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September 16, 2013

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not bombs, but a map of lynchings from 1900-1931.

following obama's election, the folks at Floating Sheep mapped the origin points of racist anti-Obama tweets.

the past is never dead. it's not even the past.

"racist tweet" somehow clangs against my ear like, say, "killing spree".

The completely predicable similarities between the overlays of the two maps is depressing until you realize that in one terrible respect we have made considerable progress in racial equality, given the largely white National Rifle Association's and the Texas State Government's (reportedly gave the Navy Yard shooter a concealed gun permit despite plenty of evidence of crazy) colorblind enthusiasm for arming mass murderers regardless of race, creed, or color.

That they always shoot the wrong people seems to be a feature not a bug. I guess the taxpayer-supplied security surrounding the anti-Obamacare desperadoes in the House of Reprehensibles must be a little too impermeable to assault.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_09/how_many_more_times_probably_m046920.php

In Colorado, we've had two State Senators recalled, included Senate President John Morse, a centrist Democrat and former Sheriff who in that capacity literally had been covered in blood tending to gunshot wounds and was shot at a few times, for supporting rather mild gun restrictions.

Universal background checks and limiting clip capacity to 15 rounds is too much for the murderous, subhuman, anti-American vermin in the radical end of the gun "community".

Governor John Hickenlooper, another centrist Democrat, who signed the legislation, should he run for re-election, should run campaign ads in which he unloads a single shot pistol into the rifle-range silhouettes of the various leaders of the enemy opposition and then turn to the camera, wink, and declare, "See, folks, one bullet at a time is all we need to remove murderous elements from civil society."

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24066168/colorado-senate-president-john-morse-recalled-angela-giron

Some lynching stats: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html

Going out on a limb here: I don't think the tweet chart is even remotely comparable to the lynching map or the underlying statistics, unless the point is that attitudes have changed markedly, starting sometime around the mid 30's, and for the better.

The density of tweets is less than the density of lynchings, so that's good news.

On the other hand, it looks like some of the lynchers moved to the West Coast and up into the Great Lakes States, loosely tracing Republican inroads into swing states.

Too, there are some tweet locations that look like they were recorded under the same lynching trees used 75 years ago, which may signal a geographic stagnation but also technological innovation.

East Texas, for example. ;)

The great news is that its difficult to tweet with your thumbs and throw a noose over a tree limb at the same time, which unfortunately might mean the need for larger mobs to accomplish the multitasking planned for 2014 and beyond.

I don't think the tweet chart is even remotely comparable to the lynching map

Nasty tweets != lynching. If that's your point, agreed.

I think we can safely say, for obvious reasons, that there were no wanna-be tweeters among the lynch mobs in the Jim Crow era.

However, when it comes to Obama, I don't think we can be sure there are absolutely no wanna-be lynchers among the present-day tweeters highlighted on the second map.

There are numerous cases of participants in lynchings taking photos for the family album. Not simple observer photos but arranged ones with the smoked dark meat in centre place and everyone smiling into the camera as if it were a friendly family reunion. Those were not things to be hidden like kiddie prawn but proudly presented. Had there been an internet in those days, many of those photos would have been instantly uploaded and shared.
To be cynical, I think far too many people have still the same mindset but are just too squeamish to do the deed these days and are not sure enough anymore that their neighbours would of course join in as in the old days.

"I don't think the tweet chart is even remotely comparable to the lynching map..."

Yes. Apples, oranges, golf balls.

Here are some of the top tweeting twats of twitterstan.

I'm in favor of loosening all gun legislation for real Americans only in this country in his country to prepare for the moment when all of these vermin and their families will need to be killed.


http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/conservative-attorney-calls-for-coup-against-obama?ref=fpb

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/09/boehner-gop-leaders-obamacare-shutdown.php

2nd Amendment claims 12 more victims.

Who needs lynchings any more? The unreconstructed Confederates among us sure don't.

Am I equating "responsible gun owners" with lynchers? No. I'm equating them with the spectators at lynchings. If they feel offended by that, tough sh1t.

--TP

just to be clear, and reiterate my response to McK, I don't equate nasty angry tweets and lynching.

i'm sure, if twitter was around when Bush 43 was elected, that there were lots of nasty angry tweets about that.

LJ's post made me think of looking to see if there was, in fact, a map documenting where the anti-black bombings of the mid-20th C had occurred. I didn't find it, I found other stuff, hence my reply.

The legacy of deliberate singling out of black people for adverse treatment - ranging from subjection to chattel slavery, to Jim Crow laws, to lynching, to bombing, to de jure and de facto apartheid, to redlining, to the kind of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't way that any attempt at remedial public efforts are viewed, to differential prosecution of coca derivatives highly correlated to skin color, to differences in incarceration rates, to whatever example you like, not to exclude explicitly racist language in angry nasty tweets following Obama's election, tells me that a lot of people still carry around in their heads the idea that somebody's skin color can tell you something important about who they are.

Explicit white supremacy is not such a socially acceptable notion nowadays (although it does have it's fans, and retains a cachet as some kind of badge of 'edgy' politically-incorrect contrarianism), but that doesn't mean racism doesn't persist.

Even when we mean well.

There are still a lot of people alive who remember lynchings, and bombings, and beatings, and official public segregation, and all of the other crap that went on. It will take additional generations, starting now, to work out the legacies of the crap that goes on now.

Racism is bred in the American bone. It's in our history, it's bound up in our success as a young nation (read: free labor), it's institutionalized in the freaking Constitution (read: 3/5 of a human).

The fact that black people no longer have to live in fear of being literally dragged out of their homes and killed for the crime of being black is, straight up, a good thing. But we're not past the "race thing".

It's still with us. That's all I'm saying.

The Three-Fifths Compromise was worked out between pro-slave and anti-slave fractions. The pro-slave fraction wanted it to be one. The anti-slave fraction wanted it to be zero.

To be clear as well, what I write is not an implication of what Russell means.

He's perfectly capable of meaning what he says, and saying it with its intended and completely transparent meaning.

I'm just doing my thing.

Come to think of it, seeing Dick Cheney hang for his crimes would be justice, and if I was a Twitter user, I would tweet it to him.

Then we could have a perfect equation of tweeting and lynching.

Maybe the NSA is reading this, and they can let him know that I hate his guts, along with his fellow travelers who when they aren't stealing elections, refuse to except the ones they lose and then stop all governance.

As for the pro-slave fraction and the anti-slave fraction, it might be interesting to shift the reparations argument in favor of giving each black individual in this country two votes in all elections for a certain amount of time to repair the damage, instead of monetary awards.

Maybe three votes each, as a further bonus for having the patience for roughly 185 years not to kill all of us along the way, which, when you think about it, is a singular mysterious fact, a dog that that didn't bark in the night, especially when you consider the loose talk about armed insurrection from all of the usual suspects every time a Democrat wins office, doubled down of the candidate is black.

Of course, you'll never see a tweet thanking the American black population for their forbearance.

Should such a reparations scheme be put into place, I'd expect the racist tweeting map to be thick with talk of lynching, with its already established geographic distribution.

I'm equating them with the spectators at lynchings. If they feel offended by that, tough sh1t.

I am not offended, just as I doubt you would be offended if I or someone else called you a communist or a Nazi.

"The legacy of deliberate singling out of black people for adverse treatment - ranging from subjection to chattel slavery, to Jim Crow laws, to lynching, to bombing, to de jure and de facto apartheid, to redlining, to the kind of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't way that any attempt at remedial public efforts are viewed, to differential prosecution of coca derivatives highly correlated to skin color, to differences in incarceration rates, to whatever example you like, not to exclude explicitly racist language in angry nasty tweets following Obama's election, tells me that a lot of people still carry around in their heads the idea that somebody's skin color can tell you something important about who they are."

Also voter suppression laws. And several Republican politicians, including one from Texas, have been quite honest about the purpose of such efforts.

