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Lafayette

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We can learn lessons from the mass murders that are a monthly event in this nation. We learned, as a nation, from Dylann Roof, that the Confederate flag is a symbol of horrible evil that inspires racist violence. It has since come down at the South Carolina statehouse. That’s pretty amazing. There’s plenty of lessons to learn as well from the Hitler-loving, liberal-hating man who shot up a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana this week. He should not have been able to legally buy a gun. Yet the laws are so lax that he easily avoided any restrictions. Even if you love guns, there’s no good reason to support a regime that allows anyone to buy them, no matter their history of hatred, violence, and mental disturbance. Gun restrictions on people like that is just common sense. Unfortunately, thanks in no small part to the scumbag facilitator of mass murder and terrorism named Wayne LaPierre, as well as craven politicians like Bobby Jindal who made sure anyone could buy just about any gun in Louisiana, there’s no way the nation will learn similar lessons here. And thus the mass murders and right-wing terrorism will continue.

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  • MPAVictoria

    It really is a kind of sickness. Try posting something on twitter about gun control. Within minutes you will be bombarded with yahoos telling you that the real problem is not enough guns. Logic doesn’t work, neither does data. They wont allow anyone to tell them their boom sticks are dangerous.

    It is just sad.

    • Warren Terra

      It is true that if only we had enough guns in this country we could end gun violence. Once you can’t possibly shoot anyone because there are too many guns in the way, you couldn’t possibly hit them …

      • I’m picturing everyone dressed in burquas hung all over with guns. Which is of course the NRA/Gun Manufacturers’ wet dream.

    • ChrisTS

      My favorites are the ones who think that not being an expert in guns and gun lingo means one cannot speak intelligently about guns and gun regulation. I’m not an expert about guns and I don’t know the terminology.

      I do know that letting anyone get hold of any number of weapons they want, many of which fire many bullets (oh, sorry, ‘ammo) without reloading and which are described by their manufacturer as “devastating to anything in its path,” is stupidity.

      • Origami Isopod

        It behooves liberals who want to talk about gun control to learn the basics. E.g., not to use “semi-automatic” without regard to the actual firing mechanism. Especially when the most important thing to focus on is high-capacity magazines.

        On any other issue liberals are happy to geek out with facts, but on this one some have just decided that all the terminology is “icky” and “derailing.” This is a grave mistake, both in argumentation and in legislation.

        • efgoldman

          On any other issue liberals are happy to geek out with facts, but on this one some have just decided that all the terminology is “icky” and “derailing.”

          Just the opposite, I guess, from the state legislature (don’t remember where – Michigan? Virginia?) that kicked a female member off the floor for using “vagina” in a debate.

          • DocAmazing

            But was it a high-capacity vagina?

            • Gabriel Ratchet

              You mean like one of the Duggars?

          • Linnaeus

            Much as I wish it weren’t true, it was Michigan. Technically, Lisa Brown wasn’t kicked off of the floor, but was not allowed to speak for a day. Which is still outrageous.

          • Manju

            I’m glad you used quotation marks.

            • Lee Rudolph

              The use v. mention distinction rears its toothy head.

        • ChrisTS

          I don’t think it’s icky or derailing (?) to know facts. The derailing is done by those who nitpick lingo.

          • mojrim

            It’s been my observation that one man’s details are another man’s nit to pick. While arguing about bullets vs. rounds and clips vs. magazines is indeed picayune, there are critical details involved. Fully vs. semi-automatic is pretty important, but the real issue is just how “devastating” any particular weapon is.

        • Linnaeus

          I agree, though I have sympathy with ChrisTS’s point as well. It’s valuable to have a basic familiarity with the mechanics and distinguishing characteristics of firearms when discussing gun policy, particularly when we are getting into specific legal details.

          In some discussions, however, there is a kind of language policing that is conducted not for the purpose of enlightening or educating people, but instead to obfuscate, intimidate and ultimately exclude people from that discussion. There’s all kinds of discussions on any number of topics in which people without specialized or technical knowledge use certain terms in an inexact fashion, but it’s nonetheless clear in context what they mean and the inexact use doesn’t necessarily negate the point the person is trying to make. So if someone says, for example, “Maybe if Jared Loughner didn’t have those high-capacity clips, he couldn’t have harmed as many people”, it’s pretty clear what that person means, even if she or he is using the term “clip” incorrectly – the focus is on the ammunition capacity and not the vessel in which it is contained. Now maybe that person should be corrected, but there’s a constructive way to do it instead of what some people do and say, “oh, you said clip and not magazine so everything you say about guns is totally wrong.”

          • Origami Isopod

            Oh, that definitely happens. It’s in-group terminology that’s usually slung around to signal one’s tribal affiliation. But, yes, in those discussions it’s used purely in bad faith.

            • mojrim

              I wouldn’t call it bad faith so much as what Linneaus identified as tribal signifiers. Guns are really a cultural issue in this country and the terms used tell everyone else who you are. With such ingrained and fundamentally antagonistic positions shouting each other down s all we seem to have left.

      • DrDick

        I am a gun owner and have been most of my life, but I strongly favor very strict regulation of all firearms, including mandatory licensing for each weapon, comprehensive background checks, prohibiting bulk purchases of weapons or ammunition, and the rest. There are far too many whackaloons with too many guns who should never be allowed near the gun case. My pistol, which I have for camping in bear country, is kept broken down, in a locked box, with a trigger lock, and all the ammo in another room.

        • efgoldman

          I am a gun owner and have been most of my life

          And I’ll bet you represent a majority of gun owners – but not the people who own the majority of the guns.
          I’m assuming you have no intention of personally taking on the entire US military establishment if the ebil gummint pisses you off enough.

