

…[O]ne does not simply do violence — or live prepared for violence — and remain the same. I carry all of West Baltimore with me, and I am in constant conversation over the fact that that part of me is wholly inappropriate for this world. That part — the part that is analyzing every person who walks up on me, who is trying to figure out every angle, who sees a crowd and walks the other way — is fit for a world of violence. That pose is totally draining. (It has no time to go off and learn French.)

So if you ask me if I wished to have a gun when an active shooter is present, then I will tell you that guns don’t magically appear in the holster, that the capacity to do lethal violence requires an expense of time, energy, and responsibility, which I would rather not make. I would tell you that I have, already, spent too much of my life preparing for violence. I would say that the person who should wish to have a gun in that situation, should be a person capable of shooting a gun, and a person comfortable with the responsibility of carrying a gun during the 99.9 percent of the time when violence — much less lethal violence — is wholly inappropriate.

A gun is power. And power demands responsibility. I don’t want to spend my time that way.






195 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    I posted this link from the Portland Press Herald in the previous gun thread, but it’s worth posting again here:

    A world so safe, it’s scary.

  2. 2
    efgoldman says:

    Yeah, I read that over at TNC’s place yesterday. It crystallized how I feel. I knew I never wanted to own or be responsible for a firearm, but I didn’t exactly know why.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Kansas recently ruled that banning firearms was unConsty, so Overland Park announced a policy to allow open carry. And incredibly, in this blood red state, peeps LOST THEIR FUCKIN MINDS. Who knew that ordinary suburban softball moms and Cerner dads would dislike mingling with strangers openly strapped and possibly mentally disturbed? Apparently some sanity does exist in this otherwise POS state…

  4. 4
    Kristin says:

    Thank you. This is exactly how I feel.

  5. 5
    efgoldman says:

    @redshirt:

    No, this is a world of pure paranoia. A world where the bad guys, however invisible, might be anywhere. A world where your personal safety is directly proportional to how much firepower you’re packing – and if that scares the hell out of everyone around you, well, that’s just not your problem.

    Way early in the discussion, only a day or two after Newtown, I think most of us decided that most of the gun people, and all of the TeaHadis (and wouldn’t that make a lovely Venn diagram!) live in a constant state of paranoia and fear. Of course they’d never, ever admit it, especially to themselves. See the previous Arpaio thread.

  6. 6
    Brachiator says:

    So if you ask me if I wished to have a gun when an active shooter is present, then I will tell you that guns don’t magically appear in the holster, that the capacity to do lethal violence requires an expense of time, energy, and responsibility, which I would rather not make

    Sadly, this is not much of a reply to all those gun nuts who have fantasies of being a steel-eyed ultra-competent infallible straight shooter. And the delusional spokes fool for the NRA insists that the act of owning a gun in and of itself makes you more responsible.

    Coates is preaching to those who already agree with him. And strangely, there is the implication here that there is some magical, if hefty, combination of time and energy, that might justify having guns and citizen vigilantes on every corner and in every school.

  7. 7
    Handy says:

    Some people get paranoid when they own a gun. Their imagination runs wild.

  8. 8
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman: I didn’t grow up in a particularly violent neighborhood, but I did grow up in a violent family. It took years before I stopped responding to totally innocent stuff like a tap on the shoulder by whirling around & lashing out, and I can attest that it’s fvcking tiring to live that way. But when I use my life as an example, people either argue that I’m exaggerating, or they think it’s an argument for Moar Guns, which makes me want to smack them.

    If I had a gun, there are definitely points in my life — long after I left my chaotic family behind — where I’d have used that gun in ways I’d have regretted. That’s why I’ve never had a gun. That’s why I think there should be a lot more talk about how guns don’t always solve problems, and too often make more problems.

  9. 9
    Ted & Hellen says:

    . I will henceforth and only talk about “gun safety” as a goal for America, as opposed to “gun control.” I have no abstract interest in “controlling” someone else’s ability to own a gun.

    Completely disagree with this.

    It is a mistake to once again play the game wherein sane people change the words they use so as to not hurt the fee fees of right wing zealots on the opposing side. It does not work. It makes the word-changers look weak. It is stupid.

    I “want gun control”. And I want it 30 years ago.

  10. 10
    kathy a. says:

    TNC’s piece is great.

    i just posted something on the sheriff joe thread that really belongs here. but, here is a piece on how restrictions on gun ownership actually reduce gun deaths.

    and here is one on how the NRA has opposed data collection that might lead to greater gun safety.

  11. 11
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I “want gun control”. And I want it 30 years ago.

    Thirty years ago *I* wanted a pony. But as I got more experience, I’ve gotten smarter about both my pleasures and my limitations.

  12. 12
    jharp says:

    Just got back from Gander Mountain. The gun department was shocking. Take a number and wait in one a huge fucking line shocking. Ammunition shelves were bare. Clerk told it started right after Sandy Hook.

    What in the fuck are these people thinking? That it’s obvious that they have no business owning a gun and it is only a matter of time before they can’t?

  13. 13
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Thirty years ago *I* wanted a pony.

    Dear, sweet Anne. Ever the Corporate Dem sellout.

    Oh, and fuck you.

    ETA: You used to be a much more independent thinker at BJ until ABL and Cole slapped you down. Sad.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Hi pedophile defender. Remind us how much your principles cost? Or is Cole gonna come in here and defend you again? I wasn’t aware that velvet piece of shit paintings bought you a protector.

    ETA: You have never been an independent thinker. You’re just a piece of shit fleecing people with shit and it’s scary to think that you were allowed to be around children.

  15. 15
    iriedc says:

    I mostly lurk on this site, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate this post. I live in a neighborhood with plenty of guns –legal and illegal — and I still have never wanted to own one. As a young adult, I shared housing with relatives who had several guns in the house. Even though one of them offered to show me how to shoot, I wasn’t interested in the responsibility. And as much as I loved them, I never breathed better than the first night I moved out. I dated a cop, and required that he take his guns off in my place, no matter what he chose to do in his.

    So, this post pretty much captures how I feel about guns. Thanks.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    @redshirt: that article restored some faith that Normal Rational Americans exist. Then I read the comments section and completely lost that faith again. Damn gun nuts are fuckin craaaaaaazeee…

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: @Cassidy: I’m gonna make popcorn. AL will tear Special Timmeh to shreds here.

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: I’m leaving here in a little bit. I just like reminding the little fuck that his claim to fame, despite all his purity shit, is that he wanted to make sure we all knew that child rape can be okay under certain “circumstances”.

  19. 19
    kathy a. says:

    @Anne Laurie: i grew up in a “walking on eggshells” home, also. it was my mother; nobody suggested “more guns” because she seemed like such a nice woman outside the home, and besides, i would have been in incredibly deep shit if i’d said anything. but, those startles still come up for me…

    anyway, i arrived at gun hatred when a classmate shot and almost killed his best friend by accident, when they were horsing around. and nothing about guns has changed my mind since. i hate ’em. no guns in my house, ever; the only exception is a uniformed police officer. period.

    it is unlikely that everybody will see things my way. so all i’m asking is for some reasonable, rational measures.

  20. 20

    Look, the gun loons are insane. They just are. I’m tired of talking about this, I have gone halfway around the world and back with my resident troll who keeps trying to defend the gun loon position on this thread and there’s really no talking sense to him. Bottom line, these people are brainwashed by the NRA cult. The NRA has convinced people that “gun control” is code for “repeal the Second Amendment, and gummint thugs will come and take everyone’s guns away.” End of discussion. That’s really what they think, even though nobody is talking about anything like that. Nobody is talking about taking anyone’s right to own a handgun or a rifle for deer hunting or whatever. That’s not going to happen, ever. But the NRA has convinced their minions that this is what “gun control” means.

    Remember, this is the same mind-set that sees modest regulation of the for-profit health insurance industry as ZOMG government takeover of healthcare! They will believe whatever their handlers tell them because they have completely swallowed the Kool-Aid and are totally devoid of any critical thinking skills.

    Most people in this country want some sensible gun laws. What we need to do is articulate exactly WHAT THAT IS. So the people who aren’t completely drunk on WingNut Daily fearporn and Fox News craziness can have an actual, tangible thing to talk about. Not death panels and FEMA re-education camps and Obama phones but a REAL thing.

    Sigh.

  21. 21
    cathyx says:

    @Handy:
    Some people get paranoid when they own a gun. Their imagination runs wild.

    Some people are paranoid so they own a gun. That and they’re scaredy cats.

