The front page in today’s Charleston, S. C.’s hometown paper:
It’s a little hard to read, but the sticker that partly obscures the headline about a mass shooting advertises the latest deal at a local gun store. “$30 GETS YOU EVERYTHING” — all the goodies needed to have a fine time with your new weapon.
Race, terror, the long history of attacking African American leaders, institutions and anyone else at hand in support of white supremacy, all the evils that run like a river through American history dominate the coverage of the massacre at Emanuel A. M. E, and they should. This is an atrocity bred in the bone of the American idea, as Jelani Cobb writes:*
For black Christians, the word “sanctuary” had a second set of implications. The spiritual aims of worship were paired with the distinctly secular necessity of a place in which not just common faith but common humanity could be taken for granted. No matter the coming details about the shooting in Charleston, it seems almost inescapable that the assault on a single black church is an inadvertent affirmation of the need for an entire denomination of them.
I don’t want to distract from the core, essential truth: racial disparity, cruelty administered on racial grounds, systematic discrimination based on race remain at the center of US life, and we need to say that out loud and do what we can about it every damn day.
But at the same time, as Cobb also writes,
We periodically mourn the deaths of a group of Americans who die at the hands of another armed American. We periodically witness racial injustices that inspire anger in the streets. And sometimes we witness both. This is, quite simply, how we now live.
We have a problem with guns. It isn’t going away. You can dig through the twitter streams and comment threads as I have, but you already know what you’ll find. For too many Americans, the solution to our gun problem is obvious: the answer to a bad shooter in church are good ones. If only those at prayer had been packing, Dylann Roof wouldn’t have been able to kill more than three or four before taking a couple of hundred grains of lead to the throat in return fire. If only…
The ammosexual defense of their kink is predictable and almost certainly incorrigible. Driven (and heavily armed) that’s a view that’s managed to hold political sway over the mushy majority for whom the notion the the liberty of the gun-sniffing few outweighs the freedom of the rest of us to assemble, travel, speak without fear of suppressing fire. What drives that is, at least in part, the normalization of gun fetishization. Which is what you see above. And is what must be shamed out of the public square.
The Charleston Post and Courier has apologized on its Facebook page for the sticker, calling it “a deeply regrettable coincidence.” Forgive me if I don’t take that statement in the manner its author may have intended. It’s not the coincidence that’s regrettable. It’s the deeper implication behind the juxtaposition. Just in case its readers may have missed the contingency of that mea sorta culpa, there’s the phrase that followed the paper’s regrets:
We apologize to those who were offended.
“To those who were offended.” How about to the human race. How about to the nine folks praying at church last night — except, of course, they can’t because the guns that come with whatever gaudy deal (here’s a perfect gift for your 21 year old! A precision machine designed to deal death in quantity!) have in yesterday’s employment ended those nine souls, took their lives and everything they might ever have been or done.** How about to the families of those gone, then — except what will you say. “Sorry we advertised more death with the news of the deaths of your loved ones!”
I don’t mean to single out the Post and Courier — and especially not the folks writing and editing it, who have no control over what the business side does. But it’s just so damn telling. As long as guns are just fit fodder for the daily special we’re doomed to repeat this miserable charade over and over again, mourning yet more victims while doing absolutely f**k all to honor their memory in any way that may lessen the odds of it happening again.
*See also Charles Pierce, marrying his gift for language and his capacity for righteous rage in this piece.
**And yeah, I’m channelling (read, clumsily paraphrasing) that Clint Eastwood speech from The Unforgiven here.
Image: Karlis Padegs, Madonna with a Machine Gun, 1932.
One of our national treasures, Garry Wills, wrote this in the wake of the Sandy Hook murders. It bears repeating here.
Off the top of my head, I can recall three separate and fairly recent incidents of a newspaper having to issue an apology for gun show sticker appearing on a headline about a mass shooting. At least the “Post & Courier” had a template for the “apology.”
It was the fourteenth time the President addressed mass murder.
Racial equality had to be imposed on a Federal level.
