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.”

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

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

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • fredgiblet

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • Isabel C.

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

  • 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.

  • Isabel C.

    That and a little place called Kent State, yeah.

  • 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.

  • Münchner Kindl
  • 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. 

  • 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”.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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”.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • P J Evans

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Isabel C.

    See my reply to vsm. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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://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://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.

  • 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.’

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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