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On Metaphors and Violence

[ 1,035 ] December 18, 2012 |

The last couple of days have been a bit challenging for me. Being attacked by a David Horowitz wannabe for saying I wanted to see Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick has led to a world of fun, ranging from a meeting with the Rhode Island State Police last night to people inundating the University of Rhode Island community with warnings of their murderous colleague in their midst.

So to clarify, I want to make it blindingly clear that I did not call for the assassination of Wayne LaPierre. In my world, calling for someone’s head on a stick is a metaphor to hold them responsible for their actions. I think the last time “head on a stick” actually meant murder was sometime around 1450. That anyone would take this seriously as a murder threat is completely absurd. What stinks about it is that it has now involved my family, colleagues, and university. So I’ll apologize to them and to anyone legitimately offended by my metaphor.

If we go to the Urban Dictionary to see how it defines “head on a stick,” there are several options. Some range around medieval violence. But this is the actual definition in use today:

A metaphor describing retaliation or punishment for another’s wrongdoing, or public outrage against an individual or group for the same reason.

After the BP Oil Spill; many Americans would like to see Tony Hayward’s head on a stick, myself included.

This is the obvious definition I was using. Do I want to see Wayne LaPierre punished in the way many of us wanted to see Tony Hayward punished during the BP oil spill or the way many of us wanted to see Dick Cheney punished during the Iraq War. Of course. That would mean real accountability for causing immeasurable harm to families, nations, and/or nature. Do I think the National Rifle Association is culpable for the murders of thousands of people in the United States and Mexico because of the policies they support? Yes. Do I think it is reasonable to call the National Rifle Association a terrorist organization? Although obviously using more than a little hyperbole, yes. It is defensible precisely because the polices they support facilitate the terror unleashed in Newtown, at the Clackamas Town Center, at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, at the theater in Aurora, at Columbine.

And in Springfield.

In 1998, my high school Spanish teacher was killed by her son Kip Kinkel before he went to his own high school and opened fire, killing 2 students and wounded 15. This is personal stuff to me. I will never forget the moment I heard about it. I was driving in east Texas when I stopped to eat. I picked up a paper and saw it. I don’t know what noise I made, but whatever it was it caused everyone in the restaurant to turn and look at me. I just started shaking. I was never a gun guy, but it was a fundamental moment in my political life. So when I see yet another school shooting, I get very angry and emotional. If that occasionally leads to unfortunate language, well there’s the reason.

But let’s also be clear–these people KNOW I am not calling for LaPierre’s assassination. They use language far surpassing anything I would ever say all the time. Here is Glenn Reynolds, so outraged by my intemperate language, asking “can we see some heads roll” over the Benghazi attacks. Does Reynolds literally want to see the head of Susan Rice decapitated from her body? Of course not. It’s a metaphor. I wouldn’t have even looked twice at that line because I know exactly what he means, even if I disagree with him. Not to mention that Reynolds has quite literally called for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. But I am today’s subject of the right-wing Two Minute Hate. Tomorrow it will be some other poor sap. This is all a game to these extremists, seeking to turn the tragedy of Newtown to focus on the real victims here–American white conservative gun owners. The fact that my intemperate language helped give them a lever to try and turn that narrative is unfortunate and I apologize for it. But of course they would have found any number of other people or situations where they would have done the same thing.

And look, if I used violent metaphors, that’s a bad thing. I will admit that at certain moments such language might become part of my vocabulary. But then I’m a product of the same violent culture that makes real discussion about guns virtually impossible in this country. Scholars such as Richard Slotkin and Richard Maxwell Brown have spent whole careers exploring the theme of violence in American history. Others have noted the massive violent underpinnings of the United States ranging from antebellum mobs to lynchings to violence in the popular media. I probably shouldn’t use that language and certainly will be a lot more conscious going forward of not using it again, particularly since it doesn’t help in the battle against actual violence. Violence is a huge societal problem that influences all of us in various ways. Some may use violent metaphors to express their frustrations. Others join organizations that support assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons being in the hands of anyone without any sort of background check or regulation. I’ll leave it to you to decide who is the bigger problem.

Comments (1,035)

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  1. Hired Mind says:

    So, Erik calling for the murder of someone is freedom of speech, but calling his employer and telling them about it is an attack?

    Just want to make sure I have that correct.

    • MAJeff says:

      Time for a refund.

      • Aaron says:

        “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

        OMG… Vivisection! Animal abuse!

        “If I may play the devil’s advocate….”

        OMG… You’re a Satanist!

        “You’re beating a dead horse.”

        OMG… You’re such a liar. I’m nowhere near a horse!

        “I call ‘shotgun’”.

        OMG… it’s just a car ride and you want to turn it into a drive-by shooting?

        “Speak of the devil….”

        OMG, again with your Satanism!”

        “Everyone has a skeleton in his closet.”

        OMG, did yours used to be Wayne LaPierre?

    • Scott S. says:

      Filing abjectly false police reports is against the law, too. Why do you support law-breakers?

      • cpinva says:

        i’d be interested to know who, at the state police office, decided to send troopers out to question mr. loomis on this? their supervisor, and the state AG, needs to be made aware of this, and the overt infringement on mr. loomis’ free speach rights that it entailed.

        i do hope mr. loomis has contacted his state’s ACLU office, and notified them of this very overt and clear abridgement of his civil rights, under color of law. a threat, delivered in a police uniform, is nonetheless a threat.

        as i noted in an earlier post, the FBI dumped this on the state police, because they realized it was a crock of shit. they figured (apparently wrongly) the state police would conclude the same, and ignore it. they didn’t count on someone with the state police being a total fucktard.

        • phukoff says:

          His “free speach? What the fuck is free “speach” you fucking illiterate fuck?

          • Mario says:

            Targeting his misspelling: petty. And in calling him a ‘fucking illiterate fuck’, you omitted the comma in your direct address, you fucking illiterate fuck. You also fail to call attention to his lack of capitalization, incorrect punctuation usage,

            > “overt infringement on mr. loomis’ free speach rights that it entailed

            What infringement? The post referred only to a “meeting” with the police. It neither mentioned to infringement, nor, as you suggested, questioning. We can probably *assume* there were questions, but how is that an infringement of rights? Perhaps I am simply ignorant and unaware that a conversation with a police officer now constitutes an infringement of someone’s rights. I’ll be sure file a complaint next time an officer says hello or asks me how my day was. Have you even bothered to do any research on what ‘free speech’ actually *means* (i.e. The Bill of Rights, court precedents)?

            >a threat, delivered in a police uniform, is nonetheless a threat.

            There was a threat too? We must not have read the same blog post.

            I don’t disagree that sending the police was an overreaction, but they don’t seem to have taken any legal action yet, and thus does not appear that anyone’s rights have been infringed. That said: can you please rid us of your rampant stupidity and refrain from posting anything on the internet again… ever?

            Sincerely,
            Condescending Prick

            • John Protevi says:

              Look up “chilling effect,” please.

              • Mario says:

                Unless you’re suggesting that a mere meeting with the police constitutes a threat, you have missed my point, which hinged largely on the fact that we are not privy to the contents of the ‘meeting’, and can therefore not determine whether there was any threat. I agree that a meeting with the police *COULD* have that effect, but there is *NOT* sufficient information to claim that it is the case. Haven’t you ever gone down to the station to have tea and cookies with the popo before?

                You also seem to miss that I called into question whether free speech even applies. Chilling effect does not apply if the police were not inhibiting his rights. Thus, it does not apply if free speech does not apply. I’m not saying there was a death threat, but death threats do not necessarily fall under free speech: http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/death-threat/.

                • Henry says:

                  Considering the context of this whole affair you actually managed to make yourself the brightest burning idiot log of this bonfire of slackjaw.

    • Murc says:

      Erik called for the murder of someone?

      That’s news to me. I’d like to see your evidence for that assertion.

      • Xenos says:

        If Wayne LaPierre were to have his head impaled on a stick after dying of natural causes, would that be a problem?

        Personally, I would prefer to see his head impaled on a stick following his spontaneously dropping dead of shame. But I would settle for his head to be impaled on a stick after he were to accidentally kill himself zith a firearm.

    • wengler says:

      It’s so tiresome swatting at idiots today.

      It’s like watching a major league team facing off against a bunch of T-ballers.

    • JMP says:

      Who the fuck called for the murder of anyone?

      (Trolls, try actually reading the post before commenting)

      • MAJeff says:

        Reading? Shit, they’d fail the NCLB reading comprehension tests required in 9th grade.

        • JMP says:

          The poor dears, they were probably home-schooled; that’s why they’re so pathetically ignorant.

          • MAJeff says:

            There’s also Regent “University” and Liberty “University” and Patrick Henry “College” for them.

            • JMP says:

              The way to guarantee your child / young adult never has to encounter those pesky inconvenient facts; sucks for them that everyone laughs when they claim the Universe is only 6,000 years old, or that global warming is a conspiracy by every scientist on the planet.

            • cpinva says:

              all three of these “bastions of higher education” are in my beloved (though sometimes horribly wrong) commonwealth.

              There’s also Regent “University” and Liberty “University” and Patrick Henry “College” for them.

              by their very presence, they’ve dropped the average IQ here by several points. worse, they’ve taken over the gov’s mansion and statehouse. i just want them gone, gone, gone!

    • Whispers says:

      “Just want to make sure I have that correct.”

      You don’t.

    • Jack Blair says:

      Of course it’s a common expression. But Mr. Darcy is merely giving the Left a taste of its own medicine. He’s less Horowitz than D’Souza (which is no slight – both men do essential work).

    • Origami Isopod says:

      Whoever hired you isn’t getting their money’s worth.

  2. jkdriss says:

    Maybe if all of you “intellectual” type professors weren’t so communistic in your opinions and attitudes toward the U.S. and its constitution people would not react to you the way they did.

  3. jkdriss says:

    Do I think that you are showing how biased you are for not acknowledging the thousands of times a day that guns are used in legitimate self defense? Yes, of course you are because you are a communist.

    • Scott S. says:

      Shorter jokedriss: “I don’t give a fuck about dead kids. The more of them, the better.”

      • DrDick says:

        Of course he does, because he is a rightwing sociopath and a moral monster.

        • expatchad says:

          rightwing sociopath is redundant.

          • william says:

            Far-Left neo-Commies are *almost* Commies. They’d like nothing better than to have one-Party rule, that being the far-Left neo-Commie Democrat Party.

            You modern far-Left neo-Commie Democrats were once real Americans, allowing in your midst blue-dog Democrats. Those have been driven out. Now, you are far-Left neo-Commies who are not even real Americans anymore.

    • JMP says:

      Why should he acknowledge a completely bullshit statistic that you just pulled out of your ass?

    • Leeds man says:

      Here, let me help you as well;

      “Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal”

    • Warren Terra says:

      “thousands of times a day”?

      Cite, please. Hell, a cite for “thousands of times a year” that is remotely plausible would be interesting. I don’t know how much crime you think is attempted on a daily basis, for handguns to disrupt the attempts “thousands of times a day”.

    • wengler says:

      Are you saying communists can’t use guns?