Perhaps gun safety must be also. Because those who encouraged it are loudly proclaiming that this is totally not their fault.
When it is.
Where the sub-head says:
Unfortunate choice of metaphor — to put it as mildly as possible.
PS: It’s always a bad choice of words; in this case it’s ridiculously bad.
That Confederate Battle Flag over the SC state capitol needs to come down. Permanently.
Tangentially, I can’t even imagine what Larry Wilmore is going to say tonight.
LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
I’m going to bang this drum yet again.
We need to start talking about why the 2nd Amendment is even justified.
If it were interpreted to mean a non-individual right to bear arms, or to mean a qualified regulated right, we wouldn’t be here.
But since it [apparently] means an unqualified right to any and all guns everywhere and always, and the gun fanatics have demonstrated their desire to bring them into churches and grocery stores, I think we can reasonably question whether it is time to repeal the 2nd and replace it with a more regulated privilege.
OF COURSE it isn’t going to happen soon. But like the other long marches of justice, the journey begins with demanding a justification of the status quo, and proposing a different reality.
Just getting people to imagine this new reality is the immediate point, to get them to ask things that are currently just assumed.
The Church was founded by Denmark Vesey and today is the anniversary of the planned slave revolt that he organized out of this church.
We don’t have a problem with guns.
What we have a problem with is a legislature for which there is no amount of blood that will force it to take action. Not the blood of nine people in a church. Not the blood of over 20 children in school. Not even the blood of one of their own. Nothing.
If a school full of dead, mutilated, PERFORATED six-year-old white bodies couldn’t change things…
…These are dead BLACK people. One third of America is fine with this. Just fine.
@LWA (Liberal With Attitude):
Keep at it.
Include in your campaign the repeal of the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (2005), 15 USC §§ 7901-7903.
I’m at a PR training today & we’re all in agreement the P&C should have quit with ‘We’re sorry.’
There was another theory about the shooter’s motive, now fallen by the wayside, seeing that the shooting happened on the first of Ramadhan …
Now this is just plain tone deaf:
Bernie Sanders holds a presser in Charleston, SC in support of the Keep Our Pension Promise Act about 50 feet away from a prayer vigil for the slain church members.
Jeb Bush and Donald Trump canceled scheduled events in SC after news of the shooting.
Have to ask: is flying half-staff at the moment?
@JPL: In six and a half years.
@Cacti: Ugh. He should have said, “You know what? This can wait for another day. I’m joining those people’s vigil.”
Bad optics when you come away looking less sensitive than Donald Trump.
In the radio biz, we always had standing orders that if there was a plane crash, airline commercials didn’t run. Typically we’d run a make good a week later and everyone was happy.
Of course those orders came from the clients, not from station management. The airlines recognized that it would be bad advertising.
It is left to the reader to determine why gun shops don’t take make goods after a shooting.
Still checking in on Fox, and they’ve recovered their swagger a bit.
Talking point of the hour is a shocked “Obama is dragging politics into this; how uncouth” and the usual (and, sadly, well rehearsed) “it’s too early — we need to heal. We cannot talk about politics yet.”
I think this is a mass murder too far. I think gun violence has been on Loretta Lynch’s radar screen, and President Obama has had to deliver more of these speeches than anyone can stand.
Time for antigovernment types and other homegrown terrorists to go under the microscope.
We don’t accept that from people who claim to be adults any more.
@Elizabelle: They might want to talk to Rick Santorum real quick.
Two days ago, actually.
And the original planned date was Bastille Day, July 14.
It’s long past time for that, but, if it happens now, I’ll take it.
It is going away, just slowly. Too slowly. And the Obama election created a spike where a bunch of old angry white people went out and bought guns, but I look at that as not entirely terrible. It’s terrible that some of those people will shoot people with those guns, but it also paints gun ownership as something only old crazy people are in favor of. Long-term though, ownership is going to go down.
An odd thing for them to say when a legislator is gunned down,
@Linnaeus: Knew what that would be, without having to click. (Although I did.)
Our Moloch. Indeed.
