Too long gone

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“If we’re going to be the Christian nation many gun worshipers claim us to be, then we have to get rid of our guns.”

“I recently visited some Latin American countries that mesh with the N.R.A.’s vision of the promised land, where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, A.T.M., restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner.”

“America has seen an astounding 11 mass shootings since a madman used a semiautomatic pistol with an extended ammunition clip to shoot me and kill six others.”

“I love guns. Grew up with ‘em. … I plan to buy more – a bunch more. In fact, who’s to say I don’t already have a veritable arsenal?”

“They are used to defend our property and our families and our faith and our freedom, and they are absolutely essential to living the way God intended for us to live.”

“I guess we need armed guards for the police. And when they start getting shot we will need armed guards for the armed guards for the police. And when they start getting shot …”

“There is no statistical correlation between the exercise of prayer, or respect for the Ten Commandments, and some immunity to mass shootings.”

“Police said the two were sitting across from each other in a booth … when the man reached into his front pants pocket and accidentally discharged a small pistol, striking his wife in the leg just above the knee.”

5 People Shot at 3 Different Gun Shows on Gun Appreciation Day

“There ought to be some big national organization out there that provides firearm safety courses.”

“A quick search on Google news for ‘shooting’ on late Saturday night, Gun Appreciation Day, offered these headlines. …”

“The true source of the NRA’s political power  — lobbying and fundraising — is the perfect demonstration of how irrelevant their cause really is.”

“So I guess it’s true that blacks wouldn’t have been slaves if they had guns, much like it’s true that blacks wouldn’t have been slaves if there was no such thing as American slavery.”

“Eventually, any conversation about gun control in America ends with someone, somewhere opposed to new gun regulations comparing the proponents to Adolf Hitler.”

“I couldn’t blow this guy away for something he could change later in life. I’m not going to decide this man’s fate.”

“According to a survey from the National Association of Evangelicals, nearly three-quarters of evangelical leaders support increasing restrictions on guns as a way to curb America’s gun violence epidemic.”

“The point is: Things change. Goliaths fall. It happens.”

“Ultimately I choose to live without guns because, a) I don’t hunt, b) I’m not a police officer, c) I choose to live gently in a violent world.”

“When Isaiah and Micah spoke of swords into plowshares they were most likely quoting an ancient song. … The song haunted these holy men.”

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  • Amaryllis

     When Isaiah and Micah spoke of swords into plowshares they were most likely quoting an ancient song

    A voice from the dark called out,
    “The poets must give us
    imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
    imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
    the absence of war.”

    But peace, like a poem,
    is not there ahead of itself,
    can’t be imagined before it is made,
    can’t be known except
    in the words of its making,
    grammar of justice,
    syntax of mutual aid.

    A feeling towards it,
    dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
    until we begin to utter its metaphors,
    learning them as we speak.

    A line of peace might appear
    if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
    revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
    questioned our needs, allowed
    long pauses. . . .

    A cadence of peace might balance its weight
    on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
    an energy field more intense than war,
    might pulse then,
    stanza by stanza into the world,
    each act of living
    one of its words, each word
    a vibration of light—facets
    of the forming crystal.

    – Denise Levertov

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That Matt Barber article is the best example I could ever find of how our gun culture is extensively tied to this culture of anxious masculinity. 

    His continuous assertions that liberals have no experience with firearms (soft hands never knowing the touch of a Sig Sauer 45 and being candyasses*) as a way to set himself in opposition of those he sees as weak.  

    And I’m filing that story under shitthatneverhappened.txt.  But lets give him the beenfit of the doubt.  And I’m sure that the mother in that story, already terrified by the men in the van intimidating her, was made to feel so much better by the high powered weapon being brandished under her nose.  My question is what would the response had been had those men pulled their own weapons in response, as that’s the world Barber wants to live in.  Was he to discharge that weapon in front of her face, damaging her hearing?  What if the muzzleflash had been close to her face and she was burned?  Would he still be touting that story as “the way the world should be?

  • Jenora Feuer

    His continuous assertions that liberals have no experience with firearms …

    You know, I consider myself reasonably liberal/progressive.  (I’m Canadian, for a start.)  Grew up all over the place in B.C., including small towns like 100 Mile House.  Heck, I was a ‘preppie’, going to a private high school.  I also do not own a gun.

    That ‘prep school’ had a gun range (the school dated back to WWI, when it was expected that young men would learn how to shoot guns).  I made use of this range.  While I’ve never fired anything higher power than a .22 rifle, and I’m no crack shot, I do know how to use a gun and have had proper training.  So do both my parents.  My mother once said that a gun instructor kept looking at her oddly because of how she held a gun.  (She kept holding it right-handed but sighting with her better left eye.)

    I don’t own a gun in part because I’ve used them before, and I have a great deal of respect for them and how much damage they can do.  The only gun my father owns is a .177 pellet pistol.

    The whole ‘weak people don’t know anything about firearms’ is of a piece with comments on other threads I’ve seen where someone was noting that the biggest loudmouths about loving guns also were often the sloppiest people in terms of gun safety.  These are the people who see the gun as a personal power enhancer rather than a (potentially very dangerous) tool.

  • Kiba

    I guess I could be called a progressive/liberal and I grew up around guns (my brother almost had is head blown off when a cousin of ours was trying to show off for his girlfriend). I don’t much care for them; they were always so loud and hurt my ears. Anyway, we lived out in the boonies in Southern Arizona and had them in case of things like coyotes, javelinas, and rattlesnakes.

    When I was a teenager I fired a .45 (first gun I ever shot) and then a .22 and failed to understand what the fuss was about. Now, if I were ever to move out to the country then I might think about getting a shot gun but that would only be for things like coyotes, etc. 

  • Madhabmatics

    I love how, as the gun control debate goes on, the difference between people who just hunt and sports shooters gets increasingly obvious. I know people around here get a little annoyed when dudes claim to speak for all hunters by saying “I totally need to be able to shoot off 30 bullets without reloading… in order to hunt a deer.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    When I was a teenager I fired a .45 (first gun I ever shot) and then a .22 and failed to understand what the fuss was about.

    This.  I have friends who are really into target shooting and have invited me along.  I just don’t see the appeal.  Also, I don’t need to have it demonstrated that I have terrible aim, and given that I have no interest – or reason to have an interest – in developing better aim, I really don’t see the point.

    One friend assumed that my lack of interest was the result of having never fired a gun, as if firing a gun is somehow some magical, transformative experience.

    I responded, “I’m from rural Michigan.  I’ve fired rifles, shotguns, handguns, and even black powder muskets and pistols.  I’ve actually killed things.  It’s really not as exciting as you think it is.”

  • Münchner Kindl
  • Kiba

    Ha! Yeah, the only thing I got out of shooting a gun was the realization that I couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Eventually, any conversation about gun control in America ends with someone, somewhere opposed to new gun regulations comparing the proponents to Adolf Hitler.”

    And then someone always hauls out the “omg US gun laws are EXACTLY LIKE THE NAZI GUN LAW OMFG”.

    Deconstructed here. The relevant extract follows:

    Perhaps one of the pro-gun lobby’s favorite arguments is that
    if German citizens had had the right to keep and bear arms, Hitler
    would have never been able to tyrannize the country. And to this
    effect, pro-gun advocates often quote the following:

    “1935 will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized
    nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our
    police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into
    the future.” – Adolf Hitler

    However, this quote is almost certainly a fraud. There is no reputable
    record of him ever making it: neither at the Nuremberg rallies,
    nor in any of his weekly radio addresses. Furthermore, there was
    no reason for him to even make such a statement; for Germany
    already had strict gun control as a term of surrender
    in the Treaty of Versailles. The Allies had wanted to make Germany
    as impotent as possible, and one of the ways they did that was
    to disarm its citizenry. Only a handful of local authorities were
    allowed arms at all, and the few German citizens who did possess
    weapons were already subject to full gun registration. Seen in
    this light, the above quote makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Foreigner

    omfg if germans had been armed hitler would never have happened!!!!

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Further to that, Hitler did pass a law banning ownership of guns… but only affecting Jewish people and other persecuted groups. It actually made it easier for non-Jewish citizens to obtain guns, including lowering the minimum age to purchase a gun from 20 to 18: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/stop_talking_about_hitler/

  • Foreigner

    Pursuing the gun-nut mindset further down the rabbit-hole, that means:

    omfg hitler took the guns away from persecuted people just like obama’s gonna do to us!!!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Well, obviously we should do the opposite of what Hitler would do, right? So… Make it harder for white christian men to get guns, and easier for African Americans, Muslims, and QUILTBAG folks to get them.

