“So let us celebrate the falling bodies and rising statues as a demonstration of our fealty, our bondage, to the great god Gun.”

Toles pretty much says it all. I’ve never been able to track it down, but the perfect companion to it would be a cartoon that Brockington used to have on his office door in grad school. It showed an alternative history of the United States told through the lens of gun nuts with fantasies that unrestricted private gun ownership has actually ever been a defense against tyranny. (Southern Sheriff: “You got to take this little ol’ literacy test.” Civil rights activist holding rifle: “He just passed!”)

For those who prefer a similar point in more learned prose, the great Garry Wills is great once again:

Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometime this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

155 comments on this post.
  1. Davis X. Machina:

    It’s a layered defense. The Second Amendment, then the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment.

  2. mpowell:

    You can see this in that even liberal commenters are frequently quick to point out that, hey, we’re not about trying to ban all guns. And they don’t have to face the wrath of the NRA! How polluted our discourse has become. I don’t see why anyone, even someone who owns guns, should support the modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment. What people don’t realize is that you should be able to own guns without even supporting the right to do so. As long as guns are legal and you like hunting, go ahead. But you should realize that your enjoyment of hunting has to be weighed against the social costs when considering whether they should be legal or not.

  3. Davis X. Machina:

    …your enjoyment of hunting has to be weighed against the social costs when considering whether they should be legal or not.

    No it doesn’t. The Heller and McDonald Court is perfectly capable of finding gun ownership one of the ‘rights implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ and their owners found to be ‘victims of prejudice against discrete and insular minorities.’

    Strict scrutiny for firearms legislation, anyone?

  4. R. Porrofatto:

    An interesting link from 2002 with summaries of gun laws in other countries (some, like Switzerland and Germany, are stricter now).

    Spain, for example:
    - Gun owners must be licensed and undergo strict medical and psychological tests.
    - No one is permitted to own more than six hunting rifles and one handgun.
    - Firearms must be registered and inspected annually.
    - Machine guns and submachine guns are banned, as are imitation pistols.

    Imagine that. Before you can own a gun, We The People Who Don’t Want To Get Slaughtered get to know who you are, that you understand how to handle firearms correctly, and that you resemble a normal human being. Even if Scalia thinks it’s unconstitutional, it would be nice to start down the road to something similar, because, y’know, the number of school shootings in Spain is zero.

    BTW, there are dozens of sales on handguns and assault rifles today (here’s one- they even have an assault-style BB gun for the kids), as there is every day. And in private transactions (40% of all gun sales), you can buy an AR-15 with rush shipping if the voices in your head are becoming shrill and impatient.

    I think gun sellers should put aside a small donation from every purchase to a fund to buy candles for the inevitable candlelight vigils after these massacres. It’s the least they can do.

  5. cpinva:

    as long as we continue to elect politicians who allow themselves to be castrati to the NRA and the gun manufacturers; as long as the gun manufacturers and the NRA pay top dollar for their very own congresspersons and media talking heads, such will be the case.

    i am old enough, and my children are old enough, that thoughts of being a grandparent pop into my head from time to time. the senseless deaths of those children, their teachers and principal have just really hit me hard, and i’m pretty damn jaded at this point. hell, how many children, of similar ages have we condoned the killing of in afghanistan & iraq? maybe this is our sins as a nation, coming back to haunt us, i don’t know. i do know i’d love to see wayne lapierre, and the owners of every single gun company, hauled before a congressional committee, and forced to explain why the believe every single person in this country needs to be armed with a military assault rifle. but, realistically, that won’t happen, because too many of those same committee members would be complicit.

    i don’t know what to do, and i am really, really fucking depressed.

  6. R. Porrofatto:

    The gun sale I linked to was from yesterday. They seem to have eliminated the 10 pages of handguns and assault rifles today. They’ll be back soon enough.

  7. Eli Rabett:

    The most important thing that can be done is to make the gun nuts own their slaughter. Fine, they think sleeping with guns is great fun, but they have to be made to admit that it also kills innocents by the dozens.

  8. Semanticleo:

    Listen; Even the self-defense gun-owners know that their guns will be confiscated in any Regional emergency. Blackwater contractors and law enforcement had lists of gun owners and anyone who did not comply was lethally forced during Katrina. It’s just a matter of time, so give it up, now or later, but you will give it up.

  9. cpinva:

    better that ten innocents die, than that one imaginary black gang home invasion force goes free!

    Fine, they think sleeping with guns is great fun, but they have to be made to admit that it also kills innocents by the dozens.

  10. Malaclypse:

    Poe’s Law is harsh, but fair.

  11. Rarely Posts:

    I’m personally in favor of gun control, but it is still smart for liberals and Democrats to have taken it “off the table” for the purposes of public policy.

    First, effective legislation would likely have to be national and relatively restrictive. Legislation outlawing only certain, specific firearms or only outlawing them locally is unlikely to be effective. It would essentially be symbolic.

    Second, we cannot and will not obtain effective, federal legislation. The Supreme Court has rendered it unlikely that effective legislation would be upheld, and aside from that, the Senate’s structure has made it impossible. Personally, I’m psyched that we won Senate seats in MT, VA, MN, WI, ND, MO, IN, etc, in the last election. I doubt we would have been able to win all of those seats if we had been perceived as anti-gun by gun enthusiasts (as opposed to gun nuts, who almost all hate Democrats, but there is a range of pro-gun opinion, some of whom are persuadable voters). Sure, we would have won some of them, but one reason the Democratic party is currently doing so well is that we have a big tent that can compete in a lot of places where guns are popular.