    • cpinva says:

      if this were actually true,

      Do I think that you are showing how biased you are for not acknowledging the thousands of times a day that guns are used in legitimate self defense?

      it would be the headline of every newspaper/tv show in the country, if not the world. it isn’t, so it isn’t.

      years ago, there was a “survey”, that purported to show 2 million self-defense uses of private weapons, every year, in the US. it was touted by such as you, and the NRA, to justify the many millions of guns owned by private individuals. it was, of course, a crock. were it true, those acts of “self-defense”, roughly 50 times a day per state, would have made headlines. oddly enough, they didn’t, because, oddly enough, the “survey” turned out to be a fraud. so obvious a fraud, all it took was a quick math calculation to prove it so.

      you’ve simply updated an old fraud.

      • MAJeff says:

        Please,
        Every time Jkdriss encounters another citizen and they don’t attempt to rob him it proves that his concealed weapon has served as a deterrent to the crime that would have otherwise occurred!

    • Randy Paul says:

      Do I think that you are showing how biased you are for not acknowledging the thousands of times a day that guns are used in legitimate self defense? [my emphasis]

      Proof? One shred, scintilla, iota, scrap of proof to back up that claim.

    • Cody says:

      Chicago Death Watch is a place you can frequent to see all your guns being used in self-defense.

    • Jeff Fecke says:

      Thousands of time per day? Really? Thousands?

    • Mario says:

      I doubt any of you (i.e. on either side) would recognize an intelligent/constructive conversation if it hit you in the face. You insult each other for no apparent reason (lack of any intelligent comments?), and leak assumptions/fallacies at a rate so high that it surpassed only by the ‘WTFs per minute’ in my head while reading this nonsense. It’s quite disconcerting that this is essentially the state of political discourse in this country. It’s also hilarious.

      I believe these are what @jkdriss was getting at:
      http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#crime

      A few of you call jkdriss’s statistic baseless, yet you fail to provide any counter-evidence. That’s really equally destructive as spewing baseless facts, as the baseless fact that something is not a fact is, in fact, a baseless fact.

      From the link above:

      * A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year.

      Assuming that in all of those incidents, exactly one person would have been killed, the above data indicates approximately 444 lives saved by guns on average per day. That’s not thousands, but at least there’s data, which is far more than *any* of you have contributed. The obvious counter to this argument is that the perpetrator may also have had a gun. ( The obvious counter to that is that the perpetrator is the criminal, ergo breaking laws, and may not necessarily follow any anti-gun laws. )

      Interestingly, the estimated figure of 162,000 from 1993 far exceeds the number of homicides due to firearms in 2008. (The excess is almost inarguable enough to count for any differences between the years.)

      I should note that extending the survey to the entire nation like that isn’t necessarily valid. It depends on how representative the sample set was of the total population. It’s probably safe to say that survey did not cover only the most gun-dense or crime-dense areas of the U.S., however. Oh, and it’s old data, but probably still ‘good enough’.

      The data above, and on the link I gave presents a decent argument for guns doing more harm than good. There are counterarguments, of course, but I think it is harder to get statistical data for the pro-gun-control side given that it’s hypothetical. It’s even harder to defend when faced with “but you assume criminals will follow the law”. “But we’ll *make* them!”, you say? We can’t even keep drugs and illegals out of the country, so I’d like to see us keep drug-doing illegals with guns out. I’ve seen other countries cited here (i.e. England), but are they necessarily a correct analogue? Pro-gun people might counter that with the Switzerland example.

      All of that said: none of the above necessarily reflects my actual view, which is: Gun control is a solution to a problem. One must decide that there *is* a problem and define the problem before trying to solve it. (You’ll probably call me a homicide-condoning blah blah for suggesting that there is *not* a problem, but I’d just call you a sith and throw some numbers/questions at you, so spare us both the trouble.)

      • Paul says:

        A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year.

        Wonder if this is corroborated by police reports? I have been looking over this report for any evidence that a gun is used as a deterrent every 13 seconds, as claimed. It comes out to something like 2.4 million occurrences. With 24 million reports, that’s 10%: I think we would have heard about this.

    • rollingmyeyes says:

      Ah yes, how biased to not acknowledge a statistic some random internet troll pulled out of their butt.

  4. [...] University of Rhode Island Assistant Professor of History Erik Loomis with such colorful metaphors, he might call the cops:Being attacked by a David Horowitz wannabe for saying I wanted to see Wayne LaPierre’s head on a [...]

  5. [...] course Loomis did not really mean he wanted to see anyone murdered. That was just a metaphor as he explained to the police. I will take his word for that, but it is fairly obvious he has some anger [...]

  6. arguingwithsignposts says:

    460 Comments! Somebody must be mad.

    • Scott S. says:

      I think it’s wingnuts who are mad!

      In every sense of the word!

      • MAJeff says:

        That’s been obvious for decades, ever since the JBS called Eisenhower a communist. Problem is, people are now taking the JBS–as the Club for Growth and Tea Party–seriously instead of shunning those sociopathic fuckwits.

        • Mary, 58 year old woman with a life of common sense, experience, and observation. says:

          So, as I read your tweets, you are of the opinion that violent rhetoric and metaphors are only meant for THEE not ME’?

          Apparently in your view, we ignorant masses need it spelled out, and need your protection and wisdom.

          With your kind of training, input and character our students are incurring their college debt? Yegads.

          Your angry smug sense of self importance is dripping.

          The arrogant, angry, smug, hateful attitude that your posts have shown would make me withdraw my support if I were on the Board of your college and I would challenge your school and its values as a tuition paying parent. I wouldn’t want my children trained by those in your smug bubble.

          It is sad that you all considering yourselves “the upper crust”. Education and intelligence no longer are indicators of wisdom or character
          Instead of Live and Let Live, the song by the Beatles in LIVE AND LET DIE comes to mind. Live by your code of ethics and credos or your head goes on a pike. You would have done well in the French Revolution.

          Free Americans can be part of ANY political persuasion they desire, so why, if it is not YOUR persuasion, does it deserve the angry arrogant filth you spew? For being tolerant, where is your tolerance? What a joke.

          Bleck. I feel dirty reading your posts. That and truly sad for society.

          Was this collection of your tweets contrived and attributed to you falsely? Could you REALLY mean this, or, do words really not convey what you want them to convey? If that is the case, why do you even blog, since you consider yourself an educated wordsmith?

          For example:

          “Nothing makes me more angry than being ordered what to do. Usuallly good at checking emotions, am now in towering rage at laptop-banning bar”

          “@drfarls You have no idea how much I wanted to break my glass over that guy’s head.”

          “Very very angry about standardized testing in K-12. Totally worthless for measuring anything of value”

          “This story on the return of black lung to coal miners is powerful, disturbing, makes me very angry”

          “What makes me angry–hearing that it is a ‘slow news day.’ Maybe in Washington. But workers are fighting across the country. Pay attention!”

          “@seasonothebitch has a must read piece on Georgia’s evil labor bill. It made me angry”

          “If I had a friend or family member who planned to climb Mt. Everest, I’d beat them senseless before they could go die http://t.co/fmqbE48W“

          “I love teaching books on the history of sexuality. I talked about dildos in a completely appropriate way in class today.”

          “The top 33 most dangerous cities are in the Americas. I blame the US, both the drug war and loose gun laws”

          And while holding Sarah Palin accountable for Gabby Gifford’s shooting (which had nothing to do with Palin at all), did you mean and say this? “From a political perspective, the big loser is Sarah Palin. Truthfully, the whole Tea Party movement loses here because a lot of Americans are flinching in the face of the violent rhetoric that propelled them to power. Many Republicans are defending themselves vociferously. Some, such as Rush Limbaugh, claim that Loughner was a liberal and a Democrat, but this just alienates most people at this time. But no one lost more than Palin.

          Perhaps she was right to be irritated that people connected her with the shooting, but then again, she’s the one who had a target over Giffords’ district. Her aide claiming that it was actually surveyor symbols just insulted our intelligence.”

          Could: Let’s hunt down Dick Morris like a pig and skin him for breakfast” be a metaphor for “Honey, let’s invite Dick Morris over for dinner to have a rousing debate?”

          Or:

          @ErikLoomis

          You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.—
          Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

          @ErikLoomis

          Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children.—

          Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 14, 2012

          And of course, the RETweet where you thought someone else’s words were just colorful turns of phrase (…and why do you post a self aggrandizing, incendiary blog then?):

          The Rude Pundit@rudepundit

          First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.

          14 Dec 12

          • MAJeff says:

            Cracker, please.

            who are you responding to?
            I’m not Erik.

          • MAJeff says:

            Has JenBob morphed from a man of color to a 58-yo woman now?

            • Malaclypse says:

              Nah, Jennie always brings the barely-closeted self-hatred.

              • MAJeff says:

                There is that. This may just be a methed-out granny drinking too much boxed wine.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Also, Jennie has never gotten his panties in a twist over the Rude Pundit. And speaking of the Rude Pundit, his Dean is perhaps not a craven coward, unlike other Deans that could be mentioned.

                • Mary, 58 year old woman with a life of common sense, experience, and observation. says:

                  I neither drink wine nor do drugs, I am neither high nor drunk. MAJeff, you are the condescending, arrogant “tolerant”type I am talking about.

                • MAJeff says:

                  Oh, JenBobMary. Try a bit harder, now.

                • DocAmazing says:

                  She gets her brain damage the old-fashioned way.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  MAJeff, you are the condescending, arrogant “tolerant”type I am talking about.

                  Not fair. I’m way more condescending and arrogant than Jeff.

                  I neither drink wine nor do drugs, I am neither high nor drunk.

                  Jeff, for example, would not point out that your life of common sense, experience, and observation never taught you how to use a semi-colon, even though most people over 45 can and normally do.

                • MAJeff says:

                  I’m rather impressed by the “tolerant” non-sequiter.

                • DrDick says:

                  I on the other hand am totally intolerant of fuckwitted loons who try to create a false equivalency between the overt threats of violence eliminationist rhetoric on the right and the use of emotionally laden metaphors on the left. Fuck you very much, Mary Queen of Skidmarked undies.

            • Mary, 58 year old woman with a life of common sense, experience, and observation. says:

              No, I am a real person. Apparently, I am not sophisticated enough for the blogosphere.

          • Leeds man says:

            OK, Mary. We now know that angry words bother you more than the slaughter of twenty children, most of whom spent their last seconds in unimaginable horror. You could have said that more succinctly.

            /58 year old man sick to death of listening to the wisdom of idiots.

          • snurp says:

            The return of the black lung isn’t worthy of anger?

          • spencer says:

            This is the perfect example of why I roll my eyes completely out of my head when someone claims to base all their beliefs and ideals on “common sense.”

            People who say that, you see, are almost always ill-informed idiots who know this and who desperately wish they were smarter. But they are too lazy to do the work, so they do the next best thing – they satisfice.

          • Brett says:

            You mad sis?

          • Cody says:

            I’m curious if you realize how hypocritical your tirade is?

            You’re upset about Erik being angry about things, so you write an angry post. Are you going to follow it with a post about how upset you are at yourself for being so angry and smug?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s a real pleasure to watch the chance of Loomis getting tenure go down to zip. Better start practicing those burger-flipping skills, Erik. The only other place that gives a rip if you have a history degree is your local McDonald’s.

