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Brilliance

[ 50 ] April 6, 2012 |

Hard to see the problem here…..

Florida leads the pack in passing bills written by the gun lobby that block any sensible attempt to control the purchase and use of firearms. The dangerous folly of these laws was on display in the Trayvon Martin shooting, and will again be on display when Republicans gather for their presidential convention in Tampa this August.

The City Council is sensibly preparing tight security precautions for the downtown area by temporarily banning clubs, hatchets, switchblades, pepper spray, slingshots, chains, shovels and all manner of guns that shoot water, paint or air.

But not handguns that shoot actual bullets. In other words, someone outside the convention hall will be entitled to pack a handgun, but not a squirt gun.

Comments (50)

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  1. c u n d gulag says:

    ‘Put down THAT Super Soaker! You could put someone’s eye out with that thing!

    Here, grab a gun instead, and blow a Liberals head off!
    The lefties will love it that we Conservatives, in at least this one case, are for water conservation!’

  2. R Johnston says:

    Gives a whole new meaning to the term “gun exchange program.”

    I used to be in favor of gun control as a default position that seamed sensible.

    Then for a while I had decided that gun control simply wasn’t worth the political capital needed and opposed it for what I thought were pragmatic reasons.

    Then I realized that the people advocating against and writing the laws against gun control were a combination that consisted exclusively of obsessive hobbyists and paranoid delusional lunatics who shouldn’t be allowed out of the house, much less allowed within 100 yards of a firearm or a blunt butter knife. Since you don’t negotiate with crazy people, gun control once again seemed the right path.

    • Ben says:

      Gives a whole new meaning to the term “gun exchange program.”

      There are some crazy libertarian groups that hold “guns for toys” programs. (Sometimes the guns are realistic toy guns, but still). The Daily Show did a funny piece on one awhile back.

      • R Johnston says:

        I didn’t know that, but it hardly surprises me.

        Sigh. The world is a thoroughly ridiculous place. I eagerly await the coming of our alien overlords.

        • Steve LaBonne says:

          Never mind overlords, after reading stories like that I eagerly await the coming of the Vogon constructor fleet.

        • dangermaus says:

          They’ll probably be even bigger assholes than we are.

          Or I mean, exactly as big assholes, but at us, from spaceships.

      • Hogan says:

        Libertarians in NYC protested a proposed ban on fake-but-real-looking guns by going to a public school in Harlem and handing out free toy guns. The teachers and parents had a word with them (“getthefuckouttahere” is a word, right?), and the libertarians left hastily in a cab, taking most of their toy guns with them.

      • mark f says:

        A few years ago a guy in Western Mass. brought his 8-year-old to a gun show and decided to allow said kid to shoot an Uzi. The kid lost control of the gun and sprayed bullets everywhere, including into his own head.

        Gun nuts immediately protested that neither the gun, nor its easy availability, nor any of the people who let the kid hold and shoot it were to blame.

        It was just one of those random, unpredictable, unavoidable tragedies.

    • DrDick says:

      I am a gun owner, but I strongly advocate really strict gun control laws with accessible records for law enforcement. There are just a whole lot of people out there who should never be allowed anywhere near a firearm.

      • R Johnston says:

        I have nothing against gun owners who support reasonable gun control, even if I disagree with their decision to own a gun and even if there’s argument at the margins about what qualifies as reasonable.

        Anyone who gives money to or voices support for a Wayne LaPierre outfit, on the other hand . . .

      • rea says:

        “well-regulated”–where have I heard that phrase?

        • Holden Pattern says:

          Before “sex life” or “reproductive choices” in a Republican platform?

        • R Johnston says:

          I know where you’ve seen it, but I’m guessing that the Republican target demographic has seen it, if at all, only in laxative commercials.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Too many progressives telling themselves things like this…

      Then for a while I had decided that gun control simply wasn’t worth the political capital needed and opposed it for what I thought were pragmatic reasons.

      …are among the reasons that the Overton Window is where it is today, not simply on gun control, but also on the death penalty, taxes, healthcare, the war on (certain classes of people who use certain) drugs, defense spending, and countless other areas where “the left” has spent a quarter century trimming its sails and negotiating with itself.

      Glad to hear you’ve abandoned that view, R Johnston!

      • Lee says:

        Yeah but we still have the problem of how to practically implement gun control without amending the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that the 2nd Amendment creates an individual right to bear arms. This makes most gun control laws rather difficult to pass let alone implement.

        • firefall says:

          It’s not an unlimited right to bear arms though – just as the first amendment still allows some constraints on speech (defamation springs to mind)

        • rea says:

          like I said above, “well-regulated.”

