Sunday Morning Open Thread: You Go, Joe

One starfish at a time, Mr. Vice-President:

Biden Is Back for a 2nd Run at Gun Limits
A president intent on pressing Congress to restrict access to high-powered guns could hardly find a more seasoned figure to take charge of the effort. Mr. Biden, who owns two shotguns, brings decades of experience and plenty of scar tissue from past battles with the National Rifle Association to frame recommendations that Mr. Obama wants ready by next month.

“He’s basically been doing this for a little over 30 years,” said former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware, a longtime Biden adviser who was appointed to fill out his term. “I really do believe there isn’t anybody in America who has a better chance of getting this done by Jan. 15 than he does, not just because of his background in guns but because he’s not politically intimidated by the N.R.A., to put it mildly.” …

What Mr. Biden knows is that gun control is not only a fiercely emotional topic for many Americans but also a tricky area for legislation. The assault weapons ban he helped pass in 1994 was written narrowly enough that it allowed plenty of guns to still be sold. Moreover, a 10-year expiration clause was added as a compromise. Democrats went on to lose control of Congress that fall, a defeat that many attributed to the gun law, leaving the party skittish ever since.

This time, Mr. Biden wants to tighten the strictures, but to succeed he needs to get legislation through a Republican-controlled House. And even if he and Mr. Obama can persuade Congress to ban the sale of new semiautomatic rifles, more than three million AR-15 rifles are already in private hands, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation…

Mr. Biden was at the White House when the Newtown massacre occurred. With the shootings coming just days before the 40th anniversary of the car accident that killed his first wife and baby daughter, an aide said, “all he could think about was those parents getting the same devastating phone call” that he once did…

Mr. Kaufman acknowledged that actually banning guns was difficult. As soon as one gun is outlawed, another pops up. But he argued that symbolism itself was important. “You send a message,” he said, “when you don’t do anything.”

***********

What’s on the agenda for the ongoing slow countdown towards the start of another calendar year?

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115 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    28 degrees here. Off to the bakery with the pups to read the paper. People always freak out when I’m sitting outside in this weather but it’s all about layers!

  2. 2
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Good morning, All.

    Winter found us and blessed us with ice and snow. Fortunately, I don’t have to go anywhere today.

    I’m still writing letters to Republican members of the House in support of regulating assault weapons, or at least the ammo. 39 poor fellows have been harassed by me.

    Female Republicans have been avoided because I really don’t understand a woman being an active member of the Republican Party. I don’t know how to approach such a person.

    And yes, Uncle Joe rocks.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    @Raven: The mom in me wants to remind you to bring a hat and gloves.

  4. 4
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    14 degrees F at 6:00 am in Bloomington, IN. Wednesday we got 10 inches when a blizzard swept through the state. Saturday morning added another 3 – 4 inches as a smaller low rippled across headed east.

    I have fired up my FAX machine and faxed the White House and Indiana delegation, and Pelosi and Reid, three times this past week. Once re: the need to ban automatic and assault and military grade weapons (and I have an Indiana license to carry, and own handguns); and twice expressing my feeling of betrayal by the President and Democrats for putting an insurance program, Social Security on the chopping block when it is not even part of the deficit, and the trust fund currently is good for two more decades, and forever if taxes return to normal levels, and telling me I am suddenly a welfare queen after paying into Social Security and Medicare for 53 years of full employment since I was 14 years old.

    I set up the dining room table two days ago, and we are working on a 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle of a Renaissance painting. It is an annual tradition in the household. You walk by and work on it whenever the mood strikes you. I think this is the biggest and most difficult puzzle we have ever done, surpassing a 1,200 piece puzzle that was a shot of the famous Neuschwanstein castle in southern Bavaria we did last year.

    Since we are both retired now, we are enjoying NOT having to brave winter weather when it does occasionally happen. Instead, we get to snug up with a fire, a book, and a cup of hot tea and nice drink.

    The snow was so bad that Indiana University and the City of Bloomington shut down Thursday. I made it a point to email my former staff and the guy who replace me as their manager and point out what weenies they were, how when I was working for IU, you were expected to walk three miles in a foot of snow, but you never shut down completely. Etc. They all appreciated my encouragement, of course.

  5. 5
    Handy says:

    “As soon as one gun is outlawed, another pops up”

    Funny they don’t have that problem in Japan or Australia?

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    After I shovel the snow, I’m gonna watch my Giants chase Michhael Vick around this afternoon, while I drink a few beers – and hope they catch him enough times to win, and then wait to see if enough other NFC teams lose, so the Giants can sneak into the Playoffs through the backdoor.

    I other words, I’m gonna get sh*tfaced, and pass out with my finger crossed, right about the time 60 Minutes comes on.

  7. 7
    BruinKid says:

    The gun nuts I know are spreading this news story from Sacramento where a homeowner with a gun shot three home invasion robbers, killing one of them. It’s already gotten over 25,000 shares, so look for it to become their new talking point shortly.

