A gun in the first act always goes off in the third

“It’s everywhere and always been recognized: an armed society is a primitive society.”

“An Oklahoma woman arrested Monday on drug charges had a loaded handgun hidden in her vagina, according to police.”

“Not only did police canine Ivan discover a stolen handgun, he fired it too.”

“Police arrested a 61-year-old Florida woman for allegedly pointing a gun at Walmart employees, threatening them after the store refused to honor her coupon for $1 off of a purchase and later attacking authorities.”

“The Tyler Morning Telegraph has learned that a Van Independent School District employee accidentally was shot during a district-sponsored concealed handgun license class on Wednesday.”

“The school district was sponsoring the class as part of its program to arm teachers and other school employees, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and the NRA’s call for America to arm its schools.”

“A school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.”

“The National Rifle Association’s field representative for New York was barred from having guns after an altercation with his wife.”

“A 3-year-old boy from Manchester, Tennessee was left in critical condition over the weekend after being shot while handling a small gun that an adult left sitting on a nearby counter-top.”

“Family and friends in Michigan are mourning the death of a 4-year-old Jackson County deputy’•s son, who accidentally shot and killed himself over the weekend.”

I’m very much on the conservative side of politics, but I just saw this as one of those things that demanded the use of the authority of my office to try and change.”

I know my father is watching us on this journey … to make our community, our state, and our country a safer place.”

You folks in Chicago want me to get castrated because your families are having too many kids. It spells out exactly what is happening here. You want us to get rid of guns.”


"Well it is based on one of the most pointless and depressing incidents in human ..."

LBCF, No. 181: ‘Meet the Steeles’
"There's debate about the exact date and nature of the Children's Crusade. Historians agree that ..."

LBCF, No. 181: ‘Meet the Steeles’
"I met this gray Jay on a hike in Colorado, near Vail.https://uploads.disquscdn.c..."

LBCF, No. 181: ‘Meet the Steeles’

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • SergeantHeretic

    Reff the National Rednecks association’s gun saftey corses, as Lori said how much of their cash do they spend on that versus how much do they spend scaring the Trailer Park boys into buying MOAR GUNZZZZZZ?

    (Note to readers I am not insulting or malighing or indicting anyone who lives in a mobile or manufactured home by definition. I am simply indicating poorly educated rural people prone to race baiting and gun fetishims.

    Also gun saftey classes for a group that spends most of it’s time pushing absurd gun fetishism?

    Talk about expecting a pat o nthe back for the bare minimum.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     A key strategy is puncturing the myth of personal protection.

    Ever read V for Vendetta?  I’m reminded of when Mrs. Finch buys a hand gun ‘to defend herself’.

    “Oh, aye – this’ll defend someone’s innards inta the gutter.”

  • Heretic, no, heretic STAHP. You are doing EXACTLY what you say you aren’t. If your statement were, say, “I’m not insulting or maligning anyone who lives in a poor urban area, I’m just saying that poor urban youth tend to be prone to emulating the violence they hear in rap songs”, you’d be just as wrong.

  • Isabel C.

    I don’t know, man. The Supreme Court, much as I like it as an institution, has issued some extremely questionable decisions in its time. The decision in question was 5-4, two of the justices in question were appointed by Dubya, and two of the others were…Scalia and Thomas.

    I’m not a Constitutional law scholar, but I’m willing to bet I know more than those guys. I’m willing to bet I have things growing in my fridge that know more than those guys. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     It is clear the the Constitutional rights of low income people are being
    infringed  because they do not have the means to purchase guns or
    practice with them.  Therefore, I propose that taxpayer dollars be used
    to provide every American with one  long gun and one handgun and the
    appropriate training. Skills maintenance will also  be subsidized by the

    Not sure it’s quite what you meant, but some cynic I read wrote that the fastest way to get decent gun-control in this country would be to give every black male a firearm.  I have a nasty feeling he was right. :(

  • Jim Roberts

    Why, yes, you’re completely right. By posting a link to a fallacy without explaining how my following comment was in anyway in error, you have clearly shown that my position is in error.

    I’m quite familiar with argument by moderation – when I was in debate I used to eat people who did that for lunch and shit them on in cross examination. It’s not a fallacy to say, “Maybe the extremes aren’t right,” it’s a fallacy to say, “The extreme is never right,” or “We should never consider the extreme because it’s extreme.”

