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Several hours ago, I was going through a typical, overworked Manhattanite's routine of work, Downton Abbey, and Facebook, when I noticed a status update from my niece in Akron, OH. She is a beautiful young lady, in her early 20s -- not much younger than me, since my older siblings were born a decade prior to me. She is the younger of two nieces I love very dearly, and older than a nephew I adore (not least of all because he reminds me of the best parts of myself when I was his age). She had just posted a message of love and grief about the death of a friend, with requests for prayer for another friend whose recovery was and remains far from certain.

I of course stopped what I was doing and got in touch, to see what had happened and to check on her well-being. What emerged is another tale of senseless American gun violence, propagated by yet one more clearly misguided young man. I don't know how much more I have to say about it, but please bear with me below the orange, cloud-like structure...

For perspective, we don't come from the calmest of neighborhoods, back in our corner of the great state of Ohio. There's a great deal of poverty, desperation... lostness. I remember nights during my childhood when my mother would awaken us to get out of bed and into a center hallway, away from windows, lest poorly-aimed guns fire bullets through the windows next to where we slept. My siblings and I have all lost friends to violence. I had my first "recommended" diary one night in 2007 when I woke up to find a man in the kitchen, stealing food. Thank goodness neither of us had a gun: we're both alive.

But my sisters and I, we worked hard to get ourselves out of danger and into the middle class. It may or may not be working for us, but I was always confident my sisters had done well by their children. They provided well for them, coaching them through good times and bad, encouraging the best in them, sacrificing most of their dreams to foster the best in the next generation. In turn, the kids turned into amazing people, who loved their friends and family and made noble decisions rooted in a wisdom I'm not sure I possessed when I was their age less than a decade ago.

How sad it is, then, to see a sweet and gentle young lady I adore come face to face with the ugly reality of a friend's death at the hands of another human being. To know that someone she cared about deeply is gone, and another barely clinging to life, because another person had a gun and decided to use it for ... well, its intended purpose. Can we be honest about that? The purpose of a handgun is to shoot humans. Sometimes (rarely?), it can be used for protection. But so, so often, it's the tool of choice for some lunatic, or moron, or bigot, or fool who decides that some situation doesn't suit him.

About twenty-four hours ago, a fool/lunatic/moron/something barged into a house in Akron. There were several people there, but not his ex-girlfriend. This fool had a gun, and a grudge, and from what I've heard (which is, to be fair, simply hearsay at this point), he intended to kill a young lady he had dated. That's bad enough. But she wasn't there. So this fool then opened fire on other innocents, spraying bullets around a living room populated by teenagers and children. Some of those teenagers protected the children, and two of them were shot in the head.

A beautiful, kind 16-year-old girl is now dead. And another, 19-year-old girl is fighting for her life. And while the local news isn't yet telling who they are in this story... I know who they are. Because they mean something to someone I love. And one of them is dead, and one will please, please live... and the tragic ripples from yet one more absolutely stupid act of gun violence have reached out for hundreds of miles, into hundreds of lives.

I know we'll never get all the guns. And we'll never be able to fully stop all violent fools from harming our innocents. But please, can we do something? At least to say we've tried.

My beloved niece is in mourning tonight. And I hate that. And I don't want to someday say that my beloved, future grandchild lost her friends to a fool with a gun. That shouldn't be too much to ask in "The Greatest Nation on Earth." Should it?

I'm not much of a believer in prayer, but if you are, I know those prayers are appreciated. And if you're a believer in action, as I am... here's a reminder of why we tilt at this uniquely American windmill.

Originally posted to wecandoit7 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Also... bed time... (27+ / 0-)

    Please forgive me if there turn out to be a lot of comments and I don't actively engage for the next few hours. I worked late, composed this between bouts of restless sleep, and now must try to get some shut-eye. But please know I'll be back in a few hours to engage discussion here!

  •  How many more children must die before we (25+ / 0-)

    pass laws that might inconvenience responsible gun owners?

    I find this infuriating and I am far away in MA, so I can only imagine how traumatic this must be for your family (especially your niece).  Thanks for the diary.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:00:39 AM PST

    •  It would seem to be more important (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, KVoimakas, debedb, Joieau, FrankRose

      to inconvenience NON-responsible gun owners, since responsible gun owners are...well...responsible.

      Short of going back in time and uninventing gun powder and guns,  what do you think - really- would have prevented this particular crime?

      Gun Insurance?

      Drug testing?

      Handgun owner licencing?

      Extra background checking?

      Even stiffer penalties for using guns during crimes?

      or is it ultimately the fault of every last person in America who owns a firearm? Because guns are just "murder tools"?

      I think this is as horrible as anybody else but because I blame psychodynamics and not the actual gun, since guns don't shoot themselves.

       I am unsure what can be done about those people who are going to snap.

      Or who simply intend to do wrong.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:52:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is probable (14+ / 0-)

        that none of those things would have helped in this case.

        But they all might help the next generation, and the one after that.

        What I do know is that if we do not tackle, and solve this problem, then we are condemning future children to death because we just couldn't bring ourselves to help them.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:56:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is the ease (23+ / 0-)

        that "responsible" gun owners insist on that has helped create this problem so, yes, they're all going to have to be inconvenienced, so very sorry about that.

        An unsuccessful shoe bomb attack resulted in nine years of inconvenience for every flier in the country. It would be nice to think [this diabolical act] might lead to some similar inconveniences. --mrblifil

        by Debby on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:41:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about responsible car owners? (13+ / 0-)

        Why do they have to be inconvenienced (you know, buying car insurance, getting a driver's license, etc) when the important goal is to keep the irresponsible subset of car owners in check?

        Anyways, right about now might be a good time to re-visit the non-responsible gun owner - e.g., those exemplified by this story:

        10-year-old struck in New Year's celebratory shooting dies

        Suppose it could have been worse, of course . . . .

        Saudi Wedding Deaths: 23 Electrocuted As Celebratory Gunfire At Saudi Nuptials Cuts Cable  

      •  Just keep repeating the mantra "guns don't kill (8+ / 0-)

        people ..."  It is always the holy line among the NRAvangelists and their sympathizers.  It must be one of the holy prayers that they make you guys repeat the most when you have impure thoughts and think about regulations.

        This problem is a systemic problem because of proliferation and it will take years to clean up after we get started.  How can we identify the "NON-responsible gun owners" if we don't even know who the responsible ones are?  Insurance would be a great way of holding those that are irresponsible accountable for any damage done as it would cost those that are irresponsible more than others. The only long-term solution is to to have federal regulations/standards for required safety training, licensing, registration and complete criminal background checks of EVERY single firearm purchase/transfer.  A ban on firearms that shoot too many rounds way too fast would be great, but that will only apply to some of the firearms and the manufacturers/distributors will soon enough find ways to beat the system.

