A Folk Hero of the Discernment-Free Right Consoles Grieving Parents

Joe the Plumber to Grieving UCSB Parents of Slain Kids: “Your Dead Kids Don’t Trump” My Guns

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  • Dave G.

    That’s true of course. As has been said over and over again the last decade, 3000 dead on 9/11 don’t trump our liberties and freedoms. I notice such things always seem harsher when spoken by people on the opposite side of an argument. Personally, I wish we’d stop rushing to make political hay out of these things before the bodies have been buried. I know that one of the fathers made the news because he immediately made it a gun control issue. But even CNN – no enemy of the gun control movement – is beginning to look more toward mental health and how we are handling this in our society. As a fellow said after Sandy Hook – and not a shooting has happened since that I haven’t thought about this – our approach to mental illness underwent a complete overhaul from the 50s through the 70s. And in the 1980s,, the mass shootings began. Sure, examining gun rights is prudent. But let’s look at all the factors, not just find solutions that only apply to everyone else. And remember all the victims, not just the ones whose death help advance an agenda. God grant them peace.

    • chezami

      Amazing.

      • Dave G.

        Yes it is. How an argument used so many times suddenly becomes a problem when used now. That’s post-modernity for you.

        • Adolfo

          Clearly you can see it’s not the argument that’s issue per se, but how it was framed, to whom it was offered, and when it was said. Surely you can see the difference b/w “Your dead kids don’t trump my guns” and something more nuanced and appropriate? Or are you that blinded by ideology?

          • Dave G.

            I remember back following the Oklahoma bombing. An editorial cartoonist reproduced in pen and ink the famous photo of a firefighter holding a dead baby from the daycare center. The cartoonist put a thought bubble next to the firefighter that read: “Damn Limbaugh!” The actual firefighter went ballistic. How dare anyone think that while standing there, holding a dead baby in his arms, he would be thinking about politics or agendas or partisan debates!!

            And yet, how quickly do we now think of these things, even before the bodies have been carried away. Why the bodies were still in the shopping center parking lot when the media was assuring us that the Tuscon shooter was a right wing radical reacting to orders from Sarah Palin’s website. Gun control was being called for at Sandy Hook before the parents knew the fate of their children or we even knew what had happened. At least the now infamous cartoon from Oklahoma City came days later, maybe a week or more. It was some time after the bombing. Most of the focus was on finding the culprits. Now? The same day, and everyone is immediately rushing in and laying stakes on this or that ideal or solution or agenda – on all sides. I’ve often wondered what that firefighter would say today. I often wonder what it means about our society today, and how much of this might be behind some of the very tragedies we’re trying to prevent.

            • Dan C

              It is all a waste of time anyway. Gun advocates are not going to give any ground.

              Quite frankly, the hate-based argument is that I and folks like me (liberals) are going to force the country into some hateful tyranny like…Australia or the UK or something.

              The guns are kept so that the owners can keep their sights on those folks who are going to be their enemies.

              And then…they start the “pre-emptive war” fantasies.

              These guns are an occasion of sin.

              • Dave G.

                Dan, it’s because there are liberals who want just that. The growing acceptance on the part of those on the left that some rights (speech or religious) do not trump absolute rights (reproductive health, sexual orientation, gender equality),is a major problem to be sure. Not being liberal, I’m pretty concerned about that notion. And regarding the sin of gun,, it’s that puritanical approach to the issue that makes it tough for those in the middle to try and get either side to listen. As long as gun control advocates keep speaking like a fundamentalist tent revival preacher when it comes to guns, and expect very few gun owners, and even non-gun owners, to feel at ease.

                • Dan C

                  The more I hear about pre-emptive war against me, the more I will call out for disarming these folks. This is where the right for self-defense and community safety butts into the fantasy world of gun advocates, who claim the same.

                  I wear the gun grabber moniker as a moral point of pride after nearly 30 years of watching the NRA walk into promoting hate against me and my family. I have evolved to this point. Now, the only response to the NRA and its acolytes is a repeal of the Second Amendment.

