But An Armed Society Is A Polite Society, Right? Right?

Unpleasant juxtaposition time, again. Top front page of the online Washington Post, “Always on alert, with a gun and a blog”:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Heading toward a Starbucks on the pricey side of town, Rob Farago is packing. The Glock 30SF lives on his right hip, holstered under his jacket, with 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Backup ammo is in another pocket.

Farago didn’t used to be a gun guy. He was a car guy. He had a popular blog called the Truth About Cars. He sold it in 2009 and searched for a new consumer topic, landing on guns.

He bought his first gun a week before the debut of TheTruthAboutGuns.com. He took a firearms class. He filled out the paperwork and went through the background check to get a permit to carry a gun. He now owns 18 guns.

“Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” he says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult.”…

Farago wants to move to Texas
, which is more gun-friendly than Rhode Island. But in the meantime, his blog is going gangbusters. Page views have spiked since the massacre in Newtown and the resulting push for gun control.

There’s a run across the country on ammo, and on military-style semiautomatic rifles. The gun rights advocates have long feared that the government would come after their firearms. They’re in the fight of their lives. They’re geared up, on high alert and situationally aware….

Via commentor EFGoldman, Famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle slain at gun range in N. Texas:

GLEN ROSE, Texas — A former U.S. Navy SEAL who gained recognition during the Iraq War was one of two people fatally shot southwest of Fort Worth on Saturday, KHOU 11 News has learned.

Sources close to the investigation identified the former SEAL as Chris Kyle, 39, author of the New York Times bestselling book, “American Sniper.”

Kyle was shot point-blank while helping another soldier who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, officials said. The murders happened at a shooting range near the town of Glen Rose, about 53 miles southwest of Fort Worth….

Chris Kyle was an adult, who died doing a man’s job, helping people who badly needed him. Rob Farago is as spoilt ten-year-old in an adult’s body, living a kid’s fantasy of fast cars and mighty weapons.

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112 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    If there’s a kernel of wheat snuggled within all the chaff, I fail to see it.

  3. 3
    Jewish Steel says:

    Situational awareness. I am aware of situations.

  4. 4
    MonkeyBoy says:

    we need more guns at gun ranges.

  5. 5
    amk says:

    Ironic that the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history (and hence probably in the world) is shot dead point-blank.

  6. 6

    Wherever Farago goes, stay the fuck out of California.

  7. 7
    ookpik says:

    According to current news reports, Chris Kyle thought that arming the teachers was the solution to Newtown, and “opposed any restrictions on gun owners.” (Kyle was murdered at a shooting range, yes, but I’ve not seen any reliable reports that he was helping a PTSD sufferer.) Tell me again how different he is from Farago?

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Agreed. Northern CA especially.

  9. 9
    SatanicPanic says:

    I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult

    This is just sad

  10. 10
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    RIP Chris Kyle. His book is part of my SEAL collection. It was a strong memoir.

  11. 11
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:


    All too often, the most childish of us believe themselves to be the only adults in the room.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    odd detail.

    Farrago mixed fodder for cattle, hence, a confused mixture or hotchpotch of things or persons.
    Examples: farrago of cant; of cowardice, 1827; of cunning; of doubts; of fears; of hope; of lies; of popery, Arminianism, and what not, 1637; of wishes.

  13. 13
    Donut says:

    Damn, you want to see some crazy cray cray motherfuckers, go read the comments section of that KHOU link. Holy crap, some white people are freaking out.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:


    As far as Wm. Randolph Hearst was concerned, Citizen Kane was a Welles farrago.

  15. 15
    martian says:

    The comments on that article about Chris Kyle’s shooting might be some of the craziest I’ve seen. They are steeping those tea leaves a looong time in Texas, y’all, and then maybe adding a little somethin’ somethin’ to give the brew a kick. It is not your every day sweet tea for sure.

  16. 16
    Alison says:

    @Donut: #stuffwhitepeoplelike Nutbag conspiracy theories that will give them an excuse to arm themselves to the teeth, apparently.

  17. 17
    TS says:

    The comments on the khou article are seriously into paranoia and conspiracy. It’s all a plot by the gov’nment (well we know who that is) to prove that guns kill.

    Edit: I now see martian @14 has explained the crazy.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    “Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,”

    Pathetic. Just… pathetic. I’m at a loss for an appropriate modifier.