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:55:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They are all perfectly responsible gun owners - (10+ / 0-)

        until they are not. Then there is blood & death & sorrow & the oh so sincere - "what can we do about this?" - throwing up of hands.
        Responsible gun owners are just those that haven't gone off - yet.

        Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

        by rasbobbo on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:22:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No you really don't. (11+ / 0-)
        "I think this is as horrible as anybody else . . ."
        No you don't. If you thought it was as horrible as I do there's absolutely no way you could have written a comment that boils down to "nothing will work, so let's not do anything." Anyone who makes a common sense suggestion in this thread or any other can be sure it will be nitpicked and deemed infeasible by the defenders of the status quo. These defenders range from fire-breathing gun fetishists to gun owners who would like to see a saner world--as long as it doesn't inconvenience them. It's especially grating when these status quo defenders characterize the suggesters as naive, hysterical, or misguided.

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If you're okay with the status quo, you're part of the problem.

        I hope we can find a way to reduce the number of mass shootings by deranged killers who seem to have an easy time buying/getting arsenals legally (examples: Cho, Holmes), or from straw purchasers (example: Spengler), or from family members (example: Lanza). Laws won't stop gangsters and career criminals from getting and using military grade guns in drive-bys and robberies, but at least those guys don't shoot classrooms full of kids. I know it's unlikely that anything meaningful will get passed in Congress, considering the opposition from Republicans, NRA, and red state Democrats. But if it happens, I am ready to be inconvenienced and will not complain even if I have to replace one of my existing guns for a model that complies with the new law.

        •  Very well said! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy

          I'm not sure what might have prevented this particular crime, in terms of regulation. But I suspect that when the full details emerge, there will be identifiable factors that we should look at as a society.

          Maybe I'm wrong. But I completely agree with your point, The Nose: people in years past did nothing, and people are dying now; and we can choose to do nothing now and let people die in the future, or we can inconvenience some "responsible" people. After all, if you're "responsible," you realize that it's not just about you.

      •  What is it with you gun nuts? Someone is murdered (6+ / 0-)

        and you can't even bring yourself to acknowledge that fact.  You can't even bring yourself to say what happened, what "this"--that horrible "this"--actually is. Instead you querulously repost a stupid cliche because you're afraid someone's going to take away your precious gun.

      •  well if the perpetrator was a felon..... (4+ / 0-)

        background checks could help as well as efforts to reduce "strawman purchase" could have helped, including mandatory reporting of stolen weapons, mandatory registration, registration for guns sold at gun shows and mandatory accountability for persons who provided him with the weapon, including sentencing people who make strawman purchases for felons.  I wouldn't be too quick to assume that this individual was a reponsible gun owner or legally entitled to own the weapon used in this crime.

        I would also like to see more protection for women from violent ex-spouse or boyfriends.  Some states prevent such individuals from legally owning firearms.
          We should make it easier for women to get police protection from such violent individuals.

        Why should "responsible firearms owners" object to traceability and gun registration and background checks?  Why should they object to closing the gunshow loopholes?  Why should we not be able to do a comprehensive examination of where each and ever firearm came from used in such a violent assault and come up with regulations based on such case studies?

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:23:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The real danger isn't (15+ / 0-)

    "lunatics" with guns going on rampages, though that happens with alarming frequency in America. It's the "men" and I use the term advisedly, who seem to think they have some kind of unlimited right to murder anyone who makes them feel bad, who "disrespects" them, or who challenges them in any way.

    How many of these (always conservative) "men" are we going to allow to commit wanton slaughter to assuage their feelings of overpowering impotence?

    This entire "debate" is about whether these less-than-men shall be allowed to perpetually endanger the rest of us because they cannot manage their fragile egos and pathetic, overweening self regard.

    Whether they are the gun loonies who swagger around the gun shows fondling their gun-junk-toys and imaging how they will be the super hero during the next Columbine, or how they will single-handedly slaughter the ravening hordes of Obama-loving brown people invading their homes and neighborhoods after the passage of Obama-sharia law, or the young thugs swaggering about too many neighborhoods declaring they are men because they are willing to shoot anyone and everyone for no reason greater than propping up their exaggerated sense of self worth and infinite grievance.

    Crowds of pathetic pseudo-men screaming obscenities into the night, raving labyrinthine lunacies against other pathetic pseudo-men crying obscenities into the night. Waving and groping their pretend cocks for all the world to see. Claiming holy mandate whether from the Bible, the Constitution or their endless demands for "respect." Worshiping their false cocks and false gods with a fervency they cannot muster for the love of their families, their children, their wives, their parents, their nation, or any other human being or living creature. Or themselves.

    This is the final battle this nation faces, against too many of our own "men" swearing vengeance against feeling less than they demand they be treated as. Both the "right" and the "wrong," the white and the brown, the us and the them, are the doom of our society -- our omega, our full-stop, or last and final, our end.

    Will we muster the true courage, the real patriotism, the genuine spirit of holiness we so desperately need to flush from this nation the festering disease of ego and self-justification which manifests in our obsession with and worship of these tiny metal false gods, these over-designed graven images, these bloated man-dildos, these guns?

    Or will we, finally, explode in a final massive, ecstatic orgasm of slaughter, fueled by the delusions of the men who are supposed to be our brothers, fathers, husbands, uncles, lovers, friends, neighbors, and countrymen?

    America does not suffer an excess of guns. We suffer a dearth of men.

    •  Well written, but disagree on one point: America (19+ / 0-)

      does indeed suffer an excess of guns.  When we are 20-30 in the World in science, math, healtcare and one of our few #1 rankings is guns (in absolute numbers, per capita, total deaths and homicide deaths), there is something wrong with the way we regulate (or more accurately, not regulate) the extraordinary number of firearms among us.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:02:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We could have an infinite number of guns (4+ / 0-)

        it is only because we lack a sufficiency of real men that those guns present a danger.

        Many nations have a lot of guns (canada, for example). It is only in America that we have the never ending rampage slaughters and other atrocities associated with our lunatic gun culture.

        •  Canada has 30 guns per 100 people (17+ / 0-)

          and most of them are long guns for hunting. A hand gun is a restricted weapon.

          The more guns the more funerals, that's a proven fact.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:15:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Simple proliferation. (8+ / 0-)

            Everyone's nervous about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction because the chances of us being wiped out as a species rises with the simple presence of these weapons. It disturbs me that it's hard for some people to see how this relates to the proliferation of guns. The stats tell the story; where there are guns, there are bullets with names written on them. The more bullets, the more names...

