‘Be bold. Be courageous.’

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This is the horror of the whole country.”

The Scriptures call us to love our neighbors more than we love our guns.”

“The Big Lie about guns is this: that they will keep you safe. But facts are facts, and actually, the opposite is true. Owning a gun will make you less safe.”

“One of the major reasons that gun-policy disputes are often so contentious and interminable is that there’s remarkably little hard evidence to go on. And that ignorance is partly by design.”

“No. 14: Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”

“It’™s a sad commentary on the drift of the gun control debate over the years that this modest package has ‘overjoyed’ advocates of stronger gun regulation, and is already being described by some conservative gabbers as as representing the end of American freedom and the destruction of the US Constitution.”

“Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, was heckled by gun advocates during a legislative hearing on Monday.”

“Still, when Wayne LaPierre says ‘It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!’ he is obviously Saying The Thing That Is Not. As with the Romney campaign, reporters will have to decide whether to report the falsity of the charge in the same sentence in which they report the charge.”

How the deuce am I not on the NRA enemies list?

“Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.”

Gun control laws, Allen Keyes says, are “intended to make sure that people will be slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands.”

“My brother was backing out fast because he was scared and he rolled down the window to say he was sorry and he was not doing anything wrong. Then the guy shot him in his head.”

“The number of people who died by shooting themselves was almost four times greater in the high-gun states.”

“In no other part of criminal law or public health do we dismiss effective policies because they’•re not 100-percent effective.”

Can you imagine if there was a place called Islamic Solider Firearms?

The gods fail not to mark / Those who have killed many.”

 

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  • AnonaMiss

    As someone who watches Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed on roughly a bimonthly basis*, I would love to see the Creation Institute & co.’s response to the news that statistical research on the effects of gun ownership has been banned.

    * About as often as I watch The Room, and for the same reasons. 

  • SergeantHeretic

    To this day, it absolutly blows my mind that their is so much resistence in this country to admitting that the prevalence of gun-violence and gun deaths i nthe United States, might just be tied, not just to the prevelence and ubiquity of guns, but also t othe prevelence and ubiquity of the fetishized idolotry of gun culture.

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

    Indeed. (PS: Hihi! i love your TL on ah.com)

    As a Canadian I always an astonished at the degree of unhealthy attachment some Americans have to the idea of guns as a kind of symbol as opposed to a concrete thing.

    And unfortunately, it seeps north, too. Canadian gun owners have, in fact, actively aided in trying to sabotage the gun registry since it was established almost 20 years ago. One tactic they liked to do was to purposely snarl up the system by repeatedly asking for the same forms to be mailed out, which drives up costs and wastes paper.

    Another was to pressure provincial governments to opt out of information sharing programs which would have increased the effectiveness of the gun registry.

  • Carstonio

    Am I guilty of every-problem-looks-like-a-nail thinking when I suspect that this whole issue is a proxy for racial paranoia? Not just the NRA and ALEC using the time-tested Southern Strategy euphemisms, but just the idea of guns for personal protection. On its face, LaPierre’s rhetoric resembles fallen-world theology clumsily translated into secular terms, where one has to be prepared to kill to survive. The scenario collapses without the myths about blacks’ alleged propensity for crime. Someone unfamiliar with the history of US racism might assume that he was living in a Ralphie Parker heroic fantasy.

    I was surprised to see the Temptations on the NRA enemies list, mostly because four of the classic five members are dead. Unless they’re talking about Otis Williams and later member Dennis Edwards specifically.

  • AnonymousSam

    Well, people like Ted Nugent certainly aren’t convincing me otherwise.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/08/nugent-says-obama-has-a-racist-agenda-after-wee/192587

  • Jim Roberts

    If  Ted Nugent ever convinces you of anything, immediately discard that opinion. By force, if necessary.

  • AnonymousSam

    “In the event that Ted Nugent does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard his advice…”

  • Random_Lurker

    The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Ted Nugent will (probably) never threaten to stab you and, in fact, should not speak.

  • AnonymousSam

    Ted Nugent may be weighted, but he is not my companion. D:

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    can we maybe lock back his (disseminated) output to a handful of early records? And then I can go back to enjoying them without the sense of repulsion stemming from their originator?

    Not, you know, shut him up in any real fashion, just stop recording, promoting or spreading anything he does or says–voluntarily!

  • Carstonio

    I would amend SergeantHeretic’s point about “precious things” to include protecting wives from rape, because that’s part of the mythology and hero mentality involved.

