Sunday, January 06, 2013

Bang bang

You want to see a bunch of righties (and lefties for that matter) get their boxers in a bunch? Start talking about Senator Dianne Feinstein. Start talking about gun control.

Yeah, yeah.

If you really want to talk about the future of gun control, you have to go back to ... say ... 1974, when there was no such thing as a non-smoking section at La Maison and no one thought twice about swigging down a can of Stroh's while tooling around in their Monte Carlo. If you got caught with an open container, the cop might make you dump it out. You could also page through any indie newspaper and find a convenient ad for a compassionate clinic that would be happy to terminate your third trimester pregnancy, no questions asked.

Over the past thirtysomething years, people got sick of drunks careening into VW Beetles full of teens. They didn't appreciate that cloud of cigarette smoke arriving at their table along with their surf and turf. They decided drive-through abortion clinics weren't such a great idea. All the while, they more or less still respected an individual's right to consume alcohol and tobacco and terminate a pregnancy. Call it culture change.

Folks, the future of gun control relies on the exact same thing. If John Q. Public begins to perceive guns laws as lax and a threat to his safety, those laws will change slowly by way of more renewal procedures and waiting periods and licensing requirements. Then start adding more taxes and fees and penalties. Just like the right to an abortion, the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution, but that doesn't mean those rights cannot be controlled. If he so chooses, John Q. Public will chew away at gun rights the same way he chewed away at abortion rights and drove the cost of a pack of Marlboros from 50 cents to nearly six bucks. Now then, don't worry. Overreaching will be dealt with. Just ask Todd Akin, or look into the mass collective failure of all those Personhood Amendments. And the last time I checked, a pack of Winstons was still available for sale at every convenience store and gas station.

The brute force of public opinion, incidentally, swings both ways. Case in point: people are getting pretty fed  up with those draconian marijuana laws. To that end, the maryjane train might be starting out slow, but she's definitely pulled out of the station in Colorado and Washington.

Make no mistake, Americans love their hunters and sportsmen, but just like responsible drinkers had to distance the cocktail from the car keys, the guy in the red plaid jacket and LL Bean boots might have to wait a few more days for his new Remington for all the clearances and forms to go through. He might have to pay a few more dollars for a box of ammunition.

Sorry about the inconvenience buddy, but we just need to make sure you're one of the good guys.

Speaking of good guys--or people who want to be good guys, there are things in play today that were nonexistent in the swingin' 70s, particularly when it comes to violence. If someone wants to drop a dime on what he perceives to be a threat--even if it's just on a silly facebook post--he gets taken pretty seriously. Don't like that link? Go talk to Joe Lipari.

You may think people are just too darn sensitive and jumpy, but with so many bar fights turning into shootouts and bloody gun rampages coming to fruition, public reporting of suspicious or threatening behavior is only going to increase.

How often do I see this online:

Maybe I'll shoot 'em with one of my fuckin' guns, heh heh heh.

That's just hilarious, jackass. There was nothing funny about Holmes' Batman rampage in that Colorado movie theater. Everyone in the world wishes they'd dropped a dime on that sick bastard and plenty of people are on the lookout for the next Joker, so stop talking about that gun like it's a toy. It's not. All you clowns out there talking about how you want to shoot all the liberals or shoot up the government or shoot up whatever shouldn't be surprised if you get a knock on the door. (For the curious out there, I've never dropped a dime, although the Department of Homeland Security encourages you to report any suspicious behavior you see. Feel free to do so anonymously.)

CODE ORANGE NEWS ALERT: If anyone should be worried about keeping guns out of the wrong hands, it's the law-abiding gun owners. The more mass shootings there are with legally purchased weapons, the more those legally purchased weapons start looking like a bad idea. Too bad the NRA has the gun-rights contingent so rabid that they don't realize their own denial of that fact imperils their access to guns more than anything else. Will the NRA's minions ever wake up and see that their savior no longer has their best interests at heart?

I hereby implore enlightened members of the readership to show me NRA-backed legislation that encumbers illegal gun ownership: An NRA-sponsored article that gives clerks tips on when not to sell a gun based on someone's behavior and guidelines on their own rights as gun sellers, or an NRA-backed study on how to make ballistic imprinting less expensive and more reliable. What are the consequences for selling a gun to felon at a gun show in Ohio? Is there a mandatory prison sentence? A seriously prohibitive fine? What is the NRA doing to help ensure existing laws are enforced?

Those are the sorts of issues a real "good guy with a gun" would be exploring: good faith efforts to keep guns out of the hands of "bad guys." Wait ... hold on one minute. Could it be the NRA doesn't mind the sale of guns to bad guys? So long as everything is ... you know ... legal?

An aside I cannot resist: Jeepers. Imagine if Adam Lanza had been named Sayyid al-Banna. Then maybe the Right would be clamoring for gun control like Ronald Reagan & Co. were back in 1967.

But Erin, you say, the NRA is a big powerful lobby. Not so fast. If Big Tobacco couldn't keep ashtrays on bar tops (and they had plenty of money as well as bought-and-paid-for legislators in their pockets), there's no reason to believe the NRA can keep that conceal carry permit in your wallet if John Q. Public gets too leery of it.

I see your face getting all red. Down, boy. No one's going to wrest that CCW permit from your clenched fist. Maybe the Man will just ask you renew it a little more often, take an eye exam and answer a few more questions, fill out a few more forms, pay a few more dollars. Good guy with a gun, remember?