  22. 22

    I told you a couple of months ago about a guy who was supposedly “cleaning” his high powered rifle in his living room and it “accidentally” discharged and hit three people with one round, the third person hit was a student of my husband’s and she lived, the second person hit was her cousin and she died, the first person hit was their Aunt, and she died. The guy was never charged, it was deemed an accident, so you can shoot three people killing two of them and you are not charged cause you just made a mistake while you were cleaning your gun. This country is fucked up. I actually hate living here now, if I could pack up and go home I would.

  23. 23
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Yutsano: Not required. He’s allowed to disagree; my ego isn’t so fragile that every dissent threatens me.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: Fair enough. It’s when he turns personally nasty and insulting where he really gets out of control. I hope the thread doesn’t derail because of him. And I shall speak of Pedobear no more.

  25. 25
    cathyx says:

    @Anne Laurie: I prefer the dissent. If we all agreed on everything, then the comments would be boring and after 5, we would need a new topic.

  26. 26
    redshirt says:

    @Punchy: Really? Which character? The reporter, or the guy who walked around for 4 hours on Xmas Eve with a loaded AR-15? He kinda freaked me out, moreso than your typical “OBAMMER GET MY GUNS!” type.

  27. 27
    Mandalay says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It is a mistake to once again play the game wherein sane people change the words they use so as to not hurt the fee fees of right wing zealots on the opposing side

    Your argument is a straw man which is, by definition, worthless.

    Put another way, you are making shit up, and therefore you should not be taken seriously.

  28. 28
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    This country is fucked up.

    In sooo many ways! But I am grateful to have been born here (my grandparents were Irish, two of them immigrants & one the youngest of nine & the only self-proclaimed ‘native-born American’), and therefore I can only do whatever little I can to un-fvck all those poor suffering chickens…

  29. 29
    RosiesDad says:

    Ta-Nehisi’s conversation with Goldberg was a good, thoughtful read.

    Not all the gun advocates are crazy and not all the gun control advocates are sane. But the crazy people are definitely making it more difficult for the sane people to have a conversation or to implement changes that might make gun violence less common.

  30. 30

    You are correct, not all gun advocates are crazy, I know a great many gun owners, all are hunters, and I can tell you that I was very grateful for the venison when it came our way. But, and it is a big but, these are not the gun nuts, like Wayne, these are the salt of the earth folks who hunt to put food in their freezer for the year. These are the folks who have a hand gun in their night stand for home protection. They do not feel the need to have a machine gun or twelve in their homes. They DETEST those people, because those people give the regular gun owners a bad name.

  31. 31
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Yutsano:

    Fair enough. It’s when he turns personally nasty and insulting where he really gets out of control.

    hahahaha

    Cause Putz NEVER gets personally nasty and/or insulting. No not ever.

    Jesus, the denial is epic.

  32. 32
    Anne Laurie says:

    @redshirt:

    So who exactly is Justin Dean? And what makes him so fearful of being assaulted and/or robbed in a state that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has the lowest violent-crime rate in the country?

    Born in Portland, he grew up in New Hampshire. His father is from Afghanistan, where Dean served three deployments (along with one in Iraq) as a member of the Army’s elite 1st Ranger Battalion from 2008 to July of this year…

    His wartime story, Dean said, is “complicated.” While he was reluctant to go into detail, he did mention a platoon sergeant who died during his 12th deployment overseas and lamented the “disconnect” between those who serve in the military and civilians who “don’t want to hear the truth.”

    Did I detect a hint of bitterness in his voice?

    “I’m not bitter,” Dean replied. “But it’s like, you know, who are you to judge me? You haven’t walked a mile in any of our shoes and we’ve walked a lot of miles, so …”

    He readily acknowledges that he “didn’t like the military.” At the same time, Dean said he has neither sought nor received counseling for post traumatic stress disorder or any other mental health problem because “I’m not some crazy veteran.”

    Meaning?

    “Everyone has adjustment trouble, but that doesn’t mean you’re about to snap,” Dean said. “Destroying things and destroying life, that’s bad to me. It’s very easy to destroy things and people – and it’s a lot harder to build people up and to help people out. And that’s what I like to do. I’m not some guy who’s, like, walking around the streets, you know, like: ‘Give me a reason to do this.’ Not at all.”…

    Chroist Jaysus. To me, this seems exactly like a guy saying “I am having some difficulty transitioning to a civilian environment, please somebody pay attention”… but what’s the next step?

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    @redshirt: the reporter, natch. The gun-toting PTSDer is whacked. I predicted this would happen tho. For every open carryer in suburbia there will be >5 calls to 911. Every time.

  34. 34

    BTW a couple years ago Harper’s did an excellent piece called Happiness Is A Warm Gun: My Concealed Weapon And Me.

    Absolutely fascinating. One of the many treasures we get from Harper’s. You need a subscription to read it (I think), and if you can’t access it you can see some of the excerpts I posted at my site here.

  35. 35
    Mandalay says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The guy was never charged, it was deemed an accident, so you can shoot three people killing two of them and you are not charged cause you just made a mistake while you were cleaning your gun.

    I have posted several times on this issue myself. You drive into a tree when you are drunk and kill your kids in the back seat and you are (rightly) in deep, deep shit. Nobody argues that you have “suffered enough”, or that further punishment would be “pointless”.

    But if you accidentally shoot your kid, or your kid blows their brains out with the gun you left lying around, and it is a “tragedy”, and no charges are filed. WTF???

    http://www.post-gazette.com/st.....ff-665617/

    http://minnesota.publicradio.o.....s-toddler/

    This country is fucked up.

    It’s interesting that you say that. I wrote “This country is so fucked up” when posting about how rarely charges are filed when people are accidentally shot.

  36. 36

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    They DETEST those people, because those people give the regular gun owners a bad name.

    And I know this is correct because I know a lot of gun owners (like my entire Kentucky family) but god damn I wish these people would SPEAK THE FUCK UP already.

    A few have but not enough. They need to organize themselves in protest of the NRA. Burn their NRA cards or something. Make it clear that they are not being represented.

  37. 37
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: It’s time for these people to step up. We all know it’s the dumbass suburbanite gun hobbyists and survivalists that are making life miserable for everyone (rural and urban) in this country. Eventually, no matter what the Constitution says, the guns are going to be taken from everyone if the nuts don’t behave.

  38. 38
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Then you should move to the UK or Austrailia. Preferably someplace where there is no internet.

  39. 39
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mandalay: That’s a murder loophole as big as Texas right there.

  40. 40
    carolus says:

    @RosiesDad:

    Not all the gun advocates are crazy and not all the gun control advocates are sane. But the crazy people are definitely making it more difficult for the sane people to have a conversation or to implement changes that might make gun violence less common.

    Huh? This makes no sense. Tell me what insane gun control advocates are doing to be labeled as ‘insane?’

    OTOH, the largest gun advocacy group is promoting the idea that teachers should pack heat and its members are the last bastion between democracy and the gulag.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    You’re not going to pay Timmeh any more attention? He will haz such a big sad. Timmeh just lives for attention.

    On topic: It’s not just gun safety/control/regulation/restriction that needs to be considered. Think about the ammo too. If you’re going to own a gun and ammo, I’d suggest you should be expected to maintain an ammo log: How many you buy (gun shop receipt to be attached to every log entry showing a purchase), when you discharge it and what for (at the gun range, hunting, home/personal defence, for the hell of it, etc.). I don’t know how enforceable or practical this is, but gun owners should definitely be required to track their ammo usage.

  42. 42
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Well, not everybody could afford to major in Drama, you know. You were fortunate.

  43. 43
    RSA says:

    “a restricted understanding of “Gun safety” is likely to be very vigorously defended”

    That was really interesting. I can see both sides of the issue. Bob Pond (Fallows’s “reader”) wants to treat gun safety as a more general topic than Wikipedia editors do. The latter see gun safety as akin to car safety, limited to conditions in which someone already owns a car, and they think everything else is gun politics. Pond sees that as a non-neutral point.

    But there’s a middle ground that the gun proponents are missing, I think. Extending the analogy to car safety, there’s a Wikipedia article on Transportation_in_the_United_States, which has no political content. There’s no analogous non-political article on Wikipedia about the issues that Pond raises. (There’s a gun control article, but that brings civil rights as well as the NRA and claimed connections between gun control and totalitarian regimes.) Pond has a reasonable complaint. There should be discussion of what we know about widespread gun ownership, divorced from arguments about its value.

