.@paulwaldman1 on Vegas shooting: "How much does right wing rhetoric contribute to right wing terrorism?" http://t.co/NrEbHk0tAG
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 9, 2014
.@radleybalko @ThePlumLineGS @paulwaldman1 So how many Oklahoma City bombings does it take before it becomes a real problem?
— billmon (@billmon1) June 9, 2014
In the Washington Post, Paul Waldman goes there:
… What I’m about to say will raise some hackles, but we need to talk about it. It’s long past time for prominent conservatives and Republicans to do some introspection and ask whether they’re contributing to outbreaks of right-wing violence…
The most obvious component is the fetishization of firearms and the constant warnings that government will soon be coming to take your guns. But that’s only part of it. Just as meaningful is the conspiracy theorizing that became utterly mainstream once Barack Obama took office. If you tuned into one of many national television and radio programs on the right, you heard over and over that Obama was imposing a totalitarian state upon us. You might hear that FEMA was building secret concentration camps…
…[T]he argument that no sane person could actually believe many of the things conservatives say shouldn’t absolve them of responsibility. When you broadcast every day that the government of the world’s oldest democracy is a totalitarian beast bent on turning America into a prison of oppression and fear, when you glorify lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy, when you say that your opponents would literally destroy the country if they could, you can’t profess surprise when some people decide that violence is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.
To my conservative friends tempted to find outrageous things liberals have said in order to argue that both sides are equally to blame, I’d respond this way: Find me all the examples of people who shot up a church after reading books by Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, and then you’ll have a case…
Apart from honesty, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
Billmon’s baseball bat made a solid hit on Balko’s skull, rhetorically speaking.
Ground rule double.
I will admit that after reading some Krugman columns, part of me wants to go wreak some serious fucking havoc at the homes of the 1%ers…
but I don’t do it. And I would never actually do it. And I would never actually even seriously ponder doing it.
Because I am, actually, not a crackpot.
Well, there’s of course the Spokane MLK Day bombing that was luckily averted by someone who was paying attention to abandoned backpacks.
And every murder that is done by someone who rationally shouldn’t have access to guns, like Sandy Hook and UCSB are associated with the right-wing politics of unlimited arms for everyone.
well that will likely be the last piece that Waldman ever writes for the Post, I’m sure the NRA will be in contact with Hiatt about his unseemliness, quickly followed by the rest of the magical balance fairy brigade and the remainder of the PR wing of the GOP. Doubt it gets republished in places like Biloxi, Topeka and Lubbock.
I looked at Free Republic; not a peep about the Vegas murders. They’re having fun working themselves up to lynch Bergendahl (Bergdahl?). I am sorry to say I think that man and his family should get out of the U. S. for their own safety.
Rush Limbaugh must be leaning heavily on Bergendahl; I got 3 e-mails on the topic today from my crazy conservative uncle. He really is my uncle and used to be a great guy.
My mom and I have this debate, and it always descents to the definition of nutpicking. So I make the rule easy: Comments made by elected officials with power granted by the people. So toss out Rachel and Krugman and Rush and all of them as well.
Let’s stack up Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders against Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert. And I could come up with another 100 names on the right that are saying worse things than any elected official on the left – even when Bush was in office.
Click on the link to see a sad pic.
ETA: Link – https://twitter.com/InaMaziarcz/status/476124775438614529/photo/1
Someone needs to sit down with these wingnut ‘patriots’ and explain to them that the Federal Government is not afraid of them for the same reason the Feds are not afraid of the Peoples Republic of China. Both of them are fielding a WWII army against a 21st Century tech giant. No contest. Go back to playing Call of Duty and leave the grown-ups alone.
That number, 13 years, is both non-random and doin’ a lotta lifting there.
big ole hound
Taking responsibility is not part of their incitement to violence program. The open carry program can be thwarted by calling 911 when you see someone with a gun and say you are being threatened. Cops have to come, you can leave but when they trace you for questioning, how can they say you did not feel threatened.
@Baud: Why are they protecting those children from the 2nd Amendment? Wouldn’t shadow targets be more patriotic?
@AnonPhenom: The problem is the Federal government acts like it is, indeed, afraid of them. They were harassing citizens at that ranch and law enforcement did nothing. Mr. Bundy still owns his ranch although it should have been seized for nonpayment of taxes. No one on fox News or talk radio has ever been charged with sedition or inciting to riot, and they are still using the public airwaves.
I don’t think anybody would use the argument that no sane person could actually believe many of the things conservatives say. The immediate response is “if that’s so, who are they addressing themselves to?”