    Surely the NRA could not object to that!

  • Münchner Kindl

    As much as I wish it for you, I doubt the US can ever return to a normal state about guns.

    It’s not enough to pass laws or effectivly use existing laws (like background checks: actually doing them and using one database), the situation is one of a self-fulfilled prophecy:

    to actually reduce the amount of guns and thus the violence they might cause, it’s not enough to limit the sales of guns, but you would also need to take away the guns from the nuts. Which is precisly what the nuts have been warning about and are ready to shoot to prevent. So Waco times thousand.

    In addition, laws will never help unless the whole culture and myth changes. Every time there’s a discussion about guns on the internet (different sites), pro-gun-advocates will bring up the following scenarios:
    1. Imagine you’re at home when in the middle of the night armed villains break in to rape your children and wife. You take the gun underneath your pillow and protect your family.

    2. You’re walking the street in the evening when a bad man tries to rob you. You take out your concealed gun and shoot him. (The disproportion between life and property is another problem)

    3. You’re in a campus/ cinema/ school when a mentally disturbed (crazy) person runs amok and starts shooting. You pull out your gun and shook the crazy to protect the innocents around you.

    Now, to any rational person, these scenarios are all pure fantasy of a 10-year old. Anybody in law enforcment or similar can tell how these things play out in real life.

    But in Hollywood and among pro-gun people, imaginery scenarios are used as valid arguments, because guns are magic and mythical.

    You’d need a broad-based approach on all levels – cinema and media, schools, newspapers with facts – to get rid of these myths and the belief in the magic of guns first, otherwise new laws will be toothless.

  • Water_Bear

    There’s also the fact that taking people’s guns away en masse is legally impossible; if anything violates the right to keep and bear arms it’s nicking people’s guns. Technically you can amend the Constitution, but seeing as the 2nd amendment is part of the Bill of Rights there’s no way in hell anyone is ever actually going to do it.

  • Water_Bear

    -Ignore this if two of these appear, otherwise shake fist at Disqus for eating the first one-

    The main problem isn’t public perception though; it’s entirely possible that a generation or two down the line Americans will be anti-gun enough to pass that kind of broad retroactive gun-ban, even enough to comply with it. But the problem is that it’s legally impossible.

    The 2nd amendment could, like any part of the Constitution, be amended out of existence. But the thing is, overturning an amendment has only ever happened once (the 18th which prohibited alcohol, removed with the 21st) and the 2nd amendment is part of the Bill of Rights which makes it virtually inviolate. And as long as the 2nd amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, nicking people’s guns en masse is not going to be possible.

    Plus you can’t right an Ex Post Facto law; any existing guns would be grandfathered even under the broadest possible ban. That comes in at both state and federal levels.

  • Mark Z.

    Plus you can’t write an Ex Post Facto law; any existing guns would be grandfathered even under the broadest possible ban.

    That’s not how the ex post facto clause works. You can write a law that requires everyone currently possessing certain guns to dispose of them (as long as you compensate those people for their loss of property). What you can’t do is punish those people for having owned the guns before the ban went into effect.

  • Cathy W

    I believe when Australia implemented a very broad gun restriction some years ago, they included a voluntary buyback program. Something like that might be successful.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I believe when Australia implemented a very broad gun restriction some years ago, they included a voluntary buyback program. Something like that might be successful.

    Not voluntary. There was an amnesty period (12-18 months, can’t remember exactly) and if you handed over your weapons of mass destruction during that period you got financial compensation and no hassle. Since the amnesty expired, if you are found to hold illegal weapons of mass destruction, or unregistered items in a restricted class, you are in trouble.

  • Jonathan

    Couldn’t the amendment simply be reinterpreted though, without actually overturning it? Rights, even those in the Bill of Rights, are often far from absolute.

  • Water_Bear

    The Supreme Court really really hates to overturn precedent and there have been a lot of cases sussing out the boundaries of the 2nd amendment.

    And, well, people don’t like to talk about this but the second amendment was at least in part meant specifically to put military weapons in civilian hands so that they could fight the government. Back when a small town could make their own cannons and shot, the idea that small arms would turn the tables in a revolution wasn’t a crazy suggestion. An interpretation which ignored the obvious intent of the amendment would be hard to justify.

  • hidden_urchin

    Actually, the ” well regulated militia” wasn’t conceived to fight the government; its purpose was to fight for the government. (They didn’t want a standing army and there were occasionally local rebellions against the government that needed to be put down.) It was more or less the predecessor to the National Guard.

    In short, the original purpose of the Second Amendment was the exact opposite of what the NRA claims it was.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    This, and also, it was there so settlers would be allowed to shoot Indians. One of the many dirty big secrets about the Revolutionary War: One reason colonists (especially those out west, in Ohio and such) were ticked off at Britain was that Britain would not let them murder nearly as many Indians, or steal nearly as much Indian land, as they wanted to. One of the main goals of the war on the part of colonists was to remove this restriction. 

  • Erl

    The Supreme Court really really hates to overturn precedent and there have been a lot of cases sussing out the boundaries of the 2nd amendment.

    Actually, in the past century, there have only been three 2nd Amendment cases. It’s one of the most rarely litigated of the Amendments. And Supreme Court jurisprudence in general is pretty okay with restricting a specified right in the interests of safety, that Ben Franklin quote aside. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Apparently Disqus choked on several of my emails from the 21st and is only now telling me. What I meant to say at the time:

    Define ‘military’ and ‘civilian’. I always understood the word ‘militia’
    as meaning ‘civilians who can be called up for military service at
    need’, which today would be the Reserves and National Guard.

  • Water_Bear

    Basically, but remember, the majority of actually American “troops” in any given battle of the revolutionary war (I’ve seen figures of up to 2/3rds) were local people without any formal training or organization who heard a battle was going on and came out en masse to fight. Less “minutemen” and more “posse.”

    Granted, they were useless for the kind of war Washington and the other British-trained Continental Army officers were trying to fight (it’s hard to stay in formation while under fire even for trained soldiers) and tended to get sidelined in pitched battles. Still, they were invaluable as partisans and scouts, and gave the illusion of numerical superiority when the Continental Army often actually had fewer trained soldiers.

  • fredgiblet

    Sure you could.  You just have to get the Supreme Court to rule that single-barrel, break-action .410 shotguns count as fulfilling the letter of the 2A and then outlaw possession of the rest.  Sure technically guns would still be legal, but I think most of the grabbers would be fine with it at that point.

    Now getting everyone to GIVE UP their guns is a whole different issue, particularly since it will slot quite neatly into the narrative that the conservatives have made about the grabbers so the crazies will see NWO all over any attempt.

    The Constitution is only protection if we protect it.

  • Isabel C.

    So…what is the Second Amendment protecting us from these days? Other than you and your friends losing your little fetishes?

    If you say “government tyranny”, you lose. Please go back and read, y’know, the rest of this entire thread. If you’re rebelling against the US military, being able to own a single-barrel break-action .410 shotgun is going to help you exactly as much as being able to own an assault weapon, because–newsflash–the military has tanks. And nukes. And mosquito-sized drones.

    Either come up with a coherent argument or admit that when you say “protecting the Constitution” in this context, everyone else is justified in hearing “unf unf unf.”

    And while there’s no shame in masturbation, to whatever you like, civilized people don’t do it in public.

  • vsm

    Maybe they’re preparing for asymmetrical warfare? The Iraqi resistance doesn’t have tanks or nukes either, yet they’ve put up a pretty good fight.

  • Isabel C.

    Sure, but if your opponent has those things, I’m not sure how much *more* effective an assault weapon is than a five-round shotgun or whatever. 

  • fredgiblet

    Yeah, but citing examples like Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Northern Ireland or any of the countries in the Arab Spring is only going to be met with derision and dismissal.

  • Isabel C.

    See my reply to vsm. 

  • Lori

     

    Yeah, but citing examples like Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Northern
    Ireland or any of the countries in the Arab Spring is only going to be
    met with derision and dismissal.   

    No, it will be met with a couple important facts. Because you are not talking to straw men.

    1)  Your first 4 examples involve insurgents fighting a foreign occupier, which is quite a different thing than civil war*.

    2) Conditions in the US vary in some extremely significant ways from those in the Arab Spring countries

    In short, you’re over-generalizing from examples that you believe support your position. This is a problem to the extent that this over-generalization leads you to think that an insurrection by US gun owners is likely to turn out well.

    *This was one of my areas of study in grad school. We can go into detail on it if you want to.

  • fredgiblet

    To be clear, I don’t think an insurgency in America would be a cakewalk.  If one started now it would absolutely fail, if one started in a hypothetical near future where things were much worse it gets fuzzier.

