Don’t Go Changing to Try and Please Me

neverchange
Alice Ollstein is live tweeting the Senate gun safety hearings, and in this ever-changing world, it’s nice to see that Wayne LaPierre remains a solid touchstone of gun insanity.

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146 replies
  1. 1
    Cassidy says:

    I told someone at drill the other day that instead of worrying about his guns, he should just stop being a pansy. I’m not making friends on this topic.

  2. 2
    peorgietirebiter says:

    Sen. Grassley’s opening statement was depressing. Focus on video games and Obama’s signing statements. He understands and shares the fear of tyranny. The new sherriff’s a blah. Just shoot me.

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    There’s a young white woman on the panel, didn’t get her name, who is for choice.

    Choice of high-powered military grade weapons for young women, who must protect their toddlers against home-invading thugs.

    Because women are at a size disadvantage, you see, and the fact that this woman is holding an assault weapon will give her confidence in that situation. She has frightened young children in the room with her.

    If you think I am making this up, check out the transcript of this hearing, once it’s up.

    She’s sitting next to Wayne LaPierre even now.

  4. 4
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    You know the one thing that I always baffle at when the ‘when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!!’ and ‘criminals will always get guns!’ crap?

    How many of these criminals start out as being legal, upstanding citizens in the eyes of the law until they suddenly aren’t? How many guys who do criminal acts still manage to get these things legally anyhow, simply because the acts haven’t been connected to them yet? How many people are law abiding until the fateful day that they just crack?

    Fact of the matter is ‘criminals will always get guns’ assumes that there’s a stark dichotomy between ‘upstanding citizen’ and ‘thug and maniacs’. There isn’t always. You have folks like the guy who blew away some immigrants misdirected by their GPS, who presumably was seen as a law abiding guy until he fired those shots.

  5. 5
    RSR says:

    “School Shield” armed guard program would benefit gun lobbyist/private security firm director Asa Hutchinson and is yet another way to extract public dollars out of the education system.

    two birds with one gun, etc, etc

    http://www.bluestemprairie.com.....giant.html

  6. 6
    scav says:

    Our Patron Saint of the 24-7 Firefight For Freedom™, his acolyte will no doubt appear soon locally.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: Interesting approach. Confronting the person’s masculine insecurities by challenging his masculinity.

  8. 8
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @peorgietirebiter:

    I hate the ‘videogames/movies/blahblah are to blame’ shit too. Far too often, those things are only glorifying or reflecting things that we’re already inundated with to begin with. War, guns, gangs, underlying crazy and hypocrisy…all there, just exaggerated, most folks are still able to retain the split between fact and fiction than

  9. 9
    TooManyJens says:

    Wayne LaPierre is single-handedly destroying the pretense that the NRA is any kind of reasonable negotiator that needs to be consulted on legislation. It’s been a long time coming.

    Go play, Wayne, the adults are talking.

  10. 10
    PeakVT says:

    We need to get LaPutz his own TV show or something. With a bigger supply of rope he could easily hang himself several times a week.

  11. 11
    scav says:

    There’s also the little tidbit that mental health records should be univerally public not quite vibing with their meltdown over publishing where gunowners are. They’re not even pretending to have any logical consistency over GUNZ GOOD!

  12. 12
    beth says:

    Jeff Sessions just earned his NRA paycheck. It’s all Obama/Eric Holder’s fault. Those blahs just refuse to enforce the guns laws we already have. After pointing out that murder and gun violence are down, he pulls out statistics that federal gun prosecutions are down but doesn’t seeem to see any correlation between them. LaPierre wholeheartedly agreed with everything he said but Seesions didn’t give the police chief a chance to respond. Asshole.

  13. 13
    shortstop says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Exactly. It’s not escaped me that many of the people who claim most strenuously that “only thugs will have guns if guns are outlawed” are about four beers or two really stressful days away from a massacre.

    There’s also this: Anyone bent on killing someone, knocking over a liquor store or beating up his/her partner is unlikely to be deterred by laws against these acts. And yet, no one is suggesting that we just make murder, robbery or domestic abuse legal because hey, what’s the use of banning them when people are going to do this stuff anyway?

  14. 14
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    I’ve been told that since I write mysteries and thrillers in which people are murdered with guns and good guys use guns to stop them, I should just STFU on the subject.

    *headdesk*

  15. 15
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    I see Wayne listed on some blogs as “executive vice-president” of the NRA, and other places as “CEO”. So is it possible to be a CEO but vice-president? Who’s the president of the NRA?

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TooManyJens: Please proceed, Wayne.

  17. 17
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: Oh yeah. The gun will be taken from her hands and used against her and children. She’s an idiot. AR-15 or not, unless she can wrestle the thug, she’s probably toast.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: … assumes that there’s a stark dichotomy …

    Well, most conservatives (and far too many liberals) can only think using concepts that are stark dichotomies. Shades of gray are too tough from them to handle.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @Elizabelle: Clearly, that woman needs one of these for home defense.

    You know, just in case she has to defend her toddlers against a kamikaze bomber.

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    @beth:

    Yeah, Sessions asked less questions than any previous Senator.

    Although the Baltimore County police chief countered that local gun prosecutions are not down. Makes you think Sessions was cherry-picking.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    @Punchy: from your TPM link:

    “An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon. And the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home, with her children screaming in the background, the peace of mind that she has…”

    Yeah, there’s some peace of mind there.

    You can’t make this crap up.

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Who’s the president of the NRA?

    Often some celebrity figurehead (e.g. Charlton Heston). Right now, it appears to be a guy named David Keene who based on his Wikipedia article is a movement-conservative apparatchik.

  24. 24
    jp7505a says:

    The mentally ill have no right to privacy. The rest of us have no right to be protected from an angry man with a gun. But the 2nd amendment grants absolute power to the gun owner.

    See how much easier it is by reducing the constitution to it’s basic function – the 2nd amendment

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home,

    Anyone want to guess as to the last time that normal people had to worry about a home invasion featuring five violent intruders simultaneously? I’m going to go with either bandits on the Western frontier in the 1870s or possibly a gang of Civil War deserters a decade earlier.

    Unless, of course, our brave witness is actually a mafia kingpin (queenpin?) and she’s worried about being attacked by a rival family.

  26. 26
    Boots Day says:

    Remind me again: Why should our government care what Wayne LaPierre thinks about anything?

  27. 27
    handsmile says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    David Keene is currently the NRA President. Until 2011, he was the chairman of the American Conservative Union.

    And here’s a fun little item about Mr. Keene that not enough people know about. His son is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for firing a loaded weapon during a “road rage” incident in 2003.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....56268.html

    And perhaps not as much fun, but still: his ex-wife was convicted in 2011 of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars while serving as administrative director of the ACU. Yes, indeed, David Keene is a moral exemplar whose views on public policy should command attention.

  28. 28
    Origuy says:

    @dmsilev: David Keene’s son, David Michael, got a 10-year sentence for firearms violations during a 2002 road rage incident.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    @dmsilev: They seem to be unable to distinguish their own lives from what is shown on the telly or at the multiplex.

  30. 30

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
    I used to play a lot of Call of Duty, back when it was actually playable.

    If teen boys learned how to shoot real guns from playing that game, they’d just camp out in the bathroom and shoot people as they walked in.

  31. 31
    eemom says:

    Don’t Go Changing to Try and Please Me

    if ever there was a ground for justifiable — nah, never mind.

  32. 32
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: As I was told, she’d be better off with a pump-action shotgun. You don’t have to aim it perfectly (you can shoot from the hip), the pumping sound often is enough to stop another’s action, the round goes into the person and not the walls of the next building (hurting someone unintentionally), etc.

    If your home is invaded by three, four or five thugs, they will probably have guns themselves and be far more ready to shoot you before you have the chance to shoot, unless you start shooting first.

    They don’t think these things through for ramifications and repercussions.

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    How do you debate with people who believe that real life is the same as a movie?

  34. 34
    bemused says:

    Durbin asked the fight against tyranny question and LaPierre didn’t disappoint in his answer.

  35. 35
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Elizabelle: I watched her in disbelief. She was introduced as the founding partner of some D.C law firm Too bad they didn’t mention her client list. Unfortunately, these people are very good at what they do. Their arguments seem reasonable on the surface, dramatic anecdotes and statistics that are less than meaningless when put in context.
    How about the researcher implying Utah’s void of school mass murders is related to the state allowing teachers with concealed carry permits being allowed to tale their guns to work?
    Callin them out as shameles whores is too kind.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    From the dweeb academic from some Denver law school re large magazines:

    “And citizens protect themselves the same way that police officers do.”

    Yeah, right.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    Five cheers for the Baltimore police chief.

    And LaPierre, the academic apologist, and that “peace of mind” hysteric are not making their points as well as they think they are.

    They’re all point and laugh caricatures.

    Now up: Huckleberry Hound.

  38. 38
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Isn’t Wayne’s entire mission to get more guns sold? He’s basically a guns salesman — nothing more, nothing less. Not sure why anyone pays attention to him. Of course, he’s against any type of gun control.

  39. 39
    DFH no.6 says:

    Seems I’m somewhat a contrarian on this topic around here.