    Man, did you even read your own link?

  • VMink

    To be grudgingly fair, the whole ‘militia’ thing was muddied by the Militia Act of 1903 which used terms like ‘organized militia’ and ‘unorganized militia.’


    It’s debatable as to if this ‘unorganized militia’ would be actually useful.  Keep in mind that this is the era that brought us Plan XVII for the French and the Schleiffen Plan for the Germans, both of which anticipated victory in Europe after perhaps a few months of fighting.  Thatsure  turned out according to plan.  I don’t think the military planners of that era really groked just what modern warfare was all about, as it transitioned — violently and with great suffering — from second to third generation.

    Today, the ‘unorganized militia’ would be given a different name: Insurgents.  And they’d be using fourth and fifth generation techniques.

  • It’s true, it has. It really doesn’t change the fact that both sides yelling “Just read the constitution, dummy!” at each other isn’t really helpful, and quite condescending to boot.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Joe Biden is awesome.  I hope he runs for president in 2016.

    And, as always, The Onion is right on top of this:  62-Year-Old With Gun Only One Standing Between Nation And Full-Scale Government Takeover


  • Isabel C.

    Ah, this argument again.

    In short: I think people like Giblets deserve condescension, at best. I also don’t think anything I say is going to help them, because I’m not sure there’s a cure for willful ignorance and paranoid masturbation fantasies. 

    That said, I’m disinclined to go for the “it’s right there in the Constitution” argument myself, because…even if it wasn’t, the Constitution isn’t without  flaws either. We’ve changed it in the past (that whole “3/4 of a person” thing), we can change it in the future, the world will not end.
    And I’ve little patience with a fanatical adherence to the letter of the law. I’ve spent too much time around 3rd Edition players for that. *Ducks*. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Two, in real life no civilian militia group in the U.S> has a
    snowball’s chance in hell against a proffesional army playing for keeps.
    Red Dawn was just a movie and it was a really fucking stupid one at
    that, both versions.

    In Red Dawn (the original, anyway), the Wolverines _LOSE_.  Seems like nobody remembers that part.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     There are those of us who would strongly consider a total gun ban. I
    gave it serious thought and decided that I’m relatively okay with the
    police and military being armed, so long as they’re always held strictly
    accountable to their actions.

    “Every shootout I’ve heard of was started by a cop in a fear-frenzy.” – HST

    When he ran for Mayor of Aspen, Colorado, Hunter S. Thompson (RIP) proposed going with the British system of unarmed patrol policemen – but massive SWAT-Team retaliation for anyone who attacks a cop.  It sounded like a half-decent idea to me. 

  • The problem with that is that it puts people who actually want to have a discussion immediately on the defensive. Maybe it’s an appropriate response to that one person, but when someone else (like, oh, say, maybe me) comes in actually agreeing in principle with more gun control, and wants to have a discussion with people they generally agree with on other issues about what they think are reasonable restrictions, and sees “LOL IF U RED CONSTITUTIN UD KNO THEY ONLY MENT MUSKETS” (and make no mistake, that’s how it comes off), it’s more than a little off-putting.

    In other words, even if Gibblets does deserve condescension, arguments like that cast a far wider net.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That being so why in the hel would anyone sane sell such a person a gun?

    Because their money is the same color as anyone else’s, and it probably won’t be them that gets shot.  “Enlightened Self-Interest” at its finest.

  • VMink

    And I’ve little patience with a fanatical adherence to the letter of the law. I’ve spent too much time around 3rd Edition players for that. *Ducks*.

    Come to the wholesomeness that is Pathfinder!  We have cookies! (Some of them have prestige sprinkles!)  Though seriously, I’m genuinely not trying to start an RPG rulesset war!  RPGs are kind of like food: Some you’ll like sometimes, others you’ll like other times, and some just aren’t that appetizing ever.

     (I wanted to include a joke here about comparing tripe to a certain low-budget amateur RPG ruleset which shall not be named, but then I realized some people like tripe.)

    More on topic: I get what the Founders wanted to do, and were trying to do.  So I respect that.  The Bill of Rights is great since it acknowledges that people have some really awesome rights that they should exercise more.  I also think that the Founders were very much men (all men, all landowners, all slaveholders, all pretty well-off) of their time.  Sometimes, you have to look at documents from that long ago with a particular lens.  And that lens shouldn’t be rose-colored.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     What an amateur.