    We are thankful that the homeowner was fast acting and armed or we could be talking about a mass murder of children at a slumber party today.

    Yes, because it’s obvious that the only two scenarios were either the homeowner shoots all the robbers because he had a gun, or all the children get massacred because he didn’t. They cannot see any other possible scenario in either case.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    So will the new Congress contain at least 2 goobers delusional/obstreperous/bigoted enough to invoke the section highlighted below?

    January 6, 2013
    __
    The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes on January 6, 2013. Congress may pass a law to change this date.
    __
    The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.
    __
    If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.
    __
    If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.
    __
    If no Vice Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment provides for the Senate to elect the Vice President. If necessary, the Senate would elect the Vice President by majority vote, choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each Senator having one vote.
    __
    If any objections to the Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator. If objections are presented, the House and Senate withdraw to their respective chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law.  Source

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: There are more than two delusional/obstreperous/bigoted members that want to do this but the leaders will not allow it. This type of stunt would only highlight how wacky the repubs have become.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    While I concur, one also has to recall that that was more or less the conventional wisdom regarding going to the edge over raising the debt limit.

  11. 11
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: #4

    you were expected to walk three miles in a foot of snow

    Uphill both ways. :-)

    Sounds like you guys really got hit.

  12. 12
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Ice Skating, and then the big game tonight (Go Washington!).

  13. 13
    Joey Maloney says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: How well I remember walking from my house at Walnut & Driscoll to my 0730 class at Ballantine Hall in a howling blizzard, every day, uphill both ways. Or I would remember that, if I hadn’t regularly overslept by two hours, done a wake-and-bake and then sat in the Runcible Spoon all afternoon.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I had not previously heard the expression — let alone the story behind — “one starfish at a time.”

    What a nice story and apt quotation. Thanks, AL!

  15. 15
    steveday says:

    @c u n d gulag: I hope the day goes well for you- my Eagles ned the draft pick.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: We live in interesting times. (I probably need to look up the meaning of interesting though.)

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    On the agenda: getting a flu shot today. Flu season is early; this year’s vaccine is well matched to the predominant strain going around.

    Last flu season that started this early was 2003-4; it killed about twice as many as usual and was pretty much the same flu strain as now. We should be luckier this year, though, since the vaccine is better targeted.

  18. 18
    scav says:

    Is it technically sad that I did walk uphill in the snow to school (one way only alas!) and the howling wind you could lean into on the same trip was usually a hot one so a different season entirely? So close, so close to living the cliche.

  19. 19
    Scratch says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Unfortunately, I can either attest to the possibility that there is a strain the flu shot doesn’t cover or that I had the bad luck of not getting a full immunity boost from the flu shot back in September.

    Still, get your shot. It’s the smart thing to do, because if it can protect from days like I had yesterday where every single joint in my body hurt, that’s protection worth having.

    At least I feel like I might be able to move around some today.

  20. 20
    Raven says:

    @JPL: that’s funny. People freak out when I’m here but I sit outside with the dogs no matter what the weather. I have a cold weather army parka, goretex boots and special touch screen gloves.

  21. 21
    Maude says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I got a flu shot in early October. I had no reaction.
    I have had a mild version of the plague, but without the shot, I bet it would have been worse.
    We have about 3 inches of snow.

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: NYT has a cool story about a Maui native who cold weather surfs in ny!
    http://nyti.ms/VIP5Vx

  23. 23
    Keith G says:

    @BruinKid: Guns are mechanical instruments, pieces of technology, that mostly are used for legal, and in some cases even socially beneficial, purposes.

    Folks on our side of this extraordinarily difficult process have to recognize this, and deal with it, or our push for better policy will end up in the ditch.

  24. 24
    Soonergrunt says:

    @BruinKid: unless he shot the invaders with an AR-15 pattern rifle, it doesn’t really matter, because I don’t know anyone who is advocating a total ban, just removal of these particular mass killing machines.

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    Can I just say that I absolutely love and adore our vice president? He really is a great man, the kind of man that I wish every pol could be. My mother absolutely adored him and I always trust her instincts with men simply because she married such a great one herself. Wish she was still here with us to love the prez, too.

    For us, we are going on a jaunt to the Giant Eagle Marketplace in Robinson, basically the Taj Mahal of supermarkets. We want to have a seafood feast for New Year’s Eve and, other than driving all the way into Pittsburgh to hit the Strip District, that’s the best place to get anything and everything you’d want for such feast. We’re thinking roasted oysters for an appetizer and scallops and lobster tails for dinner. And, unusual for a state with the most backwards liquor laws in the nation, we can even pick up the wines we’ll be drinking there. They have a state wine and spirits store inside. Am currently recording “Love Actually” on Cinemax West for our viewing pleasure that evening. It’s my second favorite holiday film and John has never seen it.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    THIS.

