I may have a winner in the Kombox Krazy Sweepstakes

Last week, I wrote a post saying that the bizarre and hysterical opposition to the slightest suggestions of change–such as “Smart gun research seems like a good idea”–from American gun culture does make that culture look, well, insane, and sends the very clear message that 30,000 corpses is acceptable losses. I say this, not as a “Kommie” (as I was colorfully discerned to be by some not-at-all-crazy respondents). Nor even particularly as a “gun grabber”. I say it as a Catholic prolifer who thinks that human life is sacred not only when it is unborn and useful as a way for getting prolife votes for GOP candidates pretending to care about abortion, but even after it has been born and lives in the inner city.

Much bustle and hysteria ensued. There were a number of reasonable responses but also quite a bit prose from people bound and determined to prove me not merely right, but even understated in my diagnosis. Things finally reached a head in the form of a particularly vociferous reader, who spent most of last week breathing out threats and slaughter at my suggestion that exploring smart gun tech seemed reasonable, who finally concluded (since I banned him immediately after) with this:

No Trayvon Martin and that other one who was shot in Jacksonville is how “virile” young black men will be dealt with if they get too violent outside of their own criminal sub groups; that is after they dismount themselves from between your legs. As for women and fags eventually they’ll fall in line and go back into their closet and the kitchen. Just gonna take a little time.

Special Evangelism Bonus Points: He was arguing with an atheist woman who was, as you might guess, very impressed with this bulletin from deep within the id of a Real Murkan Christian who is not at all crazy or anything.

Note to this reader: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” – Romans 2:24

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Things I Find it Impossible to Care About
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Saw a sweet Samsung phone at Radio Shack the other day
While Combox Warriors Occupy Themselves Explaining Why the Church is Wrong...
  • CW Betts

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Dave G.

    Yeah, that was probably the worst of some very bad comments. Finding that out of the number of deplorable comments, many from those pushing for gun control, must have been tough. I thought this one exemplified the sort of attitude the above comment was addressing:

    “Gun owners, being pussies, are scared of everything. Girls and gays, but most of all they’re scared of black people stealin’ their womenfolk.”

    An attitude toward gun owners that was reflected several times on that post. That one was a response to the above quote to be sure. But when you have multiple comments saying that gun owners probably are scum racists who don’t care about dead people because they worship guns instead of Jesus, you’ll usually end up drawing out something like that. It’s a tactic common on Cable News. Keep saying over the top things to fluster the guest, then when the guest blurts out something equally over the top, focus on the response to validate the initial contempt that was shown in the first place.

    The fact that you ignored dozens of posts equally heinous aimed at gun owners on that thread in order to post this one makes it clear to me that discussing this issue here will get me about as far as discussing Catholicism with Jack Chick on his blog. A shame, because it’s actually a problem worth trying to solve.

    • Jem

      I’m the person responsible for that ‘pussies’ quote. I don’t particularly want to apologize for it, or plead ‘context’, but … OK, sorry, and the context was this:

      Advertising preys on fear. Fear of bad breath or being mocked for driving the wrong car, or not knowing which beer to order. If you look at gun advertising, it’s all about masculinity and safety. It’s aimed at scared men.

      If you scratch the surface, what you find is that you have a lot of insecure white straight men, and they’re insecure about non-whites, gays and women. When they say ‘gun violence is mainly a problem in the inner cities’, they don’t mean ‘so let’s address this social problem’, they mean ‘because black men are savages who prey on our women’.

      ‘Racism’ can be a very complex issue, what we do about it adds layers of complexity to that … but this is flat out ‘white people hating black people’ stuff. Not everyone who doesn’t like Obama is racist, and plenty of the people with a visceral hatred of him get just as worked up about Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and both Clintons … but it’s not some wild coincidence that a man with a blonde mother and an African father is the target of particularly deranged attention.

      I was trying to make the point that you will reduce the number of guns if you convince scared white men that owning a gun is a sign of weakness, not strength. We’ve reduced smoking by persuading people that smoking’s not cool, and it’ll reduce, not increase, your chances of getting laid.

      • Dave G.

