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December 14, 2012

Comments

Thank you, russell. A lot of parents privately deal with their children's mental health problems with very few options for help. Enlisting the help of the police is a scary decision, as its impact on the child is never clear. Having mental health professionals to do the intake on emergency admissions would be so much better than involving the police, but the resources for that don't exist. My own community's inpatient mental hospital closed years ago, and (as the article highlights) mental health patient beds in local hospitals are very limited.

One difference between this parent (it seems) and Nancy Lanza: Adam's mother taught her child how to shoot automatic weapons and had several of them in the house. It's insane to believe that the guns themselves were not a huge factor in this tragedy.

"The other half of the Newtown equation."
While a heartbreaking situation for this mother, her son isn't the type that carries out a rampage killing.

Would you bet the farm on that, CharlesWT?
I wouldn't (apart from me not having one of course).

"Would you bet the farm on that, CharlesWT?"
Well, arguing from authority.

"One difference between this parent (it seems) and Nancy Lanza: Adam's mother taught her child how to shoot automatic weapons and had several of them in the house. It's insane to believe that the guns themselves were not a huge factor in this tragedy."

If that is true, how did Nancy Lanza's weapons offer her any protection?

Maybe she should have given some of those weapons to the local school, so they could have offered no protection to the 26 dead.

Maybe she could have given all of her household firearms to the school so that she'd be alive today, despite the stab wounds.

It's clear that the guns had nothing to do with this catastrophe.

What guns? What about the knives?

Yes, the knives.

It's lucky Louie Gohmert wasn't visiting the Lanza household that fateful day to suggest to Nancy Lanza (in Texas-style good taste), as she lay bleeding to death, that she didn't possess enough guns.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/louie-gohmert-guns_n_2311379.html

If, that is had been able to pull himself away from craning his neck out the Lanza kitchen window so as to monitor the government's black helicopters circling overhead.

It's worth noting that none of Kleiman's proposals would have done anything to keep guns out of the hands of Lanza (or Holmes, or many other of these mass shooters).

More about the Lanza household:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/12/wow_waiting_for_the_apocalypse.php?ref=fpblg

Thank you, Ufficio. Also, regarding Mark Kleiman, he basically throws up his hands and says there is "no evidence". In fact, there is a lot of evidence, but it's difficult to interpret.

That doesn't mean we have a correct answer, and that answer is that guns don't affect the homicide rate, etc.

If we wanted to, we could be more philosophical about it, and ask, why do people want semi-automatic weapons in great numbers in their house? Hmmm. I get cars. People like to drive and be seen in cool cars.

Countme-in, that is truly scary. I'm so sorry for Nancy Lanza, but she was seriously deluded herself.

I suppose there's a technical difference between "no evidence" and "hopelessly inadequate and mixed evidence", but it seems a bit pedantic to get so exercised about the difference.

No, that doesn't mean that you don't have a correct answer, just that you don't have any reason to suppose the answer you like IS the correct one.

The whole country (possibly excluding the gun nuts) is mourning tonight. Perhaps you have something to offer them, Brett, except excuses for your god, the gun?

Most firearms in America are actually used to make men feel better about their dicks -- sorry, as symbols and reinforcers of masculinity.

...

Lt. J. Paul Vance said that Lanza died as a result of suicide using a handgun. Vance added that Lanza's mother, Nancy Lanza, died as a result of "multiple gunshot wounds" in her home.

Vance also told reporters that Adam Lanza used the Bushmaster AR-15 "assault-type weapon" most of the time at the school.

...

Inspired by the overwhelming response to Bushmaster’s “Consider Your Man Card Reissued” sweepstakes, today Bushmaster Firearms announces the latest part in the series; the Man Card online promotion.

To become a card-carrying man, visitors of bushmaster.com will have to prove they’re a man by answering a series of manhood questions. Upon successful completion, they will be issued a temporary Man Card to proudly display to friends and family. The Man Card is valid for one year.

Visitors can also call into question or even revoke the Man Card of friends they feel have betrayed their manhood. The man in question will then have to defend himself, and their Man Card, by answering a series of questions geared towards proving indeed, they are worthy of retaining their card.

Bushmaster invites you to visit www.bushmaster.com/mancard to earn your Man Card and have some fun. If you decide to revoke the Man Card of a friend or two along the way, that is entirely up to you.


Why, I'm offering much more than you are, Sapient: I'm not using this tragedy as an excuse to advance my preexisting political goals. I'm not the one snatching up and waving the bloody shirt here, you might try to remember that.

It's the other side doing that.

Since the Bushmaster apparently (we'll see) belonged to the tragic Mrs. Lanza, I revoke her Man Card posthumously.

The Man Card is serious business, people ---
on a manliness par with the street cred earned by fraternity men who stick the business end of a beer bong up their butts for the shorter route to inebriated manliness.

My dick is ashamed of any coincidental similarity to the dickishness, dicktitude, and dickliness displayed by the Bushmaster marketing and advertising shop and hereby revokes its own membership in a club of which it would rather not have been a member anyhow.

I'm sorry there is nothing we can do about this murderous, but whimsical, advertising campaign because the freedom of speech, especially that of the purple people eaters known as corporations, is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

I was thinking of a supply interdiction.

Is the right to manufacture enshrined in the Constitution?

Is it O.K. if I use my preexisting political goals to advance insurance coverage of my preexisting medical conditions?

I think waving the bloody shirt is covered by the First Amendment, unless someone can prove to me that waving bloody shirts leads to more bloody shirts, in which case I'll stop.

If I picked up the bloody shirt, perchance to wave, on Eight Mile Road in Detroit may I wave it to bring attention to the cultural roots of gun violence between miles 0 thru 8 of said road?

Just trying to understand the fine points of the protocol.

Actually I see a significant number of §$%&! religious and otherwise rightwing personalities using the case to push their agenda. For example: mandatorily arming schoolteachers, immediately abolishing each and all (in any way restrictive) gun laws in the US, banning all abortions* and reintroducing mandatory school prayers**, abolishing all public schools (or at least all non-religious ones).

Btw, just a few days before the shooting one of the guys that called for one of the things above also had a good deal to say about why the 2nd amendment can be traced directly to the teachings of Christ and why consequently any opposition to firearms is in defiance of God Himself (for a change it was not David 'the constitution is verbatim from the Bible' Barton).

In case anyone thinks that I exaggerate, direct links can be found at (among other places) People-for-the-American-Way's Rightwingwatch blog. I will not link here directly

*given reason: allowing any abortions teaches citizens that murdering children is not just tolerable but a good thing. This 'obviously' inspired the killer to target an elementary school
**given reason: God would have protected the children but since the secular school system told God that He was not wanted there God acted 'as a gentleman' and kept out of it

Is that why strip clubs are called Gentleman's Clubs?

Brett,

I'm not using this tragedy as an excuse to advance my preexisting political goals. I'm not the one snatching up and waving the bloody shirt here, you might try to remember that.

It's the other side doing that.

Whether you are or not, there are plenty on your side who are. What do you think all the people arguning we need more armed teachers, and more pistol-packing citizens and whatnot are doing?

And let's not overlook the noxious Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer - yes, Brett they are on your side - blaming the whole thing on liberals taking religion out of the schools.

So cut the crap.

I'm so sorry for Nancy Lanza, but she was seriously deluded herself.

Yes, and now she's dead. Her own son shot her in the face with the weapons she stockpiled to ward off armageddon.

So, her careful plans did not work out so well.

The whole prepper thing is a trip and a half. I have extended family members who are into that stuff.

All other things being equal, whatever floats your boat.

