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Today in Crazy Land


Utah wins Crazy State of the Day, as a bill allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit–that’s right, without a permit–passes through a House committee. It’s real hard to see what could go wrong:

But Mathis also acknowledged — under strong questioning from Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City — that his bill would allow people to carry loaded firearms openly. Under current law, weapons cannot have a round in the chamber if openly carried.

“In my world, we use horses … we go fishing and it’s quite common to carry a gun on a saddle,” Mathis said. “If I didn’t have a concealed-weapons permit, I have to have the gun unloaded to carry with me.”

King said he feared the bill would encourage more people to buy guns and lead to a rash of accidental discharges of guns as well as having weapons present in escalating circumstances where tensions would run high.

Nope, no problems at all.

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  • Verplanck

    FWIW, vermont has no concealed carry laws either. Any owner can concealed carry without a permit.

    • David Nieporent

      Shh! Don’t confuse Loomis with facts.

      • sharculese

        He’s still not going to fuck you, Davey.

    • Anonymous

      And when there are no problems, I wonder if we’ll hear any kind of retraction from Loomis?

  • c u n d gulag

    Oh goody!

    Now that the bullets will be in the chambers, it won’t cost the patriots a precious second or two when the Ebil Gubmint comes for them in their black helicopters, or the Crips & Bloods Joint Traveling Basketball & Kill Whitey Youth Outreach Teams decide to invade the nearest Applebees!

    Of course, we non-Utah residents (Utahanians/Utahations?) need to remember to never ever drive up to the house, or up to the car, or tap on the shoulder, of a resident patriot, if we need directions on how to get the feck out of that state – they’ll be carrying us out in a coffin.

    • JKTHs

      or the Crips & Bloods Joint Traveling Basketball & Kill Whitey Youth Outreach Teams

      We had that team in our town. They were quite nice fellows

    • Sev

      But doesn’t Mountain Meadows sound like a pleasant place to spend eternity? Or personalized planet- your choice. Ok, well, not your choice; theirs.

      • rea

        Mountain Meadows? Oh, come on–the Mormons hardly ever massacre wagon trains of gentiles these days . . .

    • Utortions?

      Goddamned unmarked state-owned liquor stores, and somehow Zion Natl Park ended up in America’s Armpit? Ugh.

    • Warren Terra

      we non-Utah residents (Utahanians/Utahations?)

      Utahn (or the less-interesting “Utahan”). The problem is that “Ute” was already taken, by a people who managed to hold on to the word – though they weren’t quite so successful in holding on to their land.

      • DrDick

        I always assumed it was “Utwhats” or “Utwhits.”

    • Njorl

      How about Utahoos?

      • rea


    • efgoldman

      the Crips & Bloods Joint Traveling Basketball & Kill Whitey Youth Outreach Teams

      Alltime win! Unfortunately we can’t make internet deliveries to Queens, you’ll have to pick up your prize in person.

      • c u n d gulag

        But I’m a little farther North, now.

    • Alan Tomlinson

      Non-residents of Utah are almost always known as gentiles.


      Alan Tomlinson

  • LosGatosCA

    The main root of the gun fethishist Mittyism is their delusion that only good guys have the guns that matter and that they only use them wisely to protect themselves from the bad guys.

    It’s hard to dissuade them from the fact that all these other non-conforming to the delusion events aren’t just part of the price paid for freedom. Sacrifices must be made, collateral losses are more than acceptable. Blood watering the tree of liberty and all that.

    Years of therapy for these people won’t even make a dent.

  • Uncle Kvetch

    accidental discharges of guns

    The only way to stop a gun that accidentally discharges is with a gun that doesn’t accidentally discharge.

    No, wait…I’ll come in again.

    • Warren Terra

      “The only way to stop the accidental discharge of a gun is with the deliberate discharge of a gun”?

      • calling all toasters

        Colbert-esque. *golf clap*

        • Uncle Kvetch

          Indeed. Warren nailed it.

    • Loud Liberal

      If, as Archie Bunker said, laughter makes you live longer, you just extended my life by a year.

