YouTube Gun Celebrity Watch

Keith Ratliff, who hosted a popular YouTube channel devoted to guns, including videos like “Top Three Weapons to Survive the Apocalypse”, met his end violently on January 3, shot in the head in his office, where he stored his many guns and rifles.

Here’s another YouTube celeb, James Yeager, the guy who said he was going to “start shooting people” if President Obama signed an executive order on guns. The video embedded there is worth watching because he tries at the start to walk back his rhetoric and ends up threatening to shoot anyone who comes to his house to confiscate his guns.

When someone starts talking about the need to have an arsenal to guard against “tyranny” or “confiscation of our guns” we need to pay close attention to how they define those words. In the case of a lot of these nuts, “tyranny” is any government action they don’t agree with. And “confiscation” is outlawing anything that was legal the day before Newtown happened. It’s more than strange that we’ve come to accept the existence of people with closets full of assault weapons who think they need them to fight a government with some of the most permissive gun laws in the developed world.

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82 replies
  1. 1
    are2row says:

    ” It’s more than strange that we’ve come to accept the existence of people with closets full of assault weapons who think they need them to fight a government with some of the most permissive gun laws in the developed world.”

    Not only have they become acceptable, they have their own fking tv shows!

    Hi, its my first time posting, hope i didnt do so bad.

  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    some of the most permissive gun laws in the developed world

    Is any other country in the developed world even close to our insane gun laws?

    And tyranny is anything done by a Democratic President. I don’t remember any of this shit with the Patriot Act or the expansion of Medicare D.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    When someone starts talking about the need to have an arsenal to guard against “tyranny” or “confiscation of our guns” we need to pay close attention to how they define those words.

    No need to waste your time–the whole premise is quaintly outdated and is never anything other than a code for something less noble. If you try to prevent a modern military from taking something that they really want, there won’t be enough of you left to clean up with a dishtowel.

    Wonder what Ratliff’s last thoughts were?

  4. 4
    Jeff(the other one) says:

    @dr. bloor: probably something on the line of “Hi, Hon…..”

  5. 5
    Chet says:

    If you try to prevent a modern military from taking something that they really want, there won’t be enough of you left to clean up with a dishtowel.

    Hrm, I guess that explains why the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were over so quickly.

  6. 6
    Schlemizel says:

    Because i have some FB friends who have been posting “don’t take mah gun” things I created a response. If you like it please feel free to share it around.

    http://imgur.com/5v1ch

    There is a graph showing a decrease in car deaths per million miles driven & this text:

    In the 1960’s America noticed that auto design and highway design were causing many needless deaths every year. Government started making roads safer, they mandated features like seat belts and then air bags. There were tougher laws against drunk driving. Manufacturers started padding dashboards, collapsible steering columns, crumple zones and many other features. The result, shown in the graph are obvious

    And nobody, anywhere cried “They are trying to take away my car!” Why can’t we have a rational discussion about gun crime?

  7. 7
    Culture of Truth says:

    It takes a lot of ammo to fight off Invisible Hitler

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    @Mark S.:

    expansion of Medicare D

    The run up to the Iraq War and/or the patriotic fervor in the aftermath of 9/11/01 distracted the hell out of the wing-nut crowd.

    I remember people calling Bush, Jr. the greatest President ever because he toppled Saddam.

    Medicare D sort of slipped in, when the righteous small government crowd was looking at Iraq and looking at their Muslim brown neighbors with suspicion.

    Of course, since conservatism cannot fail, they blamed the failure of Bush & Co. on their non-conservative agenda items like Medicare D.

  9. 9
    Elizabelle says:

    The gun nuts have always thought they were under attack.

    This time, they’re right.

    Time for that pendulum to swing way, way back.

    It’s a public health issue.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    Just to note the uselessness of a one-person arsenal. The gun manufacturers exploit the anxieties of the gun nuts and, as a side effect, endanger everyone else. I suppose it’s a good thing that the 2nd Amendment hasn’t been interpreted to include bombs.

  11. 11
    Biscuits says:

    According to Crooks an Liars blog, Tennessee just revoked Mr. Yeager’s gun permit. :). Oops, I mean suspended. Awesome sauce anyway!

  12. 12
    GregB says:

    If the NRA wants to start a list of mentally ill people who are at risk of snapping and killing people, I recommend they forward their membership list to the National Institute of Health as a starting point.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chet: It tends to not work out well for the individual.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    @Chet:

    So now imagine a US that looks like those two places . . . is that the nation you want to live in?

