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This is what a niece, who is in her forties, told me just now on Facebook.  She had posted something earlier in the day saying that she "packs heat" when she and her husband go out in order to protect themselves and their kids. She also carries a gun when she's out alone.  She lives near Okeechobee, Florida, not exactly crime city USA, but this is how she feels.  She has a sister who lives several miles from her who feels the same way.  I've asked her to explain to me why she is so frightened.  Her reply was that she wasn't frightened because she carries a gun.

What is it in these people that makes them so paranoid?  I grew up in the country in the Northeast, lived in Florida for over forty years and now live close to NYC, and I have never ever in my life felt the need to carry a lethal weapon so I could kill another human being if I had to when I was out because being out was so dangerous.  That is what makes me different from my nieces.  They live in fear.  I do not.  I've never owned a gun, nor do I feel the need to own a gun.  I'm no more in danger because of that feeling than they are with their paranoia.  I'm waiting for her to tell me why she is so frightened.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What a pain in the ass (10+ / 0-)

    I'm not lugging around a rifle and accoutrements everywhere I go. Please note my preference matters.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:27:08 PM PDT

  •  I guess she can do what she wants. (7+ / 0-)

    But carrying a wallet is enough of a pain for me -- especially in summer.

    I'm not carrying a hunk of metal around too.

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:32:39 PM PDT

  •  Guns do not dispel fear, they create fear. n/t (11+ / 0-)

    "they are bathing in blood to sell soap." ~ CherryTheTart

    by heartobama on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:38:16 PM PDT

  •  NRA's ideological vision bearing fruit (11+ / 0-)

    It won't be happy until every American is armed and dangerous at all times.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:38:49 PM PDT

  •  Gun ownership doesn't = fear (12+ / 0-)

    While I own several firearms, I don't generally pack 'heat' unless I'm hunting or at the target range.  I don't go looking for trouble, and my first line of home defense is 911.  My sidearm is a decidedly non-glamorous Beretta model 92 from the eighties, and it's a big, chunky, heavy thing that conceals about as well as a college textbook.

    I'm just a target shooter & hunter.  The guns stay locked up when not in use; any burglar who tries to get into that safe is going to need chiropractic care in prison.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:39:58 PM PDT

    •  Wish you would talk to my parents (12+ / 0-)

      in their 80's who now pack handguns they recently purchased wherever they go despite living in places with extremely low crime rates.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:48:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You probably know how tough that would be (11+ / 0-)

        People can be pretty damn hard-headed.

        My old man taught me to hunt with an empty rifle chamber.  I had to learn to identify game, determine whether or not it was legal, chamber a round, aim, and shoot efficiently enough to be successful.  I won't hunt with people who demonstrate a lack of safety.

        I'm teaching my 15 year old son the same thing.  Before I let him hunt with me this fall, he will have fired at least 1,000 rounds of .22 ammunition, and on each shot he is going to have to clear the gun, load it, safe it, aim, shoot, verify it is unloaded, and show me he can keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.  He'll also fire a couple boxes of big-bore rifle ammo at realistic ranges so I can determine how consistently accurate he is.  Then he's going to do the nasty job of cleaning every firearm I own so I can see how knowledgeable and proficient he is.

        If all of the above don't sour him on firearms, I'll let him hunt.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:23:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah, that's how I learned to hunt. (3+ / 0-)

          With a single action .22. Each shot required the reloading of another bullet (.22 shorts). I have 4 rifles in my home, but no pistols as they are of little use (outside of target practice), except to kill people -- at least to me, and that's not why I own guns. And they are horribly inaccurate. Same with AKs. Why would anyone own one, except to be prepared to kill people?

          But I have to agree with Nancy -- packing heat as your daily routine does equal fear. Why would you do it, except for fearing danger around every corner. (I take that back, some people do it because it makes them feel macho and bad-assed and long-dicked.)

          "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

          by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:30:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No absolutes please (3+ / 0-)

            For most of my life, carrying a pistol would have been unnecessary - an over-reaction to fear mongering.  But, for a little more than a decade, I had a job that not only required me to carry a pistol, the local police chief insisted that I upgrade the pistol I carried to have more firepower.  Admittedly, that was unusual and I was surprised by the demand.  The point of raising it here is that any discussion should steer clear of absolutes inasmuch as there are circumstances outside of the normal experience of US citizens that should be acknowledged.  