  • Carbon Man

    I bet Erik pisses his pants every time he hears so much as a firecracker or a car backfiring.

    • Uncle Kvetch

      I’m going into business, having decided that what the world needs now is a waffle iron that makes waffles in the shape of handguns. I’m going to call the folks at Shark Tank.

    • rea

      Erik has the courage and self-confidence to face to world without a symbolic extra penis gun. Do you?

      • Njorl

        What kinda pussy fairy doesn’t even have a paranoia-driven gun fetish?

        • rea

          Well, me . . . I’m just exactly that kind of pussy fairy.

          • Warren Terra

            Is anyone else thinking of the tooth fairy’s business model and getting terribly confused?

            • somethingblue

              What is the toothfairy’s business model, exactly? This has always puzzled me.

              1. Pay people good money for small useless objects they would otherwise throw away.
              2. ????
              3. Profit!1!

              Also, what is Solyndra’s involvement in all this?

              • ajay

                What is the toothfairy’s business model, exactly? This has always puzzled me.

                According to Pterry, it’s:
                1. Collect pieces of children’s bodies; which, whether it’s hair, teeth, fingernail clippings or whatever, will enable you to
                2. Use sympathetic magic to control children worldwide for
                3. Profit!

                • somethingblue

                  So the Koch Brothers rather than Solyndra.

                • Njorl

                  I thought it was the sale of very tiny ivory statues.

          • I’ll bet that Carbon Man pisses his pants when he hears a black man talk about something besides guns and drugs……

            • I propose that we start actively encouraging our inner city and minority youth in to possess fake guns and take long bus trips to places like Utah and Wyoming.

              Just wear ’em. Wear ’em to the Food King, wear ’em to church, wear ’em at a bus stop. Just. Wear. ‘Em.

              Well, maybe we ought to give them real guns. Those little cowards will probably shoot first and ask questions later.

              • Pestilence

                Or shoot first and ask questions never

            • DrDick

              I think he spends all day, every day hiding under the bed pissing and shitting himself in fear that the N-*CLANG*-s are coming to get him any minute now.

              • efgoldman

                He probably spends all day wishing someone would make him some pancakes.

          • Bill Murray

            I would be, but I’m more of a fairy pussy. For instance, as a youngster I did not clap for Tinkerbell because, although I did not believe, if fairies were true I would hate them with the white hot heat generated by a thousand good fairy wands

      • David Nieporent

        Rea has the courage and self-confidence to face the world without a symbolic womb seat belt and air bags. Do you?

        • sibusisodan

          Things that we know you must know, being an adult and all: the manner in which guns are proposed to enhance safety is different from the manner in which seat belts & air bags are proposed to enhance safety, so your analogy doesn’t quite work.

          ‘Rea has the courage and self-confidence to face the world without a automotive penis substitute souped-up 4×4 with bull-bars, fat-ass tires and go faster spikes, do you?’ works better IMO.

          • DrDick

            Things that we know you must know, being an adult and all:

            Assumes facts not in evidence. From the available evidence, I am not sure the David “knows” anything (though he clearly thinks he does).

        • sharculese

          Y’know if you want the right to act like a huffy, self-important dweeb, a critical first step should be not being to stupid to construct a fucking analogy.

          Your lack of dignity knows no bounds, limitations, or qualifiers.

          • Anonymous

            But he the greatest fucking legal mind ever some mediocre lawyer from fucking Hoboken.

    • A real man doesn’t need a gun

    • BigHank53

      Maybe he’s more worried that he’ll wake up in the middle of the night, hear an intruder in the bathroom, and plug them without checking to see if his wife is still in bed. Or vice versa.

      Wait, don’t you believe Mr. Pistorius?

    • I’ll bet you piss your pants before you can get out of bed.

      • ecurb

        Lotta internet tough guys like you around, aren’t there?

    • witless chum

      Projection is not just a way to show movies on screen.

    • John (not McCain)


      (Sorry – was watching Conan on SNL last night; can’t get it out of my head. Carry on.)

      • That’s insulting to carbuncles and other monopodia

    • Loud Liberal

      Or, maybe it causes the accidental discharge of his gun.