Swear to FSM, Fox News is trying to present this as; not racism, but part of the war against Christians.
@Mike J: Inconvenient, yes.
But they’re not going with Clementa Pinckney so much as a legislator. They mourn him for having been a preacher since age 13.
They’re hoping like hell that DRUGZ explains this shooting, too.
Cole posted on this earlier.
Confederate traitor flag on car, check. Rhodesian apartheid and South African apartheid flags on jacket, check. Target and date of shooting, check. Racist comments made by the terrorist during the shooting, check.
I’m all for fixing our gun problem, but we have a racism poblem that’s more urgent. And possibly even fundamental to it! Many gun fetishists are so inclined because of their fear of a black planet.
Just like economic violence is often driven by racism, second amendment fetishism is too.
Over the last four decades, gun ownership in the US has declined pretty consistently from about 50% of households to about 35%.
I suspect some in their audience demographic might object to them showing sympathy for black people.
It will level off at 27%.
@Belafon: Do tell. I’ve not heard anything about Sen. Man on Dog today.
Have seen a few clips of Ted Cruz looking unctuous about the war on those of Christian faith — he has his sad face on — and of Rand Paul telling us “government can’t do anything about this!” (Should look up his exact words. They’re strident.)
Rick Santorum said the same thing, bluntly.
@Mike J: …because mass shootings are, in fact, the best possible advertisements for guns. People go out and panic-buy the model of gun that was used in the shooting because they figure it’s about to be banned. Which it rarely actually is.
@Pee Cee: sigh. too true
@Pee Cee: Yup, and each will own forty-three of them.
Somehow the Obama-created ammo shortages don’t seem to have the desired effect of less shooting. What could possibly have gone wrong with that Secret Plot?
Padegs wanted to shock by “combin[ing] hardly comparable things” but…
he was clearly before his time.
When will Megachurches come with pillboxes on the altar?
@moderateindy: And for that, black people should boycott Fox. They have gotten away with this kind of crap for far too long.
White Trash Liberal
I wish I shared your confidence. The expansion of conceal and open carry into places like state parks indicates to me that ownership isn’t the issue. It’s the easy argument that regulating small arms on any level in this country is unacceptable. And that empowers the ammosexuals.
Small arms manufacturers are just a tentacle of the great octopus of the military imdustrial complex that is wrapped around our culture, crushing and warping it into a grotesque shape. The NRA has a readymade platform in the mainstream media because the NRA is the PR department of the advertisers that control content.
@Trollhattan: Or at least taken a few minutes out of the presser to make a comment sharing his heartfelt grief and horror, and making the important points about racism and domestic terrorism not being tolerable. If he was super-deft he could have even circled it back to his home ground of economics again–how so much of the economic violence in our system is driven by racism– and even snuck in the quite defendable implication that the IGMFY crowd who’ve destroyed our social safety net over the past 30 years are aligned with racists.
Not too many politicians are that talented though, and I guess Sanders doesn’t make that cut either.
Charleston County coroner Rae
WoodruffWooten on. First vic up was branch manager of a library.
@Cervantes: Is the problem really going away at all? The declining number of households with guns is probably just a decline in the number of households for which guns were unremarkable hunting or pest-control tools. But the industry has consequently switched to marketing to people who collect large numbers of guns, or are obsessed with carrying loaded guns and keeping them handy at all times for “self-defense”, and have extravagant hero fantasies. Are those numbers declining?
we have a problem with crazy that is exasperated by guns – have they said yet or do they know if this guy is the legal owner of the guns used?
Australian comedian Jim Jefferies did a remarkably lucid and dark takedown of America’s gun fetish.
Fair warning — he says f**k often.
@Cervantes: That kind of garbage goes beyond denialism. It is a deliberate, calculated insult, to black people in particular, and decent people in general. And it should absolutely not be tolerated, not from anyone, and especially not from someone running for president.
@fuckwit: True. Although we don’t have a transcript or any further info on Sanders’ presser, at least not up on this thread. Need to see what he actually said, or did not say.
And the rest of America should not?
Could not agree more.