    Which early records? Cat Scratch Fever and Wango Tango seemed monotonous and derivative to me. I never liked Kiss for the same reason. One record reviewer three decades ago wrote that for Nugent, restraint is a foreign concept. That’s a good description of his political rhetoric.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Aww…Cat Scratch Fever was kind of ace. Other than that I would say the man was exploiting what appears to be a moderate case of Tourette’s Syndrome by calling it a performance. 

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    I like the self-titled, first post-Amboy Dukes album, (the one with “Stranglehold” and a lot more from Derek St. Holmes on it). And the Amboy Dukes, for that matter.

    I also like Cat Scratch Fever and Free-for-All.

    But then, my taste is notoriously eccentric. And, apparently, “overly egalitarian”, so sayeth some. Which, I guess, is why I write a blog reviewing all of my records. Let’s me explain why I like them.

    Kind of dreading dealing with Free-For-All. I don’t particularly want to deal with justifiable but unrelated “He’s a horrible asshole” comments, nor…most of his fans. Oh well. Still on “C” for now…”N” is a long way off.

  • Tapetum

     Well, speaking to the racial angle, I have never, not even once, seen a gun-rights or NRA supporter suggest that Treyvon Martin wouldn’t be dead if only he’d had a gun to protect himself with.

    I wonder why that would be?

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it HERE.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Am I guilty of every-problem-looks-like-a-nail thinking when I suspect that this whole issue is a proxy for racial paranoia?

    I don’t know, but you do seem to think that every single issue is really about racism at heart. So…maybe?

  • Carstonio

    I know it comes across like that. I think it’s more that I see white privilege as a factor in numerous large social issues, and not always the major factor. The US spent most of its history with a more or less explicit racial hierarchy, and that shaped attitudes that have lingered even though many of those barriers have come down. I’m like anyone else in that I sometimes discover unexamined assumptions in my head about people who are different from me. And part of this is simply the treatment that Obama has received, where this seems like a personal issue for a large segment of the other party and of the electorate.

    Similarly, having daughters has resulted in me questioning cultural attitudes about gender. More and more they seem like rationalizations for male privilege. You know how some new fathers of daughters joke about buying shotguns? When I was single, I might have heard that and not thought about how daughters have been fatherly property in numerous cultures, and how the joke treats male violence against women as a given.

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

    I think Carstonio was subtly poking at the fact that gun owners in the USA and (to some extent) Canada seem to think every problem is solved with more, larger, and deadlier guns.

  • Carstonio

    I’d like to think I’m that clever. The gun attitude in the US is
    probably driven as much by the frontier mentality as it is by race. Both
    assume that violence is inevitable and that one has to be prepared to kill to survive.

  • Launcifer

    As an outsider, I think it’s even worse than that. Given the framing of a lot of these loaded statements and what ifs, it seems to me that they carry not just an assumption that violence is inevitable, but the implication that people should somehow want violence to be inevitable just so they can… Christ knows. Get shot after stupidly causing an escalation, I guess.

  • Carstonio

    It’s a hero mentality, with the violence being imagined having little resemblance to reality. Actual typical violence might make many of these folks shit their pants in terror.

    It’s been close to 40 years and I still laugh at the original Star Wars poster as compared with the actual movie or its sequels. A barrel-chested Luke with his surrogate phallus proudly erect, with the spermlike X-wings seeking to fertilize the Death Star egg. Luke’s role in the final battle might have had sexual overtones, but more like a teenage boy’s first time. I’m curious to know how many other cultures have the trope of the manly hero getting the girl almost as a prize by defeating the villain, which is what the poster artist seemed to assume.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     A lot of the gun-fondling may not be racism-based, but the Second Amendment probably was:
    “The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery”

  • Carstonio

    Wow. I had always assumed that the Amendment’s professed need for a militia had to do with the threat of Native American warfare.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Invisible Neutrino, THANKS! I does me best, and yes there is alot to what you say.

    Carstonion. Well speaking of hammers and nails you hit this one o nthe head. I find absolute bucketloads of WASP panic and racial paranoia tied up in the Pro guns debate. or am I REALLY the only pair of boobs around here to have noticed the frightful upturn of far right gun idolotry since the election of an African American President?

  • Carstonio

    Yes, although I would say the issue with Obama is that he’s both African-American and educated. His quote about clinging was obviously referring to some of the religious folks and gun owners, just as “you didn’t build that” was obviously about the public infrastructure that promotes entrepreneurial success. He did almost nothing about guns during his first term, yet the bumper stickers about “keeping my guns, money and freedom” proliferated.