  44. 44

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The guy was never charged, it was deemed an accident, so you can shoot three people killing two of them and you are not charged …

    Yes, that is exactly right, and I’ve been saying this for weeks now. We need to start prosecuting these people the same way we prosecute drunk drivers who cause accidents and kill people. Drunk driver who has an accident and someone dies? That person goes to fucking JAIL. But that guy in Pennsylvania who accidentally shot his son in the head because he forgot there was a bullet in the chamber and he was careless handling his gun? Tragic accident, he’s suffered enough.

    Or, the people who leave guns in unlocked cars parked on the street and they get stolen? Oh too bad. That’s a couple more guns on the black market but are these irresponsible people charged for not securing their guns safely? Hell no. There’s probably no law mandating that.

    I’m tired of “tragic accidents” that aren’t prosecuted.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It is a mistake to once again play the game wherein sane people change the words they use so as to not hurt the fee fees of right wing zealots on the opposing side. It does not work.

    Oh please. It’s about picking the most effective word or phrase that will help you accomplish what you want to accomplish. The audience isn’t “right wing zealots.” The audience is people who are more on the fence, who are horrified by the Sandy Hook massacre and are taking a second look at the NRA, gun laws (or lack thereof), gun violence in America, etc. Those are the people who can be persuaded by a change from “gun regulations” to “gun safety”. You get enough of those people–they show up in polls, they make calls to their representatives, they speak up at the local City Council meetings and at the PTA and so forth–and they will support their representatives and help make change happen.

  46. 46
    SatanicPanic says:

    You know what else fucking gets me? These nuts posting on my Facebook “Mao loved gun control!” Dude, Mao took up arms against an alleged tyrannical government. If Chiang Kai Shek had believed in gun control, Mao’s fat face would have never been pasted on any building. Idiots.

  47. 47
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Dear, sweet Anne: All personality removed to keep her spot on BJ.

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @RSA: The thing is, the main use of cars is to get people from one place to another. Yes, they can also be dangerous, but that isn’t their primary purpose.

    The primary purpose of guns is to shoot things–people, animals–and generally injure or kill them. There is no other purpose for a gun. If it injures or kills someone, it’s being used for its proper purpose. We may not like the purpose, but that’s another issue entirely.

    Gun owners don’t like to hear that, but that’s how it is. And why gun issues tend to be political. Other things that are regulated, like cars, have a main purpose that isn’t to injure or kill.

  49. 49
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    For a bit of my life I carried and lived by firearms. Not guns, firearms; shoulder held (M60A1,The gov was about two minds when classifying it. They couldn’t decide whether or not it was a crew-served weapon because our ammo passerz threw me another few belts on his way to the firepoint).

    So, I know a bit about firearms. In my long life I cannot see the need here in the US of A for anyone not surrounded by Grizzly Bears for a clip fed semi automatic weapon. I believe that they should be banned and bought up. Christ in the Foothills on a tricycle, we have cops and surveillance and other impositions coming right out of our asses. Is it too much to ask that they disarm our fellow citizens to the point where they aren’t able to knock off people by the dozen?

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:

    @Handy:

    Some people get paranoid when they own a gun.

    I think you have the cause and effect reversed.

  51. 51
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s not just gun safety/control/regulation/restriction that needs to be considered. Think about the ammo too. If you’re going to own a gun and ammo, I’d suggest you should be expected to maintain an ammo log: How many you buy (gun shop receipt to be attached to every log entry showing a purchase), when you discharge it and what for (at the gun range, hunting, home/personal defence, for the hell of it, etc.). I don’t know how enforceable or practical this is, but gun owners should definitely be required to track their ammo usage.

    I agree, here in The Land of the Second Amendment, tracking ammo purchases should be one of the easy steps to implement. We show ID and sign a “log” (a tattered looseleaf binder, usually) to buy over-the-counter decongestants, and we allow the government to keep a national database of our airline & even Amtrak train ticket purchases.

    (Not to mention the patchwork of state-by-state blue laws which restrict when & where even adults-over-21-with-ID are permitted to buy liquor. We passed a Constitutional amendment, not a century ago, to make such purchases illegal… and then passed another amendment voiding that one, because it really really didn’t work out in practice. So, there’s evidence — within living memory — that such vast changes can be made.)

  52. 52
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Punchy: I remember a story of a soccer mom in Pennsylvania, who openly carried to her child’s soccer games, causing a stir yet it was legal and she was quite defiant about it. About a year or so later she was gunned down by her husband while she was chatting with a friend on the computer. All that conceal carried did good for her.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid: I agree with the ammo purchase log. Is ammo covered under the second amendment?

  54. 54
    Mandalay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    We need to start prosecuting these people the same way we prosecute drunk drivers who cause accidents and kill people.

    Agreed, and I’d like to go further and automatically file charges whenever a weapon is fired accidentally. You don’t have to kill someone to get charged with DUI.

    Why not automatically prosecute if some bozo accidentally shoots someone else with a gun, to make gun owners more safety conscious? Perhaps Cheney would be a good place to start…

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    It’s these persistent personal attacks on front-pagers and fellow commenters that keep reminding us that you contribute nothing much to any discussion.

  56. 56
    efgoldman says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’m leaving here in a little bit. I just like reminding the little fuck that his claim to fame, despite all his purity shit, is that he wanted to make sure we all knew that child rape can be okay under certain “circumstances”.

    Is this the same bleephole who kept me here until after 2am, trying to convince us all that it was really OK to use an anti-Semitic slur because it didn’t seem offensive to him?

  57. 57
    redshirt says:

    @Punchy: This was in the largest city in Maine, for what that’s worth. In the most populated area. It’s disturbing, and sad, since this kid is so obviously messed up and gifted.

    As to the commentators on the article, that’s to be expected at any newspaper site, sadly. The counterpoint from the Press Herald: Help destroy your guns (rescinded)

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay: Can we also please start prosecuting the idiots who shoot their guns into the air on the Fourth of July and New Years and any other time they want to “celebrate”?

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Violet: I can’t look up the case law right now, but the SCOTUS has ruled that ammo falls under 2nd Amendment protections.

  60. 60
    opie_jeanne says:

    @kathy a.: When I was a little kid a neighbor had one eye; his best friend accidentally shot him in the eye with a bb gun when they were kids.

    In Jr high, one of the kids in my class disappeared from school for six weeks. When roll was called that first week one of the other kids offered the explanation that he was in the hospital because he’d accidentally shot himself in the head while messing with his uncle’s gun. I lived in an area with a high gang presence. When he came back to school his head was still shaved and the scar where they had cut his scalp made a long “V” shape on his head.

    I have a rifle and a shotgun that belonged to my great grandfather. They are not loaded and we have no ammunition for them, yet I treat them as if they are loaded because that was how I was raised. I keep them, I guess, because they are a link to him. I have no desire to fire either one of them.

    I recently inherited (but do not have possession yet) of several handguns, one of which was Dad’s service weapon in WWII. My sibling wants to give one to one of her kids, the one person in the family who should NEVER have access to guns. When we finish up the estate issues in late February I will take them to have them valued and then I will drop them off at the nearest police station. My sibling will be really pissed but I will feel a whole lot better about those guns being gone.

  61. 61
    CW in LA says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    there should be a lot more talk about how guns don’t always solve problems, and too often make more problems.

    Well, gosh, that’s not what Hollywood (and our entertainment industry in general) has been telling us.

    For the record, I for one am calling for repealing the second amendment, and I will enthusiastically cheer any gummint thugs coming to take away everybody’s guns. The founders did not see where that amendment would lead, but they did have the foresight to include a mechanism for addressing their mistakes. It’s time to exercise that mechanism.

    And, hunters? Three words: Bows. And. Arrows. Sacrifices gotta be made, and I’m tired of them being made by those of us who choose not to carry these mechanical monsters.

  62. 62
    honus says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I’ve been around guns all my life, and I fail to see how you accidentally discharge a gun while cleaning it. The first thing you do when you clean any firearm is unload it. The second thing you do is remove the bolt or slide or cylinder and render it impossible to fire, generally as part of the cleaning process. Nobody ever got shot while actually cleaning a gun.

    Anyone shot in a “gun cleaning” accident was shot by a careless asshole playing with a loaded gun.

  63. 63

    Here’s the deal though, a person caught drunk driving can be prosecuted while never causing an accident. In fact they can be caught up in a checkpoint while never having violated any traffic laws. They can be prosecuted simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A person legally owning a weapon can shoot and kill people and never be prosecuted because it is deemed “an accident”. How the fuck is that right? A person who has not yet harmed anyone can be arrested and jailed for doing nothing other than being over the limit and perhaps could injure someone in the future and yet someone who has killed two people is let go cause it was “an accident”. What the fuck?