    Most monsters in modern-day campaigns are at least bullet-resistant.  What you usually need to stop a monster is a sword or firebombs.

    And ISTR that in the Unitarian Church Shooting, what stopped the bad guy with a gun was a bunch of good guys without guns tackling him.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Actually, that reminds me – why aren’t private citizens allowed to own nuclear weaponry?  Now THAT’S home security you can rely on!

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s actually how law enforcement works in one of my writing settings. The patrol is unarmed, but they have fast access to people who will put a quick end to any armed dispute by any means necessary. Said patrol is trained in unarmed combat, too, so it’s not like their only tactic is to ask politely to stop breaking the law. Plus, in the real world, we DO have “minimal lethality weaponry” which I object to far less than firearms.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That reminds me.  Remember the Tea Partiers showing up at town meetings with rifles?  That always got me.  Can you even imagine some idiot showing up at a Bush rally packing heat?  Their family would STILL be trying to get Homeland Security to tell them where the idiot was being waterboarded.

  • In Red Dawn (the original, anyway), the Wolverines _LOSE_.  Seems like nobody remembers that part.

    Yeah, nobody likes to mention the part where like 3/4 of the teenage partisans, like, DIE.

    And I’ve heard the movie understated the death rate partisans could expect to face in an asymmetrical battle.

  • P J Evans

     It didn’t help that there were several of them, one of him, and the gun was on the other side of the field. (They were after horses, actually. It’s in OR, ‘Everett’s Raid’, in June of 1863.)

  •  Indeed. Part of the mandatory training for getting a concealed carry permit in $my_state is an extensive review of when it is legal and not legal to use lethal force. It’s actually quite restrictive–and mine is one of those “red, flyover country” states that y’all like to sneer at.

  • P J Evans

     WRT Thomas, it’s guaranteed. I’m not sure how he got out of law school. Scalia and Alito are smarter, but tend to decide the case and then do the reasoning to make it come out.)

  •  Certain female bloggers have gotten hundreds of death and rape threats just for Being Female on the Internet.  Why should a government official get special protection and not them? Why should Senators be entitled to armed self-defense and not “an average person”?  Are you suggesting that Congresscritters are more deserving of protection than the rest of us?  That different laws should apply to them?  (Yeah, I know they already do, vis-a-vis immunity from being legally harassed for anything they say on the floor of Congress…)

    Also, you might want to look up that tired old example of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. That was never actually the case; it was the judge’s analogy in a  far different case to why he was justifying one of the worst decisions on free speech ever.  (Apparently, trying to persuade young men not to enlist/avoid the draft in WWI because you thought it was a bad war we shouldn’t be in was a “clear and present danger” akin to shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater that required not just censorship, but imprisonment.)

    You can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater–especially if it’s on fire.

  • Jim Roberts

    Yes. They do. If my wife were to receive a death threat and my congresswoman were to receive a death threat at the same time and there were limited resources (there are), then I would send them to the congresswoman’s house, even though I think she’s just shy of a wasted seat in Congress.

  •  Maybe I just think they look cool and want to hang it on the wall, as part of my hypothetical collection of other legal, semi-auto or bolt-action historical military firearms. Or samurai swords. Or Vietnam war memorabilia. Or things that the army has designated ‘M16’.

    Why should I have to justify my reason for owning anything not directly harmful to my neighbors?  “I want to” is all the justification I need in a free country.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If the guns are incapable of being fired and the swords are not sharp, yeah, you’re absolutely right, enjoy your collection of disarmed killy things.

    If the guns and swords are capable of killing people by means other than being used as a blunt instrument? You need a justification to possess them, and ‘self-defense’ doesn’t cut it. You can defend yourself with one of the knives you keep to chop veggies with, if need be, and it’s a lot harder to injure somebody else by accident with such a thing.

  •  You can’t have ammunition at home without a license. While lots of people in Switzerland have guns far fewer bother with that – hunters mainly as I understand it.

  •  No one is actually suggesting we should make it easier to own fully-automatic weapons. What is being discussed are “semi-automatic” guns, which fire bullets one at a time.  They don’t kill people any deader than bolt-action guns, lever-action guns, revolvers, or pump-action guns.

  • The_L1985

     Does that unnamed ruleset start with an F, by any chance?