    Third, other issues are more important than gun control. If we had to compromise on something, better we compromise on gun control than a better economy for the middle class, or better education, better public health, better foreign policy, better environmental protection, protection of civil rights (including reproductive rights & LGBT rights), etc.

    Moreover, we have other means of reducing crime. Crime rates have been dropping in recent years, and we can continue to pursue those effective and just policies that help reduce crime.

    It’s unfortunate that we won’t have sensible gun control in this country for another 50 years (at the earliest), but you go into elections with the electorate and electoral system you have, not the electorate and electoral system that you wish you had.

  12. Semanticleo:

    right back at’cha…

  13. Davis X. Machina:

    Listen; Even the self-defense gun-owners know that their guns will be confiscated in any Regional emergency…

    But not in Maine:

    On Thursday, April 12, Governor Paul LePage signed another pro-gun bill into law: Legislative Document 1859. This legislation, “An Act to Protect Firearm Ownership during Times of Emergency,” clarifies that, during any declared state of disaster or emergency, lawfully possessed, used, carried, transferred, transported, stored or displayed firearm or ammunition cannot be seized from law-abiding citizens.

    New Hampshire’s motto may be ‘Live Free or Die’. Not here, buster. Come the next Katrina, I live free, and you die. Maine’s urban hordes don’t stand a chance.

  14. Derelict:

    I sadly agree that we’ll never get to effectively grappling with the role of guns in this society, though not for most of the reasons you state.

    As I’ve said before, there is amount of death and carnage that will make this country rethink its love affair with guns. Not when even a room full of dead kindergarten children brings the likes of John Lott onto CNN to spew his fabrications.

  15. Leeds man:

    The gun is our Moloch

    The gun is merely one of many avatars of Moloch.

  16. c u n d gulag:

    I’ve seen some interesting ideas in some of the comments on this and prior LG&M posts, and I read an interesting one at another site this morning. And I can see some potential on selling this idea to politicians (either that, or I’m delusional again).

    Treat gun ownership like owning cars and driving them.

    Create laws that demand that all gun owners not only have to go for mandatory training, they have to pay for licenses/permits annually, and they also have to have “Gun Insurance.”
    You have a simple hunting rifle? Very low rate.
    You have a Glock? Very high rate.
    You have an assault rifle? Very, very high rate.
    Got a teenage male, or several? Very high rate. Even higher, depending on the type of gun.
    Have a young, white, adult male, late-teens to mid-20′s (the typical psychiatric profile of a mass murderer who uses guns)? See “teenager,” above.
    Have a gun accident inside or outside the house? No guns, no insurance, for 5 years.
    Guns stolen, and it’s unreported within a specified time? No guns, no insurance for 10 years.
    Someone in the house has psychiatric issues? Either no guns, no insurance – or prohibitive pricing, if you want to keep guns in that house.
    Be caught drunk or high with a gun? Lose the gun and insurance for X# of years.
    Fire, or even point, a gun at a person, when it’s not a clear case of self-defense? Permanent revocation of gun permit and insurance. All of this on top of the criminal and civil charges.

    So, with guns, like with cars, you want to insure an old clunker, or a family car? Low rates.
    You want to insure some fancy sports car that’s about as fast going 0 to 60 as a rocket? Ok – but you’ve got to pay the price. Give a teenager access to that sports car? An even higher price.

    This way, you want a gun? Fine, it will cost you.
    You, and everyone in the house has to be trained. You pay for the training.
    You pay annually to renew that license.
    And you pay for the insurance.
    The more training, and the more people trained, the lower your rates are.

    Right now, in some areas, it’s much easier to buy and keep a gun, than it is to get certain decongestants and antihistamines.
    And FSM only knows, if they could prove it, what the charges would be if I got caught selling some that I had bought, to a guy who used it to make meth?
    The mind, it reels…

  17. jeer9:

    I know the attempt to raise people’s spirits is well-intended (not sure the IN and MO wins are all that worth getting excited about) but it’s too soon for the optimism. I need to wallow a bit more before I return to my classroom, and the rose-tinted glasses have never really fit.

  18. cpinva:

    how, exactly, is being opposed to private individuals being able to own military-grade hardware, legitimately considered being “anti gun”?

    I doubt we would have been able to win all of those seats if we had been perceived as anti-gun by gun enthusiasts (as opposed to gun nuts, who almost all hate Democrats, but there is a range of pro-gun opinion, some of whom are persuadable voters).

    the supreme court, during the 30′s, upheld federal laws, which banned individuals from owning fully automatic weapons (sub-machine guns, BAR’s (Clyde’s weapon of choice)). it agreed with congress, that individuals had no legitimate reason for owning these weapons.

    assault rifles have little value as hunting guns, because of their notorious inaccuracy at distance. however, they are good for killing people, because they can spew out hundreds of rounds a minute. unless you like your venison pre-chewed, you aren’t using one in the old deer stand.

    what makes this a “truism” is NRA propaganda, funded by gun makers, whose only interest is cash money. a politician able to articulate that would, i think, be able to overcome the “anti gun” attacks.

  19. cpinva:

    the right to own and operate a motor vehicle is not a constitutional one.