  19. 19
    hhex65 says:

    Nothing says cutting-edge journalism like using the phrase “going gangbusters”– to be fair, though, they had to do a soft piece on that guy or risk opening a “Fibber McGee’s closet” of batshit comments and attacks.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    Groundhog Day forecast is for at least 6 more weeks of LaPierre.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:


    then maybe adding a little somethin’ somethin’ to give the brew a kick

    Mormon tea? It is a slight hallucinogen…

  22. 22
    SatanicPanic says:

    @martian: Imagine how nuts you and everyone around you have to be to type that and put your name and face to it.

  23. 23
    martian says:

    @Donut: What Donut said. Concentrated crazy. Like the news site is somehow filtering out the sane people.

  24. 24
    Elizabelle says:


    What I found interesting about the KHOU site was how many women commenters were trying to talk the paranoids down.

    Lot of conspiracy-minded fools on that site. You have someone who took a fellow soldier suffering from PTSD to a gun range and tragedy ensued. To the paranoids, that’s just unbelievable.

    A few were mentioning this was the third major figure related to gun rights dead recently. No idea what they’re hyperventilating about.

  25. 25
    Gozer says:

    @NotMax: I see what you did there.

  26. 26
    martian says:

    @SatanicPanic: Like fish swimming in water, I suppose. They don’t know they’re all wet.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    See, the military and police got it all backwards — they try to train people to be aware of and in control of their response to situations before giving them the loaded weapons, when instead all the silly willies need to do is hand loaded guns to people and they become situationally aware, grown up, responsible, and all the rest of it. Just like all people who get guns everywhere.

    It’s also a great way to get young people successfully through the pains of adolescence — hand them a gun to carry around and suddenly the gun grows them up, no pain, no wait. It’s amazing.

  28. 28
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @NotMax: There are places where you’d be arrested for that, you know.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:


    It’s all a plot by the gov’nment (well we know who that is) to prove that guns kill.

    If they don’t, it sure seems like evidence of bad design.

  30. 30
    Older_Wiser says:

    Live by the gun, die by the gun–either you, or your victims.

  31. 31
    Anne Laurie says:


    Nothing says cutting-edge journalism like using the phrase “going gangbusters”

    When an article starts “Heading toward a Starbucks on the pricey side of town, Rob Farago is packing”, I think we can assume this is journalese for “Look at this pathetic poser”.

  32. 32
    Bruuuuce says:

    Heh. That first guy reminds me of a quote from that noted antigun pacifist and wuss [/sarcasm], Adm. Robert A. Heinlein: “[W]e do not carry weapons to give us Dutch courage. If a gun makes you feel three meters tall and invulnerable, you had better go unarmed”

    If he wants to move somewhere more gun-friendly, may I suggest Somalia? I’m sure he’ll get plenty of chances to shoot him down some humans, as he so clearly longs to do.

  33. 33
    El Cid says:

    Every time I drive my tank through town I’m aware of the awesome responsibility I’ve assumed; doubtless George Washington must have felt like this at his greatest moments.

  34. 34
    martian says:

    @Elizabelle: Yeah, one of the first comments I saw was something about “We’re being hunted.” Sort of set the tone. I don’t keep up with the world of Gun Heroes, but there was a killing not long after Sandy Hook of some major gun dealer/activist in his own office. Shot while surrounded by means of self-defense, naturally. I saw it mentioned here, but I didn’t try to follow up on whether they caught the killer. Guessing not if it’s fodder for the conspiracy mill.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    Farago seems to have some serious OCD issues.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @Anne Laurie: Indeed. Don’t miss the

    Farago, 53, lives in an elegant house on the east side of town. He drives a Mercedes. He’s got an exquisite art collection. He has beautiful Persian rugs. Before he takes his miniature schnauzers on a walk in his upscale neighborhood, he fits them with doggie parkas.

  37. 37
    gene108 says:

    Farago wants to move to Texas, which is more gun-friendly than Rhode Island.

    Why-oh-why would someone, with a 9 year old, want to move from – what I assume – is an area of New England with good schools, to Texas?

    Education in Texas is, on the whole, a lot worse than Rhode Island.

