A wrenching national search for solutions to the violence that left 20 children dead in Newtown, Conn., in December all but ended Wednesday after the Senate defeated several gun-related measures.
In rapid succession, a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for would-be gun purchasers, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines all failed to get the 60 votes needed under an agreement both parties had reached to consider the amendments.
Senators also turned back Republican proposals to promote concealed weapons permits nationally and focus law enforcement on prosecuting gun crimes.
Among those looking on from the gallery, Lori Haas, whose daughter was shot at Virginia Tech, and Patricia Maisch, a survivor of the mass shooting in Tucson, shouted, “Shame on you.” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who presided over the votes, then asked for decorum.
“They need to be ashamed of themselves,” Ms. Maisch said as she was being escorted from the Capitol. “They have no souls. They have no compassion.”
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely injured in the Tucson shooting, wrote in a Twitter message: “Senate ignored will of the people & rejected background checks. Im not giving up. Constituents will know they obeyed gun lobby and not them.”
The Senate’s opponents of gun control, from both parties, said that they cast their votes based on logic and that passion had no place in the making of momentous policy.
“Criminals do not submit to background checks now. They will not submit to expanded background checks,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. A provision to expand background checks was widely seen as the substantive measure with the greatest chance of passing.
Its failure was a striking defeat for one of President Obama’s highest domestic priorities, on an issue that has consumed the country since Adam Lanza opened fire with an assault weapon in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Overall, a pretty solid day for gun nuts and sociopaths. And aside from the NRA and GOP, mass murderers and criminals and the mentally ill who want to commit massacres win, too.
Freedom smells like cordite and the blood of young children.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
The President was plenty pissed.
video of POTUS Statement:
Mike in NC
The US Congress: bought and paid for by the NRA.
Those bullies, shouting at poor, helpless Senators. Or just tweeting about them.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
A couple surprises: Mary Landrieu did the right thing, and this will not be a free vote for her, and we held on to few wobblies like Donnelly. I’m more and more pleased with the 25 or 50 bucks I’ve given to Tester in his two cycles.
I think Ayotte may find this bites her in the ass, maybe Rubio, too. Not calling those, just saying it might happen.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: His words were so heated, I thought my car speakers were going to melt.
I think this was a Pyrrhic victory for the gun rights nuts. Maybe it will make it easier to pick up a few more House seats in purple districts.
@Elizabelle: The coveted suburban mom vote is likely to begin considering the NRA, and the politicians they own, to be little more than a child killers’ rights organization.
This country was built on murder and blood, what’s new?… It looks like it will continue to be.
pseudonymous in nc
Blood on their hands.
Jon Stewart on the matter
I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted with Congress or Republicans in my life. Social media is also agonizingly infuriating on this issue. I’m all for a free exchange of opinions but today I want to defriend every facebook asshole who brags about their freedoms being protected. But then that would make me a small minded Libtard! Guns for everybody!
Tyranny of the Minority, yet again.
Such a stupid response. “Criminals don’t follow laws, so we’re not going to write any”
Go home then. Resign. It’s all futile and your career as a lawmaker has been a complete waste of time.
Shameful. Can’t even pass a watered-down piece of shit because everyone’s scared shitless of the gun manufacturing lobby (which is what the NRA really is).
If only Obama had started with “ban all guns” then this legislation would most certainly have passed. I am so disappointed he started from a point of compromise.
He is most certainly the weakest president in my lifetime.
Maybe the Democrats can offer an even more watered-down version, like voluntary background checks and the purchaser can opt to use a fake I.D.? I bet that would get at least one or two Republicans on board for that all-important bipartisan support.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Hal: Social Fixer. It filters your wall from within your browser. Very robust filters.
@PsiFighter37: Everyone isn’t scared. For example, Mary Landrieu took a risk on this one.
And Chuck Grassley demonstrates his Christian principles by kissing the ass of the Child-killer Lobby.
@lojasmo: Uh…no. This is one area where starting basically at any point would’ve resulted in nothing happening because there are too many chickenshit senators out there.
@lojasmo: Work on your snark, its too stale.
WTH happened to the site?
So yesterday after the bombing it was, keep cal and carry on…we are safer than ever, etc.
But when about the same number of children are killed in this country by “assault weapons” as people who are killed by lightning strikes, then it is a national dishonor that something isn’t done?
The “left’s” epistemically closure when it comes to guns is as complete as the “right’s” regarding just about everything else.
I actually favor background checks and maybe even magazine restrictions. But I am absolutely delighted to see this go down in flames since I hope it might lead to some people pulling their heads out of their asses and having a realistic, grown up discussion about real risks and rational approaches to violence in this country.
This whole gun thing is some extraordinarily bizarre form of collective madness. I can’t even begin to fathom it.
Look on the bright side. We all want smaller classroom sizes, right? (snark font of course)
I’ve always jokingly called that <3 emoticon 'teabag' rather than 'heart'… it's never been more appropriate than right now.
Plan B – Get a paperclip, attached a secret rider anonymously to some bill proclaiming ‘National Peach Fuzz Appreciation Day’ or some such thing.
I don’t see any other way to get anything done with the fools, cowards, and blaggards infesting Congress.
The Other Bob
NRA-ILA: Defending criminal access to guns and guaranteeing a successful suicide since 1975.
Cowards Carry Guns.
@Bobby Thomson: Reddit linked to it, and the post made the front page, driving an overwhelming amount of traffic.
@Has lop: You go first. Like to hear your “rational” approach that does NOT include universal background checks.
This is Great News for the Bully Pulpit!
online progressive always say you can pass any legislation if you use the Bully Pulpit.
They say if you give a series of powerful speeches, public opinion will rally behind you, and once you have the people behind you, no amount of special interest money can win.
it’s a nice fantasy. I wish it was true.
but here’s the reality. obummer gave dozens of speeches, the white house held scores of events, the families of 20 dead kindergartners and 6 dead teachers were given prominent and stirring roles, which resulted in 90% of the people backing the legislation, and still, a watered-down bill couldn’t beat the NRA’s special interest dollars.
To paraphrase Edward G. Robinson from the “10 Commandments”, where’s your mystical Bully Pulpit now?
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of six year olds.
I like how you categorize millions of law abiding citizens as sociopaths and gun nuts.
I also find it highly ironic you also wrote an article about how you refuse to give up another Right based upon the Boston bombings.
You’re a hypocritical blowhard of a coward John. YOU dont want to give up YOUR freedoms, but goddamn anyone else and their freedoms right?
Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill
Oh, do fuck off with your purity approach.
Unlike with guns, there are dozens of restrictions and laws on the books targeting the kind of action that occurred in Boston. There’s not much more that can be done, in truth, save turn us into a surveillance state.
Your analogy is morally reprehensible on far too many levels to dive into, esp. as I eat dinner. Your inability to pull your own head out of your clearly clean-as-fuck arse is noted and logged, however.
I am so pissed off about this I can barely form coherent thoughts. But I’ll just say – MIDTERMS PEOPLE. This is why they matter. Get out the fucking vote in 2014.
Not remotely the case. For the most part, no one is calling for gun bans. And even those who would like a total gun ban know it isn’t going to happen and are interested in a few things like registration and insurance requirement ans well as magazine restrictions.
If you want a rational discussion on that, get the right to pull its head out of its collective ass.
@Michael G: Oh boy, a fresh crop of trolls!
“Both sides do it, but liberals are worse, and while I have to agree with them on this specific idea, I still can’t support it because they’re shrill. Also, Al Gore is fat.”
@Has lop: When the NRA starts scaring its members into supporting their 2nd right to have IDE making equipment at the ready, I will change my tune on the subject of the public policy implications of terrorist bombings.
I don’t see how anyone who has paid attention to the conversation on this blog could say that the issues is solely about insane people shooting down defenseless kids in school. It is about the US ranking in the top 10 to 20 countries in the world in total firearms deaths, firearms homicides and firearm suicides.
I mean really, the gun rights fanatics arguments are silly. I guess we should get rid of motor vehicle registrations because 99 percent of automobile drivers obey the law. And get rid of health professional licensing requirements because 99 percent of health professionals obey the law. After all, why should we law abiding people be burdened with anything at all that inconveniences us?
Let alone the loony and dangerous not-so-sbutext that the 2nd amendment guarantees some quasi-Constitutional right to shoot the place up if you get mad enough.
