Weekend Open Thread

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

–Francis Bacon

109 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    First, gun control is the smallest part of the solution, but still essential. We need to limit what’s available, who gets access to guns, and requirements on how people secure their guns. Will the laws work 100%? No. But no laws are 100% – they can be effective. And over time they will have greater impact (especially limitations on ammunition).

    Second, while the shooters have all had serious mental health issues, many of them were also quite smart and took time planning. Keeping weapons out of the hands of these people needs to be effective against smart people.

    Third, providing better ways to identify people with mental health issues and trying to help them is really important. Where we can help, that is gigantic because it turns someone from a possible horrific incident into a healthy member of society.

    But we also need to realize that a lot of times these issues cannot be addressed, either because we don’t know how or the individual is not willing to go through the process. And in those cases we need to identify the person and limit their access to tools that can injure or kill others.

    Fourth, I think the biggest problem is our culture where we glorify violence and the solution to any problem is presented as imposing our own will by force. It permeates our conversation, our politics, our entertainment, etc. This is the biggest issue we need to change.

  2. parsingreality says:

    THAT is the biggest issue.  I’ll say it’s even bigger than access to weapons.  

    I try to think of what movies and TV was like when I was growing up, what messages we received as kids about what was permissible and what wasn’t.  And we didn’t even have to deal with violent video games, the only kind that really sell.  

    The Lone Ranger used to wing the bad guy in the hand.  Now he would be blowing up buildings and using an RPG to avenge a slight. We have a whole population buying into what theologian Walter Wink calls, “The Myth of Redemptive Violence.”  Google it.  Think Mel Gibson.  Two wrongs make right.

    America has planted millions of weed seeds in the last fifty years.  Now the field is ripe, snuffing the garden.  And lives.  

  3. parsingreality says:

    School aged. She told them about Newtown and they asked a few questions.  But what almost made me cry was Rachel saying that when she picked up Kylie, grade one, her smile was like sunshine.  Knowing that she was safe to love another day.

    Already the loons are saying we need armed teachers and staff, that the Second Amendment is sacred.  

    I’ve gotten to where I think the Second Amendment is SHIT.  Virtually every gun murder and suicide in this country can be hung on that piece of bad, bad politics.  It made sense in the days of militias, but not now.  It needs to be repealed or amended.

  4. parsingreality says:

    Paranoid gun nut syndrome. PGNS.

    A diagnosis is made when:

    A patient owns more than two each hand guns and long rifles.  Or, any number of fully automatic weapons.


    Possess enough ammunition to fight the Battle of the Bulge singlehandedly.


    Expresses the fear that “they” are going to take their firearms away (most often expressed as tarists, the gummint, or the United Nations.)

    Under my proposal, you could still own a lot of guns, collect them, whatever.  The kicker is the belief of future events.  

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    and you are automatically drafted into the militia.

    Forced [every] weekend National Guard duty will “encourage” people to give up their guns.

  6. Lark says:

    Now is the time to sieze this issue and take combat weapons off our streets.  We can’t afford to be losing so many people because nobody in elected office has the courage to say guns are dangerous.  What is the point of controlling the legislature and Governor’s chair if Republicans are still going to call the shots on the this issue?  It isn’t just mental illness but adults with low IQ’s, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, lack of iodine from childhood and many other reasons some people shouldn’t own combat weapons in general.  There are lots of really stupid people out there who shouldn’t own combat weapons in our communities!

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    and another 82 gun deaths.

    Please read the following article carefully and thoughtfully.  Please.

    Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

    In the harrowing aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, one thought wells in my mind: Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?

    The fundamental reason kids are dying in massacres like this one is not that we have lunatics or criminals – all countries have them – but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns.

    Children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries, according to David Hemenway, a public health specialist at Harvard who has written an excellent book on gun violence.

    So let’s treat firearms rationally as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. The United States realistically isn’t going to ban guns, but we can take steps to reduce the carnage.


    More guns are not the answer.  Arming more of the citizenry is not the answer — a gun in the hands of every preacher, doctor, nurse, teacher, front desk clerk, dentist, airplane pilot, movie theater ticket taker, day care provider, deacon, trumpet player, stand-up comedian, librarian, bus driver, massage therapist, janitor, sound board technician, mother and father, son and daughter — that may be the NRA and the gun manufacturers (not that there’s any difference) wettest of dreams,  but we all know . . . Know . . . KNOW . . . KNOW . . .  that that certainly hasn’t and won’t make things better.

    Thinking about keeping a gun, or twelve, in your home for “protection”?  Maybe you ought to ask Nancy Lanza about that.  Oh, wait, you can’t . . . maybe if she’d owned another couple of AKs, or a dozen, she could have stopped this senseless tragedy?  Vigilance . . . Hah!

    Wake the fuck up, people.  

  8. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Taking into account the constraints, what limits make sense that would stop someone where their mother appeared to be a responsible gun enthusiast?

  9. Lurker19 says:

    Naturally, WBC plans to protest at the funerals of the babies killed in Connecticut.  Because, GAYS!!!!11!!!1

    Their right to do so was upheld by the Supremes.  

    So Anon used another Supreme Court decision and published contact info (addresses and work place info) about members of WBC on teh interwebbies.

    I would never access or use such information, because I wouldn’t stoop to the level of the WBC.

    But when I read the piece about it, it made me giggle, and today of all days, I needed a laugh.

  10. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Something the pro gun side does not want to hear. But owning a gun for self defense statistically is a bad idea http://www.sciencedaily.com/re

    And just like 80% of drivers think they do an above average job driving, I’m guessing 95% of gun owners think they’re in the very small percentage who are actually safer with a gun.

  11. PitaPita says:

    I’m still having a difficult time expressing my sorrow or formulating salient thoughts on gun control-then I ran across this story. I could only shake my head and mumble expletives.