Yes, you have a right to bear arms, but you do not have the right to shoot anybody you please. No, I do not automatically trust you. RIP Trayvon Martin.

As for my prediction, I don't think 20 dead first graders and the daily urban carnage are enough to turn the Titanic. It will probably take more than a few free-for-alls at sporting arenas and large public gatherings with hundreds of casualties. Self-proclaimed good guys will seize their make-my-day moment and shoot at the bad guys. Misfires will end tragically as the Goodwins in Portland and the Sweeneys in Boston blink in horror before their vivid 60-inch HDTV displays.

Then again, maybe not.

After all, if a few MADD mothers could transform three little letters into every goodtime Charlie's most dreaded nightmare (DUI), there's no telling what one million moms can do.

*  *  *


Joe said...

I see nothing wrong with longer waiting periods to get a firearm. I also think if we can find a reason to tack on extra charges if the victim is a person of color (or more appropriately, a non-white male) we can charge a criminal with a hate crime, why can't we also add on extra charges if a gun is used in a crime? I know we already do that (ie armed robbery vs. robbery), but lets double down on sentencing if guns are used.

But on the other hand, Adam Lanza did not break a single gun law. The nutjob at Virginia Tech diod not even use an evil assault weapon. So more laws are not going to change anything in that regard. Consider the fact the guy in the Aurora shooting passed up several theaters closer to his home to get to the one with a "no guns permitted" sign. that is not a coincidence.

By the same token you cannot ignore facts such as crime rates are lower in areas where CCW is allowed. That the violent crime rates are down from levels 20 years ago, that the rate of mass shootings remains fairly constant over the past 50 years. The worst school mass murder took place in the1920's with bombs (in Michigan). Those intent on mayhem will find a way. Feinstein's last gun ban did nothing to lower violent crime. There is no reason to think it will in teh future.

So here's the thing, abortions may be a little tougher to get (we could debate that but I'll take your word) but the number of abortions is not down. Kids are smoking at a greater rate than they were a generation ago.

Registering a firearm will not stop one single crime. A ten shot magazine will not reduce mass shootings (I know guys who can chaneg a magazine so fast you cannot hear an interuption in firing).

I don't have any answers. I do know knee jerk reactions are never the way to go about changing society.

After all, more Americans were killed by hammers last year than by guns. It is just not such a juicy story for the newsies.

Tony Rugare said...

Need a cute name for it before gun control will go anywhere.I thought about the "civility cliff" but we've already gonr off that cliff.

Erin O'Brien said...

Proof positive that you just don't get it, Joe. It's not about your opinion, it's about public opinion. Also, I do not believe your hammer assertion for ten seconds.

Now then, maybe very serious consequences for negligent gun owners would have made Mrs. Lanza lock that legal gun up a little better.

Does anyone know what happened to the owner of this gun? Maybe if people like him were thrown in jail, people like Lanza's mom would be a little more careful.

Erin O'Brien said...

Agreed, Tony.

Joe said...

Well I;m not sure what higher penalty Mrs. Lanza could have paid...

Sonny said...

I absolutely agree with the whole article. You're right on with every point! Great read.

Joe said...

"Proof positive that you just don't get it, Joe. It's not about your opinion, it's about public opinion."

I'm not sure when I was no longer part of the "public". I wish people would tell me this stuff.

You are right, we have to change public opinion, laws and regulations will not change a thing. Did a law against murder stop Lanza? Would an assault weapon ban stop him? Did public opinion do anything to stop Tim McVey? The Columbine shooter broke laws on firearms, explosives and murder. Which law stoipped them? Which law is going to stop the next guy or gal intent on shooting up a ice cream shop?

Should we censor movies and video games? Is a Tarantino DVD to be confiscated from the homes of impressionable youngsters? Should we just lock up anyone suspected of the slightest mental illness? That would make as much sense as some of the current proposals.

Joe said...

Compare the number of murders by rifle (Feinstein's evil assault rifles) to blunt objects (hammers/clubs/frying pans maybe) or even knives. Maybe we should ban knives, and register your meat cleavers?

I don't want you to think I was just making shit up.

Erin O'Brien said...

If you don't believe in rule of law, move to the Sudan.

If you want to test it here, light a cigarette on an airplane, or go rent a U-Haul and park it in front of a Federal Building and then walk away ala McVeigh.

Go on, try it, Joe.

And the gun owner in my previous link was arrested. Max penalty: five years. Maybe he would have been more careful if it was a mandatory 30 year sentence.

Everyone drank and drove when there was no penalty for it. Now, they don't do it because they know the consequences, which are HUGE.

Bill said...

Bad guys are here to stay. In most neighborhoods, good guys outnumber them. Fewer bad guys is the answer to fewer murders. Get bad guys off the street. Protect yourself from those remaining. Bad guys love gun free zones.

Erin O'Brien said...

Um, Joe? From your link:

Total firearms: 8583. Blunt objects: 496.

You said, After all, more Americans were killed by hammers last year than by guns.

Is 496 less than 8583 in the Republican world?

Cleveland Bob said...

Americans were founded by Pirates and Puritans. This debate will never truly end. It is the eternal struggle between individual "freedoms" and public policy that is our legacy and fate.

Good piece as always, Erin. Well crafted and linear.

And you're right, it will take several more events of escalating scale before many in this nation "get it" as it relates to gun control.