Ted & Hellen
Let’s see…how many opportunities has Harry Reed had to do away with the filibuster…?
Gosh darn those mean republicans. Hudathunkit?
@Has lop: 1/3rd of all mass murders for the last 30 years were performed with weapons covered by the assault weapons ban. That is not insignificant.
Will an assault weapons ban, or background checks, or any other measure stop every murder? No, of course not. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, or that the answer is handing weapons out like candy.
We can’t stop everyone from building bombs either, and yet somehow we manage to have a licensing process – including background checks – for access to explosives. Except, of course, for black powder, which the NRA has kept exempt.
Wayne Lapierre just handed Democrats two winning campaign issues. There’s the gun safety issue of course. But there’s also the completely fucked up and un-American way the government works now because of Republican extremism. Most people (including one of the Newtown mothers) are shocked when they hear about the filibuster. Because the way it works now is not how it has been mythologized.
I know it sounds ugly, but perhaps the child-killer lobby and their reps need to be hounded, Westboro style, by pious protectors carrying graphic pictures of dead children. If women seeking abortions have to be harassed in this way, maybe “patriots” attending gun shows deserve this treatment as well. Call it an Operation Rescue for the already born.
Time is not on the NRA’s side. They couldn’t get anyone elected last time, and they won’t get anyone elected this time. Just a temporary setback.
The lizard brains win again. George Zimmerman is everyman in their world. Fearful, angry -with no sort of intellectual context to buffer them from the howls of the right-wing media.
What can change this, no one can say.
‘Oh yeah! Nothing the right would like more than to continue the “self-cleaning oven effect” that exists for America’s less fortunate and minorities in their ghettos.
Ted & Hellen
So do it. Unfriend them. Your FB feed will be much more tranquil and you won’t have right wing dumb asses in your life any more, at least online.
I follow that advice regularly and as a result my FB feed, with nearly 1,300 friends and growing, is quite pleasant to read.
I save my hatred and vitriol for BJ.
According to the NYTimes, there has been an arrest in the Ricin case. I’ll check and see what CNN says
Ted & Hellen
Hmmm…no. Close, but…no.
I held off judgement on Harry Reid’s decision not to do real filibuster reform. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he knew these people, knew the Senate and had some sort of larger, longer-term plan. But that was wrong. Reid fucked up. Big time.
The 60-vote Senate has to go. It’s killing the country. Time for Reid to sack up and go all nuclear on the Republicans ass and blow up the filibuster. Fuck it, Harry, just fuggin go for it.
@Has lop: Please post something rational and reasonable that we can do to curb gun violence.
Grod – if this event leads to a grand awakening of liberals to understand that electing candidates to office is only useful to stop the conservatives from dragging the country backwards and that to push things forwards you have to collectively organize, it would not nearly be worth it, but at least it would be beneficial.
Sadly I will just assume that most folks online will not actually realize that the next “correct” step in the face of this failure is to start organizing “Mothers Against Gun Violence”, turn it into the next MADD, and start making it toxic for candidates to NOT run on a platform of better background checks and reduced magazine sizes.
(Because seriously – that’s how change has historically happened in this country. By the time elected officials ever DO ANYTHING it’s already reached the point where not only are the majority behind them, the majority are ready to push them off a cliff if the DON’T do it.)
@JPL: Thank you for making me laugh. It was much needed.
suspect is Walt White
And in other news, the great state of Arizona just passed a law stating that all firearms turned in at community buy-backs have to be resold and not destroyed. Arizona already has a law stating that all firearms confiscated by law enforcement have to be sold to a federally licensed dealer for resale.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
“Criminals do not [refrain from murdering, stealing and raping] now. They will not submit to [laws against murdering, stealing and raping],” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Senator Grassley went on to say, “Clearly the only rational thing to do at this point is to repeal all laws against murder, theft and rape, since those laws won’t stop every murder, theft and rape, which means none of these laws do any good whatsoever. I mean, hey, if we can’t stop every crime, why try to stop any at all, am I right? All we can really do is throw up our hands and give up altogether.”
The entire system of government that ludicrously overrepresents rural, conservative states (what’s the count? 16% of the country elects 50% of the Senate?) and gives them effective veto power over any initiative no matter how popular or urgent is what’s killing the country. The 60-vote Senate is just one of the more grotesque manifestations of that. They’re always saying minorities shouldn’t get special treatment, and I’ve decided to take their word for it: let’s start by cutting the most overrepresented minority in the country down to the size of regular citizens.
(Unfortunately, that would require a constitutional convention).
Why yes, yes it is a national dishonor. Why don’t you let us know how many dead kids you think it would take to rate in your view. Please proceed.
God I hope so. I hope that we can make the NRA as toxic as drunk driving. This country is becoming ungovernable. I am just filled with rage and despair over this,
“Americans will always do the right thing, after exhausting every other possible option.” Winston Churchill.
Fuck off and die, preferably with an utterly preventable gun death due to suicide or “accident” when the gun owner near you forgets to keep his gun locked up or shoots through the wall while spinning his loaded gun on his finger.
Perhaps we set our Bully Pulpits too high.
@JPL: CNN says he’s already been tried, convicted and executed.
Is the problem Harry Reid? Or is it the rest of the Democratic Caucus that doesn’t have his back? Last I checked, Reid still needs 50 other votes (including Biden as a potential tiebreaker) if he wants to change the rules.
Majority rule Senate would probably be good enough. The gun bill (and things like..the public option…) would have passed easily.
And it won’t take a constitutional convention to fix. Just the will to do it by the majority. But, it the Republicans gain control of the Senate…it’ll be gone.
What freedoms are being taken away? Universal background checks impinge on your freedoms? Your inability to buy guns capable of killing dozens within a few seconds (the only use those guns have is mass killings btw) makes you less free?
Your freedom does not begin and end with your ability to own an assault weapon. You still have a myriad of choices to hide under your pillow in order to fight off the black helicopters.
@Chris: That’s the cleaned-up version – what Churchill actually said is that “you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing…after they’ve bloody well tried everything else first.” The media (and Churchill himself) cleaned it up because in those days “bloody” was considered somewhat risque. Now, it seems tame.
That’s a fair point. It may well have been that Reid didn’t have the votes. He still should have gone for it. Make them go on record.
The problem is complex, no doubt. Not the least of the complication is that the Senators are too damn old as well.
@David Koch: You mock, but just wait until tomorrow, when they announce it wasn’t really ricin.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
@Has lop: Really. That comment is just unadulterated idiocy. You’re delighted that something that you support, that 90% of the public supports was stopped by a captured minority of supposed public servants who are cowed by a powerful lobby. That is not counter intuitive or crafty thinking. That is nonsense.
@MattR: They didn’t have the 50 votes (even for a limited version of filibuster changes) because of Senators like Levin and some others. But the firebaggers have decided to ignore that and blame Reid, and it’s useless to even try to argue it with them.
Nope, just the sociopaths and gun nuts. Look, shitloads of gun owners have no problems with things like registration and/or magazine limits. That is one of the lines between being a gun owner and a gun nut.
@Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): All that money for a Doctorate and the best you can do is some childish “Fuck off”? Expected. Par for the course. I suppose your next hat trick is to throw out “tea bagger” and “Nazi”? Should we place bets which comes first?
@Eli: And having to undergo a background check in order to purchase a firearm circumscribes your ability to purchase said firearm how, exactly?
@Hal: Can I transfer a firearm to my son, or am I required to go to a government approved agency to do the transfer?
Would a background check have stopped Sandy Hook? Nope, those were legally owned, and “stolen” by the child.
There are already laws preventing strawman purchases. There are already laws preventing felons from owning firearms. There are already laws preventing murder. We just need a few more laws to be safe right?
Would you give up freedom to prevent bombings? Your hero John wrote an article just a few days ago, “Not one more right”…..Unless its something you disagree with like firearms ownership, in which case sure we can give up one more freedom or one more right cant we?
@Gravenstone: Because SHUT UP, THAT’S WHY! Obviously.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
Is that for real? How can that even be Constitutional? Wouldn’t the 2nd Amendment imply that if you’ve bought a gun, it’s yours to do with whatever you want? Even throw it into a wood chipper? Maybe the buyback movement should bring a bunch of suits against Arizona citing–oh, the irony–the 2nd Amendment.