        I know you’re the one. It matched an attitude that was hardly unique on that thread. More than one alluded to the same viewpoint, which is why it isn’t hard making gun owners paranoid. As for the issues, yes they are complex. Which is why it would be nice to have real debates. But if we’ve already declared our own side the side of the angels, and concluded that those poor souls on the other, who have so many deficiencies, just need to reach our own level of awesomeness, my experience says that you’ve gone far in scoring points, and not very far at all in solving problems.

        Which is a problem in more than just gun debates in our society. Like I tell my boys, we’re a nation of pundits, not principles. All too often we go into things, not to learn how to solve problems, but how to make sure the solutions confirm what we always knew to be true: that thankfully we weren’t like them, which was why there were problems in the first place.

        • Jem

          “But if we’ve already declared our own side the side of the angels”

          I don’t believe in angels, or ‘good and evil’, for that matter. I do agree with Mark that we should look at the death toll from guns and ask what we might do to reduce it.

          And I really disagree with you about ‘principles’. The more … avid … gun owners have principles, firm, clearly-articulated ones. They have a very clear, one size fits all solution, which is ‘more guns needed’.

          • Benjamin2.0

            Jem, you’re outrageous; truly, truly, truly outrageous.

            All too often we go into things, not to learn how to solve problems, but how to make sure the solutions confirm what we always knew to be true: that thankfully we weren’t like them, which was why there were problems in the first place

            They have a very clear, one size fits all solution, which is ‘more guns needed’

            You couldn’t have better proven his point.

            • Jem

              “You couldn’t have better proven his point.”
              It’s not ‘outrageous’ to ask ‘how can we reduce the number of firearms deaths?’

              • Benjamin2.0

                It is, however, to demonstrate the man’s suggestion that your position is prepackaged by telling him he has principles which he doesn’t even while he’s telling you he doesn’t and that doing so is an evasion of reason.

              • Dave G.

                And nobody said it was.

                • Benjamin2.0

                  It’s just so much more concise when you say it. Interpreting my one-sentence reply is the grammatical equivalent of solving a wave function.

                • Jem

                  I’m not sure what your point is. All I was saying is that I don’t think the problem with the sort of ‘gun people’ we’re talking about is a lack of principles. If anything, it’s that they have a surfeit of them.

                  • Dave G.

                    My point is that you said it’s not outrages to ask how we can reduce the number of firearm deaths. I said nobody said it was outrages to ask how we can reduce the number of firearm deaths. It’s the *how* that people tend to differ.

                    • chezami

                      And yet, that’s all my post was about, and provoked a flood of lunatic commentary, which you declared to have “won”. Entirely predictable, of course.

                    • Dave G.

                      Mark, the lunatic commentary of those accusing gun owners of not caring about dead people and probably being racist far outnumbered the lunatics living up to the stereotypes. For my money, calling someone a racist is like calling someone a Communist in the 1950s. It’s a life wrecker, and an insinuation best left unsaid unless dealing with a specific example that’s easily demonstrated.

                      As for the previous gun post, it was unfortunate. Nobody was saying no to the tech. They were saying they don’t want the government mandating it until we know more, like does it solve the problem, cause worse problems, harm the innocent – common sense questions.

                      The notion that there are those who don’t care about dead people because they love their guns? Probably are some. Likewise, there are probably some who don’t care about dead people, but see them as a great tool to use to advance the elimination of the 2nd and some other amendments. But it’s so much better (so, so, so much better) to acknowledge both sides have extremes, but we can come to the center of the debate to find the solutions. Which is likely the best way to finding the solutions to a problem everyone admits needs fixed.

            • B-Chop

              What’s wrong with “more guns needed?” Seems like a reasonable solution to me.
              Also, saying that guys with guns are pansies is like saying guys wearing seatbelts are pansies. We do not fear, we simply take precautions.

          • chezami

            Jem: For somebody who doesn’t believe in good and evil, you have a remarkably black and white vision of the world, with very clearly designated heroes and villains.

            • Jem

              I can firmly hold the opinion ‘I would prefer fewer than 30,000 people a year to die in the US because of firearms’ without needing to invoke cosmic forces, that’s all.