  • SergeantHeretic

    Yes, but in my opinion and OLNY my opinion this REEKS of white racist capitalists screaming “Don’t let the nigger come for my precious THINGS!ZOMGZ

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    It’s been noted a few times that “heckling” is an unfair description of the callous, thoughtless, stupid comments slung at Heslin. Though usually not in contexts where their callous, thoughtless, insensitive nature was also referenced.

  • Jessica_R

    I’ve got an Aussie friend and she is very understandably baffled by America’s refusal too look at what Oz’s gun laws after that massacre did to the gun violence rate. And I’m pretty sure Australia has violent video games and movies too. 

  • AnonymousSam

    To be fair, last I was aware, Australia has a combination of laws and policies that render it impossible (in fact, highly illegal) to sell or purchase certain violent video games (possibly movies too). Any game not rated by the Australian Classification Board cannot legally be sold in the country.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Which is an utter and total joke as applied to PC Games. It’s fairly easy to get an after-market patch to put all that lovely gore back in. 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yeah. I’ve had folks tell me that the decline in gun violence in austrialia is clearly due to the violent video game ban, and not the gun ban at all.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I’ve seen LOTS of americans look at Australia’s gun laws and what happened.

    They all reach the same conclusion:

    “Gun violence went UP right after the ban and then went down over several years. This is 100% absolute proof that gun bans INCREASE gun violence. The later decline is clearly due to an overall trend that would have happened with or without the ban.”

  • caryjamesbond

    Whenever I read anything by the NRA or their ilk, I always remember Kipling.

    “They never told the ramping crowd to card a woman’s hide,
    They never marked a man for death — what fault of theirs he died? —
    They only said “intimidate,” and talked and went away —
    By God, the boys that did the work were braver men than they!

    “The charge is old”? — As old as Cain — as fresh as yesterday;
    Old as the Ten Commandments — have ye talked those laws away?
    If words are words, or death is death, or powder sends the ball,
    You spoke the words that sped the shot — the curse be on you all!”

    The entire thing is still sadly relevant.

    http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/cleared.html

  • LL

    Many Americans feel about guns the same way they feel about cars (and with the same result). They don’t take them seriously as tools that should be used responsibly. They see them as extensions of themselves, as an item that brands them as a badass. 

    Not saying cars and guns are exactly the same, just saying. The immature and irresponsible attitudes towards something powerful that can kill innocent people are kinda similar. Approximately the same number of people are killed in the U.S. by both causes (guns and cars), about 32,000. Experts think that by 2015, gun deaths will exceed auto deaths for the first time ever. 

  • Daughter

    Motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. have been decreasing steadily since 1980 – due to seat belt laws, crackdowns on DUI’s, and public awareness campaigns telling people not to drink and drive.

    So you can’t eliminate all deaths from a certain cause, but you can put laws and public norms in place to reduce them.

  • Daughter
  • LL

    Note: 32,000 people killed PER YEAR by guns and cars. 

    Forgot to add that.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.

    No, we really wouldn’t. John Howard is a controversial man, but pretty much everyone applauds him for putting that piece of legislation through.

    (I was on campus during the only Australian mass shooting in the last fifteen years. Two people were killed. Two. Largely because the worst weapons the shooter could get hold of were handguns.)

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Largely because the worst weapons the shooter could get hold of were handguns.

    I’m honestly not sure what you mean by this, as the majority of our gun violence is committed with handguns (helpful chart here, from the Bureau of Justice). Handguns are extremely deadly.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    We don’t really have semi-automatics, or guns with large numbers of bullets. The shooter was stopped very fast – when he stopped shooting to change weapons.

  • Cathy W

    That’s what ended the shooting in Arizona where Gabrielle Giffords was shot – the shooter had to reload, and a bystander grabbed the gun away from him at that point (and very nearly got shot himself for his trouble, because he was holding the gun when another bystander, armed, showed up on the scene…)

  • EllieMurasaki

    How often do US mass shootings involve handguns? How often do they involve machine guns?

  • Rhubarbarian82

    The Virginia Tech shooting was more deadly than Newtown, and the “worst weapons” Cho could get were handguns. For all of the high profile attention AR-15s and other assault rifles have been receiving in the last couple of months, we need to remember that handguns kill far more people and that most of the conversation hasn’t addressed them much.

