Mr. Darwin, Please Claim Your Reward

Many of you got upset by my title “It’s a Gun Nut Twofer” to describe the accidental shooting of Delegate and Former Sheriff Tony Barill when his son allegedly (according to WAJR) tried to commit suicide in the next room. Here’s a bill Barill sponsored in the WV House of Delegates attempting to penalize physicians for:

Making an oral or written inquiry of a patient concerning the possession, ownership or storage of firearms where the inquiry has no relationship to the practice of medicine or the medical condition of the patient but is for the purpose of gathering statistics or to justify patient counseling, unless the inquiry is the subject of a request or related to a medical complaint made by the patient.

Once again, for posterity:

Monongalia County Delegate Tony Barill is hospitalized and recovering from a bullet wound. Barill was admitted to WVU hospital early Saturday morning after being shot. Sources tell MetroNews Barill was shot in the ankle and underwent surgery. He is recovering and listed in fair condition.

House Speaker Tim Miley was told by a family member that Barill was at home when he was accidentally struck by an errant bullet fired from another room by his son, Brad, during an apparent suicide.

Might have been kind of nice if a physician had inquired about the mental health of Barill’s adult and obviously troubled son and tried to find out if there were any guns or pills or anything dangerous around him.

Fuck you people who got the vapors over the title. I’m right, and you’re like the David Brooks and Richard Cohen’s of the world who are incapable of separating a four letter word or a provocative act from the gravity of the real problem. If only those dirty fucking hippies would shave and shower, I’d agree with them on the war.

I sometimes think I am the only person to learn anything over the twelve years of this blog.

*** Update ***

I was derelict in pointing out I stole this whole post from Some Guy’s comments in the last thread.

84 replies
  1. 1
    Skerry says:

    I don’t have a problem with your title. The gun nuts are killing us.

  2. 2
    Hawes says:

    My I say, “Hear, hear.”

    If there is one completely insufferable problem the Left has, it is in a reflexive PC mindset.

    (And, yeah, you can make prison rape jokes about that sociopathic fucker, too. Or maybe that’s the rye talking.)

  3. 3
    some guy says:

    or to justify patient counseling,

    heaven forfend. clearly a reason to revoke their medical license.

    fuck these fuckheads.

  4. 4
    some guy says:

    so do I get brownie points for the a)Darwinism in action post and b)finding the House bill he sponsored?

    my first day as the world’s worst flag football coach, I can use all the brownie points I can get.

  5. 5
    andy says:

    *My* feelings weren’t hurt. I’m sorry about his son, but considering the likely home environment he would never have gotten the help he needed. It’s a truism that the people most desperate for their guns are the ones who probably couldn’t pass a psych evaluation if one was necessary to buying one.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @some guy: Yeah. I stole it all from you. I need to add a link.

  7. 7
    Pope Bandar bin Turtle says:

    A righteous rant! Expressed quite well. An opinion I share.

    I’ve been hangin’ out here for a while, & I appreciate your, & all the others’, writings a lot.

    Ta!

  8. 8
    James E. Powell says:

    I couldn’t help but think of Monster’s Ball.

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    “I sometimes think I am the only person to learn anything over the twelve years of this blog.”

    Probably true. But some of us are amused by shaved cat asses.

  10. 10
    different-church-lady says:

    One of these days could we have a Cole post that doesn’t involve saying “Fuck You” to us?

  11. 11
    some guy says:

    no problem, Cole. this guy looks like your typical Centrist Dem (teachers union endorsement, good on many social issues) who shored up his right by going all in on guns.

    stupid fucking gun nuts

  12. 12
    Jewish Steel says:

    “I sometimes think I am the only person to learn anything over the twelve years of this blog.”

    Should be a tag or rotating headline.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    amk says:

    here, here (or is it hear, hear?)

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    What fun would that be?

  16. 16
    Petorado says:

    Guns are a catalyst. And with the right chemistry, they will definitely cause a predictable reaction.

    The problem with the NRA is that they believe in absolutes that do not take in to account the other aspects of the chemistry that cause violence and death in this nation. A gun and hatred will cause a reaction, add alcohol and the reaction will approach certainty, add in emotional problems and the certainty reaches one. Adding fuel to a fire isn’t a right, it’s a threat to public safety.

  17. 17
    Mandalay says:

    Fuck you people who got the vapors over the title. I’m right

    Nope, you’re still wrong. Nothing has changed in the past hour. Giving the appearance of gloating over a suicide diminishes you.

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    We have too many guns. A lot of them are held by people who have no business being in the same county as a gun, much less shoved into their pocket.

