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Traffic moves past a memorial of 27 small U.S. flags, for victims of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, along Interstate 84 in Newtown, Connecticut December 17, 2012.
The Connecticut Post, via Joe. My. God.:
A false fire alarm, 45-minute waits to get into the Capitol complex, even the heckling of a bereaved parent of a Newtown shooting victim marked Monday's day-long legislative hearing on gun control.

"The Second Amendment!" was shouted by several gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.

I'm going to put "heckling the father of murdered six year old" right at the top of my updated list of signs that America can safely ignore you, or at least not give a single flying shit as to what supposed rights you think you have, but I do want to reiterate one point: For a sizable percentage of America's most aggressive gun fetishists (not "enthusiasts," please—there's a difference between shooting as a hobby and stockpiling guns as your own personal anti-government, anti-society religion) the ability to quickly murder a classroom or two of elementary school kids isn't a bug. It's a feature.

This would be the prime argument of all the loons citing incipient "tyranny" as the reason they deserve guns, and all possible guns at that. If you're claiming that you need your guns because you might need to murder members of the government (yes, that is what "fighting tyranny" comes down to, when you're doing it with stockpiled ammunition), then the ability to murder a large number of people quickly is a prime feature. These aren't people who mumble about needing high capacity, military style weaponry because today's modern deer really need 30 or so shots pumped into them before they'll stay down—they're perfectly blunt about saying they need it because someday, there's gonna be "tyranny," and if they themselves wake up one morning and decide that "tyranny" has come they need to be able to go to their closet, arm up, and start killing people who think otherwise. Often, for some reason that most of the rest of us can't even begin to parse, it's couched in crackpot religious terms, often citing "prophesies" and other Jesus-sounding stuff as the reason why potential mass murder is, well, just around the corner.

That someone can easily dispatch a roomful or two of elementary school children, or college students, or theater-goers, or restaurant-goers with these same weapons is not seen by these people as something that needs fixing—at all. Yes, it's sad that those particular people got murdered, but whether Americans have the God-given right to murder a large number of people quickly, and easily, if they feel the circumstances warrant it is something the tyranny fetishists will go to their graves, or your grave, or the local sheriff's grave believing in.

The other tricky part of this is that (of course) the people most obsessed with defending themselves against government "tyranny" are the people who see "tyranny" in absolutely everything. The United Nations is coming for them; Barack Obama is a crazy Marxist; bicycle paths are a sign of the devil. The most unhinged people among us are the people who have volunteered themselves as the judges, juries, and executioners of any American government figures they've decided they don't like—and those are the people that a large segment of our no-gun-regulations-ever crowd are catering to. Why? You could suppose the NRA, as obvious example, is merely acting as passthru for the manufacturer's lobby, which makes a very sizable income off of crazy frightened people, or you could suppose them to be unironic believers in the tyranny theory of American proto-terrorists someday becoming American freedom fighters—but why does the we'd like to maybe someday be able to kill members of the government theory get so much mainstream love from supposedly mainstream sources?

It seems rather obvious that we could take all the arguments as to why one might need a 30-round clip because of potential tyranny and just flush that entire population from legitimate discussion. If tyranny does come to America, your little closet stockpile is not going to do a damn bit of good against the Air Force, and basing all our public safety decisions around your own little delusion that it might, someday, is not a very good reason for our continued enabling of frequent, convenient mass murder. So that seems a good first step: If you're arguing that people need to be able to speedily murder other people because someday you and your little band of societal malcontents may want to murder the right people, the ones who really need murdering, all of the policymakers concerned with American public safety ought to write off your opinions on the matter from the outset. Then the rest of us can begin to have a discussion on guns in America that isn't objectively, you know, insane.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:30 PM PST.

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

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