Friday, July 20, 2012

Another Massacre? Ho Hum


"Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?"

-Jimi Hendrix

 
Honestly, were you surprised by what happened this morning in Aurora, Colorado? I wasn't. What shocked me more than anything was my reaction to the carnage:

"Oh, so it happened again, huh?"

Colorado dreaming on such a nasty day. So help me, I didn't even blink when I heard the news. Ho hum.
Charles Manson; Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh; David Berkowitz; Klebold and Harris....Add James Holmes' portrait to the Hall of Infamy's gallery.

As is my habit, I was up in the very early morning watching MSNBC when the bulletins starting drifting in through the darkened air. Same shit, different day: some homicidal jackass lets loose on a gathering of innocents - most of them kids - all revved up to watch the premiere of the latest Batman flick at a midnight show. Then, before they knew what the hell hit them....

Their families were probably sound asleep when each got the word that their child was dead. Can you even imagine that? As of this writing there are twelve lifeless bodies over which we may ponder and pontificate.

The mass killings took place less than twenty miles from the Columbine High School in Littleton. There is usually no shortage of screaming ironies when a tragedy this immense and hideous makes itself known. Such was the case early this morning in Aurora, Colorado. Too weird for words.


This is the way it's going to be from now on, kiddies. When a country has the stupidest gun laws in the western world (laws that are getting even stupider by the year) it's citizens should come to expect this sort of thing. Our lawmakers have no intention of correcting this unacceptable situation. Most of them are too terrified of the power of the National Rifle Association to do the right thing. Fifty-seven years ago John F. Kennedy (one of history's more celebrated victims of gun violence) wrote a book that profiled examples of great political courage throughout American history. He wouldn't have much material to work with were he around today to write a sequel. Cowardice abounds. Get used to living in a country in ruins. This is the way it's going to be from now on.

For the next week or so, as in times past, we'll be having all the old, tired cliches of the NRA shoved down our throats: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Of course they don't - and I'm seriously considering shooting the next person who tells me that. "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them." Yeah right. Were you aware of the fact that gun violence in Britain has all-but vanished since that country banned all hand guns a few years ago? The same is true for Australia! In countries where firearms are difficult or impossible to obtain, the murder rate is extremely low or (in some cases) non-existent. I'm not makin' this stuff up, folks! Do the research!

The first serious debate with respect to gun control (in my memory anyway) came in the late spring of 1968 following the assassinations - within two months of each other - of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. I can still vividly recall Time Magazine's Pop Art/Peter Maxx-style cover of a smoking gun aimed right at the face of the reader. Then, as now, the nation had been forced into a serious discussion about our insane appetite for firearms in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy. Then, as now, an outraged citizenry demanded legislative action. And, as nothing changed in 1968, nothing will change in 2012. Nothing.

Every once in a while, the debate is resurrected - as it was in 1980 after the murder of John Lennon - or in 1981 when an attempt was made on the life of President Reagan - or in 1999 following the Columbine tragedy. But after a week or two of mindless rhetoric, it was always back to business as usual. The sad and undeniable fact is that another massacre on the scale of what happened early this morning in Colorado will happen again - and again and again and again and again and again and again.
Deal with it.

And wh
ile it may be true (as the NRA never tires of pointing out) that a person who wants to kill you will make the attempt regardless of the weapon available, you stand much more of a sporting chance out-running someone with a switch blade than a bullet fired through the chamber of a 9 mm semi-automatic.


Maybe I'm a tad sensitive on this issue because twenty years ago I had a loved one killed by some twisted little geek who had been stalking her.

Susan Clements, my beloved, lost cousin, was an accomplished, violinist, pianist and an award winning writer (it runs in the family...OK, maybe not, just bear with me). She was twenty-three years old and had everything to live for. The man who murdered her in cold blood - a German exchange student - could not easily gain access to a gun in Indiana (Susan's native state) so he flew to Arizona - a place where the gun laws are are a lot less sane than those in the Hoosier state - and was able to obtain two of them.

He then drove back to Bloomington and killed her and her friend, Steven Molen, at her dorm on the campus of the University of Indiana on April 23, 1992. She was such a beautiful, sweet and gentle girl. Two decades later the reality of what happened to her doesn't get much easier to deal with. I once met an elderly man in Toronto whose own daughter had died in the same, horrible manner over thirty years before. He said to me, "You adjust, but you never really get over it." I've come to learn how right he was.