It might be interesting to hear fearless thought leader Radley Balko defend his count of murders that can be tied to right wing rhetoric. I suspect he wouldn’t want to go there.
@PhoenixRising: Yes, and the SPLC would beg to differ on the numbers. Balko can eat bag of salted d*cks.
@Botsplainer: Way to not get the point, dude.
Why can’t the whole of the right wing own their valorization of violence the way George Will honestly believes that victims of rape are succumbing to a culture of victimhood?
Just say it, right wingers: violence solves every problem.
Talk is for wimps. Losing is for losers. Women are inferior. People of color are inferior.
Come on. You know you want to and you will feel so much better.
@Baud: That really is sad. Sad to think of those kids living with this threat. Sad to think they have to practice with their red sort-of-protection blankies. I suppose it works better than “duck and cover” would have against a nuclear bomb, but that’s not much protection. Sad that our society is so fucked up that our so-called leaders can’t stand up to the gun nuts.
That’s a hat trick of sad, or worse.
@Baud: You know what’s really awful about that photo? It’s that a shooter could come along and these kids with their red blankies are like shooting ducks in a pond. Kick the blankie off with your shoe, bang. All the way down the hall.
Can’t these people who thought those blankies were a good idea draw a dotted line and see the possibilities?
Edit: the best you can do is hide under your blankie and hope the crazed killer doesn’t kill you?
Didn’t one of those right-wing pundits suggest that we should arm our kids after Sandy Hook? I suppose that would be an alternative to blankets.
Ever see an energetic Tervuren on a leash peel out, do a donut and wipe out while leaping after a reckless rabbit dumb enough to dart across a road five feet from the dog’s jaws?
Those blankets were actually designed for tornado protection. They look like they’d be completely worthless in
a Sandy Hook typeany kind of gun attack.
@Baud: Yep, they did. If this was in a movie, I would find it unbelievable. A big part of our country has lost its way, and we have far too many politicians who are owned by big money and far too few statesmen.
On a happy note, though, I think we have more progressives than we did for awhile, and I certainly think that Elizabeth Warren is a statesman, as are Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama.
On another subject (Bowe B.) did you read this article from an Idaho newspaper? It felt good reading something that said what I have been thinking.
About goddamned time.
That photo does not make me sad.
It makes me angry. We can do better than this. I wish President Obama would use that visual in a speech to the nation. Enough already.
They’ve just transferred responsibility for their guns from gun owners to everybody else. We can’t regulate them, so everyone but them gets regulated to “stay safe”. We can’t force them to buy insurance, so we all have to cover the costs of the risk they create.
Everyone is going to be living inside a fortress except our special, protected class of gunslingers who demand complete freedom to do whatever, wherever.
@Elizabelle: I can just hear him. “Is this what we want for out kids?”
I hadn’t read it before. It’s exactly right.
It’s like that old bully’s quip: STOP HITTING MY FIST WITH YOUR FACE!
STOP GETTING IN THE WAY OF MY BULLETS!
If Mitch McConnell had been shot instead of Gabby Giffords this country would have passed a strong gun control legislation within days. The Right wing will sit on its ass until something violent happens to them.
@Kay: It’s the “But how was she dressed?” of gun violence. Well, why weren’t you wearing your blankie?
@WaterGirl: Nice article. Did you read the comments? Most of them totally miss the point.
@Morzer: He’d do it the same way airlines do it. There’s a number of deaths that are “allowable” in operations. There’s a name for the calculation, but I’ve forgotten what it is. It’s not cost of doing business, it’s something else.
Higgs Boson's Mate
That just makes me sick. Are we all going to have to buy body armor and wear it all of the time? I was just offered a rental home in the interior of Mexico. The rent is $100 a month. My first thought was that the narcotrafficantes might make it hot for me down there. My second thought is that it’s still probably safer than many places in the good ol’ USA.
Fuck me for even wondering if our pols are ever going to sack up and pass some meaningful gun control legislation. They’ll be playing the Slobber Blues on the NRA’s boneaphone long after I’m gone.
The Other Bob
Is anyone else here surprised that a grieving parent of a child at Newtown or other massacre hasn’t filled a truck with fertilizer and set it off in front of the NRA HQ or other gun group?
I love how their “solutions” to school shootings all involve expense, inconvenience and preparedness by other people.
“Oh, thanks for the advice, security expert! What’s your role in all this?”
@kuvasz: James Brady says otherwise.
It looks like the “gun protection” idea is a secondary market. The bright red makes sense as a tornado blanket, so they’re more easily spotted after a building collapse. But, yeah, let’s all hide from the mad shooter under these very visible, bright red blankets!
@skerry: I never read the comments :-).