I haven’t read anyone since who encapsulates it as well as Wills did in that piece.
We share the longest undefended border on earth. How does an imaginary line make such a difference between our countries?
This. Even in the cases where there’s no racial motivation, the easy availability of guns is driven by racist fears, so that sensible gun control would be much easier if it weren’t for racism. There are so damn many problems in this country where racism is at the very least exacerbating the problem, if not causing it. If we can do something real about racism, many of our other problems will suddenly become much more tractable.
@White Trash Liberal: But eventually when you reach 27% of the population, it becomes really hard for even the loudest minority to impose its will on everyone else.
@Mike J: We had something similar in the newspaper biz: We had to check the page proofs to make sure the stories (and jumps) about airline crashes weren’t on the same pages as airline ads. Advertising was supposed to include a note with the run sheets as to where the airline ads were, but they didn’t always do so.
Anyway, as I have long contended, open carry is intended to intimidate those in the public sphere who are unarmed, and as such, it is the common-law crime of assault. Period. Meaning that that anybody who favor its and claims to be law-abiding citizen is lying. And, by and large, those who wish to engage in open carry are deviants who want to draw attention to their powerful firearms to compensate for other shortcomings.
I cannot think of a single prominent Republican who has stood up to these sickos. Meaning that the GOP, the party of law and order and family values, legislatively enables lawlessness and sexual deviancy.
@Cervantes: Anyone with an ounce of sanity or human decency should boycott Fox after this. But someone has to take the lead, and it should be the black community.
You raise good questions there.
Reliable data are not easy to come by. The numbers I reported are from the General Social Survey, which does not go into the alternatives you’re asking about (click on “G,” then “Guns,” etc.).
I agree — and that someone is you.
Anyone with an ounce of sanity should have boycotted Fox News a long time ago.
@Matt McIrvin: But it’s tougher to sell gun de-regulation when those are the only people you have buying them. Those people are bad advertising.
@Linnaeus: The Wills essay is very well done and very sobering. Thanks for the link.
LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
We can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Its actually good to talk about the intertwining of racism with guns, to force gun owners to own the racism, and not pose behind hunting or home defense.
@LWA (Liberal With Attitude):
I agree. But I’m sure I won’t live to see it.
Howard Beale IV
Almost makes me want to go to SC and burn every treasonous flag I see flapping in the wind. As long as these symbols continue to exist the behavior we saw in SC will continue. These must be rooted out and destroyed by any and all means necessary.
There aren’t too many, I’ll concede that, but here are two: Michael Bloomberg; Al Hoffman.
@Cervantes: To forestall future such events, the Military College of South Carolina was founded. (Locals call it “the house that Denmark built.”)
A Ghost To Most
As a armed liberal, I hope it never gets that low.
In a speech today at the “Faith and Freedom Coaltion,” Marco Rubio makes zero mention of the SC church shooting, but reaffirms his committment to guns.
I can’t watch FOX any less than ‘never intentionally in my entire life’.
One thing we could do is to start complaining loudly to management whenever a public television is set to FOX. It must become unpalatable for FOX to be airing anywhere other than the most wingnutty living rooms.
Make your zombie parents turn off the TV.
@Roger Moore: Hell, I’ve been waging my own personal boycott against Fox for years now.
@Cervantes: I’d rather see somebody with a little more, uh, stature, taking the lead.
I was thinking about Shannon Faulkner just the other day.
She was locked out, then admitted, then forced out — but several hundred women followed and succeeded in her footsteps.
@WereBear: I’m torn between wanting to condemn the ammosexuals for enabling a racist to kill people, and wanting to condemn the racists for allowing one of their own to bring a gun to a church explicitly to kill the people there. Which is cart and which is horse? Racists don’t need firearms to murder, and shooters don’t have to be racist, but the confluence here is obvious and it’s difficult to address the one cultural failing without flailing into issues with the other.
Rereading that last paragraph, it dawns on me that this is the core of Confederatistism (i.e. the fetishization of the Confederacy and all it stood for): a toxic stew of racism and 2nd Amendment worship. And because they’re so tightly intertwined, addressing either without touching the other doesn’t seem likely to resolve much.