  38. 38
    hhex65 says:

    @Anne Laurie: Ok, I can accept that– but I thought that first line was more like: hey this isn’t just some thug off the street he goes to the pricey side of town to get coffee so hear him out about the whole gun thing…

    …but I have a negative attitude toward the Post.

  39. 39
    Gian says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    situational awareness is a phrase used for training people who might actually be in danger because of their chosen line of work.

    you don’t get it by buying a piece of hardware.

    and this guy probably actually needs it, because someone just might want to kill him in order to steal and sell 18 guns

  40. 40
    martian says:

    @martian: That was some weird FYWP event. “undefined” is me, and half that comment is missing. I will wait before trying to rewrite lest the second paragraph come back wagging it’s tail behind it only to be made redundant.

    ETA: okay, so now “undefined” has gone back to “martian” and the above sounds goofy. FYWP is sneaky.

  41. 41
    PeakVT says:

    Speaking of Glock, Fresh Air did a good program on the history of the Glock on Friday.

  42. 42
    TS says:

    @El Cid:

    If they don’t, it sure seems like evidence of bad design.

    Not to those commenting on the death of Chris Kyle – if you’re a good guy you are invincible to guns. It is the gov’ment that kills the good guys. (Which of course, is also dependent on your understanding that civilian gun owners are the good guys).

  43. 43
    SatanicPanic says:

    @scav: That’s just situational awareness at work. That dog might get cold.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @SatanicPanic: So that explains the spike in doggy parka sales recently. All that newly purchased situational awareness slopping about.

  45. 45
    El Cid says:

    @TS: Partly that’s because any bad guy or government attack on a gun owner takes place as a completely open, frontal approach which is very loudly announced.

    The gun owner will be in the home and the malevolent government forces will pull up in loud vehicles which friends have heard chatter about on the scanners, and then they will walk loudly up the front sidewalk with heavy bootsteps.

    By this point, of course, the patriot gundamentalist will have his full arsenal prepared and arrayed, and will be able to fight the guvmit forces to a standstill.

    Home invasions take place pretty much the same way. Funny noises will be heard around the side of the house in a clear ethnic patois. Then there will be a nice detectable shout and the invaders will break a window loudly and come through the now-open door shouting properly threatening phrases.

    Thankfully his gun-enabled situational awareness and intensive training in occasional firing range sessions and videogame simulations allows him to fire successfully and hit the evil targets, and not his family members or the neighbors.

    Sure, maybe in some uncouth third-world hellhole, a government interested in taking out a gun owner would be impolite and, say, just sniper him out as he walks by some window in the morning.

  46. 46
    Bnut says:

    A good man died doing a good deed today. I once had the pleasure of meeting Chris and another of his team when they gave my section a briefer on a using a particular rifle (SR-25) that had just been issued to us. I learned more in an hour about shooting in combat than I did in 5 years of Marine Corps classes and field instruction. He probably saved lives that day, including mine.

  47. 47
    Brutusettu says:

    “Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” he says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult.”…

    How does that guy explain George Zimmerman story?

    George claims he went to shop at Target, came back, tracked by truck a “suspicious” person on a public sidewalk that “fit the description of a suspect (i.e. the teen was black, just like the vague useless description of burglary suspects)”. Then George, the neighborhood watchmen blocks from his house, forgot what street was parallel with the street he was on. Instead of giving the address of the street he was on, decided to get out of his truck, travel a block over and give the address of the other side, (the sidewalk was between the backyards). All the while being scared that the person he was tracking was close by, and forgetting that he himself was armed. Then George says he just strolled back to his truck, while forgetting he was armed, was “suddenly” accosted, and still forgetting he was armed. George then says he still didn’t remember he was armed even when reaching “for his cell” or even after he says he was attacked. George still says he forgot he was armed while he was in a fight.

    Helluva a situational awareness there.

  48. 48
    bjacques says:

    @El Cid:

    A properly threatening phrase would be something like “Kill the pigs! Acid is groovy!”

  49. 49
    Bob h says:

    Why would time at the gun range be thought useful for someone with combat PTSD?

  50. 50


    Education in Texas is, on the whole, a lot worse than Rhode Island.

    He’s quite wealthy now. Plenty of good private schools in Texas. Texas also has a so-called “Stand Your Ground” law on the books.