@The Other Bob:
I’d just be happy if one of them beat LaPierre to death with a baseball bat in front of his family.
LaPierre’s kin would probably cheer.
So I know BJ has some gamers and I think I’ve got a trollish idea.
George Will shat out this stinker (Link to LFG. no hits for George Will)
Turns out a week or two ago another entitled douchbro by the name of James Desborough created a game about the ‘victim culture’ called “Privilege Check” where you get points for your ‘victim hood’ – I wish I were kidding
I’m tempted to purchase a copy and have it sent to George to see if he’ll talk about how the ‘hip youth’ of today really “get” him.
It’s bullshit. I have to wear clothes whenever I go out because of other people’s sensibilities, but god forbid they be subject even the smallest hassle whenever they want to buy a firearm.
@kuvasz: It’s like what you hear them say on cop shows when the dead person is a prostitute or a gang-banger. It’s NHI – no humans involved.
I used to think that it would make a difference when it was one of their own, but the way they turned on Bob B. (Bowe’s dad) it’s clear they’ve lost their minds. EVERYTHING is secondary to their hatred of Obama.
How many times have you heard it? “The security system wasn’t strong enough”. “the teachers weren’t armed” “someone should have rushed the shooter”
Whoa there. This is all on the people who aren’t gun nuts, now? How’d that happen? Why is it our job? At the very least, tax the hell out of the fucking things. The school security alone is wildly expensive and drills are time-consuming. We’ll build a playground with the “gun tax”, which will also serve as a perimeter!
@Mnemosyne: Yeah, ’cause the first thing I think when I see dead kids, whose bodies are shredded with bullets is: “hey, I could make some money off of this!’
@The Other Bob: Not surprised, but I do worry a bit that there may be a number of random shootings in public places at which the child or other loved one of a gun nut will be killed. And what happens then, I shudder to contemplate.
@WaterGirl: you or I or any normal human beings wouldn’t, but I think we’ve established that there ain’t no normal in the ammosexual crowd and their enablers.
Two or three commenters there were saying something about “Look what Obama is doing in Arizona.” Any idea what they’re talking about?
Chris Hayes right now is reporting on immigration detention centers in Arizona. Maybe that?
@Kay: Yeah, the old ‘good guy with a gun’ was right there in the Walllyworld in Vegas. Someone (dude w/concealed carry permit) DID rush the shooter. Unlike the trained LEOs he beat to the scene, though, he hasn’t been trained and drilled on seeing the whole picture. He was the dead hero shot by…the wife.
Tragic all around. His ideology told him to run toward the gunfire waving his legally-carried licensed gun, and what he got for it was a quick execution when he tried to get the shooter he saw to drop his gun. By brandishing his.
@SiubhanDuinne: The border patrol in Texas has been flooded with undocumented children crossing the border. They are moving many of them to Arizona and at the moment the conditions are not up to the Hollywood Hilton’s standards. why I’m not sure but of course the GOP is making an issue out of it. yes I suspect that is what Chris Hayes is talking about
It’s not whom they are addressing, it’s that they’re engaged in hyperbole. They will claim, perhaps even honestly, that they are practicing the time-honored tradition of exaggerating to make a point, and that any reasonably intelligent, sane person will recognize their exaggeration for what it is. That might even be a reasonable argument if they could ensure that only intelligent, sane people were listening to them. The problem is that it only takes a handful of stupid and/or crazy people to cause a lot of havoc. And that some of their practical policy decisions work to make it easier for those people to be armed to the teeth.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’m automatically entitled to Italian citizenship (along with the right to live and work anywhere in the EU) through my father though I’ve never bothered with going through the formalities with the consulate. This has changed. I’m not sure I’m ready to move yet, but I want to have the option available for myself and my children. I don’t see the “freedom” in a country that sits back and allows a minority of degenerate scum inflict death and terror on everyone else.
@SiubhanDuinne: @Baud: Yes, I’m sure that’s it. I read about that earlier today and I was horrified.
@D58826: Well, to be fair to the AZ GOP (‘you can’t spell crazy without A-Z’), their objection is not to the deplorable conditions at the facility, like any normal person’s would be–babies with health conditions and pregnant 16 year olds are being warehoused in conditions that the Tucson animal shelter wouldn’t allow.
It’s to the fact that the ‘aliens’ aren’t being dumped on the dusty side of the Nogales fence with no review of whether they are in fact actually illegally present in the US, their home countries if they have any docs, or any claims they may have to asylum, refugee status or parental presence in the US.
Because they’re assholes like that.
