There was a great piece about the Iraq War some of you showed me a while ago. It had a title like “Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Business School” but I can’t find it on teh google right now. Anyway, one of the key points was that it was stupid to say, as many did, “yes, the Bush arguments for war are weak, but I know there are other good reasons do it”. If there were good reasons, the Bush administration would have given them.
Likewise, it really is a sign of the weakness of the anti-gun control arguments that they hinge on having unarmed janitors and husky 12 year-olds gun-rush would-be shooters. Yes, Charlotte Allen and Megan McArdle are stupid. But they could easily be fed smart anti-gun control arguments by right-wing think tanks if such arguments existed.
I get the argument that we need guns to be safe from potential gubmint oppression and freedom isn’t free (I don’t agree with it, but I understand it). Likewise, I understand the neocon argument that it was good to invade Iraq because CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS (again, I don’t agree with it of course). Most people don’t agree with either of those arguments, and that’s why we hear shit about yellow cake and shooter rushing.
Gin & Tonic
Thx for the FZ ref.
In the letters I’m writing to Republican congresscritters, I argue that these assault rifles wouldn’t get that particular job done. These are people who probably believe that the US has the best fighting force on earth [and it is good, to be fair]. Do they think that an individual or a group of amateurs is going to take down this military force? Or do they think that the feds wouldn’t use force to put down an armed rebellion? Either way, they must be smoking the funny stuff.
As was the case with Romney/the GOP vs. Obama, they got nothin’. I just hope that enough people — regular folks, politicians, celebrities, and news people alike — are willing to say out loud that the NRA isn’t wearing any clothes.
Also too, I think some of these wingnuts are misunderstanding A.L.I.C.E. training…this is the idea that part of the response to a situation like Newtown is to attack the shooter. Of course, this training is not for children, it’s for adults. For more info, go here: http://www.schoolsecurity.org/trends/students_fight_gunmen.html
I think the piece you are asking about is this one
Gin & Tonic
@Linda Featheringill: I keep recalling watching on TV as the US put a cruise missile down the airshaft of an office building from hundreds of miles away. If I had a Bushmaster, which I don’t, it would be melted into slag along with me if that’s what the government really wanted.
Immediate thread hijack is justified because immediate action is required:
The House-Senate conference committe has completed its work on this year’s NDAA, and whaddayaknow, the Feinstein Amendment prohibiting indefinite military detention of US citizens unless specifically authorized in a declaration of war or AUMF was deleted from the final bill.
Obama said he would veto the bill if the Feinstein Amendment wasn’t included.
Time for an email campaign reminding him of that promise.
How in the world is a gun going to outdo a nuclear bomb? This is not 1787.
Forum Transmitted Disease
I’m looking forward to the NRA presser on Friday. There’s absolutely nothing they can say in their defense, or anything they can say that would be helpful.
Speaking strictly from the perspective of being a gun owner, I kinda wish they’d just shut the fuck up. Speaking as someone who’d frankly, in spite of being a gun owner, would like to see the fucking things banned from coast to coast I think they’re going to fuck it up royally, just like ever other gun apologist who has crawled out of the woodwork has this last week. I think America is hearing what these people are saying, loud and clear. And America is appalled.
I warned ’em. Every fucking time I’d start talking to a fellow gun owner, who with two exceptions have all been well to the right of me, I told ’em – guys, you better get on board with some restrictions and ditch this NRA shit or you’re going to get some legislation you really don’t like one of these days. They all laughed. They really think their rights to own semi-autos and thirty round magazines are protected by Jesus Christ himself. They aren’t. And the difference between this time and all the rest is that people haven’t stopped talking about it. And those conversations are not going the NRA’s way.
Word. But there really must be a special place in these people’s hell for whoring themselves to the right to the point that they’re telling us children need to physically fight murdering psychopaths using semiautomatics.
McArdle’s obtuseness I’m used to, but this Charlotte Allen character makes my skin crawl. Her recent piece on the unrecognized electability of Sarah Palin (“Bristol will nail down the single-mom vote!”) was harmlessly idiotic, but this husky boy business and her fetishization of her version of manhood is really sick. At Pierce’s blog yesterday, she abandoned her stated belief in women’s essential powerlessness to assure critical commenters that she’d once escaped rape — which she described in romance-novel style as “having his way with me,” her breathless titillation mixed with horror obvious — by screaming. She then assured us that for normal women, “rape is worse than death.” Just a very, very ill woman who insists on making her mental health issues other people’s problem.