    Treat gun ownership like owning cars and driving them.

    according to a half-reading of the second amendment, the right to personally own guns is.

    this is why states can decide who does and who doesn’t get to drive, and have only minimal control over guns. so says the supreme court.

  20. Semanticleo:

    Hmmm. I think the Feds might have another opinion.

  21. Davis X. Machina:

    The Feds are exactly why you need all those guns in the first place — them and the urban hordes.

    The South North shall rise again!

  22. Linnaeus:

    Save money. Live better.

  23. TT:

    The right of the people to be shot dead at school, in the workplace, at the grocery store, et cetera shall not be infringed.

    What the press and the political system obscure in all of this handwringing is that the NRA very successfully employs “law-abiding citizens”, “sportsmen”, and “tyranny” as smokescreens to hide their real agenda: protecting gun manufacturers and, even more insidiously, gun dealers and distributors from any kind of meaningful regulatory scrutiny, and the resultant financial impact. Follow the money.

  24. Rarely Posts:

    Fair enough. I honestly wasn’t trying to raise people’s spirits. I’m so pessimistic about humanity in general and our electorate in particular that I don’t think the needless slaughter of 20 first graders will have any real, long-term effect on them. I’m also so depressed about our government that I can rightly be happy about our new (bad) IN Senator merely because he decreases the changes of McConnell becoming the Senate majority leader.

    Basically, by objective measures, people who vote Republican in national elections are voting for lower tax rates for the wealthy in exchange for: causing or permitting 10,000s of needless deaths each year; playing Russian roulette with our national economy; foreign adventures that cause 1,000s of Americans’ deaths and 10,000s (possibly 100,000s) of foreign deaths. Not to mention their total endorsement of increasing environmental degradation and economic stratification. A minimum of ~45% of the electorate pulls that lever almost every election. Given that they’re all willfully blind and/or sociopaths, there isn’t much cause for hope.

  25. arguingwithsignposts:

    9/11 was an inside job! Agenda 21! One World Order!

  26. Major Kong:

    You actually can own a fully automatic weapon, subject to high fees and very strict regulation.

    Incidentally, crimes committed with Class 3 firearms are rare to the point of being almost nonexistent.

    Oh, but regulation doesn’t work. Silly me.

  27. Arouet:

    I don’t think it’s necessary in order to keep your liberal credentials to even conceptually support banning all guns. No one goes on killing rampages with a bolt action rifle, because it’s not practical. If this were truly a conflict between hunters and people who don’t want to see bloodbaths in school, there would be no conflict. But it’s not, and thus the NRA supports handgun and assault rifle ownership.

    I personally have no problem with my neighbor hunting venison with a gun intended for that purpose and barely useful for much else. I would be willing to accept the safety trade-off there, and I don’t think that means I’m compromising my commitment to safety in schools or any similar thing.

  28. Hugo Torbet:

    Right now, if Obama doesn’t like something you’ve said or written, he can send a hit team or a drone to kill you. That’s if you’re lucky. If you’re not, you’ll be kidnapped and taken to a dungeon somewhere and you’ll be tortured. Eventually you may be locked up in a concrete room with no right to contact your family or see a lawyer or a judge.

    The right of the people to be free from tyranny has been lost in more ways than needs to be stated to make the case. And the most horrifying thing is that the people allowed this to happen. They wanted to feel safer, and they lined up like sheep.

    Why not give up the guns also? There isn’t anything left to fight for.

  29. rea:

    “well-regulated”.

  30. Semanticleo:

    more Poe’s Law plz

  31. rea:

    if Obama doesn’t like something you’ve said or written, he can send a hit team or a drone to kill you.

    Poe’s Law strikes again.

  32. Joe:

    the modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment

    If you “should” be able to do something, I’m unclear why that isn’t a “right” to do something. It’s akin to those who say they support abortion rights but don’t think it should be a constitutional right. The reasons they cite (like equality) to me seem constitutionally based.

    The constitutional right to own a gun in Heller includes a slew of limitations, including limits on certain particularly dangerous guns. It is quite possible, even Scalia noted “assault weapons” can easily not be covered, to have sane gun policies under it, especially if a certain floor is accepted and the libs on the Court don’t just continue an all or nothing policy.

    But, the truth of the matter is that some think you “should not” allow guns. Let’s be honest here.

  33. Joe:

    The guy took his guns from his mother. I don’t believe his mother has mental issues.

    Six hunting rifles and a handgun sound pretty lethal.

    I don’t believe the guns here would not have met inspection.

    I don’t believe they were “machine” or “sub-machine” guns though perhaps loosely applying those terms would do the trick.

  34. Joe:

    [had mental issues .. RIP]

  35. Major Kong:

    That drone locking on to me from 5 miles up is really going to be impressed when I pull out my Glock.

  36. MAJeff:

    Or even hold a door open for a voting white woman.

  37. Linnaeus:

    Did you see Piers Morgan really go off on John Lott? I was surprised, actually.

  38. DocAmazing:

    No one goes on killing rampages with a bolt action rifle, because it’s not practical.

    Charles Whitman, I believe his name was, in the University of Texas tower. He’s not the only sniper with a big body count, either.

  39. DocAmazing:

    The car is our Moloch-lite.

  40. delurking:

    Right, “half-reading” of the Second Amendment.

    Why people always skip the bit about “well-regulated” and “militia” mystifies me too.

  41. Linnaeus:

    True, but most of these mass shootings aren’t sniping situations. They’re done at much closer range with semi-automatic weapons.