Mike in NC
South Carolina: too large to be an insane asylum, but where gun ownership is almost mandatory and open carry is encouraged.
The dude on MSNBC said Roof is no different from ISIS.
@ms_canadada: We’re number one, unfortunately.
@Ridnik Chrome: Like I wonder what might happen if LeBron James or Beyonce was to cancel an appearance on Fox over this. People might notice…
It got a bit condensed here, but the call in the other thread was for ALL branches of Fox to be boycotted. Have Black basketball players refuse to answer question from Fox Sports, Black actors refuse to talk to entertainment reporters from Fox stations, etc.
@LWA (Liberal With Attitude):
I’d be all in favor of the 2nd Amendment as it stands if the DoD were scaled back appropriately, universal service were a requirement for citizenship and the obligations were assessed at the appropriate levels. For example, Charles and David Koch can each acquire a CVN for federal defense use, and Rmoney can supply an SSBN. Trump can probably afford 1/10 of an F-35. And Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Grover Norquist et al can sign up for military service or register as conscientious objectors – by which choice we’ll know better what to expect from each.
If “the right to keep and bear arms… shall not be infringed” in order to provide for “a well-regulated militia,… necessary to the security of a free state,” then it is the obligation of those most able to afford the biggest-ticket items to supply them, and the obligation of every last citizen to contribute to the maintenance and defense of said “fee state” if they expect to benefit from its continued existence. If they’re not interested, and think that keeping an AR-15 in a gun safe and voting for more funds for the Blackwater du jour is satisfying the obligation, then they can pay their taxes, accept reasonable regulation and STFU.
@Howard Beale IV:
I saw one flying high and proud just off I-83 north of Baltimore. The Confederate battle flag is the flag of traitors.
@Cervantes: I forgot about Bloomberg, and I had to look up Al Hoffman. I couldn’t come up with any sane ones, and you could only name two. As Chuck Pierce is fond of putting it, it’s the prion disease eating away the party’s brain.
It should be noted that Roof was arrested for a felony in March, and his father gave him a .45 handgun in April for his birthday. Not the most important fact about the case, but a great example of the sickness of the gun culture — that a father doesn’t see anything wrong with giving his son a handgun a month after being charged with a felony.
@Cacti: Given Bernie’s position on guns and gun rights he has a problem right now.
It’s beyond ironic to have Fox News hiding behind Ben Carson’s words on tolerance. They’ve put them up several times now.
From Carson’s FB page:
Who teaches its viewers to hate others as much as Fox News Channel does? They’re trying to wrap themselves within the cloak of victims of intolerance, and it is a hairshirt that does not fit them.
People were gunned down during BIBLE STUDY. If that doesn’t make fundamentalist Xtians empathize with them, then it’s clear they have zero empathy.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Exactly. And I hope Santorum gets reamed for his ignorant comments. Democrats high and low should be calling him out over this.
@Elizabelle: Carson talks about those being on welfare as losers. Maybe he should do some soul searching himself.
@Elizabelle: the people who’ve been flogging 9/11 for almost 14 years say what?
LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
@Bobby Thomson: Yup.
Pleading for tolerance is another last refuge of a scoundrel.
LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
Here is a good site:
@JPL: Well, there aren’t many people on welfare who are neurologists RIGHT NOW, are there?
Meh – that’s small ball.
Better would be to go after Fox’s advertisers. If you can make the network unprofitable because nobody with money will advertise with them, then Fox would have to change (Roger Ailes may be running a propaganda outfit but even Clan Murdoch isn’t going to let him run it in the red – it has to be making money to make it worth their investment).
Whenever they say something offensive, their advertisers should be targetted. Costing them money is the ONLY message these guys understand.
Damn. Seems to be Cavuto-time. That’s kind of my level for tolerance of Fox News.