  8. Allan says:

    Man, what a bunch of beta-wussies you all are.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Loomis should consider going to law school now that his academic career is over.

  10. sandi says:

    We understand what a metaphor is. You failed to understand the same when you railed against Sarah Paling for her bulleye metaphor. Was that any less heinous than yours?

    I get that you may feel very passionate about things that hit close to home for you, but based on your angry and inappropriate tweets on a host of topics I am not buying your excuse. You come off as a mean-spirited and hostile little person.

    Rather than try to excuse yourself, may I make a suggestion. Dig a little deeper. Do some soul searching. Maybe you can learn how to be a better person.

    • Scott S. says:

      “Head on a stick” isn’t inappropriate. I mean, y’all can barely wage the War on Christmas — you’ve got no chance in a War on Metaphors.

      Saying “LaPierre should be wrapped in rusty barbed wire, strapped to a defective rocket, and fired into the heart of the sun” would definitely be inappropriate. I mean, you don’t want to use a defective rocket, ’cause you want to make sure you’ll actually get it into the sun, ya know?

      • Saying “LaPierre should be wrapped in rusty barbed wire, strapped to a defective rocket, and fired into the heart of the sun” would definitely be inappropriate. I mean, you don’t want to use a defective rocket, ’cause you want to make sure you’ll actually get it into the sun, ya know?

        It would however, inspire many to ask if you have a website and if they could subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Earlier in the thread, they were called “printer’s registration marks”. Elsewhere, they were “printer’s marks”

      Can y’all get your desperate dodge talking points straight before you get sent out on Butthurt Missions?

    • JMP says:

      Somehow you must have failed to notice that Sarah Paling’s [sic] bullseye metaphor was not an isolated incident, but part of a large number of incidents of violent rhetoric directed at Democratic politicians (which included actual guns brought to town hall meetings) in 2010, that people pointed out created the environment that lead to Laughner’s shootings.

    • DrDick says:

      The English language, how does it work? Not very well in your case.

    • Cody says:

      So Gifford getting shot in the head doesn’t mean anything to you?

      You people are seriously fucked up. A great young woman got shot in the head and you think putting a bulls-eye on her was alright.

      I guess if it was a guy you might be outraged?

  11. IM says:

    Illegitimi non carborundum,

    Loomis.

  12. Erik Loomis in 2014 says:

    “Would you like to make that a Venti latte for only 1 dollar more?”

  13. Man, if there’s one rock-solid way to destroy an academic career in New England, it’s pissing off the NRA and the right wing in general.

    Wait…what?

    • wengler says:

      The right wing has been taught if it whines enough people will eventually cave to their demands.

      They are going to have a hell of an adjustment period.

    • Scott S. says:

      And they think they’re going to get their scalp over metaphors. They really think a university, anywhere, is going to start firing faculty over the use of metaphors.

      Having a black guy in the White House is deranging them even more than I would’ve expected.

    • SatanicPanic says:

      Yeah, way to step on their contention that colleges are communist re-education camps.

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      I wish I were as sanguine as you are about this.

      Being the trigger for a phone and email storm doesn’t seem hugely useful for Erik’s career. I hope I’m very wrong.

    • Arouet says:

      The only way this would be less likely to ruin his professional career would be if he was a professor in Connecticut…

  14. mds says:

    So … just to be up-to-date here, the brainless Malkin shitweasel brigade (Sorry for the redundancy) are crowing about how this is going to destroy Erik Loomis’ career, which is only fair after the way violent rhetoric destroyed the careers of Wayne LaPierre and Sarah Palin? Almost makes me wish I had one of Megan McArdle’s 2×4′s handy. For rhetorical flourish.

  15. kc says:

    You shoulda just posted a pic of the doughy professor in some crosshairs.

  16. Simple mInd says:

    I call for reeducation camp for Wayne and the pantheon for Erik.

  17. Anonymous says:

    For the record, I am an admirer and supporter of Erik.

    • Anonymous says:

      ooops, I thought this comment would carry my name – Bruce Vail.

      I want to stand as a public supporter of Erik.

    • King Rat says:

      For the record, I usually don’t enjoy Erik’s posts, but he is 100% in the right on this issue. I knew conservatives were nuts, and I knew that they could be stupid, and I knew they were all too eager to engage in bad faith arguments, but I don’t think I ever thought I’d see such a stunningly crazy and stupid disingenuous argument. I don’t know how his critics can stand to live with themselves – they must know they’re full of shit.

      I stand with Erik.

      Ian Gray

      • Timb says:

        The leaders do, but most of the followers are authoritarian half-wits. They go where they are aimed and give money where they are told to

      • Cody says:

        When one considers that their public policies they proclaim are obviously ways to self-destruction, and that most are well-aware of it, then it is not much of a leap to see them making arguments they know are blatantly false.

        Their careers are literally just about lying.

  18. Calming Influence says:

    I think this blog should change its name to Lawyers, Machetes & Money

  19. Kal says:

    I want to work in a joke about the Bush-head-on-a-pike from Game of Thrones here, but I can’t. I take the need for Bush’s literal head to be literally cut off and put on a literal pike too seriously. (Only after a conviction for war crimes, though!)

  20. Joe says:

    Wow. What a way to up the comment stream.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Very, very sad blog post and comments. Both sides filled with hate, self-aggrandizement and vitriol. My side and people who agree with me are enlightened if if you disagree you are scum. What happened in Newtown wasn’t the fault of the right, republicans, democrats, homophobes, socialists, communists or vegans but was the manifestation of pure evil. To think that anyone, left, right or center would use this tragedy to advance an agenda is deeply sad. I truly fear for the fate of our republic – perhaps this grand experiment has failed, for based on what I read here, there simply is no way intelligent good honest and free people can have a meaningful and productive dialogue on ways to actually prevent similar tragedy in the future. RIP America.

    • DrDick says:

      Concern troll needs to save his concern for rightwing websites which make this thread look like a Sunday school picnic every single day. Please feel free to piss off. You cannot have and intelligent discussion with deranged morons like the trolls infesting this thread.

    • Warren Terra says:

      Whether it was a manifestation of “evil” or “mental illness” I’ll leave up to the mental health professionals and the theologians.

      But there are also public-policy issues: given that “evil” and/or “mental illness” exist, what can we agree to do to lessen the risk they pose? What sorts of firearm training, licensing, regulation, storage, etcetera might we be able to agree on that might lessen our huge rate of accidental firearm lethality, and of casual firearm lethality because altercations are escalated by the availability of highly efficient killing machines, and of “evil” or “mentally ill” people who desire access to these killing machines?

      Saying “evil” does not end the discussion. Once you acknowledge “evil” or “mental illness” exists, you still have to plan for it. Being “evil” or “mentally ill” didn’t give the young Mr. Lanza superpowers.

      Also: if you are remotely interested in having a civil discussion, it behooves you to adopt a pseudonym. This gives people a way to address you, to distinguish you from other anonymous commenters, and perhaps over time to learn that the person using that pseudonym is serious in their attempts to engage in meaningful discussion.

    • Lolly says:

      I’m fascinated by the “manifestation of pure evil” talking point that has been flying around the web.

      Obviously, it’s trying to make us believe that there is nothing, NOTHING to be done about it. Evil is evil and can’t be stopped.

      I gotta wonder–why do we make it so easy for Pure Evil to arm himself with lethal weapons? Shouldn’t we at least make him (her?) work a little harder at achieving that Pure Evilness?

    • Cody says:

      Yes, when a bunch of kids get shot my first thoughts are “We totally shouldn’t stop this from happening again! It’s just (another) isolated incident!”

      Okay, that is a lie. My first thought it I want to stop these kinds of awful things from happening. I quickly form my own set of requirements for this incident to have occurred:
      1) Needed a person willing to go on a shooting rampage and die

      2) Needed a bunch of powerful guns

      I try to remedy these problems so it doesn’t happen again. Conservatives try to increase the strength of these issues.

      I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish.

  22. Eli Rabett says:

    First of all the correct term is head on a pike. Loomis loses tenure for not knowing his history or his media studies.

    Second who amongst us would shed a tear if Wayne passed by means natural or enhanced.

    Third, this nonsense is a trolling attempt. The answer is simple, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are all infavor of selling more baby shredders god bless em. Why should anyone care about what happens to them.

  23. Always Correct says:

    Let’s see – extremely emotionally unstable “educator” goes berserk, calls for the murder of those with whom he disagrees. Police and school stage an intervention before he goes totally frothing nutso and deprive him of Twitter use. Yeah, works for me.

  24. dre says:

    You know, if people reported Ann Althouse for every stupid dipshit things she has said, she must be in jail by now, and jobless.

  25. Darkrose says:

    Wow…over 700 comments? I’m impressed.

  26. [...] of Steven Crowder was one recent example of this, as is the “argument” offered by Scott Slemmons, a commenter at Erik Loomis’s blog: Maybe if you Malkinites weren’t such anti-America McVeigh-fanboys, people wouldn’t hate you [...]

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s fitting that someone who devoted so much time into arguing that Emmitt Till had it coming would cite Marcuse as if he was relevant today.

      • Anonymous says:

        I forgot that Marcuse is a Jew rootless cosmopolitan” “Frankfurt School” member, and therefore an enemy of all League of the South guy holds dear.

  27. WaltzingMtilda says:

    When did we get to the point where we are constantly telling on each other? I love the Twitchy (and yes I am a Conservative)but I am soooo tired of everyone jumping everyone else’s ass for something they said.

    I’m angry about stuff too (different things from most of you here, I would guess) and sometimes I’ve expressed my anger on the Internet. The murder of these kids…everyone is so emotional right now, can’t we cut each other some slack about how we express it?

    One thing I’m learning is that for as passionate as I feel about conservative principles/causes, you guys on the other side feel just as strongly. And you probably think I am just as crazy as I think you are. I want my kids to be safe. I want your kids to be safe. We need to stop screaming at each other and find our common ground.

    I love the Internet, but sometimes it just makes me so tired.

  28. [...] Island professor Erik Loomis is defending his angry, violent tweets on the grounds that they were metaphorical. So to clarify, I want to make it blindingly clear that I did not call for the assassination of [...]

  29. thesgm says:

    I find pro-government people like Loomis fascinating studies. They are driven by emotion in the moment. “I can’t remember the little sound I made when I heard about it…*sob*” WTF?

    So the plan is to remove the freedom, enshrined by the Founders who fought and defeated tyranny, of self-defense to prevent a few lone whackos from going on a rampage. Sounds great…except…

    In the last 100 years, if you add up all the rampages conducted by lone psychos and compare that number to state sanctioned massacres against the state’s own citizens, the lone psycho number amounts to rounding error.

    But we will be told that government is benevolent and altruistic all the while waging a class war against the rich. It started with the “1%” now I read in the NYTimes that the “top fifth most affluent will have to pay $6000 more in taxes” next year due Obamacare. Oh, so now its the “20%”??

    Benevolent. Now look at the right work violence in Michigan and the Walker recall in Wisconsin and the Occupy movement everywhere. Democrats are angry people and want to force everyone onto their side.