                  • kenofken

                    The problem is that both extremes of the debate are basically working in a sick sort of symbiosis which ensures that nothing meaningful or effective will ever get done on the issue. I don’t blame you for getting fed up with the contemporary gun rights movement. It has become dominated by some of its most extreme elements, including more than a few who advocate or threaten domestic terrorism or civil war if they don’t get their way. Some of this nation’s most prolific collectors of guns shouldn’t be trusted with shoelaces, let alone firearms.

                    At the same time, talk of repealing the Second Amendment energizes and legitimizes the message of these loons in many circles. You might as well be advocating a ban on the display of the American Flag or mandating conversion to Islam. Statistically, you’d have a much better chance with either of these as amendments. In the meantime, it’s a fair bet that some NRA member or organizer is going to quote your idea in some panic fundraising piece that will generate thousands of dollars for their cause.

                    What if, instead of demanding fealty to their bats*** crazy position or a total ban on guns, we started over with nothing more than a blank piece of paper and the consensus that there is no perfect solution to gun violence but that the current situation is unacceptable?

                  • Joey A.

                    The fact is, people like you are the ones advocating violence against those who have done you no harm. You want guns banned and confiscated? Are you going to volunteer to join one the goon squads that goes around doing that, hmm?

                    • Dan C

                      And you made my point.

                    • Dan C

                      Your paranoia is the trouble. I will knowingly live losing this battle while folks will die. This will happen again and again before this year is out. You, however, hear threats of removing some guns somewhere, reducing you to the equivalent tyranny of dictatorships like Australia and begin to consider violence.

                    • Dan C

                      The goon squads would be….what you call your police? Just getting the language. Because the hippies once termed the police “pigs.” Do you do this now?

            • Dan C

              These guns are an occasion of sin.

    • Daniel Schwindt

      “That’s true of course.” — No, it isn’t. Dead children do trump gun rights. Human life trumps all rights, for the same reason that the universal destination of goods trumps the right to private property.

      • Dave G.

        You mean human life trumps rights except for those killed on 9/11, since we were repeatedly told for over ten years that their deaths, while tragic, were not reasons to challenge out our liberties and freedoms (or, dare I say, rights).

        • Willard

          According to the Popes, rights come from God and not the 18th century US constitution.

          • Dave G.

            Then all those people who pointed out how our rights and freedoms should not be compromised even in the wake of something like 9/11 were wrong. Fair enough.

            • Willard

              If they were complaining about US constitution provided “rights” that conflict with the state’s responsibility for protecting the common good, they were indeed wrong. Funny though…in the wake of 9-11 we got the Patriot Act and the NSA/Homeland Security. In the wake of these gun massacres, we’ve got bupkis.

              • Dave G.

                Oh, we got the Patriot Act, and it was in the wake of that we heard the principle: no tragedy is worth losing our freedoms and liberties (and that includes others losing theirs, even if it doesn’t impact me). I was wooed over and came to the conclusion that this is true. When something tragic happens, no matter how horrible, you don’t just go radical and you sure don’t compromise liberties, crush rights, or challenge freedoms (plentiful quotes from Ben Franklin accompanied these arguments). Now, all of a sudden, it all seems so different.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  Could it be that this sacro-sanct “right to guns” is not really seen as an unalienable right in most other parts of the world, while the right to personal freedoms and liberties, and privacy, might be seen as universal rights (while the personal freedom to own tools that are specifically made to wound or kill may not be necessarily included in those universal rights as seen in other cultures) ?

                  • Dave G.

                    Marthe, that’s because, at least as of now, many in the US still see most parts of the world as places that can, at a moment’s notice, suggest that its’ time to round up the gypsies or ban this or that religious practice…just because. So far, in the US, that can’t happen. And there are some – a diminishing number to be sure – that still like to keep it that way. Personally I’m willing to talk, but the radicals and exploiters on both sides of the debate make it all but impossible.