On the flip, when your hobby / obsession / what have you results in other people's kids getting shot like dogs in their kindergarten class, the rest of us have something to say about it.

To become a card-carrying man, visitors of bushmaster.com will have to prove they’re a man by answering a series of manhood questions. Upon successful completion, they will be issued a temporary Man Card to proudly display to friends and family. The Man Card is valid for one year.

Seriously, WTF. I got nothing.

These @ssholes are a significant contributor to the NRA.

It's the other side doing that.

I came into this with the intent of just shutting up and letting folks grieve.

I find that I'm too pissed off to hold to that.

In any case, sorry about that. I'll try harder next time.

I'd still like to see the criminology studies demonstrating that widespread gun ownership has nothing to do with the high rate of firearm violence.

Seb's Kleiman piece was nice, but it was still just an assertion. No numbers, no references to the literature. Just assertions.

I'm not saying it's not there, I'm just saying you have, so far, failed to provide it.

I have done some homework of my own, but most academic stuff is only available on a fee basis. I'm not interested in paying JSTOR to make your point for you.

Floor's open whenever you are interested in following up.

What the hell does "preexisting political goals" even mean? Should political goals only post-exist? (And what the hell would that mean?) Should I make up some new political goals so the ones I already have won't align with recent events? Should I not point out that such events are the of the sort I would prefer to prevent through policy?

Should I not be incensed by 20 little kids being shot to death by a mentally unstable person who was able (illegally) to get his hands on the guns he used because it's so fncking easy for other people to get guns legally?

This whole gun thing is a weird, weird thing in this country. It's so pervasive that many, many people in this country can't even see it. It's like a national neurosis.

"And let's not overlook the noxious Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer - yes, Brett they are on your side."

In about the same sense Sharpton and Farakan are on your side. You identify with them, I assume? Think of them as best buds? Regret that you weren't at Crown Heights to help egg on the crowd?

I can match you sickening loonie for sickening loonie, and raise, if you like. Or we can just accept that each of us is responsible for what we ourselves do.

What did I suggest in response to this? Examining the mental health system, that's what.

Or we can just accept that each of us is responsible for what we ourselves do.

On its face, this is a reasonable point.

The problem is that each of us does not solely bear the consequences for what we ourselves do.

You know, Brett, the expression "waving the bloody shirt" seemed awfully crude in this context. Even more so when I looked up the origin of the term. You might want to rethink.

In about the same sense Sharpton and Farakan are on your side.

Let me know when one of them gets a significant number of votes in a Democratic presidential primary campaign, or is elected governor of a blue state. Let me know when Democratic presidential candidates troop dutifully to appear on one of their radio shows, as all but ROnet did in the 2012 GOP primary.

No Brett. No equivalence. It's BS. There are loonies on the left, no doubt, but they are marginal. On the right, they run the show.

Loonies on both sides, yes, and I'll be happy to sign toothsome gun control legislation which has tucked among its amendments measures to sanction professional news organizations that hire demagogic sh*theads like Sharpton, Huckabee, and Buchanan to provide commentary in the role of pseudo journalists.

Fischer and Farakhan would be names embossed in the network style books as beyond the pale and any booker would be fired and fined for inviting them to spew their bile.

They may enter televised cage matches as long as the fights are to the death.

I really don't want to turn on the TV and catch Neil Cavuto swiveling in his chair to introduce Lester Maddox to plum his views on the role of ax handles in the hospitality industry.

Abbie Hoffman may do the weather and book reviews.

Bill O'Reilly may kiss my patootie on late night cable, but only once a month.

Henceforth, Brett Bellmore will replace Wayne LaPierre as spokesman of anything to do with guns because I'm a practical man and will take any marginal improvement I can get.

There are a raft of other colorful personalities on the celebrity news dole as well, too lengthy to mention, who will be shot at dawn before the strict gun manufacturing limitations I envision go into effect.

"mass murder is male-on-majority female"

The Mother Jones link doesn't say that. In fact it reports no data on the gender of the victims.

I would like to see real stats on this. It sounds implausible to me.

I flagged this personal anecdote from Eschaton:

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2012/12/guns-kill-people.html

Ten bucks to the first guy who asks: "I suppose now we're going to make it illegal to possess a sandwich and confiscate all of the fixings?"

I'm not using this tragedy as an excuse to advance my preexisting political goals

as if that has nothing to do with the fact that the current situation forces you into defense for all of your relevant preexisting political goals.

A primer of sorts on writing about the gun violence controversy:

http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/editors-pick/articles/The-Best-Reporting-on-Guns-in/12/17/2012/id/46724

Propublica is the source so balance it out with your unbiased Antipublica comebacks.

Even more so when I looked up the origin of the term.

The background of it is interesting, although I am unsure whether it makes Brett look bad or not. Frankly: that part doesn't interest me. It won't copy/paste, so I transcribe part of it below; this is the source material used for the (brief) Wikipedia entry on the subject that sapient linked to. Typos are most likely mine.

And the sequel was this - or at least this was the story everyone in Monroe County believed, and in time everyone in Mississippo and the whole South had heard it, too: that a U.S. Army lieutenant who was stationed nearby recovered the bloody nightshirt that Huggins had worn that night, and he carried it to Washington, D.C., where he presented it to Congressman Benjamin F. Butler, and in a fiery speech on the floor of the United States Congress a few weeks later in which he denounced Southern outrages and called for passage of a bill to give the federal government the power to break the Ku Klux terror, Butler had literally waved this bloodstained token of a Northern man's suffering at the hand of the Ku Klux. And so was born the memorable phrase, "waving the bloody shirt."

Waving the bloody shirt: it would become the standard retort, the standard expression of dismissive Southern contempt whenever a Northern politician mentioned any of the thousands upon thousands of murders, whippings, mutilations, and rapes that were perpetrated against freedmen and freewomen and white Republicans in the South in those years. The phrase was used over and over during the Reconstruction era. It was a staple of the furious and sarcastic editorials that filled Southern newspapers in those days, of the indignant orations by Southern white political leaders who protested that no people had suffered more, been humiliated more, been punished more than they had. The phrase has since entered the American political lexicon as a synonym for any rabble-rousing demagoguery, sny below-the-belt appeal aimed at stirring old enmities.

There is, of course, a lot more to the story. And it is quite possible that people using that phrase aren't entirely cognizant of its roots, or that they are deliberately ignoring part of its origins. Which is fair, because language evolves, as it should, because otherwise every word and phrase would be so freighted with ages-old meaning that we'd have to scrap an entire language and begin again.

So. Interesting, anyway.

As a curious outsider, I took a look at the NRA website.
http://home.nra.org/#
Even their 'news & views" link http://www.nraila.org/ doesn't even seem to acknowledge Friday' events.

Reading this -
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregion/in-newtown-conn-a-stiff-resistance-to-gun-restrictions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&src=twr&pagewanted=all&
- did nothing to take away the feeling of cognitive dissonance.

This article has a very different view of the history of gun control and the gun lobby from what I thought I knew. Don't know how accurate it is, but making Brett, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale brothers in arms is pretty interesting.

"but making Brett, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale brothers in arms is pretty interesting."

Yes, and it puts me firmly in Ronald Reagan's lap for some counter intuitive ventriloquy.

Who's the dummy now?

In my radical purging and reordering of the media, posted above, I further propose a weekly shout fest on the subject of gun control between Ronald Reagan and Huey Newton for the audiences of today.

We can occasionally cut to the FOX blondes for reaction shots with their eyes spinning around in their sockets, Grover Norquist doing repeat-action spit takes, and your chosen liberal AM radio shock jock with cartoon bubbles over his or her head, each containing "WTF!!"