  12. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    “When we consider the myriad school shootings that have occurred between 1992 and 2002 (there have been twenty-eight cases), several constants stand out. All twenty-eight cases were committed by boys. All but one was committed by a white boy in a suburban or rural school. We speak of teen violence, youth violence, violence in the schools, but no one in the media ever seems to call it suburban white boy violence, although that is exactly what it is. Try a little thought experiment: Imagine that all the killers in the more famous shootings in the 1990s – Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas, were black girls from poor families who lived instead in New Haven, Boston, Chicago, Newark. Wouldn’t we now be having a national debate about inner-city black girls? Would not the media focus entirely on race, class, and gender? -Michael Kimmel


    When this calms down, however, we’ve got some serious things to consider. For my part, I’ll be thinking quite a bit about how we perceive crime and race in this country. I’m genuinely disturbed that the conversation has been largely dominated by (mostly) White men… yelling at me for being too feminist. This is an issue of race, and it seems invisible because it’s about Whites.

    Why aren’t we addressing this issue?  Clearly something is up?

  13. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    We know we and our children can never be 100% secure from death or mayhem because of guns–or cars or dirty bombs or… . But, as with everything else in our fragile lives, we can lower the risks considerably. If we’re allowed to.

    Unfortunately, our hands and tongues are tied. For all the good solutions and logical  justifications we’ve offered here this weekend and yesterday, we’re being outgunned (obvious pun intended): outspent outshouted, outmaneuvered, and beaten. All our good intentions (There sure are a lot of smart, compassionate people here on Pols.) will amount to a prairie dog hole if we fail to use every tool at our disposal, raise our voices, and, most importantly, de-legitimize and marginalize the forces against us. Otherwise… ?

    There are real villains in all this. http://consortiumnews.com/2012… We’ve got to go after them.

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990, the gun rights lobby, led by the NRA, has contributed $29.2 million to candidates for Congress and the White House, 87 percent of it to Republicans. In the most recent election cycle, gun rights groups donated $3.1 million to political candidates and spent another $5.5 million in lobbying.

    As we press our elected representatives for legal remedies, where, it seems, the majority of solutions lie, we also have to let them know that we won’t tolerate their being influenced by the powerful gun lobbiests of the NRA. The US Chamber. WallMart. ALEC. They’re not just filthy pushers, they’re hit men.

    So help me, if I learn that any of these assholes even get past the receptionists at  Obama’s, Udall’s, Bennet’s, or DeGette’s offices (or Hick’s or Ferrandino’s or Aguilar’s or Hancock’s or Nevitt’s or Kniech’s or Ortega’s) it’s going to be noisy hell to pay.

    The blood of the 26 victims of the Connecticut shooting, including 20 young children, is on LaPierre’s hands. Of course, LaPierre didn’t pull the trigger, but he’s the NRA’s hit man when it comes to intimidating elected officials… .

    No, of course, LaPierre didn’t pull the trigger. Osama bin Laden didn’t fly the airplanes either.

  14. CastleMan says:

    We who have had enough of our society’s acceptance of gun worship need to take a stand. Tell everyone you know that you are among those who have decided that it is time for this country to confront its addiction to guns and the suffering they cause. Make your voice heard. Contribute time and money to politicians that support reasonable gun control laws. Join organizations, like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and become active in their work. Fight for our safety, our families, and our freedom – our freedom to live without fear that our children and our community’s teachers will be mowed down by a madman with a semi-automatic.

  15. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    While in Delhi, he visited the American Embassy School, his third such visit, and spent the afternoon answering questions from students, parents and teachers. His Holiness visited school as part of Peace and Global Citizens initiatives.

    One student asked, “What is the most important value of the Tibetan culture?” The Karmapa responded in a low voice, interspersed with English words, and shared with the audience by a translator. “The life that we live is a pretty simple life, We put at the center of our life altruism, the wish to benefit others. We’re pretty direct and straightforward. I think if you look at Tibetan culture, the most important values at the center of our culture are loving kindness and compassion, and we develop these feelings not just for other human beings but for all forms of life. Whatever we do, whatever activities we engage in, whatever studies we do, we always try to put the value of other beings in the center.”

    Emissaries, teachers, models, teachings, missives, printings…..effort is made.

    As a people and as a culture, China notwithstanding,Tibets a peaceful people because they value the effort.


  16. Gray in Mountains says:

    It is never the time after one of these massacres. Yet, what day did the pro-gun people come forward and say “OK, next Monday we’ll be ready to discuss gun control?”

  17. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Just as I had to visit FoxNews on election night to enjoy it’s take on Romney’s impending victory, I just went over to Red State to see if they were having a thoughtful conversation on the Connecticut school shooting (so you won’t have to, that’s why). OMG, are they. LOL

    If you count as thoughtful about three yards of thread with personal invective for Obama for every two-liner addressing the shooting. (Ok, I didn’t actually compute it.)

    If you count a diary with a couple dozen “fat”, “fat body” and other slurring comments about a particular pro-regulation liberal personality. These aren’t jacks. The diary actually headlines he’s “fat”!

    Full-blown conspiracy hysteria about Obama taking their guns away? Probably Monday morning!

    Their hatred for Obama and liberals drips from nearly every comment, and even desperately tangles up gun legislation with the deficit negotiations and gay rights. Boehner might trade away assault weapons and a tax hike for Obama’s keeping DOMA intact? Looks like it, folks.

    One of my favorites:

    We’ve been silent too long on the constitution and when we do not advocate the Second whithers and is vulnerable to opponents slaners.

    Now is not the time to retreat. We are cornered in fact.

    I wish I were confident of that.