    Yes, its true, the gun nuts of this country could get a lot of people killed. They could make large parts of the country ungovernable – for a period of time. But with no air defenses and no outside government support (Iraq has Iran & Afghanistan has Pakistan) to supply weapons, intel and logistics any armed uprising would be slowly and inexorably crushed. Yes there would be a wasteland left and many innocent lives lost but the end result would be worse. A more repressive, autocratic, militaristic ruler.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    Mediaite.com highlights an Anderson Cooper segment about a professor at FAU who questions what happened at Sandy Hook Elem. The professor has a blog and a timeline of the events. Unfortunately, the professor didn’t find it necessary to wait until the police release their own timeline. As we know during a tragedy of there is a lot of confusion about what is happening.
    kooks are gonna be kooks

  16. 16
    Disco says:

    Yeager did NOT say he was going to start shooting people. He said he would start KILLING people. Go back and watch the original video.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    I question the judgement of anyone who thinks that a collection of small arms is enough for a meaningful resistance against a military with vastly superior numbers, weapons, organisation, and training. And the sincerity of one who claims expertise in weapons training based on fake credentials.

    @dr. bloor:

    Wonder what Ratliff’s last thoughts were?

    Ratliff was shot before he could use one of his weapons to defend himself. He probably didn’t have any time for last thoughts

  19. 19
    Jeff(the other one) says:

    @Chet: Well the problem wasn’t taking– the problem was holding,and we have found that even in relatively sparsely populated lands, people come out of the woodwork to fight you when you do take…

  20. 20
    Linda Featheringill says:

    The guy who made the Pack Your Bag video:

    I see that the State of Tennessee has revoked his gun licenses. Does that mean they will demand that he give up his weapons? And if he doesn’t comply, will they try to go in and take them?

  21. 21
    Robin G. says:

    Isn’t storing up arms and threatening violence against your government… um… rebellion?

    (Side note: I’d love to see the response if the dude in that video was wearing a turban.)

  22. 22
    different-church-lady says:

    @Chet: We didn’t really want Iraq or Afghanistan in and of themselves.

  23. 23
    cathyx says:

    They need these guns to defend themselves against all the other guys like themselves.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    I thought I had read that the Ratliff thing was suicide but this story indicate it was a murder. If it was somebody had it in for him pretty bad and is probably not a gun control advocate. Who did he piss off in the gun nut world?

  25. 25
    different-church-lady says:

    @Robin G.: Let’s remember that the guys who wrote the second amendment were the rebels just a few years earlier.

  26. 26
    4tehlulz says:

    @Chet: I think the military might do a bit better crushing insurrection at home than occupying a country halfway across the world.

    But you can take that chance they won’t if you want.

  27. 27
    IowaOldLady says:

    These guys confuse “tyranny” with being outvoted.

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    @IowaOldLady: Yes, that’s exactly it.

  29. 29
    Tokyokie says:

    @Amir Khalid: He was probably thinking he was safe as houses because he had a large arsenal for self-protection.

  30. 30
    Rex Everything says:

    I can’t believe these assholes. That Yeager clown said “If it goes one inch further, I’m gonna start killing people.” WTF is he talking about? NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE!! “One inch further” than what?

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @Rex Everything: One inch further than mentioning it. He’s in panic mode.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Maybe he was having an affair with another gun nut’s assault rifle?

  33. 33
    the Conster says:

    It’s all just manhood anxiety because they’re starting to see their loserdom, and gun=pen!s. White American males are the biggest threat to democracy there is, which is why sharia law is one of their bogeymen – they don’t want the competition.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @the Conster:

    White American males are the biggest threat to democracy there is

    I love you too.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    When someone starts talking about the need to have an arsenal to guard against “tyranny” or “confiscation of our guns” we need to pay close attention to how they define those words.

    You don’t really need to pay close attention before the crazy inevitably pops out.

    While getting ready for work this morning, I had early morning conspiracy nut talk radio on. A woman from Canada called, bemoaning the horrible gun control in that country. She admitted that even the people she feared most, scary ethnic Somali, Jamaican and Vietnamese gangbangers, largely kept their violence to themselves. Undaunted, she still managed to ratchet up her hysteria and find a reason for her concerns.

    Apparently, the Chinese have a secret plan to occupy all the property they have bought up in the West. And when they come knocking, they expect the Canadian and US governments to make it easier for them by confiscating all the guns of ordinary citizens.

    These people don’t fear tyranny. They have a free floating anxiety that they desperately need to attach to elaborate fantasy scapegoats, along with the delusion that having a gun will somehow make them safe from the monsters that they have created out of their own fantasies.

  37. 37
    Trakker says:

    @Schlemizel: Very good argument, and I may use it, but I suspect you get the same fury in return I get from those folks whenever I use similar analogies and facts. Guns create something very close to addiction in some people and it should scare us.