And the body count will only continue to rise. Are there lessons to be learned from what happened this morning? Oh, yeah! A whole shitload of lessons! Are the American people finally going to take those lessons to heart? Don't hold your breath.

The NRA types love to jabber away - like diseased little myna birds - about "freedom". We need to come to grips with some unpleasant realities. A society that lives in dreaded, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place may indeed be many things - no argument from me there. "Free" they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

AFTERTHOUGHT:

A couple of the paragraphs of this piece were taken (with slight editing) from an article I wrote five years ago immediately after the Virginia Tech massacre. Everything I wrote on that day was so apropos for today, I couldn't resist! Journalistic laziness on my part? Quite possibly a valid case could be made. So sue me!

The more things change the more they stay the same.
Life is funny that way, you know?

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Bowling For Columbine
a film by Michael Moore

This is essential viewing (in my humble opinion) if you want to take a good (and satirical) look into America's sick fascination with guns - not to mention our warped gun culture. Here's a link to order it off of Amazon.com:


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=bowling+for+columbine

You can pick it up used for under five bucks. If you haven't seen it yet you really ought to. If you saw it when it was released a decade ago, it's time to see it again. I can't emphasize enough what an important film this is. It's worth the price of the ticket just to see Charlton Heston (playing Charlton Heston) in his last screen appearance.

Happy viewing, Campers!

66 Comments:

At 2:31 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, as a poster on another site said the first thing that comes to a typical NRA member's mind after such a tragedy is to think about their gun rights first, not the lives affected by it.

And it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the NRA starts jumping up and down and stating that President Obama wants to take their guns away.

We have become a very sick society.

 
At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, as a society we need ths discussion. when the 2nd admendant was written the hi tech personal weapon of the day was a single shot muzzle loading gun. keep up the good work

 
At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what other parts of our Constitution should be reviewed today because Hi-Tech has changed so much in the last 225 years?

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger Steven said...

" Anonymous said...
what other parts of our Constitution should be reviewed today...?"

That's simple. All of it. It wasn't written in stone. It was written by common men over 200 years ago. Treating it as if it were 'Holy' is simply stupid.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous J said...

Dear Tom,

I am very pleased to say that I beat you to the punch on this particular "rant," back when the Joe the Plumber was making the case that Gun Control aided the Holocaust.

Shameless self promotion: (www.loraxlog.blogspot.com) -- for anyone that tires of Tom's insightful fare and truly wants to see what an amateur does.

I think one of the things you missed in this Rant Tom, is our penchant for a "new high score!!" Case in point: The Virginia Tech Massacre.

Since Columbine, no other act of gun violence had taken the "high score" of deaths seen at Columbine, until Virginia Tech. Reporters swarmed onto the scene and despite hours of coverage, all the said (over and over and over again) was how many were dead and that they didn't know much.

Why were they there? Because it was a new high score! A record was beaten! Nothing more.

In between Columbine and Virginia Tech there were a number of school shootings, no less tragic or pointless, but let's face it--they didn't come close to the high score.

One of the more poignant recounts of a school shooting involved a 15 year old from Ohio, who was being mentored, kept close, and was being reached out to by his school V.P. The boy was discovered smoking on campus and the V.P did what V.P.s have to do: give him detention.

The boy returned to school the next and shot the man dead; a man who had reached out to him.

As for 2nd Amendment, I personally have no problem with it. It's the rabid NRA that is the problem. I think the NRA is feeling threatened by SuperPACs these days and has to create some drama or fake threat to re-establish their relevance and credibility. Tom, you touched on this a few weeks ago with the Erik Holder "Fast & Furious" scandal.

The most responsible gun-owners I know, have nothing to do with the NRA. I invite all readers to go look at the stories of today's Colorado shooting and scroll down to the reader poster comment section. You'll see, eventually, the notion that "if everyone was armed" this guy wouldn't have shot up the place.

In effect these gun nuts blame the victims for not carrying a weapon, for not anticipating being shot up in a theater, and for not firing back in the dark crowded theater.

In closing, Tom I have to agree with you: I'm "Ho-Hum" as well. It's too frequent, it's too regular, it's no longer shocking.

It may be shocking...if there's a new high score.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve,
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Remember, less than 30% of Americans call themselves liberals. The result of a Constitutional review might be more conservative that you already have.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger Moduspropogandi said...