    Sacramento County Coroner’s officials have identified the man fatally shot late Thursday aboard a light-rail train in downtown Sacramento as Eric D. McCaster, 51, of Sacramento.

    McCaster was shot multiple times about 10 p.m. as the Regional Transit light-rail rolled into the Archives Plaza station at 11th and O streets. McCaster managed to exit the train before falling to the sidewalk, say RT officials. He was pronounced dead by first responders minutes later, the first homicide aboard a train in Regional Transit’s history. Two other passengers and the train’s operator were not hurt.

    Held in Sacramento County custody is Lynnsey Evakarla Braun, 32, on suspicion of murder in McCaster’s death. Braun was booked Friday by Sacramento Police detectives into the county jail and is expected to be arraigned Monday in Sacramento Superior Court.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/.....rylink=cpy

    I’ve easily been on the train at that stop a thousand times.

  19. 19
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Fuck you people who got the vapors over the title. I’m right, and you’re like the David Brooks and Richard Cohen’s of the world who are incapable of separating a four letter word or a provocative act from the gravity of the real problem.

    Fucking A!

    Also, the Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNYiEd9ErK4

  20. 20
    ruemara says:

    @trollhattan: I’ve never gotten on those light rails, but I’ve been all over that area. How awful.

  21. 21
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Barill was goddam lucky his offspring didn’t kill him first before he tried to take his own life.

    Let’s see if Barill gets some enlightenment over recent events. Somehow I doubt that’ll be the case.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: The gun nut twofer title is apropos in that it points out two major dangers of unsecured firearms and ammunition in a home. One, that someone with a mental illness will use the the gun to harm him/herself. Two, that some random person in such a home will get hurt. Cole doesn’t do nuance, but, and as a result, when he is right, he tends to send the ball deep.

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    John
    I liked both posts.
    I get the original intent of the 2nd. But that was what over 230 yrs ago. Life just ain’t the same. And I don’t understand why anyone would want it to be. OK maybe the fucking uber wealthy assholes. But regular folks?
    We’ve had a few inventions since then that have changed a lot of things, indoor plumbing, cars, cell phones, multi shot weapons, semi auto weapons, a semi crappy court system, internet…. None of these were envisioned when this country was formed and then look at how many of us there are now and how much less useable land and water there is. We need to find new ways to live and govern ourselves, not the old ways that didn’t work well then and work less well now.

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    In defense of the Baril’s. It was a very polite environment at their house.

  25. 25
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mandalay: Was the offspring’s suicide successful? doesn’t sound like it was.

    Nevertheless, what happened to Barill is Karma raised to the 1,000th power-and a prime example of reaping what one sews.

  26. 26
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    This.
    And BTW it was an out of the park home run. Pussy footing around the subject doesn’t work. One has to speak truth to power. OK I’ve heard that somewhere before.

  27. 27
    Mandalay says:

    Worth noting that Barrill also sponsored HB2013 “Prohibiting declination or termination of property insurance based solely upon a home owner’s possession of a certain breed of dog”.

    I wonder whether Cole wants to do a thread on that with a flippant title as well. Somehow, I suspect not.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: This is why sensible legal scholars don’t buy the original intent BS. The idea of a living Constitution, one that takes into account the changes in society that happen over time, comes into play here.

  29. 29
    Joseph Nobles says:

    After any sensible legislation resulting from the Newtown shooting was defeated, I’m with you, John.

    I just want the next mass shooting spree to happen at a gun show. I want the next one to happen when some lunatic grabs the gun they just bought and starts firing indiscriminately. I want people pulling out their weapons and firing back, shooting everyone around them in an escalating blaze of crossfire.

    Because then I can stop thinking “One more, one more, one more” after these things happen and start thinking, “One less. One less. One less.”

  30. 30
    Pogonip says:

    @different-church-lady: It’s unlikely.

  31. 31
    Cassidy says:

    @different-church-lady: I don’t mind the “fuck you’s”. A few less cat lady, though, would be cool.

  32. 32
    Mandalay says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Was the offspring’s suicide successful? doesn’t sound like it was.

    From the only two reports I can find, it seems that the suicide was successful but is not yet officially confirmed.

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    Live by the gun legislation, die by the gun legislation.

  34. 34
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    And IANAL or a legal scholar but even I can see the legal ramifications of being a conservative.

  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    I used a bad word and WP sent me to my room without dinner.
    Help! Hippie with potty mouth trapped in mod hell.

  36. 36
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Barill is 80 and a Democrat.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Howard Beale IV: And?