  38. 38
    martha says:

    OK, so I’m assuming we all realize that the actual percentage of households in the US that own guns was at 32% in 2010 and, based on the declining trend of 20 years will hit…27% pretty soon!!

    When I read all the breathless reporting of gun sales I keep wondering who’s doing the buying. It’s the same crazies who already own them, not the rest of us. Or normal people who hunt deer or birds the old fashioned way and know the crazies are making them look bad.

    Fun facts, discovered on Google, on a Saturday morning. Yes, I’m avoiding chores, why do you ask?

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....ics/60071/

  39. 39
    gbear says:

    When someone starts talking about the need to have an arsenal to guard against “tyranny” or “confiscation of our guns” we need to pay close attention to how they define those words.

    The comments in your second link contain a link to the Rachel Maddow Show where Rachel is talking about exactly what ‘guarding against tyranny’ means. Fortunately the link passes over some footage of Alex Jones. When you realize how old this clip is and how nothing has changed, you will be very sad. It sounds like it could have been aired last week.

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    @Trakker:

    If you read history there is an exact parallel with the slavery issue. Slavery rights people saw every attempt to not expand the reach and power of slavery as a threat to them personally. Fort instance, they talked a lot about State Rights but went to the USSC to prevent states fro outlawing slavery and the forced return of escaped slaves. Attempts to limit the area slavery could be practice were met with open violation, armed invasions of Central American countries and arm insurrections in the West. Only a total devotion to, acceptance of and devotion to slavery was permitted.

    That pretty much described the todays gun nuts

  41. 41
    Tokyokie says:

    When it comes to gun ownership, I pretty much side with Groucho Marx, when he famously said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member,” inasmuch as the only people I trust to own firearms are those who don’t want them.

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: Why are you looking for reasoning in an an angry, unhinged rant?

  43. 43
    Petorado says:

    The fact that these gun nuts feel that without their guns they are weak and impotent people is a telling sign. Isn’t it obvious to them that they are covering up some personal issues with all their cold steel and lead?

    One of the worst things about this nation’s gun problem is that people who are strongly anti-social, scared to death of their fellow countrymen, paranoid about self-government, and feeling completely out of control of their lives unless they have the power to readily kill someone are branding themselves as true Americans and patriotic. Nothing’s further from the truth.

  44. 44
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m noticing a new topos among the gun “rights” supporters. They now identify with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Now they jump into the thread to commend the brave resistance AGAINST THE U.S. ARMED FORCES in Iraq and Afghanistan. If these people aren’t domestic terrorists, I’m a monkey’s uncle.

  45. 45
    different-church-lady says:

    @Petorado:

    One of the worst things about this nation’s gun problem is that people who are strongly anti-social, scared to death of their fellow countrymen, paranoid about self-government, and feeling completely out of control of their lives unless they have the power to readily kill someone are branding themselves as true Americans and patriotic…

    …and that there’s a massive industry leveraging all of it for profit.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Hrm, I guess that explains why the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were over so quickly.

    What do you think is easier to organize, resistance against an invading power or rebellion against an existing government?

  47. 47
    GregB says:

    Most of these assholes are petty thugs without any real convictions whatsoever.

    They revel in the idle threats.

    After watching and being disgusted by Zero Dark Thirty I wonder if these same nitwits that were cheerleaders for torture would be shocked and saddened if said techniques were used on their treasonous, insurrectionist asses?

  48. 48
    pillsy says:

    I remember back during the ’90s, a lot of gun nuts were absolutely convinced that the FBI deliberately massacred the Branch Davidians because they had stockpiled a lot of weapons. They claimed that this mean that they needed to stockpile weapons to protect themselves from the Federal Government.

    These folks aren’t really big on thinking things through.

  49. 49
    JohnK says:

    Guess the polite society thing didn’t work out so well for Ratliff. Getting shot is dead is quite impolite. Yeager probably won’t be able to leave his house because people will be so impolite, Taking his carry permit is like the most impolite house armory arrest ever.

  50. 50
    cmorenc says:

    @gene108:

    Of course, since conservatism cannot fail, they blamed the failure of Bush & Co. on their non-conservative agenda items like Medicare D.

    The real hard-core conservative verdict on George W. Bush is that his Presidency was a failure – because he wasn’t a true conservative. With Medicare part D as but exhibit #1 of many. This verdict is rooted in one of the fundamental axioms of conservatism: conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed by those who depart from it.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    You guys.

    You are using the words think and reason with people who can do neither.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @cathyx:

    They need these guns to defend themselves against all the other guys like themselves.