    In the end it really depends on the lead-up, if the tinfoils are right and people end up getting rounded up in FEMA death camps?  I think an insurgency could have some traction.  If the tinfoils end up rebelling against gay marriage and legal weed?  Not so much.

  • Lori

    In the end it really depends on the lead-up, if the tinfoils are right
    and people end up getting rounded up in FEMA death camps?  I think an
    insurgency could have some traction.   

    Possible, but far from certain. There have certainly been governments in modern times that rounded their people up and sent them to death camps and the record on how people respond to that is decidedly mixed. In cases where an armed insurgency gets past the talking stage the record of success vs failure is quite mixed.

    One big factor is perceived legitimacy of the government prior to when it started rounding people up. This is an area where opinions between the would-be Wolverines and the rest of us diverge quite sharply and AFAICT a lot of the Wolverines don’t get that. It’s an area where the Right’s current issues with epistemic closure are huge. For the last several decades there as been a concerted effort on the Right to portray any government with which they disagree as not simply wrong, but actually illegitimate. That started on the far fringes, with things like the sovereign citizens movement but, as is sadly the case with so much bad crap on the fringe Right, over the years it has spread toward the center. The result is idiocy about Obama’s birth certificate. The thing about stuff like that is that it’s now taken as fact by the Fox News crowd, and they no longer seem to have any idea that other people don’t believe it. I think they believe that it would be easy to portray the government as a foreign occupier, but it wouldn’t.

    One of the major questions in the event of a nutbar insurgency against a Democratic administration would be whether Fox nation is actually large enough and committed enough to sustain a shooting fight. There would seem to be enough numbers, but a lot of them are old and a lot more of them are cowards, so I don’t know how useful they’d actually be. Add in the fact that their refusal to see the government as legitimate actually strengthens the government’s perceived legitimacy for much of the rest of the population and the picture is less than rosy for the Wolverines.

    And of course there’s one other thing our would-be insurgents never seem to take into account—if the highly unlikely event that the US government were to start rounding citizens up and putting them in camps the odds are overwhelming that it would be under a GOP administration, not a Democratic one. In that case the majority of our hardcore gun owners would be more likely to help the government with the round up than fight it. IOW, our would-be Wolverines have more in common with 1930s Germany than say, 1980s Central and South America.

    Tl; dr: No matter what angle you look at it from it’s unlikely that US gun owners could ever form an even moderately successful insurgency against the government. “Not a cake walk” doesn’t even begin to cover it. That’s not to say they couldn’t get a lot of people killed by trying, but their odds of achieving anything that could reasonably be called success would be very low.

  • fredgiblet

    Very true.

    I would point out that “highly unlikely” isn’t the same as “can’t happen”.  We are talking about a government that signed the NDAA into law, just because they are better, doesn’t mean they’ll never abuse their power.

  • Lori

     

    I would point out that “highly unlikely” isn’t the same as “can’t
    happen”.  We are talking about a government that signed the NDAA into
    law, just because they are better, doesn’t mean they’ll never abuse
    their power.  

    The thing that would make an insurgency necessary is highly unlikely. It’s even less likely that said insurgency could achieve success. (Note that I do not consider sustaining the killing & dying for a good long while to constitute success.) The damage we’re doing to ourselves with our current gun culture is real and increasing and unlikely to stop unless we’re willing to make some substantive changes.

    The question is, why should the considerations of the unlikely so heavily outweigh the real? Why do so many people have to die in order to keep alive the fantasy about a rebellion that’s unlikely to occur and even less likely to succeed in any meaningful way? The Wolverines! all seem to seem themselves as the next Francis Marion, destined to be the heroes of the new order. The reality is that they’d almost certainly just end up some dead guy. In the mean time we have thousands of people who are dead now, who ought to be alive now, because we can’t loosen our grip on the fantasy of salvation via the gun.

    As I’ve said many times, I don’t want to take all the  guns, but we need to have far less of them and we need to be far, far more concerned about the people dying for no good reason here & now, than about the dream of glorious martyrdom in the maybe someday & probably never.

    Here’s the thing that really bugs me—even if this insurgency became necessary there would be no success in it, because if it ever comes to a shooting war between the government and citizens who aren’t simply the violent, lunatic fringe then we failed. The whole project, everything the Founding Fathers who the patriots” claim to revere so much, worked and fought for has failed. The point of the system they created was to make political decisions without recourse to violence. We’ve already fought one really terrible war over whether or not their experiment would continue. The day we resort to that again, the day any substantial group of Americans goes full Wolverine on our own government, is the day they set fire once and for all to everything their supposed heroes hoped for. People in the patriot movement and it’s less-whackadoo relations on the Right see themselves as the keepers of the flame. I see them as dreaming about blowing it our once and for all. I just can’t get behind people who want to dig in their heels and allow our fellow citizens to continue dying for no good reason while they dream about the destruction of my home.

  • fredgiblet

    If you want substantive changes can I assume you oppose the “Assault Weapons” Ban?  Because that’s not what you’re looking for.  The statistics are very clear as to where the deaths are coming from and it’s not rifles, if you’re looking for significant benefits you need to be looking at pistols.

    Better yet look at gangs and drugs, use the threat of gun laws as leverage to move the conservatives on poverty, race relations, drugs laws and gang prevention measures, those will provide MUCH better RoI then a new AWB.  Or you can go after sport shooters and spend a great deal of time and effort gaining nothing.  Your choice.

  • Lori

    I’m pretty sure that I already mentioned once that you aren’t talking to a straw man. I guess you’re just going to let that sail on by and continue to assign to me views which I have not expressed because you have a talking point that you think makes a good come back for them. To which I say a hearty, “whatever”. Enjoy talking to yourself.

  • Isabel C.

     And also…Northern Ireland? So decades of slaughter with any number of innocents caught in the crossfire is a positive example here?

  • Lori

     

      And also…Northern Ireland? So decades of slaughter with any number of
    innocents caught in the crossfire is a positive example here? 

    Yeah, as plans go”fight a grinding, bloody war of attrition until the other guy losses the will to continue” is not exactly something to cheer about.

  • fredgiblet

    Who said it was positive?  The point is it was an insurgency squaring off against a government that has jets, tanks and nukes that lasted for decades.  Whether it’s GOOD or not is irrelevant to the point that jets and tanks don’t make wiping out an insurgency easy, nukes even less so.

  • Münchner Kindl

     But the 2nd amendment isn’t about “the people”, it’s about “well-regulated militas”, right?

    So correcting the amendment by clarifing what a well-regulated milita is exactly, would also allow quite legally to ban guns for everybody else (along with an exception for hunting, again with strict guidelines).

    There’s a difference between saying “All guns are allowed, except assault ones” and saying “all guns are forbidden, unless hunting guns, which follow this description”.

    And of course you can write Ex Post Facto laws – it’s done all the time. E.g. when air pollution laws were made, there was a grace period for updating, and after that, cars and factories that didn’t meet the new standards had to be switched off/ could no longer be used.

    A start would be to look at existing gun checks and how many were waived, and check up on that.

    If you write a new federal law requiring that all guns more dangerous than hunting guns are not allowed in the hands of people (not meeting backup checks) plus that all guns must be stored securely (to prevent 6year olds bringing guns to school) you don’t have to take away the legal guns, just make sure they are locked so nobody can get them.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    But the 2nd amendment isn’t about “the people”, it’s about “well-regulated militas”, right?

    That would be the most obvious reading, but the Supreme Court says otherwise, and it has the final say.

    So correcting the amendment by clarifing what a well-regulated milita is exactly, would also allow quite legally to ban guns for everybody else (along with an exception for hunting, again with strict guidelines).See above. To clarify an Amendment requires either another amendment or a SCOTUS decision. You pass a law like that and the current court would strike it down in about half an hour.

  • Isabel C.

     We really just need Scalia to get eaten by a bear, is what I’m hearing.

  • P J Evans

     Looking at a picture of him yesterday, it looked like he got the bear. And made a hat out of it.

  • fredgiblet

    ” But the 2nd amendment isn’t about “the people”, it’s about “well-regulated militas”, right?”
    Nope.  Read it again.  The operative part, the part that is written in a prescriptive (I think that’s the right word) manner is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.  You’ll note it doesn’t say “the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

  • Kiba

    The full text is:

     A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

     
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZNNUWEXUPQUQAYGBFDHTEIJBUI Joshua

    It depends on how you understand it then. I can totally see how someone can in good faith interpret that sentence to mean, “In order to make sure that we can form a well-regulated militia when/if we need one, people should be allowed to keep and bear arms.” 