        • chezami

          Every time some maniac kills a bunch of innocents, the gun nuts show up to shout that it’s “too soon to politicize this tragedy”. But when a jackass gun nut tells grieving parent “your dead kids don’t trump my gun right” insane gun culture sees nothing utterly graceless and classless about this. Insane.

          • Mark S. (not for Shea)

            Yup. Even if Joe were right (and he isn’t), this complete lack of compassion or just basic politeness is unbelievable.

            • Dave G.

              I don’t care for how he did it. But I don’t care for the fact that we’ve lost our mourning gene and replaced it with advocacy genes. Remember, every time that poor father appears and says congress could have prevented this with stricter gun laws, he’s leaving out three grieving families whose loved ones died by stabbing. And I’ll bet anything they feel that sting when everyone focuses on those who died by guns. My problem is I’m consistent. I think there is a right and wrong way to say things, even if things are true. I think we should wait until a period has passed before we start sharpening our advocacy blades. I always have. I think if we say something like ‘loss of life doesn’t trump rights’ is always true, not just selectively. I don’t gerrymander standards and principles. Consider my comment: we’ve been told how irrelevant the 9/11 victims were when it came to our rights being threatened, for a decade. I don’t think we should rush to the pit of debate when these things happen, I think we should consider many different factors and issues that could be behind the problem. And you’d think I posted a comment praising slavery. For my money, that’s part of the problem right there.

          • Dave G.

            The letter was a reaction to the already days old statements. If you are going to make comparisons, for goodness sake make them accurate.

    • Dan C

      I do not think you want to say, “Your dead kids do not trump my rights.”

      • Dave G.

        Is it true? Do dead children trump my rights? Do the dead on 9/11 trump my rights? I’ve been told – why, on this very blog – that those killed on 9/11 (more are killed in a month in traffic accidents by the way, another point often made) were not cause for us to overturn our rights and liberties. So which is it? Does life always trump rights? Does it never? Or does it depend (and God help us for what that could suggest)?

        • Dan C

          Yes. They do.

          • Dave G.

            If all those people were wrong about our rights and our reactions to 9/11, then fair enough.

            • Dan C

              Privacy rights aren’t my fight. Take it up with Rand Paul.

              • Dave G.

                I don’t recall it being Rand Paul alone making the argument.

              • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                You just blinked, Dan C. Dave G got the better of this exchange. – Jon W

                • Dan C

                  If winning word arguments is the meaning of this, enjoy.

                  • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                    Should I take your comment to mean that I shouldn’t note when you win an argument? ;-) C’mon. I was just pointing out that your case isn’t yet as compelling as his.

        • Dan C

          Why not say the affirmative: dead children do not trump my right to own a gun? Why not just say it.

          • Dave G.

            I thought he did.

  • Dan C
    • Marthe Lépine

      I agree. From my observation post up North, the Onion does get it!

  • Tom Locker

    Our mental health care system is a large part of the problem and bears much blame for these incidents.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/27/our-mental-health-care-system-is-joke-even-mass-murderer-elliot-rodger-slipped/?intcmp=latestnews

    • Dave G.

      Since Sandy Hook, a growing number of observers are pointing this out. Even today, CNN was interviewing a mental health expert and focusing on that part of the problem. Heck, CNN even pointed out several times that not all of the victims were killed by guns at all. And I want to remember them, too. If we’re serious about solving the problem, we’ll get serious about solving the problem. I think looking at a wide variety of issues is the best thing to do.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        IMHO, mental illness is the heart of this issue. Other matters (guns, broken homes, violent video games, etc.), while they do contribute to the problem, are peripheral. If we could deal with mental illness more efficiently it would go much further toward preventing these killings than merely banning guns. Yet few want to discuss that; I’m glad to hear that CNN did take it on.

        As we’ve seen with this and past mass murders, guns may be accompanied by knives, homemade explosives and now even mowing people down with cars. If we were to ban all guns then these mentally ill young men would just fall back on other means of killing people. That’s because mental illness is the root cause of these mass murders. Hit the tree at the root, don’t just cut off one bough.