          • DrDick

            Hell, I do not have any intention of protecting my home from intruders with it. It is a whole lot harder for most people to kill a human being than these Rambo wannabes think. Just ask the US military or police departments,

        • mojrim

          That seems a tad extreme…

          Many of us do see guns as a tool of self defense, especially against other human beings. I for one will never enter KKK-burg the Idaho panhandle unarmed; it’s the only place I ever had the even display a handgun in self-defense.

          And then we get into the details. How much is a “bulk purchase’ when an active recreational shooter can easily go through 3000 rounds per year?

          • DrDick

            Those are the retrictions already in place in every other developed nation. That is what is called “reasonable restrictions.” Frankly, I do not know why anyone would need to buy more than one weapon at a time. Also, why would you need to buy a year’s worth all at once?

            • Lee Rudolph

              Frankly, I do not know why anyone would need to buy more than one weapon at a time.

              They get lonely!

              • dejalynn

                The guns or the owners?

            • mojrim

              Just because someone else is doing it does not mean it’s actually providing anything useful; you’ll have to get into specifics. I would buy ammo by the case at gun shows because it was 1/2 to 1/3 the price of doing otherwise. Shooting that much was integral to use of them for self defense. Given how dangerous a half-dozen Idaho nazis are even if unarmed, my use of it was quite legitimate.

  • Origami Isopod

    In 2014, facing eviction from his Alabama home, John Russell Houser set out to make sure no one else could ever live in that house. He poured concrete down the drains and cemented the fuse box shut. He splattered paint and human waste all over the walls.

    The new owners found Houser had it booby-trapped: the gas starter tube in the fireplace was twisted out and ignited, the logs removed. “He was hoping the house would catch on fire. That’s what the investigators told me,” said Norman Bone, 77, who had bought the house for his daughter.

    • Sounds like a poster-manchild for libertarianism.

      • PohranicniStraze

        Sounds more like an old-school conservative Christian terrorist to me. He believed all the problems started when forced prayer was removed from school, was vehemently anti-abortion, and tried to set fire to a law firm that represented porn theaters. Add in the love of swastikas and you have a down-market, less stable Pat Buchanan.

        The article mentioned the shooter was extremely opposed to his daughter’s wedding and made vague threats about it – makes me wonder if it was the groom’s race, religion, or political views that bothered him.

        • Lee Rudolph

          makes me wonder if it was the groom’s race, religion, or political views that bothered him.

          Sexual jealousy seems right in line with what else we know of him; with or without a veneer of good old fashioned (entirely non-sexualized!!!!!!) patriarchy.

          • matt w

            We should also consider the possibility that this was a specifically anti-feminist act of terrorism. Is it a coincidence that this particular guy decided to stage a massacre in a movie about a sexually liberated woman?

            • drwormphd

              Absolutely, this aspect seems a bit underexplored…

              • KmCO

                How every atypical for mainstream reporting.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Exactly. I posted this WHTM link in the “Saturday Links” thread. Misogyny is so normalized that it doesn’t even occur to the cops as a motive.

                  I am hoping that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s focus on the MRM as a font of terrorism will eventually influence law enforcement’s concepts thereof, although I think it will take a long while and happen indirectly.

              • Manju

                I was thinking about this possibility when I saw pics of the two victims who died. Both women. I wonder what the male-female ratio is for the rest.

                Importantly:

                Lafayette Shooting Was ‘Slow and Methodical;’

            • KmCO

              This. He did not pick the film theater randomly. Among the many, many groups of people that this man did not believe have a right to live are liberated women.

              Given that he also believed an entire laundry list of other segments of society should be slaughtered, we can speculate about the sexual jealousy angle for why he singled out the audience for an Amy Schumer film. There is also talk from the family that he had psychiatric conditions. That may be true, and it is relevant. But we absolutely cannot ignore the man’s politics.

              • There is also talk from the family that he had psychiatric conditions. That may be true, and it is relevant.

                Not automatically. All I’ve heard is he had some sort bipolar disorder. As I said elsewhere linking or attempting to link health history to behavior can be a mistake.

                • DocAmazing

                  There are many more sane murderers than mentally ill ones. Mentally ill people are orders of magnitude more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators.

                  This guy was acting out his fantasies and his anger. Nothing insane about that; just very poor impulse control.

                • KmCO

                  This guy was acting out his fantasies and his anger. Nothing insane about that; just very poor impulse control.

                  Well, there’s no doubt about your first sentence, but we don’t know that that’s the extent of it. His poor impulse control may very well be related to his mental health problems. All I’m saying is that all factors are potentially relevant when considering this man’s behavior. I am not trying to suggest that the mental health angle necessarily supersedes the ideological angle. Accounts point to this guy having had a history of anger control problems and a sense of aggrieved victim status in addition to possibly a tenuous grasp on reality. Combine that with what sounds like social and/or emotional isolation (family members cutting him off, probably for very good reason mind you), and his ideological obsessions amplified the more time he spent online with like-minded individuals. All in all, an extremely toxic brew.

                • efgoldman

                  Well, there’s no doubt about your first sentence, but we don’t know that that’s the extent of it. His poor impulse control may very well be related to his mental health problems.

                  As I said in the Saturday links thread below: He’s white, therefore mentally ill. If he were black, he’d be a hateful, resentful, genetically violent coward; if Muslim, a terrorist.
                  Q. E. D.

                • Origami Isopod

                  I’ve known quite a few people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder does not make one into a racist, misogynist, homophobe, fascist, or anything of the like.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  I’ve known quite a few people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder does not make one into a racist, misogynist, homophobe, fascist, or anything of the like.