    Part of the problem might be the relatively archaic way the Constitution is written compared to how modern Americans speak. Part of it is clearly politics (if you’re pro-gun you definitely want to play off the last half of the sentence and if you’re pro-gun control you definitely want to play up the first half of the sentence). I really think that there is enough ambiguity that reasonable people can come to opposite understandings without necessarily arguing in bad faith.

    I think that, realistically, because of the way our political system has developed, it’s implausible for any politician to successfully implement a total gun ban. Restrictions are definitely on the table, but an outright abolition would fly in the face of essentially the totality of 2nd Amendment jurisprudence. It’s not impossible but it’ll take a lot of time.

    A more realistic approach would be something like what Switzerland has. According to Time Magazine, they have a sensible mix of restrictions on both guns and ammunition as well as a culture that emphasizes responsibility and community support rather than the individualized lone-wolf superhero mythology that we tend to slather all over guns here.

  • P J Evans

     misreading it, I see. That first clause is WHY they’re putting it in.

  • Isabel C.

    Reading for context is only one of a number of things his camp is not good at.

    “Checking Snopes.com” seems to be another, if my FB feed is any evidence.

  • fredgiblet

    Correct, but the part that is intended for action is the second part.
    Let’s try something different.”Free discourse on government policy being of paramount importance to democracy, the right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be infringed.”Does the above mean that freedom of speech is ONLY guaranteed on the subject of government policy?  That’s neither the intent, nor what it says.

  • P J Evans

     The first part is NECESSARY for the second part to work.
    And your second example is from what source?
    It’s clearly describing a subsetof free speech; it ain’t the First Amendment.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    On your view, should the courts interpret a law reading “Free discourse on government policy being of paramount importance to
    democracy, the right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be
    infringed” any differently from a law reading “Free discourse being of paramount importance to
    democracy, the right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be
    infringed” or just “The right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be
    infringed” or “Free discourse being the only way to prevent Surtur’s Fire Demons from destroying our homes, our livelihood, and our very way of life, the right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be
    infringed”?

    Or ought all of those wordings be equivalent from the point of view of a court?

  • fredgiblet

    Given the structure of the sentence by FAR the greatest weight goes to “The right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be infringed”.  If we assume the author of the law is competent then it’s very clear that the first part is descriptive, but not intended as a limiting part of the statement.

    If the law was intended to only protect freedom of speech in the case of discussion of government policy then it’s quite poorly written and a much better version would be: “Free discourse on government policy being of paramount importance to democracy, the right to the people to discuss government policy without restriction shall not be infringed”.  The wording of the original statement clearly sets no limits on the prohibition on restrictions of speech, the wording of the statement I just wrote clearly places limits.  The first part can’t be IGNORED, but it’s simultaneously clearly not integral to the “active” part of the law.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    OK, I’ve reread your comment five or six times, and disqus assures me that it is in reply to my question, but I can’t figure out what your answer to my question is.

    If you intended to answer my question, we’ve just experienced a massive failure to communicate, and I’m not quite sure how to proceed.

    If you didn’t intend to answer, then we’re fine.

  • fredgiblet

    “What we’ve got here, is failure to communcate”

    They should be treated largely the same, the difference in wording can have a minor effect on the details, but the actual command “The right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be infringed” is the same in all of them.

    The rest is useful in establishing the intent of the law for interpretation but is not actually part of the command itself and thus is ultimately far less important.  In my original example it’s clear the primary intention is to prevent restriction of speech regarding the government, however as I stated in the previous post that is clearly not the only protected form of speech and clearly is not the only part that was INTENDED to be protected, regardless of the fact that that’s the only part that’s MENTIONED.

    In a case where a specific part of speech is called out like in my first example it’s clear that that is the seen as the most important to protect, but it doesn’t mean the rest is free game.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Cool… thanks for clarifying.

    FWIW, I disagree.

    Perhaps you’re right that the “actual command” is more important than the stated intent, but
    that still doesn’t mean that four laws with the same “actual command” and different stated intents should
    be treated largely the same, as you assert here.

    We apply laws in a cultural context. That’s why a law like “The right to the people of freedom of speech shall not be infringed” doesn’t necessarily protect the right to make fraudulent claims, the right to make threats, the right to reveal privileged or dangerous information, or a variety of other speech acts we currently make illegal. That is, we can make them illegal precisely because we adopt a legal hermeneutic where intent and precedent and cultural context are extremely important, and can have much more than a minor effect on the details.

    And on balance, I think we would lose more than we gained if we switched to the kind of “actual command” hermeneutic you’re promoting here.

    So where the law is kind enough to articulate its intent clearly, I endorse courts making decisions about how to apply that law based on that intent in more than minor ways.

  • fredgiblet

    We may have had another failure to communicate.  I’m not against any and all gun laws, but I believe that when we’re dealing with basic rights any laws must be A:  A lost resort after other fixes have been tried and failed and B: Carefully crafted to provide the most benefit with the least restriction (not a bad idea for any law for that matter).
    The current attempts at a ban fail on both counts.  Whenever a shooting occurs gun bans are the first and usually only things brought up and it’s usually a revival of the Assault Weapons Ban which is horribly designed and doomed to be utterly ineffective while simultaneously showing little concern for the rights of gun owners.For example if you look at the current ban proposal what you’ll see on the chopping block is a very large percentage of the most popular sport shooting guns, what you won’t see is any of the most popular handguns, despite the fact that reducing handgun violence by 10% would yield a better effect than eliminating rifle violence entirely.  The new AWB is a significant infringement on rights for a minimal gain and ANY law like that should be resisted.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     It’s hard to say if we’re having a failure to communicate; it seems to me you just changed the subject completely.

    But regardless:
    – I agree that maximizing benefit while minimizing restriction is a good guideline for legal interventions in general.
    – I don’t agree that legal interventions must be a last resort after everything else has been tried and failed, even when dealing with basic rights, but I do agree that non-legal interventions that have a reasonable chance of working ought to be tried first.
    – I agree that laws passed in the wake of a traumatic event are often bad laws, for predictable reasons; I would far prefer that we make decisions about regulation in a less trauma-driven state of mind. That said, nobody seems willing to do that. The choices on the table seem to be to make decisions about regulation in a trauma-driven state, or to not make them at all.
    – I am not a particular supporter of the AWB compared to other potential legal interventions.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    But the 2nd amendment isn’t about “the people”, it’s about “well-regulated militas”, right?

    Militias are the justification, they’re not what the law is about. The law is “Because we need militias, congress shall pass no law restricting the people from bearing arms.”

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > Militias are the justification, they’re not what the law is about.

    On your view, what consideration ought a legal system give to the stated justifications provided for its laws, where they exist?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I am not entirely sold on the idea that judicial review should take into account whether the stated reason for a law is a good one or not. But I think they should take into account whether or not any given interpretation of the law satisfies the justification, or indeed whether the law itself could satisfy its justification.

    (That is, given a law “In order to protect our towns from tigers, the state shall employ trained tiger-capturing professionals in all cities of population over 10,000”, I am not convinced it is valid for the courts to strike the law down on the basis “That’s a dumb reason to have a law.” However, if the law is “In order to protect our towns from tigers, the state shall maintain a system of trails made out of fresh steak leading from all tiger habitats to preschools”, the court would be justified in saying “Steak trails leading from tiger enclosures to preschools could not possibly keep towns safe from tiger attacks, therefore this law is invalid”)

  • Water_Bear

    The Supreme Court isn’t supposed to make factual judgements; that’s a legislative issue. That’s not to say they can’t make fun of silly laws, they do, but it’s irrelevant to their job if the law would actually work as long as it’s constitutionally valid.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     (nods) That makes sense.

    I think in the same spirit I would say that if the law says “In order to protect our towns from tigers, the state shall employ
    trained tiger-capturing professionals in all cities of population over
    10,000”, and thirty years later tigers are extinct, part of the system (maybe the courts, maybe the legislature, maybe something else) should acknowledge that implementing “the state shall employ
    trained tiger-capturing professionals in all cities of population over
    10,000” without reference to the non-existence of tigers is not being true to the law as written.

