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Monday, October 24, 2016

I am running out of words.

Some crackpot who couldn’t get a date stabs and shoots his way across the Southern California college town of Isla Vista, killing six people and wounding 13 before apparently turning his gun on himself. This happened Friday night. And what shall I say about that?

I mean, I know how this goes. We all do. Weren’t you sort of expecting it when the father of one of the Isla Vista victims blamed his son’s death on the NRA? Would you really be stunned if the NRA countered that none of this would have happened had there been more guns in Isla Vista? And now, this is the part where I am supposed to offer context, to mourn these losses and use them in an argument for sensible gun laws.

We’ve seen it all before, in Newtown, in Tucson, at Virginia Tech, at the Navy Yard in Washington, at that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. We’ve seen it so much that there is by now a rote sense to it, a sense of going through motions and checking off boxes, of flinging words against indifferent walls with no real expectation the words will change anything — or even be heard.

So I am running out of words. Or maybe just faith in words.

Which ones shall I use? “Sickening?” “Obscene?” “Grotesque?” “Tragic?” You’ve read them all a hundred times. Do they still have power to punch your gut? And what argument shall I use those words to make? Shall I observe that a gun is a weapon of mass destruction and that mentally impaired people should not have access to them? Shall I point out that as a statistical matter, a gun in the home is far more likely to hurt someone you love than to scare off a burglar? Shall I demand we hold our leaders accountable for failing to pass some kind of sensible laws to rein this madness in?

And if I do, do you suppose it will make any difference?

  • Daniel Jones

    ***SCREW*** faith.

    I have nothing but outrage.

    I humbly suggest Wayne LaPierre and every other whack job that continues to want to have these obviously unready hands filled with shooting irons be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

    • wjca

      Someday, someone will write a really fascinating study of how LaPierre took the NRA from being concerned about hunting and gun safety (and, incidently, supporting gun control laws), and turned it into a massively successful marketing arm for the gun industry. It really has been amazingly successful as a PR effort.

  • Melda Page

    Yes, I am going to get some T-shirts condemning the NRA and wear them all summer.

    • neeceoooo

      Let us know where we can all find one and we will wear them proud.

    • stcroixcarp

      Just make sure that you wear an American flag over your heart and head, They won’t shoot the flag.

      • Annemb

        Ah, but they do shoot the flag – each time they wear a rifle!

        Great post!

      • If there was a buck to be made, they would floss their butts with the flag. These people have absolutely zero allegiance to the United States; all they care about is power and money.

  • Independent1

    Sadly, in an effort to do nothing more than sell more guns for the gun lobby and enlist more members for its club, the NRA will continue to spew the lies t that “guns don’t kill, it’s people that kill” and that hundreds of people use a gun to protect themselves every day! Both of those statements outright lies!!

    Numerous studies have shown that reducing the presents of guns does in fact save lives. In countries around the world where guns are less prevalent, violent deaths are much lower. There is only one other country on the planet where violent deaths caused by guns, knives whatever, exceed 1/100,000 population/yr and that is Finland. The U.S, stands alone as the only country in the world where violent deaths/100,000/yr exceed 3. And that’s because although violence in and of itself is no higher in the U.S. than in other countries on average, when people involved in violence end up in the hospital in foreign countries, they much more often end up dead in America. And why is this, because somewhere along the line, a gun was handy and easy to use during the violence- SO GUNS DO KILL!!! Because without them, millions of people that are dead today in America, would still be alive.

    And the notion that a gun will actually protect you, is an absolute myth. Sure, there may be a instance here and there where if you happen to have a carry permit, you may flash a gun in an intended robbery or violent situation and scare off the perpetrator, but the is far less frequent, than being caught where having that gun on you or trying to use it to stop a robbery will end up with you dead, rather than just having been robbed and still be alive. Numerous studies have proven what Mr. Pitts said, that a gun is a far greater liability, and greatly increases the probablity that someone will end up dead, than the gun will ever serve as a true object of self defense.

    And as Mr. Pitts also said, posting facts time and again seems like a waste of time, because those who seem to have been so hoodwinked by the NRA’s lies, are just determined to not believe the truth!!

