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So just for example, there's a discussion about pending legislation on an assault weapons ban; legislation meant to ban weapons and high capacity magazines used in mass shootings and the like. And then suddenly, a gun enthusiast asks what a barrel shroud is. I know I've seen this one before. For the gun enthusiast, it's a pleasant distraction from the bloodshed to talk about the minutiae of guns, not to mention trying to embarrass folks with their lack of expertise.

And so, of course, the same argument that I see here, we have an example of now from CPAC, straight from the NRA.

ThinkProgress has this video and a transcript of Colton Kerrigan, an NRA organizer, explaining his point about an audio clip from an interview with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), where she admits not knowing what a barrel shroud is, although it's in a piece of legislation she supports.

KERRIGAN: These lawmakers who write these laws have no idea what they’re talking about. They’ve never shot a firearm before, they couldn’t tell you what a barrel shroud is. They couldn’t tell you what a mount is for a bayonet. They probably couldn’t tell you what a flash suppressor is. Yet these are the people who are writing the laws saying we need to ban these certain types of firearms. [...] The underlying theme of all of this is, at the end of the day, the lawmakers have no idea what they’re writing, never shot a gun before, and yet they’re going to tell you what you should and should not own to make everybody else safer, yet they couldn’t tell you the difference between the butt or the barrel of a gun.
Of course, Rep. McCarthy's knowledge of gun violence tends more toward the visceral. She is a widow thanks to gun violence, she has been victimized by it personally. But to the NRA, and wherever that clip's from (Fox would be my first guess), she's just an 'anti' in need of shaming.
Gun violence turned Carolyn McCarthy into a widow after her husband was killed during a 1993 shooting rampage on a commuter rail train. But according to the National Rifle Association, the New York Democratic rep has “no idea what [she's] talking about” when it comes to understanding firearms and gun violence.
To the NRA, however, we're supposed to know all these little details. It's not acceptable for anyone to leave this legislative language to experts, to follow their guidance. It's not acceptable for anyone to have not even shot a gun -- not that they know, really, whether or not Rep. McCarthy has, unless she's said so.

This reminds me of the specialized jargon from WoW, and the language I learned when I was more into raiding and maximizing my toon's potential. But I don't know if anyone outside of a fairly small group of aficionados cares exactly why my DK's new dual-wield mode requires a change to his stat weights favoring Mastery over Haste instead of vice-versa. A lot of WoW players will settle for knowing what can you do. How much can you hurt things? Can you please not stand in fire?

So, how important is it to know what a barrel shroud is, and what it's for? Well, for gun enthusiasts like those in the NRA, it's very important, if the aim is to mock a victim of gun violence and neutralize the power of her experience with gun trivia. With that in mind, I offer the example above as a reminder: when you take this NRA talking point and use it, we know what you're doing. It's understood that a disingenuous distraction is being offered in lieu of reasonable discussion. And it should be treated as such.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent point! Can't have enough ammo (7+ / 0-)

    (intellectually speaking) to use against them when necessary.

    This is right in line with the right wing modern tactics of shaming and ridiculing whomever is opposed to them.

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:11:21 AM PDT

  •  Not just an NRA tactic, the RKBA crowd here (10+ / 0-)

    use it over and over ad nauseum.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

  •  It's a tendency of any subculture, really (10+ / 0-)

    Having your own phrases, terms, acronyms, whatever.  Computer people had smileys, which eventually went mainstream.  RPG gamers, Trekkers, Whovians, fly-fisherman, CB radio users, etc., etc., etc. -- the "in" crowd knows the lingo.

    The problem, of course, is that the NRA and other gun rights advocates use that lingo like a series of bludgeons, rerouting and confusing the conversation away from the core issues.  They use those technicalities to dilute even the attempt at serious gun conversation, never mind actual legislation.

    I am utterly sick of hearing how such-and-such isn't really an automatic or semi-automatic or whatever, and then being berated for not knowing the information about guns.  Here's what I know about guns:

    When you shoot them at people, those people become injured, usually bleed, and often die.

    People who carry them out in the open do so to intimidate other people.

    The grand bulk of the people who carry them but don't have the training to use them properly or even safely.