BTW, I did not intend, by pointing out the purpose of voter suppression laws, to imply that all Republicans, or even most, are racist. I think that Republican politicians are interested in winning elections, and since their goal as politicians is to serve the 2% at the expense of everyone else, and their main tactic for getting elected is to appeal to the worst in the voters, then appeals to racism, like appeals to selfishness or fear or hating gays or fear that government tax money might be spent on a non-red state or fear that other people might not be living according to a rightwing interpretation of Christianity or whatever negativity they can dream up, is just one more means to an end.

One great thing about Barack Obama, despite his faults, is that he has been called a Communist, a Nazi, and a Muslim terrorist simultaneously, usually in the same sentence on the airwaves and on Twitter, Twaddle, and Twistit.

Dick Cheney confines himself to the Nazi label, a specialization which oddly enough has stood him in good stead among the usual suspects.

It's Obama's forays outside Nazism and into the other categories that pisses off the same suspects.

One great thing about Barack Obama, despite his faults, is that he has been called a Communist, a Nazi, and a Muslim terrorist simultaneously

a true American, he contains multitudes.

the other (or an other) thing I feel obliged to say is that my referencing the maps was not specifically intended to damn the south.

explicit, de jure racism was more prevalent in the south - meaning the former confederate states - for lots of reasons, but widespread acceptance and equal treatment of blacks and other minorities was not (and definitely is not) a given elsewhere in the country.

when I was a kid, my family lived briefly in Yaphank, NY, out in then-rural Suffolk County on Long Island. among other things, Yaphank is notable for having been the home of Camp Siegfried, a Nazi summer camp. which operated through the 30's, until we declared war on Germany.

many of my wife's people were klan members in the 30's through the early 50's, in western PA and northeast OH. they were part of the "good klan", though, they explained, and we didn't care to ask for clarification.

Indiana has, historically, been home to lots of white supremacist activity, including klan membership and lynchings.

i live in new england now, and outside of cities there is just not a lot of brown skin in evidence, anywhere. some south asians in the leafy burbs in places where there's a strong tech sector, but definitely not much african heritage.

must be because it's so cold up here.

it's not something that is confined to the south.

Am I equating "responsible gun owners" with lynchers? No. I'm equating them with the spectators at lynchings.

That gets a bit awkward when you consider that a respectable number of responsible gun owners are black and/or completely disinterested in attacking and killing other human beings. Depending on which way you want to bend the comparison.

Your equation fails to equate, in other words. Less politely: it's a fncking ridiculous statement, and were I you I would be wishing for an edit feature in comments so that I could go back and erase it.

it's not something that is confined to the south.

*It* isn't even something that is confined to the US. The tribalism that drove the genocide in Rwanda is indistinguishable from racism. We tend to focus on domestic majority-to-minority oppression as if it was pervasive, unwavering and unique to the American experience. It's a kind of perverse American Exceptionalism in which the white majority are, and always have been, exceptionally racist, greedy, oppressive, etc, etc. The middle 19th century was a period of historical enlightenment, compared to pretty much all that had preceded it, yet by today's standards, even many radical northerners would fail to pass current values muster. But even still, some hundreds of thousands of northerners died in a war that, but for slavery and opposition to it, would never have been fought. And since then, not at light speed but with observable, ongoing progress, we have self-corrected to a considerable degree.

I don't know what other folks are seeing around the country. I live in Houston in a reasonably affluent but transitional neighborhood. At both the upper and lower end, there is visible diversity. We went to dinner last night at a mid-range, fairly nice restaurant. The clientele were visibly diverse. The law firm I go to work at everyday is visibly diverse. Both the Federal and state courthouses are visibly diverse. I spent the day Monday with a new client whose senior management is visibly diverse. So, while I'm sure, if one cares to look for it, one can find or assemble evidence that in a country of 300 million plus, there are still plenty of stupid bigots around. What I don't see is much in the way of noticing what I've laid out above. Since I'm not the only person in my part of town, I am pretty sure I am not alone in what I am seeing. Or, maybe some parts of Texas aren't the hellhole some from out of state seem to think it is.

a map of lynchings

know what sucks? learning that there were two in my county-of-residence (as opposed to 0 in the whole state of NY, where i was born and raised).

i'm curious to know the details, but afraid of finding out that they happened at a place i can't avoid.

heckofa job, racists. you've permanently poisoned the area.

The Three-Fifths Compromise was worked out between pro-slave and anti-slave fractions. The pro-slave fraction wanted it to be one. The anti-slave fraction wanted it to be zero.

Coincidentally, a friend and I were discussing this very thing on the drive home last night. I think our micro-consensus was that the 3/5 compromise was an abomination and a perversion of the abstract ideals expressed in the Constitution, but it was one necessary to form a coalition of states capable of (barely) achieving independence from the mother country.

Whether it was all worth it in the long run is not something I'd care to comment on. I think I've previously expressed thoughts to the effect that we'd be in better shape now (in many ways) if we had simply knuckled under. But we don't really have any kind of alternate history available so that we could look to see for sure.

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/laporte/michigan-city/official--year-old-boy-killed-during-gun-related-game/article_0191550e-2ad6-56b3-98b9-a12b11c8ab4f.html

This kind of crap happens every day, but I don't blame responsible gun owners solely, I blame all of us for not having the guts to stand up to the Second Amendment fetishists by shouting down the NRA and other gun absolutists on their turf while being armed, and then closing the armaments factories, and executing all black market gun dealers.

Course, somewhere a tweet is being twittered at this moment pointing out that if the 3-year-old had been armed with a gun as well, instead of just his fingers, this wouldn't have happened.

Glad to see Starbucks decided to disallow carrying guns in their stores.

Commence the tweeting now from the radical gun enthusiasts predicting/hoping for a shoot-em-up with numerous unarmed serves em right latte drinking victims while of course, simultaneously lobbing tweets to their representatives that any further moves in the direction of universal background checks, etc, will be met with threats of electoral catastrophe as a prelude to armed resistance.

I'm thinking now in this hepped-up atmosphere of we'd better be armed to head off these pointless mass killings and playtime with the children includes real gunplay killings happening every month, some on military bases which, if I'm not mistaken, are bristling with armaments, what I should do in a Starbucks if I'm carrying (I'm quite certain numerous (not all) individuals who carry are going to start patronizing Starbucks just to smirk on Twitter that they and the Founders have big dicks; of course they won't be on hand to actually prevent any gun violence by the other hopeless romantics who we are told by the former will now target Starbucks for violence because .... sitting ducks) and notice that another whackjob like me is carrying too.

Should I assume, in a preventative posture, given the ever constant threat of incipient violence against my person and the white-knuckled vigilance I'm counseled to maintain by the gun lobby, that this other guy with the telltale bulge means harm and wait until he draws his weapon and THEN shoot him in the solar plexus, or should I make eye contact and pat my bulge (and I don't mean my Michael Jackson bulge) to let him know any false moves will be met with incoming fire, or should I just shoot the f&cker in the head and ask questions later.

I tought I taw a pussycat!

We're all suspects now.

As Jonathan Schell said of failed nuclear deterrence, in what Martin Amis termed a "noble syllogism": "He, thinking I was about to kill him in self-defense, was about to kill me in self-defense. So I killed him in self-defense."


That gets a bit awkward when you consider that a respectable number of responsible gun owners are black and/or completely disinterested in attacking and killing other human beings.

More generally: gun owner intersects broadly with a number of demographics, including Democrat. I am personally acquainted with Democrats who would take very, very personal offense at your statement.

Which is not to say that it won't find any agreement anywhere, naturally.

I would propose that we just take a quick shortcut to the inevitable end state of: responsible gun owners are just like Hitler.

This kind of crap happens every day, but I don't blame responsible gun owners solely, I blame all of us for not having the guts to stand up to the Second Amendment fetishists by shouting down the NRA and other gun absolutists on their turf while being armed, and then closing the armaments factories, and executing all black market gun dealers.