We live in a very fear driven society in the US and until that changes, being afraid of your neighbor will remain the de rigeur MO for most all of us.

Fear Uber Alles.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Doom Warning:

The horse is out of the barn. Figure out a way to make money off gun control then you might make some progress. If gun owners were as passionate about civil liberties as they claim to be you might think they'd object to the suspension of habeas corpus and indefinite detention. Horseshit. It's all about who can thump their chest the loudest. I'm just waiting for the skies to be filled with drones. Saw a persons speeding ticket generated by a traffic cam the other day. Photo evidence. Came in the mail. Let the militia's roll on up to the Pentagon to end the tyrannical gov. They'd be incinerated before they could shout boo. Check the stats on the number of people behind bars in America (Imprisonment is a growth industry, you in? CXW-NYSE) Land of the Free my ass. Idiots

@Joe. Link to the stat that crime is lower in areas with large numbers of CC permits AND statistical evidence that there is a direct correlation between the permits and the crime rate. For all I know some retirement community in Arizona full of low T males could house the greatest gun collection in America.

Randy Johnson

Anonymous said...

Speeding tickets by cam?, Germany has had that for decades. More government taxes, more control more big brother, if that is your ticket to paradise go for it. Its not a gun problem its a people problem, guns are just a symptom, take away guns and just develop something else to kill and maim. Some people are just sick or mean or a combination of both. No one ones more mass killings in the US, well with a few foreign exceptions but that is another issue. All the laws, taxes and rules will not stop a basically bad person. This is the land of opportunity , both to be great and to be evil, an individual choice. We seem to glorify the evil.

James Old Guy

Bill said...

The gun control groupthink is really laughable. "Don't worry folks, the government will relieve you of the responsibility of protecting yourselves. We'll all be happy here in gunfreetown". Groupthink gets you results like Jonestown.

VideoDude said...

40% of all gun sales take place with no background check. 80% of those weapons are used in crimes!

VideoDude said...

Mental Health is a major issue in gun violence, but the Teapublicans have decimated the Mental Health industry with cuts in funding!

Lord Basil said...

The 2nd Amendment was added so the people could resist government tyranny, and believe me, with the tyrannical natute the Kenyan Marxist homosexual in the White House, gun owning patriots are going to get a lot of practice at that.

I predict armed insurrection if any gun ban is passed.

Jon Moore said...

"40% of all gun sales take place with no background check. 80% of those weapons are used in crimes!"

I'm calling bullshit.
Your source please.

Anonymous said...

You can cherry pick any data you want, mental health issues have been avoided by both parties and for more than one or two administrations. No one wants to admit they have mental issues in the family,it might reflect back on them. The truth is mental issues are across the board, every family and the country avoids the issue. I have wack jobs in my family, but there is no reasonable place to go to get old crazy uncle Fred in a place he can be watched and helped. If you fix that part of the health care problems instead of worrying about if Jane has free birth control we might get somewhere. Wrong priorities again, as usual.


Bill said...

It's impossible to stop crazy and/or evil people from killing innocent people. Impossible. However, there are about one million innocent unborn babies killed every year in the US. Our government should not be complicit in the majority of these premeditated acts of violence.

Erin O'Brien said...

You are right, we have to change public opinion, laws and regulations will not change a thing.

I never said that. Public opinion will change on its own. People may very well not accept stricter gun control. If most people start to think guns need more regulation, there will be more regulation.

RJ and Cleve Bob +1

Erin O'Brien said...

Really, Bill? What about the Underwear Bomber? The Shoe Bomber? The Times Square Bomber?

Bill said...

Huh? Oh. I guess I should have written, "It's impossible to stop crazy and evil people from TRYING to kill innocent people. Does that work? No one could have forseen that the troubled kid was going to slaughter 20 beautiful little children that day. But, an armed teacher or guard might have been able to save a lot of precious lives.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"Really, Bill? What about the Underwear Bomber? The Shoe Bomber? The Times Square Bomber?"

Or for that matter, the Stealth Bomber.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.


P.S. I'm not commenting on the gun debate because I think everyone here knows what my likely commentary would be, which is to say it would be contrary to most other views posted thus far. Ne'er the twain shall meet, as the saying goes.

P.S.S. I got a sausage stuffer (no snide comments, please ... ;-)) and have a new meat grinder (again, no snide comments ... ;-)) on the way. Your humble hostess has instructed me to send some completed charcuterie her way ... I will endeavor to do so if possible so she can get pic up on her blog for all to marvel at ... ;-)

Jon Moore said...

I have given you ample opportunity to defend your statement. Let me show you how your numbers work for the arbitrary year of 2007.
FBI NICS background checks- 11,177,335. That from their website. If this represents 60% of total gun sales as per your statement, that means there were 7,451,556 (40%)that were sold without a background check. Now then, the 80% of these that you claim were used in a crime comes to 5,961,244 guns. Only problem is, according to the USDOJ Bureau of Justice statistics, there were only 385,178 gun crimes committed in the US in 2007. Sumpin's fishy.
This is how public opinion is swayed by people and the media that are anti-gun. Most people who aren't firearms enthusiasts have no reason or desire to get educated so they accept statements like this at face value and say "Oh my, that's terrible". And I've got news for all of you, the guns that the media portrays as "assault weapons" are nothing more than semi automatic rifles dressed in black. A true assault weapon is a selective fire small arm available to the government, the military, the police and Class III license holders. Nobody buys an assault weapon at Wal-Mart, they buy a black gun that is much scarier looking to the uninformed than it need be. Further, there is no such thing as a high capacity clip. That the media and the speechifiers use the words magazine and clip interchangeably just frosts me, they are not the same. So before anybody jumps on the party bus of current popular public opinion, you might want to ask yourself if the people who are giving you your information have any idea what in the hell it is they're talking about.