First of all I want to send out my condolences to the families of the victims of that horrific crime in Aurora, CO. I am currently verifying if the weapons used were part of my AG Holders "Fast and Furious" failed program.

Second of all, I want to send a special shout out to my favorite progressives Dave Dubya and George Jefferson's Guardian. Great job Dave on your obfuscating and tap dancing of replies to questions. The greatest trick we marxists pull is pretending our kind does not exist! I still get a chuckle Dave on how you don't know who our patron saint Saul Alinsky is!

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous anonymous Too said...

Modus, good friend, aren't you projecting a bit since Jefferson's Guardian and Dave Dubya haven't posted a response yet?

You need to be a little more careful about what you drink or smoke.

 
At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Play "Number Nine" by the Beatles backwards.

 
At 5:01 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

Too numb to write anything of value, but wanted you to know I read your post and nodded in agreement throughout.

Your dear cousin and her boyfriend....so horribly sad; what a loss.

 
At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom
All you need is to start a movement and join the NRA with 3 or 4 mill like minded people and vote the bastards out of existence!

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose if a gun becomes impossible to attain and we start having stabbing sprees, at that point we'll have countless campaigns to ban knives.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Chaz said...

Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber with some numbers on death rates from assault, showing how violent the US is:
http://crookedtimber.org/2012/07/20/america-is-a-violent-country/

Also, Booman Tribune has a good post "The guy wanted to be the Joker," with excellent comments on that post, to the effect that the guy had failed his doctoral qualifiers and his life was effectively over, in his view. Not a justification, but indicates he's in a different category from Brievik, Bundy, et al.

 
At 12:26 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

It may be a surprise to you but there is more than one way and tool to commit an act of violence. The left will jump all over this for the gun agenda.

What is funny to me is how quickly the media attempted to portray this guy as a tea partier when he was in fact a registered democrat. Another in a long list of democratic liberal terrorists. The media has gone quiet on this lunatic's political leanings.

I am still waiting for you to unleash the fury of your pen on Eric Holder and Fast and Furious for progressive democrat sponsored death by way of pushing guns to Mexican drug cartels. I guess I should not hold my breath.

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok "What is funny to me is how quickly the media attempted to portray this guy as a tea partier…"
Because "one guy on one show on ABC" equals "the media".

"...when he was in fact a registered democrat."
1. Lies! Everybody knows that Democrats hate guns. If the shooter used a salad shooter, sure...
2. {citation needed} (and Breitbart retracted that.)
3. Compare and contrast your reaction at "the media" and Breitbart for doing the very same thing.

"I am still waiting for you to unleash the fury of your pen on Eric Holder and Fast and Furious for progressive democrat sponsored death by way of pushing guns to Mexican drug cartels."
A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
Who wrote that at Forturne? Liberal hack Andy Sewer?

Why did the Flappy Paddle Gear Box invoke executive privilege. You're an idiot; face it.

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok MO Who wrote that at Forturne? Liberal hack Andy Sewer?"
1. A cursory googling shows that it's "Serwer".
2. Dismissing a statement based, not on whether it's true or false, but instead on its source is the Genetic Fallacy.
3. No (not that it matters. See #2).

"Why did the Flappy Paddle Gear Box invoke executive privilege."
Because the lead reaction is CYA. I'm surprised they didn't preemptively throw anybody under the bus. That's what this Administration normally does.

"You're an idiot; face it."
Way to, as usual, in no way refute any of my points.

You: "Four plus four equals Tuesday!"
Me: "No, actually." {citation}
You: "You're stupid!"

Bluster and denial are not arguments. They're the refuge of partisans, bullies and fools. In other words, you.

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boltok
Just ignore MO, he can't help it, he's a liberal idiot.

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we're banning guns for the "11,000 gun homicides" per year, let's also consider we have triple that number - 35,000 motor vehicle accident fatalities per year and 1 out of every 3 are with blood alcohol contents over .08, so let's ban cars to save those 35,000 people and while we're at it ban booze too so nobody gets drunk and killed on their tricycle ride to work. Oh, also don't forget bows and arrows, knives, baseball bats, crowbars, screwdrivers, most painkillers, ladders, boats, trains and airplanes too. Probably thousands of Americans die a year from all that stuff too. Let's just ban everything and all walk around naked and safe, plucking berries from bushes and foraging for nuts.