  • mud man

    essential to living the way God intended for us to live

    There are those who would build the Temple,
    And those who prefer that the Temple should not be built.
    In the days of Nehemiah the Prophet
    There was no exception to the general rule.
        ….
    There were enemies without to destroy him.
    And spies and self-seekers within,
    When he and his men laid their hands to rebuilding the wall.
    So they built as men must build
    With the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.
        ….
    O weariness of men who turn from God
    To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action, …
    Binding the earth and the water to your service, …
    Plotting of happiness and flinging empty bottles, …
        ….
    Remembering the words of Nehemiah the Prophet: “The trowel
    in hand, and the gun rather loose in the holster.”
    Those who sit in a house of which the use is forgotten: are like
    snakes that lie on mouldering stairs, content in the sunlight.
    And the others run about like dogs, full of enterprise, sniffing 
    and barking: they say, “This house is a nest of serpents, let us 
    destroy it …”
    http://www.arak29.am/PDF_PPT/6-Literature/Eliot/Chtherock_eng.htm

  • mud man

    NYT: “A society that is relying on guys with guns to stop violence is a sign of a society where institutions have broken down,” said Rebecca Peters, former director of the International Action Network on Small Arms. “

    There you are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    First of all, can you PLEASE give some kind of hint about a link you’ve posted before you send us to a cesspit like Town-freaking-hall?!?

    Second, the Barber piece simply reminds me of the dirty truth that dare not be spoken aloud: if fascism ever comes to America, people like Barber and the rest of the NRA nuts won’t be the heroic insurgency fighting against it like the Wolverines of legend. They’ll be the guys goose-stepping down the street with bright red arm bands and automatic weapons ready to start something with anyone insufficiently loyal to the new regime.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    First of all, can you PLEASE give some kind of hint about a link you’ve posted before you send us to a cesspit like Town-freaking-hall?!?

    This. 

    For someone who has defended trigger warnings so vigorously, Fred sure seems allergic to using them ever for anything. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZNNUWEXUPQUQAYGBFDHTEIJBUI Joshua

    Seriously. I can’t imagine this guy standing up for the rights of anyone who is not exactly like him. I don’t think he’s a Black Shirt or anything, but from historical evidence guys like that are usually enthusiastic about violating the civil liberties of others; as long  as they, personally, are left alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    On the Brian Zahnd post, it’s interesting how emblematic the comments are of how out of sync with reality people get as soon as you say something that could be construed as even remotely negative about guns.

    Post:  I’ve chosen not to own any guns and here’s why.  I respect the fact that you’ve made different choices, and all I’m asking is for you to respect my choices.

    Comments:  ZOMG!  Why are you trying to take away our guns???  Jesus loves guns!  Second Amendment!  Tyranny!  Hitler!!!!!one!!!

    Regarding the assorted comments that have been made about if slaves/Jews/whoever had been armed bad things wouldn’t have happened, has anyone pointed out that if Jesus had been packing the Romans wouldn’t have been able to crucify him?

    As for the Barber piece…fuck it.  Just get off your asses and start your glorious goddamn revolution already; I’d almost rather you just get it over with and shoot me than have to put up with any more of this deluded nonsense.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

     “Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority.”

    Perhaps more than anything, these are people who want to see themselves and be acknowledged by others as the eternal normative standard for the USA. From this basis there is no such thing as polite disagreement, only competing claims to the One True Path.   

    Proclaiming themselves as part of a righteous militia, constantly ready to make physical war on whatever evil, is a means of asserting a paternal relationship to society. 

  • gocart mozart

    “If Jesus had been packing, the Romans wouldn’t have been able to crucify him?”

    This cannot be repeated often enough.

  • fredgiblet

    “has anyone pointed out that if Jesus had been packing the Romans wouldn’t have been able to crucify him?”

    But then he wouldn’t have died for our sins and he wouldn’t be able to come back and show all the non-believers how cool the believers are.

  • Ian

    Joe Biden has reached an interesting level of fame such that any article purportedly written by him is both an obvious forgery and a credit to his name.

  • LL

    Maybe a law that prohibits anyone whose mishandling of a weapon has resulted in injury or death to others from owning any guns at all would placate both sides. Well, OK, placate the anti-gun people more, but still. 

    If you shoot your own wife in the leg in a restaurant while digging around in your pants pocket, you shouldn’t be allowed to own any guns. Ever. 

  • Albanaeon

    Well, here’s another liberal that’s okay with guns.  Aside from being ex-military, I do wonder though if it is more a “Western US” thing, because you can’t swing a cat and not find a half dozen hunters. 

    But Madhamatics is definitely on to something with what feels like a growing discontent between the sportspeople and the gun-nut.  There’s still an overlap in the group, but a fair amount of the people I know who hunt are getting fed up with being included with the hysteria driven folks.  For one, most of them are extremely careful with their guns, probably as nothing drives home what a gun can really do like killing an animal (often larger than you) with a twitch of a finger.  Second, the “take my gun from my cold, dead hands” rhetoric can quickly bury a host of other issues that sportspeople are concerned with, like hunting rights, environmental concerns, etc. that the NRA frequently makes allies with people AGAINST those things.

    I hope its not just wishful thinking, but I hope that a more reasonable NRA starts working with environmentalists in the not too far future.

  • Lori

     

    Aside from being ex-military, I do wonder though if it is more a
    “Western US” thing, because you can’t swing a cat and not find a half
    dozen hunters.   

    I don’t think it’s a Western thing. We’ve up to our gun racks in hunters here in the Midwest too and have been for as long as I can remember. IME the divide isn’t by region it’s semi-rural and rural vs suburban & urban.

  • fredgiblet

    Gun enthusiasts are frequently obsessive about safety as well.  I’ve been to Practical Rifle shoots where we paused everything for a half-hour to move a target 5 feet because maybe, possibly if someone sneezed when they fired their gun a bullet might, maybe have hit the slope below the target and ricocheted into the air and landed somewhere it shouldn’t.  When we’re 5 miles from town.

    I hope the NRA dies a quick death and gets replaced by an organization that advocates for gun owners instead of gun manufacturers.

  • Isabel C.

    And that’s where I really roll my eyes at these guys.

    Okay, I kind of roll them at the crowd that thinks they really really need semiautomatic weapons to pursue their hobbies, because people have been hunting deer with bows and arrows for millennia, so suck it up and put down the artificial penis. (Also, if it was provable that making a facet of my hobby slightly less convenient made it less likely that many people would get killed, I like to think I’d accept that with a modicum of grace and adult behavior.)

    But really, the people who piss me off in this are the ZOMG SECOND AMENDMENT TYRANNY BLACK HELICOPTERS FEDGOV CONSPIRACY hand-flappy crowd.  Point the first:  everything everyone else has said about the Second Amendment and muskets. Point the second: holy shit, guys, if you think the government has a supa-sekrit conspiracy to TAKE AWAY YOUR LIBERTEH with black helicopters and everything, what in the name of God makes you think you and the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart stand a chance?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I know. When I’ve been in arguments with people like that and I point out that the US government has tanks, planes, frakking nukes, I ask them what makes them think unrestricted gun ownership will help, and they always nebulously fell back on, “Well, we don’t think the US military will fire on US citizens.”

    In the pinch, all it takes is one soldier who’ll follow those orders rather than risk court-martial and a stretch in Leavenworth for failure to obey orders, and Whitey McPatriot is still gonna be deader than dead.

  • P J Evans

     I’d remind the of Ft Sumter  and the four-plus years after that. Where the US military fired on a lotof US citizens. Plus assorted other occasions, including firing on striking workers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    If you don’t think that the military will attack civilians, then why bother with the guns in the first place? It’s like saying, “I firmly believe that no one will ever rob my house, but I need an entire arsenal in my basement to ward off robbers.” You can believe one or the other, but not both. 

  • Lori

    They think of the government and the military as separate things. The government is against them, the military is for them. They see themselves needing to take up arms against something “the government” does* and succeeding because the military refuses to follow orders.

    This is totally delusional, but AFAICT it’s basically what they think.

    *The exact thing that would require this fantasy armed insurection varies from nutbar to nutbar. The most common one is of course trying to Take All The Guns, but I’ve heard election of the wrong president and attempts to collect taxes plenty of times too.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What are they teaching in civics lessons these days? o.O

  • fredgiblet

    They aren’t.  At least not anywhere that I’ve seen (which is admittedly a small sampling).

  • Lori

     

    What are they teaching in civics lessons these days? o.O  

    To the best of my knowledge no one teaches civics as such any more. I had it when I was a kid, but between then and now it seems to have gone the way of the dodo. I assume they teach at least most of the basic concepts as part of American history, but something seems to be lost by not having it presented as “civics”.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Belated comment is belated because belated email delivery failure notif is belated:

    So it’s never occurred to them that, with respect to the country’s
    population as a whole (weighted by age, since military folk are pretty
    much either career or an-enlistment-or-two and the latter demographic is
    quite young), the military is heavily skewed towards poor men of color?
    Not a demographic that has much love for Republicans. Especially the
    young ones, and I refer you to my parenthetical.

  • Baby_Raptor

    They think the military is full of idiots like them: Conservatives who really hate the Liberals and really, really just want to shoot things.