        • Dave G.

          I think that is at the heart of it. And not even that. It’s as if, decades ago, we became so concerned with the rights of criminal and victim of mental illness, that we said we would put their well being ahead of all other considerations. And this is what we got. With two opposing extremes making finding a solution so, so difficult.

    • Willard

      EVERY other industrialized nation must have really good mental health systems then.

      • Tom Locker

        I think that many other countries do have greater flexibility in dealing with the mentally ill than the US. But other countries do still have mass killings and the per capita difference between these much less populous countries and the US is not as great as you might suppose.

        • kenofken

          Plenty of other countries have had mass shootings. We’ve had 70 since 1982.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Or,just maybe, a more affordable mental health system?

        • anna lisa

          While you are right about accessibility to mental health care, he had oodles of doctors, and I would presume medication. He said something very telling in his autobiography: while his parents’ divorce shattered his world, his father was able to quickly find another beautiful girlfriend. He looked down upon his mother for languishing without someone worthy.
          His mother was reduced to a kind of miserable, second rate left-over and his father moved on skillfully to another attractive commodity. What mental health professional can undo the kind of brainwashing that a kid has been literally immersed in for his *entire* life?*
          How many of these shooters are affluent kids from dysfunctional families? When parents treat their spouses (children) like they can be thrown away, why are we so surprised when their children mimic this behavior?

  • jroberts548

    He’s right. If something’s a right, someone else’s abuse of it doesn’t trump that right. Free speech trumps nazis in Skokie, freedom of religion trumps concerns about peyote or chicken sacrifice, the right to be free from unreasonable searches trumps (or ought to) concerns about drugs or terrorism.

    • freddy

      Actually, no. I have the right to own property, but if I use my property for, say, a meth lab, I’m surely gonna lose that right. Freedom of speech doesn’t cover making threats against another, and freedom of religion isn’t going to help you if your religion preaches salvation through theft. Rights are, in fact, “trumped” by all sorts of circumstances and situations. Humanity lies in treating each individually and avoiding getting locked into a legalistic “one size fits all” mentality.

      • jroberts548

        Yes. Your right to your property doesn’t include the right to a meth lab. The analogy there is that my right to a gun doesn’t include the right to shoot someone without justification or excuse. But the fact that some people build meth labs in their houses, and that those meth labs kill some people, doesn’t trump your right to your property.

        And the only way to run a government is to look at things legalistically. There a few things worse in this world than a government not bound by law.

    • Willard

      Ok but where does the Catholic Church teach that gun ownership is a “right”?

      • jroberts548

        I’ll grant, at least arguendo, that the right to keep arms isn’t a universal human right or a natural law right. So? Even if it’s just a right under US positive law (i.e., the constitution and most state constitutions) it’s still a right – some dead college students similarly wouldn’t trump the right to a trial by jury or to vote. If you want to amend the constitution, you can argue in favor of doing that. Until then, however, joe the plumber, as painful as it is to say so, is right.*

        * with the caveat that I don’t know if he said more.

  • Amy

    Here’s the thing. If you do think that atrocities like this should not determine gun laws, fine. If you think the right to bear arms is so vital that protecting it is worth the risk, OK. But you DO NOT write a letter to parents days after their children have been brutally murdered to tell them that their dead kids don’t matter because you want your assault rifle. You just don’t. It’s crass. It’s unfeeling. And it’s why people discount gun proponents as heartless, self-involved nutters.

    • jroberts548

      I wish we’d had similar crass champions of the 4th and 5th amendments when the PATRIOT act was being discussed. Rights are crass and unfeeling.

      • Dan C

        There were. They were just “untouchable” at the time. Also know as “liberal.”

        • jroberts548

          The patriot act passed the senate with 98 votes in 2001. It was reauthorized in 2006 with 89 votes. There was apparently no meaningful, widespread liberal opposition.

          • Dan C

            The Nation did.
            The Catholic Worker.
            Pax Christi.
            NCReporter

            • jroberts548

              And it would have been nice if they had been joined by meaningful, widespread opposition.