  18. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    If they add that anyone who makes an illegal sale, if that is then used to commit murder they are an accessory – I think you’ll see underground sales dry up big time. And doing this on ammunition will have a very rapid effect.

    If you own an illegal magazine, first off you don’t want to sell it because how can you replace it. Second, it is so valuable, you are left wondering what the person paying that much wants with it.

  19. TimothyTribbett says:

    I am happier now than ever that I have supported Barrack Hussein Obama for President.   His remarks tonight were the words that make me happy to be an American!

  20. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    As a fellow CEO, my idea of a culture in a business is such that, if I do a good job implementing the culture it serves as an ummunity system. My staff wo’t allow me to hire losers, incompetents, liars, etc.

    The american culture is very sick, and where do we start to make it healthier?

    First, as a country, and our elected officials at every level have to begin this process, we need to identify ways to strengthen our culture. For instance, a citizen in order to get married, and have children, need to be qualified to do so. Raise the bar. Guns – you need to have gun insurance, training, psychological screening to order and own guns. Education, a curriculum must be early and incessant in teaching civil responsibility and there has to be zero tolerance of bullying and mean pranks. Zero tolerance.

    A Cultural Czar may be a good place to start. AND, we need the assistance of capitalism that stops catering to the lowest and most negative aspects of the human character. Capitalism, media, and the whole panaply of social institutions can pplay a powerful role to correct the slide into barbarity we’re witnessing.

    God Bless those poor children and their families, the town, and our country.

  21. AristotleAristotle says:

    because it’s a reflection of our society.

    Also, arguments that violent movies and video games are at fault seem to be based on the idea that somehow these individuals wouldn’t turn to violence as a solution if they lived in utter ignorance of them. I think that’s as specious as the idea that pornography causes rape. Extreme violence and rape existed long before movies and photography.

    Now, there may be a kind of reinforcing effect from these movies and video games, especially on the impressionable young. But we really have no idea. (As always, I welcome correction – if anyone knows of any studies on this issue, I would love to read one.)

    But we do know what kind of entertainment existed when you were young. Westerns in which fists and guns were righteously used to punish the bad guys. Cartoons in which characters were beaten and mutilated. People didn’t swear but they did tell everyone to shut up whenever they heard something they didn’t like. “Violence is as American as cherry pie,” as Huey Newton observed.

    Let’s not view the past with rose colored glasses. Mass murder existed in the 50s as well as today. PC posted about a school that was blown up in the 1930s, killing more children than died yesterday.

    Massacres like yesterday’s are possible now because of two things – technology and lax gun laws. The solution won’t come from something as easy as making non-violent movies or banning violent video games. (Although I’m not opposed to making violent video games unavailable to children under 17 – it’s really fucked up that we think images of sex are worse for kids than those of violence.) I think there are reasonable restrictions that can be enacted. Weapons like the ones used yesterday and last summer in Aurora have no legitimate business being sold to any old Joe who wants one. And the gun show loophole needs to be closed. Those won’t stop massacres, but they’ll make them a lot harder for these rather youthful murderers to commit.

  22. VanDammerVanDammer says:

    you want to own a gun then you have compulsory military service and semi-active National Guard responsiblities.  Paranoid NRA loons know the “red horde” is just waiting & training to eat our lunch.  

    Hell, Red Dawn 2012 had to decide beween China or N.Korea for fear agents.  Truth is we need to fear ourselves (justifiably so) more than any external threat.  We’re smart people but this is our greatest genetic DUMB — dumb to our US core.  Rest of the world just shakes their heads in despair at our idiocy.

  23. BlueCat says:

    makes you a jerk who should be punished. Most of us who enjoy guns enjoy a little target shooting or like hunting.  Vilifying all gun ownership and owners just gives the NRA ammo. As I’ve said before, my family is loaded with liberal Dem gun owners who strongly support sensible gun control. I don’t think the idea of drafting people like us as punishment is a helpful idea at all. I think most gun owners are people like us.

  24. BlueCat says:

    were elementary school age the market wasn’t awash in horrible brutal video kill games.  Most parents pay no attention to the age recommendations.  I see young kids playing the most horrible graphic desensitizing games all the time.  And it isn’t at all the same as when we boomer kids played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians with toy guns or staged battles with little green plastic soldiers.  Not even close. As I recall we spent most of our time arguing that no we weren’t dead, you missed me and our heads weren’t filled with graphic violent bloody images.

    Starting on this stuff as a child and spending hours a day with it during the fragile time of adolescence then finding devastating weapons easily available as young adults strikes me as a recipe for increasing violence even though most kids and young adults come through it without becoming monsters. I do think it contributes where those who don’t come through so well are concerned.

  25. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    the biggest problem is our culture where we glorify violence and the solution to any problem is presented as imposing our own will by force.

    and this…

    we need the assistance of capitalism that stops catering to the lowest and most negative aspects of the human character.

    Human civilization has always glorified violence. War made it a functional necessity for centuries. Now our media glorifies the use of guns to seek personal  justice…even if that justice is in the mind of a psychopath. And to BCs’ point below…Roy Rogers used a gun…but he never killed anyone with it.

    One of the things that has revolutionized our modern world is the speed with which public opinion can change on a massive scale. My wife and I are going to start harping on our part of the world about sensible firearm management…our families are gun nuts…and we’re not going to shut up. Our grandchildren, 13, 12, 5 and 4 yrs. old, deserve our best effort.

  26. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Capitalism, media, and the whole panaply of social institutions can pplay a powerful role to correct the slide into barbarity we’re witnessing.

    It’s especially interesting you bring up capitalism. But since it so pervasively influences American culture, it’s worthy of a whole discussion by itself. Well, so are media. Well, and a lot of our other culpable institutions.

  27. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    And it plays into how the 2nd amendment is written. That should be looked at seriously.