    You can see this in Loomis’ other tweets and his references to Darth Cheney et al. He doesn’t want to discuss the legitimate policy differences. He has already made up his mind. The only discussion he wants to have concerns how long they should be locked up.

    Loomis is why we need the 2nd amendment.

    • Malaclypse says:

      In the last 100 years, if you add up all the rampages conducted by lone psychos and compare that number to state sanctioned massacres against the state’s own citizens, the lone psycho number amounts to rounding error.

      Those rounding errors had names. And faces. And were all better human beings than you are.

      Rounding error.

      • thesgm says:

        The other millions had names and faces, too!

        This is why you guys are such an interesting study!

        Sacrifice the millions for the few. But the lack of state sanctioned massacre now, doesn’t mean the protection against it should be removed now.

        Emotion in the moment. “Screw the future, deny human nature…I need to feel good about this NOW!” That is about it, right?

        • Malaclypse says:

          Sacrifice the millions

          Another wingnut who can’t count. Color me surprised.

          • thesgm says:

            What? Add up Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Taylor and I think you will easily get to the “millions” number.

            So, I am sorry I was so obtuse. I thought Democrats were the smart ones!

            My mistake. The commment “sacrifice the millions for the few” is an ironic statement. It means that you are willing to potentially sacrifice millions to a future, state sanctioned slaughter to save a few people today.

            Again, our founders fought and defeated tyranny. They knew what protections needed to be in place to prevent it. One of those is the 2nd amendment.

            • Cody says:

              Okay. If your argument is that you’re cool with 1st graders dying then that’s fine.

              Please tell everyone you know.

              “I fully support shooting first-graders. It’s worth it!”

              • thesgm says:

                Here we go, all emotion.

                Of course, I am not for that. But the solution isn’t taking the freedom of self-defense from everyone else for the action of a few.

                But, as I said earlier, you think it is ok to scramble children’s brains in the womb. Why do you care what happens to the survivors?

                • delurking says:

                  You’re okay with shooting 20 first graders, in defense of some hypothetical tyranny in the future — some evil that hasn’t happened and may never happen. Real children, who really died.

                  Those were actual children who died, bud. Not fetuses. Try to grasp the difference.

            • sibusisodan says:

              Again, our founders fought and defeated tyranny. They knew what protections needed to be in place to prevent it. One of those is the 2nd amendment.

              And the Third Amendment! Don’t forget the Third Amendment. That’s every bit as important.

              I think we should advocate for more Third Amendment solutions to our problems! You’ll quarter the 5th Cavalry Brigade in my guest room over my warm, sucrose-y complementary mints!

              [more seriously: defining the British government's relations towards one of its colonies at the end of the 18th century as an embodiment of tyranny doesn't leave many governments in the 'non-tyrannical' pile...]

              • thesgm says:

                Good point, excessive taxation, redistribution of wealth under the threat of force…seems like a mild tyranny. Kinda sounds like democrats….wait!

                From whence did this term “Tea party” come?

                • sibusisodan says:

                  excessive taxation, redistribution of wealth under the threat of force…seems like a mild tyranny

                  If you’re calling Eisenhower a mild tyrant I shall have to call you out!

                • DrDick says:

                  Out of the asses of illiterate, home schooled lunatics.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  From whence did this term “Tea party” come?

                  From embarrassment when they found out what “teabagger” meant.

                • A. S. Parsons says:

                  I was homeschooled by 1990s Christian Right types. U.S. History Ph.D. candidate and socialist because, not in spite of. Just saying.

    • Tom says:

      Heavens to Betsy “class warfare against the rich.”

      Who will protect the poor, defenseless rich from their poor oppressors?

      It seems that the rich must now resort to their 2nd amendment rights!

      • thesgm says:

        Well, if you want examples of what happens to countries when the “oppressors” are overthrown and the “people” are put in power, look to Africa.

        Kenya is one example. They used to be net exporters of food. They took the land from the wealthy, now they have to import.

        Charles Taylor did the same.

        We just went through an election characterized by “you have enough, give some to me.”

        So whatever law you think will equalize this, just remember, laws only work because of the inherent threat of force.

        When you legislate fairness, it is fairness by force.

        • sibusisodan says:

          Well, if you want examples of what happens to countries when the “oppressors” are overthrown and the “people” are put in power, look to AfricaAmerica.

          Please, proceed. I’m loving the way you contradict yourself in the space of about half a screen.

          • sibusisodan says:

            huh. apparently my use of strikethrough was a spectacular success. You’ll have to imagine it to get the proper effect.

              • sibusisodan says:

                You have, in consecutive posts, (i) lauded the Founding Fathers for overthrowing tyranny and ensuring democracy for ‘we the people’ and (ii) used Kenya as an example of how terrible things are when the rich, oppressive rulers are overthrown and power is given to ‘the people’.

                One day the cognitive dissonance is gonna give you whiplash.

    • The fantasy that citizens rising up & facing down a 21st Century Army with small arms is identical to 18th Century guerillas defeating a Colonial garrison taking orders from an ocean away with roughly equal arms is quaint but absurd.

      Strenuously ignoring the essential (& long since obsolete) “well-regulated militia” clause of the 2nd Amendment is both predictable & telling.

      Trying to portray Occupy protestors as violent is just plain hilarious.

  30. atheist says:

    Erik, looks like I’m late hearing about this, but I’m really sorry you’ve had to experience this harassment. I hope you are able to escape the more serious effects. And fuck these flying monkey nihilist asshole dipshit scumbags of the right wing.

    • thesgm says:

      Nice! I can’t imagine why those flying monkey nihilist asshole dipshit scumbags of the right wing would want to preserve their right to self-defense.

      Clearly, you have nothing but the best intentions towards those who disagree with you.

      • MAJeff says:

        Considering how many of them have come over here to demonstrate that they are bigoted sociopaths bent on personal destruction, you have any reason why they should be respected as decent human beings?

        • MAJeff says:

          And, let’s be honest, this isn’t the first time that Malkin’s methheads have demonstrated their sociopathy. It’s a defining characteristic.

        • thesgm says:

          I think you need to define the “they” in you statement. I see the most bigoted comments, “bigoted sociopaths” for instance, coming from the left, not the right.

      • Malaclypse says:

        nihilist

        Says the alleged human who called twenty dead kids a rounding error.

        Donalde, is that you?

        • thesgm says:

          In the grand scheme of things, yes.

          Hundreds of millions killed by state sanctioned violence in the last 100 years. That is the same kind of state sanctioned violence that the 2nd Amendment is intended to check.

          You desire to end to the 2nd amendment, if we look at history, could eventually lead to the level of slaughter again. Consider especially the divisive tenor of our politics now.

          And, I always find it interesting to hear the “for the children” arguments against guns from the pro-death abortionist party.

          • Malaclypse says:

            That is the same kind of state sanctioned violence that the 2nd Amendment is intended to check.

            How many times has that worked out for you?

            • thesgm says:

              Well…considering we don’t have gulags or deathcamps in the US…I would say it has worked out every time.

              • Hogan says:

                Every time? Obviously you’re new here.

                • thesgm says:

                  Nice! Conflate private organizations with government. Whatevs.

                  Or say that Chicago is the norm. haha.

                  I didn’t read in there anywhere about the union members being rounded up and systematically executed. Or sent to re-educaation camps. Or that millions of them were killed. Of course, the use of “scab” in the articles has a perfect history of being entirely used for peaceful purposes.

                  Have you ever heard of the term…”union thug?” I wonder where that came from?

                • thesgm says:

                  But of course, you help prove my point. Other massacres did not happen after this evil because the second amendment protects everyone.

                  Maybe unions aren’t entirely guilt free:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

                • Hogan says:

                  Yes, the Colorado National Guard and the Chicago police are private organizations. Thanks for playing, fuckwit.

                • Hogan says:

                  Maybe unions aren’t entirely guilt free

                  Where’s the guilt in exercising your Second Amendment rights? Unless you think union members have it coming. But then you think that about elementary school students too.

                • thesgm says:

                  So, those people were attacked by their benevolent government?? What protection could we possibly put in place to prevent this from happening in the future???

                  It would have to be some kind of inalienable right…some kind of amendment.

                  Thanks for playing fuckwit.

                • thesgm says:

                  I love these union arguments. They prove my point exactly.

                  To summarize, we had private organizations hiring government institutions to keep the working man in line. Then the working man used his 2nd Amendment right, armed up and fought back.

                  And you are saying this to defend your argument against the 2nd amendment. Fascinating.

                  To me, though, kinda sounds like you would be better off to let your sub-conscience mind make all your big decisions.

                • Hogan says:

                  So when you told us the Second Amendment prevents state-sanctioned violence “every time,” you meant “every time except for all the times it doesn’t.” That certainly clears things up.

                  Also, “conscience” is not the same thing as “conscious.” Since you lack a conscience, I thought I’d point that out.

                • thesgm says:

                  I am sorry you are having trouble with this concept, Hogan. You have admirable grammer and spelling but your analytical skills are still wanting.

                  The point of your union busting articles is that the workers freedoms and well-being were under attack. And I mean, physically under attack with death and everything. The 2nd Amendment played an important role in stopping that attack.

                  The 2nd amendment doesn’t guarantee that people won’t try to commit crimes against you. But it guarantees that you can do something about it when it happens.

                  So when I say “every time”, I meant that. Perhaps you missed the part where the workers’ rights were upheld and they weren’t put into slave labor camps.

                  Does that clear it up for you? I know its more complex than counting adverbs in a sentence but if you try, I think you can get there.

              • DrDick says:

                How about this or this. Do try to learn a little American history.

                • thesgm says:

                  Excellent! More examples of tyrannical government that needs to be checked somehow.

                  Thanks!

                  All these examples…seems like even the most idealistic suffer a tendency towards tyranny.

                  I wonder what protections we could put in place to prevent these kind of things in the future?

          • Tom says:

            Other than obsessing about it and defending your clear misunderstanding of the 2nd amendment, what are you doing about those “Hundreds of millions killed by state sanctioned violence in the last 100 years”?

            Why haven’t you excercised your so-called second amendment rights and become a”freedom fighter” for all those “hundreds of millions” or are you just one of the BSing right wingers trying to make yourself feel superior with faux outrage?

            • thesgm says:

              Actually, SGM stands for Sergeant Major.

              I was a freedom fighter in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

              • sibusisodan says:

                I was a freedom fighter in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

                Crikey! I hope you didn’t have any run-ins with the US Army. They haven’t really looked kindly on freedom fighters in Iraq and Afg these last few years. Do stay safe.

              • DrDick says:

                I was a freedom fighter in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

                You are Taliban? Or maybe Al Qaeda? I should have known.

          • DrDick says:

            Nice to see that you are willing to admit that you are a sociopathic moral monster. Now go crawl back into your cave in the fever swamps.

      • Lyanna says:

        Indeed, stocking up on weapons is the only rational response to being called some names.

        • thesgm says:

          Well, look at the news. All the violent protests are left wingers. A Michigan lawmaker vowed “there will be blood” if right to work was passed. That was not metaphor.

          The left is convinced they are right and that anyone disagreeing is Darth Somebody. The left is far more socialist than the right. And communism is the greatest evil ever foisted on man.

          Why should we trust you?