  38. 38
    Cervantes says:

    Never mind the title of the first post, John — apparently, you like it a lot, and that’s what matters — but the title of this post is actually amusing provided you recall that Darwin himself very early was what you might call a “gun nut”:

    Early in my school days a boy had a copy of The Wonders of the World, which I often read, and disputed with other boys about the veracity of some of the statements; and I believe that this book first gave me a wish to travel in remote countries, which was ultimately fulfilled by the voyage of the Beagle. In the latter part of my school life I became passionately fond of shooting; I do not believe that any one could have shown more zeal for the most holy cause than I did for shooting birds. How well I remember killing my first snipe, and my excitement was so great that I had much difficulty in reloading my gun from the trembling of my hands. This taste long continued, and I became a very good shot.

    When at Cambridge I used to practise throwing up my gun to my shoulder before a looking-glass to see that I threw it up straight. Another and better plan was to get a friend to wave about a lighted candle, and then to fire at it with a cap on the nipple, and if the aim was accurate the little puff of air would blow out the candle. The explosion of the cap caused a sharp crack, and I was told that the tutor of the college remarked, “What an extraordinary thing it is, Mr. Darwin seems to spend hours in cracking a horse-whip in his room, for I often hear the crack when I pass under his windows.”

    The text is from The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, including an Autobiographical Chapter (1887).

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: An avid gun owner in the 19th century =/= a modern gun nut.

  40. 40
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Just a datapoint.

  41. 41
    Joseph Aylward says:

    Long time lurker, first and last time commenter. I’m sick of John being callous and then throwing a hissy fit when he’s called on it. I’m gone.

  42. 42
    Suzanne says:

    @Hawes: while I have no problem with John’s post title, the whinging about the Left being PC is more obnoxious. What you think is “PC” is typically what others consider “polite”. I suppose you complain about being PC when thinking of others is just too much effort.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Howard Beale IV: It was actually two pieces of data. I presume you had a point in presenting them. I, for one, would appreciate you actually making the point rather than leaving us to guess.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Petorado:

    Frankly, the NRA does not care. Their job is to sell guns. That’s why they exist. Always has been, always will be. Everything they do is about moving product, be it concern trolling about marksmanship, offering safety classes, lobbying against background checks. All in the service of their masters, the merchants of death.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suzanne:

    The left invented Political Correctness as snark.

    The right projects their own authoritarian ideology on the term, and actually goes around and enforces it as best they can. See what has happened to John McCain?

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The left invented Political Correctness as snark.

    Before that, the term was used without irony — in Eastern Europe.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    Our right uses it as a slur, but they practice it in the same spirit as Stalin.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Our right uses it as a slur, but they practice it in the same spirit as Stalin.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how Dinesh D’Souza’s doing these days.

    I think I’ll send him a postcard.

  49. 49
    andy says:

    @Petorado:

    The problem with the NRA is that they believe in absolutes that do not take in to account the other aspects of the chemistry that cause violence and death

    Reasonable people might entertain such possibilities, however, the NRA and their followers have no fucks to give on this. Any incident with guns will only ramp up the hysteria, further proliferating the products of an industry that should be sunsetting, and reinforcing the membership’s mania.

    It’s almost like a communicable disease by now…

  50. 50
    Suzanne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Then why do some on the left have such a negative reaction when asked/told not to use terms that others might find offensive? Shit, I’ve seen that on this very blog.

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    @Suzanne:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Then why do some on the left have such a negative reaction when asked/told not to use terms that others might find offensive? Shit, I’ve seen that on this very blog.

    Here’s a relevant example. (Trace it back.)

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    I sometimes think I am the only person to learn anything over the twelve years of this blog.

    Yes, John. That must be it.

  53. 53
    ShadeTail says:

    @Mandalay: No, Mr. Cole was right from the beginning and is still right. Facts remain facts whether you like it or not, and the fact is that Barill fell victim to the very circumstances that he helped create. It is a picture-perfect example of why the gun nuts are wrong about their gun nuttery.

    If you can’t stomach Mr. Cole’s pointing out of that fact, that’s *your* problem, not his.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    Concern troll continues to be concerned.

  55. 55
    patty \ says:

    i couldn’t agree with you more John!

  56. 56
    James E. Powell says:

    Although the line is a little long, I feel that the statement “I sometimes think I am the only person to learn anything over the twelve years of this blog” needs to be a tag or a meme or maybe just a phrase that gets pulled out and plugged in when appropriate. For me it could be right up there with “I am aware of all internet traditions.”

  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I thought you’d enjoy that!