    It’s funny…the other night we were at the local VFW (we joined for cheap alchohol) and there are an awful lot of gun lovers there. And, to a person, eveyone was just fine with a ban on military type guns and large magazines. No one argued against it. And every person there owned guns.

    But none of them belonged to the NRA. Interesting, isn’t it?

  27. 27
    Maude says:

    @geg6:
    Enjoy the trip. It’s fun to shop like that.
    Biden is wonderful. He is real and has never been fake.

  28. 28
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Along the lines of one starfish at a time…

    This story reminds me of something that happened to me: It was about 10 A.M. and I was waiting for a friend to go to breakfast before going to a crafts fair. I was wearing a scarf that formed a spiral. So, as I’m waiting an old woman comes out of a newspaper store, looking angry, already in a bad mood. She passes by me, sees the scarf and says “twirly”. She says it again, twirling her hands and begins to smile and her eyes brighten. She continued walking by, saying twirly.

  29. 29
    Emma says:

    @Keith G: No. In the United States guns have become a “man-card”, a fetish item for terrified little boys in men’s bodies (sometimes women, too). While the numbers of guns per household have rapidly dropped, the number of guns and ammo in the hands of the crazy have shot up. This isn’t a healthy pattern.

    Yes, there are thousands of responsible gun owners, who know the rules for safety and follow them to the letter. Many of them have chosen(as some here in BJ have themselves stated)to fight back against the NRA and the crazies. None of them are bothered by strict enforcement of the rules for purchase and proper safety storage of guns.

    Personally I’ve always wanted to collect dueling pistols. They are works of art. But we’re not talking about those or about a game hunter’s rifle. As a friend of mine once put it, you shoot at a duck with an AK-47, what you get is shredded duck.

  30. 30

    @BruinKid:

    Its not like ANYONE is talking about eliminating guns taht can be used for home defense. I dont know what kind of gun was used in the instance you reference, but a shotgun with a four-round mag or pistol would still be allowed under the most restrictive pooicy being suggested.

  31. 31
    Keith G says:

    @Emma:

    No. In the United States guns have become a “man-card”, a fetish item for terrified little boys in men’s bodies (sometimes women, too). While the numbers of guns per household have rapidly dropped, the number of guns and ammo in the hands of the crazy have shot up. This isn’t a healthy pattern.

    Interesting bit of matchbook psychology, worth even less than the paper it is printed on. There are real issues that need to be examined and addressed, but addressing them in the above fashion will not be successful.

  32. 32
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I just woke up. This is a weird country. Superficially prudish and obsessed with religion, yet tolerating gross deadly violence in our entertainment, and shrugging it off in reality as a cost of ‘freedom’. Which freedom we willingly give up in exchange for the appearance of protection from terrorism that happened 10 years ago.
    Makes no sense at all.

  33. 33
    Emma says:

    @Keith G: Look at the ad for the gun. It literally says “man card.” Look at the paranoids that come out of the woodwork every time one mentions enforcing even one small bit of gun safety, never mind ‘gun control.’ Tell me who they are. Don’t bother telling me about responsible gun owners. I addressed them in the entry you didn’t bother to finish reading.

  34. 34
    Paul says:

    @BruinKid:

    The gun nuts I know are spreading this news story from Sacramento where a homeowner with a gun shot three home invasion robbers, killing one of them. It’s already gotten over 25,000 shares, so look for it to become their new talking point shortly. We are thankful that the homeowner was fast acting and armed or we could be talking about a mass murder of children at a slumber party today.

    Yes, once in awhile we hear a story like this. But more often times than not, it goes the other way. According to the Kellerman study, a gun used for protection is 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder.

    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/prevviol.pdf

    Hell, recently in my neck of the woods (just to mention on of many examples) a gun owner had left his loaded gun in a closet. It was meant for protection against burglars. His 3-year old kid found it and shot himself.

    I doubt we’ll hear the people that can’t live without their guns brag about that story.

  35. 35
    Emma says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: It does if you realize that the American “national fable” is all about the independent loner battling it out with hostiles, either the elements, other people, or the government. Then you add to that the radical puritanism that was the basis of the New England colonies, their hostility towards those outside their sect, and you got the makings for mess.

    I’m not making a claim that this is unique to the US. Every country has their own national fable and therefore their own mess to deal with. But when you add guns to it, you have a disaster waiting to happen.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @PurpleGirl: Sweet story. And I’ll bet that you thought/think of her every time you put on the “twirly scarf.”

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    Sorry, but theres zero chance anything gets through the House. I like Biden, but the House is just too f’ing crazy to accept any restrictions. Period full stop.