Mrs. C said...

Al, I for one cannot wait to marvel at your sausage.

Michael Lawless said...

Thanks, Erin.... Seems to argue for gun control is as much a way to bang our heads against a brick wall as the argument for choice.

Joe said...

Jon, facts are not important to the "wring your hands and do something, anything even if it pointless" crowd. I challenge anyone to name any law that if passed would have prevented the horrible events at Newtown.

Some people here have no interest in facts. FBI data shows that more people are killed each year with fists and cluns and hammers than rifles (that includes hunting rifles) and you are told that is just opinion. Never mind the fact that the so-called "assault rifles" are but a fraction of the tiny total.

You see, here it more important that people like you and I are discredited, even if the arguments and random "facts" are made up (see VD).

I guess I need to suck up more. As long as you agree with the hostess' opinions, you don't need facts.

Joe said...

" Public opinion will change on its own."

So which is it? Did MADD and the anti-smoking campaign change public opinion on drunk driving and smoking in resaurants as you maintained in your article or did the 'people" just universally come to a simultaeous conclusion?

Do you think the wider acceptance of gay marriage would have just occured almost over night as well without a strong drive to change public opinion?

I think if I maintianed the sky was bklue you would argue on principle alone.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I wasn't going to comment, but ...

Jon is absolutely correct in his definition of "assault weapons." In fact, the term "assault rifle" stems from the fact that the Germans, during WWII developed a weapon known as the Sturmgewehr 44, or Stug 44. They developed this weapon in response to the fact that their standard weapons, mainly the Mauser 98K (a bolt action, clip fed rifle) and the Schmeisser Machine Pistol were at a great disadvantage against the Russians (and later, the Americans) as the Russians were using the PPshK submachine gun which was drum magazine fed and could put a lot of rounds downrange, much more than their German counterparts. Sturmgewehr, translated, means assault rifle, and hence the name we see today.

However, as Jon notes, this weapon was capable of selectable fire rates - single shot and full automatic. This was such a great idea that Kalashnikov copied many of the design elements of the AK-47 when he designed it.

Jon is also correct that the weapons that a lot of the misinformed think are assault rifles are anything but. We haven't had fully automatic weaponry available for purchase/acquisition by the law abiding public since the 1930s (think Bonnie and Clyde, and the Thompson Sub Machine Gun). However, as we all know too well, that doesn't stop people who don't care about gun laws from getting them.

As for magazine size/capacity, it isn't a big issue as it takes approximately 2 seconds to reload. For example, the Bushmaster .223 look like an M16/M4, the standard rifle used by the military. The resemblance ends there, as it is semi automatic, meaning it can only fire one round at a time, and has no selective fire feature. It does use a similar magazine. Once all rounds are expended, the bolt locks back to the rear. There is a button on the right hand side of the weapon which drops the magazine out of the magazine well instantly when pressed. Another is inserted, the bolt catch is released (it is on the left side of the weapon), and the bolt comes forward, chambering a round. As someone who is qualified on this particular weapon (M16A2), I can tell you from experience that it only takes a second or so to reload. Smaller magazine sizes/capacities therefore would not make all that much difference to a twisted individual bent on killing as many people as he/she could.

Case in point: In 1991, at a Luby's Restaurant in Killeen, TX, drove his vehicle into the restaurant, got out, and started shooting. A woman who was there that day with her parents watched them get murdered before her eyes. Her testimony on the subject can be viewed here:

Note that she emphasizes that magazine size/capacity makes no difference in the outcome. She does, however, make an assertion that had she had her pistol (it was in her vehicle) that she might have prevented the deaths of her parents. Take a look, and you be the judge. Personally, I think she's right. As an aside, I was stationed at Fort Hood, TX in 1991, and lived about a mile away from where the shootings took place, and I remember it well.


Erin O'Brien said...

Okay everyone, here is Joe's 2011 homicide by weapon data table.

Total murder victims: 12,664
Total fireams: 8,583

That's makes about 68 percent of murders committed with guns.

The types of fireams are broken out. You judge the rest of the data for yourself, but if you come away from that table with the conclusion that anything other than guns are the overwhelming weapon of choice for murder, you failed basic arithmetic in grade school.

As for your clips and magazines and semi automatic rifles and handguns, my post was not a call for gun control, nor did I make any specific recommendations about gun control.

People will either accept living in an armed society or they will not.

Was George Zimmerman a good guy with a gun or a bad guy with a gun?

How do I tell a good guy from a bad guy? Will the good guy be wearing a white hat?

Ashton (King) Wright said...

Normally I don't weigh in on political debates of any kind (job security reasons), but this one hits really close to home. I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of political commentary and heard so many people spew things that don't make sense.

This does:

"Yes, you have a right to bear arms, but you do not have the right to shoot anybody you please. No, I do not automatically trust you."


Joe said...

Again, the point I made was Feinstein's hysterical assault weapan ban is a complete total waste of time. Hammers and fist and knives all killed more people than so called "assault rifles".

facts are facts.

It is, despite your rabid insistence otherwise, nothing but a measure to sway public opinon against guns.