    “Situational awareness”? So let me get this right: Numbnuts spends his entire life unarmed and makes millions with little or no “situational awareness”. So now, while walking his dog to Starbucks for over-priced mediocre coffee, he has “situational awareness” because he is armed. It seems to me THIS is exactly the reason we need a higher bar for people to concealed carry permit and own firearms.

  51. 51
    Linda says:

    @Donut: Yes, indeedy. I went to the ground zero for crazy reactions, Freerepublic, and it wasn’t THAT crazy. One person there did venture that taking a person with PTSD to a firing range and giving them a gun might not be a good idea. They were promptly shot down (no pun intended) by posters who told them that it was a GREAT idea, that it helped them resolve their fears and clear up their mental condition, and that the woods were FULL of stupid bureaucrats who wanted to take guns away from veterans with PTSD, and how stupid and terrible an idea that was. It was like what a US Communist Party thread would have been in the 1930s: one person got an independent thought, and had it squashed back into the party line.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    The comments on the KHOU article are some Grade-A Superfine paranoia.

    Of course, we don’t have all the details yet, like why Kyle brought the guy with PTSD to a gun range, who the killer was really aiming for, and why he was aiming for someone in the first place. It does, though, go to show that if someone comes up to you with a gun, ready to shoot you, you might not have the time to shoot first/shoot back to protect yourself.

  53. 53
    Jon H says:

    “Of course, we don’t have all the details yet, like why Kyle brought the guy with PTSD to a gun range, who the killer was really aiming for, and why he was aiming for someone in the first place.”

    Supposedly the shooter is a neighbor of the guy Kyle was working with. I don’t know if Kyle was there *with* both of them, or if the shooter turned up separately, or what.

  54. 54
    aimai says:


    Yes, the phrase was used the most by the craziest woman I knew on the internet–the wife of a military guy. She was always exhorting the other women to buy guns, park their cars facing outward for a quick getaway, and be ready to shoot their relatives/husbands.

    In this article it sounds more like some weird kind of BDSM fetish, like

    “As soon as I put on my two wet suits and the dildo I become more situationally aware and grown up.”

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:


    Not to dismiss the job he did but if you really think he was the most lethal in the world then you simply have never read the history of WWII.

    The Soviets had 2 famous snipers (a man and a woman) with hundreds of confirmed kills.

    Then there was the Finnish sniper who had 500+ confirmed kills in about 100 days.

  56. 56
    Thlayli says:


    if you’re a good guy you are invincible to guns. It is the gov’ment that kills the good guys.

    “Guns don’t kill people, the government kills people.” — Dale, King of the Hill

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    @El Cid:

    Trust me, I know some gun nuts and they don’t expect a loud entrance. Thats why they keep loaded weapons nearby at all time at home. available in every room so they can shoot their way to the main arsenal if they have to.

    UBL might still be alive today if he and his wives had followed that creed. Or maybe one of the wives would have shot him ;)

  58. 58
    oldster says:


    Why would he worry about educating his 9 year old son?

    He’ll just strap a gun on the kid, and immediately he’ll be an adult. Education done!

  59. 59
    aimai says:

    Its now all explained:

    Lance Olson · Top Commenter · University of Minnesota Crookston
    All you saying this and other things are not right! No crap! All the Seals involved in Bin Laden raid shot down in that helicopter. Then the media and our government forget about it a couple days later no investigation. We have a government buying up millions of weapons and hundreds of millions of non military ammo rounds. In the last month Obama has releived 4 of the top generals of command! Military sources are secretly saying because they refused to take an oath to fire on American civillians. No Sh$t something is not right!!

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:


    “Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” [Rob Farago] says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult.”

    It’s weird how Conservatives think a state of alert paranoia is the definition of adulthood.


  61. 61
    aimai says:


    The last remaining child in his house is a girl, a 9 year old girl, who he is teaching to parrot the most petrified and petrifying thoughts on potential gun violence in her Quaker school. The Quaker’s won’t ask her to leave but when the parents of her friends find out what a total asshole this guy is she won’t be able to have any friends over. He’s going to move her to Texas–if his agreement with her mother permits him to do so which I doubt–in order to be among people who don’t despise him. Poor asshole is going to wind up as some Evangelical Preacher’s Jew Mascot.

  62. 62
    aimai says:


    Well, it is when their balls drop.