What I seriously don't get is that stupidity with a gun is treated as a class completely apart from every other form of stupidity that produces injury or death. Can you explain that to me? I have hunting rifles that my son and I share (4), shotguns (3), a couple of .22's and two pistols. I shoot a shotgun or a rifle maybe two days a year, out in the boondocks, and I haven't fired either pistol in 10 years if not longer. I also have a car that I drive everyday, and I annually drive more than 20,000 miles (and have done so for the last three decades). Which instrumentality poses the more likely harm to myself or others?

I'm always unclear on what 'responsible gun owner' means. I thought it meant that unless you're actively taking your gun hunting or to the range, you leave it in a locked cabinet with ammunition in another room. But that doesn't seem to be what it means since that definition precludes being able to quickly respond to an intruder. So there's another meaning where you leave loaded guns easily accessible in your house, perfect for small children or mentally unstable people to discover and shoot someone with.

Can all the gun owners here clarify which version of responsible gun owner they are?

Which instrumentality poses the more likely harm to myself or others?

one instrument was intentionally designed to kill and one was designed to transport.

one has a secondary function as a means of entertainment. this secondary function is referred to as "practice": practicing the skills and techniques for killing in deliberately difficult situations - when what you want to kill might run away if it sees you. whereas killing an unsuspecting person involves walking up to them, lifting the item and moving your index finger. and one is designed to get a family to grandma's house and contains a host of features, mandated by scores of laws and regulations, to reduce the likelihood of injury to users and bystanders.

one requires a license to operate legally, can be taken away if abused and is a vital part of most people's lives. the other can be purchased at Wal*Mart, no questions asked and can never be taken away because FREEDOM.

Me: rifle and all spare ammunition in the spindial-locked gun safe; pistol kept loaded and ready in a smaller cipher-lock case. Right now we don't have any reserve ammunition in the pistol safe, but that may change. Pistol is loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs, or similar.

The kids have been repeatedly lectured on how dangerous guns are. We're extremely careful with them. We stress repeatedly that guns are things you have to treat with a great deal of respect, similar to how you have to behave around e.g. a large woodcutting saw. The younger one will learn firearms safety from an instructor very soon; the older one may never fire a weapon.

Good question, McTx.

Which I would counter with a question:

Which instrumentality is manufactured expressly to harm myself and others, stupidly or not, and is used expressly for that purpose many times over, as opposed to being used to drive to the grocery store and accidentally, in almost all cases, causing harm to myself and others.

I haven't noticed a telescopic sight on my car, but I don't read owner's manuals, nor do I know of any driving ranges that put up silhouettes of human beings to run over in self defense or for any other reason.

I'm not against hunting, though I don't hunt, but I don't recall the advertising for my model of car including huzzahs about its effectiveness in roadkill incidents, not are there national organizations hyping the instrumentality of my car in roadkill incidents.

I don't remember the last time a gun fetishist, as opposed to a responsible gun owner, counseled owning a car just in case we might have to overthrow the government.

A car is a vehicle that has accidents on the way to the grocery store. A tank is a vehicle with a gun on top of it for one purpose only.

Guns do one thing. Do you know what it is?

Of course you do. They are paperweights awaiting their use for that one thing, stupidly or not.

"Can all the gun owners here clarify which version of responsible gun owner they are?"

I am the version that doesn't buy a gun, though the Republican Party is convincing me that I'm wrong that I'm wrong about that because too many of them are threatening my country.


*It* isn't even something that is confined to the US.

Yes, that's correct. And, many of the places where widespread, systematic, institutionalized racism was part of the culture, share many of the same lingering issues that we experience.

There are some unique aspects of the American legacy of white supremacy, for instance chattel slavery as an essential component of the economy of a large part of the country.

So, more than just tribalism - tribalism based on a doctrine of race and racial superiority, and enshrined in law and every public and social institution.

I don't discount that tremendous progress has been made. However I also don't therefore claim that we're past it all.

Glad your experience in Houston is one of general color-blindness. Your city may well be ahead of mine on that count.

I don't necessarily endorse Tony P.'s statement equating "responsible gun owners" with lynching spectators, but I would guess that he wasn't equating them in the sense that they are equally racist. I think he means that they are complicit in preventable gun deaths because they support (an) organization(s) that actively oppose(s) sensible restrictions on firearms ownership and use, the same way that spectators of lynchings are complicit in the deaths of lynched blacks (or whoever else might be lynched).

That some number of "responsible gun owners" might be black isn't particularly relevant, if I'm right about what he's saying.

I think he means that they are complicit in preventable gun deaths because they support (an) organization(s) that actively oppose(s) sensible restrictions on firearms ownership and use, the same way that spectators of lynchings are complicit in the deaths of lynched blacks (or whoever else might be lynched).

This is nonsense, of course. Lynching is murder. Spectators at a lynching are there because they want to see some killing done. Firearms ownership and support thereof is not murder, and doesn't constitute any kind of approval, tacit or otherwise, of murder.

But Hitler would approve of the mass condemnation of a group of people. Why, they're hardly even human.

WRT McK's personal (non)-experience of racism, my life is much the same in this regard, but I don't see this as having much evidentiary value.

To wit: I see racially diverse (if not balanced) groups at church, in shopping, at the hospital, etc. around town (Durham, NC), and I haven't encountered overt racism directed at myself or anyone else. OTOH, I read the local newspapers, and I observe what's obvious in terms of where people live (spelled out more explicitly on the recent ethnic/racial map of the USA linked here not long ago), and I know that there's in fact a lot of racism around - more in the area outside the "Research Triangle" than within it, but plenty within it as well, if one's antennae are up.

I'm white (and male, and heterosexually married, and moderately affluent) so I don't have to encounter racism on a regular basis, which is nice. On the other hand, I'm not so blinded by this privilege as to assume that my sheltered experience is indicative of much.

YMMV.

Which instrumentality is manufactured expressly to harm myself and others, stupidly or not, and is used expressly for that purpose many times over, as opposed to being used to drive to the grocery store and accidentally, in almost all cases, causing harm to myself and others

None of my guns are expressly manufactured to harm anyone although they have that capacity depending on who is holding which kind of gun, so I supposed I disagree with the premise of your question.

But, you are not alone in noting that guns are weapons, primarily, and cars are not. Ok, granted.

If that is the demarcation point for policy conversations, then what is the correct policy for guns: confiscation, severe licensing and whatnot requirements, what? Because the farther you go down this road, the more you prove the points Brett and his friends make and the more you undercut your own and others here comments that you have no beef with a gun for home protection or for hunting or what have you.

And, no one has answered my question, which I will rephrase: there is no end to the mischief humans do to themselves and others with a broad range of devices, or even bare hands, so why are guns the only instrument that the left fixates on? Cars and alcohol produce at least as many fatalities and if the left gets their way, pot will be legal, which will add to the numbers. In that context, we blame the drunk--why not the same for the shooter?

I know that there's in fact a lot of racism around - more in the area outside the "Research Triangle" than within it, but plenty within it as well, if one's antennae are up.

How does one *know* this? It's a statement I would have agreed with 20 or 30 years ago, but today, no, I'm not seeing it. We now have, in the US, 50% plus supporting/approving of gay marriage/civil union. Younger people are crowding out the older folks. More than ever before, attitudes are changing almost in real time. Advocates of integration, de facto and de jure, have won the war, there is no going back, but there will always be a fringe of bitter enders. Many here like to talk about Republican wedge issues. I'm tired of those on the left who find racists under every bed and waive that bloody shirt endlessly and ad nauseum.

...so why are guns the only instrument that the left fixates on?

Seems you've buried your conclusion into your premise there.

Firearms ownership and support thereof is not murder, and doesn't constitute any kind of approval, tacit or otherwise, of murder.