Erin O'Brien said...

Joe, I haven't said one word about Feinstein's proposed legislation.

Anonymous said...

"Al, I for one cannot wait to marvel at your sausage."- Mrs. C

Al asked for no snide remarks. He also said he wasn't going to comment. Karma.

Roll Tide.


Jon Moore said...

@ Michael Lawless-
Please understand that since 1934 you have had gun control.
Since then every "reasonable" piece of legislation that has been introduced, every "compromise" that has been offered for consideration, is from a previously compromised position.

Erin O'Brien said...

*** not making Al sausage joke not making Al sausage joke not making Al sausage joke not making Al sausage joke ***

Jon Moore said...

It's OK Erin, I think Mrs. C already did.

Roll Tide RJ

Yabu said...

I'm late to the party. Guns are not the problem Never have been, never will be.I have learned not to argue with the aniti-gun or pro-gun lobby. I would source this, but I don't believe their is a source. I'll bet you that 99% of the guns owned in America are unregistered. Me, I would rather have one than not, but that's just me. To confiscate the guns would require the Military and Law Enforcement, and that will not happen

John Moore is correct, "before anybody jumps on the party bus of current popular public opinion, you might want to ask yourself if the people who are giving you your information have any idea what in the hell it is they're talking about."

This is reputed to be from Paul Harvey. Many readers have sent me this.

* 1929 the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

*Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, who were unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

*China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

*Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

*Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

*Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million “educated” people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated


*That places total victims who lost their lives because of gun control at approximately 56 million in the last century. Since we should learn from the mistakes of history, the next time someone talks in favor of gun control, find out which group of citizens they wish to have exterminated .Someone source those numbers, I'm curious.

philbilly said...

"I challenge anyone to name any law that if passed would have prevented the horrible events at Newtown."

How about an entire set of new legislation backed with funding that puts mental health care into focus. The fact of the matter is that Lanza's mother was trying to deal with her son's profound illness for years. I have a hunch she had some serious problems herself. Mental health problems are like that, everybody's got some at some point to one degree or another, and most of us have an inner dialogue, coping skills, emotional intelligence, some trustworthy network that we rely on. Our current zeitgeist would have it either pushed under the rug, to avoid the personal stigmata of admitting one's own or a family member's issues, or splattered across the big screen, to make box office money.
How to fund such an initiative? End the phony fucking war on drugs. Treat substance abuse like the mental health problem it is, and take the power and money out of the distribution system. I heard a woman recently speaking, can't access link right now. She became a professional mental health care provider via her struggle to get her own son into care. She was successful, but it took years, and she stated that it was "easier to buy a rifle at Walmart than get an appointment with a psychiatrist." And that's the goddam truth.

I think it would not be possible to find a more ardent supporter of CCW than myself. I take that right as a deadly responsibility. I live my life in every minute in such a way as to avoid or prevent being in circumstances that would justify the use of deadly force.

Until mental health care access and delivery in this country becomes a front and center issue in the prevention of violent crime of all types, and is a fundamental part of a larger rethinking of the travesty that is the current American health care system, the rest of the debate is noise.

Anonymous said...

From your opening paragraph. "Start talking about Disne Feinstein"

Sorry I thought that meant iher proposed assault weapon ban was thus part of the topic at hand

If we are not talking about legislation nor how to change public opinion then what is your point?


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"Al asked for no snide remarks. He also said he wasn't going to comment. Karma."

Damn. And here I thought it was safe to post here ... ;-)


Anonymous said...

@Joe at 12:35 wrote "Some people here aren't interested in fact."

Joe, you very helpfully provided evidence for the truth of this comment in your post at the top of this thread, when you wrote "...the number of abortions is not down. Kids are smoking at a greater rate than they were a generation ago."

The teen smoking rate peaked probably in the fifties. For a more recent frame of reference, in 1991 there were 27.5% current smokers 18 and under, and 12.7% habitual teen smokers. The most recent figures from the same survey (CDC) showed 19.5% current and 7.3% habitual teen smokers.

The abortion rate peaked in 1981, leveled off for most of the '80s and began a steady decline in 1991.(Guttmacher Institute)*

So perhaps nobody should be surprised you were willing to try and misrepresent the blunt-force (ie hammers)vs guns homicide rate in the same post. When called out on it, though, you still attempt to cling to the hammers vs assault rifles comparison alone. Of course, it would seem to make sense, more blunt-force-trauma deaths, since there are (despite the best efforts of the NRA and gun manufacturers)many millions more blunt objects in the country than there are assault rifles. So here are the appropriate questions, for yourself as well as the other "guns are not the problem, people are the problem" gaggle: How man people could Adam Lanza have killed with a hammer or a baseball bat? How many people could James Holmes have killed with a hammer or a baseball bat? How many people could Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris have killed with hammers or baseball bats? How many people could Seung-Hui Cho have killed with hammers or baseball bats? How many people could Charles Whitman have killed with a hammer or a baseball bat?

Do we have to make it convenient, so ergonomically efficient, for a madman to kill?


Anonymous said...

Sorry-I forgot my note re the Guttmacher Institute.
a)Guttmacher also notes that the deaths of women who sought an abortion is down from hundreds per year to practically zero, although the most recent election showed that many anti-abortion campaigners care not a wit about this figure.

b)Guttmacher's figures are a reminder that legal abortion was on an upswing prior to Roe v Wade; by the end of 1970 15 states had legalized abortion or reformed their abortion laws.