Maybe. But what’s more likely is that the Rethugs would use it to try to take the country back to pre-New-Deal or pre-13th-Amendment days.
Actually, they’d probably go for pre-Enlightenment if they thought they could get away with it.
@Eli: Millions of law abiding citizens & gun owners supported this bill. It was a group of frightened senators who defeated it.
How nice! I wonder if the these also come with a certificate of authenticity, something like:
Actually, I personally categorize you as overgrown tantrum-throwing children who can’t be trusted with weaponry, based just on the evidence of the past few days:
4-year-old boy accidentally kills Tenn. deputy’s wife
St. Petersburg teen shot friend in gun-twirling accident
If you guys can’t be bothered to figure out how to keep your precious guns out of the hands of children, we the people will do it for you, you irresponsible moron.
Ahem. Your slip is showing
@Has lop: Troll, the gun safety folks did everything that’s been asked of them. The gun rights folks are the ones lying about gun registries. When you claim to support closing the background check loophole, but are satisfied that hippies are punched, all I can say is GFY.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
Sometimes a hearty “fuck off” is all that’s warranted.
Well if the shoe fucking fits….
Why does your freedom to own a gun automatically overrule my freedom to not be accidentally killed because you didn’t bother to keep track of it?
Explain it in small words.
It’s a perfect example of the lunacy. A law to.protect the gun. The object. So it doesn’t die when the owner turns it in.
You don’t see that with hammers or screwdrivers. This is no ordinary tool.
@Kay: You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to see that this particular consumer object is a proxy for something these men feel they are lacking.
GUN IS MY GOD
@Mnemosyne: You want to know the real answer to that? Because without this particular these people feel vulnerable, like a hot chick in a miniskirt and high heels trapped in an elevator with a group of sex offenders. That’s why they get so friggin emotional-because without their gunz they feel like women.
@Has lop: May I be the first to say “Fuck you, loathesome NRA gunbuggering troll”?
I love most everyone here, in a platonic blog posting/comment kind of way, but almost none of them are going to hear you on this.
Anything that has even the slightest chance of passing Congress (which includes the House, of course) would be statistically ineffectual in actually doing anything about the American way of gun violence.
Hugely important — way, way too many guns out there (300+ million). Mostly very well-built, very long-lasting, easily-transported and used death machines.
How do you get those 300+ million genies back in the bottle (I know I use this tired cliche all the time, but it fits)?
Massive confiscation? Never happen.
How else, then? There is no other way.
Then there’s the 2nd Amendment. Coupled with the bedrock American value of “don’t tread on me”.
Most gun deaths in America are suicides, after that is criminal gun murders, mostly in the ghetto. Background checks and magazine limits would do fuck-all about that.
Digby had it right — the left lost the gun control debate at least a generation ago.
And I’m with you — the irrationality on the left regarding gun control whenever a (very rare) mass shooting occurs is of the same kind (though not nearly of the same magnitude of sheer idiocy) as the right’s freakout on, well, everything else (from “socialistic” healthcare to 9/11).
@Mnemosyne: Being murdered by a stolen gun is already illegal. Having a gun stolen and not reporting it is already illegal. Accidentally discharging a gun is already illegal. Negligently causing the death of another person by fucking around with a loaded gun is already illegal.
But do you know what’s not yet illegal? A national gun registry. But that would have been illegal, if that law had passed. All in exchange for, what, exactly? A ban on precisely zero weapons? Stalker access to your medical records? No attempt at all to address the proliferation of handguns responsible for most mass murders? The bill was the worst example of giving away the substantive farm in exchange for some ineffective eye candy. And you guys are sad it didn’t pass? Idiots.
@Eli: Yes, Manchin-Toomey would have allowed selling/giving a gun to your relatives without a background check. Perhaps you should read it and tell the truth about it. But that apparently isn’t as fun as gloating and lying about it, so go ahead and insult everyone because that’s what you’re gonna do anyway.
@Gravenstone: You really believe this was about background checks? Thats the first move in this chess match, not the end game. The Democrats needed to see what type of resistance they were going to face.
Did you forget Feinswines “If I had the votes, Mr. and Mrs. America turn’m all in”. This isnt about background checks. This is about full on firearms bans and confiscation. They just sell it as “reasonable background checks” to make it more palatable. But thats far from the desired outcome.
@DFH no.6: How did we cut down on smoking? How did we cut down on vehicular fatalities? There’s more cars than ever, it can’t be possible.
ETA- Coupled with the bedrock American value of “don’t tread on me”.= white people value
Because I don’t think it can be mentioned enough, let us all remember that David Michael Keene, son of NRA president David Keene, is currently in jail serving time for a road rage incident where the bullet he fired ended up lodged in the seat a few inches from the other driver’s head.
@patroclus: It wouldnt have stayed that way and we both know it. See previous post, this isnt about background checks. Thats just the first step.
@Eli: This is either bullshit or paranoid raving. I am not sure which.
@Eli: So, you’re a delusional paranoid, check. Little point in engaging you further. Have a great night!
@Eli: Yep. I mean look at cars. First it was registration. Then licensing. Then insurance. And now they’ve all been banned.
@Eli: You are out of your mind.
Shorter: I’m cutting off my nose to spit my face because liberals piss me off.
God Bless America.
@PIGL: No, but it’s always in good taste.
@Eli: It was written that way and we both know it. Your first post, which was about background checks, asked whether you could give a gun to your son without a background check. At the time you wrote your first post about background checks, you knew the answer was that Manchin-Toomey would have allowed it but you wrote it anyway – effectively leading off with dishonesty.
Now, you’ve change your argument to a slippery slope argument, which isn’t dishonest. But the initial blatant dishonesty makes me question your purpose here other than insults, gloating and lying.
@Chet: Indeed, Manchin-Toomey was pretty weak and it (as expected) lost badly anyway. The only real way to remedy that is to change the composition of the Senate.
@OzoneR: Or “I used to be a liberal, but after Newtown I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick!”
The Tragically Flip
Actually background checks would prevent some suicides.
It will also prevent some guns getting to criminals since it closes a massive loophole around which unscrupulous “law abiding” gun sellers sell them to anyone without questions.
It makes street guns more expensive, which means they’re harder for street criminals to get them.
It all matters. Just because the problem is big doesn’t mean you abandon all hope. Start somewhere. It took a generation to get this fucked up, it’s not going to get unfucked by one law.
Next bill to die in the Senate, immigration reform. Media will blame both sides.
Frankly I’m very P*SSED OFF.
It is an exceedingly rare event that a piece of legislation has such broad and deep support.
Yet, those who have learned to game the Senate system did so today without so much as a care for any political consequences.
Our democratic republic is broken; fatally (LITERALLY!) broken.
Those Dems who supported the filibuster are on the TOP of my list, and I won’t forget. Neither should any of you.
For cripes sake, they were flanked on the “left” by GD Toomey!
the look of devastation
@Chet: Chet, I actually agree with you about the bill giving away the farm and getting not enough in return. I was driving home from work and heard an NPR interview with an NRA guy who was talking about all the things he loved about the bill. One of the shockers for me was that states could not force their more-restrictive gun policies on people who were traveling through the state. To me that sounded like lowering gun standards to the level of the most permissive states, and it sounded like really shitty policy. Please let me know if I got this wrong.
This doesn’t mean I’m siding with whacko Eli. I’ve been wearing an ‘I am NOT carrying a gun’ button for months.
Ding ding. Here we are at the crux of the issue. You don’t want any gun laws at all because of your paranoid belief that it’s “only the beginning.” Up thread you accuse “my hero” of lumping all gun owners into the nutters category and then go right for the conspiracy theory.
Meh. I’m over it. People like you are set in stone and arguing for anything remotely meaningful is utterly pointless.
Oh, and I finally realized that so many fuck yeah guns folks are in the same group as anti-abortion folks. Ironic, yes, but their paranoia is rooted in the fact that they have spent decades whittling away the right to choose, so they are expecting the same tactics on gun control.
How would anything that’s even remotely possible for us to actually enact and implement on gun control nationally prevent your (very real and terrible) scenarios?
That’s the issue here.
Nobody here thinks murder or accidental shooting by gun is ok.