  • kenofken

    My hat is off to Joe for finally calling our national consensus on firearm deaths for what it really is – an ethic of acceptable human sacrifice. I’ve been calling it that for years and finally a pro-gunner had the stones (or unsophistication) to own it. We have come to a consensus in this country around guns which would not be swayed by a Sandy Hook every year, or every week or every day.

    There is no conceivable number of dead at which it would become permissible to challenge the status of guns in our culture, or even to have a conversation about guns which is not pre-conditioned on absolute acceptance of the status quo or the position of the NRA and gun manufacturer’s lobby. Any idea that deviates one letter from their position statement is the wrong answer and cannot work. We know in advance it cannot work because it’s the wrong answer.

    Our nation and society does not hold human life as a primary or even significant factor in any aspect of our political, cultural or economic system. Unless and until we’re prepared to change that, we should give the sacrificed and their families the decency of blunt honesty.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    “But: As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

    .
    How is that any different than what the pro-choice crowd proclaims?

  • Willard

    People need to learn what “rights” are. Hint…they come from God and not the US constitution.

    • jroberts548

      Would you be okay if we stopped letting murderers have a jury trial? Or put the burden of proof on criminals? Positive law is still law; those rights are still rights.

  • Dave G.

    I see threads and posts like this, and I think to myself nope, there won’t be any solutions anytime soon. A shame. I think it would be good to come together and solve the problems. But this is the post-modern era. Alas.

    • Dan C

      January 2013, there were discussions of pre-emptive war by gun advocates. Its not these discussants that are the problem.

      • Dave G.

        Dan, the problem is the culture we’ve created, yes we. As long as we can only look at what they are doing, and refuse to see how we have contributed, the problems will likely get worse, not better. I don’t care for what “Joe” said. Nor do I care about the fact that three victims who died by stabbing have been all but ignored by many advocates of gun control in the wake of this (again and again, kudos to CNN for mention it to the gun control activists appearing on these segments). Yes,a grieving father gets slack. But consider each time he is interviewed, and says that congress doing something would have stopped this. No, it wouldn’t have saved three of the victims, and I’m sure their families are keenly aware of that. I’m convinced that our problems are not right or left, red or blue, gun nut or despot wannabe, it’s us. When we fess up to that, we might have a chance. Until then, sad to say, we’ll see more of this and much more.

        • Dan C

          You agree with what Joe said.

          • Dave G.

            If the substance of those who said 3000 dead on 9/11 doesn’t trump our rights, then yeah. Or if I invoke post-modernism (true today, gone later today), I could always ditch it under ‘that doesn’t help me win an argument on the internet’.

        • Dan C

          Despot wannabe? Hahahaha!

          Yes, I advocate for the tyranny of New Zealand.

        • Dan C

          Sometimes people are wrong. One side of an argument is wrong. The “no restriction to my gun rights” position is in error without qualification.

          This is not a Kumbaya moment were we hug and try to be better in our relationship. Because tomorrow, the “no restriction to my gun rights” folks will be advocating error again.

          They are wrong.

          If you want to also advocate for more resources for a mental health system that is a tad less embarassing globally, go ahead. But the gun situation is also a religious embarrassment also.

          I will always approve advocating for more mental health.

          That, however, is not the problem with the “no restrictions to my gun rights position.” As long as the Second Amendment has been understood as the safeguard for this extremist view, it may have to go.

          • Dave G.

            Some people would rather make sure their side won than anything else. Probably also a major reason the problems continue.

  • anna lisa

    My son saw his manifesto on facebook before the massacre happened. He didn’t think he would actually do it, because spoiled, bragging,little entitled jerks are a dime a dozen in Isla Vista.
    This tragedy is not so much about guns. It’s about bad fathers.

    • Andy

      It is not about bad fathers or mothers either – it is about a society that devalues humans in general. It is about a society that labels an obviously disturbed person as “spoiled, bragging, little entitled jerks(s): instead of acknowledging that our society throws people away. It is our society that allows for violence to be pursued in a grand fashion because we lionize i the perpetrator – it is out fault. That is the tragedy – we created a society that values not the individual, but what the individual has, what the individual does and what the individual elects to do in the public sphere.