  38. 38
    HRA says:

    An ex in-law got into an argument with an elderly lady neighbor, ran into his house and came out with a handgun to wave in her face. Soon the police pulled up, took his gun and him to the precinct. His lawyer had him released. The police kept his gun for a month and had to give it back to him after court. Years later, after a romantic breakup, he wrote a suicide note to his daughter and was committed for a week to our local psychiatric hospital.
    During this period, a change occurred in him. He shaved his head, got a number of tattoos, dressed differently, bought a Confederate flag for the back window of his truck and his son has begun to emulate him and has adopted his politics on FB. He does not carry his views into family gatherings. I can only hope the son is going through a phase for he is my grandson.

  39. 39
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thank you. Yes, I think of her. In fact, I saw the same lady a few months later, also a day I wore that scarf, and she again came up to me and said “twirly”. It pleases me that people like that scarf. I often have people ask if I made it and how I made it.

  40. 40
    Keith G says:

    @Emma: I can’t worry about gun ads.

    What I do worry about is our side’s ability to attract the large number of gun owners that we will need to get this very difficult legislative process done. On a good day, our chances for meaningful change look weak.

    We have to show gun owners that they are not under attack and that there is no appetite on our side to construct a “slippery slope”. There will be those who will not accept that message no matter what we do, but we still need to reach out to the greater gun owning community and nurture all the support that we can. Saying that guns are, “a fetish item for terrified little boys in men’s bodies (sometimes women, too).” may be a satisfying sermon to the choir, but I doubt it gets us where we need to be.

  41. 41

    Off to Quaker meeting in a little while, then home to finish the NY Times crossword puzzle and work through some paragraphs in the novel in my head first before committing it to pixels.

    It’s a cool and clear morning in South Florida.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    @Maude

    Biden is wonderful. He is real and has never been fake.

    Well, there was that whole plagiarism brouhaha.

  43. 43
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Keith G:

    We have to show gun owners that they are not under attack

    If we could convince them of that, we wouldn’t be having to deal with this in the first place. The whole point of buying these large guns is the belief that the only thing keeping the blahs down the street and the government from invading their homes is owning a lot of guns. They think that, if necessary, they will be able to defeat the government.

    An AR-15 is designed for people who believe they are under attack, or will be under attack.

  44. 44
    quannlace says:

    Only a couple inches of snow here, but any snow fall makes me want to fuss a bit in the kitchen. Thinking of making some cream of potato soup, along with parmesan walnut rolls.

  45. 45
    Shalimar says:

    @Keith G: There isn’t a large number of gun owners, relatively. Gun ownership is shrinking at similar rates that smoking was 25-35 years ago. The main difference is that the big smoking advocates (who will never quit under any circumstances) didn’t increase their consumption to 20 packs a day.

    Which is to say, people who own a gun or two generally aren’t opposed to regulations that decrease the chance that they or their children will be killed by a nut. All of the opposition comes from the hoarders who are either preparing for an apocalypse or “defending their 2nd Amendment rights” to an absurd degree. And you’re not reaching those people, ever.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    The Prez is on with dancin dave

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    @Keith G: I think we already have that large number of gun owners. The NRA represents only a small percentage of gun owners. It’s nothing but a manufacturers’ lobbying organization, and the gun owners it speaks for at this point are the paranoid crazies it has deliberately nurtured. High-capacity firearms have to go, regulations have to be tightened and added, and truly responsible gun owners — the clear majorIty — have been saying all along that they’re fine with that. In the meantime, yes, the rest of us will call guns what they are — dangerous lethal instruments that too often come into the wrong hands — and assert our right to live our lives free of the fear of our neighbors’ firearms being mishandled.

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    @Raven: Gosh, I wonder if he’ll fill the interview with nothing but softballs?

  49. 49
    Emma says:

    @Keith G: Worry then about the fact that the people you think you can reach are unreachable. As many people have already mentioned, both in this thread and others, responsible gun owners have no problem with strong laws that impose safety regulations and closing loopholes in existing laws. The others, by definition, are the ones who are insane with fear about some sort of societal apocalypse, and will NOT change their minds.

  50. 50
    Raven says:

    @redshirt: Dave is being as dickish as possible.

  51. 51
    Raven says:

    “The only thing I would caution against, David, is I think this notion of, “Well, both sides are just kind of unwilling to cooperate.” And that’s just not true. I mean if you look at the facts, what you have is a situation here where the Democratic party, warts and all, and certainly me, warts and all, have consistently done our best to try to put country first. “

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Robin G. says:

    I’m planning to battle a headache and load up on Netflux’s newly reorganized Classic Doctor Who. Jo Grant is annoying the hell out of me.

  54. 54
    RaflW says:

    Right now I’m watching Meet The Press (runs at 9am CST in Minneapolis).

    As always, David Gregory is an asshat. Spouts NRA “not gonna work” notion with cynicism and resignation.

    With an attitude like this, bowing to an org that has 4M members, while Obama got 10s of millions of votes, and even Republicans narrowly favor more gun safety laws, shows why the Village is full of shit.