  28. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    the stupid should have less rights than everyone else?  Where is that in the constitution?  

  29. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    If you can’t pass the drivers test – no license

    If you can’t pass the college admissions test – no college.

    Not saying Lark’s point is valid (or invalid) but we do restrict access based on intelligence.

  30. RedGreenRedGreen says:

    aren’t in the Constitution; however muddled, gun rights are. Would you support restricting voting rights or the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure based on intelligence? That comparison would be more on point.

  31. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    are allowed to serve in Congress.    

  32. gaf says:

    A well regulated Militia…

    My understanding of the writing style of the time is that introductory clauses were vitally important–they expressed the main intent of what followed. They still do in my writing (although the SCOTUS seems to regard it as a throw-away phrase, of little or no importance).

    So you regard some Militia time as “punishment.” Why do you not regard it as the constitutional intent?

  33. gaf says:

    A well regulated militia…

    as proscribed by…well…the opening words of the amendment.

  34. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I could counter argue patents as that is in the constitution, but that would be a giant stretch.

  35. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    but I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that clause…

    The United States did not have a standing army when the war for independence began. We raised our army from state and local militias. I believe it was the intention of our national leaders to refrain from keeping a standing army, so they figured the security of the country could be handled by those same militias, called upon when needed.

    We no longer need to have civilian militias to defend us. We have the Defense Department… something we didn’t have when our country was new.

    Besides…the right to bear arms in those days meant you could have a musket, not an Uzi.

    The crazy part of this is the mistaken belief that some of these new “defenders of freedom” seem to carry that they will be able to defend themselves from “Obamas’ Socialist Army”.

    Think F-16, Bubba.

  36. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    “Constitutionality” actually has little permanent bearing on whatever part of the constitution we’re invoking. The constitution is maddeningly vague and (in the Second Amendment, esp.) uncharacteristically and maddeningly specific. Constitutionality in any conflict of ideas is ultimately what the “winners” say it is. We need to go out and make sure “our side” wins–without  over-reaching to the extent the “other side” gets so pissed they come back later and beat us back–constitutionally.

    :)    :)    :)    to all.

  37. gaf says:

    Care to explain? And answer the question?

  38. The realistThe realist says:

    has become through years of propaganda. I think the majority of people are now waking up.  

  39. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    In fact, it approaches “greatness” in opinionated journalism. Thanks for bringing it to this page. Your follow-up is great too. I love your passion, Dio.


    Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

    As Diogenesdemar suggests, if you haven’t already, please read this.

  40. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

    (ephasis in the original)

  41. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    short of the second coming of Christ…or some other savior of your choosing..or the end of mankind…we aren’t going to get people to stop killing other people.

    But, let’s try to not make it so fucking easy to kill so many so fast. If people want to own war weapons, they should be warriors, vetted and trained as such. 5 to 7 shot magazines. Only specially permitted owners may possess semi-automatic weapons.

    I was trained at an early age to respect, fear, and soberly treat firearms. There was no equivocation. Never point a gun at anything you did not intend to eat. period.

  42. sxp151 says:


    The Wikipedia article says:

    Many gun enthusiasts object to smart guns on a philosophical/regulatory basis as well as a technological basis. Gun expert Boston T. Party writing about smart guns on page 35/24 of Boston’s Gun Bible says “No defensive firearm should ever rely upon any technology more advanced than Newtonian physics. That includes batteries, radio links, encryption, scanning devices and microcomputers. Even if a particular system could be 99.9% reliable, that means it is expected to fail once every 1000 operations. That is not reliable enough. My life deserves more certainty.”

    So maybe this whole article is a parody, I don’t know.

  43. AristotleAristotle says:

    I think you’re referring to Lanza’s mother. Correct?

    I wouldn’t make that conclusion with her just yet. I know of cases where wives registered guns in their own names because their husbands had felony records. It could be that something similar was going on here.

    We’ll see what the investigation reveals.

  44. Lark says:

    The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the right to travel in the case of Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 (1999). “In that case, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, held that the United States Constitution protected three separate aspects of the right to travel among the states: the right to enter one state and leave another, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor …..”

    Since you cannot walk or ride a bicycle on most interstate highways doesn’t restricting driving licenses to only people who can pass a test also restrict rights to free travel from dumb people?  How welcome will I be in Colorado without a driving license they recognize if I am walking along I-25?

    Point is assualt weapons are not mentioned in the constitution nor are automobiles.  Restricting assualt weapons ownership only to law enforcement no more infringes one’s right to keep arms than driving licenses restict people’ rights to free travel.

    Fully automatic weapons have been illegal for stupid people to own since 1938.  Why can’t we just raise the bar a little bit and include rifles outlined in the assualt weapons ban?

    Or does our party leadership lack the courage?  Search “open carry” on youtube and you will see many videos of stupid people arguing with police while they walk around with assualt weapons in our communities and the police cannot do anythng.

  45. sxp151 says:

    You have to pass a test to become a citizen, and that’s in the Constitution.

  46. BlueCat says:

    First I firmly believe in the need for common sense gun control measures.  But there is nothing exclusionary in the phrase you cite:

    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.

    It doesn’t say that the right to bear arms rests only in the context of serving in a militia and has never been interpreted as a ban on gun ownership outside of that context.

    Guns have always been used as tools, by both men and women (though women didn’t serve in  militias in those days) outside the sphere of militia service in this country and nothing in the cited language prevents that. I don’t see the intent you claim is inherent in that language because it isn’t there.

    What I do see is that sensible gun control measures will never be achieved while the majority, who support the right to bear arms, feel that the real end goal of all such measures is to take everyone’s guns away.

