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February 22, 2018

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Ayeeeiiiiiii!!!!! Rant hairball follows....

I read somewhere that a very tiny % of the population owns most of the guns, and that this population is the target of NRA fearmongering, because the red meat induces them to go out and buy more guns.

Around this nub is a sea of fellow travelers who unthinkingly mouth the NRA line because it jibes with their ideological world view about "Liberty".

You gotta' admire how the right (despite internecine blood feuds) "hangs together" when it comes to taking on Libruls.

Perhaps the Left will finally get a f*cking clue in this regard.

You know what we need to do with guns? Melt. Them. Down.
You know what we need to do about abortion? Let the woman decide.
You know what we need to do about racism? Find ways to build wealth for those not blessed to be born with a white skin.
You know what we need to do about stagnating wages? Put our thumbs on the scale to promote organized labor.
You know what we need to do about global warming? Drastically cut carbon emissions, possibly reduce our standard of living. Develop an economic system that does not use the crutch of unrestrained greed as the Prime Directive.
You know what we need to do about wealth inequality? Tax the rich until they are as rare as the dodo.

This is not rocket science.

Don't get skeeved. Organize.

cough, cough....

I would say alcohol is the most destructive drug in use in the U.S. today, probably by far.

I find it very hard to imagine that this is not true.

Let's all dance!

In about 20 minutes, in bobbyp's honor, because he and the kids are on fire, I'm heading down to karaoke to sing this (and sample the most destructive drug ..... in moderation)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL7-CKirWZE

So, do we make ethanol a Schedule 1 drug? Hey, maybe Prohibition Mark 2 will work. After all, we keep retrying other things that demonstrably don t work, why not give that another try?

Besides, drunks with AR-15s would have more trouble reloading, and be more likely to miss. Win-win!

So much for the idea that the answer to too many guns is to put guns in schools:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/22/florida-school-shooting-armed-officer-duty-scot-peterson-422579

FWIW, I have a degree of sympathy for this guy. Not everyone can be a hero - and it's just as likely he'd have ended up a dead hero as it is that he'd have shot the guy with the AR15.

The fantasy that a good guy with a handgun is the solution to this -
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/what-i-saw-treating-the-victims-from-parkland-should-change-the-debate-on-guns/553937/
- is just that, a fantasy.

Maybe tenure too:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-suggests-bonus-armed-teachers

To give a rather more serious response, we actually do have an example before us of something that works. And we could, assuming we can summon up the wit and the courage, follow it -- with guns and with drugs.

Consider tobacco. It's addictive. It's harmful. It even has (had) a powerful producers' lobby.

So what did we do? Well, we didn't try to just ban it. But neither did we bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it wasn't a problem.

What we did, gradually, reluctantly, and in the face of furious lobbying and a flood of (to apply the modern term) "alternative facts", was to regulate and educate. The existing users generally (absent lung cancer) just kept using. But everybody learned about the hazards, advertising was banned, and there were increasing restrictions on where smokers could indulge. All of which cut the rate of new addictions.

As a result, in much of the country, smoking has moved from being a cool macho marker to being a sign of foolishness and/or weak will. There are exceptions, of course (interestingly, they appear to be the same places, physically and culturally, which have the greatest fondness for guns). But generally, it's increasingly socially unacceptable. Overall, the market has shrunk substantially. All without a ban.

gin, specifically, has an interesting history. it's an upscale tipple now, but it was basically the crack cocaine of 18th C England.

that is, if crack was openly and legally available for sale, everywhere. every 7/11, hardware store, gas station, and starbucks.

attempts were made to control it but they led to riots.

When I was in London, we took a "Jack the Ripper" tour of the East End, visiting locations of murders, places where clues were found, the Ten Bells pub, where the prostitutes hung out back in the day.

Though it was much earlier, there was some discussion of the Gin Craze, just as background on the social ills that had plagued that part of London over the years, to get some idea of what an awful and desperate place it was.

People drank it like beer, as in, by the pint. (Yuck!) It was ruinous.

the gin of the Gin Craze was not much like the gin of today. anyone could make it, and everyone did. it was more like juniper-flavored moonshine. and just like moonshine, it was often toxic and would be adulterated with anything at hand, in order to make it palatable.

"FWIW, I have a degree of sympathy for this guy. Not everyone can be a hero - and it's just as likely he'd have ended up a dead hero as it is that he'd have shot the guy with the AR-15."

First, I know the difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic fire weapon.

But how would anyone know whether a shooter in a maze like a school, with civilians everywhere, has automatic capability on his weapon or not, even if his first 20 shots were of the single-shot semi-automatic variety?