  64. 64
    CW in LA says:

    I swear I only posted my previous comment once. I guess I’ve lost my FYWP virginity.

  65. 65
    Mandalay says:

    The first thing you SHOULD do when you clean any firearm is unload it.

    FTFY.

    But your larger point is obviously valid; nobody has ever been shot by an unloaded weapon.

  66. 66
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @honus:
    Absolutely right. You clear a weapon before you do anything else with it.

  67. 67
    efgoldman says:

    @Southern Beale:

    You need a subscription to read it (I think)…

    Nope. I don’t have time to read the whole thing now {“Welcome to Short Attention Span Theater…”] but the first couple pages are interesting.
    I can understand collectors. Guns of all kind are very fine manufactured goods (usually). One might collect them the way one might collect 19th-century power tools, or (as I do) antique radios. But I don’t think any collector would stroll around town with a locked and loaded AK over his shoulder.

  68. 68
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet:

    Can we also please start prosecuting the idiots who shoot their guns into the air on the Fourth of July and New Years and any other time they want to “celebrate”?

    Sure. IANAL but I assume that is already illegal everywhere, right? I guess the problem has always been the difficulty of catching someone in the act.

  69. 69
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @efgoldman:
    You’re clearly unfamiliar with the Dumont .38 Caliber radio of 1931. Sheesh, what a feckin’ tyro.

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    @honus:
    A guy was showing how to use the safety on his gun, he shot himself fatally. It was in the news a few days ago.
    One wonder that as part of getting a gun license, there should be training. You have to take a driver’s test in NJ to get a license.
    Seems to be a lot of careless people with guns.

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @Yutsano:

    I can’t look up the case law right now, but the SCOTUS has ruled that ammo falls under 2nd Amendment protections.

    Doesn’t mean you can’t tax the living shit out of it.

  72. 72
    Maude says:

    @CW in LA:
    65
    The jokes tell themselves.

  73. 73
    honus says:

    @Mandalay: Not to argue, because we are both saying the same thing, but as you say, nobody has ever been shot by an unloaded weapon, and I would further submit that nobody has ever cleaned a loaded weapon. It simply can’t be done.

    Wiping off the surface of a gun isn’t cleaning, it’s fondling. To clean a weapon means to clean the bore and action, and that can’t be done with ammunition present.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    You’re clearly unfamiliar with the Dumont .38 Caliber radio of 1931. Sheesh, what a feckin’ tyro.

    I plead not guilty by reason of laughter.

  75. 75
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Mandalay: Last year just before New Year’s Eve, there was a claim being made that no one had ever been shot in those wild celebrations in crowded urban areas where guns are discharged in celebration. It was an attempt to turn it into an Urban Legend, which struck me as very strange and very wrong. I think the LA Times had an article within the last 10 years about the PD tracking down the shooter whose bullet had killed a child a couple of blocks away.

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

  76. 76
    Mandalay says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    A person who has not yet harmed anyone can be arrested and jailed for doing nothing other than being over the limit and perhaps could injure someone in the future and yet someone who has killed two people is let go cause it was “an accident”. What the fuck?

    Right, the disparity is absurd and outrageous. But the problem lies solely with our pathetic gun laws, and not with our strict DUI laws.

    I’m all in favor of prosecuting those who drive over the limit even if they have caused no harm, and have committed no other crime. Similarly, we should prosecute those who accidentally fire a gun, and cleaning a loaded weapon should be a crime.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    What I am saying is, if I were gun-owner, I would feel it to be really important that I be a responsible gun-owner, just like, when our kids were born, we both felt the need to be responsible parents.

    The problem here, of course, is that TNC is quite clearly the outlier in our society: the idea that anything ought to be viewed as a responsibility rather than a privilege is utterly antiquated. TNC’s kids are lucky — to listen to the zeitgeist of the past 15 years children are now more akin to precious collectables than human beings that must be nurtured and educated. You know, work. Once you possess something in this society that’s supposed to be the end of it.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    I kinda like using the term “gun regulation,” myself, since it’s the same word that’s actually used in the 2nd Amendment. The founders wanted guns to be “well-regulated,” so what’s your problem, gun nut?

    (And, yes, I want them to have to get all tangled up in legalese about how “well-regulated” doesn’t really mean well-regulated, because it makes them sound even more fucking crazy.)

  79. 79
    efgoldman says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

    I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.
    – Longfellow

    ETA: I’ve hated Longfellow since they made us read “Evangeline” in 8th grade. Or maybe it was “Hiawatha.” Either way.

  80. 80
    MikeJ says:

    @opie_jeanne: Mythbusters covered it. They had documented cases of it happening and actually interviewed doctors that had treated victims.

  81. 81
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Maude:

    A young military pilot of my acquaintance was demonstrating the slide safety of his issue .45 caliber M1911 pistol to some of his mates. He pressed the thing into his hand far enough to push the slide back a bit and then he pulled the trigger.

    We reported him wounded by enemy action. We had him medivaced to Saigon and I never heard what happened to him after that.

  82. 82
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I kinda like using the term “gun regulation,” myself, since it’s the same word that’s actually used in the 2nd Amendment. The founders wanted guns to be “well-regulated,” so what’s your problem, gun nut?

    Require all gun owners to register and show up at the national guard armory every Saturday at noon for drills. Fines for missing a session without excuse, escalating to jail time. That’s how you have a well regulated militia.

  83. 83
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

    To Second Amendment Jeebus, of course!

    Who are we to interfere in their religious rites, celebrating with their most holy totems? (/snark)

  84. 84
    Maude says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    I am always amazed by these accidents. I think it’s a lack of caution. I’m glad it was reported as enemy. They guy didn’t deserve anything to happen to him. Anything more to happen to him, that is.

  85. 85
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @efgoldman:
    Aw man, I bet you even know what a 6DQ5A is.

  86. 86
    kathy a. says:

    @opie_jeanne: yay, you! if i hadn’t been convinced before raising teenagers — that’s surely a time you do not want weaponry around the house.

  87. 87
    efgoldman says:

    @MikeJ:

    Require all gun owners to register and show up at the national guard armory every Saturday at noon for drills.

    Excellent idea.
    When I was in the Army reserve (late 60s – early 70s) they didn’t let us near a weapon during a regular drill. Most of us didn’t even know where the armory was. Once a year, we went to the range to quality, and the weapons and ammo were trucked out separately by a different group.

  88. 88
    Maude says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    We should sorry for doing that.
    The bullets sometimes come down on people and they get hurt.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

    You cite a special case, and I’m perfectly happy for them to fire straight up in the air as long as they don’t move until their bullets have had time to fully comply with the laws of gravity.

    Natural selection and all that.

  90. 90
    mainmati says:

    @Anne Laurie: Terrific story and your post makes the essential point that an armed public is a public heading toward continual violence, paranoia and terror – not anything like a normal public life, much more like Syria.

  91. 91
    efgoldman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Aw man, I bet you even know what a 6DQ5A is.

    No, but I have this here hand-cranked google machine…

  92. 92
    gnomedad says:

    When gun irresponsibility is outlawed, only outlaws will be irresponsible with guns!

  93. 93
    cathyx says:

    @MikeJ: Every Saturday! Even the National Guard in peacetime doesn’t have to meet that often.

  94. 94
    opie_jeanne says:

    @different-church-lady: That’s not really a new thing with parents. They seem to lose interest in their kids about the time the kids hit jr high. They act as if their kids are grown up now and there is no parenting left to do. We saw it in the schools, parents of K-3rd grades all wanted to be involved at the schools, by 6th grade you hardly see them. PTA meetings in jr high and HS tended to be the same 15 – 20 people for those 6 years when my kids were in school. A few more turned up for the school Open Houses and Back to School nights at those ages, but not many.

  95. 95
    efgoldman says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m perfectly happy for them to fire straight up in the air as long as they don’t move until their bullets have had time to fully comply with the laws of gravity.

    I’m afraid they also must conform to the laws of geometry, and there isn’t a one of those bozos who properly calibrates his weapon to a perfect 90 degree angle.

  96. 96
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The docs observed the powder burns and someone started asking question.

    That would be my bet.

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @honus:

    Wiping off the surface of a gun isn’t cleaning, it’s fondling. To clean a weapon means to clean the bore and action, and that can’t be done with ammunition present.