    But just for the record, here’s the link to a study recorded on the medical related government website of the state of Utah, the only red state by the way where life expectancy is projected to be beyond the age of 80 while 9 blue states have life expectancies beyond 80 (part of the reason for that being that red states in general are far more violent than blue states and also on average have much higher incidences of gun ownership. Even that should tell gun lovers something but I’m sure it won’t:

    The issue of “home defense” or protection against intruders or assailants may well be misrepresented. A study of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides (Kellermann et al, 1998). Over 50% of all households in the U.S. admit to having firearms (Nelson et al, 1987). In another study, regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home (Dahlberg, Ikeda and Kresnow, 2004). Persons who own a gun and who
    engage in abuse of intimate partners such as a spouse are more likely to use a gun to threaten their intimate partner. (Rothman et al, 2005). Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession (Branas et al, 2009). It would appear that, rather than being used for defense, most of these weapons inflict injuries on the owners and their families.

    And here’s the link to some of the most important anti-gun stats you’ll ever want to read – and they come from a red state website – it’s not some politicians in a gun hating state making them up:

    • charleo1

      Very well said, Indy. As usual, logical, informative, fact based, compelling. And, regrettably, I’ve resigned to conclude, futile. Futile, due to any number of the same litany of customary reasons we always end up talking about. When by any measure of common decency, the course of action is obvious. And yet, our efforts to compel lawmakers to do the right thing, are first frustrated, delayed, and then at the final hour, defeated by the same big money backed, special interest forces, that always seem to win out. Because sadly, sanity has no lobby. And the blood of innocents, nor the tears of devastated families, are not recognized as legal tender, at the alters of gov. So the slaughter continues on, and will do so it seems, as far into the future, around the bend, then into darkness. And we cannot determine if there will ever be an end to the madness. Only that if it does end, this will not end well. Not well at all.

      • LotusJoan

        I lost all hope when Joe the Plumber said that “dead
        children do not trump his second amendment rights” and nobody booed and the media did not treat it as obscene, unintelligent, selfish and self-serving.

        • charleo1

          Please, LJ keep your hope. J.the P. is the equivalent of the guy who claimed his son was accidentally carried away by a balloon he was blowing up in his backyard. Because he hoped to turn the publicity he so badly craved, into his own reality show. J. the P. like the balloon guy, hoped to turn a single incident with Barack Obama into a career. J. the P. needs to learn a trade, and get a job.

    • The NRA’s business model sums up in two steps:

      1) Neuter the government’s ability to prevent criminals and crazy people from acquiring guns, and its ability to provide security against criminals and crazy people.
      2) Tell everyone else that the only option they have to protect themselves is to buy a gun.

      It’s the same scheme the villain from Mission: Impossible 2 had when he threatened to release the Chimera virus on an entire country so he could auction off the vaccine. It’s the kind of capitalism that scared the Russians into accepting socialism for so long.

  • idamag

    We’ve seen them on television – the belligerent uglies with their semi automatic rifles strapped to their backs, a bullying look on their faces and a chip on their shoulders. Are they the new leaders of our country? What have we come to when the nuts rights to carry guns supersedes the public’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? When a compromise came to pass – a smart gun that would only fire for its owner, the NRA says no compromise with a silly demonstration of a man trying to get his bracelet on during a home invasion. If you are so G-D afraid of home invasions, wear the bracelet to bed. When our streets, theaters, fast food places, schools, and malls become bloody war zones, for crazy paranoids, then we will stay away from them. Merchants, listen.

    • Barbara Morgan

      The lady that came up with the smart gun has been harassed and threatened by gun owners who are members of the NRA and associate groups because she dared ti invent something that won’t enrich the NRA and the people it fronts for, gun and ammo makers, but will save lives. All the gun toting bullies you see on TV would probably mess and wet themselves if a loaded gun was pointed at them aimed at their head or heart.

      • idamag

        That is what I think of all those paranoids, quivering in their night clothes, waiting for a home invasion.

  • holyreality

    Words have no meaning when set against a meme that your dead kid does not pre-empt my gun rights.

    2nd fetishists fantasize that they can use their popguns to fend off tyranny, whether it is too much gummint, or roving gangs post apocolypse.

    Only by penetrating the protective shell of their delusion will emotion give way to logic, until then we will see handjobs carrying rifles into fast food joints, to shoot up the place, or just intimidate, we will just never know.

    • It’s not fending off tyranny that they fantasize about. It’s threatening to murder anyone with whom they disagree. The NRA and the Tea Party they support have given up on ever having majority support, which they now hope to compensate for with brutal totalitarianism.

      Yes, I said it. They don’t fantasize about fighting tyrants. They fantasize about BEING tyrants.

      • holyreality

        That is a big projection there m8. 🙂

        I must agree that handjobs bringing their semi automatic rifles to the fast food joint is tyrannical. I see most offenders as taking it oveboard before thinking their decision through.