    Ratliff needed those guns like he did another hole in the head.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    I sent that Yeager clip to a friend of mine and said, “Hey! Why didn’t you tell me you moved to TN?”

  54. 54
    aimai says:

    @martha:

    Yes, we do realize that. But that just means that the market, from the point of view of the extremely powerful gun lobby, is highly concentrated and highly motivated and needs to be protected because when that 27 percent shrinks further you have to be able to sell a larger number of guns to them in order to keep your profits up. This issue was discussed in other threads–with the natural downturn in the hunter population due to the erosion of a real rural life/hunting connection–the arms manufacturers have essentially had to turn the gun from a tool into a lifestyle accessory. This is identical to the shift big pharmaceutical companies made a few years ago from trying to cure actual diseases (expensive, problematic, requires lots of research and testing) to creating and marketing drugs to previously considered healthy people: depression, weight loss, sex pills, hair loss. You can sell the same thing over and over again to an addict once you strip away the use value.

    aimai

  55. 55
    Rafer Janders says:

    Keith Ratliff, who hosted a popular YouTube channel devoted to guns, including videos like “Top Three Weapons to Survive the Apocalypse”, met his end violently on January 3, shot in the head in his office, where he stored his many guns and rifles.

    Is it wrong that I laughed when I read that?

    Well, if it is, I don’t want to be right.

  56. 56
    handsmile says:

    @Rex Everything:

    I suspect “inches” matter quite a lot to a guy like Yeager. He’s been worried about them since puberty.

  57. 57
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady: What’s really interesting, and revealing, is that they don’t show any need to appear reasonable to themselves.

    The guy is clearly upset because public opinion on guns is changing, because horrific recent events have made as strong a case for gun control as can be made. But he just jumps right into “persecuted” mode without even a false pretext.

    It’s kind of impressive. He could wind up on trial for murder based on a straw man argument, but he doesn’t even bother to construct the straw man.

  58. 58
    Rex Everything says:

    @handsmile: FTW.

  59. 59
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Schlemizel:

    And nobody, anywhere cried “They are trying to take away my car!”

    Wrong: they totally did that. Wingnuts have been around for a while.

  60. 60
    Maude says:

    @aimai:
    Pharma also updates older drugs and sells them. What a scheme.

  61. 61
    aimai says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Agreed: and they are still doing it. People who get their lisences denied for drunk driving are always crying (in their beer) and wailing that they can’t function/work/enjoy without being able to drive. And they are often quite correct. There are many places in this country where not owning a car and not being able to drive is a nearly terminal condition. Its one reason why elderly people fight so hard against being re-certified as they get older because car loss is social death. But we address this as a society by asking people to move into areas with good public transportation, take taxis, ride share etc… because if someone is not competent to handle their car they need to not be driving–they have to take the hit, not society.

    aimai

  62. 62
    Trakker says:

    @Schlemizel:

    That pretty much described the todays gun nuts

    Yes, even today the Confederates still live, dying to re-fight the war between the states with their arsenal of high-powered firearms.

    But there is something else going on with guns. I used to work in a professional office where everyone had degrees and worked on interesting projects that required research and fact finding and an open mind, but there was a small core of gun fanatics and guns was one subject, in fact the ONLY subject, that would set these rational guys off! Their eyes would get wide, their nostrils would flare, and their voices would rise whenever gun control was mentioned. I’ve seen the same thing in other normally quiet, mild mannered, (mostly) males. It’s truly frightening at times.

  63. 63
    S Z says:

    Watching FPSRussia’s latest video, where the presenter ‘Dmitri’ AKA Kyle comes within a couple of feet of being impaled by a car door, I wonder if Ratliff’s killer was a Health and Safety nut.

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    No. Sure they whined about Nader (“Unsafe At Any Speed”) and government intrusion and the usual blah blah blah but nobody ever suggested that making cars safer = car confiscation. Heck there was a pretty strong strain of “seatbelts actually make you less safe” sort of BS going around. So wingnuts then? Yes but no fear of confiscation.

    Part of the reason I tossed those bits about road design was to show it wasn’t all about cars & it isn’t all about guns. There are many things that can be done to make the country safer.

  65. 65
    gogol's wife says:

    @Trakker:

    I’ve seen this too. It’s scary. They turn into a different person.

  66. 66
    Schlemizel says:

    @Trakker:

    Yeah, I have seen the exact same reaction in my circles. Its a mental disorder I can’t explain.