    Your attitude is exactly what the NRA points to in convincing hunters and recreational gun enthusiasts that giving an inch will lead to confiscation of all guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. It helps them make the case that what Obama secretly plans is to “take away your guns”. It makes it much harder to successfully make a case for any level of gun control.  

  47. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Then is there anyone you can trust?

  48. Diogenesdemar says:

    as a test for constitutionality?  No f’n way . . . you can have my IPhone when you pry it outta’ my cold dead hands . . . texting doesn’t kill people, people do . . . when cell phones are outlawed, only outlaws (and tweener girls) will have cell phones.

    GD T. Partyin’ originalists . . .

  49. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    My first gun lesson. When I was 9 and asked my dad about all his guns.  He told me this:

    Don’t ever point a gun at someone unless you are going to kill them.

    From that day, I spent years shooting with my dad at gun ranges.  In the military,  pointing a gun at a person and pulling the trigger was basically our job description.  There is at least about six months to two years of training firearms.  But more importantly our training is about immediate reaction, not thinking but acting.

    In our first intel class, a bunch of new officers were sitting in our classroom getting ready learn world secrets, when a few people wearing masks and heavily armed busted in the room dropped  a few black cats (exploding noise makers) . Needless to say, we all hit the floor.  After the exercise, we told we were all dead.  Not one of us did one thing to stop the situation  or find a way to survive.  We weren’t prepared for an attack.  That was the last time we weren’t prepared because the military spends millions to make sure we are aware and prepared.

    What would all you gun owners do to protect your family if someone is already in your house? Is your loaded gun next to your bed? Are you ready to kill someone? Without training, I promise you  that you are not.

  50. ClubTwitty says:

    But clearly if these crimes were being perpetuated by black males mostly the reportage would be much different.  

  51. Diogenesdemar says:

    guarantee of future . . .

    I hope we never see the day of a Jackie Robinson that breaks this barrier, but all things being what they are, unless things change drastically soon . . .

    Let’s not start keeping score here by race, please. With 82 American gun deaths per day, and many of toes urban, there’s constantly more than enough misery to go around.  

  52. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    If most of the mass shootings were committed by people of a race/gender other than white men, race or gender would be a huge part of the conversation. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a basis of the crimes themselves or have a valid place in those conversations.

    Clearly the murders committed in the name of Florida’s (and other states’) Stand Your Ground laws are race based, mostly white-on-black. That’s discussed, acknowledged and being addressed (if not yet remedied). Race belongs in that conversation.

    However, our job is to guard against and stop conversations that insert the race or gender of black/Hispanic/Asian, white, whatever, perpetrators into cases where race or gender play no supporting or causal role in the crime. Race and gender belong, for statistical or forensic purposes, in police reports, but not in general discussion, especially not in the media.

    Clearly something is up? Simple answer: Sure. White people control the conversation.

  53. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    However, all of this points to why assualt rifles should not be purchased by the public.

  54. AristotleAristotle says:

    Asian male.

    WLJ, while there is undoubtedly a violent component to white males (statistically, we’re much more likely to kill our wives and girlfriends than males of color), I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  55. AristotleAristotle says:

    is restricted to America. I don’t know if white males in Europe kill their wives and girlfriends at a rate approaching ours or not.

  56. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    The point was in the article I was reading about the issues with white males and why that isn’t addressed.  As the author writes, if this was done by young women,  we would be discussing it.  If it was done by 99.99% of Latino males we would be discussing it.

    I do find it concerning that white males are doing this.  Wouldn’t you be concerned if black guys were shooting up schools, malls, movie theaters?

    As a society, I think we need to find out why this coming from one group of people.  Without this knowledge how do we address or stop it.

  57. Diogenesdemar says:

    some douche minister from Florida will feel the need to threaten a Koran burning as well.  Sometimes I wish free speech had a nominal charge.  

  58. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    Yep, gun violence is a huge issue, especially for the black community.  And we address this issue all the time.

    So why when 13 mass shootings happen in one year in America, all by white males, why are we not talking about it?

    Before you all call me racist.  These are just facts that I am concerned about.  If we had 13 attacks on our soil by anyone else but white men, it would be a conversation.  

    I am concerned what is happening with this group and what danger this group is to me and my family.  We need to understand what is happening in America with young white men that they are taking their psychosis out on people in movie theaters, in malls and on 6  year olds in school.  Is it medications?  Maybe, but aren’t other races and women on the same drugs?  Is it video games? Maybe, but every black kid I know has Black Ops on the PS or Xbox.  

    The issue with white male terrorism is it happening anywhere and everywhere.  Anyone of us could have been at the batman movie. So, I am just asking why no one is focused on this group?  This is not a racial issue, i have yet to see an assault rifle that distinguished skin color.  

  59. gaf says:

    1. The courts have not interpreted this as a ban on gun ownership outside of that context.

    2. You can’t put the genie back into the bottle. Getting to a gun culture similar to Northern Europe, for example, would mean “taking away your guns” and is politically impossible.

    I disagree with you on this:

    It doesn’t say that the right to bear arms rests only in the context of serving in a militia

    I think the plain language of the amendment does place the intent into the context of a militia, the courts notwithstanding. And that places a limit on “the right to keep and bear arms….” I do not accept that the courts always get things right.

    The logical extension of my argument would likely be a “take away your guns” position, and, yes, the NRA will use that against reasonable controls. But I am not changing what I believe to be the correct interpretation of the constitution because it is not politically expedient at the moment.

  60. parsingreality says:

    (Man, this is like diagramming a sentence!  Do they still do that?)

    A well regulated Militia = Goal

    being necessary to the security of a free State = Why the goal is important

    the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. = How we will attain the goal, the well regulated militia.

    The Goal no longer exists. We nave not had militias for a hundred years.  Since we no longer have attain that goal, we no longer need a guarentee to keep and bear arms.