  55. 55
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Emma:
    Don’t know about the ad you mentioned. Do know firearms and a whole spectrum of their owners.

    I don’t know you. What I would say, just as an observation, is that characterizing a whole group of people as inimical and contemptible because of one aspect of their selves is, sadly, one of the things that I’d bet you’d stand stoutly against if it was presented to you abstractly.

    The notion of writing off gun owners as people who generally need some sort of enhancement is almost as sad and as counterproductive as the crap I heard about people of color way back in the Sixties.

    This is very simple. We need to remove clip fed semi automatic weapons from my country. That is completely, and the lawyers here can weigh in if they choose to do so, legal.

  56. 56
    Keith G says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    An AR-15 is designed for people who believe they are under attack, or will be under attack

    .
    Yes, there are those who feel that way and those who do not. We have to be able to reason together with those who we can.

    @Shalimar:
    “Relatively” is a key word. They are grouped in such a way that they have significant clout in important political constituencies. Luckily those groups are not philosophically homogeneous.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I like the way you framed it so civvies could get it!

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: Is it watchable? In other words, how horrible is Fluffy?

    Tivo is recording it for me just in case.

    Edit: I see that my question has already been answered. Fluffy is being himself. I really hate that man and I haven’t watched MTP since he started hosting. I read something yesterday about the president being on the “hard hitting show Meet the Press” today, and I wondered what show they’re watching.

    I really wish the president had chosen Chris Hayes instead of Fluffy.

  59. 59
    Donut says:

    The way Gregory is posturing and shilling Village conventional wisdom , it’s as if we didn’t just have a god damned national election where a clear fucking majority expressed its preferences on taxes and spending. My god, this is ridiculous. When has a president ever faced this mindless, stupid opposition in the wake of a clear political victory? The president is sitting here repeating all if the same themes he ran and won on.

    Why are we having this discussion about the preferrred path forward almost two months after it has been decided?

    Geez, Dave, why of YOU think the GOP and your buds in the media can’t say yes to a deal with Obama?

    It’s because they’re beholden to wealthy benefactors who believe in feudalism, and feed on racism and bigotry, Dave. Is that clear enough?

  60. 60
    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s ok.

  61. 61
    MikeJ says:

    @NotMax:

    Well, there was that whole plagiarism brouhaha.

    Bullshit. He had a stump speech he had given hundreds of times. Every time he gave that speech he cited the source of the quote. One time he didn’t.

  62. 62
    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: Maybe because he’s not talking to us?

  63. 63
    Anya says:

    @Raven: I can’t stand Dancing Dave but I am glad he’s asking tough questions. The president can handle him and it gives him the opportunity to explain his stands and to challenge directly the GOP talking points. Honestly, Chris Wallace would’ve been preferable to Dancing Dave. He’s always an asshole to Democrats and he always carries water for the GOP. I remember one time, on MSNBC, when Debbie Wasserman Schultz called him on it and he really got angry but then backtracked.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: Thanks for the rating!

    I am off to water my friend’s plants while he is in France for 2 weeks. He has so many plants that it takes me an hour to water. I guess watching the president when I get back will be my reward.

    Speaking of gardening (sort of) how is your lovely wife doing? Any improvement in pain or treatment plans?

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: Nope, she’s pretty frustrated. Nothing has worked at all and she’s exploring more options.

    thx

  66. 66
    Raven says:

    @Anya: I thought it was the whole hour. . .wrong.

  67. 67
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Raven:
    I’m trying in my small way to not make gun control and regulation into an us against them situation. I don’t believe that doing so is the right way to get the most dangerous weapons off of the streets. There are millions of firearms floating around in America the Beautiful and, to my limited understanding, some types of them should not be in private hands.

  68. 68
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I tried that with Pat Lang and got bitch slapped.

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: That’s not good. Trying everything you can think of and nothing working would have to be frustrating beyond belief, especially when you’re in pain. Has she tried seeing someone who does “deep muscle therapy”? Or acupuncture? The person I see (who does deep muscle therapy) is amazing, and it’s what keeps me upright after my accident with the semi in the early 90s.

    They promoted the interview with the president as being the whole hour, maybe the republicans raised a fuss and they cut the pre-taped interview. So are there republicans on now to rebut what the president is saying?

    When do we know if the Bears can possibly play post-season? Or are they out for sure?

    I’ll be back in an hour and will check then to see if there is a reply.

  70. 70
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Raven:
    The internet has in someways become the Terra
    Incognito. Pat Lang is that sorriest of people; a once good man.

  71. 71
    RaflW says:

    I haven’t watched Meet The Press in a few years. What crap.

    The format allows no depth, lots of bullshit talking points, and epic Broderism.

    And then David Gregory quoting a Tennessee NRA bumper sticker as some sort of proof that gun owners are a solid voting block.

    Gee whizz.

  72. 72
    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: Anything can happen if the they get in.