I don't think anyone is talking simply about firearms ownership or the support thereof. I mean, I support firearms ownership within limits, thus the scare quotes around "responsible gun owners."

Some people, myself included, truly think there are reasonable policies that could reduce gun deaths without diminishing liberty in a meaningful way. (I'd go so far as to say that being shot diminshes liberty a hell of a lot more than firearms restrictions.) You, of course, may disagree.

Now, for the sake of argument, let's assume the NRA lobbied very hard for a policy of completely unfettered gun ownership, completely free of restrictions - be they based on criminal records, mental health, age, types of guns, and whatever, as well as having no criminal penalties or specific crimes based on the use of a firearm. Robbery is robbery, murder is murder, assault is assult, gun or no gun - doesn't matter. Let's also assume they were successful at getting that policy on the books as law, across the country, and that gun deaths skyrocketed as a result thereafter.

Would you then say that people who supported the NRA were complicit in some number of the additional deaths by firearm, even though they didn't pull the trigger in any of them? Would you then disagree that they were in some sense like lynching spectators who allowed and, through social support, enable lynchings to go on as much as they did?

I know that's not what's going on, of course. I'm just trying to make the situation such that you would end up on the other side of the debate that is the premise for what Tony P. is saying.

Seems you've buried your conclusion into your premise there.

Which is not an answer to the question. We blame drunks for drunk driving, not the car, not the booze--why not the same for guns?

let's assume the NRA lobbied very hard for a policy of completely unfettered gun ownership, completely free of restrictions - be they based on criminal records, mental health, age, types of guns, and whatever, as well as having no criminal penalties or specific crimes based on the use of a firearm.

I am not aware of the NRA's specific policy views, but I am pretty sure that none of these are on the table. No one is supporting unfettered gun possession by the mentally ill or criminally-minded--just the opposite, in fact, if you are paying attention to the discussions in conservative circles.

TP's rather incendiary comment is based on the real world, here and now; your construct does not exist, and never will exist.

why are guns the only instrument that the left fixates on?

Over the last couple of decades, folks (left, right, and otherwise) have 'fixated' on:

  • smoking
  • excessive drinking
  • drinking and driving
  • automobile safety in any of a variety of ways

So, guns are not so unique.

Cars and alcohol produce at least as many fatalities

And cars and alcohol are heavily regulated.

In any case, my point of view on guns, as oft-repeated here, is that if you're not a criminal, insane, or a demonstrable knucklehead, and you want a gun, feel free.

I'm also fine with limits on magazine capacity. I'm absolutely fine with the existing proscription of fully automatic weapons in private hands. And I'm fine with mandatory background checks before sale, including private sales. I think it's great that, in my personal jurisdiction, the bar for carrying in public is higher than for simple ownership for hunting or home defense.

Because all of those things reduce the risk to folks who have to live near the people who feel like they want or need a gun.

Those folks have an interest in the issue as well. And none of those limitations amount to a "disarming" of the civilian population.

But if you're not nuts, a criminal, or a demonstrable ass, and you want a gun, feel free.

Live it up.

if the left gets their way, pot will be legal, which will add to the numbers.

Not a hill I'm prepared to either die on or even go to any great lengths to defend, but I don't see pot legalization as leading to increased fatalities.

It doesn't make people reckless or aggressive.

...your construct does not exist, and never will exist.

I know that. I acknowledged that. My point was that Tony P. and Slart are coming from two different perspectives on sensible restrictions on firearms. I'm trying to paint an admittedly unrealistic picture, but one that would turn Slart into Tony P. with regards to the premises under which they are arguing.

We already know we disagree on where the line should be on firearms, but I don't think we disagree that there should be a line somewhere. That makes me want to explore what it would take to move someone to the other side of the debate, even if I have to move the debate, while the person stays right where he is.

Is it the logic, itself, or the premises that lead people to different conclusions?

I'd also add for clarity that not all deaths are murders, so we don't necessarily have to be talking about murder when someone is somehow complicit in another's death.

How does one *know* this?

By exactly the means I indicated in the original sentence: reading the local newspapers (and watching local news) and observing patterns of residence, etc. I'm not about to guide you through all of the stories indicative of racism in North Carolina today, but to ignore them is ridiculous.

I'm tired of those on the left who find racists under every bed and waive that bloody shirt endlessly and ad nauseum.

I'm not waving the bloody shirt, but I'm not in denial, either, as you seem to be. You admit that racism still exists, but insist that since it is in retreat, there's nothing to see here, move right along. I would have been more sympathetic to that position if it it had not been for recent right-wing successes here in North Carolina, some of them hellbent on rolling the clock back on almost every conceivable issue (education, voting rights, health care, unemployment benefits, government transparency, environmental safeguards, etc.) None of them - none of those in power, AFAIK - is openly advocating segregation again, but since the bottom line in a majority of their positions would make life worse for African-Americans, one has to wonder.

You may shut your eyes to this in Texas. God knows what they do in Texas; it's one of the few states (along with Florida) that makes ours look relatively sane. But to say it's not an issue because it doesn't affect you personally is an affront.

We blame drunks for drunk driving, not the car, not the booze--why not the same for guns?

who has ever blamed a gun for killing anyone ? links please.

who here blames Adam Lanza's guns for the dead children in Newtown ?

nobody ?

guns are efficient, portable, concealable, effective tools for killing. that is their primary intended purpose and that is the purpose most people use them for. and far too many people use them for killing other people. and in a debate over people killing people, that puts guns in a completely different class of objects than cars.

apples : hand grenades.

TP's rather incendiary comment...

BTW, I agree that it was incendiary, which is one reason I mentioned that I don't necessarily endorse it. I'd also say that Tony probably agrees as well, which is why "tough sh1t" is in there.

But I can still see what point he's trying to make, or I think I do, at least. And I find it reasonably interesting.

I'm tired of those on the left who find racists under every bed and waive that bloody shirt endlessly and ad nauseum.

Then it would behoove those 'on the right' to stop opposing all efforts to ameliorate the legacy of this discrimination which you so blandly claim has pretty much ceased, and also stop vehemently advocating public policies that either have been demonstrably proved to be abysmal failures or actually have a disparate impact.

And I'd challenge you personally, McKinney to ready any of this guy's pieces and effectively rebut them without resorting to anecdotal evidence or sweeping generalizations.

Thanks.

And, no one has answered my question....

cleek, among others, did so. And your response is?

So, guns are not so unique.

Fair point on tobacco. I missed that. I am not sure where cars or booze are meaningfully--as in reducing accidents--regulated.

It doesn't make people reckless or aggressive.

Back in the day, I got high from time to time. It absolutely does impair your driving.

My point was that Tony P. and Slart are coming from two different perspectives on sensible restrictions on firearms.

Tony is not suggesting anything remotely approving of sensible restrictions on firearms. To my knowledge, no one has suggested a sensible restriction that would play any causal role in reducing mass shootings--the most difficult crime there is to prevent is a premeditated event by someone who is impervious to deterrence. Look at the crazy guy in Norway. Tony is telling every gun owner that they endorse mass murder. Slarti's comments were dead on. Dead on.

who has ever blamed a gun for killing anyone ? links please.

Jesus. Just about every person I've ever seen or heard call for limits on gun ownership blames the ready availability of guns on crime and murder. Your comment pretty much does that.

McTx: None of my guns are expressly manufactured to harm anyone

Well then they're not "arms" and not protected under the 2nd Amendment.

I'm not waving the bloody shirt, but I'm not in denial, either, as you seem to be. You admit that racism still exists, but insist that since it is in retreat, there's nothing to see here, move right along.

No actually, I view racism as the exception and not the rule. Further, I think the left's obsession with racism produces show trials like the Zimmerman case. I don't view voter ID as racist EVEN IF the intent is to discourage, at the periphery, those who lack sufficient motivation to get an ID card and even if the majority of that minority at the periphery are Hispanic or black (and, I'm reasonably confident that the lazy, unmotivated periphery has plenty of whites, so I'm just not that moved). Why? Because that law applies the same to everyone. Getting an ID is no big deal. Sorry, it isn't.