But with the situation in America as it is, how do you make any significant change for the better?
Background checks and magazine limits?
Sorry, those would do (statistically) nothing.
Only turning America into (or a long way toward, anyway) Western Europe vis-à-vis guns would have any effect.
How do we do that?
Global warming gets us all long before we ever figure that out, I’m afraid.
And I’m sorry to say, but Has lop’s contention that the “left” is epistemically closed when it comes to guns is true.
It is as impossible to hold an actual conversation – even among other liberals – on this topic if you don’t toe the party line as it is to discuss just about anything else with a wingnut.
We are the reality-based community, but not on this subject. Not even close.
This thread shines a big old light on that.
C’mon – whose going to be first to tell me to fuck off?
I have just sent the following to both my senators (Boxer and Feinstein), and I recommend that everyone else email the senator about the filibuster rule”
‘Dear Senator Boxer;
The filibuster rule must be changed, and if not, Harry Reid must be replaced as Senate Majority Leader.
I will remember next time I vote if this is not done. I will no longer vote Democratic but will vote Green or any progressive alternative.
I live in a senior living complex and about 80% agree that this is a horrible outcome for background checks.
The people my complex are tired that senator’s from states with small rural populations holding the majority hostage to 19th century thinking and positions.
Also, I think we should start a new party called the “GUILLOTINE PARTY to counter the Tea Party.
I started a Facebook page for the Guillotine Party and was hoping to get some help in organizing. I am a senior with some health problems and would appreciate some input.
The Tragically Flip
I explained above that background checks will make a marginal difference. You seem to be saying “if it doesn’t fix the problem totally, it’s not worth doing.”
Incremental progress is progress.
@DFH no.6: Background checks and magazine limits? Sorry, those would do (statistically) nothing.
Eleven kids got out of the Newtown classroom when a magazine ran out. Fuck off. Am I first?
@DFH no.6: ue.
So what is this great discussion that we are all refusing to have?
I’ll start. Pretty weak sauce. “I have no ideas, but you people who do and advocate for them are just shrill meanies.”
Sorry you’re butthurt, but yeah, fuck off.
@DFH no.6: Where and how would you start to make a difference on gun violence? I don’t disagree with you that the problem is so big as to seem unsolvable, but I think that even tinkering around the edges helps.
@Nerull: Speed limits don’t prevent all speeding. And red lights don’t stop all cars from entering intersections at the wrong time.
So we should abandon all traffic signals and enjoy the mass carnage. Freedom!
pseudonymous in nc
So, now we know that it’ll take a nutjob wiping out an entire kindergarten with an Uzi for the World’s Greatest Mass Debating Body to return to the topic… and then shrug it off.
Wayne LaRocque, you are now free to go up on stage and tell the psychopaths of America that they have carte blanche to exercise their god-given rights in the knowledge that once that’s done, they’ll blame some other fuckers for it.
@Bucky Reynolds: @Bucky Reynolds:
I tried to link the Facebook page not quite sure I am doing it correctly.
Ha Ha Ha Mitch McConnell is such a card. Who cares about Newtown, he showed Harry Reid – SNAP!
@scottinnj: Gloating seems to be the natural reaction of the Republicans tonight; McConnell is just doing what the trolls are doing here. For them, dead children and the lack of a legislative reaction to it is like a sport or a game. They won, so they get to gloat.
If all the people who are ape-shit about instant background checks that by law have to be just as instantly destroyed once the sale is done, had also gone apeshit about the Patriot Act and it’s nearly unlimited domestic electronic
spyingeavesdropping on ourselves, then, hey, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt that they cared about an intrusive government.
They don’t. They care about their fetish. Their dark, heavy, well-oiled fetish.
@scottinnj: Not that McConnell will care, but the comments on that despicable FB endzone dance are running heavily into the “shame on you” category.
Though I’ll go on record as deploring the various folks who are wishing bodily ill upon him. He deserves the shaming. But not that.
It’s quite obvious that not enough first graders were shot to death to make Republicans give a shit. Shorter Republicans: need moar dead bodies.
I swear they have no concept of, or interest in, governance.
@DFH no.6: yeah you’re right, obviously.
It is kind of funny, in a clinically interesting sort of way, to read the comments in this thread that basically say “we are just so obviously correct about gun control because we, unlike gun nuts, luvs our children. The only possible explanation why such a transparently correct position could only get 46 votes must be because the gun nuts have small weiners.” QED, amirite?
If only the problem could be solved by posting “f*** you”. Some folks are really good at doing that in these parts.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@scottinnj: I wonder if some youthful staffers didn’t put that up, and some grown ups are gonna tell them to take it the fuck down.
As Cole mentioned a few times –
They. Hate. Us. If dead children is the price to pay for getting one up over the other tribe, it’s a price they’ll gladly pay.
pseudonymous in nc
Call the fucking waahmbulance.
Thanks for trying to have a conversation about this, instead of telling me to go fuck myself or whatever.
Decent analogies there (the first one, anyway) but like most analogies it’s only a rough fit, at best.
A (still) legal but pretty unhealthy thing to do. No positive use at all.
A massive PR campaign across several generations from all sides (except the tobacco lobby, of course) telling everyone how nasty and dangerous it was, joined with the very real fact of hundreds of thousands of deaths per year due to the basically trivial and, I have to say, even silly habit (orders of magnitude more deaths and disabilities per year than guns cause in America, by the way).
Then, we strictly limited, in more and more areas over many years, where one could smoke. Not at work, not in airplanes, not even in bars. It became socially less and less acceptable to just “light up” in the presence of the (now overwhelming) majority who do not smoke.
And, we taxed the shit out of it (I know, because my mother complains about that all the time).
Essentially, we made smoking into something that most people now find dirty, stupid, unnecessary, with a poor cost/benefit ratio and socially unacceptable in most public venues. It has become fairly “underground” now, often done even furtively. And only a relatively small minority of people do it.
But gun violence is already underground and furtive. Pretty much always has been in modern times. We don’t have a problem of the majority of people just carrying guns everywhere and blasting away whenever they feel like it, like they used to do (by analogy) with carrying around cigarettes and lighting up whenever wherever. Only a minority of Americans use guns in any way right now, and only a tiny, tiny fraction of that minority use guns harmfully (suicide, murder, accident).
This is where your analogy falls apart, and why programs (and even laws) that significantly reduced smoking don’t apply at all to reducing gun violence.
And sorry, but how we cut down on vehicular fatalities (primarily by making cars and trucks much safer, along with our roads, intersections, and highways) has not a thing to do with gun use. No lesson to be extrapolated there, at all, I’m afraid.
Again, thanks for constructively engaging, and not just flipping me off cuz you disagree.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’d bet money it’s the other way around. Some gloating old dinosaur of a staffer put it up and the kids know what a disaster it is.
And similarly, if they’d shown any concern at all for the dead children at that school (not to mention those in Iraq and Afghanistan), I might believe that they actually give a shit about the children killed by Gosnell (and, in their view, in all abortions) and not just controlling women.
But they don’t and I don’t.
pseudonymous in nc
And you can always report the post for hate speech.
pseudonymous in nc
In that case, since we’re playing Slippery Slopery, thanks for accepting responsibility for every gun massacre from this second forward. Buy yourself some Lava soap by the fucking crateload, because there’s going to be a lot of blood that needs washing off your hands.
Seriously, if you’re going to go all black-helicopter about this, we’re going to treat you as an accessory to mass murder.
Given how many people are set free after accidentally killing their own children with guns, I’m afraid you’re going to have to show me actual prosecutions to convince me that if my idiot neighbor accidentally kills me while showing off his gun, my relatives will have any satisfaction other than, “Well, we talked to him and he, like, totally promises to be more careful in the future. Sorry for your loss.”
Other than registering our vehicles, licencing our ability to drive them, being required to have insurance in case we harm others with them, not allowing unlicensed drivers to use them, and losing the right to drive if we screw up. Nope, can’t see how any of that might apply to guns.
There was some gun legislation passed in the states, and hopefully they’ve reinvigorated an issue that has been moribund for a while. I see no reason to be defeatist.
oh yeah, I feel SOOO MUCH safer knowing you probably own a gun.
Uh, no, you have the history completely wrong. What worked was banning smoking in the workplace because it caused the other, non-smoking people to get sick and sometimes die. It was banned in bars and restaurants not because it was “icky” but because it was making the employees sick, and was banned as a workplace safety measure.