              As for villains, as the old internet joke goes, Hitler couldn’t have been all bad – he’s the guy that killed Hitler.

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

        ‘Racism’ can be a very complex issue, what we do about it adds layers of complexity to that … but this is flat out ‘white people hating black people’ stuff.

        I completely agree with the first half of this sentence, and completely disagree with the second half. I’ve run into a number of people I would be tempted to label as racist, and it’s never flat out ‘white people hating black people’ stuff. There are always significant and complex issues of culture that are mixed up in these judgments, and unreflective people have trouble articulating their issues in any way that doesn’t tempt equally unreflective people to write them off as demons and scum while feeling pretty damn good about themselves for doing it.

        • Jem

          I think most racism, most anti-immigrant feeling, most misogyny and most homophobia is not a simple issue of hating that group, it’s more like an insecurity about your own group.

          But I think there are places where there’s no great or complex process going on. The post Mark quotes is not exactly in need of decoding or open to much interpretation.

          Most people like that need a very slight amount of goading to say it out loud, but are thinking those kind of things.

          There’s a crisis of masculinity in the US. It’s really noticeable as a cultural trait. It’s not uniquely confined to the US, but …

          http://geopoliticsmadesuper.com/2014/05/09/how-can-boko-haram-sell-girls-into-slavery/

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

            it’s more like an insecurity about your own group

            No, not more than 10% of the time. The racism that gets real traction on the right (as opposed to stupid drunken ranting that people rightly recognize as “not your finest hour” and ignore) involves a judgment about right and wrong that doesn’t recognize the complexity of the situation and the different situations (and thus standards) that often pertain across communal lines.

            Most sane, ordinary, intelligent, good-hearted, mainstream people who get accused of “racism” are trying to critique a subculture of their own country for having and promoting vicious habits. But rather than both sides doing the hard philosophical work of responding to such a critique and working out both what really is vicious (if it is) and how to commit themselves to charitably working out a virtuous corrective (if there needs to be one), you have the “racists” merely writing off the subculture as irredeemably vicious and not worth their time and the “racism accusers” satisfying themselves with calling out the racism and going back to their lattes.

            The crazies on the right would get absolutely no attention – nor would their ranks swell; rather they would diminish – if people on the left would bother to do anything more than sneer at the sanes.

      • kirthigdon

        Owning a gun can very well be a sign of weakness and/or fear. Gun owners/carriers I know include women and men, blacks, whites, and hispanics, all of whom live, work, or travel in dangerous areas or are disabled or small or some combination of those factors. Since I live in a relatively safe area and am relatively strong, I feel I can afford not to own or carry a gun. I don’t think I have the right to tell those not in my fortunate position to give up their guns in order to prove they are not weak.
        Kirt Higdon

        • sez

          Amen! I know gun owners who are well aware of the very real dangers in the troubled neighborhoods they are required to navigate. While there are surely some gun owners who are fearful or who feel inadequate/incomplete without a firearm, that certainly does not represent the majority.

      • paul rankin

        I’m curious, since I used to do advertising in the firearms industry….what ads exactly are you talking about? I’d really love for you to point them out, since they seem to be the crux of your argument.

      • Francisco J Castellanos

        Sorry, by the third paragraph lost track of your apology.

      • KM

        Along with fear, the gun ads also appeal to men’s desire to be studly so they can attract hot, sexy women, like this ad:

        http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sexist-gun-ads-eaacorp.jpg

        • KM

          I “love” how this ad incorporates the patriotic tie. This ad also appeals to insecure women who are led to believe that, if they own a gun, they will look this hot and sexy to men. So the ad appeals to both men and women.

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

            To be fair, this is the technique used nowadays to sell freaking furniture, so I don’t think you can draw any hard and fast conclusions.

            • KM

              What furniture ads would those be? Seriously maybe I use Tivo too much to skip ads, but I don’t recall any sexy furniture ads that made me want to go out and buy a sofa.

              • KM

                My mistake. These wouldn’t be on tv since they’re in magazines. I don’t read many mags so don’t notice too many overtly sexual ones in the ones I do read.