He’s trying to scoff at guns as a uniquely American problem. Weak tea. He brings up the Ukraine, and two dead Canadian Mounties. And then he kind of drifts off …
Bobby Jindal: “I think it is completely shameful. …. Now is the time to be hugging these families.”
Um: they’d be able to hug their loved ones if a cretin with a gun hadn’t killed them. In a church.
Jindal just said Obama does not agree with religious liberty.
Cavuto and Jindal are repelling me away from Fox News. Remote, where art thou?
Jindal thinks Nikki Haley sobbing on television was beginning the healing process. Not that Nobama up there, politicking.
I hadn’t seen enough of Jindal to realize how truly and personally odious he is. I have seen. PTL.
Cavuto, mournfully: “Is this the time?”
I had a Facebook friend take issue with the President’s statement that it does not happen in advanced countries. He trotted out 5 examples of mass murders overseas. Of course he conveniently ignored the fact that it happens once a generation in those countrie and once a month in ours.
It is just another sign of American selfishness, these people are so selfish about having guns they don’t consider the long run damage to the country they cause.
Jindal’s talking about evil.
They don’t want this tied to guns.
Cavuto asks about metal detectors in church.
Jindal: “I’ll leave that up to the pastors.” Direct quote.
“This is a teaching moment, but not about guns or politics ….”
OK. This is weapons grade projection and labeling at leftists and liberals.
I am seeing evil.
Was just reading about the victims of the domestic terrorist in Charleston. Several of them were quite elderly. What a cowardly little punk the shooter is.
Except I’m way less likely to die at the hand of ISIS than I am by some white guy with a gun and a grudge.
@Elizabelle: I understand that Rev Pinckney was also part of Rev Sharpton’s National Action Network. I guess Fox News can’t bring themselves to mention that.
My Fox-watching could not survive exposure to Neil Cavuto.
@LWA (Liberal With Attitude): Good point. Santorum is the frothy RESULT of getting reamed.
@Betty Cracker: The shooter has that sniveley, James O’Keefe look about him. There must be a factory out there that churns them out off an assembly line.
@Elizabelle: You did an outstanding job and now it’s time to turn it off.
Your “friend” does not understand context or the importance thereof:
@JPL: Yes it is.
PS: Thank you. It was fun. But programming has just become head hit wall, and there I must part company with my Fox friends.
Neil Cavuto is craven.
Mike in NC
No matter what any of the occupants of the 2016 GOP Klown Kar has to say about this latest national disgrace, at the end of the day they all are on the payroll of the gun lobby and can boast about an “A+” rating from the NRA.
@beltane: He really does have a meth-addled gun nut look. It’s horrible to kill anyone, of course, but it seems particularly awful to hunt down someone’s sweet old granny and murder her in cold blood. Things like this make me understand why some folks want to believe in an eternal lake of fire.
When Cavuto brought up Ukraine, I was afraid he was going to go all “just a little gun violence? Nine people in a church? They’re bringing down airliners with rocket launchers in the Ukraine.” But he did not.
Maybe that’s Bill O’Reilly’s or Hannity’s line to roll out.
@Elizabelle: Maybe Cavuto thinks the civil war is still going on and that would explain his fascination with Ukraine.
@Skippy-san: “It is just another sign of American selfishness, these people are so selfish about having guns they don’t consider the long run damage to the country they cause.”
The problem with this is that hardly any of the people that “have guns” are doing these things so telling them that they are damaging the country is a hard sell – which has not yet been made. Made harder by some of the people who automatically assume if you have a gun you are racist (a previous poster: “Many gun fetishists are so inclined because of their fear of a black planet.”).
I channel surfed and wound up back with Cavuto interviewing some female psychologist. He tried to feed her some lines, she would not bite and would not talk about guns.
But they were discussing people needing to feel safe. Reduction of guns present to do one harm is apparently not something that would lead to that, in Cavutothink.
Will look for the transcript later.
Cavuto is slippery and a snake. I think he is amoral. Interview was kind of good cop/bad cop. Psychologist was personable and batted down the worst of his suggestions, but he still put them out there for the lizard brains watching.
And the “these are good black people because they were devout Christians” memo has been received by everyone at Fox.