    There is so much information and so many people with personal experience, negative and positive, about the same approach that it seems to me it may be a matter of luck. Sort of like the Bears.

  73. 73
    RaflW says:

    @Paul:

    We also got the occasional “my aunt Suzie was thrown from her car in an accident in which her car spectacularly blew up seconds later. If she’d been wearing that damn govt-required seatbelt, she’d be dead.”

    And now, we have govt-required seatbelts nationwide, and it all seems to be OK.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Don’t know about the ad you mentioned.

    Front-paged here on Tuesday.

  75. 75
    RaflW says:

    @Donut:

    The butthurt in the second half hour, when the village brunch coctail party is in full swing for us to admire, they were pooh-poohing the notion that the press is lazy and way over-committed to Both Sides Do It.

    That just cannot be the case!, these beltway onanists swear. I turned MTP off at that point.

  76. 76
    Steeplejack says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The Bears get in if they win and the Vikings lose. The Bears play an early game and then get to watch the Vikes play in a later game.

  77. 77
    Thlayli says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The Bears need to win (early game), and then they need the Packers to beat the Vikings (late game).

  78. 78
    Emma says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I am so glad you read the original comment when I CLEARLY made a distinction between responsible gun owners and the crazies.

    Do you knee-jerk defenders of gun owners EVER DAMN READ WHAT SOMEONE WRITES before launching your defense?

  79. 79
    AxelFoley says:

    As President Obama said at his first (unofficial) State of the Union address back in 2009, “Nobody messes with Joe”.

  80. 80
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Everyone can relax abut gun-control.

    It’ll be a watered down, neutered version of every other ground-breaking legislation seen these past years.

  81. 81
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Keith G:

    Interesting bit of matchbook psychology, worth even less than the paper it is printed on.

    It’s good enough matchbook psychology for the people selling those things.

    @Shalimar:

    There isn’t a large number of gun owners, relatively.

    For all the talk of gun shops with empty shelves and gun shows with Black Friday-style crowds, it’s a minority interest, and the tactical paraphilia stuff is a fringe. Perhaps there should be a National Dildo-owners Association to show the comparative size and clout of the two marketplaces? But then again, most dildo-owners don’t define themselves by their dildos.

  82. 82
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    What I would say, just as an observation, is that characterizing a whole group of people as inimical and contemptible because of one aspect of their selves

    If people choose to define themselves by their guns, they choose to be judged by that definition, just as they would if they defined themselves by their cars or houses or bling. The distinction here is between “people who own guns” and, “Gun Owners”, aka “people whose guns own them”.

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: You may be right that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next. I say try everything :-) and see what works, before trying surgery.

    I can only imagine what it’s like to hurt all the time, and I am in awe of anyone who can handle that with grace.

  84. 84
    Heliopause says:

    Have I ever mentioned how much I despise news broadcasts this time of year? All they talk about is what happened months ago. “Remember the Presidential election?” Hey, thanks for reminding me, that lightly-covered story had completely slipped my mind.

    Look, you stupid, coiffed assholes, it’s called NEWS. It’s called NEWS for a reason. If you don’t have any NEWS to read then either make some up or run an infomercial instead. And for the love of Christ, don’t ever mention Dick Clark again. I bear no particular ill will for him but he was utterly irrelevant to my life or anything important in our culture, now he’s dead so just bury the fucker already.

  85. 85
    Joel says:

    @Keith G: Guns are tools designed for killing that are typically beneficial only to those that are using them. That leads to another question…

  86. 86
    AxelFoley says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    They think that, if necessary, they will be able to defeat the government.

    LOL, that’s what cracks me up. They don’t realize that the gubmint got more guns than they’ll EVER have. Along with that, the gubmint has rocket launchers (more than they’ll ever have, too), bombs and bomber planes, DRONES!, tanks, missles and nukes. Not to mention, the most powerful military force this world has ever seen.

    Seriously, the government would fuck them up in less than an hour.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    We opened our gifts yesterday. I am super-excited that G bought me (or, rather, us) the new toaster oven I wanted and he’s super-excited that I bought him a sonic screwdriver that’s also an actual screwdriver. So belated Christmas happiness all around.

  88. 88
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Emma:
    Did you read what I wrote? Guns are part of the problem. The mentality of some gun owners is another part. Writing off gun owners as a class of people will solve neither problem.

    I am not a knee jerk defender of anyone. I’m saying that dividing those who own firearms into “responsible gun owners” and “other” may not be the best way forward to a reasonably safer society for us all.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Raven:

    I can’t remember if anyone has mentioned it before, but has she tried a gluten-free diet for a few weeks? It seems to help when people have arthritis or other inflammatory and/or overactive immune problems (I think they now recommend it for people with lupus). If nothing else, it’s a noninvasive thing she can try on her own.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I’m saying that dividing those who own firearms into “responsible gun owners” and “other” may not be the best way forward to a reasonably safer society for us all.