Also, here in Texas, we do have a lot of folks from south of the border who are not authorized to be here. Most are fine folks who stay below the radar. Some are not, and some parts of S Texas rival E Texas for corruption. So, there is more than mere paranoia involved in wanting verification of citizenship for voting. It's a legitimate concern. Can I prove that undocumented residents are voting? No, but I am confident that goes on, based on the corruption that I have witnessed and which is widely known to take place in some places.

What else is going on in NC, or in Texas, that is racist? I'm curious.

McTx: Why? Because that law applies the same to everyone.

Much like a poll tax. Or literacy tests. Or grandfather clauses.

cleek, among others, did so. And your response is?

Fair point in the sense that an 'answer', like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I think Cleek himself blames guns and not the shooter in a very different way than he blames every other tangible item that is used or misused with death or injury as a result.

But that's just me and my take on Cleek. Its' also a lot of this debate--we are talking past each other, speaking two different languages almost.

Well then they're not "arms" and not protected under the 2nd Amendment.

Huh? I'm totally missing your point.

To my knowledge, no one has suggested a sensible restriction that would play any causal role in reducing mass shootings

Um, what? When did this become about mass shootings?

Tony is telling every gun owner that they endorse mass murder.

Is he? I seriously don't get it.

It absolutely does impair your driving.

Ever stop at at green light?

Much like a poll tax. Or literacy tests. Or grandfather clauses

Or not, since the cost is free, literacy is not required, nor anything else. Proving you are who you say you are is not an onerous burden and it is not racist.

Um, what? When did this become about mass shootings?

Please reread TP's comment about the 2nd Amendment killing 12 people. I am pretty sure it's about mass killings and I am pretty sure TP said that responsible gun owners are willing bystanders/spectators of mass killings. That is, giving the English language its usual and customary meaning.

Yes, I forgot about the 12 victims part after all the back-and-forth. My bad.

But I still disagree about responsible gun owners, because his quotation marks didn't get there by accident. It's a phrase that used often by the gun lobby and its supporters, thus the scare quotes.

If you owned, say, a hunting rifle, but didn't support the NRA or its agenda, and favored bans on high-capacity magazines, implementation of universal background checks, etc. I doubt Tony P. would be talking about you.

Proving you are who you say you are is not an onerous burden...

Yes, it is. The cost is not "free" as you claim.

The proof of identity is provided when one initially registers to vote as per prevailing state law. Beyond that, it is an undue burden for some parts of the population to secure additional ID, as has been well documented, demonstrated, and yes, there are even anecdotes! ......which is proof beyond all reasonable doubt using the reasoning you employed re racism.

Ever stop at at green light?

What light?

A gun is a force multiplicator and a gun with a large magazine and a quick repeating mechanism is a very large force multiplicator. The gun user is responsible for the act of killing, the gun for the size of the carnage.
As for cars, there is technology available and its mandatory use advocated for in different countries that works against drunk or drugged driving*. Also under development are devices that check the driver's state of consciousness. So, if the driver loses consciousness or is on the way there, the car starts countermeasures to either bring the car to a safe halt (not ready for the arket yet, I think) or to wake the driver up. Iirc at least one country preemptively passed a law that makes it illegal to circumvent those measures. I assume sooner or later a system will get developed that makes a car refuse running over people.
It will take some time though to create intelligent blades that refuse to be used in murder, I give you that. But if it was possible, I'd advocate for it. It would be nice, if the police could also interview any weapon about the acts committed by it. With dasboard cameras we are close to that with cars (the widespread use in Russia is a means to defend against corrupt traffic cops and to use in court to exonerate oneself in cases of traffic accidents).

*most simple version: a breathalyzer connected to the ignition. The car will not start, if the driver does not do the test or tests positively.

no one has suggested a sensible restriction that would play any causal role in reducing mass shootings

If you have a history of reckless use of firearms and you go to the VA for medical help because you are hearing voices in your head, you don't get to buy more firearms.

That seems like a good place to start.

Slart has not, in this thread, voiced any opinion at all as regards gun control regulations.

Slart has, instead, voiced the opinion that Tony P. has made an extraordinarily inapt statement, and explained why. And that's pretty much all.

Well then they're not "arms" and not protected under the 2nd Amendment.

Consider the axe as something that could be used to hurt people, but has uses that don't involve hurting anyone.

If you have a history of reckless use of firearms and you go to the VA for medical help because you are hearing voices in your head, you don't get to buy more firearms.

I'm fine with this, provided it's not limited to people who go to the VA. Someone is on record opposing preventing the mentally ill from purchasing firearms? I'd like to see the detail. I have a vague recollection of something that was somewhat controversial and that blowhards on both sides of the issue were bellowing about. FWIW, I pay very little attention to NRA type activists and so I am not steeped in their views.

The gun user is responsible for the act of killing, the gun for the size of the carnage.

If you are saying that a gun makes killing more people easier than, say, a bow and arrow, yes, that is a fact. It is the shooter, however, who keeps on shooting. To date, the largest domestic act of mass murder was achieved with fertilizer. Explosives are made to blow things up, i.e. their sole purpose is to destroy something. Sure, they can be used responsibly and for legitimate, even necessary acts of destruction, but they are also force multipliers. Explosives, moreover, are simply applied chemistry. Gasoline, soap, fertilizer, etc are ubiquitous.

The point here is that human agency at the undeterrable extreme cannot be managed or pre-empted. When we last had this discussion, the left's focus was on assault-style weapons. I pointed out then that anyone with an ordinary shotgun could do the same or worse. That point has now been made in spades.

Someone is on record opposing preventing the mentally ill from purchasing firearms?

Not that I'm aware of.

Blind people, yes. The mentally ill, no.

I was simply pointing out that, contrary to your assertion, folks have proposed simple regulations that would reduce the number of mass killings.

Or, not-mass killings. Just ordinary killings.

If you are mentally ill, you don't get a gun.

If you have a history of doing stuff like shooting out other people's tires if they "diss you", you don't get a gun.

If you purchase a firearm through private sales, you still have to go through a background check.

These are not novelties that I'm presenting here. They're proposals of long standing, and they'r proposals that meet with significant resistance from advocates of gun ownership.

These are not novelties that I'm presenting here. They're proposals of long standing, and they'r proposals that meet with significant resistance from advocates of gun ownership.

I am aware of the background check thing and have no objection--it could be done in a way that is minimally imposing and I am aware this is opposed by the NRA and others, but not the mentally ill or criminally inclined. I haven't seen that anywhere.

Well, around here one CANNOT simply buy large amounts of ammonium nitrate unless one can show a licence and/or legitimate reason (e.g. owning a farm or being a licenced trader). And a lot of other potential explosives can only be sold with phlegmatizer included. And for a number of compounds the seller has to inform the authorities even about legal sales.
---
In about any discussion on gun control someone comes up with the slippery slope argument that denying the mentally ill the ownership/purchase of firearms is just the first step in the inevitable ban of all guns to everyone (except the lackeys of the commie-fascist liberal regime of course). There is a grain of truth there of course since it is a favorite tool of authoritarian regimes to declare its opponents mentally ill. Small d democrats ended up in insane asylums in the 19th century and so did people during WW1 in Austria and Germany that claimed that there were supply shortages. What the users of said argument ignore is that a real authoritarian regime would not usually waste time with niceties anyway. And not all authoritarian regimes are opposed to an armed population either (the Soviet Union was, Nazi Germany decidedly was not despite the zombie claims to the contrary from the usual suspects).

Btw, why did we drift into a gun discussion again when the topic was racially motivated arson?

Explosives, moreover, are simply applied chemistry. Gasoline, soap, fertilizer, etc are ubiquitous.