    Granted, the Supreme Court apparently isn’t  as smart as I am, :) .

    “Let them keep and bear muskets!”

  61. Diogenesdemar says:

    1.  Who’s not talking about it?  

    Anyone with half a brain right now (and most of a whole brain prior to just the other day) thinks we need to address gun violence and the ridiculous accessibility of these military grade weapons and body armor.  I know you haven’t missed that discussion here, and elsewhere.

    2.  I’m not calling you anything, and certainly not that . . . we both know each other better than that.

    3.  And, if by “group,” you mean the entire group of unstable folks, . . . hell, let’s just make it “folks,” because stable or unstable just doesn’t really matter one whit to me anymore — that have easy and nearly unfettered accessibility to today’s military grade weapons, hardware, and body armor . . . regardless of ethnicity, gender, skin tone, religious affiliation, or their choice of boxers or briefs . . . well, then I’m happy to stand with you.

    Positioning the problem as one isolated to any limited grouping — of whatever — isn’t even a beginning to addressing the enormity of the problem in America today.  But, if that’s the way you want to position your concerns . . . well then, good luck with that.  (And I don’t mean that just snarkily, because I think any improvement, even if it’s just limited to one square block of one city or town in this country would be a valuable improvement.  I just don’t think you’re helping your argument much by the framing you’ve chosen.)  

  62. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    What ever it takes — we start with restricting the sales of military-grade guns by whatever means — banning would be great, but I’d be almost has happy if it was via the “Free Market” — make it goddamn expensive to own and shoot semi-automatic weapons!

    In the meantime the NRA has been silent for the past 24 hours, and not surprisingly, their whores in Congress are cowering in the shadows, also afraid to show their miserable faces in public:

    Every Single Pro-Gun Rights Senator Declined To Appear On Meet The Press Today

  63. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    But there’ll always be questions. Art reflects life, or life imitates art? etc. I really don’t know.


    …there may be a kind of reinforcing effect…

    both directions, and we can interrupt recurrence with, as you say, reasonable restrictions on life (technology and laws) and art (video, etc.).  

  64. BlueCat says:

    Better to achieve nothing than achieve some practical good that doesn’t live up to your ideals. Also, the sentence as written cannot be interpreted as including an exclusion because there is no exclusionary language. It’s simple logic 101.

    But, for the sake of argument, conceding that there is a possibility that your opinion is correct (I don’t)  though it has never been previously interpreted that way by our courts, in our system that can only be  changed by court rulings.  So good luck with that.

    You won’t get anywhere in the practical matter of achieving any material good but your seat up there on that nice high horse of yours will be secure. Try not to get a nosebleed.  

  65. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I do not accept that the courts always get things right.

  66. BlueCat says:

    the more we read and hear abut the shooter the more obvious it is that he has had a lifetime of exceedingly odd behavioral issues. Not sure that leaving an easily accessible arsenal at his disposal was all that responsible.  But there I go jumping to a conclusion.

    Of course he may have broken in to a storage place  that his mother thought was secure as he broke into the school, bypassing security.  We can’t know yet exactly how this all played out. Little is yet reliably apparent beyond the horrific reality of the tragedy.

    We now know, for instance, that it was the long gun originally said to be left in the car that was used, that neither he or his mother was connected to the school and that the children were all 6 or 7.

    All of this is not as initially reported so we really shouldn’t be jumping to too many conclusions just yet.

  67. ClubTwitty says:

    If we had 13 attacks on our soil by anyone else but white men, it would be a conversation.  

    And that points to racism.  It does not suggest that it is the correct response, IMO.

    Turnabout may be fair play but its not necessary good policy. And I think the point above is vital and should be asked by our society.  The Treyvon Martin case another example of that, and driving while black.  

    An assumption that someone is more likely a criminal or scary because they fit a certain demographic is an irrational fear IMO.  Muslim Terrorists, Mexicans that want to take jobs or benefits, Gays out to destroy marriage and fulfill some sort of ‘agenda.’  The list goes on and on of all the things and people we are programmed to fear.

    To be afraid of young white men collectively since a fraction of a part of a percent go nuts and harm people is just as an irrational fear, IMO, as it is to be afraid of young black men due to some number crunching or slice of statistics.  

    That’s my position.  I think this is a horribly f’d up situation and I think there are probably lots of things at the root of it, some we may be able (at least theoretically) to address through better and sensible policy.  Some through discussion perhaps, and being a little more observant and maybe understanding of people having a difficult time a little earlier in their decline.  One thing they do all have in common is they ALL came from somewhere.  Understanding that part of it is what is valuable I think.  

    But I do not think racial characteristics are the common factor for violence.

  68. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    I meant why aren’t we talking about what is happening with this group not just gun violence in general?  Clearly, there is some issue here.  

    I’m not saying it from a racially negative point, but from a what the hell is going on point.  

    Sure, Twitty is right.  Racism is the reason this would be framed differently in the news if it were mostly black men doing this, however, that wouldn’t change at getting at the root issue and why one group is so much more likely to commit this random crime on any and all Americans …

  69. ClubTwitty says:

    My fault I’m sure.  I was replying not to Dio but to WLJ.  

    And thanks WLJ for broaching the topic.  I think we should try to understand the culture that creates violence. I think broader issues than race are at play (and race becomes a dangerous substitute for demographic overlap with some of those broader issues).  But I also think there is a real blindness in any privileged group to imagine the same standards of measurement they apply to others may also apply to them.  

    Certainly Americans suffer from that, and as a white male I want to be careful to be aware of it in my own perceptions.  So I appreciate the discussion.  

  70. gaf says:

    Do you really think I should ignore or keep silent about my interpretation of the constitution because it is not politically expedient–that respect for the constitution equals being on my “high horse”?