The (a) problem with introducing weapons designed for military combat capabilities, even the fucking pink ones, into civilian society at large is what should the response be when the shit hits the fan.

The paramilitary arm of the IRA, not the retirement account, used the AR-15, among other weapons, to shoot up Protestants and Englishman.

In a military combat situation happening in a civilian setting like a school (first of all, if anyone can f*cking believe it's happening; it really is no different than when ISIS enters a Yazidis settlement ... everyone heads for the mountain, including the one guy in the village with a carbine, though he may hold the door for his escaping relatives, later to have his nuts cut off by ISIS for his valor), it is not surprising that an officer would freeze in the face of uncertain enemy contact.

In a combat situation, when a unit is pinned down and outgunned, they hunker down, keep their heads low and call in air support and backup, before interdicting the machine gun nest.

It's not a f*cking movie.

Even in a civilian setting, say, an armed intruder entering a residence, the guy confronting the intruder with his pistol to protect his stuff is likely to lose more than his stuff.

You get the fuck out of there, or you hand over the stuff to live, you hope, the next day to go shopping for new stuff.

YMMV, hot shots.

Expecting a cop assigned to a school to be Audie Murphy is bullshit.

Placing teachers in the position of being Audie Murphy is likely to engender a rash of death-by-teacher incidents and is a substance much more rich in manure than having armed cops on duty.

The CPAC event was a gun-free zone for the attendees.

Nice for them.

The CPAC event was a gun-free zone for the attendees.

Well, sure. They lack good guys. Duh!

LaPierre:

"First, we believe in absolutely gun free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools. .. That means no guns in America's schools, period, with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel."

10 days after Columbine.

"We drop our kids off at schools that are so-called gun free zones that are wide open targets for any crazy madman bent on evil to come there first,"

Today.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/nra-head-cpac-speech-sharply-contradicts-1999-remarks-article-1.3836108

the GOP is a senseless death cult.

Expecting a cop assigned to a school to be Audie Murphy is bullshit

Agreed.

The asshole in the White House doubles down on blaming the cop:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43174069

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/02/what-an-ar-15-does

If it was a couple of dozen livers and other organs made into haggis filling from the corpses of the CPAC speakers roster on the CT scan display this week, and that should NOT happen either, so spare me the fake concern, Loesch, you can be sure it would be time to talk about it.

Of course, the example of Steve Scalise looms. Dumber after being shot than before. Poorly regulated dumbasses being necessary to the security of a free State.

As it is, at CPAC, those rising to fire off a burst of words contradicting those snowflakes would be hustled off faster than any conservative in the crowd accidentally shooting off his left testicle with a weapon he got past security to make a point.

Nearly every measure I've heard floated by the NRA and the Republican Party to modify recently adjudicated and legislated Second Amendment rights (when a republican uses the term originalist in the same sentence as the Second Amendment, they mean what their Founding Assholes have made up since 1980) is to sharply curtail First Amendment rights.

Expecting a cop to intervene to try to save school children in an active shooter situation is what we pay him for, among other things.

We aren't talking Audie Murphy, we're talking do your job.

Well, so much for incentives and wishful thinking.

"We aren't talking Audie Murphy, we're talking do your job."

I guarantee you had the cop interdicted the shooter before much damage had been done, news accounts and the NRA "news" site would be invoking the name Audie Murphy, well, just after Harry Callahan, in their adorations.

Audie Murphy's ferocious heroics happened in a military theater -- the Colmar Pocket in WWII France, so yeah, we're not talking Audie Murphy.

So many weapons, so little time.

But someone explain to me how a suburban high school in peacetime Florida became the Colmar Pocket.

On the gin discussion, I am assuming that everyone is familiar with Hogarth's wonderful comments on the issue in "Beer Street" and "Gin Lane", before the passing of the Gin Act. Just in case someone hasn't seen it, here's the Wikipedia page, with a print of the pictures. Gin Lane shows what pernicious effects gin was supposed to have, to the extent that the gin-sodden mother is heedlessly letting her baby drop down the stairwell without noticing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Street_and_Gin_Lane

"Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of the country’s gun deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be."
The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting

We aren't talking Audie Murphy, we're talking do your job.

add him to the list of folks who dropped the ball.

i've never had anyone shooting at me, never had to step into a situation where that was even remotely likely. i have no idea how i'd respond.

a disturbed young man who had expressed violent fantasies and had attracted notice for that for years was able to purchase an AR-15.

he wasn't allowed to bring a backpack to school, but he could buy the semi-automatic version of a standard US combat rifle.

the school cop is a drop in the bucket of what went wrong at parkland.