    It is easier to purchase a gun at a gun show than it is to purchase pseudophedrine at a drug store.  Certainly it's easier than getting a driver's license.

    I don't give a shit about the specific tiny differences between different makes and models of guns.  I care that there are too many guns, and they kill too many people.  And, if you use semantics and technicalities to get away from that, you are in effect condoning more gun deaths.

    < / admitted broad brush >

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:48:50 AM PDT

  •  The logic fail is stunning (8+ / 0-)

    The vehicle equivalent would be that the only elected representatives qualified to pass laws re driving, vehicle inspections, speed limits, etc. must also know the minutia of automatic transmissions.

    Or that to be qualified to pass laws restricting pornography elected representatives must know the minutia of how actors in pornographic films are paid.

    Or that to be qualified to pass laws re food safety elected representatives must know to butcher a cow.

    Good grief.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:54:40 AM PDT

  •  So that troll behavior is actually being taught (5+ / 0-)

    by the NRA and some of our fellow Kossacks repeat it?
    Are these the same Kossacks that get all bent outta shape when it's pointed out to them that they are actively trolling? Their feefees get all hurt when they are called on their bullsh!t?
    Luckily they represent a tiny fraction of dKos's membership and if they all GBCW'd they would not be missed.
    What? Too far?
    Fu(k 'em.
    They figure if you aren't a gun nut then you have no right to comment on guns. They don't take into account that some of us have been on the ugly end of guns and that qualifies us to comment and to ACT to control the proliferation of guns.
    There may be responsible gun owners in the world, but these outspoken trolls are not them. They are enablers of the worst of the worst, criminals, thugs and bullies, as well as being unwitting pawns of the Gun Manufacturers.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

  •  All you really need to know is that when you (6+ / 0-)

    pull the trigger of a loaded gun, bullets come out. It's more important to understand that risks guns pose to the owner, his/her family, friends and neighbors outweigh any belief that they will actually perform as advertised by the NRA:

    Pregnant woman shot by husband last week dies

    Link courtesy of:

    Parents Against Gun Violence

    Many gun owners buy a weapon to protect their home. They envision a scenario in which they might use it--a sound in the middle of the night, a stranger in the house. But that "intruder" isn't necessarily a burglar. Sometimes it's a neighbor's kid, drunk and confused, sneaking into your house instead of his own house, which looks nearly identical, on the same cul-de-sac. That's how 16-year-old Caleb Gordley died this weekend. A few days earlier, 27-year old McKaylee Higgs died from a gunshot wound she received when her husband mistook her for an intruder. She was ten weeks pregnant. Last month, an Autistic man in New Jersey got off the bus from his special needs school and walked up to the wrong house. When he pounded on the door, the homeowner shot him, assuming he was a burglar. In the United States, armed home invasions are rare, and accidental shootings are common. A study of 99,000 gunshot patients in emergency rooms in the Washington D.C. area found that only 1% of the injuries were the result of legal interventions. If you heard a noise in your house, what would you do?
  •  Just slightly O.T. (5+ / 0-)

    NPR's All Things Considered is doing a week long focus on gun violence.  Yesterday they did an in-depth piece on one individual shooting death.

    Each year, thousands of gun homicides in the U.S. — 11,000 in 2010 alone — attract little or no media attention.

    In those killings, the victim is most often a minority male between 15 and 25 years old and shot in an urban area. The sheer number of such deaths can be overwhelming, but focus on just one young life cut short and one remembers that statistics represent individuals, each with their own story.

    Charles Foster Jr., 24, was one such young man. He was shot and killed in the early hours of New Year's Day — one of the first gun deaths of 2013.

    There was also a piece on "smart guns"

    For years, many have dreamed of so-called smart guns, weapons that know their rightful owner and won't fire in the wrong hands. Think James Bond's gun in Skyfall.

    They will be doing different aspects of the topic throughout the week.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:55:51 AM PDT

  •  "So, how important is it to know..." (0+ / 0-)

    "...what a barrel shroud is, and what it's for?"

    Well, if you are trying to pass laws affecting them....

    It's Pretty Fucking Important(tm).

    Your hate-mail will be graded.

    by PavePusher on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 11:31:09 AM PDT

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