      • Dave G.

        It sounds like he was undergoing therapy by individuals who most likely didn’t consider him a spoiled, bragging little entitled jerk.’

        • Andy

          I agree about the therapy – i was reacting to the comments that were expressed and those I heard or read on the media – when will I learn not to read the news or listen – I think that we have so devalued people that for some these kinds of acts – acts of despair are all they have left to prove they are alive – I think back to Sniper by Harry Chapin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWKpblxejWE&index=14&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CTO7V3l-yD6vlBP287UTQA and worry and pray

        • Dan C

          He wrote a 1400000 word rambling treatise. That may be a sign of something more than a behavior problem.

          Try schizophrenia, since mental health advocacy is now popular.

  • Andy

    Just curious – people talk about the
    constitution or more exactly the amendments to the constitution as they are the
    most important parts of the constitution – however the preamble says –“We the
    People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
    establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
    promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
    and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United
    States of America.” Where do guns as we now worship them fit into any of that?
    Pretty tough to see where our gun worship does much for a common union. Hard to see where the right to own guns establishes justice or domestic tranquility. Seems as if common defence would mean that gun ownership is restricted to only protecting all of the country in an organized fashion, and not just me and my little piece of ground or allowing me to act out my anger. Gun worship does little secure the blessings of liberty. I often right that America worships mammon now, and I believe that but one of the sub-deities is guns and the false sense of security they bring.

    Because of our worship of mammon we now see violence and the use of guns and other weapons as the desired means to protect what is ours. Gun control laws won’t work in America because we don’t want to recognize that in our greed we have moved so far from the Prince of Peace that we can no longer claim to be a Christian nation. Our love and aeration of gun rights is just one more sign of the throw away culture that devalues people and that the current pope and his immediate predecessors have decried.

    • jroberts548

      The preamble has no legal force. Can you imagine anything worse than that – a government empowered to do anything to “promote the general welfare”?

      There’s lots of things the government is powerless to do that the people in government might think would promote the general welfare. This includes regulating speech, and religion and doing away with the protections we give criminals. Letting scientologists spread their cult doesn’t promote the general welfare. Letting criminals off the hook because of an illegal search, coerced confession, or because a jury said so doesn’t promote the general welfare. The preamble is at best a moral exhortation; the government’s power is defined by the articles and amendments.

      • Andy

        I know that the preamble has not “force of law”, but if it is a moral exhortation we are not listening then. We are deliberately ignoring what it seems that “sainted” founding fathers wanted us to think about. By the way I think that you focus on the general welfare ignores the other parts of the preamble – and actually I can thin of worse events then the government empowered to promote the general welfare. I would also remind all of us that what we consider the most important are the amendments and not the original articles, an interesting concept I think.

        • jroberts548

          A government promoting the general welfare can only promote what it thinks the general welfare is. To take an extreme example, Bismarck thought the Kulturkampf promoted the general welfare of the Germans. Other German heads of state also thought they were promoting the general welfare. A government empowered to do what it thinks is in the general welfare is a tyrannical government. We have limits on the government precisely because “general welfare” is a completely useless standard.

          We care more about the amendments because those contain individual rights. The structural limits on the government are harder for individuals to care about.

          • Andy

            Your focus on the general welfare ignores the other components of the preamble – domestic tranquility, common defense, and the like. Why -

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    If nothing changes, then nothing changes.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Nothing will change. That’s my surmise at least (and my fear). We’re now undergoing the standard spasm of horror that occurs in the wake of these atrocities, accompanied by the talking heads on 24-hour news channels offering pat solutions and people on both extremes of the gun control issue digging in their heels. Soon this story will fade from the headlines and we’ll forget all about the problem until the next mass murder. Then it will be lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        Yep. Couldn’t agree more.