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crap we also have to ban fire. That's a big killer.

 
At 10:56 PM, Anonymous amd said...

Well written piece. The pro gun brigade know you're right, they just don't care. I suspect you already know that, though. It will take all the citizens who do, actually, care to get together to effect change. Good luck with that...

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amd,

" The pro gun brigade",
make that the pro 2nd Amendment majority.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous: "Just ignore MO, he can't help it, he's a liberal idiot."

Translation: Modusoperandi provides facts and figures, logic and rational thought, and I'm unable to refute anything he says.

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Modusoperandi provides facts and figures, logic and rational thought, and I'm unable to refute anything he says." Sure Jefferson's, like you would recognize any of that even if it hit you in the head.

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Sure Jefferson's, like you would recognize any of that even if it hit you in the head."
At worst that's a Tu Quoque.

 
At 7:39 PM, Anonymous amd said...

"The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, and the government the right to regulate them. The NRA and many of its fanatical followers miss the second point." Tracy Knau.

But then, you all already know that too.

Arguing with the pro-gun brigade is absolutely pointless, it's like arguing with a religious zealot or a flat earther, so I won't be wasting my time with that - besides there is nothing to argue about.

As stated: The pro-gun brigade know you're right, they just don't care. I suspect you already know that, though. It will take all the citizens who do, actually, care to get together to effect change. Good luck with that.

One final thought, those who don't care are in control in your country, and the people who do care don't seem able or willing to stand up to their assault. You were a great nation once. Now, the rest of the world looks on in fear and horror at what the religious zealots and other extreme right wing crazies are doing to your country. Best case scenario, the USA can stand as a horrible warning to others about what happens when the right wing is let off its leash. Smiling sadly, imagining their responses to that. "Goddamn commies, my constitutional right (to not care if you are shot dead) best country in the world, my freedom (to not care about yours), cold dead fingers, people kill people, gawd bless the USA blah blah blah" - around and around it goes, the never ending spouting of nonsensical dross.

Which all boils down to the one thing. The pro-gun brigade know you're right. They just don't care.

Good luck America, you're going to need it.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"Now, the rest of the world looks on in fear and horror at what the religious zealots and other extreme right wing crazies are doing to your country."

Empty rhetoric. Back it up.

Does the rest of the world look on in fear and horror at the destruction that atheistic zealotry caused in the 20th century? I certainly do.

Save your America bashing. We have our problems just like the rest of the world - no more, no less. If you want to come on over, though, get in line...

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Tom V said...

Tom,

First off, woefully belated condolences on your loss of a beautiful girl. I too lost a cousin many years ago to a still unsolved murder in Danbury and time does not make it go away. That being said I as a Republican do not own a gun nor do I personally see a need to own one.

I read your article as always with an open mind as you have caused me to stop and think about a given subject more times than I care to admit. However the one thing I saw in reading all the comments either totally for or totally against gun ownership and as often happens these days during hot button issues is that no one seeks a compromise. Its always my way or the highway. A few comment on essentially that the U.S. Constitution is out of date. In thinking about that as I have in the past it struck me that back in the day there were no high powered weapons available to private citizens. Honestly I think if we wanted to be fair, and yes I know its been bandied about before, we as a nation would come together and demand that one or the other political party make the banishing of these automatic weapons that we as private citizens haven't the need to possess be banned and a non negociatable life sentence be imposed as a federal crime. Thereby taking it out of the hands of the locals and the NRA can keep there small arms and hunting rifle.

Yes I know guns kill no matter the style or caliber but these guns that I am talking about outlawing kill alot more people at any one time than rooms full of the small arms are capable of killing. This guy had 6000 rounds of ammunition stockpiled! Think about that for a minute. Many of us live in Villages, Towns and Cities with less people than that. Also lets accept the fact that we are never going to beat the NRA and other unaffliated gun owners but even they are certain to realize that this ever growing home grown disaster has to be addressed today.

Otherwise what happened in Colorado might be coming to a theater near you and trust me I do not say that in an effort to be humorous as there is nothing funny about this topic.

All the best,

Tom V

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Which is why the NRA and GOA advocate keeping good guns out of bad hands, being for things like background checks with effective, national databases and closing the gun show loophole, right? They must, otherwise that catchphrase means nothing.
The Founding Fathers knew that a nation with a small standing army (one much weaker than any of the Superpowers of the day) required a well-regulated state militia to protect itself. Just like today. I mean, look at how well-regulated the Aurora shooter was. Do you think the King of France is going to invade movie theatres with guys like that around? I don't think so. Please try to remember all the wonderful things guns do for us every day.
And, even if if the King of France never invades, Americans need guns. To protect themselves from Americans.