  • I think the Founding Fathers knew that technology improves over time. Not to have accounted for that fact would have made them the stupidest geniuses ever. 

  • Jim Roberts

    They sure kill ’em faster though. I’ve bumpfired a clip of 30 bullets in 25 seconds, and I’m reasonably sure I’m terrible with guns.

  • And why is “Red Dawn” so maligned by people around here? It was a pretty good story about, basically, WWII partisans, retold in a more local-to-Americans context.

  • The_L1985

     If you have 39 guns, then you have way too many guns.

    …And I had a problem imagining one person owning a dozen guns.  39?!

  • Jim Roberts

    Because it’s a very, very silly story told with way too straight a face.

  • LoneWolf343

     You said that “The NRA does a bang-up job with its safety courses.” The problem with this statement that it is only valid if the NRA is the only source of gun-safety information. In reality, gun-safety is all about common sense. Here, I’ll tell you all you need to know about gun safety:

    1.) Don’t own a gun.

    2.) If you absolutely need to own a gun, make sure is is secure at all times.

    3.) If you think your gun is secure, it isn’t.

    4.) Do not load the gun unless you plan to destroy something immediately.

    5.) If you think your gun isn’t loaded, check it again.

    6.) Do not point your gun at anything unless you plan to destroy it. Reference Rule 5.

    7.) Identify your target before you shoot it.

    8.) There is no such thing as an accidental gun death.

    9.) Your gun doesn’t make you invincible. It makes you a target.

    10.) Your gun is your LAST resort, not your first.

    There, now the NRA is redundant in its only positive contribution to society.

  • That last link really exemplifies the ways in with US gun culture is intricately tied with our culture of anxious masculinity.

    And of course gun culture is going to be toxic with misogyny and bigotry, it is a culture that still predominantly belongs to those with privilege, and their defense of our toxic culture is established. 

  • Content warning: violence and death

     Certain female bloggers have gotten hundreds of death and rape threats just for Being Female on the Internet.  Why should a government official get special protection and not them?

    I suppose because government officials do their business in publicly-owned buildings, as part of their job are accessible to the public, must make public appearances, meet with constituents, have their work hours and travel itinerary part of the public record. If the news media reported on bloggers and had them on nightly news and in the Sunday paper as often as they do government officials, if their work address and business hours were part of their contact information, along with the cars they drove and their schedule for the week, and all of this was required as part of their job in serving the public, then yes, I would say they should get special protection.* 

    If someone kidnaps my parents, I will be distraught. But I do not have nuclear launch codes, or the authority to pardon criminals, or influence on what criminal sentencing laws get passed, or how billions of dollars in a budget are allocated to departments, or what contractors get the final job.  I was not chosen by the people in my county or my state or my nation to represent their interests on their behalf. Government officials have, pretty much since the start of the city-state, had special protection above and beyond what the average plebe gets, because of their increased authority, responsibility, and visibility. 
    Government officials are public servants and have a different responsibility than private citizens.  I would think this would be obvious, but there it is, spelled out for you.

    If someone kills me, that’s obviously bad. But if someone kills me while I’m wearing my “Han Shot First” shirt, hangs a sign around my neck saying “the only good nerd is a dead nerd”, and drags my corpse from the back of a car, leaving it in front of my local ComiCon, then it’s not just about ending my life, it’s about sending a message to other people like me, about using my death not just as an end, but to terrorize, intimidate, and silence those who share my values or beliefs.  Killing a publicly elected leader because of their politics is a far different act than the more common, more intimate motives for murder, and I would think again, that this would be obvious, but there it is, spelled out for you.

    Also, you might want to look up that tired old example of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater….You can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater–especially if it’s on fire.

    Indeed… the exact wording of Justice Holmes was that “(t)he most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic”. I did not include the word “false” in my paraphrase, because unless you are an idiot or a pedant, you know that the reference refers to inciting a panic on false basis. I wrongly assumed you were neither. 

    But please, feel free to myopically criticize the omission of a single word while ignoring the concepts of libel, slander, truth-in-advertising, inciting riots, and other examples of restrictions to free speech. Indeed, that’s far more useful than looking at the entirety of my argument that rights are regularly abridged when measurable harm is being done by the unrestricted exercise of those rights.