  • SpotWeld

    Isn’t riding with a loaded weapon against the NRA safe handling rules?
    It just seems that at a mimimum, unless you’ve been acclimating the horse to gunfire, you’ll get dumped on your @$$ when the animal bolts.

    • Warren Terra

      I have seen innumerable films – each and every one a documentary, I presume – demonstrating you are incorrect, sir. Horses are untroubledby gunfire.

      Just watch out for dudes wearing black hats, especially if everything around you is in black-and-white, instead of in color. They’re up to something, I tell you!

      • Also, folks wearing feathers. Too. Also.

    • witless chum

      Seems like it ought to be. I’m wondering what the actual distinction is between loaded and a round in the chamber. And how that would relate to a revolver.

      The classic Old West six-shooter was most wisely carried with five shots and the hammer down on an empty chamber to minimize the risk of accidental shooting. Is this poncey state representative maligning the cowboys of yore, who actually sorta needed a gun for their jobs? Or imagining his fishing trip is taking place in The Sons of Katie Elder or something?

      • BigHank53

        A firearm is “loaded” if it contains cartridges that can be cycled into the firing chamber, even if the firing chamber itself is empty. The NRA’s own hunting safety classes advise quite strongly against carrying a firearm with a round in the chamber because the same mechanical action that places a round in the chamber cocks the hammer. Some so-called “safety mechanisms” only block a trigger pull, and any shock can jar the hammer loose, whereupon it falls on the firing pin and it discharges. If, for example, you propped your loaded and cocked pump-action shotgun against a fencepost while you climbed over the fence, and your foot slips, there’s a non-negligible chance of blowing your own fool head off.

        Firearms with exposed hammers don’t have this problem, as they can be de-cocked manually. Think of those old revolvers, double-barreled shotguns, and even the Colt 1911. Your thumb may slip while cocking or de-cocking, so it’s still not a great idea to mess around with a round in the chamber. This isn’t an option with most rifles and shotguns. They’re equipped with some kind of override mechanism so the action of the gun can be cycled without firing, ejecting the unfired cartridge.

        • witless chum

          I meant I wonder what distinction the law in Utah is making. The story seems to treat “loaded” and “a round in the chamber” as if they’re synonymous. But, obviously, they aren’t on pretty much any weapon that’s not single-shot.

  • Warren Terra

    It’s the logical extension of the gun nuts’ argument: they claim that carrying a gun can protect you from crime, but this is obviously false: carry a gun snapped into a concealed holster or buried in your purse and you’ve got little chance to whip it out once you’ve been attacked by a criminal; it’s possible you’re more likely to wind up dead if you are a crime victim while carrying concealed, because your attacker will have your gun, and be convinced you intended their death.

    Obviously, the only way that carrying a gun can really protect you from mugging, rape, and other violent crime is if at all times your weapon is in your hands, loaded, with a round chambered. Safety first, after all! You may still find it necessary to fire a couple of warning shots if a stranger gets close enough they might manage to take your gun off you – although moseying down the street with a revolver in each hand may make even this sensible precaution unnecessary.

    If my entirely reasonable proposal inexplicably fails to give us the perfectly safe, perfectly polite society that we deserve and that the Founders intended would be ensured us by firearms, I continue to insist that we consider a Right To Bear Hand Grenades. Pins out, obviously.

    • Data Tutashkhia

      But of course… The guy says he goes fishing; how do you fish without a hand grenade?

    • Davis X. Machina

      ….a Right To Bear Hand Grenades

      For when bear pepper spray just doesn’t work.

    • wjts

      Obviously, the only way that carrying a gun can really protect you from mugging, rape, and other violent crime is if at all times your weapon is in your hands, loaded, with a round chambered.

      I must disagree. In your scenario, it will still take that precious split second to aim (undoubtedly with unerring accuracy) at your attacker and to pull the trigger. A split second is all the time a government thug needs to forever rob you of your liberty or a gangbanger needs to forever rob you of your wallet. The ONLY way to perpetually guarantee your safety is to be constantly firing your weapon in all directions at all times. This sensible, eminently Constitutional practice is quite literally the sole means of reliably protecting you, your rights, and your precious precious property from malefactors, ne’er-do-wells, and other boogeymen. Ergo, restrictions on magazine capacity are the exact equivalent of panzers rolling into Mokra.