Wow, that’s a pretty cavalier attitude you’ve got there. Kids separated from their parents. Kids separated out by age, so even if you’ve got a sibling there, too, you’re probably not with them. Kids sleeping on plastic cots. Not enough of anything. It sounds like an internment camp.
Not up to hollywood standards? ugh.
@BBA: Wasn’t it junior Bush that let the assault weapons ban expire. There were laws past but they all expired.
Cris (without an H)
@PhoenixRising: I found that curious too. Made me want to see the numbers from 14 years ago.
Well, there is the inconvenient fact that our country imprisons more people for longer sentences and in many cases for relatively minor offenses than any other country on earth. I mean, 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners? Either we have a very fucked up political, legal, and criminal justice system, or a very fucked up population, or both. Take your pick.
Aside from that, Waldman’s analysis is impeccable.
Aside from that, a passing thought while driving through Georgia yesterday (the one with Atlanta in it, not the one in the former USSR). There appears to be some sort of widespread schizophrenia in the southern states – on the one hand there are numerous billboards against abortion and praising (or threatening people with) Jeebus in various guises – not to mention the monfucious roadside crosses, and on the other there are equally numerous billboards* promoting ADULT SUPERSTORES. One location had what I estimated to be a hundred foot tall cross located about two hundred yards from an ADULT SUPERSTORE billboard. It’s like they can’t decide whether to get saved or to get their freak on in a truly serious way. Or both, maybe getting saved after the freaky part. Hey, if it worked for St. Augustine…
*I won’t even get into the billboards promoting the local purveyors of firearms, all of which billboards seem to feature various derivations of the AR15 platform.
@WaterGirl: Well, they’re not really children. They’re just miniature brown people so I guess that makes it OK.
Mike in NC
@gbear: “Attention WalMart shoppers. Bodyguard Blankets are now on sale in aisle 8, right next to the assault rifles! Get several to outfit the entire family.”
@danielx: Funny how the Americans oppressed most by our criminal justice system are not the same Americans screeching about FREEDUMB!!! Why is that?
Right, but that’s not helpful to me if I’m in the Wal Mart. I think he’s making it worse. He doesn’t know there’s another shooter, he thinks it’s wise to confront the shooter, and it just causes more shooting.
There has to be some option of “please don’t protect us anymore”
Just awesome. I’ve always loved that scene from “And the Band Played On”
@beltane: It’s like I said upthread: No Humans Involved.
If we don’t like you, you don’t count.
Artwork Idea: A box of ammo with the price listed at wal-mart, under a huge 300 pt heading labeled POST BIRTH ABORTIONS.
AnoNYMous Rex (formerly Ecks)
I’m confused, why are we talking about Greece all of a sudden?
Or does he mean the world’s oldest CONTINUOUSLY RUNNING democracy? Because if so, I still don’t see what Iceland has to do with it.
Why do American liberals keep repeating this weird meme about oldest democracies? America isn’t even close to the front of that list, no matter how you construct it.
@Kay: My point was that, in his zeal, this man died for nothing. All his attempted heroism did was increase the body count. Which is a tragedy for his family, and did no one he intended to protect a whit of good. Even when it happened just like they all dream about, the gun didn’t help.
The WalMart in my ZIP code is the only location I’m aware of in which the hypothetical for concealed-carry came true: The meat-cutter’s ex-boyfriend jumped the deli counter and began stabbing her with intent to kill. When he stood up, John Q Public provided transcortical lead therapy for the dude’s self-control issues. The shooter waited calmly for the cops, who of course had a lot of paper to push–but if there is another instance of the innocent third party saved by the good guy with the gun, I’ve never heard of it.
And the important piece is that the bad guy DIDN’T have a gun in this parable. The number-dispensing machine, properly deployed to the skull, would have had the same effect.
@gbear: So, they’re “Collateral Damage” blankets. Probably not much use to the kids (goddess forfend they ever need them) but if a terrible incident happens, the authorities will point to the blankets and whine, but we did all we could!
So, not really different from the notorious Duck & Cover drills of our childhoods. (Which didn’t happen in our Bronx parochial school, because — as the nuns did not hesitate to tell us — nobody within a hundred miles of NYC was going to survive long enough to see the more than a terrible flash.)
Yeah, I’ve actually told an NRA defender “It’s also your right to play with your privates, but the rest of us would prefer you didn’t do it at the grocery store, okay?”
I understand that the Feds are playing it close to the vest and not raining down hellfire on these fucktards for PR/political reasons. I just can’t get over these morans thinking their AR15 with the extended clip gives them the upper hand against the U.S. military, makes me wanna yell “come back when you’ve figured out how to make an improvised EMP from a Coke can, 3 M80s, an innards of an old alternator and your flip phone” at them.