                  Certainly it doesn’t. In fact, my default assumption is that any given mental disorder—in particular, bipolar disorder—has 0 correlation with any one of “racist”, “misogynist”, “homophobe”, and “fascist”. But surely it is possible, even likely, that someone with bipolar disorder who is also one of the above may, if unmedicated, untreated, and in a manic phase, express their disorder through actions concordant with their racism, misogyny, etc.? If that person is also fond of, and copiously possessed of, guns and ammunition…

                • Origami Isopod

                  Lee: It’s entirely possible his illness played a role in the shooting, but focusing on it as a root cause is wrong.

            • Manju

              Mr. Houser believed that women should not work outside their homes, and “had a lot of hostility toward abortion clinics,”

          • Origami Isopod

            I wouldn’t exactly be shocked to find out the guy was a sexual abuser, because that goes hand in hand with this level of patriarchal beliefs, but it might have simply been that she didn’t get his permission. For all we know she’d already cut off contact with him and he was furious that she wasn’t going to let him run her life any longer.

        • A lot of the RWNJs seem to have mastered the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in their minds simultaneously and accept both of them.

          • LosGatosCA

            Just two contradictory beliefs? That’s underestimating the complexity of their irrational minds.

            Their fantasies let them hold every possible contradictory belief except those based on logic, common sense, and/or empirical evidence.

            ETA- should always read down – redundant but true.

            BTW, the real watershed moment in gun owner violence was in Connecticut when America saw elementary school children slaughtered in a blue state and reasonable people couldn’t’ even move the fucking needle on the issue.

            • PohranicniStraze

              “slaughtered in a blue state”

              See, there was a mitigating factor. They were just liberals in training.

              Near my work there is a very large, popular gun store. Normally the parking lot will be between 1/3 and 1/2 full. I passed by it on the day of the Newtown shooting, and they were so busy that there were literally people circling around waiting for parking spots. When I consider that I am surrounded by a large number of people whose first reaction to an atrocity against innocent children is to go buy more guns, it makes me despair of humanity.

              • WabacMachinist

                It’s not that complicated. Start with generous doses of intense, non-specific and self-perpetuating fear, add a few dashes of chronic distrust of legally constituted authority, and Voila! You have an industry that virtually finances itself!
                John Grisham’s The Runaway Jury is uncomfortably close to reality.

            • Origami Isopod

              It might just be me, but I feel like I’ve seen an uptick in anti-gun sentiment online since Newtown. Of course, that’s not going to translate into legislation any time soon.

              • I think I’ve seen people who don’t have guns (or have them and don’t take them out of the case very often) lose some of their sympathy for the various smokescreen NRA arguments (hunters, 2A right, I’m scared of the monster under my bed). But yeah, that’s a long way from political action.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Yeah, the ones who probably jerk off with cosmoline are futile to argue with.

                  I’ve seen speculation that as the country becomes less white, NRA-fueled gun culture will decline. Probably, but that’s not soon enough, and it doesn’t take a huge minority to cause damage.

                  There was a comment on the WaPo that chilled me, even though it’s not telling me anything I don’t know:

                  Just about everywhere I’ve lived, I managed to find a neighborhood tavern with great burgers and cheap draft beer.  
                   
                  Another thing all these joints shared was having a few guys that sat at the end of the bar for hours on end spouting far right wing foolishness to anyone who would listen. Most people ignored them. 
                   
                  Except maybe for his stint in a mental health facility, all of those guys at the end of the bar are a lot like Houser.

                • That quote…

                  I travel a lot to small towns and cities in upstate NY and New England for work. In order to avoid a McD’s diet when I’m away from home, I look for those taverns* for dinner. As the stranger present, I get roped into conversations which I try to keep as neutral as possible. But sometimes it’s the ranter who seizes upon me as a new audience.

                  *A linguistic oddity: I tend to call them “saloons” per my father who grew up in the Bronx.

        • ema

          was vehemently anti-abortion

          He advocated terrorism against Ob/Gyns so, obviously, he was considered an “entertainer” and booked on TV talk shows.

          • Origami Isopod

            Meanwhile he believed “sterilization should be mandatory for welfare recipients.” I’ll bet which welfare recipients he believed should be sterilized depended greatly on their race, possibly also on their gender.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Citation needed for libertarians favoring renters destroying a landlord’s property. (Behavior is pretty much the polar opposite of the LGM standard line that libertarians love rich people.)

        • Origami Isopod

          Hypocrisy runs deep through the libertarian movement. See: Ayn Rand taking welfare, Instaputz working for a state university, “defenders of personal liberty” opposing abortion, and Gamergaters who yell “FREEZE PEACH!!!” out of one side of their mouths while yelling “STFU BITCH OR I RAEP U” out of the other.

        • DocAmazing

          Was he a renter being evicted or an owner being foreclosed upon? I couldn’t find that info in the linked article.

          (Makes a difference w.r.t. Libertarian motivation.)

          • Renter, apparently.

          • Hogan

            Mr. Houser also had a history of financial trouble, including a bankruptcy filing in 2002, and a home foreclosure that led to a courthouse sale in 2014.

            Mr. Houser lost his house in Phenix City to foreclosure, and in March 2014 an eviction order was served, the sheriff said. A criminal complaint was later filed accusing Mr. Houser of vandalizing the house, including damaging gas lines and pouring cement into the plumbing.

            I’m leaning toward owner, but it’s not clear.

            • Ah. I may have misread.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          He was the homeowner, as Hogan indicates.

          And for the quintessential example of libertarians destroying buildings because they didn’t get their way, see Roark, Howard.

          • matt w

            There’s also Ellis Wyatt setting his oil fields on fire because of a speed limit on train travel. (As Adam Lee says, “I doubt that Colorado’s oil wells were on fire when Ellis Wyatt found them, but never mind that.”)

    • ASV

      Is Alabama really such a sellers’ market that you can sell a house after pouring concrete down the drains?