    And this

    in our system that can only be  changed by court rulings

    I assume you mean that as a practical statement; but of course it can be changed by a constitutional amendment, even if that is not likely.

    But more practically, changes can be made through legislation that respects the militia reference. And I guess I just don’t accept the idea that thinking that the current interpretation by the courts is wrong also means that we can’t work for certain controls.

    (My elementary school training in diagramming sentences is probably what leads me to the parsing of the amendment in the way parsingreality does below.)

  71. MADCO says:

    all the sources you reference.

    I’m sure people were having sex wayy before there was birth control.

    And just as sure rape occurred long before women were dressing and acting the way they do now.

    People suck.

    Mean people suck more.

    Psychopath’s and sociopaths suck the most.

    But they didn’t start appearing only after modern society became what it is.

  72. MADCO says:

    Diagramming is correct – don’t know if they still do it.  I don’t.

    We nave not had militias for a hundred years.

    We have more now than ever.

  73. BlueCat says:

    good luck with that.  If you can’t find an “only” in their somewhere, the chances of any Supreme Court taking away the right of private gun ownership altogether for the first time in our history and  counter to the general acceptance of the right as guaranteed could only very generously be described as slim.  The chances of  a constitutional amendment to outlaw private ownership are even lower.  

    It’s fun to discuss angels dancing on the head of a pin and all that. Hey, I come from the ethnic group known for that kind of thing. But I’d rather see something happen in the, you know, material world.  The one we all have to live in.

    Threatening to take away everybody’s guns because a tiny minority insists that the constitution tells us so sounds like  a great way to alienate the majority of Americans, including NRA members, who are very much open to some very useful gun control measures. Just sayin’.

  74. BlueCat says:

    But I wonder if there was so much mass violence here perpetrated by young men, teens and early 20s in the past few generations as now.  

    In any case, I’m still glad my guy, now 29, wasn’t brought up on today’s awful video games. Not that I would have allowed them when he was very young but they play at other kids houses and I don’t much care for the idea of teenagers spending hours with this stuff either.

    I also realize that most kids grow up not to be homicidal freaks regardless. I know my son was a naturally kind, empathetic type from earliest childhood thanks to no particular child rearing technique of mine.  He was a pain in the ass kid in enough ways and we spent enough time battling to tell me that I was no genius in the child rearing dept but he really has never had a mean bone in his body. Still…

  75. BlueCat says:

    to me:

    And I guess I just don’t accept the idea that thinking that the current interpretation by the courts is wrong also means that we can’t work for certain controls.

    I have already stated in the comment to which you are responding, as well as in several others, that I strongly believe in “certain controls”.  There is also precedent for controls.  I consider controls very doable.

    You are projecting your own all or nothing view point in implying that opposition to “certain controls” is among the ideas I’ve presented that you don’t accept. I never presented any such thing nor do I believe it.  

  76. BlueCat says:

    We’d probably have them all in camps by now. Except for the athletes who would be granted special passes.

  77. The realistThe realist says:

    amendments I think.

  78. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    where people try to prove they are stupid enough to serve in Congress.

  79. AristotleAristotle says:

    If so, that would be very unusual coming from you. I hope I’m misreading you.

  80. AristotleAristotle says:


    I’m concerned that ANYONE is doing that.

    Knowing their race may help uncover social issues that are at the root of it, but otherwise, no.

  81. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Hell yes, WLJ! But not because they’re black. Because they’re shooting, fer krisakes.

    Unless they left a note or made comments beforehand indicating racial intent, as if they were heading to the school, theater or whatever because that place is primarily white. Then race would be a part of the crime (motive), and would have a legitimate place in the conversation. Same thing goes for white shooters. But if race has no bearing on the crime itself, it doesn’t belong in the conversation–or my concern.

  82. AristotleAristotle says:

    Over the past 30 years, the number is more like 71%. 18 of 62 mass murderers were not white males.

  83. gaf says:

    I never implied that you opposed “certain controls.” Of course you made it clear you did want controls. My sentence that you pull out above was intended to explain my thinking, not at all to say anything about your thinking; it was to be clear that, despite my thinking about how the amendment should be interpreted, I do not have an all or nothing view point.

  84. gaf says:

    is a claim that I am always right? Uh, no.

    The Dred Scott decision was wrong. I don’t think my writing that statement means I am claiming to always be right.  

  85. Gray in Mountains says:

    after ’04 when the first ban was lifted. Then, with all the paranoia re President Obama’s election in ’08 they became much more costly, now about 250% more.

    I wish I thought an assault weapon ban would fix this issue but I don’t. When the ban was in effect before the definition was based mostly on appearance and therefore did not enjoy very broad support among gun users. I do think, and these won’t be supported either, that we need background checks, waiting periods and registration. After Columbine, when the gun show loophole was eliminated in CO the gun nuts insisted that we use the CO insta check system and NOT the fed system. Purportedly the fed system took a few hours

  86. Gray in Mountains says:

    I did forget the super capacity magazines. Ridding ourselves of those could be meaningful. Make it illegal to anufacture. Some clever folks with the right tools and expertise will still make them but you won’t be able to acquire at Guns R’ Us

  87. Diogenesdemar says:

    fracking is obviously speech; we just haven’t seen the Robert’s court written ruling yet.

  88. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    More than likely, there are more white people, even more white males than all genders of black people.

    White people more likely move and act with greater freedom than black men. (That includes owning and having access to guns. That includes avoiding suspicion. That includes enacting or defeating laws.)

    White men more likely feel entitlement — for all sorts of things.(That includes revenge and rage.)

    White people less likely fear encounters with law enforcement than most black people.

    White men have less likely had their courage and confidence marginalized than many black men have. (That includes a willingness to confront.)