Anonymous said...

HEY! Lord Basil is back! How appropriate that much of the thread concerns itself with improved mental healthcare!


Anonymous said...

@Bill at 2:46 on 1/6-

Bill, as you yourself have previously noted here, you're not especially religious and only go to church now and again because the padre seems to deliver a pleasing homily.

Absent a religious motivation, STFU about abortion, because now you're just a busybody trying to interfere in the lives of others.


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"Absent a religious motivation, STFU about abortion, because now you're just a busybody trying to interfere in the lives of others."

@ MR: He's not a busybody. He's a person exercising his First Amendment rights right here in this forum, as are you. You may not agree with what he has to say, but he has every right as do you to say what he thinks/believes. To suggest that he "STFU" is, in my opinion, censorship to a certain degree (our humble hostess is the arbiter of censorship on her site), at odds with the First Amendment. You don't like what he posts? Don't read it, or take him on point by point. But to suggest that he shut the fuck up because you don't agree with what he has to say only reinforces the belief amongst many conservatives/Republicans that Liberals/Progressives are the most intolerant beings on the face of the earth.

Then again, as a registered Republican, my guess is you'll probably tell me to shut the fuck up, vaildating my point.


Anonymous said...

@6:20 "Yabu" said "I would source this, but I don't believe their(sic)is a source. I'll bet you 99% of the guns owned in America are unregistered."

Just what the hell do you mean? There is no federal requirement, outside of some exceptions (think mortars and rocket launchers) to register firearms. It is *estimated* there are 223 million guns in private hand in this country. Are you trying to say the estimated number is really 99 time higher? That's 22 TRILLION guns? You KNEW there is no federal gun registry, right? I mean, you wouldn't post such an outlandish claim without at least knowing that fact, would you?

Here's my favorite part of your comment, though. You cite a bunch of outlandish figures [from that great Philosopher and Historian Paul Harvey, of all places] of how gun control has preceded mass murder on an amazing level, with neither context nor any effort at accuracy. And then you say "Someone source those numbers, I'm curious"? Nobody over at your own bog* doesn't have the time? Or you think maybe the nutbag from the Sipsey Street Irregulars** isn't giving you accurate numbers?

You've got the most amazing research tool ever invented, the Internet, with capabilities only dreamt of outside of science fiction just a generation ago at your fingertips, and yet you choose to repeatedly post unsourced bullshit? This kind of crap might play over in your own personal clown car of a bog*, but please leave it there.


* This is not a typo. If you doubt my assessment, you have only to look.
** Again, go there. This is the psychotic who encouraged his readers, after the passage of the ACA, to throw rocks at the windows of Democratic legislators offices. Which several did. including the offices of Rep Gabby Giffords.

Anonymous said...

@ Al-I don't suffer fools gladly, and I know that's a sin. He got the comment because he's an enormous hypocrite, and abortion is one his core subjects on which to pontificate.(no pun intended)

BTW, I HAVE taken him on, point-by-point, on a range of topics. His usual MO is to try to evade or obfuscate as long as possible, and then claim what he said wasn't what he said,or meant, the entire time.

I've never told anyone here, or in any kind of a serious forum, to 'STFU' before, (not even him, when he ridiculed my faith) and I can't imagine every saying it to anyone here, on any topic.

Thanks for your opinion. I value it, believe it or not.


Joe said...

@MR -- you should understand I was refering to Feinstein and her assault weapon ban in all of my comments you referenced. Yes I miswrote in my original words when I used "guns" instead of "Rifles", but you can take my word for it or not. Sometimes we think people can read our minds. Mea Culpa I used the wrong word. I will take more care to say what I mean in the future.

The main point was one more feel good law will not change a thing. The problem is far larger than guns. Mental health, a violent culture, hammers in the home, keeping score at junior league soccer, dodge ball, movies, video games, where do we draw the line? Where do we start? A gun never killed anyone.

I only wish you had taken your excellent research and fact checking skills to some commentors whose viewpoint you agree, but whose "facts" are still bullshit, like Video Dude, but you only have an interest in presenting your side, so I take your credibility for what it is worth. Al is right, you only interest is to shut down other's viewpoints.

Erin O'Brien said...

Who can keep up with this thread?

Yabu, here's a bit of advice. Those mass emails are almost always bogus. I don't get them anymore because people started to get embarrassed when I'd debunk them again and again. Here is a good rule of thumb: When you get some piece of info, ask yourself this: who gets fired if this turns out to be false? Generally, if it ain't signed by a professional journalist, it's garbage.

According to this article from, the second "Key Characteristic of Bogusness" is when an email is vaguely attributed to a famous person.

Got Paul Harvey?

If I can't determine who is responsible for information, I don't believe it.

Here is the trouble the gun camp is having. You've got 20 first graders getting mowed down by a nut with a gun and the assertion that the gun has nothing to do with it just doesn't pass the smell test.

Not that anyone asked, but I do not support taking anyone's guns away. I am no firearms expert and don't claim to know the nuances of laws as they vary by state. If Phil needs his CCW permit, I'm glad he's got it. I hope it required background checks and registrations and whatever else that deems him a good guy.

I think the more powerful a weapon is, the more ensconced in regulation it should be.

** not making Al's sausage joke **

Erin O'Brien said...

Truth: I haven't taken a serious look into what Feinstein is proposing because I don't think it has any chance of coming to fruition.