I read that yesterday, and I don;t know what folks like Carl Levin are thinking when they claim it is not unconstitutional to imprison US persons (citizens or not), on US soil, or not, without trial. It is fucked up beyond all recognition, that this is projected policy and placed in the defense appropriation bill. A bill that is very hard politically for a sitting president to veto. Just some crazy shit all around, and democrats that support it ought to be ashamed.
I think you are looking for the second post by Daniel Davies reproduced in this list (the original is no longer accessible to the general public):
If freedom isn’t free why do the gun fetishists get to avoid paying the societal costs of their nasty little obsession? Shall we call them the Freeloaders of Freedom?
Someone beat me to it. Daniel Davies post is a treasure.
@bourbaki: Yep, I have it bookmarked. The title is Projects and Morons.
Themes: 1. Liars will lie about EVERYTHING, so you cannot trust them about ANYTHING.
2. Auditing – i.e. going back and comparing results to predictions, is important. Pundits, anyone?
It is excellent, and simple.
@Forum Transmitted Disease: Also, NRA head guy is appearing on one of the Sunday shows.
The main winger argument against gun control is “There’s really nothing you can do to stop gun violence and additional laws restricting gun availability won’t stop anyone.” I.e., it’s about culture and human nature, and you can’t legislate that. The various dumb statements from McArdle and NRO reinforce that argument, btw.
@beltane: Thanks for asking! The price of my freedom is always to be paid by others’ blood and misery. I hope this clarifies things.
@Paul: A nuclear bomb is not even needed to subdue these idiots. The Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are many times “tougher” than our easily frightened, suburban couch-potatoes commandos and yet they are no match for a drone. In any case, governments are toppled by the willingness of citizens to die for their cause, not by their eagerness to shoot at government agents.
Also, can someone direct me to the part of the 2nd Amendment that states “In order to provide for the overthrow of our democratically elected government, the right to keep and bear assault rifles shall not be abridged.”
This could be funny as a SNL skit. Unfortunately, it is real life in Gorida.
@MattF: The followup question is: Tell us about Australia since 1995, and how much their efforts have failed. I.e. not at all.
@shortstop: Yes. Someone else posted that the tree of Liberty has to be watered with the blood of the young and innocent.
Being armed to oppose government oppression? So that means blacks in the south should have been armed to the teeth during Jim Crow? Or a modern day example, people with Muslim heritage should be stocking up on assault rifles because of intrusive government surveillance or police department targeting? (I’m looking at you NYPD) Hmmm… don’t remember the Right or gun nuts ever making that argument.
@beltane: I am so stealing this
The NRA will donate money to mental health services and call for violent video games to be removed from the shelves.
CNN is now saying the mother left the murderer alone for two days. OMG how can someone who has no idea how sick her kid is leave a twenty year old alone. What about the dad? If he didn’t have an idea, then he wasn’t much of a father was he?
I was actually just reading Chris Matthews talking about this with Larry Pratt from Gun Owners of America, on Monday’s show. (Link is to transcript not show; I have a tweety allergy.)
It’s high-octane stuff. Pratt gets off into the weeds very quickly, and he simply sounds like a nut. I know he speaks for many, which can’t be discounted. But I know many people like me will hear this guy and mark him off as absolutely insane.
Also, The Battle of Athens, TN in 1946 is apparently a touchstone for these people. That was news to me, but until now I’ve been avoiding gun control debates.
The malevolent Wayne LaPierre will be partnering, pas de deux, with Dancin’ Dave this Sunday on “Meet the Press”. Being a professional rent-boy, Dave will surely let Wayne lead, in no way interfering with the NRA busting its new moves on gun control.
Arming teachers? Banning video games? Kamikaze kids? Dave will demonstrate his gratitude for this exclusive interview by assuring viewers that such positions are serious, reasonable, and most importantly, bipartisan.
Stronger temperaments than mine might watch this travesty. It will sicken me enough merely to read the transcript.
Cris (without an H)
You spelled “feedom” wrong.
During the Battle of Mogadishu a few dozen US troops killed 2,000-plus Somalis armed with AK’s, RPG’s, mortars, recoiless rifles, grenades, etc.
Having an AR-15 rather than a hunting rifle won’t do a thing to change the fact that a couple of platoons of well-trained troops would wipe out any number civilians. If that argument ever held any water, modern rates of fire and 100 years of military experience in infantry tactics have rendered it completely obsolete.
Ask the Iraqis how well that worked. The Iraqi populace under Saddam Hussein was armed to the teeth. Almost every household had an AK or similar assault rifle. So you can argue that Iraq was a totalitarian hellhole, or you can argue that guns protect us from a totalitarian government, but you can’t consistently argue both.