  63. 63
    Snarla says:

    There is something very wrong with you if you don’t feel like a grownup until you handle a gun.

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:


    I noticed the KHOU fools whingeing about the government potentially taking away gun rights of veterans with PTSD.

    And then think about the number of suicides, and murder-suicides, we’re seeing after the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and how many do involve guns.

  65. 65
    gelfling545 says:

    @Gian: This is about what I thought when I read this. Police, military and the like need “situational awareness”. Carrying about gun on your everyday civilian activities is an open admission that you feel you are in active danger at all times. I guess a case could be made that people are in danger at any time but most of those real dangers (getting hit by a bus, contracting a fatal illness) wouldn’t be helped by carrying a gun. I suspect that this causes some to inject danger into a situation that would ordinarily not be dangerous, merely annoying or distressing.

    Are there any mental health professionals here who can speak to the wisdom of taking a PTSD patient to a firing range? I know a fair few PTSD sufferers and it strikes me as a singularly bad idea.

  66. 66
    piratedan says:

    right now it seems like the gun nuts are the Lee J. Cobb character from 12 Angry Men… waiting for them to realize that the rest of the country is already in E.G. Marshall and Henry Fonda mode, comprised of folks that have either always been convinced and others who now reluctantly agree that maybe we need to rethink this.

    especially that point when Cobb threatens to kill Fonda and then says he was baited into looking like a fool (makes me think of LaPierre) and Marshall indicates that if so, he’s done a very effective job.

  67. 67
    piratedan says:

    @gelfling545: perhaps it was an attempt to show how to handle guns in a threat neutral environment, i.e. this is how we handle guns NOW

  68. 68
    aimai says:


    For a whole lot of people that ship has sailed–its like they are incapable of recognizing that the gun can’t protect them from all harm. Its become such a talismanic object that they either see the violence as a necessary part of life, like rain or hail, or they believe that it exerts some forcefield around the “good people” that protects them. All they have left when one of the “good guys” is killed with a gun is an assertion that the Devil/Obama/Accident made it happen. There is a lot of magical thinking over at that KHOU thread and you can see that getting back to shore after dunking in the sea of crazy would be a difficult task for most of them.

    On the PTSD thing I think, from reading around, that a lot of great work has been done in trying to bring the problem to public awareness and enabling soldiers to be forthcoming about it to their own co-workers and comerades but that a lot of people are then sucked into the fantasy that what is needed is “hair of the dog that bit you” or relegitimization of the military event and lifestyle that gave rise to the PTSD in the first place. I think its no accident that someone who was probably a pretty confident person (the SEAL who was tragically killed) made an error of overconfidence about his “method” of dealing with someone with PTSD. I don’t mean that in any disrespectful way–the guy had a normal ego for someone who took on a dangerous job as a killer, did it well, and was now home receiving plaudits and tv appearances. You almost wouldn’t expect anything else but overconfidence.

  69. 69
    Fluke bucket says:

    When you read gun nut comments and realize that those guys are the most heavily armed portion of the population you wonder how it is that there are not more shootings than there already are.

  70. 70
    honus says:

    @Snarla: Yes, when I was growing up in rural West Virginia, the idea was that you had to show you were grown up before you were allowed to handle a gun.

  71. 71
    hep kitty says:


    a 1,000 times
    when will it end? it’s getting people killed
    at least Fox News ratings are taking a tank

  72. 72
    hep kitty says:

    I think the fact that the world’s best sniper gets gunned down at a shooting range

    Well, you think it would make gun nutbags think twice about how easily anyone packing heat can get shot when off their guard

    But they won’t

  73. 73
    gvg says:

    Situational awareness is not nessecarily related just to guns or danger. I mainly heard about it from reading about pilots and the person who I know with the most striking situational awareness is my aunt who is an uncanny driver. She is always so aware of what other cars are doing and about to do. She drives large trailers and vans to dog shows (her hobby) and has a real talent for avoiding accidents due to other drivers and weather. Everywhere I’ve driven with her, it’s very noticable how much more alert she is than anyone else. My uncle the vet may have given her some tips but she is better than he is, and he’s pretty good too.
    I think the gun nut writer is delusional about his awareness but everyone else here has already noticed that.