    Why not? It seems like a huge part of the problem is the culture of guns that encourages people to buy bigger/louder/more destructive guns to prove their “manhood,” so why should we not point that out as part of the problem?

  91. 91
    Emma says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: And how do we integrate the crazy, HBM? Because it is their paranoia and fear that drive the whole thing. And you cannot reason with a paranoid. They do not respond to the usual societal pressures.

  92. 92
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It’s the sciatic nerve. It’s being pinched.

  93. 93
    Suzanne says:

    @Keith G:

    Interesting bit of matchbook psychology, worth even less than the paper it is printed on. There are real issues that need to be examined and addressed, but addressing them in the above fashion will not be successful.

    What is your complete refusal to discuss the sociocultural forces at play with respect to gun ownership? It’s not based in nothing; there are facts and data and evidence to back her up. This fight for the culture that we want is not and never has been fought purely on the legislative front.

  94. 94
    Yutsano says:

    @Suzanne: Because then he has to give up his preciousss gunz! I swear it really is a Gollum-like obsession.

  95. 95
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    @Emma:
    Well then. I guess Joe Biden’s path is clear. Hopefully his staff will be able to cut and paste large segments of commentary here from you and yours and use it to embarrass and cow the anti regulation crowd and the fence sitters into the path of light and righteousness.

    Who needs to build bridges, negotiate and compromise when the wisdom of the reality-based community can be handed down from on high?

  96. 96
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Emma:
    We’re kinda stuck here. I’m not going to get all meta about fear-inducing changes in the way America works, or is unemployed.

    We can’t integrate the truly crazy. I bet that you know that as well as I do. Whom we can integrate, or maybe reach, are those who aren’t crazy but who are shit scared and who have grabbed a weapon as a way to mitigate their fears.

    We can’t cure or legislate away the kind of fear that drives some people to to purchase semi automatic weapons and tons of ammunition. What we may be able to do is to get legislation passed that bans the sale of these weapons going forward and that allows for no questions asked buyback of them. From what little I know, if you start talking confiscation you’re setting up for failure and some more awful things.

    I think, hope, that we’re on the same side.

  97. 97
    Suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: I don’t think that’s it. In my years of working in marketing, I’ve noted that there’s really only one group of people that is relatively resistant to being categorized or demographically researched. I think that in many ways, it hurts or insults some people to be “pegged”, or to consider that perhaps you do/like/purchase things not 100% because you like things, but because those things are sociocultural markers to your “tribe”. I think the notions of individuality and rationality are very strong within this group, and the idea that they might behave in traceable patterns would undermine those notions.

    The group? Yeah. White dudes.

    However, I think this is an important angle from which to study the gun issue, because THE NRA EXISTS AS A MARKETING TOOL. And, once again, gun ownership and use follow some really clear sociological patterns. To NOT look at this issue from this side is stupid, because I guarantee you that the NRA and gun manufacturers do—construction of the myth of masculinity, strength, individualism is HOW THEY SELL THEIR PRODUCTS. If we want them to sell fewer products to fewer people, the most effective way to make that happen is not to pass a fucking law.

  98. 98
    Keith G says:

    @Suzanne:
    Because it would be a waste of time as I am no more qualified to meaningfully discuss the sociocultural forces at play with respect to gun ownership than I am to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. More to the point, I do not know what motivates large swaths of gun owners so I will not pretend to. And I feel it is wrong to use bias to stereotype groups of fellow citizens. But if you care delve into this topic, I will intently listen after you indicate your credentials. If not, you are just another bloviating civilian with an axe to grind.

    @Yutsano: What’s your point in such an attack? There is no logic to it. It proves nothing. Or is it part of IRS training to immediately shift to bullying people with insults?

    The shame of this is….we are on the same side and want, largely, the same things, but it seems that this is not enough.

    Sad, that.

  99. 99
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Keith G:

    Yut is a one-trick pony.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    But if you care delve into this topic, I will intently listen after you indicate your credentials.

    She did — she says that her background is in marketing, and she discussed specific things that she has seen when working in marketing and talked about how those marketing techniques are being used by the NRA to hold their target audience.

    Since what we’re currently discussing is marketing and how the NRA and gun manufacturers market guns to white men, where is your contrary research?

  101. 101
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: No offense, but when the topic is Suzanne, I will wait for her input. I will extend the same courtesy to you should the occasion occur.

    edit :And I do not wish to convey Suzanne’s need to communicate. I want this to be a friendly and voluntary exchange.

  102. 102
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Keith G:

    No offense, but when the topic is Suzanne, I will wait for her input.

    Leaf through the gun mags at the grocery store and make a judgement on who the target market is, and why. No need to turn this into a pissy “credentials” argument.