Wayne La Pierre will be wearing a neck brace.

Loonies on both sides, yes,

But Republican loonies are in the House and Senate, and are considered serious candidates for the presidential nomination - Bachmann, Santorum, Paul, Perry, Trump.

Not Romney, I suppose, though he played one in the primaries.

Agreed.

I try faux balance occasionally as a peace offering.

The rancid cream of the "modern" Republican Party rises to the top quickly and stays there in government and media, reinforced by purges.

Romney, to cut him slack, had a look on his face (and looked about as out of place as she did lugging heavy weaponry around) during the primary like Patti Hearst's on the grainy footage of the first bank robbery after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

You learn something new every day; I thought the phrase was a reference to Jesse Jackson's behavior at the death of Martin Luther King.

Of course you did.

I think we all need to cut Brett some slack here. The poor guy is trying to defend an untenable position in the wake of a highly publicized even which shows just how bad it is.

What would you have him do? Obviously he cannot admit that his position is wrong. But there are no sensible arguments against making the kinds of changes that he abhors. So what is he to do? Back off, already.

An "untenable" position which, you might notice, has been prevailing; I think you need to revise your criteria for declaring positions "untenable".

Prevailing? So you can legally purchase any personal weapon that might be issued to any member of our military, Brett? Isn't it your position that you should be able to do so?

untenable: Not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: "this argument is clearly untenable".

Repeal of the 2nd amendment: tenable?

more than tenable; it's a damned good idea!

I think that anyone offering legislative changes is holding the untenable position.

Setting aside the constitution for a minute, we
1. could ban all guns - all future sales stopped and all existing gns must be handed in to authorities.
result: a) only the most law abiding would hand in their guns and criminals would keep them.

b)97.5% of all guns in the US are never used in any crime. So the reduction in crime resulting from those handed in by law abiding citizens would be negligible.

c) Another result of prohibition would be that a black market would develop. There would be fewer controls around gun manufacture and ownership than there are currently ("bathtub" gin effect). Prohibition does NOT work and is actually counter podutive.

d) law abiding citizens now unarmed and totally at mercy of armed criminals and criminals emboldened to do B&Es and similar crimes risky in areas with armed citizenry.

e)Politically completely not feasible.

f) possibility of successful practical implementation approaching nill.

2. Ban certain kinds of guns and certain kinds of gun accessories (ex; so called assualt type rifles and high capacity magazines)

a) more politically feasible
b) only a small proportion of crimes committed with these items so a a minimal reduction in gun deaths
c) mass murderers learn to make do with pump action shotguns and revolvers (ex; 5 loads of double O buckshot = 5 killed and 6 shots from a magnum revolver = 6 killed for a total of 11 killed without even having to reload. Reload takes less than 30 seconds then another 11 killed)
d)black market still exists for those determined to obtain forbidden items

So the gun controllers' vision is untenable in America.

Maybe a good balance of perspective is that each year around 250 children under the age of 5 drown in private swimming pools, but we don't try to legislate away swimming private swiming pools.

This school shooting sounds like irresponsible parenting n top of irresponsible gun ownership. What kind parent of a troubled and clinically diagnosed child leaves unlocked guns lying around where the child can his hands on them. Who bonds with an autistic child by taking him shooting?

I think we will find that the child planned the killing for a long time and that the mother was too easily manipulated by the child into buying the guns; guns that already had a planned role in a sick plan before they were ven purchased.

You'd think there were no other countries in the world that have successfully banned various types of guns, given suzie_Q's assertions. That, or we're just special here in the good ol' US of A.

Maybe a good balance of perspective is that each year around 250 children under the age of 5 drown in private swimming pools, but we don't try to legislate away swimming private swiming pools.

and how many people are murdered by angry swimming-pool-wielding men? not accidents: straight up murder. does it even break into double-digits ?

that's where these facile analogies always fail: guns make intentional murder trivially easy. nothing else even comes close in terms of lethality, portability, ease of access and ease of use. you need: a gun, a bullet, a hand that can hold a couple of pounds and one reasonably-good eye.

there were 52,000 non-fatal, intentional shootings, and 23,000 non-intentional non-fatal shootings in the US in 2009. we routinely get 8,000 handgun homicides every goddamned year.

you let us know when murder by swimming pool breaks 100/yr.

Suzie_Q, are you by any chance related to Blackhawk? There's something about your writing style that reminds me of him....

So the gun controllers' vision is untenable in America.

Banning high capacity magazines seems perfectly feasible to me. Requiring that all private gun sellers have to use the federal background check system seems quite feasible.

Maybe a good balance of perspective is that each year around 250 children under the age of 5 drown in private swimming pools, but we don't try to legislate away swimming private swiming pools.

We don't ban private pools but they make a big difference when it comes to paying for insurance, especially if you don't bother putting in any safety measures at all. I think we should have a robust insurance regime where gun owners are required to get insurance to cover the risk that something awful will happen with their guns. That seems perfectly feasible. Rates would go up with risk factors. You need insurance to drive a car; heck you need insurance before you can be a travel agent.

What kind parent of a troubled and clinically diagnosed child leaves unlocked guns lying around where the child can his hands on them.

We don't know that. Do you have a cite?

I think we will find that the child planned the killing for a long time and that the mother was too easily manipulated by the child into buying the guns;

Again, there's no evidence of this at all. Cite?

Suzie_Q, are you by any chance related to Blackhawk? There's something about your writing style that reminds me of him....

So the gun controllers' vision is untenable in America.

Banning high capacity magazines seems perfectly feasible to me. Requiring that all private gun sellers have to use the federal background check system seems quite feasible.

Maybe a good balance of perspective is that each year around 250 children under the age of 5 drown in private swimming pools, but we don't try to legislate away swimming private swiming pools.

We don't ban private pools but they make a big difference when it comes to paying for insurance, especially if you don't bother putting in any safety measures at all. I think we should have a robust insurance regime where gun owners are required to get insurance to cover the risk that something awful will happen with their guns. That seems perfectly feasible. Rates would go up with risk factors. You need insurance to drive a car; heck you need insurance before you can be a travel agent.

What kind parent of a troubled and clinically diagnosed child leaves unlocked guns lying around where the child can his hands on them.

We don't know that. Do you have a cite?

I think we will find that the child planned the killing for a long time and that the mother was too easily manipulated by the child into buying the guns;

Again, there's no evidence of this at all. Cite?

1. could ban all guns

Not on the table.

2. Ban certain kinds of guns and certain kinds of gun accessories

OK.

c) mass murderers learn to make do with pump action shotguns and revolvers

Fine. That will slow them down.

d)black market still exists for those determined to obtain forbidden items

Sounds like we need to tighten up how guns are bought and sold.

What kind parent of a troubled and clinically diagnosed child leaves unlocked guns lying around where the child can his hands on them. Who bonds with an autistic child by taking him shooting?

Those are really good questions. To the casual observer, Lanza sounds like a person with pretty much zero common sense, at least as regards her kid and her arsenal.

Unfortunately, the world abounds in people with zero common sense, especially as regards their families and their obsessions.

It behooves the rest of us to find ways to avoid having their bad judgement spill over into our lives.

That is, if we don't want our five-year-olds hunted down and shot like rats in their kindergarten classrooms.

Maybe a good balance of perspective is that each year around 250 children under the age of 5 drown in private swimming pools, but we don't try to legislate away swimming private swiming pools.

When I was a kid, we had a pool in the back yard. By law, we had to have a fence 4 feet high around the pool area, with a latching gate, so little kids couldn't wander into the pool.