    In reality, that’s nowhere near the truth. Speaking as someone who did 4 years in the Army, yeah. There are a fair chunk of bible-thumping Conservatives wearing a uniform. They’re mainly over in the Air Force and to a lesser extent, the Navy.

    The people that would likely be the first on the ground if shit hit the fan would be the Army and maybe the reserves. And they aren’t anywhere near as Red as the gun nuts think they are. Also, they have it pounded into their heads from Day 1 of Basic to follow orders. So I highly doubt there’d be a lot of defecting and people refusing to shoot.

    Also, there tends to be a high amount of Officer worship, at least from what I saw. So if you have a group of Solders getting told that those guys over there are the enemy, the Soldiers are probably going to believe such and go shoot. 

  • reynard61

    “When I’ve been in arguments with people like that and I point out that the US government has tanks, planes, frakking nukes, I ask them what makes them think unrestricted gun ownership will help, and they always nebulously fell back on, ‘Well, we don’t think the US military will fire on it’s own citizens.'”

    Next time someone tries to feed you that tripe, you just give them these three words to rattle around in their empty heads: Bonus Army uprising.

    If a Republican President was willing to send two well-trained Regiments of Infantry and Cavalry (including six tanks) and deploy gas and bayonets against a group of unarmed Veterans, then what makes them think that a well-trained group of U.S. Army (or Marine) troops will hesitate to pull the trigger on a bunch of armed rowdies/yahoos/idiots if so ordered? The Second Amendment is written on parchment, not armor plate.

  • Isabel C.

    That and a little place called Kent State, yeah.

  • reynard61

    “That and a little place called Kent State, yeah.”

    I had actually planned on using the Kent State shootings as my example, but the circumstances for that were slightly different. Apparently the National Guard Sergeant who first started firing against the students did so *without authorization*, whereas the actions against the Bonus Army had, at least until MacArthur ordered the second charge under his own authority, the backing of President Hoover.

  • Isabel C.

    I’m not sure if that’s more or less disturbing, really. But good point.

  • P J Evans

     *without authorization*

    At least officially ‘without authorization’. But someone had them load live ammunition. And there are still questions about what they might have heard – whether someone yelled something that sounded like orders to fire.

  • Anton_Mates

    When I’ve been in arguments with people like that and I point out that the US government has tanks, planes, frakking nukes, I ask them what makes them think unrestricted gun ownership will help, and they always nebulously fell back on, “Well, we don’t think the US military will fire on US citizens.”

    Right, because the US military is made up of pacifists.  The gun nuts are perfectly happy to fire on US citizens if those citizens are threatening them, trying to steal their stuff, trespassing on their property, being brown, or working for the wrong side of this hypothetical civil war, but the military is going to play so much nicer!

    Lori,

    They think of the government and the military as separate things. The government is against them, the military is for them. They see themselves needing to take up arms against something “the government” does* and succeeding because the military refuses to follow orders.

    Which is one reason why the U.N. (or equivalent menaces from distant, probably-not-white lands) is so important to the fantasy.  If the US military is their friend, then it’s not entirely clear what they need guns for; how’s the rest of the government going to attack them in the first place?  IRS agents, USPS employees and Democratic legislators marching into battle with polearms and flails?

    Fortunately, the U.N.’s there to back up Darth Obama with legions of bloodthirsty Mexicans and Chinese and Mexicans and French and don’t forget the Mexicans.  They’re mindlessly obedient and impossible to reason with, so you can blow them away without guilt, just like zombies.

    Of course, if the US military actually turns against the government and the New World Order, then the gun nuts are still useless, because they can’t possibly influence the outcome of a war on that scale. The only way they can play heroes is if the military simply refuses to fight at all and sort of goes home and sits there glumly playing MMOs.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    And you know what will make US soldiers LESS likely to fire on US Citizens. 

    If they are UNarmed. 

  • AnonymousSam

    This has been making the rounds on Facebook: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/734627_10151358640831178_1168253991_n.jpg

    The logic of this picture infuriates me.

    First of all, if you see someone breaking into the home of your neighbors, whether or not you have a gun is irrelevant. What you should be doing is calling the police and reporting a robbery in progress. The last thing you should ever do is confront a criminal, because that’s when people die — and it isn’t always the criminal, or, for that matter, the vigilante. Being a gun-toting hero is just one more ridiculous fantasy that these people want everyone to indulge as often as possible.

    Secondly, even assuming nothing ever happens because of this sign, intentionally trying to get people robbed/hurt/whatever? Not cool. I don’t care whether your neighbor is a heroin addict on disability who uses his checks to fraudulently buy oxycontin and abuses his kids when he’s high — his death might be the best thing to ever happen to his family, but it isn’t your responsibility to make sure it happens.

    Thirdly, what kind of horrible world do we live in where if you saw someone robbing your neighbor’s house, you’d shrug and say “That’s what he deserves for not wanting innocent people to die” and go about your business?

  • Kiba

    First of all, if you see someone breaking into the home of your neighbors, whether or not you have a gun is irrelevant. What you should be doing is calling the police and reporting a robbery in progress.

    When I was living at my old apartment I came home after work and my door wouldn’t open. The cheap plastic innards of the lock had shattered when I went to unlock the front door. I pounded on the door and neither my brother or our roommate woke up. It was after office hours so the leasing office was closed and I didn’t have a cell phone (the one payphone near by was broken) and couldn’t call. I lived on the second floor and ended up having to climb up from my downstairs neighbor’s patio to my balcony and luckily one of the living room windows wasn’t latched so I was able to crawl into my apartment.

    I’m really thankful, and I live in Texas, that none of my neighbors saw me and, if they happened to own a fire arm, decide to take potshots at me. Seriously, if you see someone breaking into a house/apartment just call the cops. It might not even be a burglar you end up shooting if you decide to play hero.  

  • AnonymousSam

    *Nods* This exact scenario and others were going through my head as I wrote that. I’ve had to break into my own home too. The other big one is taking a shot at a robber and having the bullet hit a bystander. In the dark, all silhouettes are evil thugs, right?

  • Anton_Mates

     If I was the neighbor, and also eight years old, I’d be strongly be tempted to put up my own sign reading “My next door neighbor has lots of guns and ammo!  All I’VE got to steal is a bike, a laptop and a blender! Out of respect for their opinion, if I see you making off with their arsenal, I promise not to do anything sissy like call the police!”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The sheer unselfconscious hiding-in-bubblish “fuck you Jack, I got mine” mentality infesting some Americans is in full flower on that sign, and for a member of a right-wing political movement that often praises the American value of “freely given charity”, folks like that show their true colors PDQ under the proper stimulus.

  • P J Evans

     I suspect that’ it’s a nice piece of photo-shopping; the neighbors would most likely have made the resident take that sign down fast.

  • arcseconds

     Are you quite sure you’re sociopathic? Because you sound far more empathic (and good-natured) than anyone who’d create this image (I’m hoping it’s an image, and not an actual sign…).

  • AnonymousSam

    There was a time when I was almost as bad. I’ve just come to certain realizations about the meaning of life (or at least, my life). If I permitted myself to behave according to my base instincts, I’d be too busy snarling about how I wanted to kill this disgusting prick.

    Whether or not it’s an image or a real sign is almost irrelevant. Someone made it, and people are fist-pumping at it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Whenever Sam mentions his sociopathy, I think of this:

    Thereafter he walked very carefully, with his eyes on the road, and
    when he saw a tiny ant toiling by he would step over it, so as not to
    harm it. The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore
    he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything. “You
    people with hearts,” he said, “have something to guide you, and need
    never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. When
    Oz gives me a heart of course I needn’t mind so much.”

    — L  Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  • AnonymousSam

    This didn’t appear in my e-mail subscription. I wish it had. This means something to me, although I’m not sure how to articulate what.

    But I disagree with the Tin Woodman. If I had a heart, I would need to mind more than ever, lest it be a bad heart and lead me astray.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    If it helps, I think the Tin Man was working from a definition of “heart” that precludes that possibility.

  • AnonymousSam

    It remains an interesting thought, because in the end, the heart Oz gave him was made of velvet and sawdust, if memory serves — and while this is a land of magic we’re talking about, no implication was ever made that the heart was anything but symbolic. Despite the fact that the loss of his heart prevented him from falling in love, he is shown to be one of the most compassionate characters in the series, so the artificial heart turns out to be good enough after all.

    Makes one wonder what a heart is supposed to be after all. If my consideration is the result of constantly making myself stop and think of others, is that really inferior to someone for whom this comes naturally, but only sporadically?

  • hidden_urchin

    In my mind, it is not. I have been thinking for some time that you show more compassion, more heart, than a lot of people out there. You’re just taking a slightly different path.