    Not that I don’t believe Wayne LaPierre is an ass (obviously he is), the NRA is very much a net negative organization (and one of the main reasons guns are so prolifically out of control in our fair land), and certain new gun control regulations (ok, the current euphemism is “gun safety”) like closing gun show loopholes on things such as background checks wouldn’t be both sensible and effective (they would be).

    Hell, I wish we’d repeal the stupid fucking 2nd Amendment and find a way short of civil war to remove the vast, vast majority of privately-held guns in America, so we would be more like Western Europe when it comes to gun violence.

    I’d gladly turn in my .357 revolver under such a regime.

    But that’s not going to happen, not in essentially forever, IMAO.

    So in the meantime (on just one area under discussion, for instance) why not have police presence at public schools, if the community of those schools chooses that (so, you know, freedom)?

    Plenty of inner city schools already have that, along with metal detectors and other such security measures. Because the potential danger is recognized and (somewhat, anyway) dealt with.

    Plenty of other schools not in the inner city have cops (with guns – this is America) around, too.

    Not a stupid idea, even if Wayne LaPierre is suggesting it (yes, I know, his “suggestion” goes well beyond that).

  40. 40
    MattR says:

    @handsmile: @Origuy: Of course, David Michael Keene was a law abiding citizen up until that road rage incident.

  41. 41
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, it could be efficient. In some fashion.

  42. 42
    bemused says:

    Lindsey is using that same story of the woman who successfully shot an intruder that has been sailing around the rightwing sites like crazy recently. If there were so many instances of guns warding off intruders, why do they always use just this one example. It’s probably safe to say that the number of successes are far less than the number of murders/suicides within homes and families with no intruders involved.

  43. 43
    Bostondreams says:

    @DFH no.6:

    I’m all for a police presence in schools, honestly, but these folks seem to be arguing more for a civilian type private contractor presence.

  44. 44
    celticdragonchick says:

    @shortstop:

    There’s also this: Anyone bent on killing someone, knocking over a liquor store or beating up his/her partner is unlikely to be deterred by laws against these acts. And yet, no one is suggesting that we just make murder, robbery or domestic abuse legal because hey, what’s the use of banning them when people are going to do this stuff anyway?

    One, beating your spouse or robbing a store are intrinsically evil and harmful acts that deprive other people of property and inflict pain.

    In our current corpus of law (and IANAL, so YMMV) I note that it is difficult to deprive people of property that they have lawfully purchased and maintained without incident. In other words, taking guns away from people who have done nothing to deserve the confiscation gets problematic in many areas and is often almost universally ignored (like the assault rifle ban in California where compliance was estimated to be in the single digits percentage wise).

    So, all you accomplish is creating a new class of criminals who did not exist before and who were doing nothing intrinsically harmful to begin with, to say nothing of actually increasing their paranoia and stoking resentment that could actually lead to harmful events (like protracted shootouts with police sent to gather the now contraband weapons, possible guerrilla actions or low intensity conflict).

    One of the real concerns that non gun owning progressives fail to appreciate on the other side is that many, many gun owners actually see weapons owning and maintenance as a God given (or natural) right that exists outside of any document and that cannot be taken away by men any more than rights to religion and freedom of conscience can be taken away Attacking this view is pretty much like attacking somebody’s religion. It does not work, and in fact leads to entrenchment…and, depending on the severity and nature of the attack, can result in violence (which will be seen as defensive in nature by the acting party.)

    Gun bans will simply not work… not because of lack of will as you seem to suggest but because they are inherently unenforceable in a society as individualistic and suspicious of government as ours (which violate a major tenant of law making right off the bat–don’t pass laws you cannot enforce).

    If you want to enforce a significant gun ban, you are going to be merging police and law enforcement in a way that makes posse comitatus obsolete and you will be risking actual civil war as major parts of the country that do not agree with you decide to go their own way.

    Like I already said…you are for all intents and purposes attacking a religious belief, and they will not yield on it for your convenience.

    I think we get back to seeing two, very different and utterly incompatible visions of America. One tends to progressive utopianism in that passing laws can bring a desired social change, and the other is a libertarian dystopia where Hobbesian ethos holds that “covenants without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.”

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    @DFH no.6: No one ever said it was a “bad” idea. The bad idea is having armed citizens hanging around at schools when they’ve got nothing better to do just to be a prescence and maybe a sexual predator or two on the side, but eggs and omelets, etc, or having teachers packing heat as they teach the ABC’s. No one has said that having a police prescence at schools is a problem. This is not what LaPierre is suggesting either.

    As a parent, I have no problem witha trained police officer being at my child’s school to protect and serve and keep the peace. As a parent in Clay County Florida, I have a huge problem with Joe Bob Hickshit hangoing out at my kids school with his AR15 protruding off his back, his belly protruding off his front, and his knowledge of employing the AR15 not protruding from anywhere because he never bothered to learn in the first place.

    Secondly, this “solution” is being offerred in lieu of a real solution which is to remove the guins from our country. It’s a distraction from the real problem: gun fetishism.

  46. 46
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Boots Day: Oh, that one’s easy! Lobby proceeds. Period.

  47. 47
    TooManyJens says:

    @DFH no.6: I don’t think anyone’s claiming that communities shouldn’t be able to have a police presence in their schools if they choose (though how much this would make students safer vs. criminalizing them is debatable). We just object to the idea that that’s the only possible answer because we can’t do anything about guns. Yes, we can.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Lindsey Graham is fear-mongering. Interesting to me he had to go to Georgia for an example of residents defending themselves from home invaders. Homeowners shot from the closet they were hiding in.

    And now on how to protect one’s self when society breaks down, in the aftermath of an earthquake. He brings up the Korean store owners during the Rodney King riots. (Weren’t they mostly using shotguns?)

    Lindsey does not want home invasion victims, especially women defending their children, to run out of bullets. He just said it. And he’s a self-described reasonable man who’s going to oppose this legislation.

    A reasonable man, up for re-election against crazies in a SC primary next year.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    @DFH no.6: I have mixed feelings on this mostly because I have concerns about the way it would actually be implemented and paid for.

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    @celticdragonchick: I take issue with one point. The gov’t is not creating a new class of criminal. I had this debate the other day with a classmate. You, the individual, are choosing to be a criminal by not complying with the law.

    As for the rest of it, fuck’em. I’m don’t giving a flying monkey fuck what these sick perverts think and feel.

  51. 51
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Elizabelle:

    (

    Weren’t they mostly using shotguns?)

    Yes, although I have heard (proceed with caution) that some also used Chinese SKS rifles.

    Impossible to verify at this point without photo or video evidence.

  52. 52
    Paul says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    You know the one thing that I always baffle at when the ‘when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!!’ and ‘criminals will always get guns!’ crap?

    It amazes me that they keep repeating this garbage when it is so easy to disprove. Hell, if it was true, then all the outlaws in France, Germany, Iceland or wherever would have guns and run rampant killing people.

    Well, needless to say, when you make it more people for everybody to get a gun, then it is more difficult for everybody to get a gun. And that’s the whole point.

  53. 53
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @dmsilev:

    Anyone want to guess as to the last time that normal people had to worry about a home invasion featuring five violent intruders simultaneously?

    The witness was relaying an “actual” incident were a young mother, while on the phone with 9-1-1′ shot and killed an intruder brandishing a large hunting knife. According to the story, two large men broke down her front door in an attemt to steal her dead father’s prescription meds. The second man fled. Once again, a dramatic anecdote that smells a little fishy. I’d like to hear the rest of the story.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    There’s Gayle Trotter with her “right to choose” for women again.

    Sheldon Whitehouse put her on the spot. The weapon an actual woman used to defend herself in Trotter’s example would not be banned under proposed legislation.

    Trotter gave him a a tour of the founding fathers’ Virginia and called him a “large man”. (To snickers.)

  55. 55
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    One of the real concerns that non gun slave-owning progressives fail to appreciate on the other side is that many, many gun slave-owners actually see weapons slave-owning and maintenance as a God given (or natural) right that exists outside of any document and that cannot be taken away by men any more than rights to religion and freedom of conscience can be taken away.

    Fixed it for you to provide some historical context for the beliefs of this group.

    And yes, I’m a gun-owner.

  56. 56
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cassidy:

    I take issue with one point. The gov’t is not creating a new class of criminal. I had this debate the other day with a classmate. You, the individual, are choosing to be a criminal by not complying with the law.

    Do you choose to be a criminal when you are exercising a right extended by God? That is how the other side views it, and what you fail to appreciate.

    Let’s take it from another perspective:

    Are you a criminal in 1972 North Vietnam if you are caught practicing Roman Catholicism? According to the state at the time…yes. You are off to the re-education camp for doing something that you (I assume) and I would consider an inalienable human right and not subject to the whims of the state.

    Criminalizing an activity considered to be a fundamental human right by the practitioners (and make no mistake, many people consider gun ownership a fundamental right no less than free speech and religion) will always, always backfire. The activity in question becomes entrenched and persecution only validates it, which convinces people to fight even harder.

    I think you can see where this leads to, and it isn’t good.

  57. 57
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Cassidy: The privatization is a featurure not a bug for these people. They’ve been trying to transfer public money into their own pockets for a long time.