      • Andy

        I agree until we are willing to give up our throw away culture and value all lives. As long as there is an unwillingness to see that all sides may be coming from a place of good faith we will simply continue to devalue, feel some remorse and then move on – lather, rinse and repeat.

    • jroberts548

      Nothing will change because the only gun crime the press and politicians care about is mass murder of white people. The result is that gun control advocates only ever propose measures that are likely unconstitutional and certain to be both ineffective and politically unviable. Pro guns rights advocates in response get the impression that gun control advocates just want to confiscate or ban guns.

      The overwhelms majority of gun deaths are suicides. The overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed by people using handguns, and they only fire a few shots. Many are using illegally purchased guns. Instead of gun control laws aimed at tightening the secondary market or a more robust background check system, what are proposed instead? Assault weapons bans and magazine size limits. It’s hard to believe the gun control advocates are arguing in good faith.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        The press didn’t care about Trayvon Martin?
        .
        I just don’t know what will take. A maniac walked into an elementary school and murdered innocent children. And what did we do to prevent that from happening again? Nothing. Not a thing.
        .
        If horror like that doesn’t prompt action, I don’t know what will.
        .
        Some days, I’m very nervous about which barbarians will take the place of our Empire. Other days, I say, “Bring it on. It’s not like they could do a worse job than we’re doing now.” There comes a time when the Goths may be better guardians of sanity and justice than Caesar.

        • jroberts548

          If we’re not going to do anything about the ten thousand people who die, why would we do something about sandy hook?

          After sandy hook we heard things like “let’s ban ar-15s.” Virtually no gun crime is committed with rifles. If you’re actually concerned about gun deaths, you’re not concerned about the ar-15, or it’s near the bottom of your list.

          As for trayvon Martin, despite being the rare African American victim the press cares about, was immediately made into a story that it wasn’t really about. All “stand your ground” means is that you don’t have a duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. So what did we hear advocates in response? Getting rid of stand your ground and makin it easier for prosecutors to prove murder charges. A cynic might think that few gun control advocates care about reducing gun crime, but only care about expanding government power.

          • Mark S. (not for Shea)

            “All “stand your ground” means is that you don’t have a duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.”
            .
            In theory? Maybe. In practice it seems to mean, “If a black kids makes me nervous, it’s okay for me to shoot him.”

            • jroberts548

              So a good faith argument would be about the racism involved in the execise of law enforcement and prosecutorial discretion. This would also include looking at, e.g., police violence against African-Americans, or how white people use drugs at a marginally higher rate than African-Americans but go to jail for it at a vastly lower rate.

              Instead, we heard calls to give prosecutors more power. Against whom would they use that power?

              If we cared about violence against African-Americans, we’d end the war on drugs and start really punishing police for shooting African-Americans.

  • Pete the Greek

    How the hell did this killing spree get to have anything to do with guns, pro or con???

  • The Deuce

    So, Joe The Plumber actually said “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

    TPM then conflates “my Constitutional rights” with “my guns.”

    First thought: That’s rather overt question-begging on TPM’s part, in merely taking it for granted that the right to bear arms *isn’t* a Constitutional (or natural) right, that Joe has no principled argument based on rights, and that it all boils down to Joe The Plumber’s desire to keep “his guns.”

    Second thought: It’s a rather revealing giveaway about what TPM is really after. We constantly hear the refrain from liberals that “You’re paranoid and nobody is trying to take your guns.” But every time they get a tragedy to exploit, we see them trying to denigrate or explain away the right to bear arms, and whine about how people’s desire to keep “their guns” is getting in the way of the “reform” they want to pass. I mean, I’m assuming that Joe The Plumber isn’t just being attacked for supposed opposition to the development of “smart guns.”

    • The Deuce

      Also, IIRC, the idea that dead people and hurt feelings don’t automatically trump other people’s rights was a lot more popular around here after 9/11, during the debate over waterboarding, during the police-state lockdown of Boston after the marathon bombings, when it came to false accusations against priests and restrictions of religious freedom, etc.


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