    I’m assuming what the original poster meant was that he only had access to revolvers, rather than semi-auto handguns.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to do with that first line, but it’s based on a factual inaccuracy, at the very least.

  • Random_Lurker

    American citizen deaths by shooting in 2010: 31,076
    American Soldier deaths in Iraq war (2003-2012): 4,486American casualties of the Vietnam War (1955-1975): appx. 58,000That’s right, in two years more gun homicides occur here at home then in the entire Vietnam War.There is no honest or moral basis for opposing gun control.

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

    The “guns will make you safer” crowd seems to think that the good guys will always shoot faster than the bad guys. It’s deeply weird.

    In The Last Continent, Rincewind muses on the fact that when you’re holding a gun, you’re a much bigger danger to other people with guns, and so the other people with guns will be much more intent on killing you. 

  • Cathy W

    Also that you can tell who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy by looking. Last time I checked, they did not actually issue twirly mustaches and black hats to the “bad guys”…

  • Foelhe

    There’s also the creepy levels of “tough on crime” that get wrapped up in that conversation. I remember hearing a pro-gun-rights story about a woman almost getting her purse snatched, whipping out a pistol and killing the thief.

    I guess we weren’t supposed to go “… Wait, she killed a guy for stealing a purse?” but that was certainly my reaction.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yeah. I don’t own a thing that is worth killing (or dying) for.  The only time I would consider responding with force is for a threat to my person or loved ones but I consider the risk of such an event to be statistically too low to justify the expense, effort, and responsibility of carrying a gun. 

    I also really just don’t want to live like everyone is out to get me.  That’s not a good world.  I know some people who have that mindset (yup, they carry) and they aren’t really pleasant people a lot of the time.  They are very anxious and frightened and it comes out in their conversation and behavior.  They’re also a lot less likely to give other people the benefit of the doubt or respond graciously to the mistakes of others.  I don’t want to be that way.

    Oh, and on the topic of guns and racism, when anyone makes an argument for CCL  in a conversation with me they tend to say “what would you do if you were walking in a dark alley at night and encountered a 250 lb. black guy*?” Yeah, I think there’s some racism in there.

    *It may help to note that I am a 115 lb. white woman and the speaker has always been a white man.   

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)
  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Last ‘Real Time’, Maher made a comment that I’ve been having trouble coming up with a response to. He said “If you’re in a restaurant, and an armed gunman forces his way in, are you really going to think, ‘Thank god he’s the only one with a gun’?”

    All I’ve really got is “Yes, but that scenario is incredibly unlikely”

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

    If it’s being said in the context of a genuine conversation, my response to that is “No, I probably won’t think that. What follows from that?”

    If it’s being said in the context of a public point-scoring exchange, my response to that is “Right, because what we really need in that situation is twenty armed gunmen instead of one. That’ll help.”

  • Foelhe

    Course, if the armed gunman forces his way in, and then a customer whips out a pistol and accidentally kills one of the wait staff, I’d certainly start wishing he was the only one with a gun.

    The grass is always greener, apparently.

  • LoneWolf343

     You reply with “That is an appeal to emotion that doesn’t reflect reality.”

  • Foelhe

    Last ‘Real Time’, Maher made a comment that I’ve been having trouble coming up with a response to. He said “If you’re in a restaurant, and an armed gunman forces his way in, are you really going to think, ‘Thank god he’s the only one with a gun’?”

    First time I read this I didn’t realize it was giving you trouble. Sorry, my fault for skimming. My last post still stands, but let me respond a bit more seriously.

    First of all, it’s kind of a shell game to start out with a gunman coming into the room. The whole point of gun control is to stop that kind of thing from happening. So, “Wow, armed gunmen in restaurants? Let’s have less of those, please,” is a pretty good place to start.

    Conservatives will argue that it doesn’t matter, because criminals can get guns illegally. Because wanting to kill someone gives you the ability to magically detect illegal arms dealers, apparently. (I think it’s a Blackguard feat in Pathfinder.) Some people can find guns on the black market, but a lot of would-be killers just don’t have the kind of knowledge that makes that feasible. So the number of gun-toting criminals would get smaller, at least.

    (Also, I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but I’d wager that police would have an easier time stopping illegal gun sales if they were all illegal. Just a theory, though.)

    Second point. Even if you’re in a situation where a weapon could theoretically be useful, a gun isn’t a Fix Everything button. Your typical person, put in a dangerous situation, is not going to be totally in control of their reflexes, physical or mental. So expect poor aim and worse judgment. And if your gunman wasn’t planning to get violent (if, say, he just wanted the cash register and was only planning to brandish his gun) then you’ve just upped the ante in a big way.