    The other thing that concerns me is that this would be nothing more than a massive paramilitary organization, composed of wingnuts with guns with strong connections to the fringe right. The last time I recall an organized bunch of armed civilains with far right political sympathies who were used ostensibly to ‘keep social order’, they all wore brown shirts.

  58. 58
    PurpleGirl says:

    @DFH no.6: Columbine High School had an armed guard when the shoot up occurred. The guard was out getting lunch when Klebold and Harris began their attack.

    Should every school have two guards, so they take turns taking lunch?

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: There was only so much Trotter that I could listen to. After her large man comment, I turned it off.

  60. 60
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Paul:

    …criminals will always get guns

    And birds are gonna fly, drunks are gonna drive drunk and banks are gonna get robbed.
    Laws are clearly a waste of taxpayer’s money.

  61. 61
    Paul says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So, all you accomplish is creating a new class of criminals who did not exist before and who were doing nothing intrinsically harmful to begin with, to say nothing of actually increasing their paranoia and stoking resentment that could actually lead to harmful events (like protracted shootouts with police sent to gather the now contraband weapons, possible guerrilla actions or low intensity conflict).

    Well, then don’t break the law. BTW – this is nothing new. People are in jail for using drugs. Some for more than 10 years. Isn’t that a special class of criminals?!

    Heck, there are people in jail for DWI. Isn’t that a special class of criminal?

    Again, obey the law.

    One of the real concerns that non gun owning progressives fail to appreciate on the other side is that many, many gun owners actually see weapons owning and maintenance as a God given (or natural) right

    I laugh every time I hear people claim that it is their “God given right to own a gun”. Yes, I am sure God would approve of you owning something that is designed to kill another human being. I am sure God was kidding when he put out the “thou shalt not kill” commandment. I find it insulting to bring in God into this.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    Senator Amy Klobuchar:

    I’m a former prosecutor. I believe in evidence.

  63. 63
    celticdragonchick says:

    @trex:

    One of the real concerns that non gun slave-owning progressives fail to appreciate on the other side is that many, many gun slave-owners actually see weapons slave-owning and maintenance as a God given (or natural) right that exists outside of any document and that cannot be taken away by men any more than rights to religion and freedom of conscience can be taken away.

    Owning slaves is an intrinsically evil act. Slaves are people with autonomy who are harmed when deprived of it (I could say a great deal more here, but I would use language that is more appropriate to my time in the army. I was in a production of the Vagina Monologues and I participated in the monologue concerning the comfort women, who were sex slaves taken by the Japanese Army in WWII. This is something that gets my blood boiling very quickly)

    Owning guns or other weapons is not intrinsically evil in of itself, as weapons are not moral actors and are inanimate. Since things like swords, dirks and handheld firearms (not artillery or crew served weapons like missiles etc) have long been a normal item of private property in this culture. Taking them from people who have done nothing before the fact to justify the taking simply does not work in this culture, and would be resisted. This would only lead to additional bloodshed and deterioration of the bond between the law and the society it is supposed to serve.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Do you choose to be a criminal when you are exercising a right extended by God? That is how the other side views it, and what you fail to appreciate.

    Sorry, we’re supposed to bow down to the wishes of crazy people … why, again? Because they really, really believe the crazy things that they believe?

    I’m pretty sure that enabling someone’s paranoid delusions is not the best way to help them return to mental health.

  65. 65
    johnny aquitard says:

    @celticdragonchick: Who the hell is talking about taking everyone’s guns away?

  66. 66
    MattR says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Do you choose to be a criminal when you are exercising a right extended by God?

    Yes. Yes you do. You may view it as justified, but you are still choosing to break the law.

  67. 67
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Paul:

    Well, then don’t break the law. BTW – this is nothing new. People are in jail for using drugs. Some for more than 10 years. Isn’t that a special class of criminals?!

    I have no doubt that was what people told civil rights protestors who had the dogs set on them in Alabama.

    Hey, if you don’t want your face chewed off, don’t break the law, right?

    By the by, how is that whole War on Drugs thing working out anyway? We now have the highest concentration of people incarcerated on the planet, and can now point to an actual prison industrial complex that funnels kids right out of high school into the cell blocks.

    As firmly as you think the people on the other side are paranoid gun nuts, they think you are a statist (I do get sick of that adjective, truly) gun control nut who has no respect for property rights and would use the coercive power of gun wielding police to enforce your own social policies.

    Therefore, you must be resisted. With force if necessary.

    Do you see where this simply will not be a fruitful path to pursue?

  68. 68
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cassidy:

    No one ever said it was a “bad” idea. The bad idea is having armed citizens hanging around at schools when they’ve got nothing better to do

    Well, actually, there was a lot of pushback from the gun control side on the suggestion of police stationed at schools.

    Some of that critique was (sensibly, I thought) along the lines of, “Teatards don’t want to pay taxes, so who’s paying for more cops at schools that the NRA is calling for?”.

    Some of it was just (understandable) revulsion at the thought of needing to have armed guards at our schools (even though many schools right now have exactly that).

    I agree wholeheartedly with you that having Joe Citizen Gun-nut prowling around Ronald Reagan Elementary with his cyanide-tipped armor-piercing bullets just itching to waste some bad guy is a very stupid idea.

    So is arming janitors or teachers (if you want armed guards at your school, fucking hire the police).

    And it is, as you say, offered in lieu of a real (comprehensive) solution. It’s only a very small, partial “solution” to kids being shot at school, and doesn’t do much to address the large amount of actual non-school gun violence in America.

    Nor does banning AR-15s or high-capacity mags, for that matter (the vast majority of gun deaths and injuries in America are via handguns, with semi-auto pistol mag capacity being pretty irrelevant). Which makes me contrarian (I think of it as being reality-based, but YMMV).

    That real, comprehensive solution – remove the guns from our country, as you said (making us like Western Europe, as I said)?

    Not happening.

    The America that would do that does not exist, and will not, perhaps not ever.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Do you see where this simply will not be a fruitful path to pursue?

    So we’re not allowed to implement any new gun laws, any new regulations, or any kind of buy-back program, because it will only trigger the paranoids. In fact, what you’re saying is that we’re not allowed to do anything different at all because it will set them off.

    I hope you have enough money to buy your son body armor to wear with his school uniform, because if we’re not allowed to change anything about the current gun regime for fear of setting off the paranoids, that’s pretty much your only hope of protecting him from the next Newtown shooter.

  70. 70
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MattR:

    Yes. Yes you do. You may view it as justified, but you are still choosing to break the law.

    Given that understanding, please explain how we then had the right to try Goering, Himmler et al after WW II for the Holocaust. They established laws as they saw fit and prosecuted those laws, even if that meant that 6 million people died in the camps as a result.

    If Natural Law (as understood by our own Founders) is not really relevant (correct me if I am misreading you) and the Prince or the State gives legitimacy to the law by virtue of being, then you not only undo the entire body of work underpinning war crimes and crimes against humanity, you also dispose of any justification we (or anybody else) had for our Revolution.

  71. 71
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sorry, we’re supposed to bow down to the wishes of crazy people … why, again? Because they really, really believe the crazy things that they believe?

    And that is exactly what they are saying about you right now.

    Verbatim.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @celticdragonchick: It’s not that I don’t fail to appreciate it, it’s that I don’t care. For one, being an atheist, I don’t care about your mass dementia given rights. They don’t exist in my view. Secondly, we live in a society and if you want to live in that society, you have to live by its rules. Period. This is not up for discussion. And, you have to live in such a way that you are not endangering others. Now, while they may equate the two, practicing one’s religion and hoarding firepower are not the same thing. I get what you’re trying to say, but it’s false equivalence. I’m not going to entertain “beliefs”; you have fact and fiction, that’s it.

    I realize that I’m not speaking to you or your beliefs, but addressing what you are assuming they believe. personally, you give them too much credit. There is no deeper meaning to this. They are selfish narcissists (conservatives) who believe that they should be allowed to do what they want, when they want, and fuck the rest of us for being in the way.

  73. 73
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Taking them from people who have done nothing before the fact to justify the taking simply does not work in this culture, and would be resisted.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am in agreement with your analysis of the sociological phenomenon at play, I’m just trying to flesh it out, to wit: there is a segment of society that does not believe they have to follow the law or the Constitution when it comes to their guns. They make their claims based on a lack of knowledge of firearm history, the law, and the Bible. And because we have already allowed them to be armed there is fuck all we can do about gun violence in our society because they will kill us if we try.

    Yes, slave-owning is intrinsically evil, but the slave-owners didn’t see it that way. They felt it was their god-given right because their very security, prosperity, and way of life depended on it. My point is simply that people make arguments to god-given rights all the time – to use drugs for religous or recreational purposes (not intrinsically evil) to not pay taxes (not intrinsically evil) and on and on – and we don’t allow it, because we are a society of laws, not men.

    Your framing of the issue buys into the gun nut argument: that someone is going to “ban guns.” Well, this is impossibile politically, as legislation to ban all guns would never pass, and impossible legally, as the Supreme Court has already ruled otherwise. And there is nobody of any influence suggesting that all guns be banned.