    *By the way, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some sort of armed person, dedicated to protecting you from lethal threats? Someone trained in the use of lethal and nonlethal force, whose job is to identify persons intent on committing assault and other crimes? Wouldn’t it be great if these armed and well-trained persons were available to us, 24/7, via some sort of communications hotline that was available on every phone, even cell phones that the carrier has terminated service on? Gosh, if only we has such a trained, available force of persons for our protection.

  • VMink

     Does that unnamed ruleset start with an F, by any chance?

    Yes, it does.  I not only not wanted to name it because calling it The Game Which Must Not Be Named is amusing, but because I wanted to spare anyone who out of random curiosity might want to google for it, because it is all around an unpleasant thing. :(

  • And why is “Red Dawn” so maligned by people around here? It was a pretty good story about, basically, WWII partisans, retold in a more local-to-Americans context.

    The local-to-Americans context is completely, utterly absurd. The premise of the film is a full-scale military invasion by Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops, resulting in both total surprise and near total success, in Colorado. Here’s the film’s prologue:
     Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years… Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade… Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall… Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil… Mexico plunged into revolution… NATO dissolves. United States stands alone. 

    The premise and setting of “Red Dawn”, like the premise and setting of the “Left Behind” novels, are so absurd and self-refuting of their fans’ beliefs. They require impossible things to happen in order to justify the story they want to tell as an example of the values they believe must be true. 

  • Re: Your note, I get that, but at the same time, people who can afford the gun fetish kits these people have, tend to have a lot more money than “I gotta live in the trailer park” money.  Instead of maligning some of the most vulnerable amongst us, punch up instead of down. 

  •  I’m glad you put the quotes around “semi-automatic” because you know as well as I do, “semi” automatic weapons rarely stay that way after purchase.  The modification to full auto is easily found and easily done by someone with a little practice. 

    I used to not support AWBs and other restrictions on ownership, while still supporting background checks and waiting periods.  But it finally became clear to me that the reason for the toxic gun culture in the US vs other countries with comparable gun ownership, is the toxic culture itself. 

    And sorry, but just we can all agree that shouldn’t own guns, there are cultures that shouldn’t have a robust gun culture, and right now that includes us.  Fix the white supremacy, misogyny, perpetuated stereotypes, Christian supremacy and anxious masculinity that makes up our own culture and our subcultures will get better as well. 

  • Michael Pullmann

    Government officials don’t have armed self-defense. They have other people around who are armed and paid to defend them. As Carlin said, that’s not self-help, that’s help.

    In any case, false argument, because there are no bills on-deck to take away everybody’s guns. Just laws that make it harder to get the really dangerous ones.

    (Incidentally, how lousy of a shot must a person be to need an automatic assault rifle with a high-capacity clip for self defense? Most handgun owners can hit their target at least one time out of five, I imagine.)

  • Isabel C.

    So, your argument boils down to “I don’t care if gun laws make it harder to kill innocent kids if they also make it harder for me to look cool.”



  • Isabel C.

     Fair point, that.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh source. THAT.


    There are many reasons to hate that. I think even the most devotedly hateful, stupid soul would have to give up at the 1d100,000,000,000 die roll to determine number of offspring.

  • They require impossible things to happen in order to justify the story they want to tell as an example of the values they believe must be

    The irony is that it’s not really necessary.

    I’m reminded of a TV version of “The Children’s Hour” I saw years ago that started with “The place: Here. The time: They have just conquered Us.” It then cut to a classroom where the old teacher is being taken away and replaced by the new teacher, and we’re off and running, and it works just fine, because the geopolitical specifics aren’t really what the story is about, any more than predicting a specific timetable of miracles is what Revelations is about.

  • Jim Roberts

    First of all, that was covered in the first hour of the course. There’s quite a bit more to it than that, like proper storage of ammunition to keep it from from becoming unsafe. For that matter, our host has pointed us to several articles on how important it is to identify proper methods for long-term storage, particularly if you have children in the house.

    While I think the NRA training and safety courses are good, I wouldn’t want them to be the only ones holding them – the courses were good, but tended to come with a side order of, “Join the NRA to learn more.”

  •  “Camouflage” is a bit of an overstatement. The NRA’s purpose is to ensure the continued profitability of gun manufacture. That’s served by opposing all laws restricting gun control, but also by advocating anything which makes gun ownership safer without reducing gun purchases.  They actually do have a vested interest in gun owners having a safe and enjoyable time with their guns so that they will continue to buy guns.