        If they thought about what others are supposed to think, they might see for themselves how it is a bad idea. With so many public slaughters, of course everyone will expect they will begin spouting fire and metal at any point.

        This intimidation is not going to help anyone, except the folks who throw about terms like gunnuts. Ego gratification loses it’s luster when everyone sees you as a loser capable of mass killing threatening their children.

        Now if Gomer and his pals ever thought of this, or maybe a wife could mention this, they have sufficient brains to see the difference.

        But then again, getting carried away with emotional bonding with fellow fanatics over a misled idea seem to be the basis of the Tea Party. Ergo I do see your point that they just want totaltarian rule, so long as it is them and not liberals.

        • idamag

          My cousin owns over 100 guns. He is a collector. He is not nuts. He doesn’t go around with a semi-automatic strapped to his back or a pistol on his hip. I have guns. They stay locked up at home. I am not quaking in fear and need to have them out and loaded. I use the word gun nuts to describe the beligerent, bullet-headed no-necks I see on television with their jaws thrown out in a bully stare. If you are one of those, you are a gun nut.

          • holyreality

            Unfortunately fear has taken over public perception and ther is little difference in their eyes between the idiots we see in restraunt carparks brandishing their weapons, and folks like your cousin and myself.
            I do own a few examples of “assault weapons” with hi capacity magazines. They never see the light of day unless taken to the range. Stored disassembled, it takes an experienced responsible adult to configure them into a deadly machine.
            If I were to see such losers in my face like that I would need to kindly explain how their actions are perceived and to please put their pride in their car.

  • stcroixcarp

    Until we give up glorifying violence and murder in our entertainment, the killing will continue. Start by boycotting violence. When peace is profitable, violence will stop.

  • Peter Brown

    The time to act is long past, it passed when our forefathers passed the Second Amendment to create a weapons industry in our colonies. Now I noticed recently that the redcoats are gone, most of the Indians are either on reservations or running casinos and that a vast majority of bears and wolves have ceased requiring our daily attention. So the reasons for the Second Amendment have gone the way of slavery, women allowed in voting booths and the right to drink alcohol. Maybe we no longer need that amendment since clearly it has become a liability we should shun.

  • Michael G

    I agree with most everything that has been written in these discussions, but the one overriding factor to me is this: Most of these gun toters are generally illiterate and emotionally driven. As such they do not have the capacity to invoke logic or reason, and since reason is not automatic, and deniers of reason cannot be conquered by it, they should not be counted on to give up their gun illusion on their own. Although this recent shooting is a bad thing, perhaps this time it will be the catalyst that awakens those of us who have our mental faculties in order and get us to the place where change can not only be demanded, but can be made by changes in leadership in the upcoming elections.

    • idamag

      That is the type of people that can be scared into buying guns for protection or taught that their government is a separate entity that they are supposed to fight instead of support.

  • leadvillexp

    So it goes, blame the NRA. The boy was mentally ill. The warnings were not heeded by the police. If looked at, three of the people killed, that’s half, were stabbed. At least two more were run down by his car, I am not sure if it was three. That brings it to three killed by gun and six wounded. Guns are a tool like knives and cars. All can kill and do. You hear very little about the stabbings and people crushed by the car but much about those shot. If he had not had a gun how many more would he have run down with the car? He shot himself. He was bent on killing as many people as possible. We now have laws to protect the mentally ill and let them roam free. Until they do harm they can do as they please with no oversight. Because he was not involuntarily committed he had a right to own a gun even if crazy. If he had been committed by a Judge he wouldn’t have been able to buy a gun or they could have taken them. The police didn’t even enter his house after a call from his parents. Banning guns and the NRA would not have stopped him.

    • idamag

      You know what you NRA people are to blame for? Promoting paranoia and ignorance and fomenting mental illness. You are guilty of fighting any kind of solution. The immediate rejection of the smart gun shows what you are. Yes, you are guilty in some cases. Yes, you fight background checks that might show up some of these types of mental illness. Yes, your Joe the Plumber says his gun rights supersedes the emotions of the victims’ families. He was talking about the grieving father.

      • leadvillexp

        I know you have read my posts in the past so you should know that I have made suggestions on background checks. Yes I am an NRA Life member and a Republican. I am against gun laws that do not work, including the most recent proposals. I have suggested in many posts licensing all gun owners and users. The licence could be added to the drivers licence. It could be done as CDLs Hazmat is now with a Federal background check every five years. It would be the same and good in all 50 states just as a drivers licence is. This doesn’t hurt the Second Amendment as there is no firearms registration. The proposal now checks you once when buying a firearm and never again, even if you are convicted of a felony. The drivers licence could also be used to buy ammunition or firearms with one swipe through a reader to find out if it is still valid. I am against knee jerk laws based on emotion such as the New York Safe Act. This law is all wrong and will soon fall.