    But REGULATING the ability to purchase and carry certain firearems would go a long way towards mitigating violent massacres, and that means semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines and a dozen other possible measures. And the original Assault Weapons Ban didn’t take any guns out of circulation whatsoever – so no poor wingnut got jacked out of their hard-earned purchase – it just banned the sale and import of certain weapons.

    But what I hear you saying is that at this point, we have such a large percentage of people with no respect for the law or the Consitution that even such weak tea as reinstating the assault weapons ban would prompt an armed rebellion. And I sorta hear you defending it.

    So I would just offer this: there is a large overlap between this group of gun-owners and those who simply don’t believe liberal or Democratic administrations are “legitimate,” and who have been talking themelves into armed rebellion since Clinton was elected. Do we simply allow this group to sink legislation by fiat and continue to build paramilitary aresenals, only to have them one day decide they’re going to “take their country back” by force because another liberal president tried to further expand access to healthcare?

    Because that’s what comin’ if we do.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Ah, yes, because crazy people are the only sane ones, and John Hinckley was right and all the naysayers who told him he was crazy were wrong when he thought he would win Jodie Foster’s love by assassinating President Reagan.

    You sure got me there.

  75. 75
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So we’re not allowed to implement any new gun laws, any new regulations, or any kind of buy-back program, because it will only trigger the paranoids. In fact, what you’re saying is that we’re not allowed to do anything different at all because it will set them off.

    Most gun owners ignore buy-backs or regard them with amused contempt.

    As far as I can tell, most gun owners have little problem with universal back ground checks (the NRA is misreading their own membership here, I think)

    They have a lot of problems with universal bans and confiscation, which you seemed to be advocating last night. That will not work in this country. Period. You might as well try to ban Evangelical Christianity.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    Once again, Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech applies:

    The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

    These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

    I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way. Most of them would probably say to us, “Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery.” But we do let them alone – have never disturbed them – so that, after all, it is what we say, which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.

    Until we agree to arm every citizen and send our kids to school in body armor, the gun nuts will continue to insist that everyone who’s not with them is against them and come up with a dozen rationales why Gawd says they should have as many guns as they want.

  77. 77
    Paul says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    As firmly as you think the people on the other side are paranoid gun nuts, they think you are a statist (I do get sick of that adjective, truly) gun control nut who has no respect for property rights and would use the coercive power of gun wielding police to enforce your own social policies. Therefore, you must be resisted. With force if necessary. Do you see where this simply will not be a fruitful path to pursue?

    So you are saying that just because a crazy group of selfish people refuse to compromise the rest of us should just suffer?

    With that mindset slavery would still be legal.
    With that mindset, women would not be allowed to vote.
    With that mind set, we would never have installed Medicare and social Security.

    etc etc…

    Two days ago an idiot with a loaded assault rifle entered a Kroger’s in Charlotte. Scared customers ran from the customer and police was called. The idiot was a gun loving nutcase who just did it because he supposedly had the right to do it. One customer was interviewed who said his 6-year old daughter was frequently crying and had a nightmare from the experience.

    I understand you care about the crazy’s right to harass everybody else. What about the poor six-year old’s right to a normal day?

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So nothing can be done, and we must let the slaughter of schoolchildren continue:

    “We all saw how beautiful he was. He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth there was no mouth left. His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don’t talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night.”

    Oh, wait, is it now unfair for me to talk about the reality of children’s bodies being blown apart by high-powered ammunition instead of abstractly talking about someone’s “right” to own the weapons that ripped a child’s jaw off his face?

  79. 79
    MattR says:

    @celticdragonchick: I am not arguing whether the laws are just or whether people should be obligated to follow them. I am pointing out that choosing not to follow a law for whatever reason is choosing to be a criminal.

  80. 80
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, yes, because crazy people are the only sane ones,

    How exactly do you define “crazy”??

    A substantial number of people in this country have markedly different notions than you on how society works, and they may actually outnumber you. Yet, you choose to write off millions of your countrymen as “crazy: rather then actually try to understand just why they reach different conclusions then you have reached.

    About the best thing I can say of this is that you are lazy, but it is dangerous in the long term to our national polity. The knee jerk response to belittle, demonize and caricature the “other” is ultimately corrosive and dehumanizing. It leads to failure of policy and failure of society, and I am probably as guilty of it as you are as well as most people. That does not excuse either of us.

    Those people you are calling “crazy” are nothing remotely of the sort. They may be wrong on the merits of the argument, or not. They may be frightened without justification (which I think is the case). They may have very different life experiences from you which lead to their own convictions.

    None of this make them crazy.

    You probably know that I am a transgendered woman. An awful lot of people who do not know me well, have called me crazy, Satanic, perverse, sick, disgusting, unfit parent etc etc etc etc.

    The “crazy” label substituted in for “I don’t know you and I think you are strange” has been used against me for years, and I resist using it against other people.

  81. 81
    Paul says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Given that understanding, please explain how we then had the right to try Goering, Himmler et al after WW II for the Holocaust. They established laws as they saw fit and prosecuted those laws, even if that meant that 6 million people died in the camps as a result.

    They were prosecuted for war crimes and thus the international community had the right to prosecute them.

  82. 82
    Honus says:

    @dmsilev: we need to stop letting the NRA frame this as a constitutional issue and invoke the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with self defense. The Second Amendment in no way and has never been interpreted by any court to confer a right of armed resistance to government authority. It’s expressly stated purpose is to preserve government authority (“the security of a free state”). This needs to be the reply every time they say “Second Amendment”

  83. 83
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You have destroyed me for the rest of the day.

    I hate these gun nuts with the fire of a thousand suns.

    What a beautiful, beautiful little boy. This is killing me.

  84. 84
    DFH no.6 says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Columbine High School had an armed guard when the shoot up occurred. The guard was out getting lunch when Klebold and Harris began their attack.

    You may be right about the out-to-lunch thing.

    I remember something about him actually getting some shots off at them, but he didn’t hit them (not surprising – that’s hard to do).

    The (main) point of an armed guard is to prevent someone with bad intent getting in, not to get into a fire-fight.

    How effective is that, really, in the schools (such as in the inner-city) who have police guarding the entries?

    I don’t know. Maybe no one could give an evidence-based answer to that. My guess is it’s probably kept some of the gun violence in “the streets” rather than in some high schools.

    But, yeah, sure, 2 guards (policemen). Why not, if that’s what the community chooses?

    Much better than arming janitors, or allowing teachers to pack, if you ask me.

  85. 85
    Maude says:

    @Honus:
    Your comment made me think of the Whiskey Rebellion.

  86. 86
    Paul says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Those people you are calling “crazy” are nothing remotely of the sort. They may be wrong on the merits of the argument, or not. They may be frightened without justification (which I think is the case). They may have very different life experiences from you which lead to their own convictions. None of this make them crazy.

    Two nights ago at a Newton city hearing the parents of one of the dead children testified. While he testified he was heckled by gun nuts. You don’t think this is crazy behavior? If not, how fricking selfish can these people be?

    Or the example I have above:
    Two days ago an idiot with a loaded assault rifle entered a Kroger’s in Charlotte. Scared customers ran from the customer and police was called. The idiot was a gun loving nutcase who just did it because he supposedly had the right to do it. One customer was interviewed who said his 6-year old daughter was frequently crying and had a nightmare from the experience.You don’t think this is crazy behavior? If not, how fricking selfish can these people be?

    “My” rights are above a poor defenseless six-year little girl.

  87. 87
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh, wait, is it now unfair for me to talk about the reality of children’s bodies being blown apart by high-powered ammunition instead of abstractly talking about someone’s “right” to own the weapons that ripped a child’s jaw off his face?

    I recall watching a documentary presentation of a forensic examination of several bodies in Japan. All had been butchered by a man with a Samurai sword several hundred years ago. They were a family of a man (who had died trying to defend the family with his own sword), a woman and a child. The damage done to them was unspeakable. I have seen pictures of a grave of a Norse woman, where you could see that her head was stove in by an axe.

    If you are looking for a society where children are not killed in gruesome and horrific ways, you will search in vain forever. I wish that were not so.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    How exactly do you define “crazy”??

    I define it as “middle-aged men who think their Bushmaster AR-15 is going to protect them against government intrusion.”

    I also define it as, “People who take their loaded rifle out for a stroll around Kroger’s.”

    I also define it as, “People who testify before Congress that they need an assault rifle in case they have to defend their children against a home invasion.”

    I also define it as, “People who think we should drill our children in what to do in case a shooter starts killing people at their school instead of trying to keep guns out of the hands of people who will start shooting schoolchildren.”

    I also define it as, “People who tell us that we can’t possibly change anything about our current gun regulations because it might make paranoid gun owners act on their paranoia.”

    I’m sorry, but I am beyond the point where I am willing to continue to coddle gun owners and feed their paranoid fantasies. You are enabling the murders and suicides of your fellow citizens, and it frightens me that you don’t give a shit about any of that as long as you can satisfy your childish fantasies that a gun will always keep you safe.

  89. 89
    gogol's wife says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    You are so disingenuous you are making me literally nauseated.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So why have laws against murder? After all, people are always going to murder each other and have been doing it for thousands of years and laws haven’t done anything to prevent it.