  42. Semanticleo:

    LHO, or the guy on the Knoll…..

  43. MAJeff:

    Based on what I’ve seen of the NRA types, the second amendment is synonymous with the free exercise clause. Their guns are their gods.

  44. DocAmazing:

    There’s a flip side to the gun-car comparison, which I find very apt. In California, we still have laws similar to the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban–no large-capacity magazines, no folding stocks, and so on–regulating not only the owner of the firearm but its physical characteristics, as well. While the physical characteristics of cars are somewhat regulated–you have to have rearview mirrors and, in California, smog-abatement systems in place and working–half the dipshits on the road buy SUVs that have features that increas their lethality in a car-pedestrian or car-bike collision: high bumper (great idea: hit ‘em in the viscera instead of the legs, then force them under the wheels instead of up onto the hood), “brush guards” (big steel cages on the bumpers), high suspensions with long hoods (limiting the driver’s forward visibility) and so on. I see no reason that these things should not be subject to the same kinds of legislation as firearms.

    If the foregoing made you angry, remember: that’s the sensation that gun owners are going to feel when you discuss making their guns illegal. You may argue that a car differs from a gun in that it is necessary for a variety of tasks, but let’s be honest: an SUV is a toy. If you truly go off-road, you need a Jeep, and if you’re carrying a family and cargo, get a minivan.

  45. DocAmazing:

    Not a mass shooting. One dead, one wounded. If the guy in Connecticut had killed that small a number of people, we’d all be posting about something else.

  46. Linnaeus:

    But “well-regulated” just means “well-trained”!

  47. MAJeff:

    If you consider guns something to be worth fighting for, I pity you.

  48. Malaclypse:

    Shorter one-track Hugo: Wolverines!!!

  49. c u n d gulag:

    cpinva,
    I can see how these 2nd Amendment gun fetishist’s will put this:
    “We all have 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights. If you’re free to go and shoot-off your mouth everywhere, I should be able to go and shoot-off my gun anywhere!” :-)

  50. rea:

    Anyway, the way we’ve managed our environment, we have to allow hunting or we’ll be up to our asses in starving deer.

  51. JosephW:

    By what definition? I’ve read that in a couple of places but I’d like to see a dictionary where this particular definition occurs.

  52. rea:

    No (and believe me, quite a few of the Founders had first hand experience in the Revolution with just how bad an “unregulated” militia could get)–”well-regulated” means something like “well-disciplined”. “Discipline” implies rules and training.

  53. JosephW:

    And this particular delusion only developed because Obama passed the law?

    ‘Sfunny, because *I* seem to recall a certain George W Bush doing the same thing and it didn’t scare the piss out of hapless, witless angry white men nearly as much (of course, they only expected Dubya would use the drones against those pesky brown-skinned people and their sympathizers).

  54. rea:

    And the step from resisting tyranny to massacring small children is a small one, as Timothy McVeigh or Andrew Kehoe could tell you.

  55. Bill Murray:

    it’s less filling

  56. DocAmazing:

    I’m not sure that legislation must be national. California has had some success with our laws, which are outliers among the states. Yes, our borders are porous, but one must put in a fair amount of effort to go to Nevada to get a gun. If Oregon were to adopt more stringent gun control, that would tighten up one of our borders (the least problematic one, but any help is appreciated)–Arizona and Nevada won’t be tightening up their laws any time soon.

    In short, if you can’t get federal law, make do with state law. It ain’t everything, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

  57. Tosh:

    Striking that Obama can weep for the senseless death of these children and yet, every Friday he makes decisions regarding who needs to die somewhere in Pakistan.
    Often enough including innocents and Americans.
    What does he think as he says goodnight to Malia and Sasha?
    The irony is breathtaking.

  58. Random:

    She was an ‘avid gun collector’ who taught her kids to shoot and took them to the gun range, which is itself not indicative of a balanced mind but is also the type of behavior that would be criminalized under the current scenario.

  59. Random:

    You are wrong on at least one count and that’s the assault rifle ban. From a purely political standpoint it is exactly the sort of thing the Democrats should be pushing for, hard, right this minute. It is a very marginalizing issue for the GOP, there is no downside whatsoever in embracing it and pushing for it. Even if they fail they make the GOP look like absolutists. And if they succeed the statistics indicate they will save many lives each year.

  60. Linnaeus:

    It wasn’t very clear, but there was sarcasm intended in my comment.

  61. BigHank53:

    Huh. I wonder if pushing a lot more “sporter” versions of assault rifles into Class III would help…

  62. BigHank53:

    Vaclav Havel freed more people from tyranny with a fucking typewriter than any single person with a gun ever did.

    Try again.

  63. Random:

    The language of the 2nd Amendment comes from the Articles of Confederation, I think it’s Article 5(?) It’s instructive to read it at any rate.

    Based on that read that a ‘well-regulated militia’ refers to a disciplined militia under military code with some minimal criteria for membership (which would reasonably include mental health).

    There’s also that the amendment directly tells you its intended purpose (“security of a free state”), and the very *concept* of an assault rifle didn’t exist at the time for the authors of the 2nd Amendment to reason with in order to come to determination if such weaponry actually promoted said purpose. Since assault rifles can reasonably be shown to jeopardize the security of a free state, they just aren’t covered by 2nd Amendment.