            I grew up during the end of the cold war when the world was obsessed with 99 Luftballoons and shit. Some of us had a thing called nuclear anxiety and we were right to be that nervous because those bombs were in theory, big fucking guns that would take all our heads off in one swoop. You could no longer rationalize that some people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time or perhaps the leaders of the world needed mental help. You couldn't blame the victims by saying that they shouldn't have been with an abusive partner or pissed off the wrong guy. EVERYBODY ass was gonna get fried.

            We need to take the nuclear approach to the proliferation of guns in America because as far as I'm concerned, the randomness at which people die by guns is just as frightening. It's terrorism. I'm almost afraid to go out. I'm sizing up everyone in the store sometimes, trying to figure out who looks shifty, like they're gonna start randomly shooting. I catch myself doing this like when I was 8 and I would catch myself imagining a bomb burning up the playground suddenly and killing me and everyone in the city.

            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

            by GenXangster on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:07:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The USA has the most guns per capita in the world (0+ / 0-)

            But they do not have the highest per capita murder rate.
            Your 'fact' is anything but.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:41:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A distinction without a difference. We have the (6+ / 0-)

              highest number of gun deaths of any country in absolute terms, and even when reducing it to your preferred statistic (in this case) homicide/murder (of course because suicides NEVER count!) per 100k population the U.S. has far more gun-related killings than any other developed country.  Sure there are small countries with more murders per 100k population, but none in our peer countries; Chile is second and still very far from us.

              If you want to compare us to countries like Somalia, Yemen, Guatemala, Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo because we do "better" than them in gun murders per 100k maybe you should consider moving to one of those countries to see if they really are comparable to the US.

              Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

              by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:00:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Among the industrialized west, which is the only (7+ / 0-)

              valid comparison, we have the highest per capita murder rate. By far.

              •  So we can't compare to Russia or (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose

                Argentina...why?

                Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:11:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because they're not completely industrialized (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DefendOurConstitution, splashy

                  like us. You wouldn't compare our economies to theirs. Why compare our murder rates?

                  •  We also don't have the social safety nets or (0+ / 0-)

                    health care systems of other countries (and also, check poverty levels) so why compare the US to the industrialized west?

                    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                    by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:33:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, true enough (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      drunkenorangetree

                      The US is essentially a third world nation living off the profits and economic successes of the new deal and great society.

                      The goal of the republicans is to turn the US into a complete copy of Somalia or some other war-torn collapsed nation state run by crazed warlords toting their .50 cal machine guns and AK-47s.

                      Soon enough we WILL be comparable to the worst nations on earth: That's the republican plan. Strip the nation of all its material and financial wealth, then burn it to the ground. Move somewhere else, rinse and repeat.

                      The goal of sane people, decent people and good people is to oppose the GOP in every possible way and prevent their plans from coming to fruition. And one of the things we can do  to stop them is take away their guns.

                      I used to be pro-gun, but then I started to read the things the gun loonies say and believe and now I am truly becoming fully no guns, no way, no how. They simply cannot be trusted. They are all utterly insane and incapable of rational discourse. There really is no talking with them because all they ever do is obfuscate, lie, spin, dodge the issue, lie, make shit up, and stick their fingers in their ears and scream lalalalalalala until they turn blue.

                      Just as with trying to "deal" with the rest of the GOP, you cannot deal with people who refuse to take anything but full capitulation and surrender as an answer. So they set the terms, fine. Nothing but full destruction for them. EOM

                      •  And the armed liberals? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        FrankRose

                        I'm an armed liberal for many reasons but here's just one: I live in a very rural/red area and I'm very open about my support for marriage equality, a woman's right to choose, and I try to shoot down all the bullshit I hear when it comes to OBAMUNISM! and all that happy horse shit.

                        They won't ever give up their firearms. And a nation where only LEOs, the military and right wing extremists are armed is not one I'm comfortable with.

                        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                        by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:01:58 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  The US also has the most poverty and least (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas

                healthcare.

                Fixing those would go farther to solve the problem than any form of gun control.

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:43:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Only partly true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DefendOurConstitution, splashy

                  That was the point of my entire diary, in a sense: we got out of poverty, got ourselves away from the gun violence that proliferated in our neighborhood.

                  And yet, my sister's daughter is still seeing friends die in gun violence.

                  I'm a huge advocate of ending poverty and universal healthcare. But eventually we have to get real about guns.

            •  Only semi true (8+ / 0-)

              In the US, we have the 14th highest total number of homicides in the world and the highest murder rate, by far -- 4.2 per 100,000 -- among advanced, industrialized  nations.

              Of the twenty nations with the highest Human Development Index (HDI) ratings, the US, at number four in HDI -- after Norway, Australia and Netherlands -- has a homicide rate significantly higher than any of them. Our homicide rate is one-and-a-half times as great as the next highest nation in gun violence, Liechtenstein, with a homicide rate of 2.8 per 100,000 population (and #8 in HDI). The rates for our nearest economic competitors are even lower: Japan 0.3, Germany 0.8, Australia 1.0, China 1.0, France 1.1, United Kingdom 1.2, Canada 1.6. Norway's is 0.6, and The Netherlands' is 1.1. So, yes, if you compare us to El Slavador and Zambia, yeah, we're doing great. If you compare us to rational comparators, we're number one! In homicides.

              In addition to our homicide rates, the US also leads the world in Spree  killings -- killings in which one person (or, occasionally, two) engage in mass murder and assault over a short period of time for no apparent or direct reason, or for reasons that appear, to an outside observer, opaque or confused. Such killings, unlike many criminal homicides, lack an element of personal gain (indeed, most rampage killers die in the act), nor a political motivation like a suicide bomber. Most appear to have an element of revenge or retribution though, more often than not, such revenge is taken against an inchoate or obscure target, an amorphous “them” against whom the killer is acting-out violently.

              So, again, we are number one in homicides among high HDI nations and number one in crazy people killing strangers for no ration reason. USA! USA! USA!

    •  I'm a man and I have no desire to stock up on guns (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankRose

      and plot a massacre.

      Perhaps my penis is simply sufficient.

      That said, your post needs background music - probably America the beautiful, playing softly as you deliver your impassioned rhetoric.

      Will we muster the true courage, the real patriotism, the genuine spirit of holiness we so desperately need to flush from this nation the festering disease of ego and self-justification which manifests in our obsession with and worship of these tiny metal false gods, these over-designed graven images, these bloated man-dildos, these guns?
      This speech should be given on a balcony.

      Remember to dramatically pound the railing as you make your points....

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:56:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Children are dead, and you try to denigrate (11+ / 0-)

        someone's outrage over that?