          • Lyanna says:

            A Michigan lawmaker vowed “there will be blood” if right to work was passed.

            Oh noes! Batten down the hatches! Maybe you should pre-emptively shoot him, in case.

            • thesgm says:

              Well, I wouldn’t say that. But I would say that if anyone had been killed or injured in that tent they chopped down, he would have been complicit.

              Wouldn’t you agree?

              • Lyanna says:

                Nope. “There will be blood” is about as threatening or inciting as “Romney will thrash Obama in the election,” sorry. And you know it.

                • thesgm says:

                  Well, I think you are being dishonest here a bit.

                  Remember, Sarah Palin and the Crosshairs map?

                  Yup. That was you guys. If Palin’s crosshairs map incited violence, at best it was COVERT. There was violence outside the building where the statement was made. I think…that is an OVERT call to viloence.

                • Lyanna says:

                  I can’t reply to thesgm’s comment below, so I’m doing it here:

                  Well, I think you are being dishonest here a bit.

                  Remember, Sarah Palin and the Crosshairs map?

                  Yup. That was you guys. If Palin’s crosshairs map incited violence, at best it was COVERT. There was violence outside the building where the statement was made. I think…that is an OVERT call to viloence.

                  “There will be blood” isn’t a call to anything besides outraged. It’s a cliché, like “head on a stick.”

                  The crosshairs, in a land where lots of people are armed and encouraged to believe in “2nd amendment solutions,” a land where Gabby Giffords actually was shot, are a different story. The outrage over the crosshairs wasn’t about them as an isolated incident, but rather in an overall context.

                  As I’m sure you know, and are playing dumb about for reasons that escape me.

          • Malaclypse says:

            A Michigan lawmaker vowed “there will be blood” if right to work was passed. That was not metaphor.

            You don’t know what a metaphor actually is.

            • thesgm says:

              What? The guy said, “if you pass this, there will be blood.”

              He meant that. It was a warning. Typically, if you have to defend yourself with Urban Dictionary, you have already lost. But lets play.

              “Head on pike”. Literally means defeat your enemies, behead them, and put the head on pike as a warning to others. We don’t do that anymore. So in today’s parlance, it is LIKE defeating your enemies and making examples of them.

              “Heads should roll.” Literally refers to capture of malevolent leaders and whacking off thier heads in a guillotine as a punishment. We don’t do that anymore. So in today’s parlance, it is LIKE punishing bad leaders by holding them accountable.

              “There will be blood”. Literally, has always been a call to violence. We still do that. So it isn’t LIKE anything and therefore not metaphor, just like I said.

              • Lyanna says:

                No, actually, “there will be blood” hasn’t been a call to violence for a very long time. It’s a very old metaphor for punishment. And you’re a dishonest fool.

                Literally, it means you’re going to spill someone’s blood in some vague, unspecified way. Which is no more a literal statement of violence than “The Republicans were severely beaten” is.

                • Lyanna says:

                  For “literal” in my last sentence, read “credible.”

                • Tom says:

                  He is not “playing dumb”, he is dumb and devious.” But I have to admit that he was smart enough to use examples defending the very “union thugs” that he previously attacked.

              • Malaclypse says:

                He meant that. It was a warning.

                You urinate yourself in fear a lot, don’t you?

              • actor212 says:

                Errr, the use of “like” or “as” is a simile, not a metaphor.

                • thesgm says:

                  God dang English majors win again!

                  Thats it. I lost the argument due to sentence structure and verb tense. Darnit.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Nah, you lost the argument way before then.

                • thesgm says:

                  Uh, no.

                  You guys made my argument for me.

                • actor212 says:

                  Look, pal, don’t blame me if your basic elementary school lessons on grammar went way over your head, MMMMMMMMMMMMMK?

                  The fact that you DON’T know the difference automatically paints you as too ignorant to have any part in any discussion between adults.

                • thesgm says:

                  CLing to it baby. Grammer is all you have.

                  So the argument I have lost:

                  I say, “we need the 2nd Amendment as the final check and balance against a tyrannical government.”

                  You guys say, “bullshit!” Then post a couple links highlighting the excesses of tyrannical government and the use of the 2nd amendment to rein those excesses in.

                  I respond, “thank you for making my point.”

                  You respond, “you don’t know the difference between a metaphor and a simile. We win!!!”

                • actor212 says:

                  Dude, seriously…you think your little cap-guns are any match for drones and Abrams tanks?

                  Good luck with that. In the meantime, you’re killing our kids. You mind if we just stop you?

          • Lyanna says:

            A Michigan lawmaker vowed “there will be blood” if right to work was passed. That was not metaphor.

            Was it a literal statement, then, prophesying that blood would exist?

            • thesgm says:

              It is funny watching you try to defuse the left’s violent rhetoric. I had forgotten about how you all tried to blame Sarah Palin for the Gifford shooting because of a commonly used crosshair-type map.

              But when a lefty says, “if you vote for this law, there will be blood!” It is a-ok!

              He just meant the angry mob outside the capitol building where the vote was being held would just continue being angry for awhile then shrugh their shoulders and go home.

              I see that clearly now. Thank you.

              • Lyanna says:

                We all tried to blame Sarah Palin for the Giffords shooting? Really?

                News to me–I thought we were blaming the entire right-wing culture of encouraging “2nd amendment solutions” to political disputes, and Sarah Palin was just one example of it. It’s always good to see what right-wing revisionist history gets you.

                • thesgm says:

                  Oh, it is only OK for you to generalize about your opponents. I didn’t realize. Sorry.

                • thesgm says:

                  In the future, I will qualify my comments about the lefties by sticking to your “right-wing culture” template.

                  So, the “left-wing culture” tried to blame Sarah Palin for the Gifford shooting. Better?

                • actor212 says:

                  Odd how Palin took that image down in the aftermath of the outcry.

                  Feeling a little guilty, was she?

                  I mean, she did say “Don’t retreat, relaod,” so clearly she should have posted the addresses of those Congresspeople, don’t you agree?

                  Or are you part of the left-wing culture too?

              • thesgm says:

                Perfect example Actor.

                Thank you.

                So, she was complicit without any specific call to violence and for using a political icon that many politicians still use, the crosshair but this actual elected legislator while debating policy says, “there will be blood if you vote for this” and yet he is not complicit.

                Please scroll down for my other comments on the inconsistenty of thought of lefties.

          • Mark says:

            You are wasting your breath, thesgm. I must admit that reading this thread has shown me that so many, on both sides, have devolved to a point of a total lack of civility.

            That said, I would find it amusing, were it not so dangerous, that so many on here do not understand the concept of individual liberty and the necessity of the safeguards embedded in our founding documents to preserve it.

            So many on here are crying for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment out of one side of their filthy mouths and yet crowing about free speech out of the other. And they seem to fail to realize the dependency of the latter on the former. And, if any of you bashers doubt that, try your “free speech” as a citizen of a country like China.

            No, sadly, so many of these so-called educated people are more interested in flaming you, or in trying to demonstrate how morally or intellectually superior they are to others.

            They imagine that gun control laws like “gun-free zones” actually increase personal safety rather than what they actually do, which is to advertise to any potential assailant out there “Hey, over here! Here’s a nice, soft, easy target for you!”

            After all, “gun-free zones”, combined with psychotropic drugs, combined with “Call of Duty” instantly means that all personal firearm ownership is a bad thing.

            It is laughable. Any one of these self-proclaimed masters of intellect would instantly find themselves in favor of the right to keep and bear arms the moment their own survival depended on it.

            • thesgm says:

              I agree with everything you say save for one caveat.

              They don’t feel that their freedom of speech is in crisis because they are more correct, more inclusive, less racist, more moral, more intellectual, post-modern renaissance people. They think the only thing wrong with the world are us neanderthals, aka Conservatives. They just need to find a way to shut us up. Shutting us up is their First Amendment crisis.

              And for that, the 2nd amendment stands in their way.

              • DrDick says:

                Do not flatter yourselves, you are not Neanderthals. Neanderthals were not violent and cared for each other and those who could not care for themselves. You are chimps. Very, very aggressive and retarded chimps.

                • thesgm says:

                  The only solution for us is re-education camps, don’t you agree?

                  Or what is your solution to the “conservative probelm?”

                • DrDick says:

                  In my dreams, the solution is to exile the lot of you, stark naked and penniless, to Somalia. In the real world, I will just have to wait for you to die off, which should not take long given your elevated blood pressure and propensity to mindless and futile violent acts.

            • Tom says:

              May I suggest that you actually read the second amendment and the circumstances of its adoption in the 1790s?

              Then read some of the early court cases surrounding the second amendment.

              Then come back here and make some informed and intelligent comments about the real second amendment rights!

          • DrDick says:

            “Violent protests are left wingers?” When did this happen? I have no memory of leftwingers coming to protests openly carrying weapons or carrying signs calling for assassination and “second amendment solutions.” You seem to be mistaking what you see in the mirror for someone else.

        • thesgm says:

          Lyanna, that is BS.

          Inside the building the guy is saying “there will be blood” and outside the building they are attacking political opponents. That is a fact.

          In that instance, you cannot say it is cliche.

          I repeat, there was a call to violence inside and violence outside. Same location. Pretty high correlation there.

      • atheist says:

        It is a continual amazement the way moron right wingers such as ‘thesgm’ want to actually shoot people, yet bizarrely, seem to find language more threatening than any gun.

        • thesgm says:

          I don’t want to shoot you and have no plans to shoot you.

          If you try to take my constitutional freedoms from me, however, that situation may change. And that is why the second amendment exists.

          The reason the language bothers me is that the left continues to incite rage and anger. Look at the spittle flecked rage of the Occupy movement, the union movements, the anti-war movements.

          Compare and contrast with the more civil gatherings known as the Tea Party movement. The only people getting beat up at Tea Party rallies are Tea Partiers by SEIU thugs who want to silence their political opposition.

          I still find it curious how the left gets angrier even as they gain more power. The left keeps ratcheting up the demogoging of their opponents to justify their actions.

          Case in point, I didn’t know I wanted to shoot people until you just told me. How did you know?

          You didn’t. You will profile me but your party is against profiling in other instances.

          To get to what truly scares me about the left is the inconsistency in the manner you apply your beliefs.

          My sis-in-law is fire-breathing liberal in Wisconsin. We were talking one day and she was supporting universal health care, single payer etc., so that the old and infirm could have dignity in the last days of their lives.

          My response was, “But you love Micheal Moore. Didn’t it bother you that he was chasing and yelling at an alzheimers victim, Charleton Heston?”

          Her reply, “no! He’s an asshole.”

          That is why you guys scare us.

          • Tom says:

            What an ignoranthistorical asshole you are!

            Have you ever really read the second amendment? Do you have any idea of its history other than your delusional theory that it protected (and protects) our liberties from tyranny?

            Read a goid-damn history book (other than the delusional ravings of John Lott) and learn something about the real history (including the constitutional history) of the second amendment!

            • thesgm says:

              I have. Why don’t you tell me what you think it means.

              Maybe read the federalist papers first to ground you on its history.

              • thesgm says:

                Start here, per James Madison, Federalist Paper 46:

                “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

                Remember, Mr. History, that the federalist papers were used to convince the fledgling states to join the Union.