    Why have laws against child abuse? People have been abusing and murdering their children for thousands of years, so why try to prevent it?

    In fact, why have any laws at all, since people will always break them? Just give every child a gun as soon as they’re old enough to walk and they’ll be able to defend themselves against an attacker or an abusive parent. Problem solved!

  91. 91
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So what I hear you saying is that by even DISCUSSING means of regulating firearms in order to improve public safety we have already gone too far, according to the gun religionists, and we can only pray that they don’t rightly retaliate for our crime by attacking us.

    And your pleading with us is meant to quiet us on this matter so we don’t get the rebellion we deserve for talking about gun safety. You’re hiding us in the closet shushing us while the men with guns stride about our house drunkenly, in a mood to kill, metaphorically speaking.

    I mean, let’s just get at what you’re really saying: we are being held hostage by perfectly reasonable people who just may be right about their extra-constitutional claims to unfettered gun ownership and we better shut up because they have guns and we don’t.

    No sense beating around the bush.

    NB: not all liberals live in a cultural vacuum. I know these people as well, a great many of them, and while they may not be “crazy” (though some are) they certainly tend to have paranoia and other emotional issues when stressed, and the one thing they most certainly are is uninformed and misinformed about the politics and policies of the day, which makes them armed AND untethered to reality.

  92. 92
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Paul:

    They were prosecuted for war crimes and thus the international community had the right to prosecute them.

    No international criminal tribunal had ever convened before, and many of the crimes were declared as such after the fact (which led to some real problems with the convening authorities, since virtually nobody allows for ex post facto prosecutions)

    That forced the prosecutors to rely on Natural Law arguments (getting back to Hobbes) in that nature bestows rights that the State or a Prince cannot take away no matter how many documents they publish saying they can. No state can give itself the right to arbitrarily exterminate millions of people.

  93. 93
    El Cid says:

    If crimes are outlawed, only outlaws will commit crimes.

  94. 94
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So why have laws against murder? After all, people are always going to murder each other and have been doing it for thousands of years and laws haven’t done anything to prevent it.

    We have gone over this. Murder is an intrinsically evil act that deprives a person of his or her life without justification. Merely owning a gun is a morally neutral act, since guns are inanimate and are not moral actors.

    I have errands to run, so I will see you all tomorrow or the next day. I appreciate that we have had a respectful and thoughtful discussion here. That would not have been the case with the Freepers, as you all know. :)

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    We have gone over this. Murder is an intrinsically evil act that deprives a person of his or her life without justification. Merely owning a gun is a morally neutral act, since guns are inanimate and are not moral actors.

    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”

    Also, fuck you, you moral midget. Come back when you have something to offer other than the same platitudes and excuses we’ve heard from murder apologists like you since Newtown happened. Is that fucking respectful enough for you?

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    Moar gunz. The answer to gunz must necessarily be moar gunz. For ever and ever, amen.

    Up next: arming school bus drivers.

    On Tuesday afternoon, a man boarded a school bus in Midland City, Alabama, shot the driver, and took a 6-year-old boy to his underground bunker, where he was still holding the child early on Wednesday morning. NBC News reports that the man boarded the bus and demanded two children between the ages of 6 and 8. When the bus driver refused, the man shot her four times and snatched the boy. “The one child he got a hold of actually fainted,” said Mike Creel, a neighbor who talked to the other children. “That was the reason he was able to grab him. And now he is hidden in his homemade bomb shelter.”

    Creel says his neighbor moved in about two years ago and immediately started building the underground room. Authorities are negotiating with the suspect through a PVC pipe, and Alabama State Troopers, a SWAT team, and FBI agents have been called to the scene. They say the child appears to be “okay” but the situation is “delicate.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....stage.html

  97. 97
    Cassidy says:

    @gogol’s wife: I won’t click. I don’t want to cry today.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    Yes, but obviously the guy could have stabbed the bus driver with a samurai sword, so we can’t blame the easy availability of guns.

  99. 99
    celticdragonchick says:

    I guess I was too early about the respectful part, sadly.

    Also, fuck you, you moral midget. Come back when you have something to offer other than the same platitudes and excuses we’ve heard from murder apologists like you since Newtown happened.

    Wow.

    There is nothing like a feeling of self righteous anger to wipe away any hint of humanity , compassion or understanding. In this, you are every bit as bad as the people you rail against, and you cannot even see how much damage it does to your own arguments. You cannot be bothered with finding solutions, because you prefer to scream…not only at your opponents but even at the folks who agree with you on most of what you say.

    I should be surprised, but I confess I am not. You are the mirror image of what you hate, and that is a universal human failing.

    I wish you well. I am sorry that you are so upset today. That was not my intent.

  100. 100
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, it’s amazing that your argument of “fuck you, because children” hasn’t convinced, you know, everybody.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Didn’t you know? None of that matters because children were murdered in medieval Japan, so celticdragonchick can keep her binky without a twinge of conscience. After all, it wasn’t her child who was murdered, so who cares?

  102. 102
    Paul says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Merely owning a gun is a morally neutral act, since guns are inanimate and are not moral actors.

    I took a criminology class back in college. Using a gun is many times more likely to kill somebody compared to a knife or somebody’s hands. Hell, it is designed to kill.

    I assume since as you phrased it “guns are inanimate and are not moral actors” you would be fine with kids playing with loaded guns then…

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I wish you well. I am sorry that you are so upset today. That was not my intent.

    Gosh, I can’t imagine why your minimizing the death of 20 schoolchildren and 6 of their teachers and telling us that we can’t possibly do anything to prevent future slaughters would be upsetting to anyone.

    I guess I’m just being foolish and emotional for thinking about the human cost of gun violence instead of looking at numbers and statistics and things that happened hundreds of years ago in medieval Japan and sagely agreeing that nothing can be done, so let’s just make sure our kids wear their body armor when we take them grocery shopping.

  104. 104
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is completely incomprehensible to me. I have no children. But when I see things like that father’s face yesterday, or that little boy’s face you linked to, I am completely torn to pieces. And it’s all so senseless, so ridiculous. The country is screwed. They truly think they have a God-given right to own as many guns as they please and do whatever they want with them. The guys who wrote that Bill of Rights are spinning madly in their graves.

  105. 105
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Fact of the matter is ‘criminals will always get guns’ assumes that there’s a stark dichotomy between ‘upstanding citizen’ and ‘thug and maniacs’.

    Yes, it’s certainly confusing until you realize that it’s all about “white is right”. Then it makes perfect sense. Also, all that talk on ‘nutter boards about the coming race war.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Hey, you and CDC have already convinced me with your arguments: there is no such thing as a “responsible gun owner” because they’re all paranoids on the verge of snapping, so all guns should be banned.

  107. 107
    DFH no.6 says:

    @trex:

    But REGULATING the ability to purchase and carry certain firearems would go a long way towards mitigating violent massacres, and that means semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines and a dozen other possible measures.

    A ban on semi-auto pistols (the weapons used in most massacres in America in recent history) is not being proposed by anyone with any power or influence.

    That’s because the most common types of guns out of the 300+ million guns in America are semi-auto pistols.

    The ban on semi-autos proposed right now is on assault rifles, like the AR-15 (a re-ban, back to the lapsed Brady bill, essentially). Like the one used, horribly, at Newtown (but not the other recent massacres).

    Banning “high capacity” magazines (say, on something more than 10 bullets) would possibly help reduce the number of deaths and injuries in future massacres (forcing the evil/crazy person to re-load more). Reducing that by even one person would be a good thing, obviously.

    But “go a long way towards mitigating violent massacres”?

    Sadly, I don’t think so.

  108. 108
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Gosh, I can’t imagine why your minimizing the death of 20 schoolchildren and 6 of their teachers and telling us that we can’t possibly do anything to prevent future slaughters would be upsetting to anyone.

    I did no such thing. You wanted to find offense, and of course you were able to. You always find that sort of thing when you really want it.

    Newtown aside, children have been killed in unspeakable ways throughout human history, and that will continue, in all likelihood, as long as our species persists.

    If you want some real sleepless nights, look at photos from the Rape of Nanking. I had no idea it was actually possible to rape a person to death.

    Personally, I have a low threshold for this sort of thing and I do not want to spend the rest of the day crying on the couch for something I cannot change. I saw the pictures of the children being led from the school and that was quite enough.@Paul:

    I assume since as you phrased it “guns are inanimate and are not moral actors” you would be fine with kids playing with loaded guns then…

    Why would you assume that? Morally neutral is nothing at all the same thing as advisable or smart.

    There was nothing morally wrong with the concept of living near Mt St Helens, which is what some old crotchety guy named Harry Truman was doing with his collection of cats back in the late 70’s.* That didn’t stop his body from reaching about 800 degrees centigrade when a pyroclastic flow paid him a visit.

    *Insomuch as he didn’t endanger other people doing it.

    I will see you all later.

  109. 109
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @DFH no.6: You never thought of the message that sends to the kids?

    All that security isn’t really for the kids’ benefit. They’re not being kept ‘safe’. They’re under a police state regime because the community has internalized a notion that their young people are li’l thugs who need to be kept under control.