You can whine all you want about how legislation is useless so we shouldn’t even try, but smoking has been greatly reduced through legislative action, not social opprobrium.
And, yes, you and your “welp, we can’t completely solve the problem, so let’s not do anything at all” can go fuck right off. You sound like a GM executive arguing that car companies shouldn’t have to install seat belts because, after all, they wouldn’t prevent all fatal crashes, so why do anything at all?
The first time I read that I missed the lovely misogynist-anti-semitic twofer “Feinswine.” Charming.
pseudonymous in nc
How dare you. Eli am Responsible Gun Owner, and he will shoot you if you say otherwise.
@pseudonymous in nc:
LOL. That’s what’s hilarious (in a sick way) about this whole “debate.”
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
So basically, the NRA proves it’s an untouchable full-on fucking juggernaut, and the 2nd Amendment is the only truly sacrosanct part of the Constitution for-fucking-ever.
Mike in NC
@Omnes Omnibus: Who could imagine that paranoid gun nuts are paranoid!
@gbear: Forget it, Jake.
It’s Chinatown.He’s a dumbass.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Or a bunch of senators just hung big “kick me” signs on their backs. This can be made into a big issue for 2014.
Tinkering on the edges does help some, sure (I think the Brady law had some salutary effects, just not much).
Since we are very unlikely to turn ourselves into Western Europe vis-à-vis guns (meaning, we will have many millions of guns in private hands, with the 2nd Amendment standing like the Wall of ice in the Game of Thrones protecting the constitutional right of those private hands to bear those millions of guns, for the far foreseeable) it won’t happen with gun control.
Most gun deaths in America are suicides. Some of these, I think, have every right to end their life when they choose – it’s too bad we don’t have some better way (sure, percocets with vodka, but a .38 is much more certain).
Most of these poor souls, though, probably kill themselves out of some mental pit of despair that could be ameliorated, maybe. Permanent solution to a temporary problem. I don’t have any good ideas on how we get suicidal people help before they off themselves, or try some other method besides shooting themselves (and thus, presumably, make it harder to do so and possibly less likely).
Our best hope in reducing gun violence is on the criminal side of things, I think (gun murders are second to gun suicides).
Most gun murders are ghetto crime murders (gang shootings, armed robbery, etc.).
Reduce the ghetto, bring many more people out of poverty and the macho “warrior-society” that pervades such places (where good education and then a real job at good wages is a far-off dream, and guns and gangs provide the only power and respect many young men will ever have, and crime is the only way to get any real money).
Then gun violence may become nearly as rare in the urban core as it is in my nice Scottsdale neighborhood, even though all but one person on my cul-de-sac (for instance) has at least one gun (it’s a Republican suburban thing).
Accidental and spree shootings?
We’ll always have those, no matter what (they are rare, especially spree shootings). Breivik was in Norway.
@Bobby Thomson: Just hate it when people come in here telling us we’re not having a reasonable discussion and then throw up a shitpile of disingenuous arguments (while begging us to tell him to fuck off). Might as well just skip to the fuck off part.
@DFH no.6: Well, here is the thing. I don’t think anyone thinks that any one law or set of laws is going to fix everything, but most of want to try something. What is happening now is not acceptable.
Yes, it’s true — we can never eliminate crime. I’m still trying to figure out why that’s your rationale for not even trying to regulate guns. Why even have laws? Let your neighbors shoot it out whenever someone’s dog gets too yappy. Freedom!
A Humble Lurker
@Ted & Hellen:
What’s sad is you think you’re being ironic.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
It still feels like, regardless of whatever public relations price the NRA might have suffered here, short-term or long-term, they, the GOP, etc. have successfully gamed an unbreachable ingrained advantage that will never be broken or overcome. It feels like they’re literally stronger than fucking ever legislatively and legally to nigh-untouchablility. and that any further attempts to keep at it will be as embarrassingly futile as any other. And fucking god knows, I hate that idea, but it really feels like it’s fully dead-ended at this point, precisely because of just how fucking broken Congress is, and how the only way to ‘unbreak’ it is when the GOP takes over again, because that’s the way everything fucking works in Washington: never suffer a fucking hippie to live, GOP uber-fucking-alles.
Mike in NC
@patroclus: Recall that the turtleman’s #1 objective was to make Obama a one term president, so he’ll gladly settle for #2 being his gloating over butchered children.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Well, you and I always fall on opposite sides of the optimist/pessimist divide, don’t we?
You are a fucking moron. The bill explicitely forbade a gun registry.
This actually has an easy solution. You ban guns, then you confiscate. If it takes shooting a bunch of ignorant, treasonous, anti-American, white, rural fucksticks in the face to do it then, okay. I don’t see a downside.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
I suppose so. I still can’t see a way of undoing the NRA and co.’s unshakable vicegrip on this country unless something changes in our fundamentally broken process right now. Because it seems like the only way anything can ever get done any more is if the GOP gets every fucking thing they wanted, and even then they stall out of spite and get the fuck away with it every fucking time.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
Ditto, unfortunately, and I have no idea what that “something” might be. Arms dealers have a grip on America like drug dealers do on Mexico.
“A” gun? Oh no no no. I’m sure Eli has quite the tidy little arsenal tucked away. Cretins like that tend to define themselves by their toys, after all.
I hope I’m the first.
Fuck you, RW garbage spewing dick.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: @Chris: Work to defeat the assholes who filibustered this legislation in 2014, 2016, and 2018. That would be a start.
@Mike in NC:
Yeah, Mitch is kind of a sick fuck. I figure that idiotic FB post was done by Breitbart-fellating college kids, but I have little doubt that Mitch would give it his blessing.
@Omnes Omnibus: I got dibs on Ron Johnson.
Well hello, epistemically-closed one! (on this topic, that is – I read your comments all the time and typically find you open-minded and thoughtful).
My reply to SatanicPanic wasn’t meant as an article on the history of smoking-reduction, and in any event my “history” is not wrong.
I never said that the laws being passed had anything to do with the “ickyness” of smoking. Of course it was for health reasons, and specifically for the health of the non-smokers.
But the very important PR campaign to reduce smoking began a generation before any laws began to be passed restricting smoking areas (the Surgeon General’s warning on cig packs, for instance, was out when people were still legally lighting up everywhere, from airplanes to open offices to shop floors and even the grocery store).
Of course the legislative restrictions on when and where anyone could smoke were important to reducing smoking.
But so was the social opprobrium and broad societal consensus that smoking was unhealthy, even for those who didn’t smoke.
That opprobrium and consensus is what made the legislation possible (what, you think anti-smoking people hadn’t tried to restrict smoking before?).
In fact, I’ll claim that the opprobrium and consensus were much more important than the legislative restrictions in getting people to either stop or not even start smoking (the law says sure, you can smoke, just not in these places; the opprobrium and consensus moves the majority to not smoke at all, anywhere).
Whining, am I?
Really? Saying what you don’t agree with counts for whining to you, is what you mean.
I’m well-informed and realistic about guns and gun violence in America. From your comments on this topic you seem not to be either of those things.
In order for America to have significantly fewer gun deaths and injuries would require us to be like Western Europe, where there are relatively few guns available legally or illegally.
That would take massive gun confiscation, and repealing the 2nd Amendment, nothing less.
You apparently think that’s analogous to forcing auto manufacturers to install existing safety devices in their vehicles when their only excuse for not doing so was it cost a bit more than not doing it.
Yeah, that stands up.
@DFH no.6: Not really. The 2nd Amendment says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”
The second word is well-regulated, which appears to give our government the right to, well, regulate.
It also says the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t say ANY and ALL arms.
In most countries, people can own a shotgun or a rifle, they cannot own a handgun or an AK-47. If you are allowed to only own shotguns or rifles, you’re still allowed to keep and bears arms. In fact, that’s where the “well-regulated” part comes in.
The problem with America is our gun culture. It’s that we don’t see guns as a necessary evil for protection or hunting food. We see them as a source of entertainment and symbol of power and authority. To limit that is to limit their power and authority. Americans crave power and authority.
We need to end that mentality first.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Maybe the president could have a few words with Harry Reid.
One might point out that you might be projecting. But that would be rude.