    I have never even touched a gun, and never want to, so I am obviously unqualified to dispute the points you raise. Thanks for putting me straight.

  98. 98
    whidby says:

    I’d have to be trained and I would have to, with some regularity, keep up my shooting skills.

    But if you do that, and you buy ammunition in bulk so you can practice regularly, that makes you a crazy gun nut.

    @honus: Or someone who wanted to commit suicide without imperiling a spouse’s receipt of life insurance proceeds which are often not payable in cases of suicide.

    Or a cover story to prevent the “shame of suicide”

  99. 99
    opie_jeanne says:

    @kathy a.: Said child is not a teenager, nearly 30. Just a very irrational, emotional, and volatile personality, and I don’t want to be responsible for either a suicide or a murder.

  100. 100
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Mandalay: It never seems to work that way, though.

  101. 101
    MikeJ says:

    @cathyx: I just want them to be *well* regulated. Like it says in the constitution. If it’s too much of a burden they don’t have to own a gun.

  102. 102
    kathy a. says:

    @opie_jeanne: hear ya. the presence of such a person in my family is a reason that weapons get sold, instead of inherited.

  103. 103
    opie_jeanne says:

    @kathy a.: California has some laws that make it a bit of a challenge for us to sell them, but it can be done and I was going to do that until my sibling made this announcement that Eldest Child would receive one. I’m willing to lose a few hundred dollars to avoid this.

  104. 104
    efgoldman says:

    @whidby: Way to troll, although its awfully late in the thread.

  105. 105
    cathyx says:

    @MikeJ: So if they own a gun, they can’t have a life. If you have any hope of compliance, then you have to be a little bit reasonable. If you’re going to be unreasonable, you might as well ask for everyone to turn in their guns and make them all illegal. You have as much chance of that happening as meeting every weekend for drills.

  106. 106
    kathy a. says:

    @opie_jeanne: good call!

  107. 107
    whidby says:

    @jharp: For some reason, people have gotten the idea that there might be some kind of legislation coming down the pike that will prevent them from purchasing “assault rifles” or even “semi-automatic” guns of any kind.

    And, here in California, there is a pretty good chance that there are going to be restrictions on ammunition purchases. Perhaps even severe restrictions: As in you have to get a “license” to purchase ammunition, pay $50, and wait 30 days for each purchase. Just about everyone I know who shoots regularly (and doesn’t reload their own ammunition) has been buying as much ammunition as they can afford. Several sites that sell ammunition on-line are out of stock on dozens of different popular types of ammunition now. You could call them crazy – our you could call them someone who doesn’t want to have to spend $50 and wait 30 days to get ammunition.

  108. 108
    efgoldman says:

    @cathyx:

    So if they own a gun, they can’t have a life.

    Well, by extension of what TNC said, if you have kids you don’t have a life, either. Years of Saturday morning music, ballet, school play, marching band, whatever…

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:
    @Southern Beale:

    Hell, leave off the “drunk” part — if a completely sober driver kills someone in an accident, there is at a MINIMUM a full investigation that often leads to charges. Here in my small city in California, a completely sober driver hit and killed a bicyclist and was charged with vehicular manslaughter (and, IIRC, was successfully convicted) when the man died of his injuries just over a year later.

    Why are car owners more liable for any accidental injuries or deaths they cause than gun owners?

  110. 110
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    NRA and politicians. Bush favored the gun companies making them immune to being sued.
    Money is the bottom line, wouldn’t you say?

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, here in Los Angeles there’s a huge PSA campaign at New Year’s every year reminding people to NOT shoot their guns in the air because it’s against the law and carries some fairly severe penalties even if no one is injured (IIRC, it’s a felony with a minimum of one year in jail).

  112. 112
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why are car owners more liable for any accidental injuries or deaths they cause than gun owners?

    Because district attorneys, and in a lot of states, judges, have to run for re-election.
    I don’t have the research, but I’ll bet in those states there are fewer prosecutions and trials of drunk driving cases, too.

    BUT: What about the liability question? One reason for the decrease in drunk driving is it costs you money in most states by “points” on your insurance. If you kill or injure someone with a firearms “accident,” who covers the lawsuit? Your homeowners insurance? The state can force you to have car insurance, what about gun insurance?

  113. 113
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    I have followed all the discussions about gun control with great interest, just wanting to add my two cents worth. The culture of fear that eminates from US is phenominol. Until something can be done to change that fear and loathing of the ‘other’ I can’t see things changing. Our society has similar disdain for ‘others’, but not as entrenched or as violent.
    I wish you all the very best in your fight for the right to go about your lives without worrying about who might be shot at next.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    Ah, I knew whidby would show up sooner or later to push the NRA-approved “nothing can be done, so let’s not even try” line.

  115. 115
    Wat says:

    Is it bad that I’m waiting for the day that “MORE GUNZ” collides with “STAND YER GROUND”? I’m imagining a scenario where a sequence of over-armed, under-brained yahoos shoot each other after one guy accidentally discharges his weapon.

    Basically the same circle-jerk bukakke as a standard RW meeting, but with bullets…

  116. 116
    Maude says:

    @Debbie(Aussie):
    You are reading about a small portion of what goes on in the US. It’s not all like that. Guns and violence are in the news so it seems that it’s all violence, all the time.
    In a way, we are the world. We have just about every kind of culture here.

  117. 117
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Hell, leave off the “drunk” part — if a completely sober driver kills someone in an accident, there is at a MINIMUM a full investigation that often leads to charges.

    Fully understood, and I specifically cited drunk drivers because they are ALWAYS charged. A sober driver who kills someone in an accident is NOT necessarily charged, which is currently also the case for accidental shootings.

    I want an accidental shooting to be like a DUI…you are automatically charged. The outcome of the accidental shooting should determine the severity of the punishment imposed, but not whether a charge would be filed…that should always happen.

  118. 118
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, I knew whidby would show up sooner or later to push the NRA-approved “nothing can be done, so let’s not even try” line.

    Took him a long time to get here, though. His NRA-dar must need adjustment.

  119. 119
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @honus: You’re making a “no true Scotsman” argument. It’s bogus.

    People make mistakes – it’s part of being human.

    My favorite uncle was a gun collector, Life Member of the NRA, reloaded his own shotgun shells, and had a working “3 pounder” cannon that he fired on artillery ranges, among other things.

    One day he was cleaning his rifles, and in one of them the cleaning brush wouldn’t go down into the barrel all the way – so he pushed harder.

    It went off.

    Fortunately, the bullet only grazed his index finger.

    No matter how careful people are, no matter how much they know, people sometimes make mistakes. They get distracted. They forget what step they were in when they were interrupted by a phone call or something.

    That doesn’t mean that he was doing the impossible.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  120. 120

    @Maude: Scuse me but 83 people per day are killed by guns in the US per day. That is not happening anywhere else in the world.

  121. 121
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Yutsano: @@Cassidy: OK, my curiosity’s piqued here. What is the backstory on T&H, b.k.a. (apparently) “Timmeh?”

  122. 122
    Rich2506 says:

    I would add to what Ta-Nehesi Coates says by saying that I really don’t want to spend my life hunched over stock tables and reports.I’m perfectly happy to leave that to professional investors who do that sort of thing all day. That holds no interest for me. Just as I was a sailor who was described by my shipmates as an “admin” type (PN3), I respected my shipmates who worked in the hot, cramped engine room and my shipmates who stood waiting on the flight deck in their “at ease” pose for the ship’s helicopter to arrive, but I never had the slightest desire to trade places with them. I was perfectly happy to work in a clean, comfortable, well-lit environment where I always had something to do. I didn’t mind carrying firearms on watch as, on a regular basis, the gun was locked in the armoury and wasn’t my concern. It wasn’t my job to carry into situations of danger and I never was in a situation where I even fiddled with it to intimidate someone. Yeah, like Coates, I’m perfectly happy to leave the guns to others.

  123. 123
    whidby says:

    @Mnemosyne: Do you still have that link to that thread where I distilled your dishonesty down into one post? If so, please post it again. THank you.

  124. 124
    whidby says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: Timmeh is a character on South Park in a wheel chair, perhaps with MS or some other disability that prevents him from speaking clearly. IIRC

  125. 125
    catclub says:

    I overheard two people complaining about all the actors who are in favor of gun control. The latest apparently is a video that intersperses the actor saying he is for gun control with scenes from movies in which he is shooting, presumably full auto.
    This video passes for an argument of hypocrisy by said actors.