            •  Good Point Salmo. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              salmo, phrogge prince, boofdah, PinHole

              I appreciate your clarification. Certainly, if you have to move large sums of cash from your store to the bank for deposit on a daily basis, for example, a pistol may be an appropriate part of the job.

              "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

              by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:17:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The .22 remains one of my faves (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boofdah, chuco35

            My brother has a bolt-action .22 magnum.  We were target shooting one day and I got to thinking about the phrase "tack-driving accuracy".  The target was held up with thumb tacks, so I decided to do a little 'mythbusters'.  I shot off all four tacks in four shots at 50 yards.  Myth confirmed.

            "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

            by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:36:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  My parent do too. My mom even bought several (7+ / 0-)

        purses to accessorise her gun choice for the day.  Some of them hold her gun in between the sections and some of the purses have bottoms that holds the gun.

        I'm so proud (snark)

        •  I've never understood guns as fashion accessories (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy

          I don't walk around carrying a big, expensive Snap-On crescent wrench so I can look cool to all the mechanics.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

          by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:43:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me either...although I do target practice and hunt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaveinBremerton

            for sport but if they were outlawed tomorrow, I would turn them over and walk away without thought of my supposed rights being stripped from me.  

            •  I don't think a total ban would happen (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuco35, boofdah, PinHole

              I could see:

              (1) A ban on large capacity magazines.

              (2) Restrictions or bans on so-called "black guns".  I'm not advocating such a ban, but I view them in the same light as outdoor writer Jim Zumbo.

              (3) A requirement that semi-autos have fixed magazines, or are limited in length, weight, or some other parameter.

              I'm not saying any of the above is technologically rational or make sensible gun control.  However, gun rights do not exist in a vacuum and the Aurora shooting is pretty damned sickening.  Sooner or later the non-shooting public is going to realize they are the majority and when they do, the shooting public is likely to find itself answering for decades of defending the gun industry's excesses.

              When you get right down to it, I'm not really comfortable defending the right to own a .45 caliber Uzi so some clown can win a bowling pin shooting contest.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

              by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:37:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, a total ban will never happen and even if it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DaveinBremerton

                did, how could you collect the millions of gun in ownership?  semis and maybe even handguns...yes, maybe

                  I am from the south and everyone I knew then had at least one handgun, one shotgun, and a deer rifle.  At least....and that's putting it mildly. My dad had at least 10 guns, at any given time and sat every evening watching tv as he cleaned one of them with all attention to detail.  

                •  You don't collect millions of guns (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  boofdah

                  A more rational approach would be to view gun-related violence and mishaps as a public health problem, identify the multitude of root causes, and go after that which is feasible.

                  Absent his guns, the nut job in Aurora would still have been a nut job.  Why was he a nut job, and what could have been done to help him not descend into nuttery?

                  To what extent does economic despair contribute to violence...not just gun violence, but violence in general?  What can we do to alleviate it?

                  What's greater--the public health cost of uncontrolled firearms or the cost of providing secure storage?  Why not give an income tax incentive for private gun owners to buy gun safes, coupled with a financial penalty for failing to do so?

                  "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                  by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:21:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Those aren't assault rifles, though--different. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bailey2001, DaveinBremerton
                  one handgun, one shotgun, and a deer rifle
                  Those IMO are fine. I don't think anyone's talking about banning hunting and general-use shotguns/handguns/rifles. I can see owning these types of weapons if you hunt or are required to carry them for your job (as salmo indicated above). I can even understand, to some degree, if you are worried, as the diarist's niece is, that someone's gonna steal your stuff or mug you on the sidewalk in Okeechobee, hey, all the power to you. It's not my way, but if you are properly educated about the use of your gun, don't use it to menace or bully people who aren't doing anything to you, and keep it away from kids and pets,  it's all good.

                  However, unless you're in the military or police force, there is absolutely NO need IMO for anyone to own an assault rifle like an AR-15 (which I understand is the civilian equivalent to the military's M16).

                  Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

                  by boofdah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:51:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Can't say I disagree about assault-style rifles (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PinHole, boofdah

                    But defining such a ban is a large technical challenge--imagine trying to restrict the 30-round AR-15 while not restricting the 5-round Remington Model 740 or the 8-round M-1 Garand.  All are semi-automatic.  The M-740 is a deer rifle from the 1950's and the M-1 Garand was an assault rifle...in WWII.