      • ChrisTS

        It would seem the buyer didn’t have an inspection done. Do people buy houses sight unseen?

        • Karen24

          Inspections aren’t usually a feature in foreclosure sales.

          • I do foreclosures for the court in CT sometimes. Property is sold “as is” with at most a walk through before the auction. If you don’t have access because someone is living there, not even that.

            • ChrisTS

              Ahh. Jeez,that seems like a bad system.

        • witlesschum

          He might have pulled his little tricks after the home inspection.

        • Ahuitzotl

          If it was a courthouse sale, possibly there was an inspection done prior to the concreting?

  • Derelict

    There never has been, and there never will be, a gun tragedy so horrific that it can move America away from its more-guns-is-good philosophy.

    Face it: The deaths of 22 kindergartners in Connecticut resulted in a tidal wave of legislation to further reduce or even eliminate restrictions on gun ownership, gun carriage, and firearm use in general. THAT was our national political reaction to a slaughter in an elementary school.

    So we’re now beyond the point where anything can happen that will ever make us rethink our gun policies. Anything that happens can now only be a matter of scale–Newtown with 60 children dead, Charleston with 100 churchgoers dead, Aurora with 200 dead. And we’ll be shocked, and horrified, and the NRA will use that as another lever to make guns even more ubiquitous.

    • Malaclypse

      This. If two dozen children can be slaughtered, and the result is no non-insane legislation, and a sizable minority of insane people who harass the parents of the dead for participating in a gun-grabbing hoax, then nothing can ever move us to action.

      • WabacMachinist

        Well, there’s always “prayer and healing”.

      • burritoboy

        Oh, it will be eventually fixed. When the usefulness of the Freikorps ends, whatever authoritarian regime the Freikorps have helped establish will turn the real military and cops on them. The members of the Freikorps will either get with the new program or get filled with holes.

        Yes, I went there, and that’s where I think it’s going.

        • If you’re right, the coming Night of the Long Sporks will make historical precedent look mild by comparison.

          • Hogan

            I see you’ve played Knifey Spoony before.

          • Lee Rudolph

            And don’t forget the importance of the Sporkstoßlegende.

            • mojrim

              You have won the thread.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Wow, you actually have no idea about 1920s German history at all, do you? Because the sheer level of fail in your analogy is spectacular.

          • Origami Isopod

            Could you please explain the “fail” in question for those of us who are not experts in that era of history? Because what I’m reading here (yes, it’s Wikipedia, I don’t feel like digging up a book on the subject) doesn’t sound like burritoboy’s analogy is all that wrong.

          • Karen24

            And here I was amazed at their brilliance. I’m totally stealing sporkstoßellegende

          • Malaclypse

            Exactly. Why, for the analogy to work at all, there would need to be a heavily armed underclass seething with racial animosity towards an easily-scapegoated minority, along with a myth of national decline as a result of internal betrayal.

            • DocAmazing

              And capitalists and industrialists willing to finance politicians who paid lip service to populism and the common man while opposing labor organizing and socialism.

              • David Allan Poe

                At least those sorts of people don’t have a flag to rally around.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Try to think of a mass shooting as a ‘prompt freedom excursion’.

  • The NRA is part of the equation. The other obstacle to going anywhere but around in circles on this issue is it would require us to ask why it is that men – predominantly white men – use Kill Strangers as a coping mechanism. Or even why men as a whole use Kill as a coping mechanism.

    Society continues to say each killer had some mental illness, even when there’s no history of mental illness or symptoms of the mental illness the person has rarely or almost never include violence against other people. You may as well say the killer was pre-diabetic or had flat feet for all it has to do with his decision to kill anyone.

    But “Why do all these heterosexual men keep shooting us with their Glocks?” just isn’t a question this society is able to ask itself, even though it is pretty obvious this happens because society is doing something wrong to its boys. But I’ll say until it is a question we can start to seriously answer – one, we won’t get anywhere with gun control and two, we’ll continue to have mass shootings.

    • Becker

      Thanks for this. Men are taught that, in order to be real men, they must cut themselves off from their humanity. Suppress emotions. Refuse to admit weakness, or even illness or injury. Men die earlier than women of preventable illnesses. They kill themselves more often than women do. They kill others more often than women do. Patriarchy kills men as surely as it kills women.

    • KmCO
      • Thanks. One thing that stood out was this:

        “being pissed off about an inability to cash in on privileges previous generations of men received without question”:

        I think the reality is worse. A lot of men have bought the myth that in The Goode Olde Dayez everyone else had to kiss men’s asses. While it was easier to get away with certain things in the past, even for white men, absolute ass kissing has only come close to being true for the ones with the most money/power. Same as it ever was.

        But there’s money to be made out of assuring men that but for the feminists and/or those rabble rousing blacks, their lives would be an endless parade of titties and stepnfetchits, so that’s a message that gets repeated. It’s a slight nitpick, but I think it’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that this grievance is at all reality based.

        • KmCO

          As evidence, I give you this recent ad for iced coffee, which as a beverage category is apparently so totes girly that it has to be specially marketed to men so that their nads don’t shrivel when they drink it. Look at that message: the self-pitying whine about how men used to be respected simply for the accident of their having two Y-chromosomes but aren’t anymore. It’s the nostalgia for an era that didn’t exist but one they desperately wish existed now.

          • Origami Isopod

            Borked link, KmCO.

            • KmCO

              Really?? Damn it, I need to stop attempting to hyperlink when typing on my iPad. Here, try this:http://crypticphilosopher.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_6548.jpg.

              • It manages to be even dumber than I imagined.

              • Hogan

                Mammoth? As in “We Hunted The”?

                [googlegooglegoogle]

                Oh crap, it’s a real thing.