    Which brings me to my third and final point. A criminal with a gun is not necessarily a criminal planning to kill someone. Sometimes they just want the intimidation edge, or the option of violence if things go wrong. If you know what the gunman wants and you can give it to them with a minimum of fuss, do what they want and don’t make the situation any more complicated than it is. The more cornered and desperate you make someone feel, the more likely they’ll lash out.

    It’s not your job to be the hero, it’s your job to get through the situation alive. Focus on that, then when everything’s over, let the professionals handle the situation. There’s a reason they train for it.

  • Carstonio

     Good points overall. I’ve read that even police officers with solid training miss their shots in confrontations more often that civilians would assume.

    A criminal with a gun is not necessarily a criminal planning to kill
    someone. Sometimes they just want the intimidation edge, or the option
    of violence if things go wrong.

    That gets back to the point I made in my first post. The average thief or mugger simply wants the victim’s money, and killing the victim wouldn’t make sense because of the risk involved. (I don’t classify Seung-Hui Cho and Adam Lanza as criminals because they weren’t breaking laws for profit.) But millions still assume that criminals intend to kill, and the assumption pretty much collapses without the racist mythology about crime and its perpetrators. It’s almost like the fear of slave uprisings lingers in modified form.

  • Lori

     

    Which brings me to my third and final point. A criminal with a gun is
    not necessarily a criminal planning to kill someone. Sometimes they
    just want the intimidation edge, or the option of violence if things go
    wrong. If you know what the gunman wants and you can give it to them
    with a minimum of fuss, do what they want and don’t make the situation any more complicated than it is. The more cornered and desperate you make someone feel, the more likely they’ll lash out.

    It’s not your job to be the hero, it’s your job to get through the
    situation alive. Focus on that, then when everything’s over, let the
    professionals handle the situation. There’s a reason they train for it.   

    Based on his experience with being robbed at gunpoint in his own office, this is my ex’s position. The guy came in, pointed a gun and asked for all the money (apparently not quite getting the my ex doesn’t run a real cash-heavy business). G handed it over, the guy left, G called the cops. Scary as hell*, but no one got hurt. 

    *I was actually talking to G on the phone when the guy walked in. G hung up on me when the guy told him to. I assumed we got cut off and I was sort of miffed that he didn’t call right back. As you’d expect, “I hung up because the guy with the gun told me to. I need to talk to the police now, so I’ll call you back later” is an extremely good excuse.

  • Madhabmatics

    “Thank God he’s the only one with a gun” is actually a pretty reasonable thought, since who knows how good a shot the cowboy who has decided to turn this into a two-way gun battle is? For all anyone in the room knows, the only difference is now there are two sources of bullets they can be hit by.

  • Lori

     

    He said “If you’re in a restaurant, and an armed gunman forces his way
    in, are you really going to think, ‘Thank god he’s the only one with a
    gun’?”   

    Yes, because he’s much less likely to actually start shooting if he’s the only one with a gun. A man with a gun who comes into a restaurant wants to rob the place*. No one else has a gun, everyone hands over the cash and valuable, the odds  are very high that he goes away. Some armed yahoo tries to play hero and the odds are someone is leaving in a body bag and there’s no particular reason to think it will be the robber.

    *Unless it’s a mob hangout or something and he’s there to carry out a hit, in which case he’s not there for you any way.

  • MissMikey

     A number of years ago I was the victim of a random, unprovoked shooting. Afterwards, a lot of people asked me if I wished that I had had a gun to protect myself. After thinking about it, ’cause that idea hadn’t occurred to me until they asked, I said No.

    Even if you leave out the fact that I didn’t grasp what was happening until after I was shot and the fact that I froze like a deer in the headlights standing in quick drying concrete as soon as I saw the gun, I realized that I probably would have been in greater danger if I had tried to defend myself with a gun.

    He shot me in one of my kidneys at just about point blank range. Had I been trying to pull my gun and get ready to shoot, it would have been just as easy for him to shoot me in the head or in the heart. At that range, even a .22 is going to do some damage. In fact, he would have had a greater incentive, so to speak, to shoot to kill rather than shooting to maim. Me having and trying to use a gun would have immediately ratcheted up the risk level on both sides of that encounter. Not to mention that he probably had armed backup nearby —  the cops’ theory was that this was a gang initiation and he was just supposed to shoot someone.