                    If we ban the detachable magazine AK-47, do we keep the fixed, 10 shot magazine SKS?  They are otherwise the same rifle.  Does limiting the Ruger Mini-14 to a 5-shot detachable magazine render it an acceptable hunting weapon?  (It's called a "ranch rifle" for a reason--it makes an excellent varmint gun.)

                    Frankly if the thing is a center-fire, semi-auto rifle that has a pistol grip, large detachable magazine, a barrel less than 18 inches long, an effective range under 300 yards, and weighs less than 8 pounds, I question its necessity as a civilian long gun.  However, figuring out how to define "assault rifle" has proven to be a losing endeavor and a political third rail.

                    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:33:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Get them to a range (5+ / 0-)
        parents in their 80's who now pack handguns
        Convince them to go to a firing range with you.  Let them see for themselves how inadequate they are at shooting their guns and hitting what they want to hit.  Convince them to take training, and hope the trainer is strict, and may even tell them that they cannot have guns because they cannot control them. Remind your parents that Gun Control means hitting what you're aiming at!
    •  For you it doesn't. (10+ / 0-)

      For some it obviously does.

      When someone specifically says they 'pack' because they might need it for a mugger, a robber, another gunman, then yes, they're expressing their need for something they feel dispels the fear of these hypothetical criminals.

      People who are not afraid of muggers, burglars, murderers... don't usually carry guns.

      The pro gun crowd is always breaking out the 'You're just afraid of guns' line, but no, I've never seen a gun go off by itself.  If I'm afraid, it's of people who carry guns because they're afraid of attackers.  A stray bullet from a shooting a week or two back went through an apartment building wall and hit a woman in the face in Cincinnati.  She had no idea that she needed to be afraid of some fool firing a gun within city limits.

      •  Fear and preparedness aren't the same thing (7+ / 0-)

        If I'm backpacking in rough country I carry a sidearm as an all-purpose signal device and critter defense.  That said, I've never broken a leg or been attacked by an animal while in the field.  I don't fear either, but I also take sensible risk management steps such as maintaining a clean camp and ensuring people know where to find me.  The handgun is present if my other risk management strategies fail.

        I have been involved in one defensive shooting of a cougar.  My brother shot a cat at close range when the thing appeared out of nowhere and came at him.  I helped him track the cat down and ensure it was dead.  Thus, I know it is theoretically possible to have such an encounter but I can't say I fear it, although taking steps to avoid becoming lion poop seems sensible.

        While I don't see anything inherently scary in firearms, I do find the prospect of an unsafe or incompetent gun operator to be damn scary, and I don't have a problem with mandatory safety training.  

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:38:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A cougar attacked your brother? (3+ / 0-)

          Wow, that must be as unlikely as being struck by lightning. I've lived on a ranch in the boonies for decades, and have had the occasion to shoot chicken eating coyotes, and rabid foxes, but never had to shoot anything because of danger to myself or others. There are cougars in my stretch of country, and I have seen traces of them (tracks and love howls), but they are like shadows. They are the least of my fears out in the brush.

          The only fear I have out in the brush are rattlers, but I'd never shoot them, unless they were in my home space. Weight is so critical in backpacking that I wouldn't lug the extra weight of a revolver up the mountain because of something so unlikely as a lightning strike.

          While shooting an attacking cougar is appropriate, an injured cougar is not someone you would want to deal with. I don't know that chasing it down, as you would a buck, is the wise thing to do once you are out of danger.

          "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

          by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rare and weird, but true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            phrogge prince, boofdah

            It was in northeastern Washington State, and we had been hunting deer for a few days.  We each drew extra tags that year and the day prior to the attack he had killed a doe and I killed a small buck.  We were wearing the same clothes that we had on when we field dressed those deer.  I don't know whether or not cougars are drawn to smell, but that could have been it.

            Another factor was the situation.  He was trying to fill his second tag.  We were on this ridgetop, and he was on a bluff overlooking a timbered flat where there was a herd of deer.  He was hoping for a shot when the cat showed up.  We think the cat simply mistook him for a deer due to the presence of actual deer and his human smell being masked by the scent of the deer we killed the day before.  That theory could be totally whacked, but I don't think cougars make a habit of attacking hunters.