                • Origami Isopod

                  JFC.

                • Malaclypse

                  Irony is dead.

              • I see your boys only iced coffee and raise you White Now Men.

                • wjts

                  I am now deeply worried that I have been buying the wrong kind of light bulbs all these years, ones that emit a type of photon that isn’t designed to work with my mighty man eyes.

                • I am now deeply worried that I have been buying the wrong kind of light bulbs all these years, ones that emit a type of photon that isn’t designed to work with my mighty man eyes.

                  If the lighting in your home allows you to distinguish pink from red, switch to oil lamps or torches.

          • DocAmazing

            Nitpick: one Y-chromosome. If you don’t have any Y-chromosomes, you’re female. Two Y-chromosomes is the old “murderer’s chromosome” (long ago debunked).

            • Coffee and TV

              Nitpick: one Y-chromosome. If you don’t have any Y-chromosomes, you’re female.

              Wow. Just…wow.

              There are plenty of women out there that have Y chromosomes, Doc. Chromosmes, like genitals, have jack fucking all to do with making someone male or female. I can’t believe I have to explain this on a progressive blog no less.

              • DocAmazing

                Genotypically female, as opposed to phenotypically female or female-identified. I didn’t bother running through all of that because I thought it was fairly obvious. I also didn’t go through mosaicism or intersex presentations (like congenital adrenal hyperplasia) because I thought that they were pointlessly technical.

                Chromosomes have quite a bit to do with making someone male or female. So does culture. So does self-identification. If you’re going to explain things, you might want to back up and look at the complexity of that which you are explaining.

              • mojrim

                You are confusing sex (male and female) with gender (man and woman). The former is a strictly biological term with zero political loading.

            • KmCO

              Ugh, yeah, I meant one y, as in chromosomal females have two x’s.

              Of course, there are people with two y-chromosomes, but they’re not presently the topic of discussion.

              • Lee Rudolph

                Apparently (according to the Great God Wikipedia) there are no people with only two sex chromosomes, both of which are Y.

                • Not even Chuck Norris?

                • wjts

                  No, but there are XYY individuals.

                • DocAmazing

                  Gotta have an X, though. You only need one…

                • Lee Rudolph

                  YYUR, YYUB, ICUR YY4me.

                • KmCO

                  I meant that there are individuals with two y’s in addition to one x.

              • Coffee and TV

                More transphobia. There’s no such thing as a “chromosomal female”.

                • wjts

                  Sure there is. Men with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia are chromosomally female (XX) and phenotypically male. Women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome are chromsomally male (XY) and phenotypically female. As a rule, male birds (and some other types of animals) have two Z chromosomes while females have one Z and one W chromosome. Chromosomal sex is a perfectly cromulent biological concept that has a very high correlation (in humans, anyhow) with gender identity. I’d argue that the notion becomes transphobic when it’s used as some sort of unanswerable trump card/excuse to misgender someone.

                • Lurker

                  I agree with the above. While gender and phenotypical sex are two separate issues and genotypical and phenotypical sexes two further issues, the vast majority of population has all the three pointing to same direction. Thus,it is quite all-right to use the terms “male” and “female” for the chromosomal configurations XY and XX when talking about biological sexes, not about gender.

                  Your position is an example of the naturalist fallacy. In the naturalist fallacy, a person claims that something is good because it is natural. In your case, you claim that certain quite sensible biologics concepts that occur in real life are not correct because they are not in line with your morals. Your morals are correct, but it does not make them natural. On the other hand, their unnaturalness does not make them any less correct. We are humans because we can overcome our biological limitations to greater extent than other animals.

                  The concept of gender identity you support is the current social reality, but it is the reality only in this time and in this culture. It was not the reality one hundred years ago and one day, for all we know, it might no longer be the reality anymore. On the other hand, statement “Humans with chromosomes XY tend to be phenotypical males and humans with chromosomes XX phenotypical females” will remain true at least several millennia, at the current rate of human evolution.

          • Bill Murray
          • Coffee and TV

            Chromosomes have nothing to do with being a man.

            I can’t believe I have to explain this constantly to cishets, even on a progressive blog.

            • KmCO

              In all fairness, I don’t think that Doc Amazing would disagree with you.

              • Coffee and TV

                He needs to apologize for the transphobic, bigoted statement and so do you.

                • KmCO

                  …Jennie, is that you?

                • Lee Rudolph

                  …Jennie, is that you?

                  Seems like a good bet, doesn’t it?

                • Coffee and TV

                  Oh, a supposedly progressive blog claims I’m a troll when I point out their transphobia.

                  You’re even worse than the dudebro progressives on Tumblr.

                • KmCO

                  Yep, it’s Jennie. Cleanup time.

                • DocAmazing

                  If you find the existence of genotypic sex offensive, I’m not sure what to tell you. You are not just your DNA, but your DNA is part of who you are. Whichever sex you identify as, your DNA has an opinion, as well. Nothing transphobic about that.

                • The last time JenKnob tried this he talked about “transitphobia”. He must have found a different place to cut-and-paste from.

                • Origami Isopod

                  “transitphobia”

                  Right-wing terror of using public transit systems and picking up Untermenschen cooties?

                • Malaclypse

                  Don’t over-think it. Weapons-grade stupidity is always the best explanation of Jennie’s act.

                • Warren Terra

                  public transit systems and picking up Untermenschen cooties

                  Ah, yes, that common confusion between untermensch and unterbahn.

                • JerKnob is trying to redeem himself after the GENDER FRAUD! fiasco.

                • Malaclypse

                  I think GENDERFRAUD!!! was Dagney.

                • wjts

                  It wasn’t either of them – it was Mean Mr. Mustard.