  64. JB2:

    Great article from WIlls – it immediately sent me the second section of Howl:

    What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up
    their brains and imagination?
    Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Chil-
    dren screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old
    men weeping in the parks!
    Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Mo-
    loch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
    Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jail-
    house and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judg-
    ment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned govern-
    ments!

  65. xxy:

    There isn’t anything left to fight for.

    Misanthrope.

  66. Keaaukane:

    Remember Kip Kinkle, the Springfield, OR high school shooter. His parents bought guns for him, in an effort to keep him normal.

  67. Steve S.:

    As I said on another blog:

    “our Moloch”

    Our Yahweh is a perfectly adequate metaphor, thank you. Our Yahweh drowned the entire human race in a fit of pique. Our Yahweh commanded tens of thousands of children put to the sword in the conquest of the Promised Land. Our Yahweh has an unquenchable thirst for the blood of terrified animals who have their throats slit for no other reason than it pleases him.
    Moloch is the deity who lost because he wasn’t brutal enough to beat the winner. And as we all know, history is written by the winner.

  68. Semanticleo:

    Yes but….the….outrage over guns…….

    30 children died in Gaza a couple of weeks ago.

    But, not all at once, so it’s ok.

  69. Major Kong:

    Note that Lanza was wearing body-armor.

    So unless our hypothetical elementary school teacher with a concealed-carry permit was good enough to get a head-shot in they’d still be dead.

  70. Malaclypse:

    And Cthulhu Below knows that LGM is a hotbed of undiluted, unthinking praise of Israeli policy.

  71. Leeds man:

    Right. Discussion of one outrage is an implicit endorsement of every other outrage.

  72. DocAmazing:

    Get the ATF and the DEA to switch places. Move more drugs out of Class I and II; move more guns into Class III.

    Really pissed-off NRA members could smoke a bowl and mellow out.

  73. DocAmazing:

    You have to tip your hat to a homicidal lunatic who takes the time to see to proper safety precautions.

  74. MAJeff:

    Maybe a boy scout? They are prepared, after all.

  75. Davis X. Machina:

    They’d be free. Of course they’d be dead, too. But you can’t have everything, now can you?

  76. Semanticleo:

    Yeah, but there’s outrage, and then, there’s outrage

  77. David Nieporent:

    The Supreme Court didn’t do any such thing. The case from the 1930s was U.S. v. Miller, and it upheld the NFA — which did not “ban” individuals from owning automatic weapons, but rather placed a heavy tax on their transfer — against a second amendment challenge on the grounds that the defendant hadn’t submitted any evidence that short barrel (sometimes called “sawed off”) shotguns were suitable for militia use. (They actually did have military utility, but no evidence had been presented; the defendant did not actually appear for argument.)

    None of that, incidentally, has anything to do with the so-called AWB, which applied to semi-automatic, not automatic, weapons and like the NFA did not actually “ban” them. “Assault rifles,” by which you mean automatic weapons, are not actually “good for killing people,” which is why the military generally uses them in semi-automatic or burst mode rather than fully automatic mode.

  78. Hogan:

    Yeah, but there’s outrage trolling, and then, there’s outrage trolling

    FTFY

  79. Semanticleo:

    Heh. Whatever gives you comfort and security.

  80. JKTHs:

    Right now, if Obama doesn’t like something you’ve said or written, he can send a hit team or a drone to kill you.

    Either Hugo’s dead right now or Obama really likes what he wrote.

  81. Malaclypse:

    Heh. Whatever gives you comfort and security.

    I can’t help but notice your glaring failure to denounce a single policy initiative of Henry Kissinger at any point in this thread. At long last, why do you endorse the Pinochet regime?

  82. Pestilence:

    “Assault rifles,” by which you mean automatic weapons, are not actually “good for killing people,” which is why the military generally uses them in semi-automatic or burst mode rather than fully automatic mode.

    Is it possible to be more wretchedly dishonest than you? An assault rifle is a weapon that has both fully automatic and semi-automatic options, so you destroy your own straw man in the same sentence. What a vile little man you are

  83. brad:

    Guns are people too, my friend.

  84. Semanticleo:

    I can’t help but notice your glaring failure to denounce a single policy initiative of Henry Kissinger at any point in this thread. At long last, why do you endorse the Pinochet regime?

    Interesting take. I guess if they were running for POTUS, I would be forced to choose the lesser of two weevils.

  85. Hugo Torbet:

    That drone may not be there to kill you, but it is there to watch you. Just as all of your emails are collected and all of your electronic financial transactions are recorded. Heck, you may even carry a cell-phone, i.e., a tracking device, to aid in the surveillance.

    But then, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.
    _________________________

    The mistake people make in political discussion is separating into left and right, or liberal and conservative. This results primarily from the programming in the media.

    The real dichotomy in our lives is rich vs. poor, the rulers and the ruled. The direction of the fight is towards a higher concentration of wealth, and this requires an ever tightening control of freedom, including freedom of thought.

    Think of the economy as the traffic system of a city. Obviously, if there are rules and people obey them, traffic will move as well as it can, assuming everything is equal. At some point, however, if we impose too much control on traffic, people can’t get to where they want to go.

    It is getting more difficult to get a quality education or decent medical care, but we have billions to spend on a plane military strategists confess is not needed and is already obsolete. This is not an accident.