            As for the wisdom of trailing a wounded predator, ethical hunting requires us to do so.  First, it is unethical to allow the animal to suffer.  Second, it is unethical to leave the animal weakened but alive, and maybe have it prey on livestock, pets, or humans.

            He shot it with a .30-06 and there was a heavy blood trail.  We were pretty sure it was dead but wanted to be certain.  It was.  The cat was a youngish female between 70 - 90 lbs. and healthy.  We buried her.

            "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

            by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:05:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How Did The Cougar attack? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DaveinBremerton

              Was he moving while your brother shot him? In which case it must have been a great shot, given that the 30 odd 6 must not have been open-sighted. Cougars are usually targeted while they are standing still, like treed by a dog. I've shot, and missed, at moving coyotes, and it is an almost impossible shot. What an experience. Was the cougar leaping in the air when shot?

              I understand the ethics of finishing off an animal that you've shot, but I still think that your safety is paramount. You guys are lucky you weren't savaged by a pissed off and hurting cat.

              "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

              by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:09:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The cat was in a crouch at about 30 feet (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuco35

                It was sheer luck that my brother was sitting with the gun was laying across his lap and the barrel pointed to his right.  The cat had the bad luck to choose to approach from the right.  My brother saw the thing, pointed the aught-six, and fired from the hip.  This all happened pretty fast and the cat obviously wheeled just as my brother was shooting.  Instead of hitting it from the front, he hit it broadside through both lungs.

                The cat's feet tore up the ground where it wheeled.  After the shot my brother walked a third of a mile to where I was and explained the situation.  He's 6' 5" tall and was your basic tough logger, but he looked scared as hell and he knew we had to track the cat.  I was a little nervous as well, but I hadn't just avoided being used as a giant ball of yarn.  He was understandably shook up.

                We went back to where he took his shot and picked up the scuffs made by the cat.  I tracked it for about 20 yards until we found blood and from there it was a fairly easy tracking job.  In a few hundred more feet I saw the cat's tail sticking out of a little depression in the ground.  Damn shame, really.

                "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:51:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  if you are just that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, DaveinBremerton, boofdah

      You say you are "just a target shooter and a hunter."  Then you should not have a problem with what the diarist is saying.  She is talking about people who are so paranoid and fearful they feel the need to carry a gun everywhere they go.

      Im not going to use the popular culture expression of carrying around a gun because I feel it feeds into the glamorization of the gun culture and we should all avoid popularizing rightwing language.

  •  Kind of funny how they always feel the need... (17+ / 0-)

    ....to tell everybody else that they carry a gun.

    It can't be just about self protection.

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:44:58 PM PDT

    •  Some of my relatives are black belts in karate... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb, blueoasis, PinHole, IreGyre

      ...and one thing about them that is common among them--even as different as they are personally--is that they never brag to anyone else about their martial-arts skills, and never even discuss their skills or rank unless with teammates or close friends or relatives and then only if someone brings up the topic.

      As highly-ranked people in karate, my cousins and uncle basically say that it disrespects the martial art and their fellow black belts to tell everyone around them about their skill level. Also, like anyone who's perfected the art of self-defense, they're much better at showing their commitment to the craft than talking about it.

      Different form of self-defense, but I think the same logic would apply to gun ownership.

      Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

      by boofdah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  During my life I have lived in (15+ / 0-)

    some of the worst neighborhoods in San Francisco and New Orleans and twice I was within a few feet when one guy pulled a gun on another, but I have never felt a need to carry a gun myself. These people are indeed, as you say, paranoid and a gun is rarely going to protect them from someone wanting to do them harm.

    The assailant is going to be sure he has the drop on you if he is planning to accost you so your gun is going to be of precious little protection when he has his piece aimed at your head and your weapon is in a holster. But it requires rational thought to make this kind of connection and the gun loonies aren't particularly gifted in that capacity.

    It is insane that in this country we let people walk into Walmart and buy an arsenal of assault rifles on a whim.

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:50:29 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget the related problem Century 16 can't. (6+ / 0-)

    When people carry guns into public places and use them, one of the concomittants of any such effect is the avoidance by other people of such public places, in order to avoid being exposed to guns or gunfire in places where it has recently happened and is therefore more likely to happen again.  I know I do.

     I would hate to be any business where such an event had occurred on my premises because of the numbers of customers who choose not to take the risk of coming into my place when it happes again, when other choices are available. Remember, Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    •  Seems like they may have to plow that place under. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably

      All those deaths -- who's going to want to go there?