@handsmile: Will he have Newtown parents on at the same time? Will they be armed? Whoops didn’t mean to imply anything….
Paul in KY
@Linda Featheringill: I think one of the points the anti-control people will make is:
The criminals will have assault weapons. Why can’t I have the same basic firepower as them?
This point needs to be addressed and defanged.
@handsmile: I really don’t mind LaPierre going on national TV. The guy is a certified nut case and, even if Dancing Dave is covering his ass, he will still come across as an idiot.
I did not know this. Do you have a cite for that? I don’t mean that in a doubting thomas way, just would like to have it handy.
@MattF: They’re wrong about legislating culture, though. You can do that. Wouldn’t our culture be changed if gay marriage was legal? Wouldn’t our culture change if sex was more visible on TV instead of violence?
GOA is where people go, who find the NRA a bit too wimpy and unreliable on defending gun rights.
Not surprised their leader seems unhinged.
Also, too there are folks who don’t like the fact the NRA helped facilitate the 1934 and 1968 gun control laws.
You assume this is about rational arguments. It’s not. It’s about primal emotions, on both sides of the debate.
One side is I will stand up to tyranny with my AR and why are you attacking my daddy who taught me to hunt. The other side is why don’t you care about the children? There’s no rationality.
If there will be any increased gun control measures following this event, the most likely outcome is a ban on future sales of “assault rifles”. When that ban goes into effect there will be tens of thousands more “assault” rifles in circulation then than there are today because sales are skyrocketing already. And “assault” rifles account for 40 or 50 deaths per year- about the number of deaths that are caused by lightning each year in this country.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Rathskeller: I wonder if this is the same guy I heard on the radio yesterday, who was literally hyperventilating and screaming “shoot them!” at the anchor.
I urge him to speak to as many media outlets as will let him on. He sounds completely psychotic.
Jay in Oregon
Kinda like how Congressman Joe Walsh has earned the honorific “Deadbeat Dad” as part of his title—”Representative and Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh”, or “Representative Joe ‘Deadbeat Dad’ Walsh”—I think Megan McArdle needs to have her lunacy immortalized for all time:
Megan “Kids Need To Learn To Charge At Shooters” McArdle
Anyone who takes her seriously on any subject from this point on is a fool.
Of course. We should not let the fact that many right wingers and loony libertarians take such obvious glee in making bad faith arguments obscure the fact that they can’t, in fact, support their case with good faith arguments.
@Paul in KY:
Using this logic, nobody should ever lock their doors again. The criminal/burglar will find away to get in any way.
Using this logic, the war on drugs is over. People can still find a way to get drugs.
In other words, the logic of this argument is just absurd. Why is that criminals in say Belgium (or just about any other country than the US) pretty much never have assault weapons, while at the same literally anybody in the US can have the them? It is called gun control.
@Forum Transmitted Disease: I personally have avoided gun control discussions for years. I felt that every gun tragedy we experienced was just something America was willing to endure. I had given up.
Not anymore. I’m willing to work for twenty years on this if necessary. Gun control is my new hobby. I have fucking had it.
Freedom isn’t free, but both past and recent history suggest that stupidity, ignorance, fear, biogotry and hatred are also very expensive. People should consider carefully what sort of investments they are making before assembling their emotional portfolios.
@Forum Transmitted Disease: His words are nuts, yes. His affect is pretty good, however. He’s clearly had training. His responses are fast and fluid, and he doesn’t get rattled by aggressive, hostile interviews like Piers Morgan.
But as someone else on TPM said, if that’s your advocate, let’s have him on every show, every day.
I don’t lock my doors. I have insurance, why do I want to have someone have to bust up my door frame and then deal with getting that fixed? Anyway if anyone can make it past my dogs the deserve to have my teevee.
And the drug war is over. It’s easier and cheaper to get high I several ways than it was 40 years ago.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
If only the political dynamics of our current electoral system worked so directly, rather than being so highly subject to such powerful leveraging by single-issue voters organized into richly financed political action groups. While other voters are making nuanced, if often mush-headed decisions by three or four criteria, single-issue voters start with a binary threshold screen on that one issue, and limit their candidate options to only those who clearly pass this initial binary test.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Rathskeller: Not the same guy I heard on the radio, then. There was nothing fast, fluid, or unrattled about this guy at all. He sounded like an unstable nutcase who was about to shoot a hostage.
@Paul: One response, well short of banning, is “How much did that firepower help Nancy Lanza?”
Because she didn’t secure her weapons, her mentally ill son shot her in the face before going on to mow down children. We can very reasonably argue that every person with these weapons must have exclusive control over them, using trigger guards and gun safes that they alone can open. That should be common ground with a lot of people.