    Are the drug sniffing dogs running around searching lockers intended to keep the kids ‘safe’ too?

    Security at schools beyond that provided by dedicated custodians, school deans–other personnel on the property keeping strangers off of it–is bullshit.

    This crap gets ramped up the poorer the families the kids come from. Hardly a shocker when some of these kids decide to stop going to school at all.

    Maybe if there was less fucking inequality in the US we wouldn’t need guards at schools.

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    Does this recent scenario from New Mexico sound at all familar? Perhaps an echo of events in the faraway wealthy Connecticut suburbs?

    Clearly, the very presence of guns (pbut) can never be a problem unto itself. Guns have magical properties on all who acquire them or are even near their awesomeness–the ability to instill a sense of calmness and responsibility. Frankly, I don’t know why people say we don’t have a national religion when we have these. Also, too, hurray for homeschooling.

    Houston said that Griego had waited for his mother to fall asleep before gaining access to her unlocked bedroom closet to obtain an AR-15, a .22 rifle and two 12-gauge shotguns. Some of the weapons had been purchased by the father through private sales, the investigation found.

    “The teen told authorities after killing his family he reloaded his weapons so that he could ‘drive to populated area to murder more people,’” KRQE reported. “He expressed a desire to shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement.”

    But the teen instead decided to spend time with his 12-year-old girlfriend before driving to Calvary Church, where his father had once been a pastor. A church security guard eventually called police, who discovered the bodies at the home.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....-shooting/

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Elizabelle: Graham like most rich SC’ers either lives in a gated community or in a really snobby section of Charleston with more police than a typical SC community and a security system.

    Putting tons of weapons in desperate peoples’ hands will never affect him.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Personally, I have a low threshold for this sort of thing and I do not want to spend the rest of the day crying on the couch for something I cannot change. I saw the pictures of the children being led from the school and that was quite enough.

    And yet it was not enough for you to be willing to do anything to try and prevent it from happening again.

  113. 113
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @celticdragonchick: Newtown aside, children have been killed in unspeakable ways throughout human history, and that will continue, in all likelihood, as long as our species persists.

    What about the fact that child mortality rates are plummeting?

    What about the fact that the murder rate has dropped steadily for hundreds of years?

    If you want some real sleepless nights, look at photos from the Rape of Nanking. I had no idea it was actually possible to rape a person to death.

    So you’re going Godwin on this thread? Cute? You know what happened after that? The Geneva Convention. Unlike how you imagine things have “always been”, the world changed its mind after WWII and countries who were not friends got together and agreed to no-go areas for warfare.

    Now it’s been around long enough myopic people like you take it for fucking granted, so you have dipshits like the last GOP administration trying to fuck with the Geneva Convention or at least circumvent the spirit of the agreement.

    You know something is working when dumbasses think it’s a fucking good idea to take some screws out of the apparatus because “we don’t need them” and “it’s always worked so it always will” (and even “things won’t be so bad without it”–hm, anti-vaxxers, I’m looking at you).

  114. 114
    trex says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Agreed. I stand corrected. It would be a small measure, but a measure nonetheless. It just feels like a lot because the position of the pro-gun side, if I understand CDC correctly, is that we’re lucky they ain’t just killed us yet for having the temerity just to DISCUSS regulation of firearms.

    @celticdragonchick: I would respectfully ask you to comment on my characterization of this issue at as hostage-taking at comment #91. Also, it may interest you to know that appeals to natural law were the chief arguments of slavers, while by contrast your critique of slavery appeals to Christian ethics and therefore undermines your defense of the gun religionists, for want of a better term to describe them. In other words, you’re appealing to a double standard to make your argument.

  115. 115
    Another Halocene Human says:

    PS: Anyone who wants to minimize the kind of violence that was endemic in Europe before the 20th century (the popular but rather inaccurate “the 20th century was the most violent epoch evarrrreleventyonezors!” thesis) should just spend some quality time in old European prisons… dungeons… case-mates… they have various names. Holes where people are sent to be tortured, be forgotten about, and die. Political prisoners. People the local duke owed a debt to that he didn’t feel like paying. Captured soldiers whose paymaster didn’t have enough dosh to ransom them out, or who didn’t care. Uppity lower class sorts one needs to make an example of.

    The horrid military prisons in 18th century US forts seem light and airy and sanitary by comparison.

    There’s a lovely little church in the volcanic region of France with implements of torture bolted to the outside wall. People used to make offerings there to Our Lady to request mercy for their relatives in prison.

    I guess it’s true. Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.

  116. 116
    shortstop says:

    Just back to this thread. So much that could be said (and thanks to those who pointed out that it’s the breaking of the law, not the nature of the crime, that’s relevant in my original comment here), but I’ll stick with this:

    @trex: I too would like to see CDC address trex’s excellent summation at #91 of her position. Based on her extremely creepy and astoundingly unstable performance in this thread, I do not think she’s going to.

  117. 117
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what you’re trying to do here: you’re trying to help avoid civil war that an armed contingent of society is just itching to start because…they hate liberals, their excuse being that one day liberals may limit or or more of the types of weapons they may might enjoy purchasing.

    And all we have to do to avoid being attacked by the people with the guns is to shut up about guns forever and just live with the constant gun violence and regular massacres, and maybe even give in further to the Hobbesian view and abandon firearm regulations whatsoever: open carry for everyone, no gun free zones, and unlimited arsenals and ammo for all.

    Unless I’m mischaracterizing your view, in which case I apologize and invite you to clarify.

  118. 118
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    You never thought of the message that sends to the kids?

    I’ll re-iterate what I responded above to PurpleGirl (in regards to Columbine/police at schools):

    The (main) point of an armed guard is to prevent someone with bad intent getting in, not to get into a fire-fight.

    How effective is that, really, in the schools (such as the inner-city) who have police guarding the entries?

    I don’t know. Maybe no one could give an evidence-based answer to that. My guess is it’s probably kept some of the gun violence in “the streets” rather than in some high schools.

    But, yeah, sure, 2 guards (policemen). Why not, if that’s what the community chooses?

    I am, actually, somewhat conflicted about this, because I, too, am not happy about a “police state”.

    However, I am also not naïve about the dangers of many inner-city areas (which are, in fact, where most gun violence in America occurs). I grew up in one.

    Whether or not police guarding schools (inner-city or suburban) has a net positive (‘keep the children safe”) or net negative (“kids get the message that they’re likely thugs”) effect I couldn’t say for sure. I’d guess more likely positive.

    And drug-sniffing dogs in schools? I think pretty much the entire “War on (some people who use some) Drugs” is tragic folly, so no, not for it.

    Finally, I think the number of poor kids dropping out of school because Officer Bob is at the front door giving the stink-eye to all the li’l thugs is vanishingly small. Much more (mostly, in fact) caused by shitty home lives and a shitty cultural milieu that denigrates or at least de-values education. Which stems, yes, from poverty.

  119. 119
    kerFuFFler says:

    @bemused:

    If there were so many instances of guns warding off intruders, why do they always use just this one example. It’s probably safe to say that the number of successes are far less than the number of murders/suicides within homes and families with no intruders involved.

    I’ve read that successful defenses from burglars by gun wielding home-owners number about 200 a year as compared with 32,000 deaths overall from gunshots in the US. I don’t know how many of those are suicides or other murders and accidents within the household, but you can be sure it’s a hell of a lot more than 200. (I don’t remember where I ran across that ‘200’ figure unfortunately and perhaps it not reliable….)

    Many gun owners seem to fantasize about the successful home defense scenario, and look forward eagerly to repulsing “attackers”. That old fart who shot the young guy for pulling into his driveway by mistake had probably been waiting for years to shoot someone, and in his eagerness, forgot to actually assess whether or not there was any danger. Imagine his dismay that he is not being hailed as a hero, but instead being dragged off to jail. (From his picture he looked quite old—–could he be suffering from Alzheimers? Is there any policy in place for removing guns from the homes of Alzheimers patients?)

  120. 120
    bemused says:

    @kerFuFFler:

    Fantasies fueled by panic…a lethal combination.

  121. 121
    celticdragonchick says:

    @trex:

    I am back from my necessary trip, and you wanted me to reply to this comment.

    So what I hear you saying is that by even DISCUSSING means of regulating firearms in order to improve public safety we have already gone too far, according to the gun religionists, and we can only pray that they don’t rightly retaliate for our crime by attacking us.
    And your pleading with us is meant to quiet us on this matter so we don’t get the rebellion we deserve for talking about gun safety. You’re hiding us in the closet shushing us while the men with guns stride about our house drunkenly, in a mood to kill, metaphorically speaking.

    I was accused of much the same thing over at The Agitator (a libertarian site that investigates police abuses) when I suggested that social welfare safety net programs were meant to stabilize society. The general consensus was that I was advocating for teh armed gubmint agents stealing their hard earned John Galt tax dollars to keep the moochers from raping, murdering and stealing everything in sight.

    Civilization is just that, in a way. It actually exists as a check on the Hobbesian nightmare that lurks just beneath the surface of everyday existence. Back in the 30’s there was actual Senate testimony to the effect that if some sort of farm and property relief was not forthcoming, then armed uprisings and National Guard responses were only about 6 months away. There are numerous documented cases of armed citizens chasing off bank agents from repossessed properties.