I think part of the issue is that school cops are supposed to act as deterrents more so than as responders (all by their lonesomes), at least as far as this sort of extreme situation is concerned. We're not talking about a fistfight.

I mean, yeah, if he happened to be in the right spot to get off a good shot, he should have taken it. But running into a situation like that one blindly, alone and armed with just a handgun, could very well be considered above the call of duty.

Having his spleen blown out of him would probably have hindered his potential to pass on intelligence to the back-up that was called in.

Did the guy know how many shooters there were or what they were armed with? Who knows? Certainly not I.

actual cop: unable to stop a kid with a gun
teachers: will totally be up to shooting kids with guns

i imagine that there is a protocol for school cops, for various situations. including this one. if there isn't, there oughta be, so that the parties involved know what they're supposed to do.

i don't know what the protocol is, if there is one, and what it calls for.

another person who i'll bet does not know is donald j "profile in courage" trump.

if the guy stood back when he should have run in, shame on him. he apparently has resigned, which is no doubt a very good idea, because i'm sure the flying monkeys are headed his way even as we speak.

Here's a point of view worth considering:

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/veteran-officer-defends-parkland-school-resource-officers-actions-calls-him-a-scapegoat

Diamond wants to know if Peterson was properly trained. He says the officer worked in one of the safest cities in the country in one of the highest rated high schools in Florida.

“Whether or not his training was adequate or not is in question, whether or not his physical condition and his confidence was to where it should be, is in question,” Diamond said. “Now, he’s got a situation coming down around his ears and you expect him to run in without anybody to cover his back, I mean that is unrealistic.”

Then there's this:

Israel also said school resource officers will now be equipped with visible AR-15’s on campus. That decision was made after the shooting. Diamond points out that also shows Peterson was outgunned from the start: armed with only a handgun.

More AR-15s! Yay!!!

LaPierre is a complete whack-a-doodle.

Anyone crazy enough to belong to an organization he runs is too crazy to be allowed to buy a gun.

Great!

So America (the guy's name just has to be named "Israel", right?) has transformed an American high school into an armed checkpoint in the fucking West Bank or Beirut.

Where will these AR-15s be stored when the school cops are off-duty?

America sucks its own dick.

Sounds as though Marty has a touch of the Trumps...

This is the reality of such situations:
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/arming-teachers-classroom-cost-kids-lives-article-1.3835411

The first (and only) time I was in close-quarter combat, I got tunnel vision. It happened so fast that when I went to squeeze the trigger, my safety was still on. In that instant, I almost panicked, thinking my weapon had jammed. Then the training kicked in. I flipped the selector switch to semi and started shooting.

It was over in seconds. My full field of vision returned, and an otherwise quiet evening in northern Iraq became bodies, broken glass, empty shell casings and ringing ears.

Seven years of training led up to that moment. How to react had been drilled into me. And still, I was caught so off guard by the attack that my reflexes had failed initially. It was nearly fatal...

Clearly in an ideal world, every cop would be in infallible hero.
We don't live in such a world, and telling cops that unwillingness to die in the line of duty will get them fired and publicly humiliated is unlikely to lead to good outcomes.

"Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel—the man whose agency failed to prevent the Parkland massacre despite having received a tip last November that Nikolas Cruz was plotting a mass shooting—has been accused of public corruption."
When Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Was Accused of Corruption, He Responded: 'Lions Don't Care About the Opinions of Sheep': Israel reportedly hired his political supporters to do outreach for the police.


"Broward County schools intentionally created polices from 2010 through 2016 that culminated in the 2018 mass school shooting in Parkland. We know this with great specificity because five years ago we warned Broward County Florida school board members this could happen."
School Shooting Was Outcome of Broward County School Board Policy – Now Local and National Politicians Weaponize Kids for Ideological Intents…

LaPierre is a complete whack-a-doodle.

Personally, when I read about LaPierre's comments on the need to defend against individuals "bent on evil" I immediately think of . . . LaPierre. He seems to fit the description at least as well as any individual school shooter.

from Charles WT's second cite: "So what happens when you stop arresting students for clear criminal conduct and then lessen the school punishment therein?…. You get this:

.... and then photos of the shooting aftermath.

I once leaped clear across the widest and deep part of the Grand Canyon, and I'm here to tell you it was easy.

I wonder what those churches in South Carolina and Texas did to invite the mass murder of their parishioners.

Cut back prayer time? Forget to report theft from the offering plates?

These mass shootings seem spontaneous to me.

Efforts in response to control weaponry in the hands of civilians seem equally spontaneous to me as well.

It sounds like a philosophy to me.