And becoming increasingly more regulated. You repeatedly posit a determined miscreant and declare we all, like you, should just throw our arms up in the air in despair and do nothing. Terrorists and drug dealers are violent and determined human beings with--you guessed it--agency.

Therefore it follows that you believe we should do nothing to prevent terrorism or deter violet drug criminals or that the only reason we engage in these pointless activities is because we are under the mass delusion that making these acts illegal will "do something".

When it comes to guns, once we get beyond the superficially stupid defense about the placement of commas and 'absolute rights' assertions re the 2nd Amendment, the switch is made to the 'thing' not the 'act'. Thus the talking past each other since the "gun rights" folks refuse to accept the evidence that controlling and/or restricting access to guns (those things) reduces gun injuries and death (those acts).

So I won't prevaricate. I opine that access to, and possession of, guns should be strictly regulated. I sincerely hope this clarifies "the Left's" thinking on this matter for you.

Thanks.

I haven't seen that anywhere.

No McK, obviously nobody is advocating that firearms be sold to criminals and the mentally ill.

But the practical result of weakening background checks, either by limiting the infrastructure to support them or by insisting on exemptions like private sales, is that criminals and the mentally ill have fairly ready access to firearms.

Not addressed to anyone here, but I'd like to point out that Governor Rick Perry demands universal background checks for Obamacare facilitators in his State (probably not a bad idea in the hands of the non-clownish actually interested in governing), but decries the need for universal background checks to purchase and own a weapon.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/rick-perry-makes-new-move-to-obstruct-obamacare-in-texas

We're infested with sick f*cks in this country, and then we spread the infestation via elections.

Stockpile fertilizer, large clip weapons, anything that goes boom.


Separately, McKT: I can't tell, is your last paragraph a call to throw up our hands and NOT limit the size and clip capacity of assault-style weapons, or a bid to head off calls to outlaw shotguns?

Or do we need more of both types of weapons out walking the streets?

I'd have preferred that the Navy Yard shooter -- stayed home that day -- but also that he would have tried Brett's suggestion of using an SUV, an atlatl, or rat poison to commit mass murder. As it is, I take some actual small comfort, given what is available out there, that he chose the shotgun, which maybe limited the damage given loading and firing times.

But maybe we should outlaw (at the manufacturing level) everything but single-shot derringers and see how mass murderers cope.

Hartmut asked:

"Btw, why did we drift into a gun discussion again when the topic was racially motivated arson?"

An unfortunate segue/threadjack by me in the middle of the week betwixt and between open threads. I'm sorry. Arson, racism, down that road somehow gun madness lurks.

We could ban threadjacks. I favor concealed-carry threadjacks in case trouble starts and besides, the Constitution prohibits banning rudeness of all sizes and caliber.

Consider the axe as something that could be used to hurt people, but has uses that don't involve hurting anyone.

When we get to the point where drive by axings, suicide by ax, and mass murder by ax* become commonplace, I might just consider that. Who knows?

*And please, don't bring up Rwanda as a counter-example.

No McK, obviously nobody is advocating that firearms be sold to criminals and the mentally ill.

Careful there.There is a fine difference between advocating sales to those people and opposing regulations banning those sales. Many absolutists will tell you that the insane should of course better be without firearms but that they oppose making it illegal for them. Analogy: alcoholism is bad, prohibition is worse. But it's like the 'self-regulation' of dangerous industries. Nice idea, doesn't work in reality. The deadbeat argument to follow is: Who decides who is unfit? Since it is the government, there is obvious bias against liberty.

So I won't prevaricate. I opine that access to, and possession of, guns should be strictly regulated. I sincerely hope this clarifies "the Left's" thinking on this matter for you.

Fair enough and honest. Much appreciated.

But the practical result of weakening background checks, either by limiting the infrastructure to support them or by insisting on exemptions like private sales, is that criminals and the mentally ill have fairly ready access to firearms.

Background checks prevent sales on a regular basis to people who should not have guns, according to local gun dealers I and others have talked with. Some percentage of suicides and other bad things may have been prevented as a result. There will always be an illegal gun market, so those who want guns will get them. I don't oppose background checks because they don't limit the rights of an otherwise lawful gun owner.

Separately, McKT: I can't tell, is your last paragraph a call to throw up our hands and NOT limit the size and clip capacity of assault-style weapons, or a bid to head off calls to outlaw shotguns?

I think magazine limits are feel-good remedies that people who know little about firearms advocate. It is a rare magazine that can't be machined to pretty much any size a bad person wants. Bad people will get what they want and won't worry about the law. Bad people who practice their reloading will not be slowed by even seconds in their endeavors. It's a non-solution born of ignorance.

The point about shotguns is that pretty much any rifle or shotgun can cause untold mayhem given a sufficiently motivated and tactically-savvy actor, as in Norway (where bombs were also part of the program, so much for regulating chemistry).

Again, this is not about the elimination of all tragedies. A determined mass killer COULD first obtain the perfect weapon and then train to change magazines without delay and train to evade potential disarmers during reloading. But in reality few do. They normally go to war with the weapons (and the skills) they have not the ones they want to. There are people that can fire 40 aimed shots per minute from a bolt action rifle (with a magazine loaded with 5er clips) but that's not your average rampager. It's about keeping the hurdles high enough to limit the number of events and the casualties of each. 6 shootings with 6 victims each per year is less bad than 12 with 12 each.
But a regular claim is that any restriction will lead to MORE shootings with MORE victims and at that point any discussion becomes futile anyway (and neither side could be swayed by evidence either).

I might add that I am inclined towards violent phantasies* and would therefore consider it irresponsible to provide me with easy means to execute them. This does not mean I would go immediately go on a rampage, even if I got a get-out-of-jail-free card. But it would increase the probability. As a kid I had significant anger issues with the added danger that they came without warning to the persons becoming the target (of either sudden shouting or slaps in the face). With the pressure released it was usually over within seconds. Now imagine the same kid with a lethal weapon that could be brought to action within that interval.

*I really like axes

Beneli M-4 shotgun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dibSfoBtGU

Pump-action shotgun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZGBiz8QrPk

Bushmaster AR-15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8nda8yPNbI

Bushmaster Fully Automatic AR-15


McKT is right about "untold mayhem" from both shotguns and automatics like the AR-15, so I stand corrected.

America has clearly outgunned itself.

We could throw up our hands and opt for mutually assured destruction.

Ban em all. Prosecute anyone who manufactures, imports, or sells these weapons. Ban all government entities from wielding such weapons as well.

I think I've been swayed in the opposite of the intended direction.

Further, people who conceal carry around me, in stores, in restaurants, on public transportation, on the street, etc, unless they are law enforcement had better clear it with me first.

Ask my permission to be in my vicinity, in my space, defined by me, NOT you, while carrying or make sure it is so concealed that I won't know. Otherwise be prepared to have an unarmed guy in your face calling you a f*cking c*cksucker.

You may carry this, single-shot only, not automatic. Don't put out an eye:

http://www.vat19.com/dvds/marshmallow-double-shooter-shotgun.cfm?catad&utm_expid=333207-1.9ISE7dJdRIeSXM2PzjXMoQ.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D3%26ved%3D0CD0QFjAC%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.vat19.com%252Fdvds%252Fmarshmallow-double-shooter-shotgun.cfm%26ei%3Dckc6UrSAMI3lyAH7nIG4CQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNFtXC4WAGwsU64bzjhQw2tPkHvsOw%26sig2%3D66kAP5EQxS8E_jQRgJJG3g%26bvm%3Dbv.52288139%2Cd.aWc

I omitted the link for the Bushmaster automatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCZkhc5kX-I

Lovely.

I hope I'm not causing some to mastursalivate.

I'm open to a technological workaround as Hartmut suggests.

Convene a national task force of the brightest technological minds, including those from the armaments industry, and design weapons for civilian use that will not fire at human flesh.

Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is dead so the weapons may not be as cool and aesthetically pleasing for the fashion conscious.