        Perhaps you should take some time from the keyboard, as you seem to think someone's 'right' to a gun overrides someone else's 'right' to being alive.

        Maybe spend some quality time with your simply sufficient penis.

        **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

        by glorificus on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:01:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Children are dead. I didn't do it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, FrankRose

          I haven't done a damn thing wrong and have spent many years working with kids, thank you very much.

          You have grossly misinterpreted my post and run well to the wrong end of the field and you are engaging in excessive celebration of your erroneous touchdown.

          Issuing a whiny speech of horseshit and platitudes isn't going to stop another massacre.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:39:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  To NRAvangelists and their sympathisers gun deaths (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ichibon, jan4insight, SilentBrook

          don't count.  They are just an inconvenient part of their "struggle against oppression."  The NRA and their fundamentalists have succeeded at convincing themselves (and many Americans) that they are victimized and under siege by people trying to take away their guns.  I don't want to take anyone's guns, I just want to make sure that they are held accountable for crimes done with their guns so that they will make sure that their guns are kept securely.

          Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

          by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:59:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Always about the glorious me, me, me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, chimene

        That's the real problem. All the feckless men stroking their pathetic little gun-junk complaining that "I never done nuthin' so you can't take MY toys aways! Waaaaahhhhhh!"

        But this is a ridiculous argument for a lot of basic reasons. We do not pass laws restricting criminal behavior in response to specific acts. There is no law that says, "Bob cannot steal a car." We have laws that respond to generic events, the generic theft of valuables, with an essentially arbitrary limit set on so-called grand theft and so on.

        Anyone, using the NRA model can stand around saying, well I never stole a car, why do we have laws against car theft?

        But nobody is a thief until they steal something. We can hardly make ex post facto laws. At the very least because they would be inapplicable to prior offenses. Unless you want to live in a society that can arbitrarily decide that something you did ten years ago is now illegal and you have to go to jail for it.

        Second, we typically and regularly re-evaluate our laws to see if they are effective. 20 years ago, you could buy all the nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil you wanted. Today, feel free to try. We passed laws saying that certain chemicals need higher restrictions. Personally, I hate the fact that every time I want to buy a box of Sudafed, I have to show my license and sign a book. Boo fucking hoo for me. The point is that people buying fuel oil and nitrates, and Sudafed represent a greater possible risk to society at large so we regulate their purchases and behavior.

        And so we can do with guns.

        Gun present a clear and present danger to the people of the United States. We can act as a group to protect ourselves in the best ways we can. And the BEST way, as empirically PROVEN in real-wolrd experiments, performed in real-time around the world is: Reduce the number of guns, restrict their ownership and use, and save fucking lives. We KNOW how to do this. We KNOW it works. We KNOW it will save lives.

        I always love the way Second Amendment absolutists insist that the second A-fucking-MENDMENT can't ever be changed. It's an amendment fer chrissake. It EXISTS as a CHANGE to the Constitution. It can be repealed, replaced, amended itself, cut out with pinking shears and burned, or whatever we fucking want. We can AMEND it. See how that works?

        So yeah, again, the "arguments" of the gun loonies boil down to self-serving sophistry and blather. What a surprise.

      •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously, thats quite the compliment, that I am eloquent enough to sway public opinion in such a way and deserve to be leading the people of America from a balcony. So, thanks.

        Of course that's not what you meant. YOU meant to engage in standard GOP bullshit of redirection, obfuscation and ad hominem attack and spin. You meant to change the course of the debate into insulting me rather than answering the points I raise. But of course you can't do that, can you? I'm right and you know it. You have no rational answer. You got nothing but running away, shouting, "Look over there!"

        Congratulations, you got your Bill O'Reilly gold star for the day. Maybe Anne Coulter will bat her eyelashes at you (eww, I think I just made myself throw up in my own mouth a bit, there. Argh!). Maybe the NRA will send you a cap gun of your very own.

        Pew!, pew!. You can play like you're a real man. Pew!

        P.S. Just another point... you do realize that your sig is the catch phrase of a cinematic mass-murdering hit man, right? Is that REALLY the reference point you want to make in your defense of guns? Really? Just sayin'...

  •  America does "suffer an excess of guns" (14+ / 0-)

    88 guns per 100 people, more than any other country in the world. The solution should start there with that problem.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:13:55 AM PST

    •  Not one of those guns fires itself. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, FrankRose

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:59:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  seriously...the impulse to violence is the problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx, wenchacha

        taking guns away is like trying to put a band-aid on cancer.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:15:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe guns are technically quite dangerous (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, wretchedhive, FrankRose

          because they are designed to control an explosion and hurl a small heavy projectile for the purpose of penetration and destruction - whether it's a can or a moose or an enemy on the battlefield.

          But clearly most people handle them just fine, as they do cars, gasoline, knives, farm equipment and other dangourous stuff.

          Most people are responsible.

          Crime is crime. It has a rate and actually that rate IS decreasing.

          These horrible massacres are a different critter and represent a tiny tiny fraction of human events. Maybe 1/10000th of the population? 1/100000th?

          We can prevent some while other will slip through - it's it terrible and I have no bright ideas on how to prevent the Adam Lanzas and jared Loughners of the world.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:24:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Start with reducing the ease of access (9+ / 0-)

            That line about "Not one of those guns fires itself" is a dodge. The person firing the gun wouldn't be doing it if he hadn't had access to it.
            It is indisputable that irresponsible people have easy access to lethal weapons. 30000 gun deaths per year, 11000 of them homicides, that's evidence. Since 40% of Americans are armed and obviously many of those armed Americans are irresponsible about their guns, that means the responsible gun owners are a small minority of the population. And for the convenience of that small minority, the rest of us, the vast majority, have to put up with the result of irresponsible gun owners having easy access to guns and ammunition.
            Does that sound right?
            When are the responsible gun owners going to step up and fix this problem OF THEIR MAKING?
            Or are they going to try to wiggle out of it and claim it's not their responsibility?
            Because unless they take the responsibility to fix this problem, there is no such thing as a responsible gun owner. The ones that think they are, are fooling themselves, they are enabling the slaughter.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:01:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  47% of US households have a gun. (0+ / 0-)

              The vast, vast, vast majority of them has done nothing wrong.  The problem is NOT 'of their making'. How can you justify infringing on their rights for your percieved security?

              Did you agree with warrantless wiretaps in the wake of 9/11? After all, why should you have the 'convenience' of a warrant, if any attack that uses phones to coordinate would 'enable the slaughter'?

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:48:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you are responsible and have done nothing wrong (8+ / 0-)

                then why are you so opposed/upset by simple and sensible proposals for training, licensing, registration, and real/full
                criminal background checks?