      On the other hand, they build those craptastic metro-plex-things so cheaply -- note the bullets ripping through the wall into the other theater -- that taking it down would probably be a day-long job at most.

      "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

      by Bush Bites on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I felt that way about Trolley Square (0+ / 0-)

      which is a mile or so from my house. I never went shopping there for years after the mass shootings there some years ago. However, most people seemed to forget about it in short order. The only thing that kept traffic down was a complete renovation which had been planned before the massacre and has been complete for about a year. It's as popular as ever and even more so.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bowling for Columbine (10+ / 0-)

    It's all there. Time for a re-watch. It's on Youtube full length.

    By the way, here's a telling little clip from it . . .

    "Romney's vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations." —Susan Madrak

    by Crider on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:56:52 PM PDT

  •  It's called the Mean World Syndrome (10+ / 0-)

    and it comes from television. Think about your local TV "news." They have a saying, "If it bleeds, it leads." If a person is a heavy viewer, you can see where they might get the impression that they live in a very dangerous world.  

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:59:29 PM PDT

    •  There was a lot of armament about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      in old testament times, too, at least as I read through it again. It took more elbow grease to use but it seems that was in abundant supply too.

      Then there was the middle ages etc. Part of the human condition, amplified and labor-saved quite a bit of late.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:44:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh fer sure, there has always been mayhem. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, chuco35, PinHole

        Weapons ard warfare have always been part of the human condition. In the ancient world, at least, people's experience of their world was more direct; not mediated by "news." The implications of a society where people trust their screens more than their actual experience are profound when you think about them.

        The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

        by Azazello on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:01:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not entirely correct. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Azazello, billmosby, PinHole

          When a medieval crowd lynched Jews, for instance, it wasn't responding to "direct experience." It was responding to some ignorant priest who'd just delivered a fire-breathing sermon accusing the Jews of killing Christ.

          We've always had teh stupid. It's just as strong in traditional society as anywhere else. It just doesn't come in forms we are familiar with.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:50:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ya' know, I thought about that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PinHole

            before I posted the comment. Yes, there have always been religious whackos, and they had enough influence to start Inquisitions. But, again, you didn't have a priest in your house for 4 hr/day defining your reality like TeeVee does.

            The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

            by Azazello on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:18:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Funny you said that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Azazello

          Caught myself looking at the weather radar to see if  we might get some rain, instead of just going outside and seeing the rain come down.

          "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

          by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:59:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How much did they cost? (0+ / 0-)

        It'd be interesting to do a comparison of a 'good' weapon in bronze age times, vs. some 'good' gun today. Was a sword back then equivalent of a year's wages? A month's?

        How many divisions does OWS have?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:36:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Items in antiquity..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          billmosby

          .... price list here.

          A cheap sword apparently cost a little more than a woodsman's axe.

          The notes say that in many medieval societies, the ownership of certain types of arms was compulsory. In England at certain periods, for instance, anyone from the richer peasantry upward was legally required to have a longbow.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:55:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there was no army... peasants would be mustered (0+ / 0-)

            in times of war and among them there was always a trained contingent of longbow users... just in case...

            By the way... through the lens of history it seems our ancestors lived lives full of destruction and mayhem... Wars, pillage invasion etc. And of course like today there was always some place having a bad time... insurrections, civil wars, invasions, raids, wars of succession etc... BUT like to day MOST people did not have it in their lives as a norm. Sure some border areas would have endemic violence but for most life was actually peaceful for long periods.. even if there was some bloodshed in the land it was usually somewhere else. Adding up all the wars and violence from all the years of recorded history it does come to a huge amount.. but taking a wider more complete look by far more people died in peacetime from disease or old age or famine... Even at the heights of major world events in antiquity... the Mongol invasions... most of the world's population was unaffected....

            serious professional Weapons were expensive... metal was always in short enough supply that when peasantry was mustered for war they had to bring farm implements made into spears or swords and after the seasonal campaign (generally not no wars in winter or rainy seasons) and back to the farm if they survived and the weapons turned back into farm implements... and if they did not return or came back without their tool... the people back home would  tend to suffer one way or the other. So only nobility etc in fortified castles and other places like tower houses might have the odd extra set of weapons and men at arms/guards etc always on hand though they would have had other jobs most of the time.