The attractive black woman anchor was Faulkner Harris, host of “Outnumbered” and sitting in for the absent Shepherd Smith. She’s written a book: “Breaking News: God Has A Plan – An Anchorwoman’s Journey Through Faith.” Uh huh.
For the hottest take on the conservative side there’s a piece at National Review by Mona Charen. These people live in another moral universe.
@Mineshaft Gap: I live near there, want to burn it down? :)
@Betty Cracker: Expecting courage from ammosexuals, Confederatists and other wingnuts is likely to disappoint. Had this one been actually courageous and responsible, he’d have worked harder to be better than Those People so he’d be
no longer a bigoted clueless resentful douchebagmore employable/successful/attractive/whatever. But that’s like expecting Norquist to demand Big Gummint be responsible with the few tax dollars he will let them have.
My neighbor is a gun nut amongst gun nuts, he has a Mexican husband, and he would swear to you that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. But you ask him why he needs a gun and the first thing he will say is that he needs to protect himself from “thugs”.
A horrid and sickening tragedy
And obviously, it involves the toxic intersection of irresponsible policy towards guns and racism. It was a hate crime, and it was hate against blacks.
People need to ignore trolling about ‘politicization’ of the issue when the role of this toxic intersection comes up. Ideas have consequences, and I do not see how the extremist reactionary propaganda we see in public cannot be held responsible.
People like Warren and Sanders suggest raising marginal tax rates partly (not all the way, but just partly) to the levels they were under that commie Eisenhower (R) and you hear voices in Fox News and reactionary/GOP propaganda units yelling about pogroms, and Stalin/Mao style oppression of the rich.
OK, I am willing to say that is fair point to raise, even though ridiculous, and those asinine charges can and should be directly addressed ( and they can be addressed very easily).
OK, same goes for charges that supporting responsible firearms policy and opposing racism is ‘partisan’. Insist they answer how raising those issues is partisan. From my liberal viewpoint, how is that partisan in any way?
It might cause outrage on their part, but they need to answer whether the ideologies they push lead to these tragedies I am certainly willing to answer their far more outlandish accusations, and not duck issues with complaints that raising an issue is inherently partisan.
If some reactionaries find it difficult or insulting or outrageous you ask them to explain why merely raising the question is partisan, it may be because their side is the one that has been using violence and racism as tactics for partisan purposes for decades. The bigshots in charge want to keep it under control, but of course it cannot be kept under control.
@Cervantes: What is that in absolute numbers? The US population nearly doubled in that timeframe – so while the percentage may be lower the total headcount looks higher.
@shawn: No one has made the case to me that guns are a good bargain for the country. Its a “hobby” we need to put behind us, as we did other “hobbies” that proved dangerous. Like it or not public health researchers who study firearms generally agree that increased firearm ownership rates are associated with higher rates of homicide.
I served 29 years in the military. I know how to use a firearm quite well. All it really taught me was to treat them with a healthy respect and a trace of fear as to what they can do. They certainly have no place in my house and will not take residence there.
@charluckles: The entire movie Bowling for Columbine expounds on this theme at length.
@charluckles: interesting. most of my friends back in texas who are gun people would be happy to shoot an intruder of any color – its really off putting sometimes how eager they seem – i don’t think they care what color the person is – most of them don’t take the guns out of the house either except to go to the range
Sure — and equally, when you consider households that do not own fire-arms, the “total headcount” there is higher as well, so I’m not sure where you’re going with this line of argument …
@Skippy-san: i totally agree, im not a gun owner either – though i do kind of miss the days on the range in basic, im saying the people that do own guns don’t see it that way – its kind of a zero sum game for them – “my” gun doesn’t do these things so why should “i” have to give it up
@Cervantes: The percentage of US citizens who own firearms may be dropping. That doesn’t mean that fewer people are owning guns – the numbers actually indicate the exact opposite. And it says absolutely nothing about the type of person likely to own firearms – or the type of person likely to possess a personal arsenal.