One might also point out that your “history” of smoking reduction in the US might be making a few unwarranted assumptions. But that might be considered rude.
One might also point your willful ignoring of the NRA-and-acolytes usage of the “Cars-kill-more-people-so-why-don’t-we-make-them-illegal?” when trashing mnemosyne, as if the car reference was original with her. But that would be shrill.
One might also opine that you use about five times as many words as necessary to make a “point,” but that might be considered repressive. (“Help! I’m bein’ repressed!”)
But thanks for stultifying an otherwise quasi-interesting discussion.
Or send him a strongly-worded letter?
Reading comprehension much?
The question SatanicPanic asked me, in regards to possibly reducing gun violence, was how did we reduce vehicular fatalities (because we did, significantly, over the past generation or so).
Like, perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned from how we reduced vehicular fatalities that could be applied to reducing gun violence.
My answer was I didn’t believe there were any lessons, since the ways we reduced road deaths were primarily by making vehicles and roads much safer, and I can’t see how that applies to guns.
The things you put up – registering vehicles, licensing drivers, requiring insurance, removing the right to drive if you screw up – have all been around a very long time, and have not a thing to do with the reduction in vehicular fatalities. Your about as wrong as you can be on that.
So what was the point you were trying to make?
No one’s forcing you to read my (admittedly) long comments here, are they?
I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
You want to discuss, let’s discuss (I’ll work on the brevity).
Mnemosyne (who I matched in tone, but didn’t intend to “trash”, though the “epistemically-closed” thing was too harsh and I’m sorry) and Omnes and SatanicPanic seem interested.
Others, not so much.
@DFH no.6: You were skirting around the issue of vehicle safety (nothing to see here, folks! keep moving) without acknowledging that EVERY aspect of vehicle ownership and our ability to drive is regulated very carefully and we all take it for granted as a part of vehicle ownership. This is the biggest part of what we do to reduce vehicular fatalities.
Of course you weren’t going to bring up that part of it. The crap you mentioned about vehicle safety was a weak-assed diversion. What do you want that would compare to airbags and seatbelts, bullets that stop before they reach their unintended target?
And, as per the initial invitation, fuck you again.
Wait, are you under the impression that guns and gun owners are popular with the rest of society?
The number of gun owners is dropping even as each owner has more guns in their possession.
You are already a minority. Less than one-third of Americans own a gun at this point. The only thing you have going for you is your bought-and-paid-for Congress, which is too terrified of the NRA to actually do anything.
Hmm … tiny minority lording it over a large majority. Yeah, that always works out well for the tiny minority.
But, hey, you enjoy your Barbie dream house and fantasize about all of the cool things you could totally do with your guns. Like it or not, the only thing that completely blocking sensible regulation does is make people say, “Fine, fuck it, since you guys can’t be trusted with guns, we’ll take them.”
Confiscation and melting down of guns isn’t going to happen because the mean ol’ liberals hate guns. It’s going to happen because gun owners proved to the rest of us that they couldn’t be trusted with them. You’re unwilling to keep track of your own property. You’re unwilling to take any responsibility for what you or anyone else does with that property. You’re unwilling to prove that you can safely use a gun. You’re unwilling to keep your gun out of the hands of other members of your household — even children — and when a tragedy happens, you say, “Well, how was I supposed to know that my two-year-old would play with that loaded gun he found?”
You’re doing it to yourselves, and all you can do is whine about how mmmeeeaaaannnn non-gun owners are to you.
True. But they’re not unlike the car crash from which you can’t look away.
Dictionaries – they’re what’s for dinner. Apologies for using a big word that has more than one meaning, plus synonyms.
Well OK then. And, in fairness, it was “Has lop” who started down that path, so I’ll shut up about it (at least, as far as discussion with you goes).
That being said: normally, I’d be more than happy to get into it with you, but I’ve spent far too much time here tonight, and my latest project needs to get finished toute de suite. So, until the next time the Senate does their “bed of kelp” imitation …
@lojasmo: That was his fucking point.
C’mon, that was old technology when I was a kid, lo these many years ago. I can’t tell you how many times I saw bullets stop in mid-air, turn corners, or reverse direction. I believe the inventor was Charles Martin Jones.
What’s there to discuss? You’ve already closed the discussion. Gun control is impossible, QED. What room is there for discussion now that you’ve declared that?
I am apparently doing a poor job of communicating – I’ll put that mostly on me (gbear does need to work on his/her reading comprehension; that was not me).
Here’s what I (and Has lop before me) meant by liberal “epistemic closure” regarding gun control:
I’m a proud liberal. Not a “progressive”. A liberal. All my life.
I’m an environmentalist, a feminist, and I’ve been working on “left” causes since the Viet Nam War protests and Dennis Kucinich’s first campaigns right through to Obama’s ’08 and ’12 campaigns (and many others between).
I consider rightwingers (including family members, neighbors, my boss, etc.) to be fascists. Because that’s what conservatism is. Fascism.
They are the enemy, because their world-view is anti-human, anti-world. Not an enemy I want to kill, but an enemy I want beat politically.
But because I take a contrarian position on gun control in America based on how things actually are and not how I imagine they are (or would wish them to be), somehow I become a RW dick, a mouthpiece for the NRA, some fervent defender of the 2nd Amendment like it was holy writ.
Many liberals just want to tell me to fuck off instead of listening to what I am actually saying.
Let me try to be plain – I hate the NRA, and all those assholes stand for. I am not on their side – they are my enemy.
I wish we were much more like Western Europe when it came to guns.
Hell, I wish we went further and destroyed every gun so only the police, forest rangers, and the military had them (no guns for private use at all).
How could we possibly get there?
The 2nd Amendment is perhaps the worst thing remaining from the original Constitution (though maybe that’s the Senate). And the recent Supreme Court rulings saying it applies to individuals (which Obama backs, by the way) is worse. But there it is.
How do you get past that, in any meaningful way?
You blithely write “Fine, fuck it, since you guys can’t be trusted with guns, we’ll take them”.
As if that could happen in any foreseeable future that wasn’t far bloodier and destructive than all the year in and year out gun violence. It would require martial law and civil war.
That’s a ”cure” that’s far worse than the disease.
And there goes the brevity I promised SFAW (who chose to attack rather than engage, but free country and all).
pseudonymous in nc
Or alternatively, after a few people play at being True Patriotz, that becomes an unattractive option. Again, we see the paradox of the “Responsible Gun Owners” who, we’re now told, are just below the butthurt threshold of turning into WOLVERINES.
There you go, doing your Vizzini impression again. One hopes your voice is less whiny than Wally Shawn’s.
Or should I refer to you as the “anti-Seurat”? Because of your broad-brush approach, of course. “Engaging” with someone who spouts platitudinous proclamations, based on questionable assertions and assumptions, is a fool’s errand. And although I have (more often than I’d like to admit) been called (not unjustifiably) a fool, this errand is one I will not attempt.
But, at some level, I guess it’s good to hear that you consider yourself a liberal. Certainly better than the alternative, if true.
ETA: And I guess this comment turns my earlier proclamation (re: punting for the night) into a lie. Gotta work on my OCD, I guess.
If you are referring to Heller, it also explicitly stated that the government may impose some regulation on firearms. Just that DC’s complete ban on handguns went too far. IMO, that leaves plenty of room for some reasonable restrictions and regulations that might reduce gun violence without significantly affecting the rights of gun owners.
I’ll try again, (not sure why, really):
Vehicular fatalities on American roads have been reduced significantly over the past decades from previous levels, both absolutely, but particularly per miles driven.
This reduction was primarily due to much-safer vehicles (including construction and things like air bags and shoulder harnesses) and better, safer roads than previously (you could look it up).
That’s not a “weak-assed diversion”, it’s the reality and the whole main point.
All the things you mentioned in both comments certainly have their role to play in safe driving (trained and licensed drivers are much more likely to be safe drivers than untrained and unlicensed ones, for instance).
But they had nothing – let me repeat – nothing to do with the REDUCTION in vehicular fatalities we’ve enjoyed in this fair land, because they all existed in pretty much the same form when driving was statistically more deadly.
It wasn’t hordes of untrained and unlicensed drivers in unregistered cars in the 60s that made rates of vehicular fatalities higher than today, it was the poorly-built (compared to today) cars with little safety equipment (front seat belts only, none in the backseat, no airbags anywhere) on less-safe (compared to today) roads. It was pretty much Ralph Nader’s whole oeuvre (you could look that up, too).