            So just like today, the odds of dying a violent death at the hands of offensive weapons of war or even ones kept for "defensive purposes" were very low...  and as for an everyday weapon...everybody carried a knife of some description... it is what you cut your food with, prepared game, whittled wood etc... a multipurpose tool that could be used as a weapon as well.... so only the paranoids would obsess over fears of brigands or invading armies etc. most of the time and their fears likely as not would not be a factor in saving them should the unlikely happen and war or raiding thieves came to their area.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:08:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  True (0+ / 0-)

              We picture, for instance, the "Fall of the Roman Empire" as something like the Twin Towers coming down, but many of the people living at that time scarcely noticed anything happening.

              "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

              by sagesource on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:47:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  maybe you should take a think. (3+ / 0-)

    Your niece says she's not fearful, why not take her at here word instead of calling her paranoid and stuff. A lot of people you don't even know about walk around with a firearm under their clothing. If they want to what the heck, it has no affect on anyone else.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:11:10 PM PDT

    •  I'll try to keep that thought in mind when the (8+ / 0-)

      inevitable shootout among panicked soccer moms plays out at WALMART or some other big box store. Probably on Black Friday.

      •  Don't hold your breath, I haven't noticed any (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, happy camper, oldpunk, Samulayo

        inevitable shoot outs at Walmart of late. They must be waiting until I leave.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:36:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder how many of the audience (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          members in the Aurora incident were armed? If there were any, they either had cooler heads than some might imagine or no time to act. Given the near-total lack of hero shootists in most of these events, I don't think the probability of concealed-carriers opening fire is all that high. One of them did stop the Trolley Square shooter after a while but he was an off-duty cop. And there was one church shooting stopped by a friendly gun, but she was a hired guard or at least a volunteer from the congregation.

          OH, and as far as shootouts in Walmarts are concerned, from pix I have seen on People of Walmart none of them are concealing much of anything, let alone a weapon. lol.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:49:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gets close to it on Black Friday (0+ / 0-)

          at WalMart.

    •  I'm not fearful. (6+ / 0-)

      And, like a poster above, I've lived in some of the most hellish neighborhoods in the country. I've also been mugged (got out of it with a healthy set of lungs, not a gun), walked in my house to find a strange man rummaging about (lungs again), gotten a peeping tom caught by running into the front porch and telling him to FUCK OFF!!, etc. etc. etc.

      Also had a car stolen once, but they dumped it in the middle of the road when they realized what a crappy car it was. Gun wouldn't have mattered a bit, especially because I secretly wish they would have made off with the car. It was one lousy car.

      Anyway, I have no gun, never have and probably never will, although I almost bought something to shoot the wild turkeys living in a field across from me (if you've ever had wild turkey, you surely understand---o.m.g.!).

      I think all the MY GUNS ARE MORE PRECIOUS THAN ANYONE'S LIFE! need to have a healthy yearly tax slapped on them---it's about time we began recouping all the financial losses from the havoc gun mania is wreaking on this country.

    •  Not fearful? (5+ / 0-)

      Why would anyone have a lethal weapon on them that they say they need to kill somebody who they think is going to harm them if they are not fearful of that?  Of course they're fearful!  She said the only reason she's not afraid is that she has a gun!!!! WTF?

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:41:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who is she afraid of? Does she ever say? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole

        Knowing Okeechobee myself and how, um, "dangerous" it is, let me venture a guess that she is a frequent FOX viewer?

        Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

        by boofdah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:06:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  People who think that having multiple people (15+ / 0-)

    firing guns in a small, crowded, dark smoke filled room, full of screaming people running around, and then expecting the cops to run into that situation and be able to get accurate information on who the perps are, are simply delusional to think that would make a safer America.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:39:02 PM PDT

  •  Consider the locale where you say (6+ / 0-)

    your niece lives.

    The minute I read Okeechobee, Florida that explained it.

    Before we parted company with my in-laws, they took us there, where a friend parked his trailer.  

    These are all folks from the red-neck parts of VA, WVa, PA, Ohio, southern tier NYS.  And some from Canada.  They are snow birds.  They like their guns, their manger scenes in the trailer parks left up till Easter, their gun shops, the fireworks stores, the environment where they don't have to be PC, their FAUX news.  