Yes. Government should give away a decent tiggerlockmwith every gun purchase. Money well spent.
Here in California you have to either attest that you have a gun safe or get a trigger lock before purchasing.
The last couple of pistols I’ve purchased have had freebie locks in the case provided by the manufacturer. That’s a good idea.
@Scotty: They’ve been circulating web posts saying “Mao Zedong took all the gunz, then he killed 50 Million PEOPLE.” It’s taken all my restraint to not point out to the dummies on Facebook posting this that if Chiang Kai Shek had taken all of Mao’s guns, Mao never would have taken power in the first place.
I was a husky 12 year old. I would have been no use in charging an assailant. I was a theater nerd with severe respiratory problems. We aren’t all forced into football because herp derp fat boy makes great defense.
I believe emphatically that those who are given the microphone by the corporate media determine the national discourse on any political, cultural or social issue. The US corporate media’s complicity in how issues of gun control/gun safety have been presented and understood must be recognized and condemned
Wayne LaPierre has been spewing his sociopathy in print and broadcast media for more than 20 years. If he were such an extremist, such a “nut case” he would not be permitted this luxury. NBC/”Meet the Press” legitimizes him, his organization, and its positions in a way that his appearance on Fox Noise or the Christian Broadcast Network would not. That he will appear alone with Dancin’ Dave only underscores and reconfirms his status.
New ideas, new thinking, new directions require new spokespersons. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Dan Gross (Brady Campaign president), or legal scholar Walter Dellinger, for example, are the ones who should be given that “Meet the Press” microphone and that prominence now.
And how would that have changed anything in this case? Just because that’s the law, doesn’t mean anybody has to follow it. In the case of Nancy Lanza, the only reason we knew she hadn’t secured her gun was because of the massacre.
Police must have grounds for searching a house.
The best citation I can find is from Gun Policy. They say Iraq’s per capita private gun ownership is 8th highest in the world. FWIW, it looks as if the highest rates of private gun ownership are mostly in Europe, North America, and the Arab countries. The top 10 by their figures are:
7) Saudi Arabia
The highest ranking in Sub Saharan Africa is Equatorial Guinea (29) and in South or East Asia is Thailand (39).
It seems much more likely that “gun enthusiasts” who think of themselves as the last line of defense against a tyrannical government and arm themselves with military weapons are in reality the nascent members of sectarian militias, standing in the shadows, waiting for their time. To get an idea of who these folks (my neighbors and yours) are and the role they would likely play, one can simply look at recent chaos in other countries. Militias battling each other, acting as government death squads, masked groups accountable to no one terrorizing innocents. Not the place I’d ever like to be…
@Paul in KY: Not exactly. Because the third party observer sees people making that argument and says, “How do I know you’re not a criminal yourself?” which is more likely to be true than the anti-gun-control argument.
Me too. Gun control is my new hobby. I’m hearing around town that I’m not alone.
@Paul: it’s not all going to come from government action. An effective response will include societal change, which includes individual gun owners being more responsible, irrespective of laws which are obviously hard to enforce. People must individually feel an urgency about this. That’s how stopping smoking, using seat belts, avoiding drunk driving, having kids in car seats, etc., have become to be the “default” in American culture, through a combination of legislation and individual shame/responsibility.
You wrote out a typical NRA/GOA complaint: “The criminals will have assault weapons. Why can’t I have the same basic firepower as them?” and what I wrote above was in response to that: you can keep your fucking guns, but you must secure those weapons appropriately. That stops insane relatives, and that stops kids from being accidentally being shot.
I do, ultimately, want the second amendment repealed where gun ownership reduced solely to hunters and licensed professionals. But that’s something I hope for in 2032. Right now, I want strong pressure placed to keep weapons usable only by the owner.
@Rathskeller: Last weekend, I wrote my Senators. I live in GA so I understand it probably is futile.
My new mission is, if one can carry in the state, then it should not be concealed. If I choose to dine in a restaurant and someone has a gun, I have the choice to leave.
How do you think Macy’s (aka federated) would react if folks had to keep their guns out in the open. How many shoppers would they lose? Corporate America would be in an uproar and money speaks. Why can’t I carry in Congress if the 2nd Amendment gives me the right?
@Roger Moore: Switzerland sort of doesn’t count because Swiss reservists are required to own firearms.
ETA: See the first couple of paragraphs of the Wiki article linked here.
Heck, why can’t I carry a gun in a commercial airplane?
There is nothing – NOTHING – in the Second Amendment that argues a right to take up arms against the government, it is to DEFEND that government via a militia. Rebellions against the government were put down HARD (see “Whiskey Rebellion”).