Every one of the shootings of the last couple decades wasn’t the product of some percentage of the population. It was the act of single-digit groups of shooters. So no matter how much lower the percentage is becoming, there are still more potential single- or dual- shooter types out there than there were 40 years ago. With that math, a lower percentage of the population owning firearms is merely nice: it doesn’t negate the cold hard fact that the ranks of gun owners have continued to grow. We’re not winning the battle right now; we’re just mitigating the damage.
If the percentage changes were enough to influence policy it would be one thing. As we’ve seen for the last two decades, the policy trend is going the other way, because the gun lobby is louder and spends more lucre than almost any other outfit. To break the NRA deathgrip on firearms policy we need a much larger spread – and we’d want to see a decline in gun ownership real numbers. Until we get those we’re still talking about a growing community with outsize clout in Congress and in state houses.
@Mike J: same game plan as after the Giffords shooting
@LWA (Liberal With Attitude): I agree with everything you say. But repealing the second amendment is not going to happen in my lifetime. (Or probably the lifetimes’ of my children’s children.)
We need a shorter term strategy to limit gun ownership. In both the type of gun and type of owner.
One can be legislated, one can’t. You do what you can.
To steal from a Lawyers Guns & Money commenter, it’s the Southern Swastika.
well let’s be clear…
nine people are dead…. needlessly so…
Not because they weren’t armed…
They’re dead because someone, a young white male, who has been shown to wear symbols of racism on his facebook page, went into a church and shot them.
If hearsay is to be believed, he told them he was killing them because he feared that they were his enemy. That’s right, his enemy. Unarmed people in Bible Study were his enemy because of their skin color.
He didn’t pick up that reasoning due to liberals…
The conservatives are busy using Family Circus Billy on his way home logic.
There are essentially two fucking dots here.
He’s sporting clothes and accessories that show him to be a racist and then he planned and murdered nine Black people.
@shawn: and isn’t that sort of the point of the objections to gun nuts? They’re basically eager to shoot someone with their weapon, the sole purpose of which is to be a killing machine. They dream about it. That they’re so eager shows the basic fantasy and instability of people like that, as “normal” as they may seem in other respects. They think they’ll be Dirty Harry.
That the four year old might shoot the five year old, or that their impressionable and unbalanced teen or twenty something son (it’s always a guy) might go off and slaughter a group of people isn’t part of the fantasy at all.
Or that they might kill their own child mistaking him/her for a prowler after they’ve come home from sneaking out at night.
Or that child may someday use that gun in a suicide.
Those things don’t happen to heros like Dirty Harry.
I didn’t know he had been arrested before. He looks completely calm in the photo I saw, which is odd to me.
He’s in custody, surrounded by law enforcement and wearing a bullet proof vest and there’s no fear on his face. It’s unnerving.
Howard Beale IV
@les: Time to get a paint gun and deflower these abominations wherever they fly-either that or burn them to the ground-especially if they fly in Yankee territory.
@Mike J: Because unlike fatal airplane crashes, gun deaths happen every day.
Steve From Antioch
Republican clown can blame anti-Christianity.
Others can blame racism
The gun obsessed can blame lack of gun control
Rejoice all across the land at the marvelous rhetorical point scoring possibilities presented by this slaughter!
@Tokyokie: Ah, Bloomberg is a crazy case. Fors years it was believed he was a Democrat. The first run for the mayoralty, he changed to the Republican Party because he didn’t want to take part in NYC’s own Democratic klown kar kavalcade and have top go through the primary. The Republicans didn’t have anyone who wanted to run that year and they ‘welcomed’ Bloomberg because he’d finance his won campaign. Don’t really known what he is now.
@Steve From Antioch:
Republican clown can blame anti-Christianity.
I want proof that it was anti-Christianity. He went to a Black church and shot people he found there. You want me to believe that in South Carolina, in Charleston! (ffs) there wasn’t a Bible Study group in any one of a dozen white Baptist or Evangelical churches?
ETA: It is traditional in Protestant circles that Bible Study groups meet on Wednesday night. THursday is usually Choir practice.