    The fact of the matter is that the politicians are all on the same team. True, on the fringes, they appear to disagree on their more radical goals. This, however, is primarily because they like their jobs and seek to convince the common man that they are doing his bidding. Some people want to hear about Christianity and guns; other people want to hear about abortions and taking care of the poor.

    At the end of the day, the politicians will agree on the things money wants, such as the Patriot Act and other laws which encroach on the rights guaranteed — not granted, by the Constitution.

    You think you have rights? Go spend a morning watching what happens in a criminal court. You’ll see that although there are things written in books, none of that matters when someone’s liberty is actually at stake.

    So much space is dedicated on this site decrying the losses of labour unions and their right to associate, but no one seems to notice that this is part of a bigger effort. The effort to eliminate freedom. Not the freedom to decide between HBO and Showtime, but true freedom.

    The thing which is particularly ironic to me is that all of these cries for tighter firearm control is that it will result in the resuscitation of the Republican fringe, which is more dedicated than the Democrats to eliminating freedom. But don’t worry, once money has won and the people are fully enslaved, it will also take the guns away. It may take a few years, but complete gun control is inevitable.

    So folks, if you really want gun control as soon as it can happen, vote Republican.

  86. Icarus Wright:

    I’ve always enjoyed this one. Posted on the office door of my academic advisor (in the philosophy building).

  87. Hornet_Queen:

    See, all of those regulations on SUVs sound completely reasonable to me. I think we need to figure out, as a society, that cars are not toys. Have a legitimate need for something that would currently be classed as an SUV? Great! Bring your business permits, register it, use it on your ranch or whatever. On the street? Nope. You get a nice, safe minivan to get groceries in. Just grow up already.

  88. Malaclypse:

    Also, thousand-dollar fines for texting while driving.

  89. Jon H:

    “I don’t believe his mother has mental issues.”

    Then other residents in the home ought to be evaluated as well when considering whether guns should be allowed.

  90. Scott Lemieux:

    I have never seen Semanticleo denounce the Holocaust. Why does Semanticleo love Hitler?

  91. Linnaeus:

    One of the characteristics of assault rifles, as they were typically defined, was having selective fire, but full auto isn’t always one of the options, depending on the rifle. If I’m not mistaken, the the standard-issue rifle of the US armed forces (the M16A4, now transitioning to the M4) has semi-auto and three-round burst options. The first generation M16 had full auto capability, but rifles on full auto are difficult to control, and the US military discovered that full auto “mode” wasted a lot of ammunition relative to the number of times the shooters hit their targets.

  92. DrDick:

    As witty as you are original and insightful.

  93. de stijl:

    Our gun cultist friends are fond of reminding us that things other than guns kill too: cars, knives, airplanes, etc.

    So I’m looking forward to bastard sword deer season, kamikaze deer season, and Deer Race 2000.

  94. DrDick:

    We can always hope.

  95. Semanticleo:

    You must be a bait fisherman.

    Is there some correlation between your angst for the children of Newtown and the death of brown children in Gaza…..

    Color your angst white...

  96. Leeds man:

    So we’ve learned that gun control laws in the USA cannot be discussed without bringing up Middle East policy. Any other issues that must be addressed along with these? Mountain top removal coal mining? Unexploded mines? These kill kids too.

  97. Semanticleo:

    context is what I prefer, but Front-pagers need more………………..traffic.

  98. Steve:

    And now the left is participating in the same sort of rule as the right – govern on hysteria and fear. Maybe even hatred. I am so fucking tired of it. I feel certain that there will soon be a law with some kid’s name on it. A bad law that everyone will vote for because to not vote for it will be political suicide. Bleh.

  99. Malaclypse:

    Color your angst white…

    Well, that would certainly explain your shocking disregard for the atrocities inflicted upon the people of Guatemala.

  100. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Right now, if Obama doesn’t like something you’ve said or written, he can send a hit team or a drone to kill you

    I am certain he HATED what I wrote about that Peter Gabriel album. No drones yet!

  101. Semanticleo:

    Heh……Circling the Globe, Goalposts in hand.

  102. John Protevi:

    Ah yes, the informed reasoning of Hugo Torbet, last seen here on the “Resonsibility” thread musing about the way

    The U.S. blew up a lot of stuff in Viet Nam and Afghanistan, but basically was beaten by peasants with hand-me-down rifles. There are approximately 3M men in the Ohio-Michigan area with hunting licenses, and almost all of them are good shots. Collected together, with sufficient motivation, they are the largest, most effective army in the world — at least in terms of beating back an occupation.

    Because they’re Murkins, Hugo thinks, the fact that we don’t have mountainous or jungle terrain in the “Ohio-Michigan area” or that the people there are not related by intricate tribal, extended family, and village ties, or that the wider geopolitical context is not specified, means that they will be “the largest, most effective army in the world — at least in terms of beating back an occupation.” This is truly the kind of guerrilla warfare expert we need to pay close attention to; future Che’s will sleep with samizdat versions of Hugo’s Sayings.

  103. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Watering the tree of liberty, you America haters.

  104. Malaclypse:

    You think you’re tough for eating beans every day? There’s half a million scarecrows in Denver the Ohio-Michigan area who’d give anything for one mouthful of what you got. They’ve been under siege for about three months. They live on rats and sawdust bread and sometimes… on each other. At night, the pyres for the dead light up the sky. It’s medieval.