Vehicular fatality reduction was the result of safer cars and roads, pretty much period.
Seriously, what is the point you are trying to make?
That government regulation is important? Well no shit, Sherlock.
I’m making the same goddamn point (safer cars and roads had to be mandated by government – see Ralph Nader again). Only my point makes sense and fits actual empirical reality, and your point (whatever it really is) is as mush-headed as it can be.
“Bullets that stop before they reach their unintended target”. Welll…. OK, then…
But thanks for playing anyway.
Well, I did take your original response as an attack (as well as this most recent).
Re-read what you wrote.
Do you disagree?
Every sentence dripping with sarcasm seems “attacking” to me.
Maybe I’m just too sensitive.
And my voice is significantly less whiny than Wally Shawn’s.
Not exactly baritone, but not really whiny, either (or so I’m told).
“Platitudinous proclamations” and “questionable assertions and assumptions”.
We hear what you’re saying. You’re saying, “It’s hopeless, give up, don’t even try.”
You’re not being told to fuck off because you’re “contrarian.” You’re being told to fuck off because you have nothing to offer in the debate.
ETA: Lead, follow, or get out of the way. You’re not leading, and you refuse to follow, so …
Or not, as a judicious reading (and understanding) of the statistics might indicate.
Funny, I always thought it was make-up-a-“fact”-Tuesday, not Wednesday (or Thursday, depending on one’s location).
But I like your template:
“The Republicans are thwarting the will of the electorate because they’re treasonous mofos bent on destroying the 99 percent, pretty much period.”
“America lost Vietnam because we didn’t want to win, pretty much period.”
“America lost its lead position as a manufacturing power because American workers are lazy, pretty much period.”
See, anyone can play the “simple, one-size-fits-all, mostly-wrong answer to a complex question” game.
But, kids, this should only be done by a trained professional! Do not try this at home!
That’s because you’re either young or unworldly, possibly both.
Had I wanted to attack you, I would have been far less genteel.
But thanks for providing the one-sentence-per-paragraph model, it gets my (written) page count up, and Cole pays me by the page, not the word.
Glad to hear you’re not blessed with Wally Shawn’s “golden pipes,” though.
Yeah, no doubt you’re a regular Paul Robeson, what with you being a liberal and all.
So you decided to stay nasty, eh?
I read your responses as attacks, cuz that’s what they actually are (try being honest with yourself on this account) whether you could be less genteel or not (and I’m shaking in my boots over here about that, let me tell you).
Deliberately misreading my point to dumbass gbear, aren’t you?
That fool, if you bothered to read, was making the truly asinine “point” that things like registering cars, and requiring driver’s licenses, were responsible for the reduction in car deaths over the past decades, when those things existed much as they do now when death rates were higher (hell, driver’s ed was more comprehensive when I learned to drive in ’71 than when my kids learned in the 90s).
Everything I’ve ever read on the topic says it’s greatly-increased vehicle and road safety that has reduced fatalities (vehicles still get into crashes, those crashes are just much less likely to be fatal due to safety measures). Seems eminently logical to me.
If you’ve got facts that say otherwise, great, let’s hear them.
I am a liberal, so I change my mind when it appears I’ve been wrong (and I don’t have to prove my liberal bona fides to you or anybody else – pretty dickish of you to throw that out there, by the way, but I’m getting that that’s de rigueur for you).
The original point was in regard to SatanicPanic’s question to me, about whether there might be lessons to be learned from the reduction in smoking and reduction in car deaths that could be applied to reducing gun violence.
I replied I didn’t think so, and why (in my long-winded way).
You got a different take on the recent history of smoking and car death reductions, I’m happy to hear them.
I could most definitely be wrong on either account. I’m informed by what I’ve read about them, so that’s the argument I make. I didn’t intend to spout “platitudinous proclamations” or make “questionable assertions and assumptions”. Got specifics?
Come to think of it, however, I don’t think from your responses that you intend to back off the snark and sarcasm.
Not helpful unless all you’re wanting to do is score “gotcha” points for whatever arcane reason.
So never mind, really not interested.
We’ll just tell everyone you won, and the old man (I’m pushing 60, by the way) slunk away.
There, that’ll make a big ol’ real liberal like you feel all warm and righteously fuzzy, amirite?
And sorry I broke my promise (not really).
Oh, quit your whining already.
Reduction in vehicular deaths is due to more than just your fevered, Nader-related (or whatever) wet dreams. For example, if you eliminate alcohol-related deaths, the number was relatively constant for a number of years. It started dropping again in something like 2007, with a moderately large drop in 2009 (I think – I killed the window with the states, and frankly, you’re not worth me expending the effort to find it again). Was that late-2000s drop due to improvements in safety devices? Or due to people driving less due to the recession? Or some other factor which can’t be teased out without significantly more data/study?
I don’t know. And, at some level, I don’t care. Because I’m tired of your “and you can take that to the bank” pronouncements. Unfortunately for you, and by extension, unfortunately for us, you are like any number of other stunning examples of Dunning-Kruger in action. And, perhaps at some point in the future, you’ll have what I sometimes call a “Colonel Nicholson moment.” But I tend to doubt it.
In some ways, you remind me of me, vis-a-vis your “debating” style. But, I flatter myself into thinking that I’m somewhat more self-aware. Your last screed reinforces that belief.
But you just keep telling yourself that you showed SFAW, and that your cute little “real liberal” attempted cut was perhaps the awesomest thing this side of Tbogg. And, no doubt, we’ll all believe you, because you told us (and told us and told us and told us) that YOU really are the liberal here.
So, you’ve won, because I finally realized that you have no real interest in “discussing” anything other than how right you are – because you’re RIGHT, dammit, and the typical Balloon Juice commenter is just too hidebound to appreciate your finely nuanced and honed “arguments.”
Upon re-reading this reply, I guess I could have saved myself a lot of downstream carpal tunnel by using a shorter and more appropriate response, to wit:
@Mnemosyne: Wait, I just want to get this right before I go digging in lexisnexis. Are you saying that there’s never even been one case where anyone has been convicted of negligent homicide involving a firearm? Ever?
Really? Just what are you asking, specifically?
But we do, already, regulate guns. At national, state, and local levels we regulate what guns can be owned, who they can be owned by, how they have to be stored, how they have to be sold, how they have to be reported when stolen, where they can be fired, what they can fire. We regulate every single aspect of guns. Nobody’s advocating for “not even trying to regulate guns.” That’s a strawman. The question is, what is left in the regulation space that we haven’t tried yet? Connecticut had the exact same legal requirements in place as were in Manchin-Toomey; they didn’t stop Sandy Hook, so why would they have stopped the next Sandy Hook? And indeed, what is the point of a national policy targeted solely at the least-likely way to die by a gun? Shouldn’t we target the circumstances surrounding 99.99% of gun deaths, instead of .01% of them?
Short of a national policy to confiscate legal guns from those unwilling to relinquish them, what’s left to be done in the regulation space? Isn’t that the question? How can you even begin to answer it, though, if you have no idea what gun regulations are already in place?
That’s what I just said, dipshit. The bill explicitly forbade a gun registry.
I’d like a national gun registry. I think it’s an important tool for reducing gun crime and finding its culprits. I’m glad we didn’t give that away in exchange for a notional “assault weapons ban” that didn’t actually ban any assault weapons. Not sure what your problem is, stupid.
Dead thread, I know, but my cousin, who fits the republican suburban mom perfectly right down to wingnut ODS, was spitting mad about these asshole senators killing the bill. The tide will turn.
Bullshit. A zombie NRA lie.
If it were true, I wouldn’t be able to buy as many guns as I want no questions asked at gun shows. I wouldn’t be able to have someone buy them for me. I wouldn’t be able to sell or buy guns to any schmoe on Craig’s List.
The NRA has been very adamant in making sure we don’t regulate every aspect of guns, while endlessly claiming we do.
Just yesterday I was at both Basspro and Gander Mountain’s web sites. I can buy a cap and ball blackpowder revolver via the internet, no FFL. And I can simultaneosly order a conversion cylinder to fire centerfire cartridges, again no FFL. They cross-market them, lest you miss the calculus of Unregulated handgun designated as Not a Firearm + Unregulated conversion part designated as Not a Firearm = A modern handgun that most certainly Is a Firearm.