  • AnonymousSam

    ^^; I don’t trust myself to write a more elaborate response, so…

    <3

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Not shown: Sign on the next lawn over reading “I ain’t got shit. The guy next door has like $3k worth of guns and isn’t nearly as good a shot as he thinks he is.”

  • reynard61

    “This has been making the rounds on Facebook(…)”

    If you look carefully where the sign’s posts enter the ground, you’ll notice that there is no shadow that corresponds with the angle of the sun — or, indeed, any shadow *at all* under the sign. The photo was ‘shopped. I’ll leave it to you to judge the validity of the opinion of the ‘shopper…

  • Münchner Kindl

     You forgot the biggest logic fail: The neighbour is not armed with guns =! the neighbours house is not secured with a security system, solid-core doors, and an alarm that calls the police.

    Obviously, the guns of the shield-owner magically deter burglars better than a solid door with a deadbolt lock.

  • Tapetum

     As an aside, I get very tired of the gun-nuts conflating having no guns with being unarmed with having no means of defense. These things are not equal. My house has no guns. We do, however, have: tonfa, batons,  staff, sai, nunchuks, paint guns, air pistols,  a katana, and a freaking broadsword! All of which I guarantee we know how to use better than someone random who breaks in. (No, I’m not that paranoid, I teach karate, my husband does paintball, we’ve both done some medieval re-enactment). As a bonus, I can also be pretty certain that neither we, our children, nor our children’s friends are going to be able to accidentally kill someone with any of it.

    Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything you say. What horrible people to have as neighbors!

  • AnonymousSam

    The whole “liberals hate guns so of course they are ignorant about them, frightened of them and refuse to do anything to better themselves” shtick sounds a lot like Haidt’s “liberals can’t understand conservatives, but conservatives understand liberals and argue from far better defined positions” bullshit too.

  • redsixwing

    Tell me the Barber link is a poe? No?
    …no?

    ‘scuse me, I have to go despair of humanity for a while.

  • caryjamesbond

    what in the name of God makes you think you and the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart stand a chance?The past fifty years of military history? Or did we not just watch a bunch of lightly armed terrorists wreak havoc on the US military for a decade? Determined, lightly armed resistance movements that know the territory and have the determination to win can raise a hell of a mess. Combine that with the idea that the US government could get little to no popular support for military action on its own citizens and I’d say a large resistance with small arms and the occasional fertilizer IED, and willing to take causalities, could have a shot at success. 

  • JoshuaS

    Not a really good analogy. All of those insurgencies took place in other countries. The homefield advantage was present, as well as a disconnect between the fighting and the interests of the military. A civil insurrection in the United States itself wouldn’t be seen that way; our military is made up of citizens who live and often grew up here. They wouldn’t be fighting for someone else’s home — they would be fighting for their own home.

    A better analogy than Afghanistan or Iraq would be the US Civil War, if the Confederate side was even more mismatched. And the real issue with an insurrection like that would be getting popular support. Don’t just assume that if a group of citizens decided to take on the federal government that popular support would be on their side the same way that it would be if they took on foreign invaders (like “Red Dawn”). If the rebels were basically new Confederates or Aryan Nations types, I know I personally wouldn’t support them at all, even if I didn’t like the current President.

    That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be nightmarish for both sides, only that you can’t compare the US government’s experiences fighting an ill-defined war in a foreign country with the US government’s experiences dealing with armed insurrection in its own country.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I’d say a large resistance with small arms and the occasional fertilizer IED, and willing to take causalities

    This is a sticking point. They’re not willing to take casualties. They’re not willing to to make sacrifices. They’re not even willing to cede a few of their privileges.

    First one gets shot, and they will fold.

    The confederates weren’t willing to die for a principled stand on their cause — they were willing to die because they way they saw it, it was die fighting the union or die when the people they’d spent centuries enslaving gave them the retribution they deserved.

    Also, the one thing that the American Public would like less than “The government opens fire on its own citizens?” It’s “Traitorous rebel civilians open fire on our beloved troops.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Soviets very handily squashed Ukrainian partisans by the 1950s, so asymmetrical warfare does not strictly follow the partisan handbook written by Josip Broz Tito.

  • Lori

    Determined, lightly armed resistance movements that know the territory
    and have the determination to win can raise a hell of a mess.

    Against a force that doesn’t know the territory and has no real personal investment in the overall outcome, yes. In a brother-against-brother fight on home territory the situation gets a lot less clear.

    Combine that with the idea that the US government could get little to no popular support for military action on its own citizens 

    I think you vastly over-estimate this. You’re assuming that a fair percentage of the not-directly-involved population would side with the “insurgents”. This is nowhere near the sure thing. We have a truly staggering number of guns in this country, but they’re in the hands of a shrinking percentage of the population. Episodes of mass gun violence, the appalling response of the NRA and the fact that gun owners talk about non-gun owners as if they’re less than is creating an increasing number of non-gun owners who view gun owners as fundamentally Other. Anyone who thinks that the government wouldn’t stoke those feelings in advance of taking on the Wolverines! is not thinking things through. That is not a recipe for a good outcome for this country.

  • m11_9

    When you see children and teens lumped together in the chart like that, they are hiding the impacts of the drug war on the urban community, which is not a gun culture problem as much as a drug prohibition problem which manifests in that violence.

    A more honest number would strip out the war on drugs.

  • Andrew K

    I quick note about one of the people Fred Clark linked to.

    I live in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian Zahnd is the pastor of Word of Life Church. It is what I would characterize as a megachurch. 

    When I first arrived in Saint Joseph, Pastor Zahnd would have been charitably described as fairly close to a Word of Faith preacher. A few years ago, I was meeting with one of my clergy friends, and we started talking about Brian Zahnd. He told me that Zahnd has been through a pretty significant change, examining and re-examining his beliefs, in part because he has been reading Walter Brueggemann and Miroslav Volf. Indeed, Zahnd has been in dialog with Prof. Volf, as Volf has been extending his dialog with the Muslim community. 

    I would not characterize Zahnd as a liberal, by any means, but his church has a bookstore, and they carry a great mix of theologians and writers. Zahnd is also someone whose change has cost him. He has lost many of his contacts in the fundamentalist and evangelical community as he has broadened his theology and recognized the breadth of God’s mercy and grace.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say something.

  • VMink

    I’ve yet to get up the gumption to post this in response to these ‘more guns are better!” posts.

    ‘In Your Opinion, TRUE OR FALSE: If Trayvon Martin had been legally carrying a concealed weapon, he would have been alive the following morning.’

  • Lori

    ‘In Your Opinion, TRUE OR FALSE: If Trayvon Martin had been legally
    carrying a concealed weapon, he would have been alive the following
    morning.’   

    False, but it would have been the first cop on the scene in response to Zimmerman’s 911 call who shot him to death, not George Zimmerman.

  • fredgiblet

    Insufficient information.  Too many variables to be certain.  It would certainly improve his odds though.  Lori definitely has a point as well, though if he wasn’t stupid he’d have the gun unloaded and out of his hands before the cops show up, no reason to make them tell you to do it when you know full well it’s coming.

  • Lori

    Trayvon Martin was a black teenage boy. George Zimmerman was perceived as white. I’m not convinced there’s much a black teenage boy can do to stay safe from the police after brandishing a gun at a white man. And if Trayvon had actually shot Zimmerman in self-defense then call me cynical, but I put his odds of surviving once the police arrived at, not zero, but a very, very low number, no matter what he did with the gun.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Conversation’s moved on while Disqus was trying to deliver this email, but…

    if he wasn’t stupid he’d have the gun unloaded and out of his hands
    before the cops show up, no reason to make them tell you to do it when
    you know full well it’s coming.

    So our hypothetical
    armed Trayvon should unload and set down the gun that is
    all that is keeping him from being shot by the
    other guy with a gun, who is
    not unloading and setting down his gun because he
    (unlike Trayvon) looks convincingly enough white to
    know the cops won’t shoot him first to break the
    standoff.

    Even if I accept all your other premises (including the one that
    puts a concealed-carry license in the hands of a
    minor, please tell me that’s not actually legal),
    that sounds like bullshit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, Tito’s partisans had several advantages working in their favor:

    1. The local occupation troops (aside from the Ustashe) were not first-rate troops; they were anyone who managed to avoid getting sent to the Russian Front.

    2. They also didn’t know Yugoslavia that well (which exposes the weakness in blitz tactics: You can overwhelm an enemy, but if they can get any purchase at all to fight back, it becomes a battle of wills).