                • thesgm says:

                  Hilarious. Linking the dailybeast is like me linking foxnews.

                  So Saul Cornell supersedes James Madison?

                  You and many others on the left get hung up on the “well-regulated militia.” The question, how would a militia form to be well-regulated without personal weapons?

                  The heart of Madison’s comment explains it. So, the state of Iowa may not need a militia now but should a situation arise where they do, they would call for people and those people would bring their personal weapons. The militia now formed can be regulated.

                  But without personal weapons, the militia would not be possible. Understand?

                  Maybe you should check your history about how early militias were formed.

                  So here is passable description of militias. Its not a bunch of rednecks in the mountains.

                  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_militia

          • atheist says:

            So you have no plans to shoot me dead, unless I’m pro gun control… and you already know I’m pro gun control. So basically, my initial point stands: you’re threatening violence, but you’re terrified by liberals who speak.

            • thesgm says:

              Well, the First Amendment allows you to say what you want but to actually take my rights requires force.

              When you wish to impinge my rights by force, yes, I will shoot you. No different than if you try to impinge my right not to be raped, or robbed, or murdered, or unjustly imprisoned. I can defend all of those rights with lethal force and your desire is to take that right away from me for the actions of a few people.

              Now, I am sworn to defend the constitution against all enemies foriegn and domestic. What do you think that means?

              • atheist says:

                You need to defend against my keyboarding skillz with your gun. That makes you sound incredibly brave!

                Also, nice tough talk about lethal force & especially the “enemies foreign & domestic”. That part is the most impressive of all. Perhaps you should just shoot me now over the internet.

              • actor212 says:

                Now, I am sworn to defend the constitution against all enemies foriegn and domestic. What do you think that means?

                I’d say you should consider early retirement before another army base gets shot up. ;-)

                • thesgm says:

                  I have 25 years in but I don’t want to retire yet. I am hoping that Obama finishes screwing up North Africa so I can fight that war instead of ahving to send my children do it.

  31. Fed up in PA says:

    My sympathy goes out to you Eric. Both for the loss of your school teacher and for being the focus of these raging idiots and their hate.

    it will pass life will go on.

    all the best

  32. Mark says:

    In response to DrDick’s absurd assertion that gun control laws in Europe have worked so well. Check this out

    Bet you don’t read it, DrDick.

    • Cody says:

      Wow. This is an awful article. The authors literally start with “We’re setting out to prove that more guns means less crime!”

      Also importantly, they do not distinguish “violent crime” from “gun violence” at all.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is relevant.

      • Mark says:

        Wrong Cody, the authors start with a title meant to convey the message contained within the article.

        Interesting, though, how you would stoop to trying to “put words in the mouth” of an article, though.

      • Mark says:

        So focused you are on gun, gun, gun, that you apparently miss the main point. That being, the study shows a REVERSE CORRELATION between private gun ownership levels and murder rates. I don’t know about you, but I believe that a person bludgeoned to death with a 2×4 to be just as dead as one that was shot. And the study shows that with less personal firearm ownership, more “bludgeonings” and the like occur.

    • DrDick says:

      Nice cherry picking there. I bet I can get you a job up here next harvest. I will see you one isolated Harvard study with a compendium of them saying the opposite. there is also this from the National Institutes of Health.

      • DrDick says:

        There is also this from the American Journal of Epidemiology and this.

        I would also second the others’ comments about the shoddy nature of the research you cite.

        • Mark says:

          Apparently, DrDick, “shoddy” is a euphemism for “doesn’t agree with my position”.

        • Mark says:

          Have you posted your “gun-free zone” sign yet?

        • Mark says:

          Further, if these two Harvard professors are capable of such “shoddy research”, how does that speak to those that conducted the research you cite?

        • Mark says:

          And likely you wouldn’t dare post a “gun-free zone” sign at your home, DrDick, nor wear one on your person. And as you are not likely to do so, that belies an innate support of the notion of being able to project to the world at large that you have the capability to defend yourself from attack. That protection, sir, whether you like the taste of it or not, stems directly from the fact that private ownership of firearms DOES exist in this country and that you, sir, may well be armed yourself.

          Go ahead, post the sign. I dare you. You won’t do it though, just as I thought. Laughable…

          • Bijan Parsia says:

            Just for my curiosity, what is the posting, or lack of posting, of a gun free zone sign supposed to prove? Even if Dr Dick say, ‘Ok, I did it”…would you accept that testimony?

            Plus, if it is so dangerous, aren’t you being rather irresponsible to suggest it, indeed, incite it?

            Lastly, it’s clear that this sort of swagger isn’t making you look good to the LGM community, so I wonder what you think you’ve achieved or could possibly achieve. I mean, straight up trolling, fine. But you’ve seemed to put a bit more work into the comments than that, so I’m genuinely curious.

            • Mark says:

              Hello Bijan,

              No, I absolutely do not wish any harm to the good DrDick or anyone else. I am simply trying to drive home a point.

              Aurora—gun free zone
              Columbine—gun free zone
              Virginia Tech—gun free zone
              Newtown—gun-free zone

              Does anyone besides myself see the correlation? Does anyone other than myself see “gun-free zone” = “easy, soft target”?

              DrDick is adept at citing this research or that in support of dangerous anti-gun laws. I am merely pointing out to him that he would not dare place himself or anyone he cares about personally in such a position…

              • DrDick says:

                Fuck you and your blinding ignorance. I place myself in a gun free zone every day when I go to work, as they are banned on state college campuses in my state.

                I do not need a gun to protect myself and never have (I am 60), even though I lived in downtown Chicago for 12 years. Unlike you, I am not a paranoid bedwetter cowering under the bed shitting my pants every day.

                • Anonymous says:

                  A teacher at a college, wow! And to think one of those would have more couth than to launch insulting, name calling tirades similar to those of a 6 year old. Certainly goes a long way toward proving we are all savages, albeit some with a bit more spit and polish, eh laddie?

                  Call me what you will good sir, but the strongest indictment of what you are lie in your own command of the english language. Good day to you sir.

                • Mark says:

                  So, good college teacher DrDick, I find you a mildly worthy opponent to debate, albeit prone to childish outbursts which is, by the way, the greatest personal weakness you have revealed to me thus far. By the way, the “mildly worthy opponent to debate”, while true, also stands as yet another invite for you to fall on your backside and start squalling again…

                  You speak of going to work in a “gun-free zone” every day. Bravo! And of being age 60. Good for you! And of being in downtown Chicago. Ok, I won’t lie here, you have my sympathy :) And you speak of these things with an overpowering air of bravado. You read to me to be a man of courage. That truly is great! Has that courage ever really been put to the test?

                  Let me ask you, good college teacher, up to what level do you think it appropriate to defend yourself?

                  Let’s say you piss someone off at the coffee shop and he proceeds to try to attack you with his fists. Are you going to use yours in return? Or are you going to stand there and let him beat up on you?

                  Next, one of your students isn’t happy with his grades and comes at you with a knife. Are you going to sit there and let him cut you up? Or are you going to go for the letter opener on your desk and attempt to fend him off?

                  Lastly, a man on the street rapidly draws near you. There is no ready escape. You see him drawing a weapon. A pistol. Your heart, just like mine would, begins to pound as if to burst out of your chest. You summon your courage and are seeking a means to use it. Tell me true, good teacher. If, in that moment, you had access to your 9mm in your shoulder holster, would you not reach for it? And if you managed to survive such an encounter, would you not afterward be quietly thankful for the right to keep and bear arms? Or, because you are a principled man and averse to gun violence and firearms in general, would you just at this point submit to your assailant and to whatever fate he has in store for you?

                  Of course, you are age 60 as you said and it appears this has not happened to you as yet. And in downtown Chicago, I dare say a modest accomplishment. But let me ask you, good teacher, how many of those teachers and children at Newtown expected what happened to them? Or Aurora? How about Columbine? Virginia Tech?

                  Calling me paranoid is childish to say the least in light of the fact that, yes it could happen. Just because it hasn’t yet is irrelevant. Just because this study says this and that study says that is also irrelevant. Just because there are thousands of campuses nationwide and only a select few fallen victim may well mean the odds are slim indeed of it coming to a town near you. But there is that possibility, isn’t it? And if, God forbid, it should, I put it to you, good teacher, that more than one member of your faculty, if not you yourself, would wish with all their might that they held more in their hands than a cell phone. I assure you that, at that moment, your boastfulness of working in a “gun-free zone” will suddenly seem abject foolishness. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It stems from the natural human instinct of self-preservation. It’s OK to admit it to yourself (and you don’t even have to tell anyone).

                  So you can call me paranoid if you like. No sweat off my back. None of the other insults and vulgarities you wielded so much as made me wince (not even a little). Such should be beneath a man of your age and stature, regardless of what you think of the one you are directing it toward.

                  Chew on that, good teacher…

                • MAJeff says:

                  Put down the pipe dude.

              • Bijan Parsia says:

                I understand that you were trying to make a rhetorical point, but I don’t see the force. You certainly don’t achieve any kind of reductio and your “laughable”s seem rather prematurely self-congratulatory.

                The correlation you cite is not particularly indicative of a causal relation: Schools might be gun-free zones because they are targets of gun violence, as just one example.

                (Your just-so story of “soft targets” seems particularly implausible for mass shooters who seem typically to be aiming to die as part of the process. It seems much more likely that copycatting (etc.) explains why they are targeted. Similarly, the point of gun-free zones isn’t primarily to stop spree killing.)

                As a data point, I experienced a burglary the other day (first floor flat–they shimmied up to the balcony, smashed the glass sliding door which is what woke me up). I had no weapon and am both fine with it and glad of it (I was very glad to have a cell phone).

                People tend to be too emboldened by things they perceive as upping their safety (witness how taking vitamins tends to correlate with poor diets).

                Your construction of scenarios where the gun necessarily helps (as opposed to causing unnecessary escalation) and ignoring all the aspects of pervasive gun ownership that are damaging is a great example of motivated reasoning and confirmation bias. (Albeit, the “confirmation” consists of you literally making up the confirming evidence.)

            • Mark says:

              Also Bijan, and please do not take offense, but I am not the least bit interested in how I appear to the LGM community.

              In my view, it is the ideas that are supposed to be in the spotlight, not the person…

              • Bijan Parsia says:

                Well, I can’t read your mind, obviously, but your posts are not consistent with someone who 1) is primarily interested in the ideas and 2) wants and knows how to be effective in investigating and disseminating ideas.

            • Mark says:

              I will add to that what should be obvious… that these same anti-gun “gun-free zone” laws did not, in any one of those events, prevent the killer from accomplishing what he set out to do.

              To the contrary, I believe that such laws served to enable the killer.

              After all, how many “lone gunmen” go on a spree at a police station? How about a Marine barracks?

              Perhaps our children, and all who attend schools on campuses across the nation should apply for hazardous duty pay…

              • Bijan Parsia says:

                This is a perfect example of your cherry picking. The Fort Hood shooting immediately comes to mind as a spree shooting on a military base. A quick follow through finds plenty of others (not all of those involve military bases per se but there is at least on other involving Fort Bragg on that list).