  105. John Protevi:

    rats and sawdust bread and sometimes… on each other

    Luxury. Why, when we were in the Ohio-Michigan area we counted ourselves lucky to eat rat. Our dads would eat the rat before we had a chance. And sawdust bread? Ha, we would have to eat the tree itself…

  106. Malaclypse:

    Well, when you grow up… then you’ll know these things, Danny Protevi. Now get up here and piss in the radiator.

  107. Spud:

    Then the elimination of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

  108. Matt T. in New Orleans:

    The guy above has already made the Palestinian misdirection. You should’ve gone for something like “But why no tears for all the gun deaths in urban Chicago” or something like that. You want to keep it fresh, you know.

  109. John Protevi:

    Gorsky: Dogface! I show you how Soviet dies!

    ….

    Mal: *Tell me what’s the difference between us and them!*

    Hugo: Because WE *LIVE* HERE! THIS IS SPARTA THE OHIO-MICHIGAN AREA!

  110. options:

    Before the massive proliferation of handguns and ‘assault weapons’ modified versions of the .410 and .22 were often the weapon of choice for bank robbers and other criminals. Those caliber rifles were the starter sets for kids when I started hunting back in the 80′s.

  111. swerve:

    If you have ever driven on rural roads in whitetail country you would realize kamikaze deer season already exists.

  112. John:

    It was perhaps once true that the Democrats had legitimate reason to fear losing votes int places like West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania from advocating any kind of gun control. But Democrats have already lost all those people’s votes, at least in national elections. No reason to kowtow to Appalachian and Mountain West voters who aren’t voting Democratic anyway.

  113. John:

    Even this Supreme Court has never suggested that assault weapon ownership is protected under the 2nd Amendment, no?

  114. bill:

    Well said, sir. These idiots are planning on holding out against the US Fucking Army, for God’s sake. If and when true tyranny really comes, the ones who actually fight back will likely be outnumbered by the chickenshits who throw flowers in the streets in welcome.

  115. Major Kong:

    I thought we lost in Vietnam because of Jane Fonda and hippies?

    Did I miss something?

  116. ajay:

    This is correct. The essential thing about an assault rifle is that it fires an intermediate round like the NATO 5.56mm or the 7.62 short – something bigger than a pistol round (which is too short ranged) but smaller than a full-size rifle round (which would make the weapon too big and heavy). That’s why it’s an assault rifle rather than a machine pistol or a battle rifle.

  117. Dave:

    In C18 English, ‘discipline’, as notably in ‘naval discipline’, could very well mean training and skills – cf. N.A.M. Rodger, The Wooden World.

    Of course, originalism is for dicks, anyway…

  118. Dave:

    So, use your freedom while you’ve got it, and fuck off and shoot yourself.

  119. bradP:

    Some questions:

    1) I’ve seen the “we’re not trying to ban all guns” argument a lot. What sort of partial gun ban will have much of an effect on events like those in Connecticut. He had multiple weapons, and the .223 wouldn’t have been covered by the assault weapon ban. In the end, it would seem an impossible task that can prevent the crazies from doing what they do without being extraordinarily stringent on everyone else.

    2) Is there some model of prohibition that anyone would recommend us following?

    3) How disparate would the effects of such a policy be on minorities?

  120. rea:

    In Michigan, Governor Snyder is considering whether his reaction to all this ought to be signing a bill that allows CCW in schools, churches and day care centers, prohibiting schools from banning them. The bill also makes CCW permits easier to obtain.

  121. Malaclypse:

    1 and 2 – ban multiple-round clips. There is no legitimate need outside of war theaters to fire off 30 rounds without reloading. There is no legitimate need outside of war theaters to fire off 5 rounds without reloading.

    3 – here you go. Also.

  122. Marc:

    Well, let’s see. Strict regulation of semi-automatic weapons. Large ammo clips for personal usage treated in a way similar to machine guns. I’d be OK with large ammo clips being locked down and available at, say, shooting ranges.

    Background checks and registration for all gun purchases, including those from private buyers.

    It won’t stop everything, but these are the equivalent of speed limits and DUI rules for driving a car.

  123. bradP:

    1 and 2 – ban multiple-round clips. There is no legitimate need outside of war theaters to fire off 30 rounds without reloading. There is no legitimate need outside of war theaters to fire off 5 rounds without reloading.

    I think going beneath 5 or 6, which I think is common for hunting firearms would be over the top, but you have mentioned this before, and something along these lines wouldn’t be unreasonable.

    3 – here you go. Also.

    Unfortunately, as we know from what folks on here call “The war on some groups of people who do some types of drugs” (or something of that nature), actual ownership and possession rates could be a pretty bad metric for judging this sort of thing.

    The ATF isn’t going to be busting down the door of Nancy Lanza’s suburban mansion on a tip she has a couple of pistols.

  124. bradP:

    OK. Can I ask what the goal of such policy would be?

    Reduce the overall number of guns?

    Keep guns out of dangerous hands?

    How would you prioritize them?

  125. Malaclypse:

    Keep guns out of dangerous hands?

    The idea that a bright line exists separating “dangerous hands” from “responsible owner” is more than a little bit problematic.

  126. Marc:

    The goal is to reduce the ability of people to spray innocents with lots of lead in short periods of time.

    It’s fun to drive fast, but we have speed limits, insurance, and registration for cats. This is applying the same principles.

  127. Marc:

    Or, to put it another way, guns and ammunition appropriate for hunting and self-defense are fine; those designed for mass killing are not.

