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View Diary: Gun control and buggy whips (223 comments)

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  •  Well, that's a stretch! (1+ / 0-)
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    coquiero

    I'd characterize my American experience in less "absolute" terms.  Mostly pleasant, mostly enriching, mostly rewarding...punctuated by the occasional frustration.  I have gotten to know mostly good and decent people, with the occasional rotter thrown in just because I suppose life can't be perfect all the time.  Now I confess I spend a disproportionate, and perhaps unjustified, amount of time bewailing the rotters among us.  You know, why do we have to contend with these particular individuals and all their sound-and-fury, the outsized wreckage from their tantrums, when we could seemingly so easily get the whole kerfuffle under treatment and move on.  Today we're talking about the gun problem for example.  It so happens that there was another assault rifle rampage in my neighborhood yesterday that had our main thoroughfare closed and sent three cops to surgery, and while it is my natural inclination to whine about the manchild who abetted this action and the national values system that made his crime such a cakewalk, perhaps I should look on the brighter side.  There are good people with guns.  There really are, I'm sure of it.  I have often heard about them.  And I owe them a huge debt of thanks for every day that they don't go all mooncalf on the rest of us.  I think of how much money some of these people have spent on the physical commitment to put another person in the ground, and how painful it must be to just let that expensive hardware languish under lock and key, not paying any return on the investment, even as life gets frustrating, and everyone from the black UN helicopters to black kids with iced tea to God himself seems to have it in for 'em, they manage to hold back and find the restraint that allows life to continue in a mostly-peasant, mostly-enriching, mostly-rewarding way for the rest of us.  No matter how much they secretly urge to trepan our trolling little heads with a .50 cal round from their brand-new Barrett.

    •  Wow (5+ / 0-)
      I think of how much money some of these people have spent on the physical commitment to put another person in the ground, and how painful it must be to just let that expensive hardware languish under lock and key, not paying any return on the investment, even as life gets frustrating, and everyone from the black UN helicopters to black kids with iced tea to God himself seems to have it in for 'em, they manage to hold back and find the restraint that allows life to continue in a mostly-peasant, mostly-enriching, mostly-rewarding way for the rest of us.
      So basically, you operate under the assumption that either most or all people who own firearms would love to kill someone and barely manage to restrain that urge. The only reason we're not knee-deep in blood right now is, as you see it, that somehow all of these inherently-violent people are able to keep their natures in check by force of will (though you also seem to think that could give out at any moment). The idea that maybe they're not really momentarily-restrained nascent murderers never crosses your mind.

      The only idea I can think of that even approaches this level of superstition is the idea that without "God", people are just amoral motorized instinct with no internal framework of decency to stop them from constantly committing evil acts. I say that mainly because it too is an assumption not backed up by reality and is predicated entirely by bias against the group so condemned.

      •  I operate under the assumption (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero

        that most gun owners in this country are well-intentioned, but that only ~10-25% of them are basically okay in the noodle.  The remainder struggle--to varying degrees, from minor to full-blown--with issues like paranoia, megalomania, and the unhealthy commitment to various fantasies that I call Good-Guy-With-A-Gun Syndrome (it's not yet in the DSM).  Furthermore, the gun-owning community as a whole has advanced no endogenous solution to the most widespread of these problems (for example, the paranoid conceit that private small arms are an important barrier to government tyranny).  I am convinced it's going to take "the rest of us" to get some of these issues under management.

        •  "Paranoid conceit"? (5+ / 0-)

          You sure do toss off accusation of mental instability a lot.

          And you seem to be exhibiting a strong tendency towards that diagnosis of Authoritarianism mentioned above.

          Your hate-mail will be graded.

          by PavePusher on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:22:47 AM PDT

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          •  I am a bush-league authoritarian (1+ / 0-)
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            coquiero

            Sure, my banter may be peppered occasionally with hints of disrespect toward the autonomy of people who make bad choices that impact my life, but that hardly passes for authoritarianism these days!  Sure, I think some particular individuals ought to be babysat, but I myself have no interest in doing that job even for the money.  (Back in my teenage years it would have been a different story.)  So if I'm an authoritarian, don't you think--and I want your honest assessment as a fellow amateur shrink--that it's pretty low-grade?  I mean, I don't even own a gun!

        •  Invented percentages, mind-reading, (1+ / 0-)
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          theatre goon

          irrational fears & opinion-barf.

          Convincing.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:50:22 AM PDT

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        •  Impressive (4+ / 0-)
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          Kasoru, theatre goon, FrankRose, gerrilea

          Bill Frist needed a video to diagnose Terry Schiavo, one person, as absolutely capable of full recovery from a vegetative state. You only need the internet to diagnose millions with various mental disorders and proclaim yourself and your peers as the only ones with solutions.

        •  And now accusations of mental illness... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankRose, gerrilea, Kasoru

          ...against broad swaths of the American populace.

          Utter codswallop in the place of rational argument.  The saddest part is that we see this more and more, even at this "reality-based community."

          "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

          by theatre goon on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:58:24 AM PDT

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          •  God, I love that word: CODSWALLOP. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon

            CODSWALLOP!

            CODSWALLOP!!

            CODSWALLOP!!!

            Might I use it from time to time, with your permission???

            ;)

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:21:51 AM PDT

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          •  Now we just need to take a deep breath... (1+ / 0-)
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            coquiero

            ...and understand that I am merely sharing personal opinion and judgement, off the cuff, from personal experience only.  In the sense of being based on my experiences, they are "reality based" views.  My experiences may be different from your own.  My opinions on the gun problem are well-developed, but have relevance to others only to the extent that others care about them and engage with them; as I have already said, I have no special authority in the field of mental health and I use the terminology from that field loosely in accordance with popular usage.

            Bill Frist, a credentialed physician, made the obvious overreach of "diagnosing" a specific person while having no personal knowledge of that specific case.  Even in my amateur-shrink capacity, you'll note that I haven't tried to saddle specific persons unknown to me with the attitudes and pathologies I perceive generally in that population.  I always try as hard as I can to give individuals the benefit of the doubt.  Regarding the gun problem, I meet many who reinforce my stereotypes, and occasionally I meet someone who defies them.

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