                I’d hesitate to draw a lot of conclusions from these tidbits alone, but they do certainly suggest that your rhetorical questions do not do the argumentative job.

                • Mark says:

                  Thank you Bijan for that rational and educated rebuttal.

                  Let me first offer apologies for allowing myself to be swept up, if only mildly, in the venomous rhetoric found here. Directing comments such as I did toward DrDick was only meant to convey to him what a repugnant individual I find him to be.

                  So, now to address the talking points. The language used in establishing the self-defense scenarios were solely an attempt to convey in words what it actually feels like to be in such a circumstance, trying to point out that life and death matters on an immediate and personal level are quite different from statistical evidence being read from a report.

                  It was not intentional “cherry picking” on my part regarding Ft. Hood and such, which also was a “gun-free zone” by the way. Colorado has ccw laws but that particular theater was a GFZ unlike several others in the area running the same movie. I will allow you to draw your own conclusion here.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  The language used in establishing the self-defense scenarios were solely an attempt to convey in words what it actually feels like to be in such a circumstance, trying to point out that life and death matters on an immediate and personal level are quite different from statistical evidence being read from a report.

                  Sure. But the danger of such scenarios is that, actually, people don’t necessarily react as you expect. Me, for example. Additionally, policy is typically not best formulated based on such scenarios, certainly not alone. For example, I can easily construct suicide, accidental death, and murder by stolen weapon scenarios wherein the protagonist is equally desperate to not have had the gun. I can even insist that it would be laughable that you would not feel the way I’ve constructed the scenario for you to feel.

                  I don’t think it gets very far either dialectally or substantially.

                  It was not intentional “cherry picking” on my part regarding Ft. Hood and such, which also was a “gun-free zone” by the way.

                  I’m not hugely worried about intent. It was cherry picking nevertheless with some immediate and obvious issues.

                  Civilian police at Ft Hood exchanged fire with the shooter (which ultimately brought him down), so it wasn’t, I suspect, a pure gun free zone. I don’t know whether the shooter knew that many of the soliders would be unarmed, but I believe it was not the case that everyone was unarmed (guards?).

                  (Note that it took two separate exchanges of fire to subdue him. Guns != safety in such scenarios.)

                  Colorado has ccw laws but that particular theater was a GFZ unlike several others in the area running the same movie. I will allow you to draw your own conclusion here.

                  My conclusion is that one should look at the research. My understanding of the current state is that it’s closer to what Dr. Dick pointed too, but I’m by no means au courant.

                • Mark says:

                  Further, Fort Bragg was not a mass shooting. On this occasion, a soldier directly targeted his former CO. Perhaps using “marine barracks” as an examole was a poor choice. After all, being former Navy myself, I can attest that it is generally not allowed to bring weapons on base.

                • Mark says:

                  Fair enough. I will grant that constructing scenarios in such a way can be interpreted as misleading. Again, not my intent. My intent in this regard is simply that, as opposed to reading about another person’s tragic misfortune in the news, it is another thing entirely to find your own hide on the line and that it is my assertion, and I believe a soundly based one, that the majority of people, though granted perhaps not all, would prefer to be in possession of the weapon that may save their life.

                  In regards to your reply on Ft. Hood and apparently GFZ in general, none of the GFZ sites of mass killings were technically GFZ’s once the armed police arrived. That is not the point. Military bases, as well as the theater in Aurora, are clearly marked with a prohibition to bringing in weapons.

                  Allowing you to draw your own conclusion here. My apologies, bad choice of words. More correctly should have been allowing you to consider at least the possibility of a correlation between the two. Personally, my mind is made up on that point. GFZ’s advertise “easy, soft target”. It is further my contention, while not trying to speak as the authority on what goes on in the mind of a mass shooter, is that, even though he may be intending to take his own life in the aftermath, he likely wants to make as large a footprint as possible before doing so. GFZ targets would tend to afford him a greater opportunity of doing just that.

                • Mark says:

                  And another point about military bases, from direct observation in my case…

                  Once you pass the main entrance, generally speaking, the population is generally unarmed. Like a small city, however, there will of course be patrolling mp’s just like patrolling police on the other side of the gate.

                  If one were so inclined, he could unleash a mass shooting with a smuggled weapon in numerous locations within the base before armed authorities would have the opportunity to stop it. Again, much like the police on the outside, albeit on a generally smaller scale.

                  Therefore, I believe my casting Ft. Hood as a GFZ, in that sense, is valid…

                • Mark says:

                  Here’s another point to consider, Bijan, the possible causes of the mental state of the shooter, such as the influence of prescription psychiatric medications. Read this:

                  School Shooters Under the Influence of Psychiatric Drugs

                  It is my opinion, based on information such as this, that these drugs do play a part in some people committing violent acts. Personally, this is one aspect of the debate that I believe receives far too little attention…

                • Mark says:

                  I also disagree with your contention that “guns do not equal safety in this scenario” simply because it took “two exchanges of fire” to put a stop to it. At what point, other than the shooter running out of ammunition, would the attack have stopped if there were ZERO exchanges of gunfire?

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  Fair enough. I will grant that constructing scenarios in such a way can be interpreted as misleading.

                  It’s hugely unreliable. Consider the effect of wording on poll questions.

                  Again, not my intent. My intent in this regard is simply that, as opposed to reading about another person’s tragic misfortune in the news, it is another thing entirely to find your own hide on the line and that it is my assertion, and I believe a soundly based one, that the majority of people, though granted perhaps not all, would prefer to be in possession of the weapon that may save their life.

                  Hmm. This is a backing away from your earlier comments and how you were using the scenarios. Clearly, before, you thought you were trapping DrDick in some sort of hypocrisy. There was some meandering between putting up a gun-free zone sign (which, I believe, you regard as significantly increasing the probability of an attack) and what one would desire when in an attack situation. (That’s fine…just trying to keep track.)

                  Secondly, it still says little about whether one is correct to prefer to have a weapon even in those scenarios and even more whether one is correct to prefer people to have such weapons on spec. My strongest preference should I be in that scenario is for the attacker to have no weapons. That sounds a bit trite, I guess, and I’m not thereby saying that it’s possible. I’m just pointing out that our imaginative projections have little evidential value.

                  In regards to your reply on Ft. Hood and apparently GFZ in general, none of the GFZ sites of mass killings were technically GFZ’s once the armed police arrived. That is not the point. Military bases, as well as the theater in Aurora, are clearly marked with a prohibition to bringing in weapons.

                  But military bases are defended, correct? I believe VATech had an armed security force.

                  Allowing you to draw your own conclusion here. My apologies, bad choice of words. More correctly should have been allowing you to consider at least the possibility of a correlation between the two.

                  Well, there’s obviously a correlation. But drawing too much from such a correlation is risky. You’ve already been conflating whether then increase the risk of attack with increasing the damage of an attack. I do understand the reasoning behind both lines of thought, but

                  Personally, my mind is made up on that point.

                  I can imagine. But note the big mess of your arguments and how quickly you became detach from systematic evidence.

                  GFZ’s advertise “easy, soft target”. It is further my contention, while not trying to speak as the authority on what goes on in the mind of a mass shooter, is that, even though he may be intending to take his own life in the aftermath, he likely wants to make as large a footprint as possible before doing so. GFZ targets would tend to afford him a greater opportunity of doing just that.

                  This is, of course, possible.

                  We’re so deeply nested that it’s difficult to respond to all comments, but I did want to catch one more:

                  I also disagree with your contention that “guns do not equal safety in this scenario” simply because it took “two exchanges of fire” to put a stop to it. At what point, other than the shooter running out of ammunition, would the attack have stopped if there were ZERO exchanges of gunfire?

                  My point was that being an armed, trained police officer did not equal protection from the shooter. There’s a big difference between wanting to have a gun oneself and wanting there to be some armed response (for example). If, for example, we were designing a survey on preferences of people in such scenarios, we’d have to take care to draw out exactly what people were wishing for and what they expected to happen.

                • Mark says:

                  Backing away, perhaps one way of looking at it. Only to the point, however, of not being able to account with laser precision what any particular individual would do in such a situation. Surely, Bijan, we all innately understand enough about the survival instinct of human beings as to not require an exhaustive study to prove its existence. At this point, Bijan, this is beginning to sound like hair-splitting on your part.

                  Case in point. When I was 20 and living in downtown San Diego with my wife, we were at home in our studio apartment at night when someone came to the door and started testing the knob. Scary shit to be sure. Not having a firearm in the house, I went for the next best thing available, a large knife. I then returned to my side of the door to await my fate, scared shitless. Tell me Bijan, why did I not go for a rolling pin instead? How many young husbands placed in that position do you suppose would have went for the rolling pin instead? So now, Bijan, let’s add an available firearm to the mix. I can certainly tell you without doubt that I would have retrieved it. My contention is that most, if not the overwhelming majority, of those found in this same situation would do the same, to include DrDick. Could I be wrong? Possibly, albeit a microscopically small chance of it.

                  I suspect that the regulations at military bases overseas in areas of higher threat alert my allow for the general population on base to be armed. However, bases within the continental US have strict regulations against it. As I said, the front gate is armed. There are mp’s on duty and patrolling similar to what police do on the “outside”.

                  I’m not sure whether VATech had an armed security force. If they did, however, I believe that serves to strengthen my argument rather than yours. If an armed security force did exist but was not able to respond in time to stop a killer from shooting fish in a barrel, is it not at least plausible that an armed student in the immediate area may have been able to before security arrived?

                  I do not believe drawing too much of a correlation between GFZ and mass shootings to be risky.

                  Scenario. And I will try to make this as un-leading as possible. You, an assailant, are playing the shell game. The three shells are each a potential victim. In this first round, one has nothing under it, another has $50, and another has $100. Would you play the game and “attack”? Next round. The shell that contained nothing now contains a poisonous gas that may be life threatening. Would you play? How much, if any, more hesitant would you be to make your selection if you did play?

                  This test further magnifies the relevance of the “invisible protection” afforded citizens by the simple fact that each one of them may well be armed themselves. GFZ inherently removes this “invisible protection” and would, I’m sure most would agree, allow an assailant to see the situation more akin to shell game, round one as mentioned above.

                  The challenge for anyone to place a GFZ sign on their property or on their person, is merely designed to draw their attention to the fact that such “invisible protection” does, in fact, exist because placing such a sign would instantly move them out from under the blanket of it. And most, though I dare not say all, human beings surely instinctively recognize that fact.

                • Mark says:

                  My point was that being an armed, trained police officer did not equal protection from the shooter.

                  I disagree. Ultimately it did. Further, as long as the shooter was engaged in defending himself from the police, he was unable to continue his rampage.

                  If, for example, we were designing a survey on preferences of people in such scenarios, we’d have to take care to draw out exactly what people were wishing for and what they expected to happen.

                  Well, what people would be wishing for should be obvious… that it weren’t happening to them or that they won’t die.

                  As far as what they expected to happen? Heavily dependent on the circumstances. Something to make it stop to be sure, but what?

                  Police, on site security, the ability to effect an escape? Perhaps someone among the intended victims able to mount an armed resistance? Maybe being the one actually capable of mounting the armed resistance.

                  I can certainly say myself that any one of these would be acceptable to me, and I dare say to anyone else, if it ended the danger.