    3. The Allies were airlifting supplies and weapons to the partisans.

    4. Most crucially, Tito and the AVNOJ counselled and put into practice a pan-Yugoslav response to the occupation, which helped solidify cultural solidarity against an external threat.

    ===

    1. With Iraq and Afghanistan draw-downs, the US military has no shortage of first-rate crack troops who’ve actually seen battle and know how to fight, because they’ve experienced the nastiest of all – urban warfare.

    2. As Lori says, the US military has home-front advantage, especially when linking up with the local cops and/or FBI and/or National Guard.

    3. The US military is somewhat self-contained so it can tolerate supply-line disruptions. By contrast there is a necessarily finite amount of weapons and ammo the self-styled heroes will have access to. They really think Canada’s gonna airlift squat? Canadians tend to look with jaundiced eyes on American gun culture to begin with.

    4. The USA is culturally fragmented. Right-wing whites will not easily find common cause with people of color, especially when the military is overrepresented with them to begin with. Left-wing whites will have varied responses to the subject but I suspect the majority response there will be to wash their hands of the matter and hunker down and let the heroes-in-their-own-minds slug it out with the armed forces.

    I defer to Lori, however, if I have gotten any of these wrong.

  • Lori

     

    I defer to Lori, however, if I have gotten any of these wrong.  

    No, your points are all fair. The thing I was talking about was the foreign occupier issue. There are a couple of guys who have studied insurgencies and set up a huge database of information about them, looking at all sort of factors. One of the main things they wanted to know is which ones succeed and which fail. Unsurprisingly that’s a complicated question with no simple answer, but the single best indicator of insurgent success is being able to portray the enemy as a foreign occupier. If you can convince the population, the water in which you swim to coin a phrase, that you are “them” and those you are fighting are “Other” you’ve got a far better chance of success than you do in a situation recognized as a civil war. It helps a lot if the other guys really are foreign, but if they’re not there are ways that you can make them foreign for your purposes.

    That’s a big part of the reason that the nutters want to carve out territory for themselves*, like the group that wants to build a fortress town and call it The Citadel or those people taking over the northwest corner of Montana. Whether they realize it or not, if the fight they fantasize is coming is broad (never mind nation-wide) they will get their asses kicked because it will be an obvious civil war and most people will see them as the problem. In order to have any hope of holding territory in their glorious future they have to artificially create a space were the government is a foreign occupier. That’s also obviously a big driver behind the idiotic “sovereign citizen” movement.

    *It may be unconscious. I haven’t done a lot of detailed reading about the more recent versions of this, so I don’t know how aware the leaders are or how willing they are to acknowledge the underlying logic.

  • Kiba

    like the group that wants to build a fortress town and call it The Citadel

    XD

    http://www.iiicitadel.com/index.html

    Then there’s Glen Beck’s bubble libertopia he wants to build somewhere in Texas (at the tune of 2 billion).

  • Lori

    The Citadel people are, I don’t even know. Just not in touch with our reality. Beck’s version is more understandable in that his motivation is obvious greed. He wants to build a really big version of Celebration, FL for wingnuts.

    The thing that shouldn’t surprise me, but does, is that The Citadel is apparently not an outright scam. AFAICT someone actually thinks they can make this thing fly. Celebration was built by Disney, a company with a huge amount of money. It’s average household income is more than twice the national average. It sits in the middle of a well-populated area, so people have access to jobs and services outside the (incredibly faux) town.

    Celebration has fewer than 8k residents. The Citadel folks are looking to build something with 5-10 times the population of Celebration, in the middle of nowhere. The county where they want to build currently has a double digit poverty rate, an unemployment rate over 10% and average income about 20% below the national average.

    The county seat, which as far as I can tell is the largest town in the county, is about the same size as the town I currently live in. Trust me when I tell you that my town doesn’t have much in it. The difference is that I live 8 miles from a larger town that at least has the basics and less than an hour from 2 cities that are on the list of the 100 largest cities in the US (Fort Wayne and Toledo, so not exactly NYC, but still). Idaho doesn’t have a single city anywhere in the state that’s in the top 100 (Boise is 101st).

    My point being, both services and employment oppertunities are in short supply in Benewah County, Idaho.  I have no idea how they think it can sustain a community of 3500-7000 new families, even assuming they can get anywhere near that many people to buy in. They figure building the town will wipe out the county’s unemployment and poverty, but I don’t think they’re thinking this through. The idea of a self-sustaining community is really appealing to a lot of people, but they don’t actually work over the long term.

  • Kiba

    My point being, both services and employment oppertunities are in short supply in Benewah County, Idaho.  I have no idea how they think it can sustain a community of 3500-7000 new families, even assuming they can get anywhere near that many people to buy in.</blockquote

    Well, from the town "plans" I think they are all supposed to work at the arms factory or, maybe, the farmer's market. There's so much wrong with their plan it's not even funny. You would think with their siege mentality that they would have better thought out things like water supply, food supply and storage, medical care (no hospital at all shown) and, of course, planed something that didn't look like it was designed (poorly) for medieval warfare.

    As for Beck's thing…he wants it to have a lake the size of Disney World and he wants the entire thing enclosed in a bubble and it's supposed to be self-sustaining (all their own businesses and a theme park, but, as far I know, no mention on food production) which I don't see how. But really, he wants to enclose something larger than Disney World in a bubble…I don't think 2 billion is going to cover it.

  • Kiba

    What the hell Discuss?!? The part it chopped off:

    Well, from the town “plans” I think they are all supposed to work at the arms factory or, maybe, the farmer’s market. There’s so much wrong with their plan it’s not even funny. You would think with their siege mentality that they would have better thought out things like water supply, food supply and storage, medical care (no hospital at all shown) and, of course, planed something that didn’t look like it was designed (poorly) for medieval warfare.

    As for Beck’s thing…he wants it to have a lake the size of Disney World and he wants the entire thing enclosed in a bubble and it’s supposed to be self-sustaining (all their own businesses and a theme park, but, as far I know, no mention on food production) which I don’t see how. But really, he wants to enclose something larger than Disney World in a bubble…I don’t think 2 billion is going to cover it. 

  • Lori

    You would think with their siege mentality that they would have better
    thought out things like water supply, food supply and storage, medical
    care (no hospital at all shown) and, of course, planed something that
    didn’t look like it was designed (poorly) for medieval warfare. 

    I guess the Citadel folks think that 30k people can live off the land, what with all the guns and all. Someone should really mention to them that if you’re going to do the whole back to the land commune, I mean “self-sustaining community”, thing you really need a location with a longer growing season and more arable land than northern Idaho. Even if your commune is heavily armed.

    But really, he wants to enclose something larger than Disney World in a bubble…I don’t think 2 billion is going to cover it.   

    Well, he definitely wants to talk about enclosing something larger than Disney World inside a bubble, but I suspect there’s no actual intent to build it. Beck is a huckster.

  • P J Evans

    Incident 150 years ago (original spelling and punctuation):

    ohn the 6th the old forty First had to stand gard over the 101 Illinois
    and I tel you what it went against the grain for to stand gard over a
    regiment that ought to of ben a doing their duty whe could to of shot
    them with a beter grace than a rebel the infernal Devils because thay
    was put ohn half rations after the rail roads was tore up and our
    suplies burnt at holley springs and thay had three months pay due them
    that thay had not recived thay threw down their arms Gave thre Cheers
    for Jeff Davis and swore that thay would not do their duty until thay
    recived their pay and ful rations thay are under arest and the forty
    first wants the job of shooting the mutinous rascals

    Just in case anyone still thinks the US military wouldn’t be willing to fire on US citizens: this is a relatively small provocation, and it doesn’t even show up in the regimental histories.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh, FFS.

    Trigger warning: A lot of people who should know better shamelessly stroking their muzzles in public: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/22/ohio-state-board-of-education-president-compares-obama-to-hitler/

    This part in particular makes me stop and stare. From “Dr. Jim Garrow,”

    “I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new ‘litmus test’ in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. ‘The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.’ Those who will not are being removed.”

    I call shenanigans. LOUD EVIL SHENANIGANS.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh, FFS.

    Trigger warning: A lot of people who should know better shamelessly stroking their muzzles in public: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/22/ohio-state-board-of-education-president-compares-obama-to-hitler/

    This part in particular makes me stop and stare. From “Dr. Jim Garrow,”

    “I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new ‘litmus test’ in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. ‘The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.’ Those who will not are being removed.”

    I call shenanigans. LOUD EVIL SHENANIGANS.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    It’s like they’re following this blog and trying to Xanatos-Speed-Chess their way to whooping up the right-wing tinfoil hat brigade. O_O

  • Lori

     

    I call shenanigans. LOUD EVIL SHENANIGANS.   

    As well you should.

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