Just to see Ted Nugent go off his kazip on cable, add in squirrel flesh as a jamming signal.

What to do about military weapons falling into civilian hands? I don't know.

What about the installed base?

Confiscate, under pain of bigger pain, but with tax breaks, or just buy the dumb things. Build a new, gigantic wing on the Smithsonian and put them all behind glass and Americans could visit their old guns from time to time to reminisce and tell their grandkids that 99% of the time only mass murderers put the things to good use, while the rest of them looked good in gun case or in the closet.

Let's see that old can-do American spirit, not the no-can-do defeatism of the NRA and company.

If Wayne LaPierre desired to preserve his freedom of choice in the suicide end of things with his own gun, give him a week's grace to do the deed and a cheering section.

I'd be happy to serve as his second.

Please reread TP's comment about the 2nd Amendment killing 12 people. I am pretty sure it's about mass killings and I am pretty sure TP said that responsible gun owners are willing bystanders/spectators of mass killings. That is, giving the English language its usual and customary meaning.

As hairshirt pointed out, my original comment was about "responsible gun owners" -- a term of art beloved of the NRA and the gun makers they front for. The NRA's "responsible gun owner" is anybody with the cash or credit to buy a gun. Eyesight not required, in Iowa.

Slarti with his Hitler fetish and McTx with his astute recognition that 12 dead people figure into the equation somewhere, may feel that the "responsible gun owner" shoe fits them, but that ain't my fault.

Literally responsible gun owners -- people who own guns and actually feel that owning guns involves responsibility -- should stop pretending that there's no connection between their hobby and the appalling number of gun deaths in the US; no connection between the 2nd Amendment and a steady rate of gun massacres in this country.

Racism resulted in lynchings. Widespread gun ownership results in gun deaths. We recognize, now, that people who supported Jim Crow, white supremacy, and all that claptrap, ENABLED the actual lynchers, even if they didn't mean to. Someday, we will acknowledge that people who supported widespread gun ownership ENABLED the mass shooters, even if they didn't mean to.

I want gun ownership to become as embarrassing as racism. It's not statutes that make things embarrassing. It's social attitudes. Social attitudes are made up of individual reactions to things like racist comments and idiotic assertions about axes. My own reaction to gun owners, responsible or not, is an ever-growing contempt. It keeps growing with every massacre, so it's likely to keep growing for a while.

--TP

McTx: None of my guns are expressly manufactured to harm anyone

Me: Well then they're not "arms" and not protected under the 2nd Amendment.

McTx: Huh? I'm totally missing your point.

Further me: If they're not manufactured to harm anyone then what good are they as "arms"? They must be toys or recreational tools, or something other than "arms" and thus not protected under the second amendment and therefore bannable. Suppose Texas banned BB guns, infringement of the 2nd Amendment?

Slarti: Consider the axe as something that could be used to hurt people, but has uses that don't involve hurting anyone.

Google tells me that every state in the union bans the carrying of knives longer than pocketknife length. 2nd amendment violation?

should stop pretending that there's no connection between their hobby and the appalling number of gun deaths in the US

Sorry, dude, but I am not taking responsibility for the actions of people who aren't me. Responsibility for the actions of other people stays with them.

Likewise, I will take no responsibility for your bad thinking, demagoguery, and the like. That's all yours.

I want gun ownership to become as embarrassing as racism.

That doesn't surprise me. Try wishing upon a star.

I ask all you racists out there....

Hold on...Mea culpa....I ask all you pollyannas out there to chime in and give me your view here. How do you explain the vast statistically validated discrepancies as between blacks and whites in this country with respect to: wealth, income, educational attainment, incarceration rates, and housing patterns? The numbers are an effing embarrassment. They are bleak. They are chilling. They are shameful.

How do YOU explain this in this supposed age of racial enlightenment? Is it because:
1. Single mothers?
2. Rap music?
3. The Bell curve?
4. Young black bucks wear their pants wrong?

I mean really....what the f*ck do you tell yourself to sleep comfortably at night to justify these anomalies?

Or is it that you simply rationalize, "Well, hells bells, I haven't lynched anybody today. Why is it my problem?"

Has the fact, yes fact, that YOU are the direct beneficiary of hundreds of years of exploitative capital accumulation not occurred to you?

Are you truly that blind? Don't be shy. Shout it out.

Thanks.

Sorry, dude, but I am not taking responsibility for the actions of people who aren't me. Responsibility for the actions of other people stays with them.

Irresponsible people routinely get hold of guns, because guns are widely available, because any measures that would make guns NOT widely available would inconvenience YOU. God forbid a responsible gun owner like you should be inconvenienced.

--TP

"God knows what they do in Texas; it's one of the few states (along with Florida) that makes ours look relatively sane."
Perhaps because the rest of the country is sending its crazies here. Texas and Florida have a net inflow from the other states.

to return to the original post, i offer this.

this isn't something i think about, or talk about, a whole lot, but there was someone in my family who kept a black man's knucklebones in his dresser. they were a trophy.

don't know if i've discussed this here or not before, my apologies if all of this is old and unwelcome news. i found out at my mother's funeral, back in '03. my uncle thought that an appropriate time to share this with me.

the person in possession of the knuckles is gone now, he probably came by them in the early 20th C. say, sometime in the 20s, or 30s, or 40s.

i personally have never harmed, let alone killed, a black person, let alone mutilated their corpse, let alone rendered some part of their body into a keepsake, let alone found a treasured spot in my sock drawer for such a thing to abide.

yet i find that i am closely related to someone who did.

and what that makes me think is that somewhere out there is some other person, who finds him or herself closely related to the original owner of the knuckles.

that person may or may not know that their close relation's knuckles wound up as a keepsake in some sorry bastard's dresser drawer. that person may not even know what happened to their close relation. said close relation may have simply disappeared, never to be seen again. or, may have been found some time later, missing some bits, on the side of a road, or out behind a barn, or wherever.

maybe some other close relation had the sick sad experience of watching it all happen.

it would be quite easy for me to say, this has nothing to do with me. because it basically doesn't. i didn't do it. it all undoubted happened before i was even born.

but i find that i'm unable to say that. for some weird reason i feel some obligation to the folks whose close relation was murdered and mutilated, and whose body parts were kept as trophies by people closely related to me.

i feel obliged to recognize and name what was done to their people. i feel obliged to recognize and respect the pain they have to carry around as a result. and i feel obliged to recognize that the consequences of that kind of violence persist, for years and generations.

i'm not sure exactly where that sense of obligation comes from, it's an interesting question and i think it deserves some pondering. i can tell you that i'm not prone to taking on unwanted or undeserved neurotic guilt, so i doubt that's it. i think it has more to do with a sense that we're not quite as separate from each other as we might like to think.

in any case that kind of thing was, by far, not unusual. you can multiply it by thousands or tens of thousands.

counting over many generations, by the millions.

that shit adds up. it doesn't just go away because we're no longer in the habit of stringing up black folks anymore.

and that is pretty much all i have to say on the topic.

Damn, russell. Just...damn.

that shit adds up. it doesn't just go away because we're no longer in the habit of stringing up black folks anymore.

Well said. And agreed.

Irresponsible peoplecriminals routinely get hold of guns, because guns are widely availablebecause laws prohibiting legal firearms ownerships only serve to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns.

See also: gun-free zones. Those laws aren't really effective at preventing people who have little regard for the law from carrying firearms, acquired legally or otherwise, into them.

We recognize, now, that people who supported Jim Crow, white supremacy, and all that claptrap, ENABLED the actual lynchers, even if they didn't mean to.

Your comparison still doesn't hold any water for a number of reasons. First, spectators at a lynching are there because they approve of the murders. Neither I nor any other responsible firearm owner that I am aware of approve of spree killings. Second, if an unintended consequence makes one's approval of the outcome irrelevant, what culpability do you bear, personally, for the increased murder rates in areas where firearms ownership is more highly restricted? What culpability would you bear, personally, if your preferred levels of firearms control kept black people from protecting themselves against lynch mobs?