  103. 103
    Yutsano says:

    @Suzanne: It’s an interesting perspective, and you are on an interesting line of inquiry. I don’t think it’s something we can approach from one angle only. When WA passed the mandatory seatbelt law, there was also a huge marketing campaign in order to spread the news and explain the reasons behind it. I think that helped to contribute to our number 1 ranking in seatbelt usage. Hell I won’t even move any car I’m driving unless every one is buckled up.

    And naturally I was being hyperbolic. That seems to have escaped some on this thread.

  104. 104
    suzanne says:

    @Keith G:

    Because it would be a waste of time as I am no more qualified to meaningfully discuss the sociocultural forces at play with respect to gun ownership than I am to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. More to the point, I do not know what motivates large swaths of gun owners so I will not pretend to. And I feel it is wrong to use bias to stereotype groups of fellow citizens. But if you care delve into this topic, I will intently listen after you indicate your credentials. If not, you are just another bloviating civilian with an axe to grind.

    So you don’t think it’s worth discussing because you, personally, are not an expert?

    Credentials? Piss off.

  105. 105
    Maude says:

    @suzanne:
    You have got it right. I have gone on and on at times about making something socially unacceptable in order to make a change.
    Most want to belong to a “cool” group. Make it lower than a snake’s belly to own assault weapons.
    The repeal of DADT proves your point.

  106. 106
    suzanne says:

    @Maude: That’s because it’s effective. Look at smoking….among young people, smoking is down when compared to groups demographically similar except for age. Except among the poor, who, paradoxically, one would think would be the most dissuaded by the higher taxes on cigs.

    But what actually worked, probably more than anything else, was the gradual rebranding of smoking as low-class and gross.

  107. 107
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Yutsano: They also marketed the law aggressively in schools in a way that wasn’t ridiculous like the DARE program was. I think my mom still has a “Buckle Up, We Love You” button I got when I wa in preschool or kindergarten. Part of the strategy they used was to get kids to encourage parents to use the belts. Kind of like how they get more parents concerned about home fire safety by having kids come up with exit plans with their families.

    Our pleas to our mother to buckle up were the only reasons that she eventually made it a habit. She was very resistant for a variety of dumb reasons, from wrinkled clothes to the possibility of being trapped by her belt. (Although she always made sure we were belted in!)

  108. 108
    Maude says:

    @suzanne:
    That is it and yes, it does work. I bet Obama starts on this in 2013. Also, Joe Biden.
    I am so glad you wrote about this yesterday. I was too late to the thread, but I thought about it.

  109. 109
    Keith G says:

    @suzanne: Okay then.

  110. 110
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: It’s interesting because in some ways this is already happening. There are more guns being purchased but fewer and fewer extant owners. And younger generations are seeing their peers get devastated by gun violence and are saying to hell with that shit. This does have the possibility of turning into yet another rural/urban divide issue, unless the suburban uberwhites go for moar gunz. The NRA has a huge lead here, we just need to cut it back.

  111. 111
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: it is already happening. Legal gun sales today are overwhelmingly to white, not-college-grad, suburban dudes. I wish there was some religion data in there. That would be fascinating.

    It interests me because the marketing story on the last ten years or so was this massive push on the male 18-29 demographic in an array of sectors. Restaurants, media, clothing, cars, etc. And it overwhelmingly failed—that demographic turned out to not have any money. (No shit.) Soooo many admen lost their jobs. But look at that Bushmaster ad. Look who they were courting.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    This does have the possibility of turning into yet another rural/urban divide issue, unless the suburban uberwhites go for moar gunz.

    As far as I can tell, the problem is primarily being driven by the suburban and exurban dudes, not necessarily the rural ones. I think that if we can stay away from “one size fits all” regulations, we might be able to make some headway.

    For example, I’ve said before that I wouldn’t have a problem with an idea like Howard Dean’s that would regulate gun possession by the population density of the area you live in: the fewer neighbors you have, the more guns you can have. The problem, of course, is that you would have dudes in densely populated suburban areas insisting that they need a gun just as much as someone in a rural area where it would take a deputy 20 minutes to get to their house in an emergency.

  113. 113
    NotMax says:

    @MikeJ

    1) It wasn’t just the one time; there was a pattern of similar (albeit minor) incidents going back at least to his college years (which weren’t all that far in his past at the time).

    2) brouhaha (noun): agitated public discussion when a minor incident gets out of control, sometimes referred to as an uproar or hubbub.

    That word was deliberately chosen in my comment (rather than, say, scandal) to illustrate the incident.

  114. 114
    Liberty60 says:

    @geg6:

    Exactly-
    No regulation or ban can be effective until there is a consensus that it should be done, and the ones who refuse are socially isolated and ostracized.

    So prohibition of alcohol failed, but regulation and strict control of alcohol is popular.

  115. 115
    WaterGirl says:

    I posted a “thank you” for all the Bears responses from earlier today, or at least I thought I did, but it’s not here, so thanks for the replies and FYWP.

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