Harley A. "Does the rest of the world look on in fear and horror at the destruction that atheistic zealotry caused in the 20th century? I certainly do."
Okay. And your point is?
It can't be that secularism and atheism (especially the wildly authoritarian, reality-denying, cult-like, leader-worshipping kind) are the same thing, making both the opposite of the USA (which itself is also, and incompatible with the rest of this paragraph, not theocratic), because that would be ridiculous.


Tom V "However the one thing I saw in reading all the comments either totally for or totally against gun ownership and as often happens these days during hot button issues is that no one seeks a compromise."
I didn't comment on it, as I'm rarely on-topic, but I'm not for gun prohibition. I'm sorry I didn't mention it earlier.

 
At 4:00 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "Does the rest of the world look on in fear and horror at the destruction that atheistic zealotry caused in the 20th century? I certainly do."

Possibly equally empty rhetoric.

 
At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MO "The Founding Fathers" shouldn't that read "YOUR Founding Fathers" since your are not an American citizen?

 
At 10:34 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
By your logic we should ban pickup trucks:

http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/At-Least-11-Dead-in-Single-Car-Crash-163374326.html

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok: "By your logic we should ban pickup trucks..."

Gee, I didn't know pick-up trucks were designed and manufactured solely for the purpose of killing people...nor cars, booze, bows and arrows, knives, baseball bats, crowbars, screwdrivers, most painkillers, ladders, boats, trains or airplanes, for that matter.

Nice try.

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

As soon as I saw this shooting on the news, I told my friend, watch, tomorrow we'll hear this was done by Obama as part of his evil socialist plot to take our guns.

Sure enough:

Is Batman massacre staged terror?

http://www.prisonplanet.com/is-batman-massacre-staged-terror.html

I'm reassured as this is all meticulously explained by Alex Jones's "overwhelming evidence" in is "gut".

It "magically happened". What more do we need to know?

Right Wingers probably won’t read the Fortune article kindly linked by MO, because they already know all the need to know from FOX(R) and talk radio. I’d like to share my favorite short paragraphs just in case they read what I write before they begin their personal attack.

They (ATF) insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

...Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal.


This won’t help the irony-impaired, cult indoctrinated believers who cannot question this kind of lie, ” progressive democrat sponsored death by way of pushing guns to Mexican drug cartels."

Nothing can help separate the willfully ignorant from their beliefs. “Liberals are commies”. “Obama is a Kenyan Marxist out to destroy America with death panels”. “Democrats want to take our guns”. Yadda, yadda, ad nauseam.

I have been a firearm owner all my life. I was lucky to come from small town/rural county where gun ownership was a common responsibility, not a paranoid fantasy of some right to kill other humans.

Sanity requires some common sense firearm restrictions. Even the NRA doesn’t advocate the right to carry rocket propelled grenade launchers or 20mm Gatling guns. Who thinks it’s a good idea to arm someone convicted of domestic violence, or prison inmates, or psych ward patients?

I don’t think banning guns is a practical idea, but banning firearm regulations is foolish, hard-headed and dangerous. Bottom line: Everyone is in favor of some gun control. Period.

Only one side refuses reasonable compromise. As usual.

 
At 12:33 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "MO 'The Founding Fathers' shouldn't that read 'YOUR Founding Fathers' since your are not an American citizen?"
Now you're just being ridiculous. "The Founding Fathers" in common conversation always (as far as I'm aware) refers to, well, the Founding Fathers. Other countries don't call their originators that. For example, here in wherever it is I am from, our country's starters are referred to as Les Tres Awesomes.
And just because that last part isn't true doesn't mean that the first isn't too. The last part, in a just world, would be true.

boltok "MO By your logic we should ban pickup trucks"
Exactly. Because when a guy armed like a SWAT member shooting some seventy people in a crowded movie theatre something something something pickup trucks.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

JG -

Wrong.

MO -

My point was that the "Anon" poster was full of empty rhetoric simply because he/she wanted to bash the US. We have issues like any other country, but the rest of the free world isn't looking on "in horror". That's stupid and needed to be called out. I did. Your welcome.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

JG,

Guns also do something else, they protect people. How many have been protected?