  74. 74
    hep kitty says:

    Ok so even if I decided I wanted to be a responsible gun owner and learn how to use a gun and get a permit, I wouldn’t be able to practice for fear of getting killed in the process

  75. 75
    Sir Nose'D says:

    @Jewish Steel: One must assume he is also aware of all internet situations.

  76. 76
    kay says:


    There’s a lot of data on suicide and guns in the home. Gun owners have many more suicides because guns are lethal and and any delay or impidiment between the suicidal person and the method saves lives.
    It’s stark, even when they control for incidents of depression or mental illness. The latest is on “high gun states” (states where gun ownership is 50% or better) compared to ” low gun states” (15% ir lower gun owners). Low gun states have dramatically lower suicide rates.
    When Israel barred soldiers from taking their weapons home with them, the suicide rate among soldiers dropped 40%

  77. 77
    kay says:


    I’d like to see some studies on murder/ suicides, access to guns. The suicide connection is there, and I don’t think anyone would deny that a lot of the young men involved in mass shootings are also suicidal.
    It’s an area that doesn’t get the attention of tge weapons salespeople, where they can shut down atrempts to gather info, because suicide has always been treated as a public health issue, nit a “gun” issue.

  78. 78
    Kristine says:

    “Situational awareness.” Yet another euphemism for “looking for trouble.”

  79. 79
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Sad excerpts, in both cases. (I haven’t read either story in full.)

    I used to read TTAC quite regularly, years ago. Farago had a contrary streak then and reveled in being a thorn in the side of GM and GM’s big-wig Bob Lutz. He had a series for months called “GM Deathwatch” and said GM would go through bankruptcy years before most others started saying it. He had no fear of being unpopular or having powerful enemies. (It’s hard to run a car blog without access to new cars and people at car companies.)

    I wonder how much of this conversion to gun-nut status is “going where the market is” and how much is sincere. (Of course it doesn’t much matter other than in an academic sense.) He has always presented a strong skepticism of government (taxes, regulations, speeding laws, etc.), so it’s not terribly surprising if it’s genuine. The rapidity of the conversion is telling, though.



  80. 80
    Mino says:

    From the comment stream: Thank God the Silent Majority does most of the voting.

  81. 81
    Maude says:

    Makes me wish they’d go back to being silent.

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    Have never held much admiration for snipers, other than military ones hunting other snipers.

    I grew up with guns, but only long guns we used to hunt, and sometimes target practice on various varmints. It was usually fun, like the challenge of any game when I was young. But I never have gotten the gun love thing,and the whole cultural mush between guns and a sense of patriotism. I have possessed and carried hand guns for self defense in situations where that could be justified, and noted then a kind of rush of personal power. But it was uncomfortable for me, and I recognized it for what it was.

    The only time I’ve been on a shooting range was in basic training at Ft Knox. When down the firing line one day, some kid decided he’d heard enough from drill instructors and mowed down a couple for good measure. The DI’s had sidearms from then on out. It was 1972 and nothing much made sense.

    I also think there is a constitutional right to own and carry guns in this country, and am cautious about trying to pass laws to confiscate guns. For the reasons it is political kryptonite for democrats to charge headlong into that political fail pit, as well as the age old axiom, that says if some morons are armed, then all morons should be armed. And about everyone in this country, at some level, qualifies for that dubious label.

  83. 83
    aimai says:

    I think that there “isa constitutional right to own and carry guns” in this country but I fail to see why that right, as opposed to other constitutional rights, should be completely and irrationally unregulated/able. Take, for instance, registering guns. Registering guns and gun owners, lisencing guns and gun owners, having periodic tests for guns and gun owners is an absolute no brainer and clearly goes under the very text of the amendment (well regulated militia). The tiny minority of the gun owners of this country who oppose even that are out of the mainstream and yet we are forced to cower in front of them politically and socially because they are threatening to go nuclear on our assess and destroy the body politic. That is explicitly what they are threatening. That is implicitly what they are threatening when they open carry.

    I consider it not only a right but a duty to oppose the treasonous threats to public safety and the US as a sovereign state. All the guarantees in the constitution aren’t worth spit if any pathetic, nervous, gun toting lunatic can negate them by threatening to shoot officers of the law and random civilians in order to “protect” their own rights over and against the right of the rest of us to be left in peace.