Cops on the street are apparently justified in shooting whoever they please; armed, unarmed, laying in the ground, whatever; because they 'feel threatened' and 'want to go home at the end of the day'.

But SCHOOL COPS are going to single-handedly rush into an active shooter situation and put their lives on the line BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE PAID TO DO.

I guess it makes sense in RWNJ world. Seems inconsistent, though.

Aye, me sainted Irish mother would like a word with ya in the alley, if you please:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/data-clashes-with-emotion-as-cpac-immigration-panel-goes-off-the-rails

Erick Erickson, that prong, is coming to the door again with his wife's shotgun. Do what I would do, and you'll live for it to be soon to talk about:

http://crookedtimber.org/2018/02/22/this-does-not-look-like-you-care-about-these-adults/#more-43916

Some burnt ends to tide us for the weekend. The filth in the republican party never take the weekend off hating America to its ruin, so if we're lucky, see ya Monday:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/02/jew-jew-modern-gop-fascism

Charles, it is a commonplace worldwide that the US criminal justice system is severely fucked up. As is the US addiction to gun ownership.

What point are you trying to make ?

If some rightwingfcuktard starts to belabor you about getting a bit "overwrought" on school shootings and guns, just calmly retort, "The War on Terror" and then walk away bent over in laughter.

What point are you trying to make ?

No point. Maybe just chumming...

If you're looking for someone - other than the shooter - to blame, then there are better candidates:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/05/the-nra-lobbyist-behind-floridas-pro-gun-policies

Meadow Pollack

"it's like how much more perfect could this tweet be? And the answer is none. None more perfect."

https://twitter.com/sarahchad_/status/966924331086266369

Maybe just chumming...

If it is chumming, please stop.

Chummers usually end up needing a bigger boat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpG3-hLJTwU

A confluence of filthy fucking spontaneous Evil:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/02/23/nra-open-thread-is-it-worse-to-be-a-blood-hungry-true-believer-or-just-a-grifter-riling-up-the-true-believers-for-the-money/

The Count, back in the Whatever open thread:

there is no one commenting here at the moment who is a republican** in good standing by the insane standards of that party
The sad fact is that "in good standing" doesn't matter at the ballot box. A RINO who votes Republican is effectively a [RINO]INO. I don't know what good that does anybody.

Voting Republican means empowering Wayne LaPierre and (nowadays) Vladimir Putin, not to mention the Arpaios and the Kochs of this godforsaken country. Any RINO who does that is, in plain English, just a Republican.

--TP

But how would you characterize a (registered) Republican, who votes in the Republican primary. But who, due to the kind of people the GOP nominates these days, ends up not voting for the Republican in the general election.

I reject the label RINO, mostly because I reject the right of the crazies to define who is and is not a real Republican. I suppose it's part of being old -- I'm reluctant to accept that the change in my party is irreversible. Reluctant, but I admit it looks increasingly like a lost cause.

I think that anyone who helps, in any way, the Republican Party gain power is doing what Tony says.

That excludes primary voting, but it includes supporting any GOP Senate or House candidate, however "moderate," because the most important vote thing they do is help create a Republican majority in Congress.

Your local candidate may be the most sensible person on Earth, but functionally they are little different than the most rabid Freedom Caucus maniac.

When I was in London, we took a "Jack the Ripper" tour of the East End...

I think "Jack the Ripper" tours should not exist, out of respect for the victims.

I didn't know where to post this, but this thread while not explicitly open seems to be the current live one.

This is a fascinating and heartening article I got from hilzoy's twitter feed:

https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/middle-america-reboots-democracy/

Talking about a demographic that is making astonishing grassroots progress in placing their candidates in contested positions at the local level, one of the paragraphs says:

Self-avowed Democrats are key participants in this new form of engagement, but many local groups have deliberately reached out to Independents and disaffected Republicans, and they often self-consciously adopt names and ways of operating that allow them to remain welcoming and inclusive across partisan lines. The Democrats among them are pragmatically inclusive as well. Unlike the ongoing factional battles at the Democratic National Committee and in some state Democratic parties, as well as on social media, in these local groups former Bernie and Hillary supporters—joined by others who supported neither—have spent little time rehashing the past. Shock at the November 2016 results and horror at the stances and rhetoric of President Donald Trump and the new Congress drove their start. But the time spent on venting was everywhere limited, as people asked what could be done to get democracy back on track, and found the answers were right in front of them.

I urge you to read the whole (not too long) piece. It has encouraged me to hope that my otherwise doomy premonitions (about Dubya/Palin/Trump being John the Baptists for a coming worse disaster) may be wrong.

