Monday Morning Open Thread: Find Joy Where You Can


What’s on the agenda, as we start the new week?


Meanwhile, in Alabama…

Late Night Crude Japes Open Thread: PANTS!

Some people are anointed by Murphy the Trickster God to be joke targets, but Drezner’s pig-bladdering is enjoyable even if you haven’t been reading about Sebastian Gorka this week…

Late last month, former White House employee Sebastian Gorka gave quite the interview to Recoil Magazine’s Rob Curtis. [The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts never misses an issue of Recoil. Objectively, it is the third-best magazine for Second Amendment lovers, right after Blowback and Shrapnel.] …

Beyond his sartorial choices, Gorka was widely mocked for his “everyday carry,” which includes two guns, a tourniquet that he can deploy with one hand, and a pocket copy of the Constitution. Naturally, Gorka himself attributed the mockery to “beta-males and progressives.” Over at Task and Purpose, however, Francis Horton does a fine job deconstructing Gorka’s “man-flair.” Like, for example, the two guns:

Two guns. Not even two guns of the same brand. NOT EVEN TWO GUNS THAT SHOOT THE SAME ROUND. The Glock 29 is a 10mm pistol and the Smith is a 9mm. I suppose I can get behind carrying two guns if you anticipate a lot of shootouts, somewhat raising your odds of one gun spontaneously breaking mid-shootout. I mean, I guess you can’t trust only the gun taped to your back in the event that Hans Gruber has you cornered in Nakatomi Plaza and took your machine gun. Or just the gun stuffed in the ankle holster for you to pull out on your captor while you surreptitiously tie your shoe. I don’t really know. I don’t have hero fantasies. …

First off, don’t carry two guns. Or one gun, really. Especially when you’re a dude who works in Washington, where concealed carry is currently not legal.

As much fun as it is to point out Gorka’s massive inadequacy issues, the whole concept of the everyday carry (EDC) is what fascinated me. As Horton observes: “There are myriad places on the internet, including an r/EDC subreddit, dedicated to showing off and parsing people’s EDCs. Some can be pretty interesting. What does a medical student carry every day? How about a city firefighter?”
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Just Another Day in the NRA’s America

As defined by the Gun Violence Archive, a mass shooting is an event where “four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident,” not including the shooter. As of yesterday, we’ve had 317 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017.

No wonder Trump, likely jacked up on jet-lag and dementia, got mixed up and sent a pro forma mass shooting tweet in which he forgot to substitute the location of yesterday’s carnage with the site of last week’s semi-automatic atrocity:

Trump or a minion has since deleted last night’s defective “thots-n-prars” tweet without bothering to provide an updated version. Good. Since Trump and his party are captive to the death merchants’ lobbying group known as the NRA, their fake concern and piety are an insult to the dead and wounded anyway.

But before the next mass shooting occurs, let’s pause for a moment and look at yesterday’s rampage, which killed four and wounded ten. Via the AP:

RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. (AP) — The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail for a charge of stabbing a neighbor, had been the object of complaints from neighbors who said he had been firing off hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.

Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.

It’s not yet clear what the terms of Neal’s bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff’s officials give details on the domestic violence call.

But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims…

Police said surveillance video shows the shooter unsuccessfully trying to enter a nearby elementary school after quick-thinking staff members locked the outside doors and barricaded themselves inside when they heard gunshots.

[Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil] Johnston said the gunman spent about six minutes shooting into Rancho Tehama Elementary School before driving off to continue shooting elsewhere. Johnston said one student was shot but is expected to survive.

He said the 45-minute rampage ended when a patrol car rammed the stolen vehicle the shooter was driving and killed him in a shootout.

Can you imagine the terror of the children and adults inside that school, as the madman rained bullets on the building? It’s insane and shameful that we allow this situation to continue.

TX Massacre Open Thread: Thots and Prey-ers

At approximately the same time as the shooting…

Late Evening Open Thread

Looks like it’s time for some nice, clean commenting real estate. Since it’s too soon to have a political discussion of firearms, here’s Jethro Tull singing about them in a bonus track from 1982’s Broadsword and the Beast.

Open thread!

Late Night Open Thread: NRA Fairy Tales of Dark Monsters

Trump’s unearned “success” has made the NRA’s plumpest pigeons complacent. SAD!

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Country Changes

Roseanne Cash, in the NYTimes“Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.”:

I’ve been a gun-control activist for 20 years. Every time I speak out on the need for stricter gun laws, I get a new profusion of threats. There’s always plenty of the garden-variety “your dad would be ashamed of you” sexist nonsense, along with the much more menacing threats to my family and personal safety.

Last year, I performed at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Marc Cohn and the Harlem Gospel Choir, and we got death threats. People wanted to kill us because we wanted to end gun violence. That’s where we are: America, 2017.

For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans. You can see it in “N.R.A. Country,” which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, and perhaps economic, thrall of the N.R.A., with the pernicious tag line “Celebrate the Lifestyle.”

That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive. There is no other way to say this: The N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism.

A shadow government exists in the world of gun sales, and the people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales. The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way…

I encourage more artists in country and American roots music to end your silence. It is no longer enough to separate yourself quietly. The laws the N.R.A. would pass are a threat to you, your fans, and to the concerts and festivals we enjoy.

The stakes are too high to not disavow collusion with the N.R.A. Pull apart the threads of patriotism and lax gun laws that it has so subtly and maliciously intertwined. They are not the same…

Marissa R. Moss, in Politico, “How Las Vegas Shattered Country Music’s Consensus on Guns”:

[W]hile there’s no reason to expect major country stars to suddenly risk their fan bases by speaking out in favor of new gun control legislation, the country music industry is changing, thanks to streaming services that are breaking radio’s stranglehold on the industry and a newer cohort of more under-the-radar Americana artists who are more outspoken than their mainstream counterparts.

For at least one mainstream country musician, Sunday night was in fact a turning point. Guitarist for the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band, Caleb Keeter, was at the festival on the day of the massacre, and living through the experience of a mass shooting firsthand was enough to make him rethink his own stance on gun control. “I cannot express how wrong I was,” he said in a Twitter post on Monday morning, still reeling from the shock of the attack after shielding himself from the gunfire on the floor of his tour bus. “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”…
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