      • Njorl

        Entering line-of-sight is implied consent to be shot. It’s in the 2nd amendment.

    • Linnaeus

      The Onion News Network is, of course, on it.

    • Loud Liberal

      Madison and Jefferson intended the Second Amendment to ensure a “perfect polite society?” Uh, no!

      • Warren Terra

        1) That’s the part of my comment you find problematic?
        2) do you not recognize a sarcastically bullshit claim taken from the nonsensical slogan that “an armed society in a polite society” when you see one? I’m not a great parodist, but I was hardly being subtle.
        3) Fun fact: Jefferson was in France when the amendments comprising the Bill Of Rights were adopted by the House, had been for more than four years.

  • Murc

    Call me crazy, but… am I the only one who thinks that if people are going to be allowed to carry guns at all, they should be REQUIRED to carry them openly? You know, so the rest of us are warned?

    I don’t understand concealed carry.

    • Warren Terra

      Molly Ivins once suggested that concealed weapons should be legal, but only if anyone carrying concealed was required to wear a propeller beanie.

  • RSP

    Having recently moved to Utah (damn the academic job market!) this crap is everywhere. My students are allowed to carry on campus so I get the joy of being reasonably sure that a percentage, even if small, are carrying in my classes or just walking across campus. After the Aurora shootings the local paper was full of comments talking about how they always go to the movies “strapped with their glock to protect their grandchildren/children.” It’s a cowboy culture. At least private businesses are allowed to forbid them entry if they want (for now). But longer term residents have told me that a lot of the crazier legislation is controlled and kept down by the few responsible leaders. Apparently it has been common to allow the nuts from the rural areas to get an issue to pontificate about (I guess a couple years ago it was about eliminating 12th grade) while the grown-up legislators work out the budget and other important pieces of legislation. Hopefully this will end up in that nutjob symbolic category.

    • Njorl

      I get the joy of being reasonably sure that a percentage, even if small, are carrying in my classes

      Don’t worry. I’m sure only the most mentally stable are carrying.

      • Uncle Kvetch

        And for every mentally unstable student who’s packing in your classroom, there will be at least half a dozen mentally stable ones ready to take him/her out…along with you and at least half of the rest of the class, of course (but hey, eggs & omelettes and so forth)…should things go awry.

        Don’t you feel better now?

      • Sev

        Possibly your students suing you for failing them causes less concern than it might.

    • SteveHinSLC

      I take it this is your first Legislative Session, then? Thank god the legislature is only in session for 45 days a year. You can get through it, you just have to stay drunk the entire time.

      To be fair to Utah and its concealed-carry laws, though, I think the record of Utah concealed-carry permit holders has actually been very good. I don’t believe there has been a single case of anyone carrying a concealed weapon in public being involved in a wrongful shooting.

    • ecurb

      Or you could just move, since you clearly have no respect for the local culture.
      If such things are important to you, why not move to California?

  • PSP

    I’m thinking we should encourage all of these folks to buy old single action revolvers and carry them in their belts with a round in the chamber. They might not believe in evolution, but I do.

    • Gwen

      well done, sir, well done.

      (love the heavier trigger pull and drop safeties on modern DA semi-automatics)

  • What could possibly go wro–*BLAM*

  • The only thing that would make this better would be if it were called the Help Warren Jeffs Keep His 13 Year Old Wives Act.

  • CJColucci

    In what world is carrying a rifle in a saddle scabbard “concealed carry”? And, as someone pointed out up-thread, what kind of moron would have a round in the chamber under those conditions?

  • ajay

    Just to put this in perspective, this means that you can carry a rifle in a car in Utah in a condition in which you wouldn’t be allowed to carry it in an armoured vehicle in Afghanistan. (Round chambered inside a vehicle? Massively unsafe.)

    • ecurb

      I believe this only applies to holstered handguns, although you may know Utah’s laws better than I do.