Away from this horrible incident, the anti gun lobby is guilty of what ails many policy decisions. Simply, policy follows peoples emotions, often tied to sensational events like this.

As an example that you would probably concur with, the US spent at least a trillion dollars on security and wars because the 9/11 attackers killer approximately 4 thousand people. All of our individual rights have been under attack from this as well. For a per capita expenditure per death, I am sure 9/11 exceeds anything else. No gun was used on 9/11. Why is this? It is because the event was sensational and broad economic fear could take hold.

Besides pickup trucks, if people are worried about senseless loss of life, there are many products and policies that take the lead over domestic gun ownership in terms of events per owner or events per implement. I would bet large that more people die in this country from implements that have sharp edges than projectiles. We really should all use plastic forks and knives.

This killer just as easily could have used a bomb. Just read about his apartment.

Liberals want gun control because they think that guns are scary. Do you really think crime would decrease at all if there were strict controls?

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's look at the home city of our president, Chicago. YTD they have had over 230 murders. Chicago has very strict gun control laws. How many of those 230+ were murdered by guns? Have the gun laws worked in Chicago? To find out, remove the laws and see what happens, if guns are the problem, murders should go up, if they are not, murders should continue at same shameful rate.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "JG - Wrong."

I am?

Look around you, Harley. How much evidence do you need?

I never viewed 'the "Anon" poster' ("amd", who posted at 7:39 PM) as "full of empty rhetoric". Quite the opposite, he was dead on the mark. He wasn't "bashing" America; he was viewing a sociological reality. His full remark: "...the rest of the world looks on in fear and horror at what the religious zealots and other extreme right wing crazies are doing to your country. Best case scenario, the USA can stand as a horrible warning to others about what happens when the right wing is let off its leash." He certainly wasn't bashing America; he was bashing right-wing extremism.

One final thought: He's also correct about another thing. We are going to need more than our share of luck. We're heading down the rabbit hole really fast.

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ice-T: Well, I'll give up my gun when everybody does. Doesn't that make sense? If there were guns here, would you want to be the only person without one?

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, anchor, Channel 4 News: So do you carry guns routinely at home?

Ice-T: Yeah, it's legal in the United States. It's part of our Constitution. You know, the right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police.

Anchor: And do you see any link between that and these sorts of incidents (Aurora)?

Ice-T: No. Nah. Not really really. You know what I'm saying, if somebody wants to kill people, you know, they don't need a gun to do it.

Anchor: It makes it easier though, doesn't it?

Ice-T: Not really. You can strap explosives on your body, they do that all the time.

On anti-gun laws: "That's not going to change anything. The Untied States is based on guns, you know."

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger rhuneke said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous grosir baju muslim layali said...

Thank you for taking the time to write on this topic.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Sydney said...

Great post! Yes, to hear some of my Facebook friends talk, it's a miracle I've lived to the ripe old age of 48 without having a gun in my house to "protect my family." You know, with all those home invasions and such.

So sorry to read about your cousin. I read far more stories about that kind of tragedy than of "law abiding citizens" successfully defending their homes, etc.

I really don't get it.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger diane offineer said...

Tom hartmann made a good point regarding the pharma cocktails 90% ( it think that is what he said) the mass murders and suicides are on in this country. guns and anti psychotics, benzos and ssri's are not a good combination. I was glad to hear the Pres. say assualt weapons should be off the streets. and he could do this by edict tomorrow as a matter of national security. mental health is stigmatized, cut to the bone and religion says we should get god to chase the demons away....if a dr. is faced with a patient he is having a hard time helping, he/she will do everything in their power to save the patient....why are we letting our country get sick and die and not doing everything we can to help? pray AND vote progressive. Pray and pass laws to protect.

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous amd said...

It is genuinely distressing and puzzling that anybody would take such a terrible, tragic and appalling act and use it to try to promote their pro-gun agenda. I suppose it goes to the type of person who thinks that what they see as their rights are more important than the right of others to live. Years ago, I was shocked when I first saw pro-gunners banging their drums while the corpses were still warm, now I expect it, though it is no less upsetting for all that. How terrible that the pro-gun lobby cannot simply be silent when people are still in the first stages of grief, still hospitalised, traumatised and shocked. How terrible that their first thought is not "Oh, those poor people, how can I help?" but "Those bleeding heart liberals aren't getting their hands on MY guns". How terribly, indescribably sad that they would read this post and still not get it.