    These people do not know the difference between acting and real life. Also, the concept of consent is hard on them as well.

  126. 126
    El Cid says:

    George Washington didn’t die on the cross so that Big Government would have the authoritah to make it more difficult for a Freedom-Lover to carry a number of rapid-fire guns and huge constant-feed ammo supplies into theaters and schools to kill his enemies if he so chose.

  127. 127
    efgoldman says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    No matter how careful people are, no matter how much they know, people sometimes make mistakes. They get distracted.

    Except everyone who has ever been to military basic training knows: You clear the goddamned weapon before you leave the range (or deer stand or wherever). Remove the magazine and clear the weapon. Hell, I haven’t touched a weapon since 1973-ish, and I will will never, ever forget that. And then you check it again before you put it away and again when you take it out.

  128. 128
    CW in LA says:

    @catclub: Still, while I understand that a gig is a gig, I wish actors who favor gun control would give a little more thought to the roles they agree to take. The movies are in my opinion nearly as integral a part of our country’s gun pathology as the NRA. You seldom see a movie where a problem can’t be solved by shooting people, usually in great numbers.

  129. 129
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @efgoldman: Yes, people get trained. And people go through the drills dozens or hundreds or thousands of times.

    And people in the military still get shot accidentally.

    If it were such an obvious and impossible-to-mess-up point, why would it be necessary to do the drill so many times?

    Thanks for helping me reinforce the point.

    ;-)

    Nobody was more chagrined than my uncle was when he told me the story. He knows he messed up and was lucky that he didn’t kill himself as a result of his carelessness. I have no doubt that he never made that mistake again.

    But I’m not willing to bet that he never made a mistake with his weapons ever after that.

    Oh, and he wasn’t ever in the military.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  130. 130
    El Caganer says:

    @whidby: Wait 30 days to get ammunition? Heaven forfend! I might get abducted by an Agenda 21 helicopter or be eaten by a negro if I had to wait that long.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @whidby:

    Oh, are we speaking to each other again rather than you trying to claim I’m “stalking” you when you post in a thread that I’ve already posted in?

    I don’t think I have the link anymore. Google is your friend.

    ETA: To get a link that’s usable outside of the immediate thread, click on the date and time in the lower left-hand corner of the post and use that link. You’re welcome.

  132. 132
    eemom says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    You didn’t ask me, but being of a public service minded nature — and because I am SO godawfully tired of seeing this lie repeated every time T&H shows up — the story is that in one of the many threads on the Sandusky horror when it broke last year, T&H made an argument about consensual sex between men and teenage boys which, while certainly controversial, absolutely did NOT amount to an apology or defense of Sandusky or any other child rapist.

    That fucked up slander really needs to die — and that is nowhere more evident than on this particular thread, where the man made a perfectly reasonable argument about the use of “gun control” which Cassidy instantly met with that same old tired and utterly irrelevant slander in response. And no one so much as blinked. Really, the sheep instinct here is wondrous to behold.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @El Cid: Ramen!

    @El Caganer: I know! How DARE they get sooo inconvenienced to make sure their penile replacements stay as lethal as possible! The UN could take over tomorrow! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!

  134. 134
    JoyfulA says:

    @Maude: Once when I was hanging around a patient in intensive care, another patient was a young soldier home on leave. He’d been showing his buddies his gun and, when it didn’t fire at his target, he looked inside the barrel and shot himself in the head. Actually, this patient was dead but was on life support until his lack of brain activity could be officially determined.

    That’s such a sad and dumb waste of a life.

  135. 135
    whidby says:

    @El Caganer: I doubt either of those things would happen to you. But if you’re someone who shoots or hunts, it would be a massive pain in the rear end. Not to mention the fact that a $50 fee for each purchase would make shooting or hunting too expensive for some people.

    I am assuming you don’t shoot or hunt yourself.

  136. 136
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Maude:
    I asked him to clear the gun before the demo. I asked him to just put the thing down. He was a good guy, a young pilot (Lieutenant, JG) I was an enlisted man who was for once a bit more sober. We’d gone to the same university and that was how I knew him.

    I pulled off some bit of my multiple jungle clothes and wrapped his left hand. I held his hand all the way to somewhere in Saigon. It may have been the best thing I’ve ever done.

  137. 137
    CW in LA says:

    Not to mention the fact that a $50 fee for each purchase would make shooting… too expensive for some people.

    That’s rather the point, isn’t it?

  138. 138
    Keith G says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    .

    If you’re going to own a gun and ammo, I’d suggest you should be expected to maintain an ammo log: How many you buy (gun shop receipt to be attached to every log entry showing a purchase), when you discharge it and what for (at the gun range, hunting, home/personal defence, for the hell of it, etc.). I don’t know how enforceable or practical this is, but gun owners should definitely be required to track their ammo usage.

    Holy Hera. And how much are we gonna pay for that level of public administration?

    To make needed advances in creating or reforming the regulation of fire arms, we need to create common sense ideas that are seen favorably by our political middle, many of whom own guns – like my family.

    I am a liberal whose Dad was a gunsmith. I was shooting as a ten yr old, hunting a bit later, and to this day I have never lived in a place without my guns.

    Gun owners aren’t the incomprehensible other.

  139. 139
    whidby says:

    @CW in LA: It is, unfortunately. It won’t have any real effect on gun violence and it’s purely punitive.

  140. 140
    henqiguai says:

    @opie_jeanne (#77):

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

    They come raining down, all around. Growing up in DC and hanging out in NYC, I learned to keep my happy self inside on New Years ’cause I got really ~concerned~ when I realized some of the rattling sounds I occasionally heard were the results of Newton’s Laws.

  141. 141
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @eemom: Huh. Well. That makes a lot more sense than “It’s some character on South Park in a wheel chair with an MS-like disease.”

  142. 142
  143. 143
    efgoldman says:

    How ’bout a new thread?

  144. 144
    gvg says:

    Where do you get the impression that people who shoot others even if it is “accidently” always don’t get prosecuted? Around here (Florida) they sure do get prosecuted. It’s in the news routinely. I know that sometimes it doesn’t…after a police investigation, but mostly it seems to be prosecuted. Now I have noticed that the earliest stories don’t know if charges will be filed, but that is proper since the first version of “what happened” pretty often is misleading and incomplete but later on charges and jail happen.
    And if they can catch them the people who fire in the air get charged. People get killed by those bullets.

  145. 145
    CW in LA says:

    @whidby: Depends how you define “a real effect”. If ammunition cost more serious money, there’d be less of it around, and it would be discharged less casually, in any case.

  146. 146
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @whidby: Yes, fucker, I’m familiar with the fucking show, but what the fuck does that have to do with the Ted & Hellen troll?

    Stupid ass. You’re stalking me, making me uncomfortable. Please stop.

  147. 147
    Narcissus says:

    Did Ted and Hellen used to be Political Observer? Because that guy was definitely a bigot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a pedophile apologist.

  148. 148
    General Stuck says:

    @efgoldman:

    How ’bout a new thread?

    No such thing. All threads are but a continuation of one very long Ted and Hellen thread.

  149. 149
    priscianusjr says:

    Not only do I completely agree with Coates, but I think his argument is the only thing that makes any sense of the second amendment today. What that amendment says is that the right to keep and bear arms is necessary for a “well-regulated militia” which in turn is necessary for the security of the state. It is a long time since national guard recruits needed had to bring their own weapons with them. So what sense is left of the amendment? That everyone who keeps and owns firearms must have the training, moral fibre, mental health, and other fitness to POTENTIALLY serve in a WELL-REGULATED militia. Which means that the militia power of the state is the gun safety regulation power of the state. There can be no loopholes, and no level of weaponry that itself poses a threat to state security. I cannot make sense of the second amendment in any other way, without completely ignoring the part about a well-regulated militia being necessary for he security of the state. And if you arbitrarily ignore that, you might as well repeal the amendment. But even though the idea of recruits bringing their own firearms with them to the militia is obsolete, the idea that even a potential recruit (i.e. every gun-owner) has to have the requisite character and responsibility to carry or even own firearms is the very point at issue. And that has to be enforced by regulations.

  150. 150
    CW in LA says:

    @Narcissus: I’m pretty sure T & H was never Political Derpator. I’m positive he was Spatula, however.

    The Sandusky thing is unfair, from what I remember, but there is a pretty antagonistic attitude routinely brought to bear that makes a fair discussion difficult, in my opinion.

  151. 151
    efgoldman says:

    @General Stuck:

    No such thing. All threads are but a continuation of one very long Ted and Hellen thread.