I listened to Gabby Gifford’s husband testify after she was shot, and he carefully explained how a gun would have been no use to him in that hail of bullets and chaos.
He said, essentially, no human being is that fast. By the time he knew what was happening, it was over.
We’re talking about a daily life where people would have to be walking around with the same sort of attitude one would have in a war zone; always primed to shoot at any moment, always training, always alert. Are these people who are going to defend us ready at any moment like that? I know I’m not. I’m wandering around looking for the cat litter, or whatever.
Higgs Boson's Mate
A mercifully few times my unit engaged in combat at ranges of 7 to 10 meters. We were well trained, experienced, armed with long guns, and we’d worked together for months. I shook afterward. So did everyone else. The last fucking thing I would want in the whole world is for some good guy with eight hours of training opening fire with a fucking pistol in a confined space.
Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name)
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: Years ago, I was mugged by four guys who just came around a corner, sucker punched me, knocked me to the ground, and started kicking. If I had been carrying a weapon, I would not have been able to get to it in time to do anything. It is also likely that they would have taken the weapon and I would have been responsible for people who had no hesitation about using violence having a weapon. Anyone who thinks they could do anything in that situation is a fantasist. Plus, the idea of shooting someone over $50 and some inconvenience doesn’t appeal to me.
THIS X 10,000
@Kay: These days, you probably should always be primed and alert, and maintaining that state is exhausting. It takes years of practice to get to that point, and still, you may lapse at the wrong moment, or miss something, as did the unfortunate Mr. Wilcox in Las Vegas.
To start with, wherever you go, stop and think: if an emergency broke out, what would I do? The emergency doesn’t have to be a nut with a rifle; you can think of an emergency such as a fire, earthquake, flash flood. The idea is to learn to consider dispassionately what no one likes to think about. Once you can do that, then you add people to your what-if’s. If that pregnant lady over there hemorrhaged and collapsed, what would I do? If that man took hostages, what would I do? If a crazy man with a rifle appeared, what would I do? It becomes second nature after a while–but you do need a break. You can’t stay in this heightened alertness permanently. You’ll burn out.
IIRC, there were at least two people nearby in Tucson who had (legal) concealed carry weapons, and both of them wisely decided not to draw them until they figured out what was going on. One of them admitted later that he’d almost accidentally shot the guy who managed to wrestle the gun away from the shooter because he’d lost track of who was who in the chaos.
@danielx: While on a recent road trip to Florida I saw (either in South Georgia or North Florida) a positively surreal billboard. I can only describe the image as “Jesus leading an amphibious assault team”.
I mean, it’s Jesus, robes, sandals and all, wading out of the surf, and behind him is a platoon of kitted out US soldiers looking like a scene from Platoon, with a helicopter gunship hovering menacingly in the background. Caption something like, “Jesus leads us to freedom!”
I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I was too busy thinking, “Which version of the gospel of Mark is that from?”
Going way out on a limb, I’d guess that those people who are most oppressed by the criminal justice system already know they’re oppressed, hence know that screeching about it hasn’t done them a hell of a lot of good in the past and isn’t likely to do them much good now. The ones yelling about freedom mostly don’t know anything about oppression, not in a real sense. Which is not to say that some of them (not Cliven Bundy, bless his heart) haven’t been subjected to real or perceived oppression by the government; said oppression not including making people pay their taxes. It’s just that more and more white people, for various reasons, are becoming subject to some of the same tactics faced by black people since, well, forever. The major difference being that those doing the yelling are a hell of a lot better armed than the average citizen.
Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name)
@Lurking Canadian: It’s from the Book of Armaments – just before the bits about the Holy Hand Grenade.
I made the same point in an earlier post. These wannabes think they can simply pull out a gun and start blazing away. Trained military and public safety officers know that you have to assess the entire situation before you even think about pulling your gun. And even then, training and discipline often break down in the heat of the moment and trained personnel make stupid mistakes. These guys live in a fantasy world, in this case, reality rose up and smacked the poor smuck down.
Like I wrote below. I want depleted uranium rounds howitzers and 20 mm AA cannons to fight tyranny. It’s my right
And that’s why cops get to retire early. ..
And in the post bush era… deploy people for 5 years plus straight. .. I think soldiers need similar consideration
pseudonymous in nc
There was a long piece written a few months back by someone with a concealed weapon who gradually developed that “tactical” attitude, and which discussed the ambivalence he felt about it. But also the power.
Other people are not so ambivalent. They like the feeling. It’s a kind of dress-up, a kind of roleplay, a kind of kink.
@BBA: James Brady was not the Minority Leader in the US Senate.