All I hear from gun advocates is "it's impossible to control guns". No, it's not impossible. We're one of very few countries with a reasonably robust and functional government that allows private firearm ownership to the degree that we do.

If you hunt, or have a firearm for personal defense, or like to shoot target, very very few people have an issue with you.

If you build a private arsenal of tactical firearms and your crazy kids gets hold of them and shoots up a grade school, a lot of people have a problem with you.

It's not good, for about 1000 reasons, for people to be planning for the imminent collapse of civil society.

It's double plus ungood, for an additional 1000 reasons, for their plans to be the stockpiling of what is essentially military grade firearms.

If you think the world is coming to a freaking end, and you plan on shooting anyone who resembles the zombie food-snatchers that haunt your imagination, please go live out in the freaking woods somewhere. Don't bring that sh*t into places where other people have to live next door to you. Please. I'm trying to ask nicely, see?

If you want to handle military weapons, join the army. Or the guard. You will find that your use of the weaponry is quite tightly regulated in that context, which makes nothing but excellent sense.

Semi-automatic military and/or tactical firearms, let alone automatic, don't belong in private hands. They sure as hell don't belong in unregulated private markets like gun shows and private sales.

I can't believe this is even something that needs discussion, but that's life in the good old USA.

You are indeed special in the USA, exceptional even. You own, by some distance, more guns than anyone else on the planet.

Curiously, the number of gun owners seems to be dropping as the number of guns owned increases:
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/index.html
Which kind of makes a nonsense of the self defense argument.

Why don't you repeal the 2nd Amendment, and leave it to the states ?
If gun ownership is as existentially important as its advocates appear to believe, then surely that would be reason enough to move to a gun enthusiast state.

The 2nd Amendment takes away the right of the majority who don't own, or wish to own guns to live in a gun free state. That seems to be the opposite of liberty to me.
Why the desire to force gun ownership on everyone else ?
(And the constant legal battles to limit any gun control laws, anywhere in the US are excellent evidence for that.)

more than tenable; it's a damned good idea!

Leaving whether it's a good idea to one side: I am sure that you can can defend why you want to repeal the 2nd amendment, but I am much less sure that you can defend that doing so is within the current or near-future realm of possibility.

Which might be slightly different a thing than whether it's tenable (in the sense of being a defensible idea) or not, I admit.

I don't see that your suggestion that we could and perhaps would do so is realistic, though. But you might know differently. If so, please share.

Why don't you repeal the 2nd Amendment, and leave it to the states ?

Repealing any bit of the constitution is freakishly difficult. And even if it could be done, leaving it to the states doesn't help since the states have open borders. If NY wanted to ban private possession of 30-round clips and automatic weapons while PA allowed both, NY residents could just drive to PA, buy some M-16s with extended clips, drive back to NY and shoot up some elementary schools.

And it is quite possible that people using that phrase aren't entirely cognizant of its roots

I agree that it's quite possible. I was intrigued by the phrase which is why I looked it up. It makes sense, though, that people who subscribe to Brett's general politics would pick it up during their immersion in neo-Confederate cultural literature.

russell when you this; Sounds like we need to tighten up how guns are bought and sold. I agree with you that it is a good idea. The problem is that you aren't saying what we could do. The laws are already pretty strict.

I think about things like oxycontin. The laws around how it can be obtained are more strict than guns. A licensed doctor has to prescribe it and it has to come from a licensed pharmacy. All the same, there is an epidemic of abuse and a lot of the abuse is addicted people that shouldn't have it in the first place and people are dying daily from overdoses. In places like kentucky and in our schools all over the country prescription drug abuse is a serious problem. Probably more of a problem than guns. But that is not the point. The point is that in spite of extremely strict regulation, people are getting their hands on this stuff because they want it. Prohibition and strict laws don't work were their is a desire to obtain. Maybe we should be looking at that desire first before making or changing laws?

Also, my point is that some are arguing to eliminate the second amendment. It seems like to enforce the repeal without changing the desire to obtain we would then have to repeal other amendments to give the police and courts more power. Soon we would live in an ever greater police state, like the way the war on drugs has eroded some rights.

I know that some people really trust the government and some people don't even care as long as they believe they will be safe from government abuse. I am not so sure I can be comfortable with that idea.

I am all ears though if someone can lay out a good plan about how to make it all happen right :-)

Why don't you repeal the 2nd Amendment, and leave it to the states ?

This is, frankly, sounding better and better to me by the day.

It's impossible to have a rational discussion about *any* regulation of *any* kind of firearms in *any* context, because of how the 2nd Amendment is commonly read, at least by the current SCOTUS.

Nobody seems to notice the first half of the Amendment, only the second.

If we want to implement the original intent of the 2nd Amendment, we should disband the standing army and return to a militia model of self-defense. Every able-bodied male - probably person, now - should be required to own or at least have in their possession a gun. They should be trained in its safe and proper use in a tactical context. We should all be required to shape up on a regular basis for military training, and we should all be required to mobilize and go to war when the country goes to war.

No standing army. That's what the Constitution calls for. That's the historical context and motivation for the 2nd.

Any of you gun advocates getting out of bed early this weekend to go train in a citizen militia, under the command of either your governor or the President, according to regulations laid down by Congress?

No?

Then the 2nd is obsolete.

I don't see it going away, because of who we are, but it's obsolete. The conditions that it was intended to safeguard and ensure no longer exist. We put aside, rightly or wrongly, for a variety of practical reasons at least 100 years ago.

I'm in favor of repeal. Either that, or I want a real, Swiss style citizen military. All or nothing, but enough of this hobby-soldier BS.

times change.

if we keep up the same rate of mass killings as we've been holding to lately, the popular support Brett is depending on for his free and easy gun access might just wither away.

don't forget: a black president named (as douchey wingnuts never tired pointing out) Barack Hussein Obama got Osama bin Laden killed, and was reelected while presiding over a five year recession/slowdown; gay marriage is being legalized across the country and pot was just legalized in two states.

ten years ago, all of that would seem ludicrous. but minds change with time. and few things change minds like the bodies of loved ones.

if gun nuts can't find a way to police themselves, they just might find that the rest of the country has grown sick of what their toys enable and we're going to put an end to it.

The problem is that you aren't saying what we could do.

No exception on background checks and/or waiting period for gun shows or private sales.

If you sell a firearm to anyone without jumping through the background check and waiting period hoop, and the gun is used in a crime, you are an accessory and a felon. Go to jail.

That'd do it for me.

Instead of focusing on possession, sharply limit gun manufacturing.

(Yes, address mental illness, especially among young men prone to manic/depression, etc.)

Yes, yes, black market. I fully expect the NRA and the Gun Owners of America to be thick as thieves with the Mexican drug cartels and whomever else has the installed turnkey smuggling network.

After all, the American gun merchants on this side of the Mexican border had a Fast and Furious program funneling arms into drug thug hands in Mexico long before the NRA thought it was bad idea for the Feds to do it.

No way?

O.K. then, tax the living crap out of all guns and ammo.

A caliber tax.

Make guns items, like high-end Porsches, Rolex watches, etc.

We can have a workaround for single shot hunting weapons.

Then only the 1% and their drug dealers can afford to own the things. Just like now with most other luxury items.

Who said the more you tax something, the less of something there will be?

Some radical gun controller black hippie movie star type from the left coast did, I think.

Also heavily restrict advertising for weapons, like we do cigarettes.

Paragraphs of small print listing the negative side effects.

No way?

Fine. F*ck it.


I read the Sunday NY Times about the dead, especially those little kids, most of them shot a dozen times.

The End.