  84. 84
    Mike in NC says:

    When I lived in Rhode Island I felt that being an insane asshole was optional. From the time I spent in Texas, I assumed it was mandatory.

  85. 85
    gogol's wife says:


    You are inspiring.

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    @Schlemizel: Those are the cleverer ones.

    Imagine how much more mature and situationally aware more Americans would be if there were a home construction code for firearms like electrical outlets — i.e., there must be a gun every 6 feet.

  87. 87
    General Stuck says:


    In a vacuum, I agree with everything you say. And wish we had gotten off to a better start in this country in dealing with gun possession. I think the laws on the books need to be funded and enforced, especially a national data base with the accurate info on individuals the law says can’t buy a gun, and to close all loopholes for gun purchases, like with gun shows.

    But beyond that, trying to regulate guns to the nth degree will not work, when it is viewed rightly or wrongly as a way to regulate and legislate away a constitutional right. Like the wingnuts do on abortion, I just can’t support that, even though I agree with the genuine sentiment behind it of people like you and millions of others feeling afraid to exist where so many guns also exist. It isn’t fair , but the founding document of a country via revolution over a tyrannical government, it should not be surprising either.

    I do support the democratic process to play itself out after the horror of Newtown, whether it hurts dems politically, or not.

  88. 88
    El Cid says:

    @aimai: Start where ever you can, and then work continuously so that the gundamentalists’ fears that each step taken leads to a larger and more systematic action is made true, and that they could not stop it.

    And perhaps at some point they’ll be reduced to whining nostalgia as were the pro-Confederates in the generation after they lost the Civil War, though without the means and power to implement their own Jim Crow as happened the first time.

  89. 89

    One of the crappy parts of this deal is that the PTSD issue will be eclipsed by the gunz angle.

  90. 90
    dr. bloor says:

    Farago wants to move to Texas, which is more gun-friendly than Rhode Island.

    Yeah, we actually share that Starbucks in the pricey part of town. He’s got this Ned-Beatty-irritated-with-the-world look about him. I wish he’d hurry up and move to Texas.

  91. 91
    gbear says:

    @PeakVT: I am aware of all situational conditions.

  92. 92
    jp7505a says:

    Since I’m not a gun owner and the only time I fired a rife was at scout camp(didn’t even hit the paper) I have a couple of questions.

    1. Isn’t walking around with a round in the chamber a bit dangerous? Seems like it would increase the chance of an accidental discharge. Even if it is safe, why do it? I mean it’s not like people are being ambushed so getting that first shot off a a few milli-seconds sooner isn’t going to be a matter of like or death.

    2. I understand why people might want to keep a weapon in the house for self defense. Over the years I’ve read numerious articles on gun safety and the one point they make is a gun at home should be kept under lock and key, with the ammo in another locked container. So my question is at 4am when someone breaks into your house of what value is that gun when it is locked in a case in the basement? Even if it is a situation where you do not have kids and decide to keep the gun on the nightstand in the bedroom, what happens when you are in the kitch when the bad guy shows up.

    It seems like the only way that a gun can be truely for self defense is if you have it within reach 24 hors a day 7 days a week.

    I don’t mean to make it sound like a snarky question but a gun in a gun case isn’t going to be much good for self defense if you don’t have time to get to it. I strongly doubt the burgler is going to stand around waiting for you. I realize there are situations where carrying a gun is a deterent, like a cab driver, but for most of us it seems the risk outweights the benefit. And I’n not talking about folks who like to target shot, hunt, etc.

  93. 93
    General Stuck says:


    There are some studies that put the lie to the claim that carrying a gun makes you safer. It is paradoxical , but fairly well common sense that guns with people attached attract one another.

  94. 94
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @General Stuck: Thus it has always been so.

    “For iron, of itself, draws a man on.”
    αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐφέλκεται ἄνδρα σίδηρος.
    Odyssey 19.13

  95. 95
    Field Guide says:

    So a guy who runs a blog about guns is a spoilt 10 year old.

    A guy who runs a company that charges $3,000 to teach nimrods how to shoot like a sniper is a man doing a man’s job.

    Or is the thing that makes him a man the fact that he took a veteran who was apparently suffering from PTSD to a shooting range? PTSD I is just like getting thrown from a horse, right? Just got get back out there and get shooting again?