                I know you will respond that there are many regulations, but there is no federal registration, training or licensing requirement. Background checks are a federal requirement with a huge loophole and thus only cover about 60% of firearm sales (private sales are exempt and many dealers qualify as private sales because of the loopholes), and even then they are not full criminal background checks as those typically take a couple of weeks (the ones now are just a quick check on an incomplete database that lists many people that are banned from owning guns, but not even close to everyone that is banned from owning guns such as convicted felons).

                Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:06:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you have done nothing wrong, why are you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FrankRose, xxdr zombiexx

                  so opposed to just letting us search your house or listen in on your calls or....

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:12:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Because my free speech is not killing over 30k (6+ / 0-)

                    Americans every single year.  In any case your comparison is incorrect as you should be comparing it to items I own that could cause/result in harm to others: my home and my car - both are registered and insured.

                    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:23:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, over 1/2 of those people kill themselves (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FrankRose

                      so at least stop distorting that number.

                      Or do you think that people don't have the right to take their own life?

                      Also, something I missed the first time through: Either you're a licensed dealer or you're an illegal dealer. The only legal ones are those with an FFL.

                      My comparison is right on the money with your "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" BS.

                      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                      by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:45:36 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Suicides count too. They are gun deaths. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DefendOurConstitution

                        Whether they have the right to suicide is not the issue.
                        Many of them would not have happened without easy access to weapons, either.
                        You can split hairs all you want, it just proves to all how irresponsible you are. Absolutely refuse to take ANY level of responsibility for the carnage and litigate any argument therefore.
                        This whole string shows exactly what I was saying: the "responsible gun owner" is so rare as to be non-existent. It's like "Clean Coal", it's bullsh!t.

                        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                        by CwV on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:49:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Every gun owner is responsible (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          KVoimakas

                          for every killing.

                          Great logic.

                          Every drunk is responsible for every drinking-related death.

                          All those people who go to NASCAR events sponsored by Bud are supporters of alcohol-fueled mayhem.

                          Clearly.

                          Now, about those tobacco users......

                          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

                          by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:39:04 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's right, misunderstand. On purpose. (0+ / 0-)

                            Of course that's not what I said.
                            It's the insistence that guns and ammunition be freely available, uncontrolled, to anyone who wants them, when it's obvious that a lot of people are getting them, that shouldn't.
                            And then rationalizing and twisting the argument to avoid having to admit the plain truth: the proliferation of guns and ammunition have created a dangerous situation for everyone because irresponsible people have too easy access.
                            This is the kind of dishonesty that makes having a "conversation" with gun...owners impossible.

                            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                            by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:22:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am not a gun.....owner (0+ / 0-)

                            How many motherfucking times do you need to be told this?

                            Anti-gun folks shoot themselves in the foot with this histrionic "if you don't foam at the mouth with us you;re responsible for dead kids" shit.

                            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

                            by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:35:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You may not be a gun owner (0+ / 0-)

                            but you use the same dishonest arguments, you shuck the responsibility for them.
                            Do you really not see how fighting for easy access to weapons impacts all of us, all of society?
                            That particular blind spot is crucial.

                            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                            by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:13:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You INSIST on being obtuse. Please proceed. (0+ / 0-)

                            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

                            by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:43:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now you are projecting. (0+ / 0-)

                            Another dishonest tactic employed by extremists. Do you take lessons for this or does it come naturally?

                            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                            by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:54:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  And my right to keep and bear arms hasn't killed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      KVoimakas

                      anyone.

                      I will continue to compare constitutional liberties to.....constitutional liberties.
                      Shockingly, I find that appropriate.

                      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                      by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:56:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, YOUR right has... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DefendOurConstitution, CwV

                        And MY right has. OUR collective "right" has resulted in many, many thousands of deaths and injuries. At least get real about that.

                        The question is, are you ok with that? You seem to be. I don't think I am. Given my druthers, we'd get all the guns, lock them up, and save a lot more lives.

                        That won't happen, of course, not here. Not with "responsible" people like you around, guaranteeing those guns stay on the streets and in homes. So, we'll nibble around the edges. And I don't want to hear your whining.

                        •  The concept that rights have limits (e.g. when we (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Agathena

                          start infringing on others' rights) is not something that their sacred text allows them to consider.

                          I would love to have a discussion about that, but it is futile to try to engage them (just like it is futile to engage an anti-abortion nut regarding fetus viability, except the anti-abortion nuts are not responsible for as many deaths as the NRAvangelists are).

                          Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                          by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:05:38 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The 2nd amendment wasn't written strictly for me (0+ / 0-)

                          It is a right protected by the Bill of Rights for all Americans.

                          And our rights are not subject to your feelings of insecurity.

                          'Whining'? Nah. I prefer 'voting'.

                          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                          by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:42:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  This is not about you, it's about thousands of (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DefendOurConstitution, CwV, madhaus

                        victims killed by too many available guns in the country. Your (you and the other gun hobbyist's) responses are glib and mocking in light of the tragedy of the diary.

                        JohnWelch's quote here.

                        ❧To thine ownself be true

                        by Agathena on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:23:13 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  A telephone's purpose is not to kill (8+ / 0-)

                DO you understand that we have a major problem in this country with gun violence? DO you get it that a large number of these gun deaths would not happen if the perpetrators had to go through so effort to attain their weapons?
                Obviously, you refuse to step up to the fact that your lobby for your hobby has put all of us in danger by squashing sensible regulation and yes, I understand that it's a pain in the 4ss to have to register your guns and take a test for a permit, it's a pain in the 4ss  for me to have to go through engineering inspection to register vehicle I built for road use. It does prevent me from building a vehicle that uses a rocket motor because that would threaten the safety of everyone else on the road. That's a reasonable regulation as is the one that says I must have brakes and headlights. I'm less enthused about insurance, but it is also required in order to get a plate. It doesn't prevent me from building it, it's just one more thing that is involved in this hobby.
                Preventing regulation of weapons, lobbying to prevent regulation, arguing against regulation are pure dodges of responsibility. You can't call yourself responsible then dodge that responsibility.

                If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                by CwV on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:09:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  There comes a time... (5+ / 0-)

                There comes a time when being "responsible" is to understand that it's not just about you. As a gun owner, you may have to be inconvenienced to save some lives.

                Get over it.

            •  If that drunk driver hadn't been drinking (0+ / 0-)

              if we had just banned alcohol....or at least had laws regulating its use, where you can use alcohol and laws about not driving drunk.

              Sure lots of people use alcohol responsibly, but this is just a dodge - alcohol kills. Period. You cannot argue it away. Dead is dead.

              Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 24,518

              In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver

              Where's the petition to ban it?

              Are people so enamored with alcohol they rationalize leaving it legal?

              We can go on like this all day.

              The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:36:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Alcohol IS controlled (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                madhaus

                if not for the laws, many more people would be getting killed by drunk drivers. The laws all over the country were toughened up in the last two decades and sure enough, drunk driving accidents and the death rate have gone down. Your example proves my point.
                And no, it's not 100%, and neither would gun control solve 100% of the problem, but it would make a dent in it.

                If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:29:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Actually... (8+ / 0-)

          ...I think anything short of removing them is like putting a band-aid on cancer. Removing them would be more like eliminating cigarettes. While it wouldn't wipe out cancer, it would significantly reduce it.

          I wouldn't worry about it. People will still have plenty of ways to kill each other. They'll just have to work a little harder at it.

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

          by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:46:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the majority of u.s. gun deaths are suicides (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankRose

            factor in "suicide by cop" incidents, and its share grows.  

            Firearm suicides

                Number of deaths: 18,735
                Deaths per 100,000 population: 6.1

            All firearm deaths

                Number of deaths: 31,347
                Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.2

            but the majority of those gun-related suicides are carried out with a handgun, or at least not the kind of guns an AWB would touch.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:08:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And suicides don't count as deaths? n/t (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              itsjim, SilentBrook, mungley, splashy

              Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

              by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:08:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's okay too. (4+ / 0-)

              There are still plenty of other ways to commit suicide. Nobody is proposing a ban on ropes.

              This stat is misleading. Nobody needs a semi-automatic handgun to commit suicide as, if done properly, it shouldn't require more than one shot.

              I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

              by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:14:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  but that misses the point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, FrankRose

                if the majority of u.s. gun deaths are suicides, the problem is suicide.  as you say, they'd find another way in the absence of guns, so let's address the suicide.

                as for banning types of guns, i just don't see any not-toothless measures getting out of congress, not anytime soon.  and it would consume everything and gun deaths would continue apace until it got sorted.

                but there are less dramatic solutions that can be implemented a lot sooner.

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:18:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

                  How about people who survive being shot, but whose quality of life is significantly and permanently diminished? Do you have any numbers for that? Is that not germane to this discussion? How about people who are not shot, but are traumatized just by being there? The effects of gun violence transcend simple body counts.

                  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

                  by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:49:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  more murders by firearms than all other methods (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  splashy, madhaus

                  added together.

                  Stop trying to justify the enormous number of guns in the USA. You can pull out all the stats you want, you are defending a deadly weapon, how idealistic and relevant is that?

                  ❧To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:27:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i'm not defending anything except reality (0+ / 0-)

                    like it or not, the second amendment exists.  given that, we have no choice but to find solutions that don't involve banning guns, like ending the war on (some) drugs.  repeal the tiahrt amendment.  strengthen the social safety net.  etc.  

                    an AWB would likely face an injunction as soon as the ink was dry.  so its implementation would be delayed -- gun deaths proceeding apace all the while -- as it all wended through the courts; do you really expect this SCOTUS to rule the way you want should an AWB be challenged on constitutional grounds?

                    most gun deaths, in addition to being suicides, involve handguns; the guns/incidents that would be affected by an AWB account for 2% of u.s. gun deaths, tops.

                    so, if one were serious about addressing (gun) violence, one would not advocate putting everything on the line for a solution that could only address 2% of the problem.  not if one were smart, anyway.

                    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                    by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:45:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  The desire to own guns is related to the impulse (5+ / 0-)

          to violence, they go together like a fever and a flu.

          The flu needs to be cured, but it would be great to take something to spell the fever in the meantime.

          "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

          by ranger995 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:16:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, you're sounding like a Chatty Cathy (4+ / 0-)

        who's been loaded with NRA slogans.

      •  The more guns, the more funerals (3+ / 0-)

        a great number of guns, a great number of funerals.

        I've heard all the gun peoples' responses before, they even bring up abortion rights into the discussion. The excuses are getting tired. There needs to be gun conrol. period.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:45:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My condolences, sympathies, and prayers. nt (9+ / 0-)

    Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

    by Sharon Wraight on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:24:11 AM PST

  •  A coward with a gun is still a coward. (14+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of terrified people out there with guns. The suburbs were built on white flight, the fear of the city. Some of the children of those who fled to the suburbs "rediscover" the city and move. This just removes those who aren't afraid, and concentrates the fear.

    I live in Minneapolis, which in 2009 Forbes Magazine listed as the safest city in the country. But many suburbanites are absolutely convinced that Minneapolis is about as dangerous as Kabul or Baghdad. They call Minneapolis "Murderapolis". In the mid-1990's Minneapolis did have a BRIEF spike in murder rates, but that quickly disappeared.

    I've had co-workers who were afraid to come to Uptown Minneapolis (aka yuppie central) for lunch on a noon on a weekday. They were convinced that they would be taking their lives in their hands. The only thing scary in Uptown is the prices at the antique store.

    I grew up in a very small town. In my experience, when people from the small town movie to the city, they wind up in the suburbs, where they get a constant message of how terrifying the city is. They don't learn from experience or evidence, but from what the terrified people tell them. It's hard for people to go against what everyone around them is saying.

    I had a classmate who moved into a very safe second-tier suburb. She felt scared, so she moved out into the far exoburbs. She still felt scared, she wanted to move even farther. She simply took her fear with her. No matter how safe she was, she still felt scared. You can't run away from yourself.

    This fear sells a lot of guns. It makes people feel they need to carry their gun everywhere. It makes them feel that they need to be ready to shoot at an instant's notice.

    There are also a lot of people who feel that their gun isn't just a device for self-defense, but feel that the gun makes them "manly".  If you're afraid that the big boys are going to tease you, a gun isn't your solution. A coward with a gun is still a coward. They talk about "second amendment remedies", as if they have the right to shoot to change things they don't like. A gun is never a legitimate solution to feeling angry.

    Of course, I'm not saying that all gun owners are cowards. But there are a lot of people out there who are have irrational fears.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:27:54 AM PST

    •  I live in Southwest Atlanta (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, Joieau, FrankRose

      most middle class white people I know wont go there 'without a gun'.

      Racism is at the core of it: Southwest Atlanta is predominantly poor and black and there is a serious crime rate down here but the racism and gun culture ideology is what creates this nonsense.

      I can count 3 times I felt like I needed a gun. All 3 times were in traffic where I cannot run away nor fight somebody engaged in terribly threatening behavior. Other than those times, which I clearly survived, I can't really say I have felt I 'needed' a gun (other than to rid my yard of rodents).