        • R Johnston says:

          The Second Amendment, whatever else it does and however else it’s been horrifically abused by courts in recent years, is not about protecting a hobby. It is, even after the courts have abused it, about the right to maintain guns for use as tools, even if we still fight about which tool uses of guns are specifically at issue.

          The Second Amendment certainly doesn’t prevent registration laws, criminal laws mandating the prompt reporting of lost or stolen firearms, or laws preventing the purchase of guns in far greater numbers than they could ever be needed for use as tools by the purchasing party.

          The Second Amendment doesn’t prevent laws that require gun owners to have enough knowledge about firearms that it’s at least possible for them not to be reckless in their handling of firearms, nor does it prevent laws that hold that the right to own and possess guns is in fact a privilege that can be forfeited as a criminal penalty.

          The Second Amendment doesn’t prevent reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on gun possession and use any more than the First Amendment makes it unconstitutional to punish a false shout of “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.

          The Second Amendment does not prevent laws holding that unmedicated paranoid delusional lunatics with itchy trigger fingers who think the One World Government™ is out to get them are people who should be kept as far away from guns as possible.

          Each of these points is disputed by loud and crazy people, but none is in legitimate dispute by sane people.

  3. DrDick says:

    I do love the whole (literal) “hoist upon your own petard” element in all of this. I do hope that the imminently predictable blood bath does not happen, but it would serve them right.

    • JL says:

      Yeah, as someone tentatively planning to be a protest medic for the RNC protests, there are a whole bunch of scenarios that I REALLY hope don’t happen here.

      • DrDick says:

        I am not anticipating attacks on the protesters, but a shootout at the (not)OK Corral in the convention center between Romney supporters and those of Santorum, Paul, and Gingrich seems entirely possible.

    • joe from Lowell says:

      But, of course, it isn’t “them” who would be served. They would be doing the serving.

    • efgoldman says:

      I do hope that the imminently predictable blood bath does not happen.

      Even if it does, there will be no useful reaction, just hand wringing. We’ve had plenty of bloodbaths over the last several years (VaTech and the Gaby Giffords shooting for two) leading to exactly zero new statutes or rules.

  4. patrick II says:

    I don’t think many, if any, of the liberals protesting at the republican convention will be carrying. But I do wonder what an angry floridian teaparty crowd will look like the next time they are upset with healthcare or whatever other Koch infested idea hits their small minds. If a cop hits some of those people with a baton it might get serious.

    • BradP says:

      If a cop hits some of those people with a baton it might get serious.

      This line brings all sorts of detours to my mind:

      1) I gotta think there would be some heavy duty cognitive dissonance in that situation.

      2) Similarly, I wonder what would happen if a “Stand Your Ground” law were applied to the shooting of a police officer, specifically whether there would be any point where someone might be justified in defending themselves from police assault.

      3) I would like to see a study on the effects of gun pervasiveness on police conduct. Unfortunately, I don’t think there would be a tipping point where militaristic aggression gave way to more peaceful resolutions.

      • mark f says:

        1. On both sides! Unless the cop paid attention to the news from Wisconsin, I guess.

        2. In Florida, and I assume every other state with something similiar, the law explicitly excludes a right to self defense against law enforcement.

        3. It seems to me that holding a weapon makes a person more aggressive than worrying about someone else having one does. See: George Wetpants Zimmerman and every cop equipped with pepper spray or tasers.

    • Hogan says:

      At the Utah Republican convention in 2001, there was much grumbling because Cheney was coming to speak and the Secret Service wanted the delegates to check their iron. Apparently it’s pretty standard to pack heat at these things.

      • Matt says:

        Can’t they just hand out rulers marked in centimeters but labeled in inches? Would accomplish the same result… ;)

  5. Njorl says:

    While shovels may be banned, I intend to bring a spade. Then when they tell me they don’t allow spades, I will have a Breitbart moment.

  6. Uncle Kvetch says:

    Then when they tell me they don’t allow spades, I will have a Breitbart moment.

    You mean you’ll have a ragegasm and collapse and die face-down in a puddle of your own bile? I know we all have to go some time, dude, but that hardly seems like something to wish for.

    • Njorl says:

      I was thinking about taking the quote out of context and using some unethical editing to ruin some poor schoe’s life, but dying in rage and bile has some appeal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here’s what I’ve never understood about 2nd Amendment absolutists: how are “pieces of wood, hard tubes or anything else that could be used as a club, as well as … explosives, switchblades, hatchets, slingshots, brass knuckles, Mace, chains, crowbars, hammers, shovels, or any container containing urine, fecal matter or other bodily fluid” not arms? How come the NRA doesn’t protect my right to carry a broadsword around?

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