Funny, you almost have it backward. We gave the Nationalist weapons which would fall into the hands of the Communist who then used them against the Nationalist who we would then ship more weapons to . . . rinse and repeat.
@A.J.: Everyone needs to push back on that, hard. I think many, many gun owners think of themselves as the noble elite, protecting justice & freedom like they were The Lone Ranger.
Ted & Hellen
Is DougJ OK?
Posts are becoming increasingly disjointed/rambling.
@Napoleon: I think it’s a fair statement that guns in the hands of Chinese revolutionaries wasn’t a good thing in the long run, to put it mildly
Seeing the yellow cake reference reminded me of this. Chappelle’s Black Bush
BB: I didn’t want to say this. The [email protected]$#$er bought yellow cake. All right! From Africa. He went to Africa and bought some yellow cake.
BB:What? Huh? Oil? Who said somethin’ bout oil, bitch. You cookin? Oil? Man, I don’t know what… [knocks over water pitcher] Come on, y’all! Get out of here!
I find it ironic that those Real Murkins who are so fearful of government oppression are now calling for armed public employees at our public schools. Can’t start the police state too young!
All so they can cling to assault rifles designed singularly to kill their fellow humans. Also, massive magazine sizes.
That is for sure.
I did my best to write an article that skips right over the various crazy and flatly wrong arguments one hears about gun control, and tries to talk about solutions that have a chance of working in the actual world. I figure Balloon Juicers might appreciate it.
Paul in KY
@Paul: Remember, when they say ‘criminals’ they will mean brown people armed with these.
The counter-argument to your ‘Belgium’ gambit will be that they just don’t have ‘that’ kind of crime in Belgium (brown hordes staging home invasions while armed with bazookas).
Paul in KY
@Joel: Mr. Pierre will be making that argument. Him or one of his stooges. They are all God fearing, super-citizens dontchaknow.
Anyone want to make the counter-agrument that in some rare situations you will be out-gunned & you’ll just have to make do with a shotgun and/or bolt action rifle?
Paul in KY
@Rathskeller: That was me. Looks like we have a new commenter, kwown only as ‘Paul’.
Good point about gun safes. If you have guns, they are probably valuable enough to invest in a safe.
@burnspbesq: Wowzer. I would think that such an amendment would have had bipartisan support. I would think Republicans would be afraid of the Kenyan Muslim Socialist having the power to indefinitely detain US citizens (including those of the Caucasoid persuasion).
@Roger Moore: Ritholtz blog posted a graph of gun deaths versus number of guns.
US was an extreme outlier, but discounting that, more guns still meant more gun deaths. hoocoodanode.
The comments noted that the axes were switched from what they should be (independent versus dependent variables), and that if you ignore the US data point, the
correlation line for the rest of the nations has many fewer gun deaths per gun.
Really good locks on doors at school is good for a lot of reasons like making a kidnapping of a student harder, for example, but it doesn’t really solve the problem of nutcases with military-grade firepower.
But James Holmes wasn’t anywhere near a school. He shot up the theater in Aurora, CO.
And he didn’t use a 5.56mm weapon, either. He used three weapons that fired 9mm and a 12GA shotgun.
Like most of these shooters, he’s either detached from reality, or trying to get himself killed famously.
We need to go after these weapons for how they work, not where.
We need to ban self-reloading firearms that feed from detachable magazines, of all sizes and calibers.
Let people keep their lever, bolt, or pump action rifles and shotguns and their revolvers.
Paul in KY
@Soonergrunt: I am coming around to this point of view. The self-loading process is designed for military weapons, which are designed to kill people with as little headache to the shooter as possible.
Right, that’s why we had no problems in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Armed rebellion against the government will be aided by the sheer saturation of weapons in the United States if it happens anytime within the next fifty years. The people who have weapons may or may not do anything effective against the government; the circulation of weapons through the country in large numbers, however, will aid whoever does.
For all intents and purposes, we are Yemen when it comes to firearms per person.
I suspect we agree in the long run, anyway. I don’t want to live in Yemen. But nor could we have “won” Somalia short of air-delivering a country-wide parking lot.
Odie Hugh Manatee
You need to find a way to reference Nanook Rubs it.
Longtime Zappa fan here.
Years ago I saw a cartoon (in Mad magazine, Cracked, or the National Lampoon–I can’t remember which) that gave highlights of the NRA’s keeping America free. Jim Crow was covered, as was the internment of Japanese during WW II. Remember the tireless efforts of the NRA to protect the rights of ordinary citizens against local and federal government overreach–oh, wait.