    Yes, but as a good and considerate commenter who carefully observes all internet traditions, I could talk about something else!

  152. 152
    Mandalay says:

    @gvg:

    Where do you get the impression that people who shoot others even if it is “accidently” always don’t get prosecuted?

    Nobody in this thread except you has said “always”, and as far as I can tell charges are always filed for accidental shootings where alcohol is a factor.

    But there are also many instances where charges should be filed, and are not. You can go to google news and search for “accidental shooting” or read posts earlier in this thread for examples.

  153. 153
    El Caganer says:

    @whidby: You are 100% correct. I have never shot nor hunted myself. I do enough damage to my body and psyche in other ways.

  154. 154
    Narcissus says:

    @CW in LA: Oh yeah, PO was the Romney cheerleader.

    I bet that dude hung himself

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    A few days before the Sandusky trial started, Timmeh showed up in a thread about it to claim that he had heard rumors that all of the charges were going to be dropped because the prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to move the prosecution forward and Sandusky was going to be exonerated.

    For whatever reason, Timmeh seems to have had a, shall we say, personal investment in Sandusky being found innocent.

  156. 156
    whidby says:

    @CW in LA: With the possible exception of the yahoos shooting guns off into the air to celebrate holidays, I don’t think that discouraging casual discharge of ammunition is going to really reduce the number of people shot by guns.

    It’s just a poorly designed, punitive measure. It has a decent chance of passing.

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gvg:

    Around here (Florida) they sure do get prosecuted.

    As far as I can tell, in Florida you only get prosecuted if you fail to kill the person you shoot at. If, say, you go to your ex-wife’s house and kill her new boyfriend, you can claim that you were standing your ground and be exonerated.

  158. 158
    CW in LA says:

    @Narcissus: Of course, if one wants to do oneself in, a gun is quicker and leaves no time for second thoughts. It’s more certain and easier, except for the bereaved who have to deal not only with the feelings of betrayal but a hideous mess.

    The things are evil, is my point.

  159. 159
    Mandalay says:

    @eemom:

    where the man made a perfectly reasonable argument about the use of “gun control”

    I know nothing about the larger argument on Sandusky, but it is absolutely not the case that “the man made a perfectly reasonable argument” about gun control. The man made shit up and lied.

  160. 160
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    OK, there are parts of that story that make no sense at all.

    One does not become a Ranger if one does not like the military. Rangers are volunteers three times over: once to get in, once to get their airborne training, and once to become a Ranger. If you do not like the Army, you do not become a Ranger. End of story.

    This guy DOES sound like he’s about to explode. Something is not right here, and he’s not being honest about it.

  161. 161
    opie_jeanne says:

    @henqiguai: I know where those bullets go, I just wondered where the shooters think they go. My area of concern (experience) was East L.A.

    Even way out here in the country (it’s a local joke, we’re 4 miles from the MS campus in Redmond) we stay inside on New Year’s Eve. There’s more gunfire here than I ever heard in LA, and one of the neighbors sounds like he’s got a Howitzer. Every year I wonder if something large will hit our house, or a bullet will come flying in through the window.

  162. 162
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mnemosyne: he also said that he figured some of the victims may have enjoyed it.

  163. 163
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s what I was thinking, that the guy carrying the gun needs some help.

  164. 164
    zoot says:

    the capacity to do lethal violence requires an expense of time, energy, and responsibility, which I would rather not make.

    this is EXACTLY the true point – there is NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE GUN OWNER! A gun owner:

    a) is someone who thinks they have a right to kill – NO ONE has right to kill humans
    b) is often is someone who fantasizes about getting in gun battles whether in self-defense or just being a friggin’ cowboy.

    c) is often someone stupid enough to fantasize that they can hold off the government and its massive armaments if the government wanted to apprehend them.

    In short, a gun owner is generally someone who is really unstable mentally, is a threat to the safety of all those around them, and is a menace to society.

  165. 165
    Ash Can says:

    @whidby: Pain in the rear? Too expensive? Too fucking bad. You know what’s a pain in the rear? Living in fear of millions of fellow citizens who worship the Second Amendment as though it was handed to them personally from Mount Sinai. You know what’s expensive? Sacrificing thousands and thousands of innocent Americans, including children, every year for people’s fucking hobbies.

    Shooting is getting too expensive? Find another hobby. Need the meat? Learn how to bow hunt. You can take your whining about inconvenience and expense and shove it up your ass. If there was ever an argument in favor of ramping up the regulation of both guns and ammo, people like you are it.

  166. 166
    Suzanne says:

    A gun is power. And power demands responsibility. I don’t want to spend my time that way.

    I’ll say it: the vast majority of people I know who are gun owners are stupid and boring. They don’t read books, or make things, or have cool hobbies, or travel to interesting places and meet interests people. Because they spend their time with their weapons, instead of doing things that would actually better themselves and the rest of us.

    I think a huge part of winning this fight will have nothing to do with the law and will be cultural—when it is considered gauche and passé and trashy and unfashionable and uncivilized to be violent, violence will decrease.

  167. 167
    sparrow says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Narcissist troll. Please ignore this pedophile apologist. He loves to be talked about even more than derailing threads and trolling.

  168. 168
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @sparrow:

    I love you because I know you cannot love yourself.

    And I forgive you.

    Go in peace.

  169. 169
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Suzanne:
    You may be right about the gun owners whom you profess to know. Hell, I only know the names of a few of the folks whom I meet while doing target shooting.

    One thing that people with your inclinations might consider is that categorizing gun owners as some kind of sub-species other is just as sad and futile as someone on the other side categorizing someoneone else. Guess what; the fearful gun owners (And I do know some of them) will see your contempt as justification.

    We do need to outlaw and get rid of clip-fed semi automatic weapons. Buy back or whatever it takes. OTOH, if you think that violence will ever go out of fashion then you know nothing about history or human nature.

  170. 170
    slightly_peeved says:

    @redshirt:

    This quote from the nutjob in Maine is the main argument I bring up in arguments with gun nuts:

    What would Dean do if someone with a concealed-weapons permit mistakenly perceived his rifle as a threat, pulled out a handgun and ordered Dean to drop the rifle?

    “I’d probably have to drop the gun or else he’d shoot me,” said Dean. “I mean, it’s not going to help anyone to get in a shootout.”

    So he actually admits, without realizing it, that carrying a gun for self-defence is pointless.

    If everyone’s armed, guns are no defence at all. The only time you can be certain that someone’s attacking you is when they draw their gun, and at that point, the safest thing for you to do is to not draw.

    An armed society is not one where everyone can defend themselves, it is one where everyone has lost the ability to defend themselves.

  171. 171
    Suzanne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    OTOH, if you think that violence will ever go out of fashion then you know nothing about history or human nature.

    And yet, within certain American subcultures, it already is, to an extent. To say nothing of the rest of the first world. Gun ownership is way down among the college-educated and younger people in the US. Reasons for that are legion, I’m sure, but I am confident that for many of them, guns are considered brutish and trashy. WWHBBD? (That’s “What Would Honey Boo Boo Do?”)

    Guess what; the fearful gun owners (And I do know some of them) will see your contempt as justification.

    Sure they will. Once again, because they are NOT SMART. People who are legitimately fearful of the tyrannical government coming to take their weapons are dumber than a box of rocks. People who are so fearful of home invasion that they own loaded, unsecured weapons but cannot do the basic data analysis that indicates that you are made less safe with a loaded, unsecured gun in your home are morons. I realize that I still have to share the country with stupid people, but I don’t have to pretend that their idiocy isn’t shameful.

    Marketers, and the NRA is nothing if not a marketing/recruitment tool, know that people buy things and “align themselves” with brands and products because it’s really the first way that we tell people (and ourselves) about the kind of person we are, or that we want to be. And do you think gun ownership is any different? For so many, gun ownership is one important vector for communicating one’s strength, one’s ruggedness, one’s mental and physical discipline, one’s very American-ness. As Bushmaster’s ad tells us, it’s for communicating one’s masculinity. Do you honestly think that this image is immutable? So let’s re-brand gun ownership. Let’s make them something that no kid wants to touch. Let’s make them something embarrassing and gross and shameful.

  172. 172
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    For whatever reason, Timmeh seems to have had a, shall we say, personal investment in Sandusky being found innocent.

    Sweet Jesus H.C.

    Yes, that is EXACTLY how a real life pedophile with a “personal investment” in the issue would behave: showing up on a blog thread to exult publicly over the Sandusky charges being dropped.