    Whenever I think about that night, and I have been a lot recently because of the new gun control debate, I remember just how easy it would have been for him to kill me and I’m just glad that I came out of it with no more than a repaired kidney and a big scar on my stomach. Me having a gun, could have made it so much worse.

    As for that Christian Soldier gun store, I know where that is! I drive by it on a fairly regular basis and rail on and on about it to my boyfriend. It’s in an old inner suburb of Baltimore and even though they’ll probably wait on a “blah” person, it really is meant for White Christian Soldiers. I actually find that place a little frightening in some ways.

  • Trixie_Belden

    I’m just glad that I came out of it with no more than a repaired kidney and a big scar on my stomach.

    Gosh, so they were able to repair your kidney even though it took a bullet?  That’s amazing!  I was afraid when reading the beginning of your comment how you were shot in the kidney that the ending of your comment would have you telling us that the doctors had to remove it.  I’m glad you came out of it as well as you did.

  • MissMikey

    Apparently it went through the fatty part of the kidney, so it was fairly easy to repair. I know I was prepared to lose it when I went into to surgery, so it was a pleasant surprise to wake up with both.

    BTW, I love your user name. I loved Trixie Belden as a kid and thought her far superior to Nancy Drew, but it seems like only a small minority even know who she was.

    (I’m posting this at work, so I can’t log in as myself)

  • MissMikey

    Apparently I can, never mind

  • SergeantHeretic

    As far as I am concerned, the claim that guns make American safer or freer is nothing but facile self serving far right wing nonsense. If anything the more guns Americans have the less safe and less free we are. Why would anyone want to live i nthe kind of paranoid fear choked misery that a preponderance of guns creates?

    I am not indicting every gun owner, but I do have very serious questions of ethics, morals and sanity for the people that won’t even allow a basic study of the statistics and numbers on gun violence in this country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Gisselbeck/520678931 Don Gisselbeck

    The most annoying part of this gun discussion is the failure to recognize the high skill level needed for any sort of practical shooting. It can’t be easier than trombone playing, and 10 hours  week is not enough for me to perform reliably  and accurately under pressure. 

  • MaryKaye

    The argument that completely convinced me was told to me by a police officer after a shooting at our university.  She said:  You hear gunfire.  You step out of your office with your gun in hand and see person A standing in a doorway with a gun in his hand and person B lying on the ground.  Who do you shoot?

    Suppose you reason that person A has shot person B and needs to be stopped to save more lives.  Well and good–you shoot person A, and we’ll assume you hit him.

    Person C now steps out of *her* office behind you.  She has the same data you do (except one more victim lying on the ground).  If you were justified in shooting A, she is justified in shooting you.  Bang, you’re dead.

    In way too many of these situations you would not know who to shoot.  With our current no-weapons policy you know the person with the gun is the attacker.  If everyone in sight is brandishing a gun…you know nothing, and a bloodbath seems like the natural outcome if you start firing.

    I have once been held at gunpoint.  I am not sorry at *all* that I was unarmed, because no one died, and if I’d been armed maybe someone would have died, maybe me–the person with the gun was not motivated to shoot me, since I was unarmed, but he was certainly upset and irrational and might have felt differently if I’d been armed.  Or maybe I would have shot him, which would have sucked compared to the actual outcome (no one was shot).

  • Lori

     

    and we’ll assume you hit him.   

    This obviously being a huge assumption.

    Have folks been following the story in S. California about the ex-LAPD officer with a vendetta and a lot of guns? He’s killed one cop and the daughter of another cop and her boyfriend and his “manifesto” has a whole long list of other officers he wanted to kill. LA county has 50 people in protective custody until this guy is found.

    Saying that the police in LA, Orange and San Diego counties are a little amped up is a huge understatement. Since this started last week there have been several “mistaken shootings” by cops. In one case two officers opened fire on a truck they believed belonged to the suspect. The suspect is a 34 year old black man who clearly spends a lot of time in the gym. The driver and passenger in the truck were two older Latino ladies delivering the LA Times.

    The cops fired at least 46 bullets into the truck, at least 9 of which went through the back window on the driver’s side. Both of the women are alive. That’s good news, don’t get me wrong. However, it doesn’t inspire great confidence in the shooting skills of the officers involved.

    If the cops are that bad I somehow doubt the person who rarely if ever goes to the range has much chance of doing better. Everyone fancies himself a gun slinger, few actually are.