  • montag

    Unfortunately, this is behavior to be anticipated. Obama wants gun legislation, however weak, and the gun nuts immediately push harder in the opposite direction. If Obama wanted all magazines limited to six shots, John Mathis would want grenade launchers. If Obama wanted truly effective restrictions on pistols, Mathis would want howitzers. And then say that all sport hunters need at least 155mm to do the job right.

    I say nuke the legislature from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    • ajay

      If Obama wanted truly effective restrictions on pistols, Mathis would want howitzers. And then say that all sport hunters need at least 155mm to do the job right.

      Did someone say “sport hunting with a howitzer”? Why, yes, I believe they did!

      How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer Cannon

  • Ian

    Why would you want to walk around with a round in the chamber of a semiautomatic pistol? It’s a recipe for an accidental discharge. Is it that much work to pull back the slide?

    • Dave

      And it makes such a cool noise….

    • ecurb

      Firearms in a holster do not cause accidental discharges (although there was this one really weird case involving a cop and a ridiculously powerful electromagnet on some medical scanner).

      However, loading/unloading a firearm under stress offers an extra opportunity for a negligent discharge, which is why police carry firearms with a round in the chamber.

      Simply put, if I have a loaded handgun while out hunting, it’s no risk for me to keep it loaded and holstered in my car until I get home (and can upload while pointing it in a known-safe direction, like a clearing barrel full of sand).
      However, it is risky to force me by law to draw and unload my gun in a parking lot.

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  • DFH no.6

    Carry laws – even the most, umm… “liberal” (see what I did there?) – have minimal (if any) impact on gun violence.

    Vermont has had concealed carry without a permit forever (and overall has the least restrictive gun laws in the country).

    Vermont is no one’s idea of a “murder capital”.

    Alaska joined Vermont in 2003, Arizona in 2010, Wyoming in 2011, and now Utah this year.

    From what I’ve read it seems concealed carry doesn’t do either what its detractors (“OMG! It’s like the Wild West, and there will be shoot-outs in the street and idiots accidentally shooting themselves all over the place!”) nor its proponents (“Let more people carry loaded pistols in their pockets and crime will go down because criminals won’t be able to tell the sheep from the wolves”) assert.

    Chicago is our murder capital right now, and it has fuck-all to do with Illinois gun carry laws (the most restrictive in the country).

    • Gwen

      Agreed 100 percent.

      For me the biggest issue relating to carry is that the laws are enforced equally and fairly. I tend to think that “shall issue” permits are the most consistent with the equal protection clause of the Constitution, particularly given the arbitrariness of officials in “may issue” states. For the record, I am not in favor of so-called “Constitutional carry” like Utah just passed (seriously, some people are too dumb to breathe, much less carry a loaded weapon). But one has to admire the way it completely eliminates the equal-protection problem.

      I am a liberal who owns a gun. I don’t care much about the Second Amendment and find the NRA to be a bunch of a wackadoodles, but the 14th amendment is really important to me. I want your child to be safe, and I don’t care if you regulate what I can shoot or when or where. But please just don’t treat me like a second-class citizen.

      Of course, I have lots of weird ideas about things and not just about guns. I also have no idea why people are more in favor of concealed-carry than open-carry. I didn’t understand the brouhaha about horse meat either until it was pointed out (thanks Europe!) that slaughtered horses are often more doped up than Lance Armstrong.

      • PSP

        I believe that for most gun owners open and concealed carry laws get all mixed up with carrying a gun in your car. I remember a bunch of lawyers arguing with a social worker that a father had to keep the gun on the back seat, because putting it the trunk was concealed carry in Massachusetts. The law on the issue varies state to state and is basically a trap for the unwary.

        Even though most gun owners probably don’t want to carry a concealed weapon around with them, I worry about the fact that it is the biggest wackadoodles, paranoids and racists who feeel the need to always carry.

  • Painini

    On the bright side, maybe fewer kids here will accidentally shoot themselves or their siblings if Mom and Dad always have their guns strapped to their belts.

    (Yeah, not so much.)

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