      I am a psychotherapist and I am distracted by the fact that fingers of humans must load and pull triggers as well as choose targets. Gun banners like to ignore this but it is important.

      Criminal minds are going to do what they want. Laws clearly do not change that; they merely provide a framework with which to punish wrong-doers.

      Disturbed people are going to be very unpredictable and what is needed is a way to predict the future, essentially: who is likely to do what?

      How many times have we heard: "He was so quiet. He was such a nice guy"?

      Even though people aren't clearly stating it, I think a lot of the anti-gun crowd has a fantasy of a complete and total ban on all guns. I am unsure what they think will actually work short of a complete ban.

      And a complete ban = the war on guns.

      Careful what you wish for.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:08:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Always the NRAvangelist line, "nothing can be done (13+ / 0-)

        except take away our guns, so we must not allow for anything to be done!"

        We can require training, licensing, registration, and real/complete criminal background checks on every single gun purchase.

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:38:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How many times have you... (5+ / 0-)

        ...needed a semi-automatic assault rifle with a 30 round clip?

        It seems to me that banning those type of weapons would go a long way toward cutting down on the massacres.

        At the risk of over-generalizing, it seems to me that many people are intent upon living out their fantasy of the American wild west, as seen on TV. Fine. If anyone wants to be a gunslinger, they can strap a Colt 45 to their hip. Let's see how good they are with a weapon that is heavy, inaccurate, and requires the hammer to be cocked between shots. Anyone could clean up Dodge City with a Glock.

        I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

        by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:20:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many times have you 'needed' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas

          to talk on a phone that isn't wiretapped without a warrant?
          How many times have you 'needed' to choose a religion?
          How many times have you 'needed' to give your political viewpoint?
          Rights are not about needs.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:12:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  False Equivelancy. (5+ / 0-)

            None of the rights noted above are likely to directly impinge upon another person's fundamental right to life, which is, you know, one of the inalienable ones. Besides, I'm not advocating complete revocation of any right, just a limit to the amount of mayhem they can potentially cause. Otherwise, why stop at semi-automatic weapons? Why are you not advocating free access to fully auto? Or portable rocket launchers? or tactical nukes?

            By the way, there is nothing in the constitution preventing us from deciding that maybe something in it wasn't such a great idea.

            I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

            by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:33:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is an apt equivelancy. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas

              I find infringements on liberties to be equivelant to.....ya know.....infringements on liberties.

              "None of those rights noted are likely to impinge upon another person's fundamental right to life"
              Nor is the right to keep and bear arms.

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:39:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right. (3+ / 0-)

                Because everything is black and white, with no shades of gray.

                All liberties have limits, as discussed ad nauseum in any high school government class. You still can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, or engage in human sacrifice, or commit treason.

                It seems that many people aren't satisfied with the right to keep and bear arms. They want the right to keep and bear arms without conditions or limits. Funny how that mindset only seems to apply to the 2nd amendment.

                I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

                by itsjim on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:15:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You can be just as free to keep and bear arms (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DefendOurConstitution

                without an assault weapon with a 30-round high-speed clip.

                How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

                by athenap on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:34:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  By that token, you are 'just as free' from (0+ / 0-)

                  unreasonable search and seizure with warrantless wiretaps.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:42:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

                    The questionable constitutionality of warrantless wiretapping has nothing at all to do with regulating dangerous firearms. It's a distract-and-redirect.

                    If you are forbidden to own an assault weapon and a high-speed magazine, you are still free to walk around with an entire arsenal of weapons and ammunition, and keep your bear arms.

                    And quite frankly, if you need an assault weapon and 30 rounds to hit something, you are the person who should not be owning the gun.

                    How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

                    by athenap on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:47:30 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Beacuse we know that irresponsible phone owners (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SilentBrook, wecandoit7

            cause so many deaths every year, right? Deaths proven from US citizens having phone conversations - ZERO (OK there may be a few, but I cannot find documentation of any). Deaths of Americans every year from firearms - 32,000 and growing.

            I know that in your religion, deaths in the defense of the sacred 2A text are just ignored as inconvenient (and discounted. e.g. suicides don't count!), but to the rest of us that are not religious the 32,000 deaths every year is a problem that must be addressed.  I am sorry if the real/sensible solutions that will reduce that number of deaths offends your faith.

            Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

            by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:34:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Theism has caused more damage than firearms (0+ / 0-)

              do yet we continue to allow this in our country.

              Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

              by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:46:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How many have died from theism in the US in the (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                itsjim, wecandoit7, splashy

                last 10 years? Not too many.  If we go back to 2001 and include 9/11 (and the War on Terror) as a consequence of theism we still have less than 12,000 American deaths because of theism (too many to be certain, but I want to put a number on it).  That is unless we count as theism the NRAvangelist religion that you so fiercely defend; then since 2001 we are approaching 400k American deaths.  

                I find that I must agree with you, theism is really damaging to this Country - the fundamentalist cult created/fostered by the NRA (aided by a majority of our Congress that has been bought out or threatened by the NRA).

                Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:12:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  400k (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DefendOurConstitution

                  I never stopped to think that through, before. 400,000 human beings are gone because of this country's obsession with guns.

                  That's basically one major American city wiped out. Would we tolerate the loss of one city per decade to terrorism or natural disasters, without doing something?

                •  Heh. You want to get into that argument? (0+ / 0-)

                  The pain and suffering religious idiots foist on us because of their beliefs? How 'bout the motivation behind some of these shootings? No motivation, no reason to commit the crime.

                  And I was thinking the last 2 thousand years, not just 10.  

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:04:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  How about just a few inconveniences (4+ / 0-)

        You need a vision test to drive a car. You don't need a vision test to have and handle a gun. Why not?

        If part of responsibly owning a car is carrying insurance in case it causes damage during your owning and operating it, then why not carry insurance on your owning and operating your firearm?

        If part of responsibly owning a car is the testing of your skills and abilities to safely and correctly use it in the presence of a trained officer of the law, then why not the same for a firearm?

        Your car is licensed and registered and must be renewed and sometimes inspected on a yearly basis to ensure it's in correct and safely working order. Why not your firearms?

        Put plain and simply, firearms are dangerous things. In a stable, civilized society, it makes sense to trade some of the "conveniences" of unrestrained possession and use for regulations that keep those dangerous things from misuse. Carry insurance. Demonstrate your competence. Ensure your firearm meets safety standards for operation and storage. Most of these things make sense anyway--you wouldn't want to find out during the zombie apocalypse or the revolution or whatever that your gun wasn't kept up properly or that you can't shoot straight to save yourself from the hungry dead.