A major problem, conveniently ignored by the organized gun pushers, is that a successful gun reduction regime in one states gets undermined by the influx of guns from low-to-no regulation states next door and the notorious refusal of the latter to cooperate at hemming this flow.
Guns used in massacres tend to be legally owned, those in 'common' murder have a high level of illegality. What is needed is a draining of that swamp. Proposed rules (selection, could be expanded):
1.Any gun produced in or imported into the US needs to be registered and the ballistic marks put on file (federally).
2.Any sale of a gun has to be registered and at least the last two owners put on file.
3.Loss of a registered gun has to be reported immediately.
4.Repeated losses lead to a mandatory investigation. Proven negligence automatically leads to temporary or permanent forfeiture of the right to own/possess/handle firearms
5.If a gun is used in a crime and the legal owner is found to have neglected his obligation as per above, the legal owner is to be treated as accessory to the crime
6.Firearms used in crimes or found to not be on file are to be destroyed without compensation*
7.Possession of firearms not on file is a felony (and also leads to forfeiture... etc.).

Cue standard objections
1.gun registration defies the original intent of the 2nd A. and will inevitably lead to confiscation (bonus: that's what the nazis did**)
2.Criminals will have no problem to get access to the database and will selectively target people without guns
3.The government is so incompetent, it could never implement any of this (but would be a genius in finding all your hidden stuff)

I openly admit that
a) the chances of this passing in the US is negligible
b) even if it would pass, it would take many years to drain that swamp and some fetid pockets would always remain
But smallpox was not defeated in a day either and there was an organized movement against it***

*as soon as legal proceedings do not require presence of physical object anymore
**they didn't. It's a zombie lie
***actually two, the 'moral' objectors that saw it as defiance against God and the anti-vaccinators concerned with side effects (the smallpox vaccine carried non-negligible risks, even today vaccination campaigns have to do risk-benefit analysis).

Instead of focusing on possession, sharply limit gun manufacturing.

Iirc SCOTUS was unambiguous about this being unconstitutional because it would be a backdoor denial of 2nd A. rights.
Although I hate to admit it, this even makes some sense.

----
General excuse on my side for often seeming to ape other people's comments: I type so slowly and the site refresh function is so faulty that there can be a large number of posts between the one I reply to and my own.

If you sell a firearm to anyone without jumping through the background check and waiting period hoop, and the gun is used in a crime, you are an accessory and a felon. Go to jail.

russell's 5:18 pm comment makes a lot of sense to me. That's a start, at least.

Look, I don't eat much meat, but I know people who hunt, and I think that hunting (responsibly and humanely) is a wonderful, sustainable, way to obtain animal protein.

I don't like guns for much else. If it makes people feel better to have a gun in the closet to kill an interloper, fine. It often has ugly results (such as killing a visiting adult child or whatever), but at least the fallout is limited. Nobody needs assault weapons, the kind that kill multiple people.

And yes, Countme-in, we should stop their manufacture.

And if repealing the 2nd amendment is necessary to accomplish these goals, so be it. As russell says, it is obsolete.


"SCOTUS was unambiguous ..."

Figures. But ambiguity in the law ebbs and flows.

But I think I could manufacture a car with a turret on the top of it containing the very same weapons used in Connecticut, but remotely controlled via toggle switches on the dash, and concealed until needed.

Then I suspect ambiguity about the terms "manufacture", "firearms possession", etc would swarm down on me like a S.W.A.T. team.

"... makes some sense"

Yes, it does.

My two cents, on sense, not in reference to you, Hartmut, but in reference to the entire concept of "sense".

Manufacturing grenades, making them available to the general public, fetishizing them as indispensable for personal defense and fending off grenade-throwing government agents, issuing Man Cards along with each one, and waiting for high I.Q. depressed white kids to imbibe the culture of grenades and start assaulting schools and other high-profile public places with them repeatedly over a number of years and then ruling that sharply limiting the manufacture of grenades (which Tench Coxe would criticize as going off half-coxed) is unambiguously a violation of the Second Amendment makes sense too.

If one says the names (first and last) of the 20 dead kids over and over again really quickly, they become the mere utterance of nonsense vocables, senseless.

Say "despair" quickly 20 times over and you'll find in a few moments it makes no sense as well.

Senselessness is the only sensible conclusion.

I feel better now.


Using primarily Wikipedia as my source, I did some statistical research:

1. Annual firearms homicide deaths in the US are declining and currently are around 11,000 a year.

2. Going back to 1980, the aggregate number is well over 300,000.

3. Going back to 1980, the total number of 'spree killings' is 542.

4. The single largest number of people/children killed at a US school is 47. This happened in 1927, IIRC the article correctly. The mechanism was three bombs set off by a former school board member. Cite: http://listverse.com/2008/01/01/top-10-worst-school-massacres/

5. The foregoing cite shows that 4 of the largest spree killings at schools were in Europe.

6. Automobiles in 2009 produced 33,800 fatalities, of which 12,700 were alcohol related. That is to say, more alcohol related auto fatalities than firearms-related homicides in 2009 (south of 12,000).

7. There is no duty for treating physicians or drug/alcohol counselors or psychiatrist/psychologists to report (a) patients who are substance abusers or (b) patients who have the potential to commit an assault or a homicide.

9. How easy would it be to impose severe driving restrictions on known alcoholics? Answer: a lot easier than identifying, before the fact, a spree-killer.

8. Suicide by firearm is another class of firearms related death. The US leads the western world (defined by me as western democracies) in this category; however it trails the following western democracies in overall suicide rates: Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Japan and South Korea. The delta is significant in many cases.

I mention drunk driving for a reason. Personal story: in the early spring of 1999, my best friend and law partner (we'll call him Bill) and I resigned from our much larger firm to open our own shop. Bill and I, and our families were very, very close. Bill and his wife's first child was born on my birthday. We stood as godparents to him.

At ten in the evening, June 29, 1999, Bill's wife called me from the hospital. She and the kids had gone to pick Bill up at the airport. On the way home, a speeding 18 wheeler driven by a man whose BAC was .10 flipped, crushing the three children, killing them almost instantly and pinning Bill, who was physically uninjured, inside his vehicle. Bill's wife sustained injuries but was able to get free of the vehicle, which was underneath the 18 wheeler's trailer. The vehicle, a Ford Expedition, caught fire. Other members of the traveling public had fire extinguishers and were able to fight the fire for a time, but eventually, the fire spread and Bill, who could not be extracted, died a very hard death.

So, four dead that night. I got the call a couple of hours later and spent the next three days in a blur, attending to Bill's widow, his family, my family, the funereal, the eulogy and who know what else. I think about this whenever something like what we're talking about here happens. Which is why I like to let a little time pass before diving in.

We have a much better handle on who our substance abusers are than we do as to who among us is so disassociated and desensitized and so angry and enraged that they can and will plan and execute something as monstrous as what happened in Newtown. But we do virtually nothing proactively to make a difference. The reasons for this are complex. As a lawyer, I have a pretty fair handle on what they are and they all, when boiled down to their essentials, emanate from the American brand of freedom, a brand that I prefer and that most of us prefer, even if we differ as to how it can or should be tweaked at the periphery.

The 'freedom' issue at issue here is the right of private citizens to own and use firearms in a lawful manner.

The proposition is that, in the immediate aftermath of a horror, that right should be curtailed to some degree if not entirely--views vary on this point.

Just last week, the sentiment at this site was far more tolerant, far less extreme, if you will, on this very same subject. Post-Newtown, a recurring theme is: gun owners should explain why their right to own firearms is superior to everyone else's right to not be subject to spree killings.

Well, if the only firearms deaths we were talking about were as a result of spree killings, we'd be talking about a mortality factor that, on an annualized basis, would make firearms safer than step ladders or bath tubs.