        • idamag

          I find you are an intelligent person. However, your thoughts are at odds with the present NRA. I have a friend who taught gun safety with the NRA and when he saw where they were going he quit. You probably will, too. You talk about knee jerk. What about the widespread paranoia? What about the NRA teaching people to be against their government? Did you see the silly demonstration against smart guns? Did you notice the belligerent bully looking people on the platform? You don’t sound like the type of person who can relate to thse people.

          • leadvillexp

            Whether Republican or Democrat, NRA or Handgun Control, I find that all go to the extreme and there is no compromise. I have voted both Parties in the past elections. I vote for whom I believe serves the best public interest. The only way to change a Party or Organization is from within, so you stay and try. The best laws were made by people that took time, argued their point and then compromised, something you don’t see today. One problem is after a shooting or disaster people want immediate action. Good or bad do something. Emotional people do not always think rationally. Lawmakers need to let the emotions settle and then look for ways to try to see that it doesn’t happen again. As a final thought, compromise is the name of the game.

        • charleo1

          My impression is, you are an example of the usual NRA Life Member. That has a great deal of respect for the responsibility that come with the Right to bear arms. That realizes that that Right, like all Rights come with responsibilities. That if our Constitutional Rights are allowed to be abused, or otherwise used for ulterior purposes, such as lobbying for a private party, or driving a political agenda. That that can create the possibility of endangering, and making that Right, whatever the Right might be, a political target. And, that should not happen. As the vast majority of Americans of all stripes, support The Constitution. All of it. And would support your logical, common sense approach of keeping that Right safe, by not disguising it as a law, that prohibits the sanity of keeping guns out of the hands of people we know to be untrustworthy. We already know there are going to be people we don’t know about. But, the NRA says that’s the reason they don’t agree with you, their own elite membership. They claim, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Now, they want to create a world where anyone may carry their guns on their hip. Right into the Long Branch Saloon, or the Denny’s where my wife, and I like to sit down for breakfast once in a while. You see what I’m talking about? Maybe he’s a level headed,responsible, law abiding gun owner, such as yourself. But, all I know about him, is he can inflict upon my life, and my wife’s breakfast, anything he chooses. Now, I want to leave. They want me to buy my own gun, and holster, don’t they? To push people around in that way. Well, maybe I don’t like the Second Amendment as much as I thought anymore.

          • leadvillexp

            While my ideas may differ from some NRA members not all believe in showing off such as these people have. Walking into Denny’s, Chipotle or Starbucks showing a gun is just plain stupid. It scares innocent people like your wife and who do you think the bad guy would shoot first? If you look at Newsmax, America today you will find an article about this. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action calls it weird and foolish. They also make a point that people who normally would accept gun rights question if they should. Thes people are just attention getters and should be asked to leave by management.

          • charleo1

            Yes, thanks! I had coincidently caught the dust up between the NRA, and the various open carry groups in TX. after writing my comment to you. It was welcome news. As was your comment as a life long member of the NRA… Itself, a refreshing departure from the usual fanatic, that too often drowns out, what I suspect is the vast majority of gun owners. I’ll say this, your voice, and the voice of other like minded individuals, are sorely needed to carry the message of responsible stewardship of the 2nd Amd. Whatever people of good conscience, and level heads, determine that to be.

  • Robert Presti Jr.

    Most of the posts here are an attempt to control the minds of the idiots. I’d be willing to bet car stereos or cell phones kill more people. Should we ban them as well, along with dogs that will kill some children?

    • idamag

      And you graduated from Harvard, summa cum laude?


    The United States is in a death spiral. You say its not about guns then how is t that other countries have tougher gun laws, as in Australia, and have about twelve gun deaths a year. You say it isn’t about class and the fastest growing sector of the workforce is prison workers. Third world diseases are rife in the United States. Education levels are slipping. But you can still fund two foreign wars and bail our corporate failures. There won’t be anyone left to pick up the pieces. The U.S. is doomed.

    • charleo1

      If we could require all politicians to wear on the outside of their $1000.00 suits, the names of their sponsors, a la NASCAR style. It just might go a long way in reminding people, why that guy is saying what he’s saying. And we’d get a little sanity back in our public policies. Oh, he’s saying there may no infringement of anyone’s Right to bear arms! Wow, look at that big gun lobby patch on his lapel, and what are all those down his sleeve? Military contractors. Great!