If that handgun were sold with that conversion part installed, it would require an FFL to buy. Because it is obviously a centerfire handgun.
There are multiple loopholes in firearms regulations. It’s dishonest to claim otherwise.
Edit: this loophole is not lost on most of the buyers of that particular type of handgun. The comments all talk about buying the conversion cylinder, and never shooting it as a cap and ball black powder piece of history. They are all aware this is a way to get a centerfire handgun without any oversight.
Oh, sweetie. I just transported a Python revolver from Arizona to California to give to my brother, and it was all 100 percent without paperwork and 100 percent legal. Even if we had been pulled over, the state of California was not permitted to demand any kind of proof of ownership from us as long as we were transporting it in the manner required (unloaded, in a locked case, not in the glove compartment).
My brother is now in possession of a handgun that is not registered in any way in any state, and it’s completely legal because it was a transfer within the family.
You really have no idea how this all works in the real world, do you?
No, I don’t think I “showed” you anything.
You’re obviously the smartest guy in the room, with greater self-awareness than ordinary mortals (or me, at least). And thus ends my sarcasm back at you.
You did try to engage a bit on this side issue of vehicle death reduction in your first paragraph there, and I take your point that it’s more nuanced then I let on (you could have left the “fevered wet-dream” part out, but scorpion and frog…).
I should have stuck with my “primarily” due to safety improvements (I recall – but can’t find – the NHTSA itself making the claim that most of the reduction was due to their enforced safety standards, followed by voluntary changes in crashworthiness by manufacturers) instead of my broad-brush (and thus wrong) “pretty much period”.
I was wrong about that (and you were right) and I take that back.
Nothing I’ve written should give anyone the idea that I believe I’m the liberal here, to the exclusion of others (including you).
I’ve been reading BJ for years (since before JC saw the light) and commenting infrequently, and this has long been my favorite blog mostly because of the liberal commenting community here, the little dustup on this thread notwithstanding.
You self-identify as liberal, and most of the many comments I’ve read by you on BJ over the years show me that you are. I don’t doubt it.
You are the one who questioned my lib cred, and I think it’s bullshit for you to do that.
My real liberal “cut” at you was meant to pull you up short a bit (a little of your own medicine, I guess), to have you consider that questioning another liberal’s bona fides is not, in fact, a liberally-minded thing to do.
When I’ve done that myself (and I have) and been called on it, I’ve felt like an ass, and resolved to not do that illiberal thing (I still sometimes fail).
What you call my “whining” is meant by me to say, “dude, why not cut back on the snark and sarcasm and have a real conversation? I believe myself to be on your side”.
You claim I have no interest in discussing anything because I believe that I (and only I) am RIGHT, dammit, and the rest of you are somehow beneath me.
I don’t believe any such thing, and I don’t believe what I’ve written here should give you that indication (if I have, then that was poor communication on my part).
You, on the other hand, have come at me in every comment with heavy doses of sarcasm, and when I tell you maybe you should knock that off if you want to talk, you tell me to quit whining.
Liberals should be able to talk together, and leave the snark and sarcasm for the enemy (that would be the fascists). Even when we disagree, or want to point out where someone may have gotten something wrong.
Maybe you don’t want to (or simply can’t – I meant the scorpion and frog thing) go that way.
Sorry if that’s the case, cuz you’re still not my enemy (not particularly friendly, though, either).
OK, I’ll try to refrain from being a dickhead. (I’d normally say “any more than usual,” but it’s not clear that would amount to anything.) I’ll
One thing (re: vehicle deaths) that I don’t recall you mentioning is the effect that lowering the speed limit, and then raising it back, had on the numbers. Assuming my memory isn’t totally shot, and assuming I’m not (unintentionally) making shit up, I believe vehicle deaths dropped after the national speed limit went to 55. Don’t know if they went back up when it went back to 65, but it would surprise me if it didn’t.
The point to all this is: it is exceedingly rare that the behavior of something as complex as vehicular deaths (for example) can be reduced to a simple, one-size-fits-all “cause.” Similarly, it is exceedingly rare that a complex and pernicious problem, such as mass shooting murders, can be solved by a simple, one-size-fits-all “solution.” At least not in this country. (Unless and until we become a totalitarian state. Of course, to hear the wingnuts tell it, the blackity-black Kenyan Mooslim usurper already has us there.) So, when I encounter someone doing the simple-answer-to-complex-problem thing, and persisting in that behavior, it raises my hackles. You were the unfortunate recipient of my reflexive response to said hackle-raising. My apologies for going overboard.
One almost-last thing: can you please try to ease up on the one-sentence-per-paragraph thing? My ADHD isn’t so bad that I need to have your argument broken up that way, in order to keep my attention. (Not being a smartass. Well, not the first sentence, at least.) Yes, I know it’s not done solely for my benefit.
But you’re right – I’m not particularly friendly. And that’s one of my MORE endearing qualities.
We’re cool then. You got through to me, and I got through to you. Good, I’m very glad, really.
You are completely correct about avoiding ascribing simple, “one-size fits all” solutions or causes to large, complex things. In the case here of vehicular death reduction I was trying to make the broad point that (so the NHTSA and others I’ve read who studied the topic have claimed) it was primarily safety improvements of all kinds in vehicles and roads that led to the reduction (I would include appropriate speed limits as improving the safety of roads). Of course many other factors would have to come into play, but it certainly makes eminent sense to me that the many safety improvements I’ve seen myself in the years I’ve been driving (since ’71, so very closely paralleling the NHTSA itself and all the safety regs it mandated in that time) were the primary reason deaths per mile driven dropped from previous levels.
Anyway, that one’s so beat to death that I can’t even tell what the hell the smear on the ground used to be.
And way off the original topic, on which I’m afraid I’ve been clumsy in communicating my opinions and understandings (though the very real epistemic closure on this topic among many liberals truly makes it difficult to get my different take across to my fellow-travelers). I’m not an apologist for the NRA (I hate them like I hate all fascists). I am surrounded by gun-nuts here in Joe Arpaio County, AZ, and they are as ridiculous as advertised. And I don’t believe there is “nothing” to be done about gun violence (just, for the foreseeable, not a hell of a lot, sorry to say).
Since this thread is really most sincerely dead, I’ll try again on the next one, and do my best to let the “fuck yous” slide on by (I actually didn’t mind Mnemosyne doing that, because she was trying to engage, and I very much appreciate and sympathize with her point of view and passion on the topic. Sorry, but I find gbear and lojasmo to be unreconstructed assholes).
And cut down on the one sentence per paragraph thing. Got it. (brevity is probably hopeless)
My sincere sympathies. I’ve lived in bluest-of-the-blue areas all my life (well, so far, that is), so I gots it comparatively easy.
ETA: PS – Reading Strunk and White might help with the other thing.
Except that there are already laws against that stuff. A licensed gun seller’s legal obligation to check your background before selling you a gun is still in effect at gun shows. It’s illegal to buy a gun on behalf of another person. If you’re “engaged in the business” of selling guns, then it’s as against the law for you to sell guns without a license on Craigslist as it would be for you to sell them in a retail storefront.
Guns are already enormously regulated, and few states in the US regulated them more strictly than Connecticut and its surrounding states. Yet, Sandy Hook. Does that mean gun regulation is unnecessary and useless? No, of course not. But it does mean that it’s patently bullshit to insist that unless we pass a national law prohibiting the establishment of a national gun registry in exchange for returning to the Clinton-era prohibition on certain cosmetic features, guns in the US are an unregulated Wild West-type situation.
Sorry, no. You broke California law – private sales or gifts of handguns must occur through a Federally-licensed intermediary – and so did he – new handgun purchases or acquisitions from outside the state require registration within 60 days. If you transported the weapon in your trunk – “utility box” – then you violated another state law. If the reason you gave the gun to your brother in this way was to for him to circumvent a background check, then you both committed Federal felonies.
And even if the above were not true, the fact that you were able to legally do something isn’t evidence that it isn’t regulated. I was able to drive from home to work this morning without breaking any laws at all. Is that proof that we don’t regulate the operation of automobiles? Of course not. Stop being stupid.