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

                They’re in my local newspaper: beautiful women draped on mattresses and sofas.

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          Ew.

      • Pete the Greek

        “When they say ‘gun violence is mainly a problem in the inner cities’, they don’t mean ‘so let’s address this social problem’, they mean ‘because black men are savages who prey on our women’.”
        – No, they are stating a simple fact: saying that the violence is cultural (it is), often gang related (it is), exacerbated by social conditions (it is) and also fueled by the drug trade. It has nothing to do with ‘savages’ etc.

        “I was trying to make the point that you will reduce the number of guns if you convince scared white men that owning a gun is a sign of weakness, not strength.”
        – That’s dumb. No, owning one isn’t a sign of weakness. People enjoy them, use them for defense, etc. I think you should try actually meeting and talking to some of us in person. In fact, considering the sheer volume of people with concealed carry permits in this country, I guarantee you already have, and have thought they were nice people.

        Your generalized statements about gun owners here are just as off base as some people saying that all gun control proponents are secret Stalinists who want to put us in concentration camps.

  • Jem

    (I’m the atheist woman Mark’s referring to)

    Mark,

    It’s very important to stress that I don’t think *all* gun owners, let alone all Catholics, are like that, or like that deep down.

    And I like the fact you must have known you were peeing on the third rail by posting something in favor of gun control, and you did it anyway.

    What I do think, though, is that there’s a significant bloc who can align sentiments like that guy’s with their religious teaching, that it’s not a coincidence, and that a strain of right wing Christianity has seen fit to pander to it and let those kind of attitudes slide.

    I think there’s a searching question, which is ‘why does that person think Catholicism is compatible with his views?’. Sure, he sounds a little crazy (possibly even PTSD), and sure individuals can get some very peculiar ideas in their head. The question is whether the Church is entirely blameless. Is it purely down to craziness and coincidence, a one way street, or is there something in the Church’s messaging that he responds to?

    • KM

      My opinion is that having two prominent right wing “Catholics” on Foxnews — Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity — is part of the reason some people tie the church to right wing ideas. Here’s my long anecdote:

      My husband (like me) is a lapsed cradle Catholic who has returned to the Church. (God bless him because he was the one who persuaded me to come back although I was reluctant.) We have been trying to relearn and practice our faith but we had a problem: He was coming home angry and in despair almost daily, and citing Hannity or other rightwing talk show hosts. He was constantly filled with rage about Obama, Obamacare, liberals, socialism, and even Pope Francis (to a lesser extent). It was so bad that our kids were distressed.

      So during Lent I asked if he could just give up Hannity and all the other rightwing shows for awhile as an experiment. (I had done this a year earlier and realized what a difference it had made in my outlook.) He agreed, and what a remarkable positive change it made in his attitude. I wish that more people would just turn off the boob tube and rage radio because I think it would help elevate the discourse.

      • Benjamin2.0

        I actually agree with you, and I think past occurrences obligate me to say so.

    • chezami

      I don’t think that either. But you and I both know that even the sane people participating in this argument were astounded (and drowned out) by the inwash of lunatics.

      • chezami

        As to your attempt to sniff out “something in the Church’s messaging” that you can taint with gun nut lunacy, have a Tina Fey Eyeroll Award. The Church is *enormously* diverse. With a little elbow grease any lunatic in the word can find any number of ideas or images they can run off with and do enormous damage with. If it comes to that you can do it with any reasonably sophisticated symbol system, including the sciences.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      I very much doubt that Partisan Catholics (on either side) are more Catholic than the sixth grade education and sacraments their parents gave them.

    • http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ John Thayer Jensen

      Somewhat veering from the topic, but I must confess I cannot, for the life of me, understand the common (it seems to me) American opposition to gun control. In New Zealand, I can own guns, including pistols, but I can’t carry them around with me; must have both them and me registered; need to keep them in a gun safe when not in use. I just don’t, for the life of me, see why uncontrolled gun ownership would be necessary or useful.

      jj

      • chezami

        And that is why New Zealand is the nightmare Nazi/Communist/Shariah hellhole it is today, John. What’s more important to you? A fantasy nightmare or thousands of stupid dead bodies?