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO AMD:
absolute hypocrite...
I amazed thatyou can write how saddened you are that someone will take a tragic situation to promote their pro-gun agenda when in fact this bogus bozo has done exactly that. Taken a tragic situation to promote his anti-gun agenda.
Pathertic.
"nobody's right if everybody's wrong"
Buffalo Springfield

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

12:28: A Lesson in "Compassionate Conservatism".

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU'RE A GOOD BOY TO QUOTE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIAS' BUZZ PHRASES DOWNLOADED INTO YOUR NUMB SKULL...
HERE'S YOUR FOOD STAMPS...NOW GO AWAY!

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"Quite the opposite, he was dead on the mark. He wasn't "bashing" America; he was viewing a sociological reality. His full remark: "...the rest of the world looks on in fear and horror at what the religious zealots and other extreme right wing crazies are doing to your country."

He was nowhere near the mark. What has a "religious zealot" done to you lately? That is unmitigated hogwash and empty rhetoric aimed to take a jab at Christianity.

No sir, the rest of the (sensible) world looks on in horror at what Islam does to the people of its Sharia countries. Or, to look at North Korea with horror. A political idealogue can look at the American right and disagree with their policies and shake their heads "tisk, tisk". But, to say they "look on in horror" is abject silliness and indicative of a person not be taken seriously.

AKA empty rhetoric.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "He was nowhere near the mark."

He hit the bulls-eye.


"What has a 'religious zealot' done to you lately?"

Infiltrated my government with craziness. (E.g., Michelle Bachmann. Need I say more? There are hoards of others.) Keep your "religious values" to yourself. I do.


"That is unmitigated hogwash and empty rhetoric aimed to take a jab at Christianity."

Again, anyone's "religious values", Christian or otherwise, don't belong in government. Keep your fanaticism to yourself. It's not taking a jab at Christianity. It's a jab at right-wing extremism, fueled by religious fanaticism, which in this country originates with evangelical Christianity.


"...the rest of the (sensible) world looks on in horror at what Islam does to the people of its Sharia countries."

I could care less what other countries permit or put up with. It's none of my business, and neither is it yours. But, when religious zealotry rears its ugly head in my country, I have a say.


"A political idealogue can look at the American right and disagree with their policies and shake their heads 'tisk, tisk'."

The ideologues are on the right. That's what you fail to realize.


"...to say they 'look on in horror' is abject silliness and indicative of a person not be taken seriously."

It could be that those outside of this country have a better perspective. You don't see the craziness because you're part of it. Those inside the insane asylum think everyone else is crazy.

You disappoint me, Harley, as does your religion. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"The ideologues are on the right. That's what you fail to realize."

EVERY man is an ideologue. To eschew ideology IS an ideology.



"You disappoint me, Harley, as does your religion. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."


1. Much evil is done in the name of Christianity by those who are not truly followers of Christ. Evil people can use any pretext for their evil. (Even politicians)

2. As Christians, we do not claim to be righteous. Quite the opposite, Christianity, if you understand it, teaches that we are reconciled to God through a righteousness "not of our own" through Christ. So, even Christians, sadly, can be angry at times, mean at times, etc...

3. You and Ghandi fail to grasp (or admit) a fundamental problem with Ghandi's much quoted statement. If you "like" Jesus, then you will listen to what He teaches. He teaches "I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father excpet through me." So, either you believe what He says or you would see Him as a megolomaniacal and evil sociopath. But, you are Jefferson's guardian, so perhaps you are reading from his abridged edition ;)

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous amd said...

Here's a good link: The 4 most meaningless arguments against gun control. Just for the record, I have learned that arguing with, or entering into any kind of conversation with, religious zealots or pro-gunners is pointless There is absolutely nothing anybody can say to someone who simply, genuinely does not care about other people to change their outlook. The best you can hope for is that those who still have some ability to reason and some human empathy will listen and think about what you have said.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-4-most-meaningless-arguments-against-gun-control/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=new+article&wa_ibsrc=fanpage

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "EVERY man is an ideologue. To eschew ideology IS an ideology."
I don't think that word means what you think it means.

"1. Much evil is done in the name of Christianity by those who are not truly followers of Christ..."
"No True Scotsman would do that..."