    It's where they get great amusement from repeating the latest 'jokes' from the AM shock jocks around the nightly 3-5 pm beer gatherings which occur after a day of fishing on the Lake.  And best of all, not too many black people around.

    Couldn't wait for the day to end and get out of there.  This was 15 yrs ago.

  •  Sign of a "failed state" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, shaharazade, splashy, boofdah

    Heard someone on MSNBC today say that the ability to do violence being in the hands of the citizens rather than the government is a sign of a "failed state". That got me looking at the Wikipedia article giving the 13 factors the Fund for Peace uses to evaluate a failed state. (http://en.wikipedia.org/...). Although they list the U.S. as "moderate", we seem to be doing poorly on a number of these factors.

    •  Wow, very interesting....jeez, we're "moderate!" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:36:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, Eastern Germany, 1965 or so.. (0+ / 0-)

      That's a perfectly not failed state?

      How many divisions does OWS have?

      by Diebold Hacker on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:43:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

        That's why I joined the Black Panther Party in the late 60's -- I was fearful that Amerika's Nixon would take away our guns and throw all of us radicals in the dungeon. I soon realized I was fracking paranoid, and hanging out with a bunch of armed bullies looking for a fight with the Man -- all to keep us radicals "safe".

        "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

        by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:12:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Think of it this way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, oldpunk

    are people with auto insurance afraid of an accident?

    are people with fire extinguishers afraid of a kitchen fire?

    Preparation isn't fear. Neither is taking personal responsibility. How someone 'feels' doesn't matter. What statistics say does. Anyone can be the victim of crime anywhere at any time. Some choose to prepare against the slim chance, others do not. Neither is wrong - until they try to make that choice for someone else.

    •  My state (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, salmo, splashy

      this year did away with the requirement for  motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Some now ride helmetless, but many still wear them--it looks like the grizzled old Harley riders tend to favor going without, while the crotch rocket crowd almost universally still wears them.

      I expect the shortage of organ donors will soon not be as urgent as it was, but that's just my opinion. As a survivor (barely) of a really hard high-speed get-off many years ago, I wouldn't ride helmetless on a bet. I made a complete recovery, but it was no fun.

      But some people don't see it that way. They view the chance of a crash as being slim enough that they'll take the risk. Others, like me, think they are deluded if they think it can't happen to them.

      Just like the decision to be prepared against crime, it's a personal choice.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:09:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it isn't. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WaryLiberal, Johnny Nucleo, PinHole

        That sentiment is a sign of the complete social irresponsibility that some in the US confuse with freedom.

        If you brain-damage yourself it doesn't just affect you. Someone will have to take care of you. Not to speak of all the other effects it will have on everyone concerned.

        If you want to live in a society without compromises, there's always Somalia.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:01:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is now (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy, PinHole

          a personal choice where I live. Our Republican governor decided to pander to the bikers who protested each year in the capitol, even though the insurance industry has solid data showing that helmets reduce injuries and save lives.

          I strongly opposed the repeal of the law, and agree completely that the consequences of becoming disabled or deceased adversely affects everyone from the health care system to the family left behind.

          The law will require that anyone who wishes to ride helmetless must purchase an additional $20K of insurance, a trivial amount when compared to the potential cost of the specialized around the clock care a severe brain injury victim would require.

          I find the whole thing ridiculous. There are no benefits to riding without a helmet. None.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:44:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

          YOU may think they should take care of you, but no such fiat of contract exists in my universe.

          And you're free to move to the UK. Here in America we have guns. Period.

    •  Actually, yes they are (0+ / 0-)

      I have full insurance because of being afraid of an accident and having to pay for the consequences out of pocket.

      Same with a fire extinguisher - a fear of not being able to stop a fire before it burns everything down.

      That's the only reason to be prepared - because of the fear of not being prepared.

      Fear is not bad if it causes you to be prepared, it's good. It warns you of possible danger and gets you to take steps to relieve the fear and hopefully prevent the problem.

      Admitting you act out of fear is not bad, it's accepting reality and dealing with it as well as you can.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:51:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You keep confusing preparedness for anxiety. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, oldpunk, boofdah

    This is probably the biggest emotional gulf between carriers and yourself.

    You don't feel the need or desire to prepare for such an unexpected and admittedly unlikely event as having to fire in self-defense.  Others disagree.  C'est la vie.