        • http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ John Thayer Jensen

          True – no doubt if I could pack my six-shooter when going into the local cafe, I would be in much less danger from all those cops aiming their guns at me.

          Oh, wait a minute! Just remembered! Our New Zealand police are not armed! If there is a violent scene they have to go to, they have to get permission to bring weapons to the scene.

          jj

          • chezami

            How do you people live like that?

          • Pete the Greek

            John,

            While I don’t know you specifically (in fact, I’ve only met 3-4 New Zealanders ever), I’m willing to be that even if you COULD take your pistol into the cafe, you wouldn’t rob it, shoot anyone or even wave it about in a generally unpleasant.

            In fact I’m willing to bet that, given what I’m able to find out about crime rates in general there (not a lot) I very much doubt that you’d have a massive spike in crime if you did have much more liberal gun laws.

            • http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ John Thayer Jensen

              I’d be scared to take a pistol into the cafe. Some big Samoan bruiser would probably laugh at me, take it away from me – not to shoot me with it, but to give it to his mates.

              But I agree with you that I personally doubt gun laws have a lot to do with crime rates, or violent crime – the other way around, perhaps. Our moderately restrictive gun laws are probably motivated with the idea in mind of reducing violent crime, but it is more a philosophical idea – like our police being (normally) unarmed. I do think that philosophical idea probably has more to do with helping to keep things under control – “it’s just not the Kiwi way” sort of thing – but, I must say, our crime rate, though lower, I believe, than the US’s, isn’t all that impressively low.

              jj

      • Dave G.

        I think it is partly because Americans have a very jealous guard over any limitations on freedom. It isn’t just gun control, it’s just about anything under the sun. The only exception is that Americans are typically fine with controlling things – usually things they don’t like or care about that impact others (not a trait unique to Americans I’m sure). Which, of course, makes things a bit tense. I’ve often said those who oppose any restrictions on abortion and those who oppose any restriction on guns often use similar logic. And the logic isn’t unfounded. There are those who want to ban all abortions. And there are those who want to ban all guns. It’s a tinderbox if you think about it. Most of the complaints and paranoia actually have a basis in fact. That makes it tough for those in the middle trying to figure out a solution, because both sides can point to extreme examples on the other. So in the case of guns, not only are there those who would gleefully ban all guns, but there are those who see doing so as a first small step in a larger move to redefine other freedoms. That naturally gives ammo to those who see any limits on guns as a first step in the direction of ending other freedoms – since it’s true for some. It’s the strange dynamic that is American society I guess.

        • http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ John Thayer Jensen

          Mightn’t one without absurdity suppose there could be a middle ground of reasonable regulation?

          That said, we have our own craziness in New Zealand – gay marriage being one example.

          jj

          • Dave G.

            Yes, but all too often people focus on the extremes. That’s been my problem with these posts – set the debate by focusing on one extreme of gun control opponents, rather than equally admitting to the extremes on both sides, and trying to find that broader middle that is out there.

            And I’m sure there’s no country that doesn’t have it’s problems. America has them, too, but not uniquely so.

          • Pete the Greek

            Middle Ground? One could, yes. Many would say we have that already.

            It is actually a myth that there are no gun laws, or that it’s a free for all with weapons in the US. It simply isn’t.

            There are, as I’ve pointed out in other topics, quite a few gun laws that pro gun people (excluding the extremists) actually favor. We fully support it being illegal for someone who is mentally ill or a violent felon to buy a firearm, as just one example. Even the latest dust up over background checks had little to do with background checks themselves rather then how they were going to be implemented.

            A reason it is such a hot topic here is that it is a direct, Constitutional Right (I’m unsure what it is considered in New Zealand. Is it even a right for you to have a gun, or is it a privilege allowed by the government?). Add to this the fact that our government lies to us continuously and acts shocked when we don’t trust what they tell us.