  58. 58
    Suzanne says:

    @Cervantes: VDE is one of my favorite commenters here.

    There was a thread that springs to mind, in which commenters were rightfully piling on some Republican doosh who used a racist term of some sort. But when one commenter objected to another using a sexist term, the response was something like, “This isn’t a PC blog! Stop reading if you’re offended!” I have to admit I was perplexed.

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    @Cervantes:

    but the title of this post is actually amusing provided you recall that Darwin himself very early was what you might call a “gun nut”

    And once again I assert that 90% of the internet is pedantic morons somewhere deep on one side of the autism spectrum scale.

    Seriously, you half wit, I’m pretty ok with every gun nut in America being armed with only the weaponry that was available to Charles Darwin PRIOR to his memoirs in 1887. In case you are wondering, here’s a sample of the weapons in the 1880’s.

    Barrill is part of the problem. So are you, as is clear to anyone who has read this thread, where you did your best Bob Somerby impression of missing every god damned tree in the forest and every forest on the continent.

  60. 60
    Cervantes says:

    @John Cole: Don’t brook much disagreement, do you? Tsk, tsk.

    And once again I assert that 90% of the internet is pedantic morons somewhere deep on one side of the autism spectrum scale.

    Yes, I see the assertion.

    Seriously, you half wit, I’m pretty ok with every gun nut in America being armed with only the weaponry that was available to Charles Darwin PRIOR to his memoirs in 1887. In case you are wondering, here’s a sample of the weapons in the 1880′s.

    The point was a minor one: Darwin, named in the title of your I’m-not-wrong-so-there post, was a “gun nut” in his day. I found that amusing; you, apparently, found it … challenging.

    Barrill is part of the problem. So are you, as is clear to anyone who has read this thread, where you did your best Bob Somerby impression of missing every god damned tree in the forest and every forest on the continent.

    Yes, of course, Barrill is part of the problem. That’s pretty obvious, wouldn’t you say?

    (The rest of your comment is colorful but requires no response.)

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @Suzanne: Sure — stupidity is not in short supply.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    If he didn’t book disagreement he would have just banned you. Or at the very least ignored you. He did neither of those.
    I’m not sure you are missing the trees and the forests because you aren’t trying, I think you are focusing on one particular leaf from one particular tree in one forest. The end works out the same but being pedantic maybe you will enjoy the difference.

  63. 63
    dollared says:

    @Cervantes: “Tsk, tsk?” It’s awesome to hear someone actually clucking like a chicken. But you’ve inserted yourself into two threads with absolutely no intellectual contribution whatsoever.

    Do you have a need to find people *wrong* in some way? How does that work in your key personal relationships?

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not sure you are missing the trees and the forests because you aren’t trying, I think you are focusing on one particular leaf from one particular tree in one forest.

    In the original thread, John made no explicit point — no forest, no trees, no leaves — all he did was to quote from a radio/TV/web report and add a title to the post. Some commented on the title; I did, too, to suggest that discretion can sometimes be the better part of valor, but that it was his call, obviously. Pretty offensive, I know, but bear with me.

    In the second thread, I noticed his reference to Darwin in the title and made a small joke about it. You saw for yourself what then happened: loudly ceremonial missing of the small joke, coupled with lots of odoriferous belching. Pretty funny, actually.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @dollared: Sorry, what’s your point? If you’re under the impression that I am awaiting your approval, you might want to re-think that!

  66. 66
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Cervantes:

    to suggest that discretion can sometimes be the better part of valor

    Sure.

  67. 67
    Concerned Citizen says:

    This is why I read this blog. Wish more hippies would punch back. Great post Cole.

  68. 68

    Its needs it to become a common thought that those who carry guns are cowards, not manly. Then maybe it won’t be considered acceptable by society to have one in your pocket at all times.

    Also, it not like Cole is wishing a kid dead, but it sure as heck is his gun-nut father’s fault the kid was able to get a gun to attempt suicide.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @John Cole: Can you provide a link that substantiates your 90% claim? Haha, just fucking with you. I’d commit your comment to needlepoint if I had a big enough throw pillow.

  70. 70
    aimai says:

    This is such a weird post–John’s first post contained no pertinent information about the gun nuttitude of the father. None. For all the readers knew the guy was opposed to guns and his son committed suicide. Or the father removed all guns from the house but the son came over with an illegally acquired gun. Absent the information later supplied the original post was unseemly and premature and, lets be honest, just plain nasty. Another Democratic state legislator was just badly injured by his son with a knife when the son took his own life. Sucide and violent forms of mental illness are no laughing matter and its always better to err on the side of humanity than on the side of “I told you so.”

