Skip to main content

Growing up in Arizona before the Phoenix valley was paved to within an inch of the mountains around, it meant I grew up in a "well armed society".  People hunted, though I never saw any hunters brandishing machine guns at deer.  You kept one handy for "varmints" as my grandpa used to call the rattlers in the cotton gin yard.  And, if kids were around, they went to "gun school" given by the local NRA.  I can still recite with accuracy what I learned at age 6.  1. If you see a gun, don't touch it, get an adult and show them where it is.  2. Only pick up a gun if you intend to use it.  3. Don't point a gun at a living thing unless you plan on firing it. 4. If you fire a gun, know that you will likely maim or kill a person. All the rest was target practice.
   The I spent 20+years in Alaska, where, in many areas, the varmints are huge, hairy or ill tempered and that's just the wildlife.  In both of these heavily armed states, there was murder and other crimes committed, but it was fairly rare for folks to have actual gunfights over things except for maybe a few claim jumpers.  
   Now, with my current state of Illinois being the final state passing the "concealed carry" law.  I fear that the chance for a "polite society" once hoped for in the U.S. has become another myth.   Within the last 48 hours, two high profile shootings took place.  One in a movie theater over a phone call to a babysitter and one in a junior high in the rural Southwest.  On the face of it, they look radically different.  Shooter 1 was a retired policeman and shooter 2 was a Seventh Grader but, the things that motivated them were probably very similar.  (Below the fold for more)

Bear with me please. We'll start with the proposition that "guns don't kill people, people kill people".  I, myself, don't believe this, but we can use it as a starting place.

 Why do people feel they have the right to point a gun at anyone and fire it?

Perhaps it begins in fear.  Fear of the other, the different, change, of loss of property and "stuff".  So, now you have a bunch of folks who are scared to death of other people and they are armed.  Doesn't sound like too good of an idea does it?

Or it could stem from self righteousness i.e. I am right, that person is wrong, an argument over phone use BEFORE a movie somehow caused a retired police officer, who had to know the rules of gun safety, to shoot 2 people!  Yes, there was some popcorn tossed, but popcorn versus a bullet, twice?  Though the police officer said he was "afraid of being attacked."  By popcorn?  A fist?  Or was he afraid the other man might have a gun too?  See how that works?

Some seem to see it as a problem solver or a way to level the playing field. "That big kid was mean to me and I'm going to finish it like I do all day everyday on my Single Shooter on my game console."  Which leaves us with a thought process of "If I have a gun, the fact that person is bigger/stronger/faster/meaner than I am won't matter".  Hm, looks like fear again.

And some see it as a way to get leverage in any situation. In re, "I have a gun so I can take your stuff and you can't do anything about it."  Again, they are afraid, in this case of not having "stuff".

It seems to me that, in emulating the Wild West era, we've failed to remember the history of the West.  Gunfighters were only heroes in movies.  In reality, they were punks, bandits and gamblers who cheated.  They also knew that if they got a reputation as being "the best in __" someone would come gunning for them in a glory grab.  Gunfighter was not a job you usually retired from, at least not willingly.  Heavily armed fearful people were the reason a lot of Western towns had "leave your iron with the sheriff" laws.  Even the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ came about because someone in one group was afraid someone in the other group was "gunning" for him.  In time, most Westerners left off wearing or using a gun in "polite society".  It meant we were civilized not to carry.  Now, everyone wants a gun and wants to carry it anywhere. Now, the 24/7/365 fear mongering on TV, radio and Internet has made us more afraid of Not owning a gun than the chance we might kill someone.  All this walking around with a gun on our hip might make us feel less fear right up until we meet another person walking around with a gun.  Both guns are loaded with fear, by a fearful person with a hair trigger.

Originally posted to Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 12:19 AM PST.

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

Poll

Do you, yourself, own a gun?

29%28 votes
45%43 votes
7%7 votes
2%2 votes
15%15 votes

| 95 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

    by Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 12:19:33 AM PST

  •  Where did you live in Alaska? There are Kossacks (5+ / 0-)

    from up there though I'm not sure how they connect to the internet, or how wifi works in igloos.

    I figured this might be a place for a couple links for gun safety, especially for kids.

    I like your rules #1, 2, 3, 4, but I'd add that #3 should read. Don't point a gun at a living thing unless you plan on destroying it. the idea being that guns do more than fire.

    The NRA has a fairly non controversial program for gun safety for kids that is presented in a very non advocacy sort of way. No need to be a member, the cartoon character can only be shown or used in places without guns, the cartoon character is never shown actually holding a gun. Rather than describe it just look here.
    http://eddieeagle.nra.org/...

    Thier 3 rules are more for parents not kids, the idea being kids should not touch and leave the area.

    I don't own or carry handguns. I also try to never be rude to people because they can and always could come unglued and kill you. I've got a wife and kids. I have more responsibilities than just to myself. Doesn't matter whether the country I'm in allows guns or not. Being rude can have disastrous consequences, it's always been this way everywhere.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 04:08:49 AM PST

  •  I'm tired; I hate guns; in tired of people getting (4+ / 0-)

    Killed for nothing like that now evil 71yo murderer did. We were a great people now we are a bunch of cowardly bullies who need to kill each other to feel safe. Stupid & evil is winning in America since Nixon.