            Many of us also see the whole push for gun control as a way of ignoring other VERY serious issues that are far too hot button to allow public discussion on. Most of the terrible violence takes place in our inner cities which fester in ultra high illegitimacy, drug sales, terrible schools which churn out functional illiterates, lack of economic opportunities for those living in inner cities to escape and a welfare system that tends to trap people into dependency.

            There are excellent debates to be had on these topics (must be had if we really want to address the root issues). But I don’t think comparing countries helps. If you could magically round up every firearm in the United States and dump them on Sweden, you wouldn’t turn the United States into a nirvana, and I very much doubt that Sweden would transform into Somalia.

            • http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ John Thayer Jensen

              I don’t know if it’s a right or a privilege or how it would be considered. The thing is, the US constitution has the second amendment. We still have an unwritten constitution. I personally think that a good thing, but I question how long it can last. The unwritten constitution is basically the idea of inherited customs. That depends on our thinking ourselves a people. Modern multi-culturalism, and the loss of a common idea of our being a Christian people with common assumptions about right and wrong, are likely to mean that some kind of written constitution may come. It has been much mooted – and would probably end up imitating a lot of what the United Nations considers human rights.

              jj

  • Benjamin2.0

    All reasonable argument against gun control will be ignored in order to focus on the first available unstable idiot for the sake of the narrative. Good. Got it. You should’ve told me I was wasting my time to begin with – that your mind was already made up without regard for argument. You were just waiting for a troll to emerge so you could prop him up as a caricature.

    Argument over! I just forgot the rules we live by in the Paris Hilton generation. Well played. Next time, I’ll post a picture of Obama doing something heinous with a scary caption. That’s certainly easier than thinking.

    • Steve P

      I’m inclined to agree with Ben, Mark… not your best rhetorical moment. Better to address the “number of reasonable responses” – to my mind, that’s the Catholic thing to do.

      • Benjamin2.0

        I’m inclined to agree with Ben, Mark

        Things must be as bad as I suspect, then…

    • Benjamin2.0

      Look, I’m not trying to be rude (it just comes naturally). You were a major influence in my conversion, and your evenhandedness in dealing with politics earned you some sort of “paragon of evenhandedness” mantle somewhere in my subconscious mind (which speaks to my conscious mind, hence my consciousness of my unconsciousness). You’re my hero in some respects, and I’ve found you to be dealing less-than-heroically with this issue. A number of people brought forth a number of reasonable challenges, and you’ve not only ignored them but continued to use the same characterization of their position which they’ve challenged and brought forth a specimen we can all see is a poor representation of the position’s merits. That’s not evenhandedness.

      Maybe you’ll say you didn’t ask to be my hero, I’ll just reply that I didn’t either. Anyway, it’s a silly deconstructionist cop-out. This is the situation, and we’ll deal with it as it stands, in the most reasonable way possible.

      Behave heroically, or I’ll nag you forever. It’s really the only solution.

  • kirthigdon

    To point out the obvious, there are many provocateur commenters who will pretend to champion the side they actually oppose with over-the-top invective in order to discredit that side. That’s especially easy when you can post anonymously.

    Kirt Higdon

    • Jem

      He insisted he wasn’t that.

      • Benjamin2.0

        If, in fact, a person were attempting to discredit a position by deception, telling you that he isn’t acting deceitfully when asked is to be expected. Not that I necessarily believe he was. There are dolts on both sides of every debate.

        • Jem

          Well, yes. If someone says they’re not lying, they might be lying. I got that. I think he was a little too … heartfelt in his declarations.

  • KM

    “He was arguing with an atheist woman who was….very impressed with this bulletin from deep within the id of a Real Murkan Christian who is not at all crazy or anything.”

    I might add that lapsed cradle Catholics who have tentatively returned to the church have also been “impressed” with these Real Murkan Christian attitudes as well. It’s enough to drive us away again. This is why I’m thankful for Pope Francis who is needed at this time to help the Church return to the core values of our faith. (BTW this is not a slight against Pope Benedict.)