    Its natural to want to point out to the gun nuts that these near-murder/suicides are the likeliest outcome of their policies but it actually does ZERO good. People are extremely resistant to learning from their own mistakes and even less likely to learn from the mistakes of others. Its human nature, especially aggrieved and embarrassed human nature, to refuse to accept the blame for actions (like encouraging gun ownership for the angry, dispossessed, or mentally ill) which lead to tragic deaths. Haven’t the endless streams of stories about fathers shooting their own toddlers and babies convinced you all of the ineradicable stupidity and childish refusal to accept responsibility of the average gun nut? IF these people weren’t already profoundly illogical and badly motivated theywouldn’t be gun nuts in the first place.

    And its the whole fucking culture that excuses them. In detroit a drunken, angry, abusive asshole visited his ex wife and her mother and tried to shove his way into her house, like any normal angry male. They managed to shove him out of the house at which point he pulled a gun and fired some angry, warning shots straight up in the air. One of the bullets penetrated the upper story of the house and killed his own 11 year old daughter who was cowering in a closet. His friends and family think this was a perfectly normal if tragic accident. Who among us has not overindulged in illegal substances an gone rampaging through the night with a loaded gun and fired it in the air to express displeasure? Thats their attitude. He’s really sorry for it–who wouldn’t be–but no one could have expected that this would be the outcome of what must have been a fairly common event for him. Its like drinking and driving, for gosh sakes! Stuff happens to manly men and no one can expect disaster. That stuff is totally random.

    So: even crowing about how this was expected? Not useful. They are very well defended against admitting their own culpability.

  71. 71
    Brian R. says:

    @Cervantes:

    Sure — stupidity is not in short supply.

    Well, it will be if you keep hoarding it.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    Cool. Since we don’t have to be “PC” anymore, finish this joke:

    A cat and a pit bull walk into a bar….

  73. 73
    Svensker says:

    @aimai:

    You’ve just wiped out the point of 90% of the blogosphere. Now what?

  74. 74
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    Absent the information later supplied the original post was unseemly and premature and, lets be honest, just plain nasty. Another Democratic state legislator was just badly injured by his son with a knife when the son took his own life. Sucide and violent forms of mental illness are no laughing matter and its always better to err on the side of humanity than on the side of “I told you so.”

    But why err on the side of humanity when you can righteously score some profound point at the expense of some dying or dead young man you’ve never even met?

    It’s not even close, a no-brainer.

  75. 75
    Cervantes says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Sure.

    Thanks. Let’s see if Dylan can help you; obviously nothing above did.

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @Svensker: Food for thought, definitely.

  77. 77
    Citizen_X says:

    Fuck you people

    Wrong. Make fun–or get angry, as I would–at the self-destructive father all you want. But mock a suicide, about whom you know absolutely nothing? Fuck you.

    Now keep on doubling down all you want.

  78. 78
    poptartcus says:

    that’s how you tell its the real john cole posting and not an imposter

  79. 79
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’m sure you won’t come see this, but my comment last night was based on a talk I heard by Prof. Matthew Miller of Harvard, who has done some fairly serious number-crunching to conclude that the likelihood of dying by gun in the American home is due to the high number of guns, not the high number of mentally ill people.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ma.....lications/

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife: Thanks. I’ll take a look if you tell me which of his publications you are referring to.

    But notice that this proposition, stated the way you state it:

    the likelihood of dying by gun in the American home is due to the high number of guns, not the high number of mentally ill people

    does not imply (or require) that mental illness is (or be) more or less uniformly distributed across the world. Did you intend to make this last assertion?

  81. 81
    kc says:

    @Suzanne:

    “Doosh” [sic] is sexist.

  82. 82
    Suzanne says:

    @kc: That’ s open for debate. Many feminists I read actually prefer the term to others, saying that douching is bad for women, and therefore so is the object of the insult.

  83. 83
    dollared says:

    @Cervantes: No, but don’t bask in the assumption that anyone beside Amai (who is so contrarian I can only assume she’s been sending unsolicited manuscripts into Slate) thinks that you are on the side of humanity and decency when you seek to protect a gun nuts feelings when his own stupid culture produces a sick tragedy like this.

    You keep a gun in the house, something bad happens, do not fucking come to sensible people for sympathy. But I guess your door is always open.

  84. 84
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    I learned over 12 years that all decent human beings eventually abandon the GOP. (Sorry I don’t drop by more often, but there are so many biogs now and so little time.)

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