  128. DrDick:

    The goal would be to decrease gun deaths. According to the CDC, 11,493 of the 16,799 homicides in this country in 2009 were firearm deaths.

  129. sparks:

    At its fastest, I’ve seen a cat go around 20mph. The scooter I used to ride (and had to register) was much faster. Free cats from onerous registration! Liberty!

  130. Tosh:

    Sure. Either way, Karma’s a bitch.

  131. djangermats:

    So how’s freshman year going, cleo

  132. djangermats:

    I don’t believe his mother has mental issues.

    And as the psychologist who met and evaluated her you’re completely in a position to judge that.

  133. djangermats:

    If I was another white person who cared more about defending Obama than I do about some dead folks in the stans, I too would be very peeved at people talking about those dead people instead of “keeping it fresh”

  134. djangermats:

    Uh I don’t think that is a flipped side

    I’m p sure the people who’d flip over their SUV being regulated are generally gonna be the same people flippin a shit about their guns

  135. Hogan:

    Also, that’s a dog license with the word “dog” crossed out and “cat” written in in crayon.

  136. Njorl:

    You could hunt the deer where I live with a hammer.

  137. Njorl:

    Have you ever been to the US?

  138. DrDick:

    In a world of Citizens United, you only think you are joking.

  139. U:

    Before the SUV craze the worst drivers on the road where inevitably in Volvo wagons.

    I spent the better part of a year in the hospital after being tboned by an SUV and even I am not on board with determining the “legitimate needs” of my fellow citizens. I would rather raise the gas tax, increase registration fees based on curb weight/ horsepower and work through insurance regulations.

  140. ajay:

    Also, “automatic weapons are not actually good for killing people”? Really? Machine guns, then, not really much of a threat? I’ll tell the Army. They’ll be fascinated.

  141. rea:

    This is SPARTA, Michigan

  142. Semanticleo:

    Sure seems to be a lot of PW veterans here. I don’t think I’ve commented there in 5 years or more. Elephants never forget.

    Did Goldbrick send you…..lol

  143. brad:

    Or I was referencing Mitt’s offhanded reference to that decision, heh.

  144. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Someone should point out to Snyder that concealed carry and guns in schools will also apply to the TEACHERS whose unions he just outlawed.

  145. zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Also funny: the concealed carry thing never seems to apply to the Statehouse.

  146. Hugo Torbet:

    Yes.

    There is a scene in Three Days of the Condor in which the spymaster is asked whether he misses the OSS days, and he replies essentially that what he misses is the clarity.

    The biggest problem with the military adventurism in Viet Nam is that there was no clear goal; there was no concept of what “victory” would look like. Hence, what we saw was improvising with American treasure and soldiers — with a lot of death of innocents and pointless destruction of property. (And a massive recession at home which lead, in turn, to Reagan.)

    Compare the two Bush Iraqi adventures. To quell international outrage, and in exchange for an agreement on low oil prices, Bush the Elder managed a plan with a defined goal to successful completion.

    In contrast, Bush the Younger ordered military forces into Iraq with no clear objective and certainly without legal authority. And I remember that old whore DiFi being the one blowing the loudest bugle.

    Here we are years later, and I still don’t know what it was really about, although I am positive it had nothing to do with retribution for WTC or achieving suffrage for Iraqi females.

    My point on this gun control talk is simply that the Constitution is the line in the sand. You are either an American or you aren’t.

    It is hypocrisy to complain about the government reading email or searching homes without a warrant or spying on mosques but also advocate gun control (because you want to feel safer from the monsters). Furthermore, all this talk about “assault weapons” is a bunch of nonsense.

    Of the 12,000 firearm incidents last year, only 300 involved rifles of some kind. So-called “assault weapons” are just a fraction of these. Thus, the left is talking about a very small percentage of the guns used in the total number incidents. And it’s not as if the person who would use such a weapon illegally either couldn’t get around a ban or wouldn’t use some other legal gun.

    But if you admit that you are simply trying to make yourselves feel better, I’m good with that. But I don’t want to hear any of you bitching about taking your shoes off at the airport or showing ID to get into a court house. It’s the same sort of meaningless window dressing.

  147. FaggotAL:

    Har!

    You don’t understand the diagnostic power of his keyboard and 1999 monitor. He’s an internet GOD!

  148. Anonymous:

    Sure. Either way, Karma’s a bitch.

    Word

  149. Anonymous:

    Hmmm…black on black gun crime.

    Well, THAT never happens!

  150. Speak Truth:

    dude look like a lady

  151. Speak Truth:

    And if they succeed the statistics indicate they will save many lives each year.

    Please cite how many lives the 10 year assault rifle ban saved? Link would be nice.

    Put answer here_______________________.

  152. Bob:

    c u n d gulag,

    That was a long post. Probably took a good while to write.

    Did you ever get a job?

  153. MAJeff:

    So, Ms. Rosh, how many names do you have?

  154. Speak Truth:

    Oo, what a funky lady
    Oo, she like it, like it, like it, like that.
    Oo he was a lady!

  155. Speak Truth:

    DENVER (CBS4) – The day after the shooting in Connecticut a lot of people in Colorado tried to buy a gun.

    The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it received 4,154 requests for background checks from potential buyers on Saturday. That was so many the CBI couldn’t process them all and the backlog grew to nearly 18 hours. The Unit could only process 3,001 checks on Saturday.

    Extra staff was brought in over the weekend and workers are still trying to clear the backlog.

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