‘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.”

 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…)

  • 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://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!”

  • 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?

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

    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.

  • 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://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.

  • hidden_urchin

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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….

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • hidden_urchin

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

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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”

  • 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.

  • 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.


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