    And of course even being really (really, really) good with a gun doesn’t mean that a gun can always save your life.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/03/nation/la-na-kyle-killing-20130204

  • LoneWolf343

     When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  • reynard61

    “The argument that completely convinced me was told to me by a police officer after a shooting at our university.  She said:  You hear gunfire.  You step out of your office with your gun in hand and see person A standing in a doorway with a gun in his hand and person B lying on the ground.  Who do you shoot?

    “Suppose you reason that person A has shot person B and needs to be stopped to save more lives.  Well and good–you shoot person A, and we’ll assume you hit him.”

    That scenario doesn’t even take into account that Person A may very well be a plainclothes policeman or Detective who has just shot a suspect. Congratulations! You may have just become a cop killer!

  • hidden_urchin

    Reading these hypotheticals is like reading the world’s most messed up Choose Your Own Adventure book.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Whenever I’ve offered up that hypothetical to a gun supporter, they accuse me of concocting “crazy impossibly unlikely hypotheticals”.  “You see person A with a gun and B on the ground. A is the gunman and needs to be stopped” is, they say, a perfectly likely and reasonable scenario. “A is the hero who just disarmed B” is an impossible hypothetical made up just to discredit gun proponents.

  • hidden_urchin

    Even though that is pretty much what happened in Arizona when Giffords was shot?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Even though that is pretty much what happened in Arizona when Giffords was shot?

     To the Idealist, real-world history is a far-fetched hypothetical case.

  • Lori

    Can you imagine if there was a place called Islamic Solider Firearms? 

    I can imagine it easily. I’d put the overs & unders on the place being burned to the ground at 36 hours.

  • Tricksterson

    You don’t heckle a parent who is mourning their child.

    What is so frikkin’ difficult about that idea to comprehend?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Obama could endorse breathing, and the Cons would come out screaming that oxygen is a threat to America. 

    It’s not really sad that they’re screaming that Obama’s gun plan is the end of our freedoms. *Everything* Obama does is supposedly the end of freedom.

    That’s what’s sad. 

  • Hexep

    Ahh, I was meaning to put this up, but forgot about it until just now…

    http://www.bigheadpress.com/tpbtgn

    This is a stupid little comic book that very clearly explains the fantasy of the gun as a tool of personal liberation, as well as a whole pile of other libertarian nonsense.  Here is their propaganda; laugh at it or weep at it as you will, but this is their cable-radio.

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

    Ah yes. The Probability Broach. Libertarian fantasizing at its most intense, I’d say, as their portrayal of “our” reality isn’t even close to correct.

  • Carstonio

     The author’s name sounded familiar, and it turns out that he wrote a trilogy of Lando Calrissian novels. I read them but don’t remember anything about them, or whether he used them to push libertarianism.

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

    Diane Carey, the writer of “Dreadnought!” in the Trek fandom, is notorious for pushing Libertarianism in her novel and its sequel.

  • Carstonio

     I read both of them and didn’t like them much. I hadn’t heard of libertarianism, and at the time I thought Carey was pushing rabid anti-communism. Her hero’s college thesis was “Political Collectivism as Causal to Earth’s Third World War,” and I’ve only heard the term collectivism used by red-baiters to bash liberals.

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

    Yeah. Back then I didn’t even know what Libertarianism was and I thought as you did – that she seemed to have some kind of hate-on for Commies. Then again this was pre-USSR breakup, but post-perestroika/glasnost, so I already knew her views were out of date.

  • AnonymousSam

    It can be both. The Sword of Truth books are transparently anti-socialism, anti-communism, pro-libertarian. I hated how far downward the series spiraled after a relatively enjoyable first few books. By the end, they existed only as a mouthpiece for hypercompetent Richard Cypher to demonstrate why everyone else Really Ought to Listen to his Words of Wisdom as he spewed vitriol toward anyone who dared think in terms of the common good. And then Richard becomes God. Literally.

  • Launcifer

    I always wondered about those books, especially when I was younger and didn’t really know how to gauge the quality of what I was reading. I never read any but I was quite curious to know how they managed to be so poarising, at least according to the various reviews that I’d read. And then I heard about the death chicken and it all made sense….