    (Which btw is a whole different thing than Sandusky being found innocent, but why even bother to point that out.)

  173. 173
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Suzanne:
    Oh, child, someone doesn’t need to be smart to be a threat. Someone only needs a weapon, gun, knife, whatever, in their hands to be a threat. Smart ain’t a requirement.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Well, that’s kind of the tricky thing with molestation cases — when you have a true pedophile (as Sandusky seems to have been), they’re usually situations where the victim has been carefully groomed and seduced into a “romantic” relationship, so the victim often has extremely conflicted feelings, especially since quite often the molester has very carefully put himself in a position where the victim feels like s/he has to be grateful and now “owes” the molester something.

    Timmeh’s problem is that he seemed to think that those conflicted feelings on the part of the victim were somehow a mitigating circumstance. I think at one point he screeched that I was personally responsible for the suicides of any gay victims of molestation because telling them that they had been taken advantage of and that their victimizer was a bad person was the same thing as telling them it was wrong to be gay.

    @eemom:

    I’m not sure that claiming that Timmeh was just trying to be contrarian by saying Sandusky was going to be vindicated is going to get you very far in this case.

  175. 175
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I still go with the line mentioned in one of the post-Newton stories: guns make weak people think they’re strong, and that’s usually not a good thing.

  176. 176
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m not trying to get far. I’m actually not trying to get anywhere.

    My only point, from the get go, has been that accusing anyone of being a pedophile apologist/defender, much less a pedophile himself, are not accusations to be lightly made; that such accusations are in fact made routinely on this blog every single fucking time T&H says anything about ANYTHING — and made by people who, unlike you, were NOT involved in the actual discussions at issue; and that there is something deeply wrong with that.

    To which I would add that your own last comment demonstrates that the issue is very, very far from being as simple as the insane Salem witch-esque shrieks of “Pedo!” that have somehow become business as usual on this blog make it out to be.

  177. 177
    Cassidy says:

    1) tedbeatshellen is formerly known as spatula

    2) The shitstain, for whatever reason and your free to draw your own conclusions, felt the need to defend Jerry Sandusky’s raping of a child by trying to say that maybe it was a consensual sexual relationship.

    3) Shitstain likes to come in here an insult and be generally nasty acting as if he is more principled and pure, etc. what’s funny about that is that his usual schtick was to come in and berate Cole for having been a Republican. Then Cole bought something from him. Suddenly he changed his game. The going rate for principles appears to be a price if the painting.

    4) in the Michael/ fredo thread it actually threatened to sue me. I think it funny and you all should take a moment to read it. I’d say if you don’t like your words used against you, don’t write them down.

  178. 178

    @Mnemosyne: well, yes, that’s why I mentioned it.

  179. 179
    Suzanne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Oh, child, someone doesn’t need to be smart to be a threat. Someone only needs a weapon, gun, knife, whatever, in their hands to be a threat. Smart ain’t a requirement.

    Here. Have a strawman.
    My point is that many of the gun owners I know aren’t intelligent people (as TNC notes, owning a gun requires dedication of a certain amount of time and headspace), and that perhaps, in order to combat the effects of gun culture, that stupidity, lack of education, and gun ownership should increasingly be considered in a negative light. I never said that stupid people aren’t threatening. In fact, they’re ore threatening.

  180. 180
    eemom says:

    @Cassidy:

    in the Michael/ fredo thread it actually threatened to sue me.

    Wow. Thanks for referencing that, because I hadn’t seen it before — and I certainly wouldn’t want to miss this utterly bizarre instance of John Cole and I being in complete agreement about something.

    And, um, IAAL, and having seen that thread I’d suggest you lay off the accusations and not so lightly dismiss those threats of suit by “it.” Jussayinzall.

  181. 181
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Cassidy: Cassidy, as a personal favor to me, could you dial it the fvck down? I like you, I really enjoy reading your comments, but your crusade against That Guy is really not useful to anybody. When you go berserk, you’re giving T&H the attention you say he doesn’t deserve, and it only reinforces his argument that you’re the jerkwad here.

    You’re letting him take up space in your head, and he’s not even paying you rent. By your own estimation, he’s not worth anywhere near the effort you’re putting into attacking him, so why give him the “win”?

  182. 182
    Keith G says:

    @zoot:

    …there is NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE GUN OWNER!

    @Suzanne:

    I’ll say it: the vast majority of people I know who are gun owners are stupid and boring. They don’t read books, or make things, or have cool hobbies, or travel to interesting places and meet interests people. Because they spend their time with their weapons, instead of doing things that would actually better themselves and the rest of us.
    I think a huge part of winning this fight will have nothing to do with the law and will be cultural—when it is considered gauche and passé and trashy and unfashionable and uncivilized to be violent, violence will decrease

    The above are not ways to construct valid arguments that will help us make the progress that we so desperately need to make. In fact, I imagine that rational NRA types smile when they behold such unfortunate chest-thumbing as this really just strengthens a world view favorable to them.

  183. 183
    chopper says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    I’ve always wondered, where do they think the bullets go when they fire them straight up in the air?

    when my dad was a kid in chicago he had a total crush on a girl in his neighborhood. nothing happened, she never noticed him, but years later he found out that she had died. she and her family were picnicking in grant park, and a bullet shot from a bank robbery way off downtown dropped from the sky and killed her dead right on the spot.

  184. 184
    Cassidy says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’re assuming I’m upset. I’ve enjoyed making it upset. That was fun.

    @eemom: I am completely not even remotely concerned.

  185. 185
    stinger says:

    @efgoldman: Heck, I was regular Army, and that’s pretty much what our experience was like.(Understand, we were not an 11 Bravo unit. Also, it was peacetime and decades ago.)

  186. 186
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    A co-dependency is difficult for intervention. Both get something {?} out of it.

  187. 187
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It’s a co-depndency, so fuggidabouit.

  188. 188
    stinger says:

    @priscianusjr: THIS. So very much THIS.

  189. 189
    FDRLincoln says:

    I own a .22 caliber single-action revolver. I go target shooting about once a month. I enjoy it. I do not have a CCW permit and have no intention of getting one.

    When I go shooting, the first thing I do when I take the gun out of the gun safe is check the cylinder to make sure the thing is empty. It has six chambers, so I count out loud to myself up to 12. . .each chamber in the cylinder gets checked twice.

    When I leave the gun range, I do the same thing. Count the clicks as I rotate the cylinder and check each chamber.

    When I get home, before I clean the weapon I do it again. Count to 12.

    After I clean the weapon, the last thing I do before putting it in the gun safe is to check it AGAIN.

    All guns are dangerous. All guns can kill. Always assume any weapon is loaded. Double check. Triple check. Quadruple check. Do it slowly. Don’t rush.

    Any gun owner who doesn’t do those things every single time they touch the weapon is a fool.

    OH, and by the way, as a gun owner, the NRA can kiss my ass. They are dangerous lunatics.

  190. 190
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: A cat on the keyboard?

  191. 191
    brantl says:

    @Ted & Hellen: ESAD, asshole.

  192. 192
    brantl says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: It wasn’t empty, and when he ran into the obstruction (if he wasn’t an idiot) he would have taken out the brush and checke, since the kind of thing that would hav3 been big enough to obstruct the brush, and be in that place, was likely a shell.d. You just proved he was a dope.

  193. 193
    Fred Fnord says:

    @efgoldman:
    *sigh*

    Yes. And let’s be charitable and say that you only have a one in one hundred thousand chance of screwing up.

    That would mean that, even if all the gun owners in the US were as responsible as you, and they all went shooting once a month, that would be 600 mistakes per month.

    Or perhaps you mean to say that if one is responsible then it is literally impossible that one could ever make a mistake? To which I can only say, it must be nice to be perfect, but you should hardly be surprised that there are 59,999,999 gun owners out there who aren’t.

  194. 194
    Fred Fnord says:

    @Cassidy: You also make reading the comment section less enjoyable for the rest of us. I can only assume that you enjoy that, too?

    Indeed, every time I wander back to the comment section here, I end up leaving again after a few days, and it’s generally due to some comedy duo like you and your arch-nemesis, Tweedledumber.

  195. 195
    Lyford says:

    Writing off all gun owners as stupid and paranoid is a remarkably narrow view of the world.

    If anyone is interested in actually understanding a different viewpoint, I’d suggest http://www.corneredcat.com/contents/ for a look at how one responsible gun owner views the issues of self-defense and concealed carry.

Comments are closed.