            • Lurker

              I agree with the above. While gender and phenotypical sex are two separate issues and genotypical and phenotypical sexes two further issues, the vast majority of population has all the three pointing to same direction. Thus,it is quite all-right to use the terms “male” and “female” for the chromosomal configurations XY and XX when talking about biological sexes, not about gender.

              Your position is an example of the naturalist fallacy. In the naturalist fallacy, a person claims that something is good because it is natural. In your case, you claim that certain quite sensible biologics concepts that occur in real life are not correct because they are not in line with your morals. Your morals are correct, but it does not make them natural. On the other hand, their unnaturalness does not make them any less correct. We are humans because we can overcome our biological limitations to greater extent than other animals.

          • efgoldman

            which as a beverage category is apparently so totes girly that it has to be specially marketed to men so that their nads don’t shrivel when they drink it.

            Is that what happened to my ‘nads? I thought it was just age (iced coffee is the only kind I drink.)

            ETA: At first I thought “Mammith Supply” must be an advertiser in The Onion. Then I googled them. They’re real?? And if they’re such manly men, why doesn’t their iced coffee come black, unsullied by wussie dairy products and sweeteners?

            • Hogan

              They’re pretty much a dairy company. Their other products are yogurt and ice cream. Apparently in New Zealand, real men don’t drink milk.

              • Lee Rudolph

                In New Zealand, real men drink milk straight from the ewe!

                • Origami Isopod

                  Is that how the kids are describing it these days?

              • efgoldman

                Apparently in New Zealand, real men don’t drink milk.

                Ah. I didn’t realize they were offshore – about as far offshore as you can get!

          • wjts

            See also the overcompensating Builders Tea. Why they didn’t go with “This ain’t no pretty pretty princess tea party!” for a slogan baffles me.

            • No comment: “heavy duty teabags”

              • Lee Rudolph

                “For the man in ewe!”

            • Hogan

              Ah, rebranding cheap crap to play on insecurity. The classics never go out of style.

              • Origami Isopod

                Appreciating finer, better-tasting food and drink is just so … metrosexual.

                • efgoldman

                  Appreciating finer, better-tasting food and drink is just so … metrosexual.

                  As I recall, BK advertised their Enormous Omelet Sandwich as the meal for a he-man who defiantly takes on all the fat and calories he wants.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_King_breakfast_sandwiches#Enormous_omelet

                • ChrisTS

                  @efg: When I lived in Houston, we frequented a bar that featured a “Men Only’ steak platter: 24 ounces with fries and gravy.

                • DocAmazing
                • wjts

                  I actually really like builder’s tea, so much so that it makes up ~95% of my hot tea consumption. But every now and again I’m more in the mood for a cup of Earl Grey or jasmine tea or something similarly effeminate. Where do I turn in my Man Badge and my gun?

          • Personally, I maintain high t-levels while drinking my home-made iced coffee by telling myself that that magnificent bastard Rommel kept a thermos of same next to the Enigma terminal aboard his command vehicle.

  • LosGatosCA

    People just have to face the fact that there’s a significant (27-45%) portion of American citizens that are just batshit crazy enough to emulate the judgment of a three year old on many, many issues, including gun ownership, reproductive rights, basic human decency toward the less privileged, less fortunate people in society, etc.

  • LWA

    After each shooting I ask the same thing, why do we accept the concept of a “right” to own a firearm at all, in a civilized society?

    I am just tired of always having to start with the default of “Of course owning and carrying firearms is a natural right…” and only then timidly asking about background checks.

    Overton Window and all that- its amazing that when we demand justification of the “right” to firearms how thin and insubstantial it is, and how easy of a moral case can be made that guns should be a privilege.

    • Davis X. Machina

      …why do we accept the concept of a “right” to own a firearm at all, in a civilized society?

      Because au fond we’re not that civilized.

      Besides, without it, there’s no way to staff the slave patrols.

      This comes with some unfortunate side effects, to be sure….

      • mojrim

        If by “slave patrols” you mean Idaho panhandle skinheads and the Joe Arpaio posse then yes, absolutely.

        • Origami Isopod

          U.S. policing in general was born out of the slave patrols, so, no, the phrase should absolutely not be limited to those two groups.

          • mojrim

            I mean them only as examples. Once could easily ad Ferguson PD, for example. Minorities very much need guns to protect themselves from these groups, which is exactly what John Bingham intended.

    • Four Krustys

      Well, the argument would be that everyone has an inherent right to protect their own person and their property. They believe it is fundamental. This argument is often made with regard to a woman protecting herself from a rapist, or the fact that Martin Luther King sought a firearm for personal protection.

      I actually have some sympathy for this position (though bringing MLK into a discussion about gun rights makes me think of Bill Hicks’ bit about the cross.) But my personal experience is that if you point out that no gun nuts thought that Trayvon Martin ought to have a right to protect himself, and that “personal protection” has always been racial code for “the culturally sanctioned right to kill inconvenient black people”, they will get mad and start sputtering what about Chicago and how Democrats kept slaves from owning guns.

      • Cheerful

        As in other areas arguments that should be a question of degree become one of absolutes. There is good grounds for thinking there is a natural right (or fundamental right or however you want to characterize “rights”) to defend yourself. And clearly guns are a means of defending yourself. And for some that pretty much ends the argument. But all the other rights we talk about, of speech, privacy etc. are allowed to be infringed where implementation of the rights unduly interferes with other people’s lives. A proliferation of easily obtainable guns in the hands of a population a certain number of which are sociopaths or disturbed is going to have bad effects. And there are other means of defending yourself besides use of guns.

        And so a “right” to defend yourself is perfectly consistent with throttling down considerably on the availability of guns. You don’t have a right to a perfect means of self-defense regardless of its effects on others.

        Too bad the Founders were over impressed with the military efficacy of citizen defense forces. They needed a Farley to advocate for Abolishing the Militia.