  • AnonymousSam

    I’ve got a couple of reviews that really explain it.

     http://viewfromll2.com/2009/09/27/the-economic-agendas-of-sci-fi-and-fantasy-authors-vol-2-terry-goodkind/

    http://m-mcgregor.livejournal.com/116180.html

    The parts that stuck to fantasy writing weren’t completely awful, much as the author claims that the books aren’t actually fantasy genre, but the series is hit and miss. Book five was so tedious that I had difficulty getting through it, and as a result, I didn’t even notice some of the worst parts of it. The fact that there’s a blatant Bill and Hilary Clinton spoof, for example. (They are not portrayed in a positive light. The author would probably use the phrase “vile, disgusting filth, only worthy of a horrible death.”)

    From there, it’s pretty much nothing but diatribes about the evils of socialism for the rest of the series.

  • Launcifer

    Just a quickie to say thanks for the links. I will peruse them when it’s not 2.15am ;). Ta.

  • Greenygal

    According to the Star Wars wiki, the Lucasfilm editors told L. Neil Smith to keep his politics out of the Lando books, but he decided “that I’d make the books as political as I could until the editors squeaked. That’s why Lando is an anarchist and free trader.”
     
    I suspect, however, that libertarian politics in a book about a roguish adventurer trying to make a living on the edges of an Evil Empire (TM) aren’t actually going to stand out much.   You didn’t pick up Lando Calrissian books expecting him to pay his taxes.  (They probably stand out a bit more in a book where the heroine is serving in the quasi-military fleet of a large governmental entity, but I haven’t read Dreadnought! since I was a teenager and don’t remember the politics at all.)

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

     Ah, I remember that book.

    It was one of my favorite examples for a while of a fictional existence proof: “see? I wrote this book with a fictional Libertopia in it and in my book it was so much better than the real world so that shows how libertarianism is so much better!”

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

    …. not to mention that the Federation is largely presented as a quasi-socialist, post-scarcity society for which basic needs are easily met with an energy base the likes of which we can only dream of.

    So if you still want real scarcity you’ve pretty much got to hit the frontier or visit planets not fully integrated into the Federation, which is one of the points Deep Space 9 was addressing.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I tell you though, these days I really want to see McCoy make one of his “You green-blooded pointy-ears” comments and Spock file a harassment suit against him.

  • Hexep

    The sad thing is, the artist is actually a pretty competant drafter. I like the linework, I like the faces, and I even like the art design. It’s just the politics that get me down.

  • Carstonio

    I hear “enemies list” and automatically think of the one from the Nixon Administration, and the list of “subversives” from Reagan’s tenure as California governor. But the NRA isn’t in a position to use the federal machinery to screw its “enemies.” I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that such a list from a gun lobby looks like an assassination list.

  • Lunch Meat

    Have there been studies showing what percentage of gun violence is premeditated? My (uneducated, oversimplified, off the top of my head) guess would be that stronger gun control *may* help for premeditated violence (organized crime, gang activity, robbery), although this is where people say they’d just go buy guns on the black market. However, for unpremeditated violence, like so-called crimes of passion, or whatever’s going on in the mass shootings, I can’t see how stronger gun control wouldn’t help at least somewhat. If purchasing guns was illegal, and I found out my husband was cheating on me (and was the type of person to violently react to such news, which I am not), I wouldn’t have the slightest idea who to ask for a gun or where the black market is; while when gun control is lax, I know a couple of people that would surely have a gun I could go “borrow.” If we had a gun ourselves it would be even easier. Either way I wouldn’t be forced to wait and calm down enough to realize that killing my husband wouldn’t help.

    Is there data backing this up?

  • http://vovinyl.blogspot.com/ FangsFirst

    If purchasing guns was illegal, and I found out my husband was cheating on me (and was the type of person to violently react to such news, which I am not), I wouldn’t have the slightest idea who to ask for a gun or where the black market is; while when gun control is lax, I know a couple of people that would surely have a gun I could go “borrow.”

    TW: Suicide
    There are various points in my life where the idea that all I had to do was save up enough money and I’d have a gun was one I had to be really careful with. Not because I’m a violent person, but because I’ve had periodic struggles with depression. And I’m quite sure I’d have no issues acquiring one if I tried. I like to leave it untried so that I can hope I’d be surprised to find I’m wrong. I’m also quite convinced it shouldn’t be that easy for me, whether it actually is now or not. Being overly self-conscious and lost in webs of thought is the reason I can cut it off at the past. Not everyone thinks like that. Some would go from the thought of that ease alone and go forward.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    “My brother was backing out fast because he was scared and he rolled
    down the window to say he was sorry and he was not doing anything
    wrong. Then the guy shot him in his head.”

    Well, I guess now we can retire that old NRA cliche “an armed society is a polite society.”


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