IOW, the policy driver here, today and in the last few days, is a statistically freakish occurrence. It isn't this occurrence that's driving this discussion, it's the horror, the incomprehension and the reflexive desire to 'fix it', to keep it from ever happening again.

That's not going to happen and trying to find a solution to this precise kind of problem--spree killing--is truly the search for the pink unicorn.

I have to run, even though there is a lot more I would say. Plus, I'm out of gas right now, just thinking about this. I'll try to have more tomorrow.

I am fully in support of a zero tolerance policy concerning drunk driving and am open about at least discussing mandatory substance abuse reporting (provided this is treated as a public safety and health issue not a criminal one). I think this would be both feasible and have an actual effect on the streets.
As far as guns are concerned, killing sprees are one thing and may not be fully preventable, but a broad front approach sustained long enough may significantly reduce the day-to-day shootings that kill many more than all massacres combined.

---

Count, at least over here there is an easy way around the grenade ban: Polish firecrackers (illegal but easy to obtain). Each year our Eastern neighbours provide us with specimens that, according to the military, contain more than their own standard issue hand grenades. Not black powder (as in normal pyrotechnics) but industrial high explosives boosted with Al powder. Late revenge for WW2, I presume.

I second what McKinneyTexas said so very well.

All of this talk about eliminating the second amendment is just talk. You know it won't happen. It is a guarunteed right and it is part of what makes us uniquely american.

All rights can be troublesome. The first amendment right can be pretty thorny what with hate peddlers and violent media and offensive media and so on and so forth. Inciting words have probably led to a lot of tragedy in this country. Maybe we should repeal the first amendment while we are at it?

How about due process? It can get in the way of law enforcment and can be used to find procedural errors that let violent criminals go uncaught or even get of the hook when they are caught. Should we repeal the amendments involved in that too?

Sometimes I think some folks would only be happy with our society if we threw away the constitution completely and got rid of capitalism and appointed Noam Chomsky or someone like as king.

I'm joking, but isn't there just a leeetle bit o' truth in that?

The founders of this country saw gun ownership by private citizens as protection against tyranny. Some folks don't agree and some folks just aren't fighters so they can't understand. That's ok of course, but America is America and its law is its law.

maybe we should have congress put a bill to change the constitution out there and when it is defeated the debate will end.

In the meanwhile, i don't see how russell's recomendations would prevent any of the crimes that have grabbed the nation's attention recently. Those were all legal guns.

McKTx, thanks for sharing that story. Awfulness abounds in many forms, but hopefully the shared pain is lessened thing holds here.

Unrelated, I stopped drinking sometime Octoberish. I wasn't a drunk, but I could feel myself sliding in that direction. Weird, that combined martial arts/recreational beerdrinking thing. But I needed to stop, for reasons I won't go into just now, and things are just peachy.

But I crave Kasteel Donker on a daily basis, still,

McKinney's sad story is irrelevant to the current discussion. Alcohol and driving is a completely different subject. Alcohol and guns is a different subject as well. Keep in mind that almost all adults drive (and many people have to drive in order to live in this culture). No one has to own a gun. Not a soul. To compare apples and oranges is ridiculous.

If we want to have a drunk driving thread, I'd be happy to open it up (not today, but before the end of the month). There's a presumption, when someone has a bac over .08, that the person is responsible for a car accident - that's true in my state, and in most (maybe all). It's ridiculous, because studies have shown that all kinds of other factors are equally dangerous - mostly distractions such as texting, reading, fatigue, talking to someone, etc. So the statistics on drunk driving are grossly distorted, since, at any given time, a lot of people are drinking (up to .10) and driving, who don't have accidents, or who aren't actually responsible for the accidents they are in. Still and all and THIS IS IMPORTANT: we tolerate restrictions on drunk driving - i know of no one who resents the regulation of drinking while driving. I certainly don't.

Yet, the gun lobby resents the hell out of restrictions on guns. It's out of control, and these false comparisons cannot stand.

Sad for your law partner, of course. We all know victims of tragedy, even preventable ones. But, you know what? Guns are for killing. And the Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment to say that they can barely be restricted. Cars are for driving and getting somewhere. Yet, they are licensed, restricted, and considered a "privilege," not a right. These two things are not the same, and don't belong in the same discussion.

But we do virtually nothing proactively to make a difference

The argument that we have done nothing about the scenario you describe is ridiculous. Twenty years ago we didn't randomly test drivers of 18 wheelers for alcohol. Now we do. The penalties for drunk driving have been increased almost everywhere. In some states driving a truck with a BAC of .10 was legal fairly recently, now the limit is .04. The laws get tougher all the time.

If you want to argue that we should be even stricter, go ahead and make that argument. We could breath test every truck driver before they get in a truck, at the end of their shift, and at at least one random point in between. Figure out how much that would cost and we can weigh that against the benefits we get from the trucking industry.

The day that insurance companies decide that machines can drive 18 wheelers more safely than humans, the problem will be solved for good, no arguments about personal freedom.

Now tell me what benefit we get when a woman in a city with virtually no crime decides to keep an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons in the same house that her mentally disturbed son lives in, and decides to take him target shooting.

Please explain to me the benefit we get from that. Then we can weigh the costs of gun ownership against the benefits and decide whether we need gun safety, gun control, or gun abolition.

On the contrary, his story is perfectly relevant: He's pointing out how you're responding to a smaller death toll with a much more extreme policy.

This makes it hard to defend the policy as a rational response to the deaths. Either drunk driving demands a vastly more expansive response, or you're over-reacting to the gun deaths.

"a smaller death toll"

A smaller death toll for a hobby. I cook pancakes for a hobby. No death toll at all. Let's compare that.

Deaths by pancakes versus deaths by guns. Hmmmmm.

Benefit to society from pancakes: somebody eats. Benefit to society by guns. Hmmmm.

Oh, other hobbies:

My music collection: kills no one! Guns? Kill lots of people!

Library? My books kill no one! Guns? Kill lots of people!

Knitting? Kills no one! Guns? Kill lots of people!

Gardening? Kills no one! Guns? Kill lots of people!

Hanging around on a blog? Kills no one. Guns? Kills lots of people!

John COle said something to the effect that it is immoral to suggest that a person's right to own military style weapons is mosre important than a first grader's right to live to be a second grader.

Either drunk driving demands a vastly more expansive response

Drunk driving has had a vastly more expansive response. We used to let people drive after drinking alcohol. Then we passed laws that said drivers could be arrested for drunk driving if they demonstrated they were a threat by driving recklessly. If you could handle your liquor, you were fine.

Later we said that a BAC of 0.15 was proof enough of recklessness, even if they were no other signs that the driver was dangerous. Then it was 0.12 or 0.10, now it is .08. For truck drivers it is .04, and if they are above .02, they have to wait and take a second test. In many states, if you are under 21, it is .01. We also raised the legal drinking age to 21 in all states. Anti-drunk driving laws have been getting more expansive, and you can expect many of these laws to get more expansive, not less.

Gun control laws have been getting less strict. You can buy guns now that you couldn't 10 years ago.

We wait until gun owners living with mentally disturbed people allow their semi-automatic guns to be used to kill off classrooms full of elementary school children before we decide that it is too risky for them to be allowed to own those guns.

That is like allowing a visibly drunk person to drive an 18 wheeler on the interstate because they haven't slaughtered anybody families yet.

Last first.

The founders of this country saw gun ownership by private citizens as protection against tyranny.

IMO it is considerably more accurate to say the founders saw a citizen militia, as opposed to a standing army, as protection against tyranny.