Pass the gin:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/02/caucus-building-warm-butts-in-seats-by.html

About that Jeremy Corbyn thing:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/24/ben-bradley-apologises-unreservedly-for-corbyn-spy-claims

Corbyn is no wonderful gift, but ....

It's a worldwide phenomenon, in every country, this conservative movement psychopathy.

It's in their genes. Something virulently viral.

ISIS, al-Qaeda, Putin, Polish Catholic anti-Semites, Tories, Republicans, mp, Saudi royals, Iranian hard-right mullahs, Netanyahu, Duterte, Kim Jong-un, La Pen, Assad, Erdogan, much of the Chinese leadership ..

Everyone else is the Other, and they, the incomplete list above, don't necessarily exclude each other from the Other.

RE the "Middle America Reboots Democracy" article... I often recommend The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). I met/observed/interacted with many of the players while I was on the Colorado legislature's permanent non-partisan staff, and find the book a reasonable summary of what happened.

I also believe it happened despite the Dem national party, not because of them.

GftNC, that's a really great article! Thanks

You're more than welcome, wj. I found it very cheering.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-dont-understand-why-civilians-need-access-to-military-weapons-condoleezza-rice-wants-new-dialogue-on-guns-2018-02-24?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Rice grew up during the civil rights era. Her parents and other adults around her had an interest in and had weapons for self-defense. At the time, they might not have cared if someone had called their guns "military weapons."

Rice was friends with some of the girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing. Her familiarity with "the civil rights era" can be assumed to be deep. What is your point, CharlesWT, other than perhaps to say that if someone like her is having second thoughts then anybody might be?

The AR-15 is famous for being famous. The more noise is made about it being a "military weapon," the more likely it will be the weapon of choice for would-be mass shooters.

In the absence of a heavy-handed police state, which would cause a great deal of violence itself, ways to reduce mass shootings are limited until there're some fundimintal changes in society. Whatever those are.

CharlesWT,

I am willing to consider AR-15 buyers "would-be mass shooters" if you do.

That is all.

--TP

AR stands for Armalite, and they're famous for lots of reasons.

ways to reduce mass shootings are limited until there're some fundimintal changes in society

People who say they want to kill other people should not be allowed to buy firearms. People who aren't allowed to bring a backpack into their school because their behavior is erratic and threatening shouldn't be allowed to buy firearms. People who say they want to be the next school shooter shouldn't be allowed to buy firearms.

How to enforce such a thing? A waiting period sufficient to let law enforcement check the obvious sources for information like this.

Doesn't seem like a heavy lift to me.

If you want to live in a society where the "ways to reduce mass shootings are limited", knock yourself out. Most folks don't, so don't count on doing that here.

Charles,

What features of American society are so different from those of other wealthy democracies as to produce these shootings?

I'm not trying to be coy, but surely the easy availability of guns is pretty important. It just seems to me that anyone who claims otherwise is just refusing to face reality.

Individuals in different societies tend to internalize/externalize their problems to different degrees. Countries with higher suicide rates tend to have lower homicide rates. And vice-versa.

Scott Beigel

Noise?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/family-ar-15-inventor-speaks-out-n593356

The weapon, and others of the same variety, was designed to kill enemies in military combat.

True, it makes much the same noise in the context of a normal Wednesday afternoon in a public school.

"In the absence of a heavy-handed police state ..."

What police state is this?

The one that prohibits owning live grenades and carrying them into Whole Foods?

The one that prohibits the laying down of land mines in my front yard?

The one that prohibits shoulder-launched surface to air missiles fired at commercial aircraft at LaGuardia Airport?

The one that prohibits me from using a military-issue flamethrower on my neighbor's irksome dog?

That police state?

"which would cause a great deal of violence itself"

By whom? AR-15 and other semi-automatic weapon owners who are compelled to turn in their weaponry and ammo for disposal?

"until there some fundamental changes in society"

Yeah. By AR-15 and other semi-automatic weapon owners who are compelled to turn in their weaponry and ammo for disposal.

I'm willing to send unarmed law enforcement to accomplish this task.

Someone wants to start something in the way of a great deal of violence, well, we'll come back fully equipped to kick your fucking asses on your terms.

By the way, your First Amendment rights will not be violated. You can cry, scream, curse, and call us all the names you want. You can tell us what you are going to do to us, tough guys.

Have at it. I wouldn't pick up that pistol or hunting rifle though, cause then those will be confiscated as well, as evidence.

Doesn't matter. No worry. Nothing is going to happen, except for more mass shootings.

Nothing. Freedom will reign.

The owners of the millions of NRA-supplied AR-15s and similar military gear ARE the police state in this country.

They ARE Red Dawn.

The Florida shooter is one their infantrymen.

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