        How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

        by athenap on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:32:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I find it ironic that you mention 'cowardice' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas

      while supporting infringing on liberties for percieved security.

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:08:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ooh! The last refuge of maligned religions attack (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, wecandoit7

        the messenger.  I mean, how dare A Citizen express their opinion if it is offensive to your 27-Word Gospel?  Doesn't A Citizen know that the First Amendment gives your religion the freedom to shut up everyone else and that the Second Amendment makes your religion so sacred that suicides, children or any other innocent deaths don't count?

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:16:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Another dumb argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution, splashy

        Sorry to keep harping on how stupid some of your arguments are, but this one in particular is... well moronic.

        To call gun-limitation advocacy "cowardly" would make sense, if, say, people weren't actually dying all over the place by the thousands each year.

      •  There's no irony. (0+ / 0-)

        There are in fact cowards with guns out there. Many people do have grossly exaggerated ideas of just how dangerous the world is.

        Does the Second Amendment allow people to have nuclear weapons? If you do not, then you are stating that there should at least be some restrictions on what arms people may have and where they may have them.

        If you don't think people should be able to have nuclear weapons, then why is your interpretation of the appropriate level of restrictions the only legitimate one?

        In any case, my point wasn't about gun restrictions, I think the real problem isn't guns, but the extreme levels of irrational fears that many people have.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:12:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And you want to limit American's current liberties (0+ / 0-)

          out of fear.
          Hence, 'irony'.

          "real problem isn't guns, but the extreme levels of irrational fears that many people have"
          Couldn't agree with you more.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:20:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is interesting (0+ / 0-)

      Since I have known quite a few "city" people who have been afraid to be in the woods.

      Many people of color are afraid to be out of the cities, because they are rightly afraid of the whites in the rural areas. I have known several people with family or friends of color that bring them in at night and take them out at night, without letting them be seen by the locals.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:36:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another murderous young person (8+ / 0-)

    Guns aside, where are we going wrong, that so many of our young people have a desire to kill people?

    What happened to these kids, who grew up with a desire to kill people.  Shouldn't we find out?   Is there something we should be doing for the kids of our country BEFORE the murderous urge is upon them?

    I believe that each of these young people, who pulls out a gun and shoots other people, at one time had potential, had a chance to become somthing other than a murderer.   Why didn't we, as a society, realize that potential.

    Our economy is in the dumps.  Is it because we are wasting on of our greatest assets?   Our kids?

    I'm not arguing against gun control, but there is a much deeper problem, kids who are not getting what they need to grow into the kind of adults who DON'T go around killing people.

    I really think we should be asking that question.

    What did these shooters need, as kids, that they didn't get?

     

    •  There is a lot that we MUST do in education, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, wecandoit7, splashy

      mental health, social justice and many other areas, but that does not mean that we can just ignore firearms as they are the instrument of this carnage. All civilized democracies have those issues as well (granted that not as bad as we do), and yet the only clear difference between them and us is the huge number of guns (approaching or already past 1 for every single person) and the huge number of gun deaths that accompany it.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:04:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are other differences (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, SilentBrook, wecandoit7

        I feel that we are ignoring the kids, and focusing on the firearms.

        By all means, pass the legislation, but an angry kid with a knife or a molotov cocktail, or a two ton car can do a hell of a lot of damage.  

        I don't agree that firearms are the only clear difference.  Other differences include our media -- how our news agencies and even our government play up fear with scare stories and "alert levels",  our health care system that makes mental health care difficult to access, our educational and justice systems which address a five year old's temper tantrum by calling the police and putting the child in handcuffs, and many other differences.

        Google "five year old in handcuffs" and see the long list of five and six year olds in the united states treated like this, and see how many other nations appear in the list.

        None.   There are serious problems in our social system, and it starts from the top -- our government.  Our "alert levels".  Our obsessions with "security", and our contempt of "socialism".

        There other differences.  This is NOT just about firearms.

  •  What would you rather have? (6+ / 0-)

    A kid who values life and knows how to solve problems and deal with his anger?

    Or, a kid who can accurately guess which of the several right answers it the "best answer" on a standardized test?  

    Are we focusing on the wrong things in our public schools?   If these kids aren't getting it at home, then school is one of the few opportunities that we have to help these kids.

    Why aren't we pouring the same resources into helping kids grow up emotionally healthy, as we are in teaching them how to scribble in the bubble?

  •  The problem lies not with doing something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose
    I know we'll never get all the guns. And we'll never be able to fully stop all violent fools from harming our innocents. But please, can we do something? At least to say we've tried.
    the problem lies with what needs doing.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:56:01 AM PST

  •  Clearly we need to agree on how many deaths (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, SilentBrook

    are OK in order to preserve this right and the benefits that it provides for society. In my opinion 32k plus are way too many and we need training, licensing, registration, and real/complete criminal background checks to begin to slow down the carnage.  Sure that won't stop Newtown or the next 10-12 mass shootings we will surely have this year, but it will reduce mass shootings in a few years as firearm owners are held responsible for the deaths that occur with their firearms AND it will reduce the number of firearms out in a loosey-goosey market that keep supplying criminals with most of their firearms as owners will not just sell to any character that has money (and not report the sale).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:39:05 AM PST

  •  Lots of back & forth opinions here about (4+ / 0-)

    what to do re: gun control/laws.

    Here is a fact - 507 men, women, children killed by guns since Newtown (as of 1/4).

    As of this morning November 7, 2012 the Includers are ascendant, and the Excluders are in the minority. [samsoneyes]

    by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:10:00 AM PST

  •  I'm so sorry. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, splashy

    Thank you for this diary. My condolences for your niece and I'm hoping the other victim will fully recover. It broke my heart to read about this. I'm still so bewildered that society allows atrocities like this to happen.

    I'm not much of a believer in prayer, but if you are, I know those prayers are appreciated. And if you're a believer in action, as I am... here's a reminder of why we tilt at this uniquely American windmill.
    This is a very, very inspiring quote. I'm atheist but I'm sending positive vibes to your niece and the families of the victims (not to mention the victim in hospital herself) and modestly donating to gun control groups whenever I can. This fight is incredibly important, and it will be a fantastic day when senseless murders like this can be prevented by sensible legislation and a national change in attitude. I'm so sorry for your niece.
  •  I read about this tragedy this morning (0+ / 0-)

    doing research for a piece I'm writing, and I was so saddened by it...two beautiful girls, and such a brutal, senseless crime. I read that the 16 year old was 4 months pregnant too.

    My heart goes out to your niece and everyone else who knew these girls. I pray that the young lady in the hospital makes a full recovery.

    You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

    by SwedishJewfish on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:27:37 PM PST

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