Spectators at a lynching approve of the forceful (even fatal) deprivation of freedoms. One of us supports the deprivation of freedoms, and it's not me. Doesn't that make you even more like a spectator to a lynching than it does me?

But russell is correct: this whole conversation about gun control only serves to diminish the history of actual (as opposed to metaphorical) lynchings. Which is why I brought up Hitler, really: your attempt to slut-shame me is really kicking dirt over real things that happened to real people. Once you get that, you'll be wishing for that Edit feature I mentioned upthread.

Speaking of unintended consequences, you decide who to blame, here. It's outcomes that matter, no?

One of us supports the deprivation of freedoms, and it's not me.

I'm reading your reply to Tony and seriously trying to understand. And I'd agree that some measures that have been tried may not be effective. I get that.

But this.

It is rhetorical road kill.

Your freedoms? Your freedoms? And we who are now burdened with cleaning up the resultant carnage or living in fear....that's some freedom, no?

Australia has adopted some rather strict gun laws. They seem to have worked. But I'm on to something different here. I'd appreciate it if you'd imagine yourself having to comply with similar regulations and effectively convey to me the deep loss of freedom you would experience as a result.

And I seriously mean that, because I just don't get it.

I'd appreciate it if you'd imagine yourself having to comply with similar regulations and effectively convey to me the deep loss of freedom you would experience as a result.

Tony P.'s words were these: "I want gun ownership to become as embarrassing as racism."

In other words, Tony wants gun ownership to go away. Doesn't everyone want racism to go away?

Is Australia making gun ownership go away?

So far, we haven't even scratched the surface of what regulations Tony might want. Some more? A complete prohibition on guns? He doesn't say.

I think I've previously stated that this beef I have with Tony has nothing to do with any proposed regulatory changes, because he hasn't proposed any. Nor have I. My objection, which I have previously stated, is that this particular comparison is not only a bad one, but does a disservice to actual victims (and their families) of actual lynchings.

That is all.

i asked:
who has ever blamed a gun for killing anyone ? links please.

and you replied:
Jesus. Just about every person I've ever seen or heard call for limits on gun ownership blames the ready availability of guns on crime and murder.
?

Jesus, indeed.

i ask for examples of people blaming a gun and you reply with a whine about restrictions on ownership and availability ? do you honestly not know the difference between an object and ownership/access to said object? (good thing you're not a programmer!)

so who blames the gun, when someone shoots someone else? . nobody blames the fucking gun. the gun control argument is that guns are killing tool and that limiting access to such tools will make their use less frequent.

. I think Cleek himself blames guns and not the shooter

this is absolutely ridiculous. you think i blame an inanimate object for killing people? do you suppose i sit in my garage and shout angrily at my socket set when it fails to animate itself and fix the wheelbarrow ?

Gun-free zones surrounded by gun-full zones don't work. They aren't big enough. And I think you have the causation between stricter gun laws and murder rates reversed. Oh, and CHICAGO!

Let's separate the 2nd Amendment arguments from the practical but still theoretical arguments, because, as bobbyp points out, there are real-world examples of countries that manage to minimize gun violence quite well, without jackboots on necks even.

Even with Obama doing nothing or even expanding gun rights (National Parks anyone?), the gun lobbyists, successfully it seems, raise the spectre that a Dem in the WH means universal confiscation at best. There were even claims on record that Obamas lack of gun grabbing in the 1st term was the proof of his evil gun grabbing intentions ('lull 'em in, then strike the unexpectant in the 2nd term').
Sales go up when Dems win independent of any actual action. And, if memory does not deceive me, the manufacturers preemptively ran up production and stockpiling to be able to serve the increased demand created by the cries of 'Buy now before it becomes illegal after a Dem win'.
Facts do not matter.
Same holds true for the claim that gun free zones act as magnets for shooters.

{sarcasm]Could somebody please show me the overcrowded sections of cemeteries where all the mums lie that got killed in their homes because ten shots in the magazine were not enough and they could not reload quickly enough.[/sarcasm]. No joke, the claim has been made that this is a major problem. I have heard it from at least one congresscritter, at least one lobbyist and of course from blog commenters (not here iirc).

Gun-free zones surrounded by gun-full zones don't work.

Oh. Things are more complicated than my simplistic depiction?

Shit. I hate it when that happens.

Doesn't everyone want racism to go away?

The short answer to that is obvious. It is, "No". That it is not plainly obvious is, to put it charitably, distressing.

do you suppose i sit in my garage and shout angrily at my socket set when it fails to animate itself and fix the wheelbarrow ?

You have a wheelbarrow? Why are we just now finding out about this?


Rhetorical question is, to put it charitably, rhetorical.

don't tell anyone, it's unregistered! and everyone knows i could walk over to my neighbor and whack him in the head with it because a wheelbarrow is every bit of a killing tool as a gun is.

I would be fine if BP's comment were made into a Guest Post for discussion. I am slammed for the rest of the week absent some kind of minor miracle, but let me take a stab at elevating BP's blood pressure:

I've read the stats, but don't have them handy. The expanding single mother phenomenon started in the 60's, IIRC. It has gotten progressively more pronounced. This is true across demographic lines. What is also fairly constant across demographic lines is that children of single mothers (who usually have not finished high school and whowere marginal participants in the educational process to begin with) are doomed far more often than not, regardless of race. The fact that the single motherhood rate is higher in the black population, therefore, explains much of what we see today.

I disagree with progressives like BP who, if I am understanding correctly, see the cause of economic and social disparity as a single, constant entity: racism. Times and circumstances have changed. No college rejects people based on color. Companies aggressively pursue diversity. Jim Crow has been dead for longer than most of us have been alive. Brown v Board of Education came down 59 years ago. Neighborhoods are open. An African American is president of the country. Etc, etc. Really, it is different today. Things have changed.

In addition to the single mother issue, there is--and this is one area where GWB and I are on all fours--the soft bigotry of low expectations. Too many people accept less when they should be pushing for more. School is supposed to be hard. Homework is supposed to challenge the brain. Not everyone will do well in physics. Not everyone is college material. Some will do better getting vocational training.

There is no widespread 'reality therapy' going on anywhere, but it is especially absent in the black community. Telling young black people that Black Studies is a viable course of study in college is a damn lie. It's a ridiculously useless course of study that does nothing but under-prepare students to compete with their peers for good jobs.

In line with the soft bigotry thing, I know many, many lefties who will agree with my statements about single motherhood and Black Studies privately, but will never, ever dare to question their propriety or efficacy in public debate--for fear of being called racist.

BP--I sleep fine at night for the most part. If I do lie awake worrying about the black community--and I do, from time to time--I worry if anyone is ever going to repeatedly and forcefully get across the notion that having a child at age 17 almost certainly dooms that child, and the mother, to a life of grinding poverty.

Because I am confident that will never happen, because the black leadership in this country perpetuates itself on the cult of victim-hood, nothing is going to change. I could write a check for half of my income for the rest of my life and we could do direct transfer payments to unemployed, young, uneducated black males and not a damn thing will change in their lives.

Last thing--I recently defended, unsuccessfully, a company that was sued by a mid-30's black man who lost his leg in an accident. He started college on a football scholarship, learned his girlfriend was pregnant, quit school, married her and got a job. Both he and his wife were children of single mothers. In their cases, responsible, focused, and unusually mature single mothers. Both were very clear about the sense of loss they felt in not having a father in their lives, and how important it was to them that their children have a father and a close, warm, loving relationship.

Young boys learn how to be men--good husbands, good fathers--from watching their own dad or someone who stands in for a father. A dad is best. One of the fundamental lessons a present and committed father imparts is that he is there for his wife and children. The subtext is that you don't make a baby and walk away.

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