  96. 96
    Field Guide says:

    Here’s a man doing a man’s job:


  97. 97
    kuvasz says:

    Maybe everyone that owns a gun should be shot by one, first.

  98. 98
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Kristine: Well, to sane people, it means “looking for potential trouble so we can steer clear of it if possible.”like the alert driver mentioned above. You don’t have to be crazy to pay attention.

  99. 99
    dr. bloor says:

    Routh, described in local media reports as a former Marine who suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), was arrested at his Lancaster, Texas home several hours after the shooting, having led police on a chase in his pickup truck.
    “He was taken into custody after a brief pursuit,” Haschel said.
    According to a posting on a website run by members of the Special Operations Forces community, Kyle had been volunteering his time to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD and mentoring them.
    “Part of this process involved taking these veterans to the range,” said the posting on SOFREP.com.
    WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported that the two men had taken Routh to the shooting range for the day to help him deal with his PTSD.

    Kyle might have been a hell of a sniper, although his mental health-fu was pretty weak.

  100. 100
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Couple thoughts:

    I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I was able to continue to carry and fire a weapon for annual marksmanship training, while others diagnosed were not. A lot of that is dependent on the nature of the trauma and the “threat to oneself and others” that comes into play.

    Annual marksmanship training is a requirement, and only certain exemptions apply whereby you can apply a previous annual score and skip training. Even so, if you want to make a career in the military, you have to eventually qualify. A possibility not suggested is that the PTSD sufferer wanted to stay in active service, and Kyle was doing his duty as a leader to train and encourage him. Or he was diagnosed with PTSD and that had zero bearing on whether he was fit to be on the firing range.

    PTSD, in other words, is not one size fits all. It can be just as much about anxiety in controlled fire situations as it can be about survivor’s guilt that gnaws at you every moment you live, even (especially) your dreams.

    As far as the jackass who has increased situational awareness while carrying a weapon: up yours. If you want to live your life viewing the world through a prism whereby you can save yourself and others through armed violence, then you are no better than Travis Bickle.

  101. 101
    xian says:

    @dr. bloor: has anyone explained what precipitated the shooting?

  102. 102
    xian says:

    @General Stuck:

    about trying to pass laws to confiscate guns

    who’s doing that?

  103. 103
    dance around in your bones says:

    I just remember B.O.B. talking about situational awareness all the time so the term gives me the creeps just like he did.

  104. 104
    General Stuck says:


    No one is doing that directly. But calls for an assault weapons ban is that in any rational form, which would include making possession illegal and the beginning of a confiscation program. Without confiscation of banned assault rifles, it is a meaningless gesture. And possibly a dumb one in case of societal collapse.

    I don’t kid myself with the notion that a large part of the gun control base in the dem party, has a near gun less society as the ideal in mind, and we have 3oo million guns and citizens.

    And I am sympathetic to them in fantasy for living in a world free of stupid people with guns. Not in reality in a country with a constitutional right to own guns.

  105. 105
    El Cid says:

    @General Stuck:

    Without confiscation of banned assault rifles, it is a meaningless gesture.

    Actually that’s an empirical question, in which one would need to know the known or predicted effects upon whatever ills in question a certain ban on weapons or ammunition from a point in time on out.

    It could be meaningless, or it could be empirically significant. Particularly over longer time ranges, if one is arguing that banning weapon or ammunition X or Y or otherwise limiting one or the other has Z% effectiveness on ameliorating some act, then that difference matters.

  106. 106
    General Stuck says:

    @El Cid:

    fair enough

  107. 107
    Xjmueller says:

    @Donut: Yes! Holy shit, we’re in big trouble with nuts like that walking around armed. It scares the boogers out of me.

  108. 108
    johnny aquitard says:

    I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult

    If owning a gun makes you feel like an adult, you’re not adult enough to own one.

  109. 109
    Jon H says:

    I wonder if Farago knew as little about cars before he started that website to tell “the truth” about them.

  110. 110
    donquijoterocket says:

    @Mike in NC: From the time I spent in Texas, it was not only mandatory but at least partially genetic.

  111. 111
    someofparts says:

    If he really wants to be “situationally aware” get a sex change. Nothing like being born female to teach a person to be hyper aware of everything in the environment.

  112. 112
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