Joe said...

You might find this interesting

VideoDude said...

It is estimated that 40 percent of gun sales are conducted without a background check, according to the gun control lobbying group the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

VideoDude said...

Because Spengler was convicted a felon, he was supposed to be legally barred from owning a gun. However, because of the so-called “gun show loophole” — a National Rifle Assocation (NRA) supported-policy that allows “private” gun sales to take place without background checks — it’s possible Spengler could have purchased his weapon without the seller even checking whether he could legally own a gun or had a history of violence. Guns bought in this manner are used in 80 percent of violent firearm crimes across the country. Moreover, it’s very easy, as a consequence of another set of NRA-supported changes to federal law, for some felons to get their right to own guns reinstated.

VideoDude said...

I apologize for having a life outside of the EOB Blog and not posting these sooner.

VideoDude said...

It turns out that Spengler, had someone else buy his gun for him. Would she have done that if there had been a background check on her and the weapon registered in her name?

Joe said...

It was illegal for her to own the gun. Spengler knew that it is a felony for her to possess a gun. How many more laws do you think it would take for her to say "no"? If there were six more charges? ten?

Only the "good" guys will register their guns. As long as we "feel" safe, right?

Mrs. C said...

I have made no sausage jokes, nor was my comment a snide remark--I cannot *wait* to marvel at those pics of Al's sausage.

In fact, I'll go further: If all the gun shops were replaced with sausage shops, and all the gun shows became sausage shows, we'd have fewer mass shootings.

Oh...wait. Gun shops ARE sausage shops. Gun shows ARE sausage shows. I suppose there is no solution to this problem. Carry on.

Erin O'Brien said...

** erin hearts Mrs. C **

VideoDude said...

When the weapon is bought, there should be an automatic background check and the weapon is registered immediately. If this had been done in the Spengler case, two Firemean would be alive today. At least he would had to try another way of acquiring his weapons.

When we buy a car, it is regitered as part of the transaction. We don't register our cars "later" at some time in the future.

Joe said...


My bad.

No one ever drives a car not registered in their name.

No one ever steals cars -- they are registered.

For that matter no one drives a car sans a driver's license.

I will freely admit when I am out reasoned.

man I wish there was a sarcasm font...

Erin O'Brien said...

Joe, people break laws and don't follow rules. Does this mean we should not have them?

Most people believe in rule of law.

VideoDude said...

Yet, we still register cars. I really hate this attitude of "it won't work in all cases so we should do nothing"! Stealing a car is a crime, punishable by jail time. It is also illegal to drive a car you are not insured to drive! Yes, people do it anyway. Why does that mean we shouldn't try? I guess we need more than two Firefighters and 20 children killed before we try to stop the killings, or at least slow the would be killers down.

Joe said...

No, I am saying we have plenty of laws, more will not change anything.

When you discuss taking away a person's basic human right of self defense you better have a good reason and the law better make a difference.

Feel good laws like a "register list" or banning scary rifles will not stop anything. Then why do it?

Whether the facts in Yabu's letter are accurate or not, it is true that nearly every totalitarian regime in recent history has exhibited a policy of taking away the means of defense from those it subjugates.

You can cry conspiricy thoery all you want, but just because the Government has not moved to take away the means to protect your freedom does not mean it won't. The 2nd amendment exists for the same reason as the other 9 in the Bills of Rights, to enumerate the means to protect an American citizen from a tyrannical government. Just because we have not had military occupation and soldiers quartered in our homes does not mean we should ignore and scrap the 3rd amendment.

I maintain the 2nd Amendment is akin to the 1st amendment, it enumerates a basic freedom that transcends that of individual vs. Government, but lists the basic right of a person to speak, to woprship, to protect himself and loved ones.

Before we abridge those rights we better think long and hard.

Erin O'Brien said...

You can cry conspiricy thoery all you want, but just because the Government has not moved to take away the means to protect your freedom does not mean it won't.

Okay, so that's where we're at.

Anonymous said...

"Guns and sausage...go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell you can't have one without the other." -(Unless you're Joey Buttafuoco)

Mrs. C for the win.


Anonymous said...

@ Joe-VD seems to be your problem, not mine.

Your 'hammers' claim was one of three in which you molested the truth.


Anonymous said...

It seems MR is an expert on molestation.

Anonymous said...

However you wish, Anon... and If I want expert tips on being a chickenshit coward, I'll put out the Bat Sign for you...MR

Bill said...

Having someone obsess on your comments on a blog, is somehow, pretty cool.

VideoDude said...

Isn't it funny that the ones who want guns for protection and safety seem to be the people who have the most fear? The reason the Teapublicans got so mad at Pres. Obama's "clinging to their guns and God" comment, is because he hit the nail on the frakking head.

Because of the NRA, individuals on the Terrorist no fly list can still purchase a gun!

dean said...

Yabu @1/7/13 6:20 PM. Your list is nothing more than a mass of logical fallacies strung together.

To paraphrase one of my favourite fictional characters: "You keep using those examples. I do not think they mean what you think they mean."

VideoDude said...

"Hello I am Indigo Montoya...You killed my father...prepare to die!" One of my all time favorite movies!

Mrs. C said...

Mine, too.

Joe said...

Joe Biden said yesterday the Administration is prepared to institute gun control via executive order if necessary.

That, my friends, is exactly why we need the Second Amendment.

Every American should be outraged that anyone has even considered that tactic.