    2nd amendment = murder, death, kill of any vestige of civilization.

    The NRA & RKBA can go to hell instead of making it here.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:14:47 AM PST

  •  We've recreated "The Wild West" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arianna Editrix

    With our "Drug War", which is really a war between our own government and its own citizens -- a civil war -- we have successfully recreated "The Wild West".

    If we want The Wild West to go away, then the government needs to stop intruding into the privacy of individuals and interfering in their rights to make personal choices.

    The money from drug sales needs to be channelled towards taxes and legitimate business, instead of towards massive criminal institutions that proliferate the use of guns and violence in our society.  This is our only hope of somewhat reducing the proliferation of guns in our society.  

    Repeal the controlled substances act.   There's nothing to lose.  It's not working, anyway.

  •  "An armed society is a polite society" (3+ / 0-)

    Actually it's the other way around.

    An armed society doesn't result in a polite on; just look at Somalia, Mali, etc.

    It is a polite society that allows for an armed society. In a polite society, one would say "I'm sorry", "I do beg your pardon", "Oh, no, entirely my fault", "No worries, mate" etc. before reaching for one's sidearm.

    Of course, a polite society would probably make carrying to be superfluous

    •  And now you know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      Why I titled my piece "Guns v Polite Society".  The divisiveness and sheer rudeness in today's' US culture is downright scarey withOUT guns to back up the BS.

      ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

      by Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:41:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all about fear. (6+ / 0-)

    I guess if you are scared of everyone and everything, clutching a gun makes you feel safe, or something.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:22:15 AM PST

  •  Problem is with or without guns... (0+ / 0-)

    we do not have a polite society here in America.  Not sure if we ever did.

    •  Nice where I'm at (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Design the Future, old mule

      Teenagers on skateboards dressed in Goth when I say "how you doing?" answer "real good sir".  People smile when they pass you on the street and often say hi even though they don't' know me. Often when I go to shovel the old folks walk someone has gotten there before me. You don't hear public cursing, just isn't done.

      We're a mix of colors and 25% low income, but that doesn't mean we have to live in a mean place.

      If you don't like the rudeness where you live, move. But please, whatever it is with manners back where you come from, leave all that behind you. Thanks.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure where you are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        But I've seen it in many places and in all classes of people.  I have actually had folks freak when I let them go in front of me in line because they only have a few items or wave them into my lane of traffic.  My mother raised me right.

        ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

        by Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:45:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd agree (0+ / 0-)

      But I have hope, have to, I have kids.  It hasn't been that long since it "just wasn't done" to be so rude in everyday interaction with people, whether you know them or not.

      ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

      by Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:43:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If it bleeds, it leads. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arianna Editrix

    The quest for ratings led to shallow, sensationalist news programming, which has resulted in an overly fearful populace with really shitty risk assessment skills. My two cents.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:36:44 AM PST

    •  There have been more school shootings in the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, a2nite, WakeUpNeo

      first 3 years of this decade, 2010s, than any other decade since 1776.

      I wonder how that applies to theater shootings. You have your Fords' Theater.  But not many or maybe even any till Aurora.

      Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

      by 88kathy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:35:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, I'm happy to see you, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, a2nite, WakeUpNeo

    I have a JJE in my pocket.

    (Judge, jury, and executioner)

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:29:41 AM PST

  •  Nice diary (4+ / 0-)

    It's the fear.  Agreed.

    On this:

    Why do people feel they have the right to point a gun at anyone and fire it?
    I take some comfort in the fact that some jurisdictions may allow people to carry a gun but little else.  I'm not up on all the levels of law in the tapistry at work, but I liked headlines in last Sunday's Chicago Tribune:
    Permit to carry gun not license to shoot.
    A lot of gun owners don't even know their local laws regarding guns.  In the next neighborhood over from mine ( a dense suburban area of Chicago) a guy saw some smoke so he grabbed his gun and went over there anticipating there might be trouble.  It was a barbeque of course.  I wonder how people felt there if they saw him watching them with his gun.

    On another incident he heard what sounded like a gun shot down the block so he grabbed his firearm and went investigating.  The police arrived too so this yokel got a lesson as the police had him on the ground with a boot on his head.

    If this nation were not so full of cowards and fools our police would not have so much of this to deal with.  I just hope law enforcement and government in Illinois can continue to get the word out that carrying a gun does let you take it out any time you feel like it.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:39:31 AM PST

    •  sheesh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      carrying a gun does NOT let you take it out any time you feel like it

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:41:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I spent a year in Washington Park, Chicago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      in a week last summer.  I am a volunteer teacher for the Freedom School there and we had no A/C in July.  Still it was wonderful to even be a part of it.  Here's the weirdest thing, I live in St. Louis, the most segregated city in the US and I do outreach into the poorest area, and I was in the heart of the 'hood in Chicago.  In both places, I've been accosted by police officers who've both asked the same question, "Do you know where you ARE?".  And I've had to reassure them that I was there on purpose, knew what I was doing and didn't need "a ride out". Oh, did I mention I have a melanin deficiency?

      ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

      by Arianna Editrix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:53:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site