        • This topic was very hot in NYC after Bernie Goetz “defended himself.” A lot of people said to me “I can put myself in his position and so I think he was right to do what he did.” My reaction was that I was in the position of someone who rides the subway all the time and didn’t need Charles Bronson wannabes shooting down the car.

          31 years later, nothing seems to have changed in the arguments.

        • Lurker

          It is quite difficult to know what the 2nd Amendment was supposed to protect. In my opinion, it was meant to protect the state militias and individual right to bear arms from federal control. The state militias had just one the Revolutionary War, so they had shown themselves to be pretty effective. The Constitution was written so that the federal army would be difficult to maintain and that the federal government would not be able to curb state militias. (Just like the 1st Amendment was written to preclude a federal establish church, while state established churches remained unaffected.)

          In effect, an originalist reading of the 2nd Amendment would probably nullify the federal Gun Control Acts, perhaps also the laws against individual ownership of destructive devices. It might also nullify some of the legislation on the National Guard, as that is the organized militia if the several states. On the other hand, I definitely don’t support such outcome, because I am not an originalist.

          • heckblazer

            Such an originalist reading would also abolish the Department of Defense as a dangerous peacetime standing army.

          • Cheerful

            At the risk of restarting the war I would question the actual effectiveness of militias in the Revolutionary War. After Lexington and Concord I am not sure where they made a significant impact. But perhaps I am overlooking something. It is true that the Founding Parents certainly thought they were the bees knees. And then came the War of 1812. So much for the theory.

            I agree though that the unfortunate 2nd was pretty much about fencing off state power from federal tyranny, misguided though the military theories involved were.

            • Malaclypse

              It is true that the Founding Parents certainly thought they were the bees knees.

              That lasted all the way until 1791.

              • Warren Terra

                Let me just once more bemoan the existence of that asshole Bellesiles, whose convenient and glib frauds have probably made serious conversation about the founding fathers’ actual views on firearms impossible for a generation. Oh, and also on the cultural vandals who, incredibly, subsequently employed him as a historian, and especially the fncking New Press for publishing another book from him.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Gah, I’d forgotten about Bellesiles.

            • Lurker

              We must separate the objective reality from the Founders’ reality. The political reality for the Founders was that the state militias, forming the backbone of the Continental Army, had won the war.

              In reality, the war was probably won by the French Navy and their expeditionary force which were ably helped by the American forces. However, this was definitely the political historical reality for the Founders.

              BTW, the Founders would probably be OK with a department of defence consisting of a standing navy and air force, perhaps also the marine corps. The founders did allow permanent funding of the navy, because they knew that the ships were long-term investments. They would also probably OK a marine force to serve on those ships because it is necessary. And as a continuation of the investment-heavy defence establishment, they would no doubt allow a standing air force. Army, on the other hand, would most likely consist of federal armories and of the state militias.

          • mojrim

            You would need to take that analysis a step further to apply it to present day reality. Originalist intent aside, we live in the post civil war, post 14th amendment era, where Amds 1-8 are applied against the states as well as the feds.

        • mojrim

          While there are certainly acceptable restrictions on any individual right, we as a society have accepted that the exercise comes with costs. If there is any such thing as a natural right, it is that of self defense, and no, there really are no viable alternatives to firearms.

          • Barry Freed
            • mojrim

              I have read, and continue to re-read, the data put out by the DOJ, NIH, etc… I don’t need a reporter giving me the popular version. We’re still back to the fact that there is no viable alternative to firearms for self-defense.

              • slightly_peeved

                The fact is that firearms prevent self-defense far more than they enable it. Any comparison of countries with gun control to the US demonstrates that.

                If someone draws a gun on me, my right to self-defence has been taken from me, regardless of how I am armed. A gun is useless unless I have the advantage over an attacker. The best way my country preserves my right to self-defence is to reduce the prevalence of weapons such that the most likely weapon that someone will threaten me with is their fists.

                • mojrim

                  Having been in more than one gun fight in my life I have to disagree with you, though they were not acts of self defense on american streets. Even if we take your assertion at face (and there are arguments for it) we still find guns as the best means of self defense because most people cannot win a fist fight, either. The kind of person that will generally mug, rape, or beat you does not need a gun to do so, most americans are utterly helpless in the face of a low-grade sociopath. That is how most criminal encounters work, and how most (108,000 annually per DOJ) people use guns to defend themselves.

              • Barry Freed

                I have read, and continue to re-read, the data put out by the DOJ, NIH, etc… I don’t need a reporter giving me the popular version.

                Your reading comprehension sucks.

                • mojrim

                  I’m very good with hard data but tend to get bored and wander off where cultural puff-pieces are concerned.

                • Barry Freed

                  Gary Wills. “cultural puff-pieces.” Right.

                • mojrim

                  Who?

                  I know no other way to characterize something titled “Our Moloch” which contains no actual hard data or comparisons.

  • Lee Rudolph

    a moral case can be made that guns should be a privilege.

    When guns are a privilege, only the privileged will have guns.

  • JL

    The laws in many states are in fact unconscionably lax. Reading that NYT article, though, it looks like he in fact was banned from getting a carry permit even in many red states, and fell through the cracks because of lax implementation and enforcement. That’s also a serious problem that needs addressing.

    • Hogan

      He was denied a concealed carry permit. Apparently you don’t need a permit to own a gun in Louisiana.

      • tl;dr: The consittution, as read by the Roberts Court, is a suicide pact.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        He didn’t buy the gun he used in the shooting in Louisiana, so whether you need a permit there or not is irrelevant to this crime.

        • DocAmazing

          It’s irrelevant to his owning the gun; it bears on his carrying the gun into the theater. Microscopic point, I know.