    If I have to pay for welfare and medicaid as a check against this…I am good with that, even if I did not agree with the moral case to be made for a safety net (I do happen to agree with the moral argument for it).

    Now, I am not trying to shush here. I am trying to encourage an understanding of what the other side believes as well as the unintended consequences can be if they are not understood. The term gun religionists is probably apt, and it illustrates the difficulty of merely using legislation (say, banning guns and confiscating them) to deal with a problem when the people the legislation is aimed at will consider themselves morally bound to do the opposite of what you intended. When people feel they have a social and religious duty or dispensation to act a certain way, all the laws in the world are probably going to fail to dissuade them if history is any guide at all.

    In this case, I think that trying that sort of thing in this society would be an example of the cure being worse then the disease and I strongly doubt that the United States as we know it would survive the experience.

    We are stuck with the society that we have, which is not necessarily the one we would want, and that means we have a lot of neighbors who also think we are the sick, crazy stupid people who need to be shut away. (I get sick and fucking tired of being called a statist gun grabbing Nazi fellating boot licker for suggesting that universal background checks and registration and licensing of gun owners -as opposed to guns- might be a good thing.)

  122. 122
    Gloryb says:

    @johnny aquitard: I know, right?
    Why is there this assumption that some kind of confiscation is inevitable?
    Assuming facts not in evidence!

  123. 123
    Cassidy says:

    @celticdragonchick: Here’s the thing, none of that matters. It doesn’t matter what they think or why they think it. What matters is they are wrong and harmful to society. They can believe little blue men are going to fly hear from Pluto on spaceships made of blue cheese to take their guns and in their warped little minds it’s still “OBAMA! DEMONCRATS! LIBTARDS! SOC!ALISM! TYRANNY! TREE OF LIBERTY! COLD DEAD HANDS!”.

    They make no sense and they are not reasonable people.

    The reality is that they want the right to hoard guns so they can commit treason if they feel they can justify it enough and they don’t need that much justification. I am not going to accept that as a reasonable foundtion for a debate.

  124. 124
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cassidy:

    So where does that get us, given that they probably feel exactly the same about you (or me for that matter although I do happen to own a number of guns) and will not comply with whatever you want them to do?

    Prohibition was tried out with alcohol and it failed spectacularly. People basically ignored it and continued buying alcohol and giving money to criminals who were willing to supply it. That is a major facet of the American character…and few people even remotely have the same attachment to beer as many true believers have to the idea of I am a free man with my gun.

    Susan Faludi wrote the book Stiffed awhile back that describes the kind of male resentment and grievance that were see now and that has manifested in this kind of Second Amendment absolutism.* She has received her share of flak on this book, but the problem is real enough.

    *and I say that as someone who does think that the 2nd Amendment was intended as an individual right. As others have noted, it was not at all meant to give you the tools to overthrow the government. On the contrary, the average male citizen was expected to serve in the militia and maintain his weapons for monthly drill and inspection (I am a Revolutionary war re-enactor in a militia unit). The Founders were nervous (for good reason) about keeping a large standing army and sought to balance what they called an “engine of tyranny” with a formal force of citizen soldiers who could be called upon at need. These militias were part of the actual defense structure…not half assed yaahoos dreaming of rebellion.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So, nothing can be done, and the massacres continue. Heigh-ho, I guess I’ll go put little Jimmy’s body armor on so he can go to school.

  126. 126
    Larv says:

    @celticdragonchick:
    We are stuck with the society that we have…

    This is where I have to disagree with you. Society can and does change. For one, we are a dramatically less religious society than we were even fifty years ago. And while there are a lot of reasons for that, governmental action has something to do with it. Once we got serious about enforcing the separation of church and state and religion wasn’t as much a part of daily life, religiosity declined (Yes, I’m simplifying). I don’t see why something similar can’t happen to the Church of the Holy Firearm. The current congregation may be beyond changing, but there are things that can be done to potentially reduce the number of new adherents. Hell, I’d be happy with just a reversion to earlier doctrine. The current focus on the worship of pistols and tactical weapons is a relatively new phenomenon in Gunism, after all.

  127. 127
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: well, look on the upside. With the full embrace of that logic, the mere ubiquity of coat hangers will mean abortion is unregulated and the existence of homosexuals in long-term commited relationships will negate any efforts to legislatively define and restrict marriage!

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    Remember when black people were given civil rights without anyone having to die for it? Or how gay people were granted their rights out of the goodness of straight people’s hearts and never had to riot or face violence?

    Good times, good times.

  129. 129
    bemused says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Why are you so worried about male resentment and grievance?

  130. 130
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Larv:

    Society can and does change.

    Social mores can change over a relatively short period of time (decades or even less)

    The nature of a society itself (communitarian Puritans in New England vs individualist Scots-Irish in Appalachia and the South)…I am not sure about that.

    I think you are looking at centuries along with an influx of outsiders to do what you are thinking of.

    For one, we are a dramatically less religious society than we were even fifty years ago.

    That needs citation. Sociologists I have read suggest we are in another one of our interminable Great Religious Awakenings, although possibly on the down slope.

  131. 131
    celticdragonchick says:

    @bemused:

    Maybe because I used to be male.

    Also, mass shooting types tend to be male.

  132. 132
    bemused says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    It’s true males are predominately the perps. How does that fact prevent us from doing anything about our swiss cheese gun regulations?

  133. 133
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Thank you for your response. So what we can agree on is that my characterization was fairly apt: drunken men with guns in a mood to kill holding us hostage in our own homes.

    In this case, I think that trying that sort of thing in this society would be an example of the cure being worse then the disease

    See, here’s the thing: the devil is in the details, and you keep glossing over them. Under which situations below will the righteous Hobbesianists kill us?

    1) Universal background checks (which, if you can believe polling, something like 75% of NRA members support)

    2) Reinstution of the assault weapnons ban just as it was, taking no guns out of circulation

    Well, really that’s about it, because no other gun control is even remotely politically feasible in the current political climate.

    I ask because your diplomatic defense of the gun religionists’s views aside, these are very, very weak and reasonable measures to try and tame gun violence. And if this group isn’t willing to accede to these measures were they passed into law, then frankly, they belong in jail, their vaunted anti-statism notwithstanding, and that’s where the conversation needs to go.

    And let’s be honest, I mean really, really honest: these aren’t Washingtons and Jeffersons and Franklins harried with the noble burden of standing up to a state that has become tyrannical because of their deep philosophical grounding. These are Bubba and Billy Joe and his crooked brother the local sheriff who have every freedom imaginable, and are just pissed because the legistlative bodies in this country are talking about limiting their access to miliary-style weapons that can spit bullets at three per second, and that’s threatening their perceived manhood.

    I say that because I have met them – I’ve met them in person in small towns, I’ve spent years debating them online – and when arguing any issue and inevitably losing on the facts they resort to screaming “Obama is a socialist and a Muslim and a traitor!” and then they threaten to take up arms against our lawful government. In short: the majority of them are ill-informed seditionists.

  134. 134
    Mike Lamb says:

    @celticdragonchick: You’ve completely and totally lost the plot on this. There is no other interpretation of your arguments other than “no one will comply, kids have been getting murdered in grisly fashion for millennia, therefore why bother?”

  135. 135
    Mike Lamb says:

    And oh by the by, we just had a shooting today at law firm in Phoenix where at least 3 people were hit. I find this particularly interesting as I am an attorney and the shooting was less than a mile, as the crow flies, from my house.

    So fuck these gun nuts and their religious hard-ons for their fucking guns.

  136. 136
    Larv says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I think you are looking at centuries along with an influx of outsiders to do what you are thinking of.

    Considering this country has a constant influx of outsiders, I don’t think that’s a problem. And Hispanics, currently the largest group of immigrants, are considerably less concerned about gun rights than whites are.

    As far as centuries, pffft. Gun fetishism isn’t genetic, we don’t have to breed it out. I think you vastly underestimate the kind of change that can happen in one or two generations, given the right conditions. Attitudes about race, religion, and health in this country are quite different today than they were in living memory. Fifty years ago there were threats of widespread citizen’s revolts over racial integration. Not so much today. There’s nothing special about guns.

    That needs citation. Sociologists I have read suggest we are in another one of our interminable Great Religious Awakenings, although possibly on the down slope.

    So citations for me, but not for thee? Frankly, as long as we’re going by assertions, mine seems a lot more believable. A quick google finds this from Gallup, which seems to support my point, but if you have contrary data I’d like to see it.

  137. 137
    JCT says:

    @trex:

    And let’s be honest, I mean really, really honest: these aren’t Washingtons and Jeffersons and Franklins harried with the noble burden of standing up to a state that has become tyrannical because of their deep philosophical grounding. These are Bubba and Billy Joe and his crooked brother the local sheriff who have every freedom imaginable, and are just pissed because the legistlative bodies in this country are talking about limiting their access to miliary-style weapons that can spit bullets at three per second, and that’s threatening their perceived manhood.
    I say that because I have met them – I’ve met them in person in small towns, I’ve spent years debating them online – and when arguing any issue and inevitably losing on the facts they resort to screaming “Obama is a socialist and a Muslim and a traitor!” and then they threaten to take up arms against our lawful government. In short: the majority of them are ill-informed seditionists.
    Exactly this. I am surrounded by these people too. It is actually frightening to listen to them. Their entire view of the world is framed by their “expansive” interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Mixed in with serious racism — that they all deny. As someone pointed out the other day they are beginning to openly fantasize about “killing liberals” when the SHTF. Pathetic.