  • Willard

    Here come the false equivalence comments. The fact is the man in question is representative of a very large number of people on the right and one only has to read the combox’s of any right wing site to see it. There is simply no equivalent on the left and there is an easy way to prove this. After the attacks of 9-11, the Texan usurper had a 91 percent approval rating a mere year after his disputed “election”. For the math challenged, that meant overwhelming support among Democrats and independents. This myth of “both sides do it” needs to be put to bed.

    • Benjamin2.0

      I just hurt my face with my palm. I blame you.

      This myth of “both sides do it” needs to be put to bed.

      … because Democrats weren’t opposed to warrantless wiretapping when performed by the Texan usurper and totally didn’t turn 180 degrees around when the Chicago mobster did it.

      • Willard

        Nice moving of the goal posts there. Once again, the American population that identifies as Democratic and independent helped give the Texan Usurper a 91 percent approval rating. No false equivalence, period.

        • Benjamin2.0

          While I would be willing to admit I misinterpreted what exactly you’re claiming is being equated, I think some positive statement toward what that is would be necessary.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      “There is simply no equivalent on the left and there is an easy way to prove this.”

      Three words:
      “Climate Denier”
      and
      “Heterophobe”

      There very much is an equivalent on the left.

  • Pete the Greek

    Why are any of you bothering to debate on this topic?

    Those of us who tried to debate various points civilly with those who are on the other side simply get shouted down by the crazy people, who then get held up as the norm to generate click-bait.

    Pretty much anything of value on this topic has been already said. Read the original post. There the only comments that it seemed our host usually responded to, at least last I saw it, were the REALLY crazy ones. Reasoned comments proposing arguments or clarification seemed to just be ignored by most people.

    Nature of arguing on the Internet, I guess.

    • KM

      The crazy may be a small group on the internet but they’re the most vocal and a disturbing symptom of the overall culture. See my post above that mentions how a small vocal group of “gun rights” extremists are threatening women. They obviously don’t represent sane gun people but the hatred and extremism are undermining attempts for people to come together and solve gun violence in a respectful and sane manner.

      • Pete the Greek

        I can’t click to mother jones from work. What threatening of women are they talking about?

        • KM

          “In one recent example, a firearm instructor in Florida made a video of himself using a “Moms Demand Action” flier for target practice.

          “Happy Mother’s Day!” he said after praising his “grouping” of bullet holes on the flier. The video was then posted to the “Moms Demand Action” Facebook page.

          Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts told Mother Jones that after facing endless attacks from critics, she often asks herself: “Why does this person want to kill or rape or silence me?”

          “I think the answer is that this issue touches a cultural nerve based on gender, geography, and other politics,” Watts explained. “There are pundits who make a good deal of money encouraging this type of anger.”

          Earlier this month, the group Open Carry Texas began publishing the names and numbers of employees at a local Jack in the Box restaurant after those employees called police because they felt threatened by armed protesters.

          Open Carry Texas member Brett Sanders posted a video on YouTube that included the name of one woman, a high school teacher, who had called police on armed protesters at a shopping mall.

          The woman told Mother Jones that her voice mail quickly filled up with vulgar threats, calling her names like “stupid bitch” and “motherfucking whore.”

          She recalled that one caller referred to her as a “piece of shit,” and another threatened her with a gun.

          “I really felt strongly about not changing my cellphone number—I’m not going to be intimidated,” she said. “But it just got to the point where it’s not worth it.”

          • KM

            Sorry – should have edited out the bad language.

          • Pete the Greek

            I was able to find said video on youtube. I now think a lot of this is total hogwash.

            First up on the hogwash: no way he nailed the target at that range with that grouping. That was pure staging beforehand.

            Second, while kind of an insulting thing, this was not ‘threatening’ anyone. Heck, I used a money solicitation form from a local odious politician I got in my mail for target practice. Showing derision is one thing, but this was no threat. Also, that symbol on their letter IS a target.

            Had he used someone’s face or some such, yeah, I could understand wondering what his problem was and thinking that may be threatening.

            ““Why does this person want to kill or rape or silence me?””
            – How do you get THAT stupidity from the video? How do you go from ‘that guy shot holes in the target symbol on my mass mailed marketing letter’ to ‘he wants to rape me’. My goodness, that’s really dumb.