  •  Tell her (5+ / 0-)

    that just packing a gun isn't enough.  She needs a 100-round drum clip, it's the only way she can be "safe".

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:27:42 PM PDT

    •  I think she may need a security detail.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, boofdah, PinHole

      She can't see all around her at all times, so anything could happen.  OMG did you all see what's popping up online?  The FBI "staged" the whole Aurora thing to coincide with some UN vote on small arms control, so they can confiscate all the guns in the United States.  I've seen that two times so far this afternoon on FB!!

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:59:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This makes about (6+ / 0-)

    as much sense as bombing invading killing and torturing people who we decide are terrorists or could become terrorists. 'Terrists are going to kill yer family' said that psycho Bush. We showed them and then some. Yeah right killing anything that threatens your stuff or your way of life, or anyone that scares you really makes us all safer.

    Violent fearful people running around armed to the teeth and standing their ground because they feel threatened isn't any kind of society I want to live in. People are nuts and this society has no regard for life or  human rights. I'll tell you what scares me knowing that I live in a country that thinks violence and killing are acceptable and that packing is just 'protecting yourself'.

    Then we all wonder why muckers/madmen go berserk. Hey it's the American way we're a violent country maybe we would all be safer if we stopped being so fucking violent, belligerent and nasty. Maybe the 'evil' were so afraid of is part of our national psycho and we are packing it along with our heat.    

    •  THIS. So much this! ^^ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, PinHole

      You nailed it, right here:

      maybe we would all be safer if we stopped being so fucking violent, belligerent and nasty. Maybe the 'evil' were so afraid of is part of our national psycho and we are packing it along with our heat.  

      Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

      by boofdah on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:11:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Having a gun on her of course greatly increases... (4+ / 0-)

    the odds of her being involved in a lethal incident. Mostly because far more gun owners shoot themselves than anyone else. But also because when more people go armed, more disagreements and altercations escalate from shouting to death.

    The NY City police realized this decades ago, when they learned that a very aggressive 'zero tolerance' search and frisk policy for petty offenses meant that miscreants and felons stopped carrying guns because they became liabilities that led to a jail term. And the murder rate began to nosedive.

  •  Training (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, boofdah, PinHole, IreGyre

    The huge missing link in gun ownership is the lack of training.  I favor restricting gun ownership, but that aside, I'd feel much better about the wide open gun ownership if there was a strict training requirement and periodic testing.  We have to take a test to get a drivers license, take an eye test at every license renewal, and our license gets taken away if we demonstrate bad driving.  Gun ownership should be stricter than that.  The part of the 2nd Amendment that says, "well regulated," has to mean something.  Now, any half blind, drunk bozo with a clear criminal record can carry a powerful handgun.  This is just stupid.

  •  another member on Deviant Art claims (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PinHole, IreGyre

    this would never have happened in Arizona because gun ownership isn't restricted and everyone packs heat. I replied that wouldhn't have necessarily stopped James Holmes, or worked in a dark, smoky theater where dozens of panicked people were running all over.

    As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

    by GenuineRisk on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:02:45 PM PDT

    •  The theatre was a "gun-free zone" as (0+ / 0-)

      directed by the corporation that owns of the theater.

      And besides, firing one shot at an active-shooter often sends the shooter into a defensive stance.

       Cops are now taught (after VT) that the first responders need to get into the fight immediately (rather than waiting for SWAT) this will often drive the bad guy into hiding/defense stopping the methodical execution of innocents.

      •  Not going to work in this situation. (0+ / 0-)

        the shooter's preparations were all designed to neutralize or minimize the threat from any gun carrier who might decide to engage immediately.... and even if they did... would they be there by themselves?... no family member or friend next to them to worry about who would become instant collateral damage targets? The whole situation was unworkable for a successful immediate engagement.... tear gas, armor dark theater.
        And the gun free zone thing did work to his advantage... he entered the cinema like everyone else... existed via the emergency exit which he jammed open... outside he suited up, armed and ready to throw the gas grenades within a handful of minutes, returned and attacked. Any gun flash from the crowd with a  hit on the armor or not would have would have only led to the shooter concentrating his fire on that area and killing people around the gun holder if not them as well...

        so the solution? allow guns in the theater or conversely have better control and monitoring of emergency exits? restrict large magazines and even at least track body armor sales... There are data mining techniques that can pickup combinations of weapons and related items sales activities and especially if tied to ID.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:27:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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