          • mojrim

            Not even slightly. Unless the theater was equipped with both metal detectors and armed guards the permit structure would not deter a man bent on murder.

        • Hogan

          It’s the same in Alabama.

      • mojrim

        There is a distinction in most states between the requirements to own a gun and to carry one about in public.

  • Bitter Scribe

    …as well as craven politicians like Bobby Jindal who made sure anyone could buy just about any gun in Louisiana…

    IIRC, he bought the gun at a pawnshop in Alabama. I’m not sure about this, but I think LA has restrictions in place that might actually have prevented him from buying one there.

    Which (if true) just goes to show how stupid it is to have a patchwork of state laws on gun purchasing and ownership. Republicans won’t stand for states having different regulations about labeling GMOs on food packaging, but guns? Anything goes.

    • Back when I lived in Louisiana it had some of the most lax gun laws in the country.

      I can’t imagine it’s gotten any stricter since then.

      • PohranicniStraze

        I grew up in south Louisiana. I still remember all of the high school boys at my school heading out to the parking lot to see the Mac-11 that one of the seniors had brought to show off. He had picked it up at one of the (very frequent) gun shows in Baton Rouge. This would have been in the mid 90s.

        Other than one uncle, none of my family members were gun nuts, yet my dad’s closet featured about a dozen firearms of various sizes, from a pellet gun for scaring off stray dogs to an AR-15 that I never saw used. My family’s “collection” was pretty modest for the area; most of my friends’ family gun collections would not fit easily in a closet corner.

    • heckblazer

      To be fair, Republicans favor lax laws in general, so they consistently support the level of government least likely to take regulation seriously.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Even if you love guns, there’s no good reason to support a regime that allows anyone to buy them, no matter their history of hatred, violence, and mental disturbance.

    That’s not true. Every incident like this is another marketing opportunity for self-protection firearms. Which does nice things for gun industry stocks, (if you own any) and if nothing else reinforces the gun community’s cohesion.

    • heckblazer

      Guns are a very durable good. A well-cared for firearm will easily last decades. The statistics aren’t very precise, but there’s probably a gun for every man woman and child in the country. Additionally, the number of gun-owners has been decreasing over the last few decades.

      So what is a gun manufacturer to do in such a saturated market? Inspire rampant paranoia of course! Almost two dozen kids are murdered, and the gun model used flies off the shelves because people want to buy one before it’s banned. Now that is some effective marketing.

      • efgoldman

        Now that is some effective marketing.

        I hate that you are right, even thru the snark.

        • DocAmazing

          The really over-the-top part is that not just the model (AR-15) but the specific brand (Bushmaster) had a spike in sales following the Newtown murders. Behold the power of carefully-cultivated paranoia!

          • heckblazer

            Yup, that’s what I was referring to. Though it doesn’t hurt to spell it out for emphasis. Because seriously, is there any other type of brand that could get a sales boost from being associated with a horrible mass murder?

            • wjts

              Flavor-Aid?

        • heckblazer

          I hate that I was barely snarking.

      • Warren Terra
  • mojrim

    I must ask you, Erick, on what grounds would you have terminated this man’s civil rights? From what I have found he had no felony convictions, nor any for violent crime. What does that leave? I’m reminded of the frequent complaining that people on “terror watch lists” are allowed to buy guns. Given that such things amount to a “person of interest” at best, with neither a claim of probable cause nor judicial review, it’s hard to imagine what grounds would be used to do so.

    No matter how much you may dislike it arms are an individual right under the 14A, and you cannot delimit one without proposing to delimit all.

    • heckblazer

      Uh, the involuntary psychiatric commitment and diagnosis of bipolar disorder mentioned in the linked article strike me as pretty damn solid grounds for denying the guy a gun. Too bad that, for whatever reason, he wasn’t in the federal database.

      • mojrim

        I didn’t see the invol, but using the bipolar diagnosis is nothing but a nasty kind of discrimination, likely to run afoul of ADA if nothing else. You would have to show that those with a given disorder are significantly more likely to misuse a gun then the general population.

        • heckblazer

          I guess I know where you stand on the issue of giving guns to the blind.

          At any rate, 18 U.S. Code § 922(d)(4) makes illegal to sell a firearm to anyone “adjudicated as a mental defective”. I’d hope that when a court is presented with someone who has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (which commonly features impulsivity in the manic phase) and a history of erratic and belligerent behavior they would rule that sufficient grounds for the person to be barred to buy a gun.

          • mojrim

            If he were properly presented to a court and the case adjudicated I would agree his rights should be restricted. Diagnosis plus chronic violent and erratic behavior would certainly be grounds. As for the blind, you would have to make a similar showing: do blind people have a record of shooting innocents? If you can show it, I’ll get on board, but the point is that our standard for restriction of rights cannot be lowered.

            • Origami Isopod

              Diagnosis plus chronic violent and erratic behavior would certainly be grounds.

              Which he had amply demonstrated.

              • mojrim

                Except he was never adjudicated or, according to the Washington Post, involuntarily committed. That may have been an failure by the prosecutor, but I can’t see an alternative that would not be over-broad or voice for vagueness.

    • Arouet

      Are we invoking Heller with no degree of irony around here these days? Wow.

      • mojrim

        I do, have always done so, and will continue to do so in perpetuity. It’s one of the few places that I depart from much of the american left on policy. Like it or not, Heller is just the latest in a line of incorporation rulings under the 14A, exactly as the primary writer of said amendment intended.

        • Arouet

          That’s not the part of Heller that’s insane and objectionable. The 40 pages of bullshit Scalia wordsmithing to render the militia clause a mere nullity is the part that’s obviously nuts. Incorporate it all you want, it was never understood as an individual right to gun ownership until the NRA came into being.

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