                  Do you really think it is necessary to formulate a study to determine how anyone found in such a situation would feel toward an armed private citizen exercising his 2nd Amendment right actually saved their life? I, for one, don’t…

          • DrDick says:

            So basically, you cannot be bothered to read the actual research I linked to, since you refer to none of it, and you cannot come up with any reasoned response, just shouting incoherent bullshit with no relevance to anything other than the voices in your head. The research is shoddy because it is poorly designed (and I teach social science research design) and clearly biased. So basically, what Cody said. That you do not understand this, or the fact that you only found one study and I found dozens to refute it, demonstrates that your have no capacity for reasoned and informed debate. Now fuck off and die, so I can wash off all the spittle and urine you got on my clothes.

            • Mark says:

              Yes, DrDick good sir, I have read through some, though admittedly not all, of the research you posted. Like you, I do have other duties. I do see valid information there that I have no official capacity to refute. As for the rest, I will be quit of the quarreling with you as I have also read a great deal which seems to convey benefits to private firearm ownership. Of course, given the hostile nature of the exchange between us, it would be doubtful that you would acknowledge its validity any more than you did the last.

              I did find this:

              Remembering the victims

              You and I will ever disagree with how to best prevent this from happening in the future. Good day, sir, and goodbye…

        • Mark says:

          What? Crickets???

          I’ll even go you one further, DrDick, good sir…

          Deep, deep down inside you know it to be true that when the rubber hits the road, you will easily and readily through all your political views straight out the window.

          If, God forbid, you should ever find yourself in a situation where your very life or the life of someone you love depends on your capability to defend yourself, in that moment, you will not give two shits to the sun what any so-called research states.

          To the contrary, you, along with all the other pseudo-intellectuals on this post would at that point be wishing to be in possession of the very thing you are supposedly so vehemently opposed to.

          Am I wrong??????????

          Go ahead, DrDick, make yourself an idiot to the world at large by denying it….

  33. Cody says:

    Loomis may not be the most famous person at URI!

    (Or was he already? Is URI known for something? I’d never heard of it before reading this blog)

  34. Mark says:

    Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive

    Excerpt:

    Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).

    Another excerpt:

    Finally, and as if to prove the bumper sticker correct – that “gun don’t kill people, people do” – the study also shows that Russia’s murder rate is four times higher than the U.S. and more than 20 times higher than Norway. This, in a country that practically eradicated private gun ownership over the course of decades of totalitarian rule and police state methods of suppression. Needless to say, very few Russian murders involve guns.

    • actor212 says:

      So your last sentence completely negates the specious argument you were making, thus saving us the time.

      Thanks! We like self-refutations!

      • Mark says:

        So am I to understand, actor212, that murder by any means other than a gun is acceptable?

        Did you not catch the part “four times higher than the US”?

        Selective reading to be sure…

        • Nigel says:

          Well, if the purpose of gun control is to control gun violence, then the metric for its success is the amount of gun violence.

          • Mark says:

            Nigel, I would submit that the purported purpose of gun control is to control violence in general.

            Therefore, if there are studies that show that the opposite is, in fact, true, then gun control becomes the abysmal failure that it has been demonstrated to be.

            Let me ask you, in light of the four mass shooting incidents I have already listed, do you believe laws such as “gun-free zones” are effective deterrents to violence?

            • actor212 says:

              Whoa no! Boy are you wrong!

              61 mass shootings since the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire.

              No one is suggesting that it will stop all violence– which would be an ultimate goal — but let me put it this way:

              If your house is on fire and the plumbing breaks, do you put out the fire first or fix the pipe?

              Let’s take care of the imemdiate problem. Then we can talk about how to solve the more intractable one.

              • Mark says:

                Ok, actor212, let’s DO take care of the immediate problem. Repeal the federal gun-free zone act. Put an end to presenting soft easy targets to psychotic people on prescription anti-depressants. That would be the best place to start…

            • actor212 says:

              Gun free zones as deterrents? OK, I think you’re an idiot for asking this but…

              When was the last time an airport departure lounge was the site of a mass shooting?

              The prosecution rests, your honor.

              • Mark says:

                Think what you will, actor212. So when exactly did the TSA and the body scanners arrive at YOUR university? Hmmmm?

              • Mark says:

                What’s more, is that what you want? To place responsibility for your own safety in the hands of others? Taking the easy way out if you ask me. Not to mention, who has a greater concern for your own safety than you?

      • Mark says:

        You know, you could go back to my post, click on the article title I posted and read the thing in its entirety.

        Lots of good information. And, from a study conducted by Harvard nonetheless. Who knew?

        • Berq says:

          A study done by Harvard? Hardly. The Harvard JLPP is – according to its own website – “The nation’s leading forum for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship.” What’s more, Mr. Kates is affiliated with the Pacific Research Institute, a conservative, free-market think-tank.

  35. actor212 says:

    Dear Twitchy Trolls,

    Your desperation is comforting. A last gasp of rage ahead of the end of conservatism in this country is to be expected. Thank you for proving us right.

    Yer Pal
    Actor212

    • thesgm says:

      Then you will get to be in charge. Oh glorious days ahead for us!!

    • thesgm says:

      So what is your plan for us? It is obvious that you despise us to the core.

      Will you make us second class citizens? Make us wear scarlet letter? Lock us away? Take our children to re-educate them?

      What is your plan for us when are left completely powerless save for the strength of our voices?

      What will you do with your power?

      • Healthcare on demand … a real social safety-net … less discrimination … foreign policy that doesn’t make the rest of the world despise you … safer food & water … cleaner air.

        BE AFRAID. BE VERY VERY AFRAID.

      • thesgm says:

        Who will pay for all those wonderful things?

        Don’t worry, we will force the rich people to pay for it until they aren’t rich anymore. Then we will find someone else.

        Awesome social safety net! Sustainable for just about your lazy ass generation then…kaput.

        • President Eisenhower says:

          Don’t worry, we will force the rich people to pay for it until they aren’t rich anymore.

          Learn some history, son.

  36. Mark says:

    And, finally, this be my last post on this thread. I challenge each and every one of you that are expressing your outrage over Newtown that are also crying for a ban on personal firearms, to join the ranks of site of that horrible incident.

    Go ahead, post a sign on your front lawn, or on the door of your apartment stating “This is a gun-free zone”. Go ahead! After all, it worked so well for those innocents at the school, did it not?

    Doubtful that any of you would be up to that challenge, and that too is laughable. You prefer to enjoy the protections afforded you by the mere possibility that you yourself may be armed and able to defend yourself, all while crying for the abolition of the very laws that afford you that protection.

    So, go ahead. Post that sign. Wear one on your back. I dare you…

  37. [...] gig is at Lawyers, Guns & Money. In the immediate aftermath of the Newtown massacre, Erik tweeted that he “wanted to see Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.” The usual suspects in the conservative blogsphere soon translated this into the idea that Erik had [...]

  38. JS says:

    Holy Jesus Fuck! Just wanted to say: so sorry you’ve been subjected to this, Erik. (Don’t comment here much but read pretty regularly.) Now I need to go wash my brain…

  39. You have my sympathy.

    Personally, I’d settle for making Lapierre do all the clean-up at the next ten or twenty mass-shootings. The same goes for all his conscience-challenged defenders. People who argue sincerely that dead kids are an acceptable price to pay for ANYTHING are way beyond the pale.

  40. [...] a defensive and self-pitying post, he indicates he met with the police; the context suggests that someone called the police on him [...]

  41. Aaron Baker says:

    Death threats–yeesh. Don’t let those brain-dead cowards get you down.

  42. [...] has already been questioned by the Rhode Island State Police, who told him that someone had informed the FBI that Loomis had threatened LaPierre’s life. [...]

  43. thesgm says:

    Well guys, it was fun playing today. But I have to leave for today.

    I just want to make one final comment:

    I presented my argument, I was accused of rooting for child killers, of being meth-addled and brain dead, of being a chickenhawk, and a keyboard coward pooping his pant.

    In response, I quoted James Madison. Nice argument. Thank God for the founders and our system of checks and balances or there would be no stopping people like you.

    The history of man was written by a few extraordinary people. Those people were not you.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Well guys, it was fun playing today. But I have to leave for today.

      A Dramatic Exit! I love those!

      • thesgm says:

        But I am back for today!

        I was reading the posts of support for this knucklehead Loomis down below. Poor Erik, his employer is mad at him, the police are questioning him…

        Did any of you actually read any of his tweets? The man is troubled. If he went on a rampage, we would look at back and say, “the warning signs were there.”

        Not saying he will go a rampage but…I view his tweets as a warning to some kin of instability.

        A few interesting things have occurred which are pertinent to this thread. First, he deleted his twitter account! Lets rewind up the thread to the dimwit who said about Sarah Palin and her deletion of the “crosshairs” map…feeling guilty? SO Sarah Palin deletes the object of criticism against her and its proof of her guilt. Loomis does it…and crickets? Consistency people, strive for it.

        The other thing you are all exercised about is the POLICE VISIT!!!

        So are you again complaining about governmental overreach to the point of tyranny? Are we on a witchhunt against this awesome man because of his progressive beliefs? Are you truly complaining about these things at the same moment you are calling for strict gun control? Try to think these through.

        The basic complaint about the police visit is what? It must be that the “thought police” have descended on a man for voicing his unpopular opinion. The overwrought implication is that we are a police state.

        But we aren’t. In a police state, only the police have weapons. See how that works?

        Someone up-thread told me, if I really believed this stuff, to man up and become a freedom fighter. I will flip it back to you. If you think this is a high crime from a police state, do something about it. don’t sit here pooping on your keyboard. Isn’t that what I accused of? Cowardice and poopy pants?

        Like I said before (to which the Beavis’s of the thread got a good chuckle out of), I put my body where mouth was. Its your turn.

        If you don’t like that expression, how about the term, “Touch the elephant.” In the military touching the elephant means going to the war zone. Do it. Spend your time and treasure defending this man if you feel so strongly about it. Don’t just sit there attacking me on the internet.

  44. [...] urge you to read what he and others have written on the situation and reconsider your stand. Although it is never pleasant [...]

  45. [...] has now brought Loomis into the crosshairs of the state and his employer.Loomis has already been questioned by the Rhode Island State Police, who told him that someone had informed the FBI that Loomis had threatened LaPierre’s life. [...]

  46. [...] add my voice to a growing chorus supporting Erik Loomis, who, as you may know, is now subject to a deeply hypocritical and craven witch hunt.  I wish I were more surprised by this turn of events, but alas, I’m [...]

  47. [...] the way: Loomis has already been questioned by the Rhode Island State Police, who told him that someone had informed the FBI that Loomis had threatened LaPierre’s life. . . [...]

  48. Lyanna says:

    Wow, that Popehat post is stupid.

  49. Sticking your head says:

    If you’re more concerned with what Erik said than with the horror in Newtown you’re stupid. And stupidity is dangerous http://cantrip.org/stupidity.html

  50. [...] continued to double down even after he had time to cool off and retreat from his violent hyperbole.He echoed that even in his self-justifying post about his experience: Do I want to see Wayne LaPierre punished in the way many of us wanted to see Tony Hayward punished [...]

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