Those two things are not the same.

Some folks don't agree and some folks just aren't fighters so they can't understand.

I think you flatter yourself and folks who you think share your opinion by quite a bit.

Tell me the last time you advocated for any matter of public concern with your time, your money, or by putting your behind in the street face to face with a cop or national security person, or by subjecting yourself to arrest, or by any of the thousand other ways that thousands and thousands and thousands of people have done, for decades and centuries, to make tangible the rights we all enjoy today.

No guns involved, mostly, just people putting their @sses on the line.

Tell me the last time you did any of those things, and we can talk about who is a "fighter".

I've been involved in a handful of things like this, and very good friends of mine have been involved in a damned sight more.

Guess what? Each and every time, the number of patriots standing proudly in defense of our civil rights with gun in hand has been exactly zero.

Zero. Not one.

2nd amendment rights advocates will exert themselves to defend their rights under the 2nd Amendment, and no further.

Deeds not words, suzie_q. You tell me when you last put your @ss on the line, in any meaningful or tangible form, and we can discuss who is a fighter.

IOW, the policy driver here, today and in the last few days, is a statistically freakish occurrence.

I hear and recognize everything you're saying.

I also recognize that, for instance, the 9/11 attacks were a freakish occurence. A rounding error.

Some things are sufficiently outrageous, and present a sufficient violation and affront to what we are willing to accept, that their statistical heft is sort of besides the point.

Here is a statistic for you:

A decreasing number of American gun owners own two-thirds of the nation's guns and as many as one-third of the guns on the planet

One third of the guns *on the planet*, held in private American hands.

IMO that deserves our attention.

I don't care if people hunt. I don't care if people keep a firearm at home for personal protection. I don't care if people shoot target. I don't care if they collect guns as a hobby.

I don't care if people carry a firearm with them as they go about their daily business, provided they can demonstrate a basic level of responsibility and an ability to operate their weapon with a basic level of capability.

What I care about are the thousands of people in this country who are stockpiling private arsenals of weapons, legal and illegal, with the idea in mind of killing their neighbors and fellow countrymen.

That might take the form of the kind of racist horseshit that made Ron Paul a rich man - the urban boogiemen coming to your town to steal your stuff and rape your women.

It might take the form of paranoid fantasies about when the "SHTF" and weird energy waves knock out the electric infrastructure and roving bands of hungry people come to steal the 1,000 cases of Spam you have in the basement.

It might take the form of delusions about crypto-Hitler Obama getting ready to round up all the white people into camps, after taking their guns, natch.

As I've mentioned many times, many of my friends and family members have guns. Some have serious gun collections, and some can compare muzzle velocities of various firearms from memory.

All fine with me. Everybody's got their thing.

I'm extremely disturbed by the thousands of people, in this country, who have extraordinary private arsenals of weapons whose sole and exclusive purpose is killing other people, with military precision.

Adam Lanza was a FUBAR young man, who was able to kill a couple of dozen people, including 20 little kids, because his mother was getting ready for Armageddon.

That is some f**ked up stuff.

One third of the guns, in the whole god-damned world, are in private American hands. That's not a hobby, it's not self-defense, it's not an exercise in patriotic defense of the nation.

It's bizarre, f***ed up, anti-social paranoia, with (at a minimum) semi-automatic military ordnance.

That's my issue.

Policy-wise, I don't expect to live to see any meaningful attempt to overturn the 2nd. I'm not sure it's necessary to overturn the 2nd, or even if it would be that great of an idea in the long term.

What I would like to see is:

1. No exception to the background check and waiting period
2. Come down like a ton of bricks on anyone - buyer or seller - who fails to observe that
3. If you sell a gun that is subsequently used in a crime and you failed to observe the background check or waiting period, you are an accessory and a felon, and you go to jail
4. No automatic weapons, and preferably no semi-automatics
5. No high-capacity magazines

In short, if you're not a soldier, you don't get a soldier's gun. And if you're not licensed to buy, sell, own, or carry, you don't buy, sell, own, or carry.

Guns are an excellent tool, but the function they carry out is called "weapon". They are dangerous as hell, and there should be nothing whatsoever extraordinary about requiring people to demonstrate a basic level of responsibility before they get to keep and carry.

As far as I'm concerned, this is not asking for a lot.

Frankly, I'd like to see the DOJ keep a close freaking eye on the "prepper" community as well, but all of the above is probably enough provocation for one day.

The 2nd Amendment *was not* intended to be cover for preparing to kill your neighbors or engage in political insurrection.

The point was not that citizens would be prepared to go to war with the US army. The point was that citizens would *be* the US army.

sapient, books, the ideas in them, have killed a lot of people.

After we get rid of guns the committee for public safety will have to take a look at your library and confiscate any unsafe books.

The pancakes are probably ok unless you eat too many. Obesity is a serious public health issue and kills millions each year. So we may have to confiscate your pancakes too now that I think about it. You btter start stocking up on batter fixings and syrup while you can.

suzie_q, that's bullshit.

russell, thank you so much. You don't know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness, like this:

One third of the guns, in the whole god-damned world, are in private American hands. That's not a hobby, it's not self-defense, it's not an exercise in patriotic defense of the nation.

I mean, that's so beyond my world. I wonder how I've lived this long if guns are so vital.

russell, I don't have a bunch of guns. I have a .38 revolver for personal protection. My boy friend has some guns that folks are complaining about. he was in the army and went to iraq, twice!

I do volunteer work, like a local hospice. That's how I do my part.

I believe in peaceful protest and political activism. Not rioting and shooting up the establishment. Still, if our society falls apart and riots come to me and my family I would want to be able to be protected. It could happen btw. I think it is kind of foolish to think it couldn't.

It could happen btw. I think it is kind of foolish to think it couldn't.

If the "SHTF", as the preppers like to say, their mountain of guns is not going to make things any better, for anyone. Not even for them.

The way people get through hard times is helping each other out, not f**ing shooting at each other.

Everybody should sit down with some old folks, folks who actually lived through hard times, and listen to how they got through it.

Stockpiles of guns were not a big part, or any part, of the equation.

Good for you for doing volunteer work, well done.

I have a .38 revolver for personal protection.

I don't. But, sure. Keep it locked up just in case. I don't have any problem with that, and neither do most other people.

Your "boy friend" on the other hand - what' he doing with those weapons? What war at home is he planning to fight? He went to Iraq on behalf of GWBush. I'm sorry for him for fighting for such a dips$%t, and am happy for him if he came back intact. What's his rationale for needing those weapons here?

My father fought in WWII (and in Vietnam). Somehow, he lost the memo about keeping his guns available at home though. He'd seen quite enough of blood and guts, and was committed to participating in a nonviolent civil society at home. Obviously, your "boy friend" is a bit paranoid, or doesn't have much confidence in our Democratic experiment.

'Just last week, the sentiment at this site was far more tolerant, far less extreme'

I tried posting this after McT posted, but it didn't go thru. I'd just note that venting, be it in real life or on the interwebs, is part of the process of grief. Sure, the place has changed and maybe it will go back and maybe it won't , but it is what it is.

And just to be even clearer, who is your "boy friend"? Is he your "room mate"? So, you live with semi-automatic weapons, or automatic weapons in your home, perhaps? This is interesting, and relevant, because your home is a problem if someone breaks in and steals that stuff. Just saying. Not that I blame you, because how are you going to leave your "boy friend" when he might be interested in shooting those weapons at you?

More on the Bushmaster Man Card:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/scott/bushmasters-shockingly-awful-man-card-campaign

Sorry you have to paint, etc.