            I’ll read the full thing when I get home and can see it, but already my opinion on her reliability is ebbing. Does she actually post a voicemail or two of these horrible death threats? (my friend was told by authorities to save the ones he received.) I really hope the article gets better, because it’s off to a bad start already.

            • KM

              Because he uploaded to the Moms website that’s why it was considered threatening to her. Anyway I’m not interested in debating the fine nuances of what constitutes “crazy” and “threats” so goodbye, and good day, I’m done with this thread.

              • Pete the Greek

                That’s what I figured.

                I also think you confuse ‘nuance’ with ‘common sense observation’. Video respectful? No. Threatening? No.

                If that’s what’s considered ‘threatening’, they must have a HUGE bill for smelling salts and fainting couches.

                BTW, none of this is to excuse any true, vile and vulgar insults she has been given. That is never excusable and should be condemned. But really… saying someone shooting your mass mailed flyer is a sign they want to rape you? That’s 40 weight stupid right there, the kind of stupid you could lube a diesel with.

                • KM

                  P.S. Read that part again where she talks about “why does this person want to kill, rape or silence me.” She was talking about her critics in general, not that particular person. She says she “often asks herself this” so she is referring to the endless attacks from many people.

                  I have a feeling you will find the entire article hogwash, so I recommend you don’t waste your time reading it or posting a long rebuttal to the article.

                  Okay so this is really goodbye for now since I have much to do. :)

                  • Pete the Greek

                    Well, I’m glad I actually read the article.

                    “She was talking about her critics in general, not that particular person.”
                    – In the article itself, this is clear. Since I was thinking you had copied an entire chunk and pasted it from the Mother Jones article, I think my assumption wasn’t too out of the blue. The pasted text you gave made it appear that she was responding to the guy who made the range video as some kind of rape threat. The Mother Jones article is clear that she is responding in a more general fashion.

                    As for the rest of the article, there’s nothing to really rebut. It details an extensive list of alleged abuses directed at her (all of it vile, and none of which are excusable) as well as detailing some insulting and very bad behavior by some people. There’s no argument to talk about in the article, really.

                    I don’t see how it backs up your main assertion: “disturbing symptom of the overall culture.” No, people like this lady describes really are a small (and as you point out, vocal) niche. In fact, they are FAR too vocal and cause more damage to the cause they profess to be in favor of then they do good. People like that are one of the reasons so many gun clubs in my area are ‘invite’ only, because one loudmouth (who usually turns out to be very unsafe in handling as well) can ruin things for everyone. We don’t consider them to be our voice anymore than I consider

                    Frazier Glenn Miller to be the voice of the Democratic Party.

      • Pete the Greek

        Also, the crazies are on both sides, including the gun banning side. I’ve run into both.

        • KM

          The article acknowledges that,.but I haven’t seen any gun “banners” making threats of rape and murder against anyone.

          • Pete the Greek

            Our local range owner, when it was announced that he was expanding to put in a rifle range received several threats of violence via voicemail. So yeah, it happens. People on your side can be just as vicious.

            • KM

              On “my side?” I consider myself fairly neutral in all this but am instantly deemed a “banner” because I support *some* restrictions, like background checks, for instance. I’m like Mark on this issue — I take the Catholic pro-lifer position.

              Anyway, anyone promoting violence, no matter which side they’re on, should be called out. This is wrong — and criminal in some cases — no matter who does it.

              • Pete the Greek

                Oops, sorry, I actually confused your response with someone else (Jem below).

  • KM

    Well the crazy continues off the internet. Some “gun extremists” are threatening women with rape and murder.

    “A new report suggests a disturbing trend of “gun extremists” threatening and intimidating women who are trying to curb shootings in the United States. The article published by Mother Jones on Thursday examines groups of women who were targeted after organizing to promote gun safety.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/15/report-nationwide-trend-of-gun-extremists-threatening-women-activists-with-rape-murder/

    “Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/guns-bullying-open-carry-women-moms-texas

  • Loretta

    Waittaminnit. Women in the closet and gays in the kitchen? This guy is mixing his metaphors! Equal rights for parallel constructors!