    These are all likely aspects of a White People Syndrome or a White Male Syndrome,and they’re sure worthy of discussion as such. In fact I think progressives have had that discussion, on-going.

    But considering all those white “likelys: doesn’t lead me to a White Male Shooters Syndrome as to “what the hell’s going on”. I think this huge conversation we’ve been having here on CoPols about mental health, gun regulation, gun culture and civic action has been meant to include the problem of all American society, including white people, black people, males, females, etc. And that’s where I think it belongs, on an all-inclusive level.

    Now, on the other hand, if you’re concerned that what’s not going on now is a conversation similar to the conversations when a black man commits the crime–nearly always a racial conversation about blackness–and if you mean that’s unfair, and that we shouldn’t have it, I’m with you. But I’m not about to stop one racist (black) conversation just to begin another one (white). They both are misleading.

  89. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    but I’ve already blabbed so much I think I may have already replied to own blather–several times. And usually we’re so shy… .

  90. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    From the Kristof article cited by Dio above:

    Or we can look north to Canada. It now requires a 28-day waiting period to buy a handgun, and it imposes a clever safeguard: gun buyers should have the support of two people vouching for them.

    (my emphasis)

  91. parsingreality says:

    You know the militias that the Constitution and I are referring to: state regulated and identified as state militias.

    The militias of today are anything but.  

  92. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    No one should think there is a panacea solution.  But incremental changes will eventually turn the tide.

    If guns were harder to get, or beyond your means to afford, then the other options become more attractive — protect your home?  Replace that hollow core door with a solid door.  Get stronger locks, bar the windows if you must.  Pay $25 a month for a monitored burglar alarm!

    Bruce Willis fantasies aside, a gun in your home is far more likely to be used against you or one of your loved ones that it will ever be used in self-defense.

    BTW, Gray, I’m not speaking to you in particular — I know your means and interest in collector guns.  That is not an issue.  I’m just on my soapbox replying to this entire thread.

    It’s taken me several days to just start processing this horror.  Listening to Obama’s  speech tonight encourages me that the tide is  finally turning.  He’ll start with a few executive orders.  Leading to a few brave local, state and national legislators introducing proposals.  Many may fail, but if just a few pass, we will have made a difference.

    Even in the Wild West, sheriffs had the good sense to require guns to be checked at the city limits.  Are we not as civilized as our forebearers?

  93. BlueCat says:

    not that being snide is all that unlike me in general. I really do think it’s far too soon to jump to conclusions. There is always a mix of accurate and inaccurate info in the early days after situations like this.  Thanks for thinking it unlike me to be snide, at least in a situation like this, in spite of how it may have sounded to you.

  94. Gray in Mountains says:

    I know the great care I take with my guns. I also know I don’t really need all of them and I am only a cmollector with a small ‘c’, not a museum type by any means. If the govt wants my “assault weapons” they can have them if they adopt the proper laws.

    I am here reading a lot but not posting much right now. Like I am sure many of you I am shedding tears much of the time and posting often seems like a waste. If I were in a room with all of you right now I likely would be silent much of the time, listning intently and participating when I think I have something to add.

    Many in media, and some here, are talking about things they really don’t know anything about. Issues like “semi automatic” have very precise definition. Almost all hunting weapons, outside of antiques, are “semi automatic”. Autism is also not the issue or even AN issue. Mental health treatment and its access for all IS the issue. But, when the public starts analyzing the cost of that treatment and access they will drop it very fast.  

  95. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    I recall your extremely thoughtful post after the Aurora shootings.  The conversation, and in particular for our legislators, needs expert guidance on practical, technical specifications that would lead to effectively reducing the availability of guns that are highly efficient people-killers.

    But besides, as you suggested, limiting magazine capacities, perhaps muzzle velocity and the kinds of bullets available to the consumer market are a place to start?

    As the article PCG posted, the 1994 law was rife with exceptions, and wasn’t in force long enough to demonstrably have much effect.

    If gun manufacturers can slightly modify a banned weapon to make it legal, then the law has failed.  That’s where an intimate knowledge of weapons specs (and not beholden to the manufacturers) is key.

    Any chance you would share your expertise with someone willing to carry a bill in the Colorado General Assembly?

    I know a state representative that might be persuaded to carry a bill.

  96. Gray in Mountains says:

    I am talking with both a state senator and state rep. Who would you have me include?

    I would agree re ammo restrictions. I think the muzzle velocity is not meaningful in any way.

    In my post after Aurora I wrote about the frequency that others offer to make my AR an automatic weapon, kits are available online and I am told that a 12 y/o with some familiarity with tools could install. In thinking about this more recently I think there may be a fix for this as well. The changes are made to a part known as the lower reciever which includes several additional parts. If the individual parts could NOT be installed because only a contained unit could be used perhaps this easy auto capability could be removed. Think of the pump in your washing machine, the fuel pump in your car. Back in what was known as the good old days a mechanic could get the individual parts for those items and make a repair

  97. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Unitized component design would reduce “tampering” — much as computers have evolved to the point that you don’t repair them by soldering circuit boards anymore, you just swap it out for a new one.

    But legislating design seems to be a long, expensive process.  But given the stability of gun designs (the AR-15/M-16 is what, 40+ years old?), once it gets into the manufacturing process, it won’t hit obsolescence for a very long time.

    The state legislator I had in mind is my former Denver rep Lois Court.  I haven’t spoken to her much since I moved to Aurora, but she would at least listen if we had a viable proposal.

  98. Gray in Mountains says:

    and yes, the design of the AR and M-16 is 45+ years old. But, as Brophy spoke to, parts wear out. So, if parts could no longer be manufactured but components could an owner could do a repair or have the component installed. The cost would be higher but they would likely find that it would be longer lasting than an individual replacing a spring from his gun on top of his dining room table can do

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