It's sickening, and you must read the link to understand my point, but it got me thinking about Suzie Q's (congrats on the volunteer work; I need to man up and try that myself) point about repealing the First Amendment because the words in books have killed plenty of people and the reference to the genocidal quality of sapient's pancakes.

The Bushmaster Man Card ad campaign has as one its bullet points for revoking a Bushmaster Man Card the fear of looking a fifth grader -- a grade school student -- in the eye.

Really. Take a moment to retch.

The threats of revocation are accompanied by a centerfold of the Bushmaster, and she is a fetching-looking killing machine.

Now, I wonder if Lanza the Younger read that particular revocation threat.

But, to get back to Suzie Q., if Aunt Jemima had run an identical campaign to sell pancakes (your Aunt Jemima Man Card will be revoked, sissy, because you put blueberries and whipped cream on your mancakes, flapjack!), the combination and interaction of words, pancakes, a disturbed young white male, and 26 innocent people down at the elementary school is different .... you must realize this ..... than the combination and interaction of words, a Bushmaster killing machine, a disturbed young white male, and 26 innocent people down at the elementary school.

Can you tell which element is different?

Louis Gohmert protested any move to address gun control measures today, asking "Once you start to draw lines, where does it stop?"

At pancakes.

I'd like to address McTX sad experience and its relevance to gun control with some personal experience of my own, which I alluded to previously either here or on the other thread.

Tomorrow, I'm too whacked right now.

So, you live with semi-automatic weapons, or automatic weapons in your home, perhaps?

That'd be quite the special boyfriend if he had full auto.

I have two guns in my house. Soon to have 3. May max out at as many as 5. My uncle, a Democrat, has well over a dozen. He's a collector, and a hunter.

This is not that unusual.

Slartibartfast, there are plenty of Democratic gun nuts. That's why we're not restricting them. I'm glad you like your hobby. Don't compare it to driving though because it's not a necessity. It's a hobby.

It's a "right" because of a perverse historical quirk in our Constitution. So luxuriate in the fact that your very dangerous unfettered hobby causes huge numbers of deaths and suffering. Go for it. Very, very cool!

Driving is necessary? Since when? You'd think there weren't such things as bicycles and feet, not to mention trains and buses.

Not that I compared shooting to driving.

I used to do more dangerous stuff, but I've gotten older and more sedate.

Oh. To date, my very dangerous hobby has resulted in 0 deaths and 0 suffering. But thanks for your concern.

To date

That's what Mrs. Lanza said on Thursday.

As I said Slart, go for it! And keep living in your dream.

(Do you rely on a bicycle and your feet, by the way? Hahahahah. I thought not. Of course, it's possible to do that in urban areas, where there are typically many more controls on guns. )

Apropos of nothing, how do you politely express the opinion to someone that if they have had recent issues with alcohol - even possibly only very minor ones - that going on a gun buying spree is a choice that may ideally be postponed for a while?

I think you hint at it elliptically in comments, rather than come right out and say it.

"Spree", though, is precious. At the rate I am accumulating arms, the gun safe might start getting crowded in another few years.

But beware of me because I am a drunk with weapons, right?

No you are someone who said that they were sliding in the direction of being a drunk, with weapons.

Yeah I would be wary. No offense.

Maybe you're one of those people that hints at having an issue with alcohol without really having one. Never met one of those, but hopefully, that's you.

No you are someone who said that they were sliding in the direction of being a drunk, with weapons.

You really have no idea what my situation is, though. Thanks for your concern, but there is no need for it.

It was actually pretty easy to quit. I've never been an alcoholic before, though, so I have no idea at all whether quitting is ever easy.

The gun-ownership part of my life and the beer-drinking part of my life have zero overlap. I definitely agree that alcohol and firearms are not a good combination. It's not a combination that will occur in my house.

Slarti, I used to have more respect for you before you wrote: "Driving is necessary? Since when?"

I for one can make do without a gun a lot easier than I can make do without a car. You too, I bet. Even mass-murdering psychopaths find it more convenient to drive than to bicycle to their shooting sprees, in case you haven't noticed.

To be honest, I even respect you a bit less than I otherwise would because you own guns. I'm less tolerant than Russell. I don't respect every hobby people indulge in. Some people collect guns; other people collect kiddie porn. Both are hobbies. Both put me off. So far, to different degrees. But give it time -- and the inevitable, predictable, body count -- and that may change.

--TP

Tomorrow, I'm too whacked right now.

Not me....I'm in full whack mode, and on PST, a controlled state of being. The other Cleek shall not be turned.

Seb got me thinking about parallels, and I had this fiery vision of the hell that is the trenches of the endless internecine internet wars that wracked the 21st century: Guns & liberty-but only if the guns are in the 'right' hands; Abortion and more or less life-but only if permitted by the Communal Committee for the Sanctity of The Pre-born To Preserve Individual Freedom and Liberty-and we hate The State, yes-believe us-we really do; That hardy perennial, the question of the Palestinian question vs. the People Without a Land-but first the Other Guys need to unconditionally surrender and pass a full rectoscopy because their very existence is predicated solely on the notion that they have been brought into the world for the purpose of hating our freedoms, raising our taxes, and building community centers at Ground Zero....so

....are there similarities between NARAL and heavily armed anti-abortion militantly lunatic to the point of fascistic West Bank settlers? Obviously! (Russell has pointed this out more than once.)

But only those who can blow a BAC greater than .08 know for sure, or slyly, infinitely greedy bankers who, by the way, have stolen just about everything that is not nailed down (have you not noticed?); and last but not least, pancakes, evolved from a speck of dirt or created by the Supreme Intelligence who, inexplicably, forbids me the pleasure of just-so bacon.

The usual stuff.

Nasty dreams of unionized pregnant Palestinian women demanding the end of the zionist entity more neat whiskey, guns, and babies for the Revolution; Westboro Baptists screeching 'death to gays' and 'stop the genocide' yelling for Armageddon so the preggers Palestinians, armed with hockey sticks, can push Isreal into the sea as their victims pleaded for stricter DUI laws and a carbon tax, the Laffer curve be damned. It was a nightmare as Sapient droned on and on. Feverishly I thrashed about, thinking Freedom! Freedom! seeing myself broken on the wheel at the end of some execrably bad movie. Surely there is an answer. The Enlightenment, like Gore Vidal, told me so.

To no avail, I struggled to stop Countme-In from pushing me over the edge......

And then I passed out. Saved again by inebriation (wine, not beer...apologies to Belgium and Slarti).

But I didn't get behind the wheel. It may have been your lucky day. You'll never know (wink, wink), and guns would not have saved you in any event because Brett stole the keys to the SUV.

If you want to argue that we should be even stricter, go ahead and make that argument. We could breath test every truck driver before they get in a truck, at the end of their shift, and at at least one random point in between. Figure out how much that would cost and we can weigh that against the benefits we get from the trucking industry.

Duff, there are serious thoughts in Europe to have every car (not just trucks) equipped with breathalyzers by law. A drunk driver would not be able to start the engine. There are of course technical issues about manipulation (like having a sober person start the car before the drunk takes over) but the idea is less absurd than you might think. The cost argument will not be the one killing it, the car lobby* might (and in some countries it has a bit of a NRA attitude and influence).

*not the truck companies, it's about "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger" (freedom of the road for free citizens). It's the guys that also consider any speed limits intolerable.

"I for one can make do without a gun a lot easier than I can make do without a car. "

Level of convenience wasn't my point. Having other people decide what you need was more the point.

I'm unconcerned that you respect me less for owning guns. I'm not doing it for anyone's approval or respect, and I am currently not required to justify myself to anyone.

So.

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