"2. As Christians, we do not claim to be righteous..."
"...but True Scotsmen do do that."

"So, either you believe what He says or you would see Him as a megolomaniacal and evil sociopath."
That sounds like a variant of "Liar, lunatic or Lord". Instead, how about "mistaken, misquoted or mythical"?

 
At 7:22 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "As Christians, we do not claim to be righteous."

That's not what comes across. Most evangelicals bellow their beliefs as if it's the only truth. That's not self-righteousness? I've met many Christians, though, who exhibited the utmost in sincerity and humbleness. They also cared deeply for the poor, the disenfranchised, and those suffering injustices and inequality. They also were not politically conservative.


"If you 'like' Jesus, then you will listen to what He teaches."

Not necessarily, and not always. I also like much of what Mohammad taught, but I don't embrace Islam. Likewise with Moses, but I don't follow the edicts of Judaism. You see, I'm a thinking and inquiring human being and I don't feel a need to take what someone else claims as "the truth" to be gospel. (No pun intended.) I'll determine the truth through my own life experiences.


"So, either you believe what He says or you would see Him as a megolomaniacal and evil sociopath."

So, it's either/or with you, again, isn't it? It's either black or white, with no shades between. No thanks, that's not how I see life. But, if you want to, that's up to you. We all make choices. Just don't expect me to have to follow yours. In a word, keep your "Christianity" out of my government. It's the way it was designed to be.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "But, you are Jefferson's guardian, so perhaps you are reading from his abridged edition ;)"

You mean the version without all the fairy tales? ;-)

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

MO –

I don’t believe the NTS fallacy works well in this case. It is often used against Christians in this way, and
(some non-Christians would even admit) erroneously. When a position has very clearly defined boundaries and when the action(s) in question and the boundaries for the belief system are clearly delineated and not intersecting, you can indeed claim, without logical problem, “No True Scotsman” (e.g. – Hitler was by no means a TRUE Christian, though he threw the term around occasionally for political purposes. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, among others, didn’t buy it – and we know what happened to him). The concept as a logical fallacy, in itself, has problems in that defining what a Scotsman would or would not do is spurious, but many times, defining what a [fill in the blank] would or would not do is pretty clear. Having said that, I don’t argue that knowing whether someone is a true Christian is not without challenges – and, ultimately, between that person and God. There are MANY (maybe a majority) who claim to be Christians for little more than heritage, cultural reasons, political reasons, etc. but when you scratch very far, you find nothing. But, it is completely fair for people to look to what a person says and does – I’ve no problem with that. If I’m acting in an un-Christian way (and I’ve been known to on occasion I’m sorry to say), shame on me. Anyway, hard to flush out a full discussion of this in this limited forum, so I’ll stop.

On “ideologue” - good correction. Everyone has an ideology – not everyone is an ideologue. Though, I do disagree that all ideologues are on the political right.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

“In a word, keep your “Christianity” out of my government. It’s the way it was designed to be.”

Is that black and white, then? No shades in between?

 
At 3:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "Is that black and white, then? No shades in between?

Yeah, it's called the separation of church and state.

 
At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Gypsy Bob said...

Guns don't kill people...BULLETS KILL PEOPLE.

 
At 3:48 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Gypsy Bob: "Guns don't kill people...BULLETS KILL PEOPLE."

That's the answer! Outlaw ammunition!

Seriously...

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Outlaw people with orange hair...

 
At 8:05 AM, Anonymous amd said...

An interesting perspective - non gun related - on how the world views America: http://postmasculine.com/america#comment-25343

 
At 8:06 AM, Anonymous amd said...

The main reason people sit up and pay attention to America is when something truly appalling like this happens, and some just don't seem to get how appalling, and unacceptable, it is.

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger Andrew Hall said...

So in your mind, what would be the "right" thing to do in terms of gun laws? Void the Constitution? What exactly is your plan to reduce gun violence? Do you have any research to back up why it would work? Do you realize that in order for a law to be effective, you must have people to abide by that law. Guess who don't abide by those laws? The criminals. They don't abide by the laws now, yet you expect them to follow even further legal restrictions? I, on the other hand, am a 100% law abiding citizen with no criminal record. But you want to pass laws and create further restrictions to keep guns out of the hands of people like me. So you think that taking guns from good people when you have no way of regulating them among the bad people would be an effective way to fight gun violence? Really?

 

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