    I used to hunt, I do shoot & I own guns but I have never developed that last bit, the dangerous one. No idea why. Heck, I was an NRA member back in the 70s, mostly because of the million dollar life insurance policy they provided. I quit sometime in the late 70s because I thought they were going nuts. I didn’t know it at the time but its obvious now that their goal is to sell more guns and the operate as the marketing arm of the manufacturers. Being a GOP shill is secondary, but critical, to that goal but they work very hard to elevate fear and paranoia as a way to sell more and more guns.

  67. 67
    cathyx says:

    I wish someone who understands psychology would write about this personality type and what makes and motivates this kind of person to behave this way.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @Schlemizel:

    No. Sure they whined about Nader (“Unsafe At Any Speed”) and government intrusion and the usual blah blah blah but nobody ever suggested that making cars safer = car confiscation.

    Seatbelt and helmet laws, even the need to have a license, often set off the wild wingnut, who will start foaming at the mouth over these assaults on his or her precious liberty.

    The gun nut wanking over the 2nd Amendment is very similar to this.

    @Trakker:

    Their eyes would get wide, their nostrils would flare, and their voices would rise whenever gun control was mentioned. I’ve seen the same thing in other normally quiet, mild mannered, (mostly) males. It’s truly frightening at times.

    To be fair, this sounds much like guys arguing over which sports team is best, or politics, or most anything else that guys get excited about.

  69. 69
    Schlemizel says:

    Just found this Tom Paxton gem, “Buy Your Son A Gun”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WphNO24h9nA

  70. 70
    Trakker says:

    @Brachiator:

    To be fair, this sounds much like guys arguing over which sports team is best, or politics, or most anything else that guys get excited about.

    Good point, but the mere mention of hated sports teams rarely sets guys off every time they hear it. Yes, I’ve seen some who respond to political issues in this manner, and now that I think about it, it is usually those on the right who respond quickly and angrily whenever anyone brings up an issue they hate…like gun control.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    John Fremont says:

    @Brachiator: I recall growing up the 1970’s rants about the passage of mandatory liability auto insurance laws among the older guys in my neighborhood. ” Man, why are they making me buy insurance, I’m a good driver!!!”

    Also too, the insurance industry came in for even more hate for actually charging higher rates on young guys driving “muscle” cars. That and the oil crisis combined to bring the muscle car era to an end with the Big 3. I liken some of these firearms to muscle cars, if you really need to own well you’ll be charged more for it.

  73. 73
    John Fremont says:

    @Brachiator: I recall growing up the 1970’s rants about the passage of mandatory liability auto insurance laws among the older guys in my neighborhood. ” Man, why are they making me buy insurance, I’m a good driver!!!”

    Also too, the insurance industry came in for even more hate for actually charging higher rates on young guys driving “muscle” cars. That and the oil crisis combined to bring the muscle car era to an end with the Big 3. I liken some of these firearms to muscle cars, if you really need to own well you’ll be charged more for it.

  74. 74
    kindness says:

    The sarcasm in the comments over at the dead gun nut post site are delicious. Very biting. No doubt Wayne LaPierre will announce the cruel Obama had something to do with it.

    Humor is a funny thing. Especially when I find something like this…well funny.

    Irony.

  75. 75
    JenJen says:

    @JPL: Just finished reading that article over on Mediaite. The comments section is profoundly disturbing. Far too many people say Sandy Hook never happened, Lanza doesn’t exist, the entire thing was set up by the government to set the stage for a gun grab, the parents are all actors, etc.

    At least you could laugh at the teabaggers and their whacko conspiracy theories, but some of these gun cultists are sick fucking fucks. :-(

  76. 76
    julie says:

    Did he commit suicide?

  77. 77
    Ryan C says:

    @different-church-lady: Not just one industry. Don’t forget the right wing media echo chamber stirring up the paranoia.

  78. 78
    Chet says:

    So now imagine a US that looks like those two places . . . is that the nation you want to live in?

    The nation I don’t want to live in, I guess, is the one where only the biggest and strongest sociopaths win every single fight. I’m largely coming around to the view that gun ownership should be banned for men but mandatory for women.

  79. 79
    lucslawyer says:

    I found the ratliff story to be…satisfying.

  80. 80
    Lee says:

    One thing you might want to point out about those crying about tyranny is that they want guns to shoot soldiers and policemen.

    Keep pointing that out over and over again, their reactions never get old :)

    You’re welcome.

  81. 81
    Edo says:

    @Corner Stone: He certainly got enough of both.

  82. 82
    dsale says:

    @cathyx: It’s been a while since I read “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altenmeyer, so I don’t recall whether a fixation on weaponry is one of the symptoms he discusses. I recently read “Going Postal” by Mark Ames, which has an interesting perspective although it treats mass shootings from a sociological rather than a psychological stance.

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