  138. 138
    celticdragonchick says:

    @trex:

    I ask because your diplomatic defense of the gun religionists’s views aside, these are very, very weak and reasonable measures to try and tame gun violence.

    I tend to agree and these are not what is was really addressing (although I again note that even the mere requirement that assault rifles be registered in California was roundly ignored by the aforementioned owners, and compliance was estimated to be less than ten percent in the late 80’s/early 90’s). I am talking about what some (and only some) people here have wished for and that is the outright ban and most or all firearms and their mandatory confiscation. That simply will not fly. It was interesting to hear even Gabrielle Giffords husband in the Senate hearings today say that he and Gabby would not relinquish their own personal weapons, while urging stricter checks.

    These are Bubba and Billy Joe and his crooked brother the local sheriff who have every freedom imaginable, and are just pissed because the legistlative bodies in this country are talking about limiting their access to miliary-style weapons that can spit bullets at three per second, and that’s threatening their perceived manhood.

    You are correct to note that local law enforcement is a big part of this culture. I have read many statements at right wing cop sites (are there any that are not??!) declaring that gun bans will not be enforced by beat cops in such and such jurisdiction if officer so and so has anything to do with it.

    I say that because I have met them – I’ve met them in person in small towns, I’ve spent years debating them online – and when arguing any issue and inevitably losing on the facts they resort to screaming “Obama is a socialist and a Muslim and a traitor!” and then they threaten to take up arms against our lawful government. In short: the majority of them are ill-informed seditionists.

    I think it does amount to sedition, although that really isn’t a crime anymore unless you are in the uniformed services. Nonetheless, I am not so much offering apologia for them as explaining that they are a large enough part of society to make real trouble if pushed. The social compact relies on mutual acceptance and support, and if a substantial group decides that the compact has been broken and that they are no longer bound by it or civil laws, then the consequences can be quite severe. You can tell me that I am trying to tiptoe around the hostage takers, but I merely point out that they, in fact, see you and me as the hostage takers and that they are getting ready to fight for their own lives against us. It would be funny in a way if it wasn’t so deadly perverse.

    In any event wishing for another reality does not make the present one go away. Many of your neighbors do not agree with you and think that you and I are the crazy people who should be locked up. They will not yield no matter how many laws you want to put in place, although something like closing the gun show loophole probably would not be met with much fuss overall.

    In my darker musings, I wonder if this country is doomed to pull itself apart along religious sectarian lines. I have never heard of a nation in recent times that actually regressed in science and history education except for ours, and that is due entirely to religious dogma infiltrating public schools via Texas textbooks and fanatics like Betsy DeVos (fundy millionaire wife of an Amway VP and sister of the the founder of Blackwater. She loves spreading charter school bullshit around the country)

  139. 139
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Larv:

    So citations for me, but not for thee? Frankly, as long as we’re going by assertions, mine seems a lot more believable. A quick google finds this from Gallup, which seems to support my point, but if you have contrary data I’d like to see it.

    The 4th Religious Awakening in America began around 1960.

    http://www.milkeninstitute.org...../57-80.pdf

    Some scholars now argue that the 4th has ended and we are entering a fifth Great Awakening. I have no idea. Anyways, lots of stuff in teh googles about the 4th Awakening and how it influenced Evangelicals to enter politics in the 70’s and 80’s in a way that had not been seen before.

  140. 140
    trex says:

    @JCT:

    As someone pointed out the other day they are beginning to openly fantasize about “killing liberals” when the SHTF.

    Yep. The other day a guy posted at Washington Monthly that he and “hundreds” of others met each week to plot the overthrow of the government, and if the “gun ban” [sic] is passed then Dianne Feinstein would be the first one they killed. You gotta be pretty ballsy to threaten a federal official and leave an IP and email address for the FBI. You gotta believe the wind is in your favor and the law just doesn’t matter anymore.

  141. 141
    celticdragonchick says:

    Now hearing the shooter in Phoenix is 70 years old. What. The. Fuck.

    That leaves us with two homicidal senior citizens in two days, starting with the genius in Georgia who shoot the guy in his car who got lost looking for another house.

  142. 142
    bemused says:

    Bob Cesca said today, The Old White Guys with Guns demographic is coming unglued.

  143. 143
    JCT says:

    @bemused:

    Bob Cesca said today, The Old White Guys with Guns demographic is coming unglued.

    At this rate the CDC will have to investigate the effect of prolonged exposure to Fox News as a risk factor for accelerated Alzheimer’s. Hate/rage and guns are a delightful mix.

    @trex: I’m guessing you’re not using the “real” terms these guys use for Feinstein – they hate her with the rage of a thousand suns. I am amazed no one has taken a shot at her.

    For “fun” I eyeballed one of the shooting forums (arizona based) and it’s hilarious. The SECOND the media reports these shootings they start braying about how this is all somehow the fault of the media in reporting these things. Truly a parallel universe. Scary place.

  144. 144
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    In my darker musings, I wonder if this country is doomed to pull itself apart along religious sectarian lines. I have never heard of a nation in recent times that actually regressed in science and history education except for ours

    Yes, that is an excellent if grim observation, and something that troubles me every day. And it’s related to the gun issue because with all of our prosperity and unparalleled access to knowledge and information we face groups in society which yet yearn for atavism, yearn for a violent, primitive culture in which they believe they will be able to find meaning more readily in gunfights and honor challenges and pat values mined from simpler times, no matter how horrific they may be to modern sensibilities. For many in these groups they desperately WANT someone to try and take their guns because they feel a desperate need to shoot someone just to feel alive, hence the fantasies that JCT mentions. All of the libertarian, Hobbesian justifications are afterthoughts, a pleasant dressing for ugly unresolved emotional complexes. Yeah some percentage are legit libertarians, hobbyist idealogues who refuse to accept legal precedent, but I’m hard pressed to believe there are many.

    Thanks for your honesty, I was indeed trying to flush you out on the hostage-taking characterization and I understand your reluctance to start from there given that you were trying to build some mutual understanding. But I thought it important that we get real about the situation: as afraid as they may be of us and as righteous as they may see their cause, we aren’t even proposing to take their guns away, much less threatening to shoot them, as they are in return to us. They’re just indulging in mutually masturbatory adolescent fantasies, conflating a future ban on a few assault-style rifles with a tyrannical government busting down their doors and depriving them of all their weapons, because that’s what gets them off and provides a focus for their inchoate rage. Much of the debate in this thread has been around that strawman of gun-grabbing which ain’t never gonna happen. We should be focused rather on dealing with their potential response to whatever meager measures are passed, on just how their imaginations are going to interpret stricter licensing, for instance.

    I also want to say that despite any philosophical differences between us, I know from bitter personal experience that attempting diplomacy between mutually suspicious groups is a thankless job. Usually both groups end up hating and resenting you, and I give you props for trying it.

  145. 145
    celticdragonchick says:

    @trex:

    Thank you. I very much appreciate your candor and your willingness to engage in in an honest dialogue. I fear that most other folks interested in this subject are not the sort to follow your example. I was disappointed and actually a bit horrified when Mnemosyne tried to attack me as some sort of Khorne worshiping cultist who drinks the blood of innocents.

    I have seen similar tactics over at freeperland where a thread attacked the President for suggesting that Kalashnikovs belonged in the hands of soldiers and not criminals.

    A series of pictures showed Chinese soldiers with AK-47 rifles lining up dissidents including a pretty young woman. They were all shot in the head and the pictures were very, gruesomely graphic along with sarcastic captions about “AK’s in the hands of soldiers!”

    I guess if you agreed with the President, you supposedly also endorsed the mass butchery of human rights activists in China.

    That sort of thing is no argument at all. It is brutal sensationalism meant to bludgeon your opponents with gore. I really don’t want to see that here, and I am still a bit taken aback at having it used against me.

    Anyways, have a good evening and see you all later. My spouse is home from class.

  146. 146
    trex says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I was disappointed and actually a bit horrified when Mnemosyne tried to attack me

    Don’t get me wrong, I am in complete solidarity with Mnemosyne on this issue. It is our empathy that makes us human and should first and foremost govern our actions. The fact that pro-gun whatevers put their perceived “rights” to unfettered firepower above the death of innocents is, in point of fact, subhuman. The fact that they would threaten to kill others rather than make modest adjustments to their arsenals in order to prevent the deaths of innocents is monstrous.

    No appeals to conditions of past societies on the grounds of “it’s always been this way” can excuse that, as past societies were barbarous and we should and do know better. In the past slavery was endemic, females and children were chattel without rights, and aristocracy was the order of the day. We have left that horror show behind us and we need to leave the gun violence behind as well. The bubbas of the world resisted these other changes kicking and screaming, it’s no surprise they’re resisting this one.

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