If a Democrat can get away with ity, a person with whom you do not agree politically can do it in the future. Our system may not be perfect, but over time the will of the people is always enacted.

Tyranny by the few is never acceptable. Not even whe nyou agree with the end result. The ends NEVER justify the means.

Erin O'Brien said...

Biden's exact quote: "There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet."

You can bet, it ain't much.

Regarding civil action against the GOV, the second amendment is meaningless in today's world. Any significant action against the GOV will come from someone who looks like Guy Fawkes as he taps away on an iPhone.

Got Julian Assange?

"If a Democrat can get away with ity, a person with whom you do not agree politically can do it in the future."

Um. Eight years of George Bush?

"Our system may not be perfect, but over time the will of the people is always enacted."

That was the entire point of my original post. It's also why Obama is about to embark on a second term.

And then there's this.

Anonymous said...

"Every American should be outraged that anyone has even considered that tactic."-Joe

Not outraged.

Ergo not an American?


Anonymous said...

"Our system may not be perfect, but over time the will of the people is always enacted."-Joe


See: Citizens United vs FEC


"If you find yourself in a hole it's best to stop digging."

Joe said...

Time will tell, but if the Government tries to confiscate guns there will be blood in the streets. The Revolution started by just such an attempt.

Citiozens United -- I am not convinced there is overwheloming support to overturn that decision. By the same token, there is a great deal of animosity to ObmaCare. Over time, elections will put people in power and the SCOTUS will change and the will of the people will be exerted. If Citizens United is wrong, it will be overturned eventually. (See Brown vs TBOE and Plessy). In addition the genius of the Constitution is it can be amended, so Citizen's United can be fixed right over the head of the SCOTUS if it is really the overwhelming will of the people.

Seriously, you are not arguing in favor of tyranny with the dubious "two wrongs make a right" defense?

If so, you are reinforcing what up to now I thought was a mere stereotype of the pregressive faction -- that they will attempt to impose their will on the American people by any means possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm arguing that the current OUTRAGE expressed by defenders of the 2nd Amendment vis a vis Sandy Hook is superficial chest thumping by insecure attention whores and ooportunists who use these type incidents to make money. No sooner than you invoke an image of a Bloody Revolution you then suggest that if people like me acquiesce in an unbridled Executive power grab we are proponents of tyranny. Yet I'm sure if there was a true citizens rebellion in this country I'm certain people likke you would grab your gold and go looking for a place to hide.
Where has this "OUTRAGE" against Executive power been slumbering Joe? Let me see if I can help adjust your OUTRAGE DETECTOR.
Approximately 930 U.S. Military Veterans known to VA Mental Health Providers like me will attempt suicide this month. 18 will succeed today. SSgt Robert Bales sits in isolation in a prison cell in Ft. Leavenworth Kansas accused of the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians. He was on his fourth deploymment and there is evidence he had history of a Traumatic Brain Injury and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It costs the U.S. Taxpayer 1.2 million dollars per year to deploy a soldier to Afghanistan (All these stats availble for checking BTW.) Now, has the Chief Executive/Comamnder in Chief played a role in these events? If so is there cause for OUTRAGE? How many antiwar demonstrations have you attended? Did you support the "SURGE(s)" Bush-Iraq-Obama-Afghanistan? See ya in the streets PATRIOT, DEFENDER OF THE CONSTITUTION.

Randy Johnson

Erin O'Brien said...

A gun asshole was screaming in my face the other day about who all needed to be shot and how his gun was going to protect his rights.

I asked him why his guns didn't do anything to protect my dwindling right to privacy (ask Petraeus) or stop the indefinite detention bullshit.

He told me I sounded just like a fucking liberal.

Jon Moore said...

Interesting development in Wyoming:
If I'm not mistaken, Montana already has a law similar to this in effect. Can anybody say Tenth Amendment?

Anonymous said...

I did some number checking based of the data from an EOB link and the US Government reports. In 2011 there was 2,437,163 deaths in the US, of these 12,664 were murders,0.52%, murders by firearms 8583,0.352%,death by rifle 323, 0.013%, deaths by beating 726 or .028%. I am not making light of the murder of children but it seems we might be blowing this way out of proportion. In fact the number of murders by handguns was 6220 or 0.25%. The leading cause of murder was arguments .
James Old Guy

Anonymous said...

@ Joe-Is it your position then that tightening background checks, taking military-capacity ammo clips off the shelves, and closing the 'gun-show loophole' constitute tyranny?

How do you start with those mild suggestions and get to a point where, in your mind at least, the government is coming to take your guns?

Because if you believe from the comments that the Vice-President made
that the administration intends to start confiscating everybody's weapons cache you would be reinforcing a stereotype that some "pregressives" have of everyone on the right. That righties are jello-brained dimwits who'll accept as gospel anything
derogatory that radio talkers and fever-swamp bloggers say about the President, no matter how absurd or far-fetched.

Present company excluded, of course.


wv: 'ravitail'-a men's hairstyle popularized by the late Indian musician Ravi Shankar.

Erin O'Brien said...

JOG: "The leading cause of murder was arguments."

Remember when those used to be settled with a fist fight? Guns are so wonderful.

MR +1+1+1.

Anonymous said...

JOG: "The leading cause of murder was arguments."

This fact seems to leave me with only 2 options - I'm immortal or I'm a zombie. I suppose it could be some combination of the two. Quantum Uncertainty.