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I know it may sound trivial, but as I watched some of the early coverage of the Aurora shooting yesterday, I thought about an episode I'd just seen of HBO's cable-news drama "The Newsroom." It centered on fictional coverage of a real-life event, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The journalists wanted to ask hard-hitting questions of BP and its contractor Halliburton about lax safety and environmental standards; both companies wanted to stick to scripted statements that their "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of the 11 workers missing and presumed dead. By the second time, anchorman Will McAvoy's voice catches -- an ironic half-chuckle, really -- in bemused frustration at corporate vapidity wearing the cloak of sincerity.

It wasn't fiction when the horrific news broke this morning that a black-attired, gas-mask-wearing "Joker" burst into the midnight showing of "Batman: Dark Knight Rises" in a Colorado exurb, hitting 71 people with gunfire -- a grim U.S. record -- and killing 12 of them. As I watched MSNBC to learn any fresh details, this reality-based cable channel was running a feed of Twitter posts from prominent politicians and celebrities across the bottom of the screen. The similarity of the comments was oddly chilling -- the words "thoughts and prayers" flickered, again and again and again.

I'm not trying to be as cynical as this probably sounds -- I'm sure that Newt Gingrich, Mike Tyson, Sean Hannity, Michael Dell, John McCain, Nick Jonas or whoever else you want to pull out of the endless "thoughts and prayers" queue were coping with the same heartfelt mixture of grief, anguish and anger that you and I first felt. But the repetitive use of the exact same phrase by so many people seemed telling. It meant that this American brand of insanity had happened so many times, with such numbing repetition, that even our leaders no longer know what to say. Or even worse, they've learned that "thoughts and prayers" has become the safe and secure way of responding --  focus-group tested to be gaffe-proof and offend not a single person  on either the Right or the Left. Because in our 21st Century political culture, the name of the game is not offending anyone. Actually doing something? That's so far off the radar screen it's not even in the control tower.

The "thoughts and prayers" statement is just one step in a grim dance that's become so predictable that the satirical site The Onion nailed it in a piece so on target it may win a Pulitzer Prize for commentary next year. Of course we have rituals, because this happens so often. Sure, the facts are mind-boggling: 20 mass killings in the United States, on average, every year. But then, consider this: Mass shootings have become so common in this country that earlier in this very week,a man fired a gun into a crowded bar in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and wounded 17 people-- and it barely made the news. Consider this: Yesterday's mayhem wasn't even the only horrific shooting in the history of Aurora, Colo.; in 1993 a man walked into the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant there and gunned down four people. And consider this: One of the victims in yesterday's tragedy, the aspiring sportswriter Jessica Ghawi, had also been at the scene of a mass shooting in Toronto (yes, happens sometimes). After witnessing the mayhem there, she wrote: "Every second of every day is a gift." She wrote that 46 days ago. She was only 24 when she died.

And yet the more astonishingly awful that gun violence becomes, the more insipid is the response from on high. It was also telling that the presidential campaigns suspended not just their campaigns but their political advertising as news of the mass murder sunk in. It shows that against the backdrop of America's actual problems, the shallowness of what passes for political dialogue and debate would seem too jarring to ever live down. Instead, President Obama and Mitt Romney came out to share the undoubtedly heartfelt thoughts and prayers with the American people, in words that I cannot quote because I already have forgotten them. Maybe that's because it's hard to say who has less moral authority when it comes to gun violence -- the former gun-control advocate who boasts about killing varmints and now bows down in tribute to the NRA,or the former gun-control advocate who's it easier to shoot somebody in a national park or on a high-speed train because he cowers in fear of the NRA.

I guess it would be fair to note here that Obama and Romney were far from the only "leaders" who turned to jello when required to say something about the senseless killing of 12 citizens. Their ilk was summed up by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who struggled on national TV for something to say, blurting out that  there's “an anger that can’t find focus.”

It's time to focus, people. Forgive me, but here, too, I am reminded of the same episode of "The Newsroom," and Will McAvoy's rant when asked why America is the greatest nation on earth. It's triggered by two signs from his ex-girlfriend and future executive producer. "It's not," read the first one, before: "But it can be."

There were brief moments in the gruesome aftermath when it almost was. One politician struck the real right tone, not the phony right tone. That was Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York. He said: "You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country," and he added this:

And instead of the two people – President Obama and Governor Romney – talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how. And this is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities – specifically what are they going to do about guns?
Billionaire Bloomberg has put his money behind this, funding major gun control efforts. He shouldn't be alone. That suspension of political advertising yesterday? America got along fine without it, didn't it? What if we continued that through November, and all the plutocrats tossing their millions down the money pit of electing the next president pledged to fund anti-violence campaigns? I'm not just talking about your George Soroses and Morgan Freemans on the left, but your Koch Brothers and your Sheldon Adelsons on the right. Hey, there must be big conservative ideas for reducing violence, right? Maybe this is the height of naivety, but to solve a big problem America will have to dream big.

A decade ago, the teen pregnancy rate in America went down -- in part because liberals and conservatives agreed it was a worthy goal, and there was a movement that tolerated ideas from both sides. Gun violence should be no different. We should acknowledge that there's a large silent majority of Americans that doesn't want to overturn the 2nd Amendment but also recognizes that -- just as our freedom of movement doesn't mean the government can't regulate autos and airplanes -- the right to bear arms is not a permisssion slip for rapid-fire mass-killing devices. In a nation of more than 300 million, there are too many ticking time bombs, too many would-be Jared Lee Loughners and James Holmes to give them an open ended license to kill.

Common sense would allow us to work together to ban high-capacity magazines -- mechanisms that aren't so useful to deer hunters but enable mass murderers, and that were illegal in a recent decade in which the Republic did not crumble. Indeed, common sense would allow our leaders to revisit the expired 1994 assault rifle ban -- which outlawed the AR-15 rifle that Holmes used to gun down a number of his victims. Common sense would also allow us to revisit one-gun-a-month laws, considering that Holmes was able to legally amass his deadly arsenal in a short period of time.

Let's also remember that this heinous crime took place on July 20 -- the 43rd anniversary of the day that two Americans walked on the surface of the moon. That was the America that wasn't intimidated by an impossible dream, that worked together to make it happen. America was great on that July 20. And it can be...again. That will depend on our leaders..but even more so on us. It makes no sense tbat so many politicians are so afraid of a single-issue extremist group called the National Rifle Association. They need to be afraid of us, the real moral majority.

There was nothing wrong with President Obama reminding us yesterday that it could have been his daughters in the theater -- that was something I knew too well. You see, my 17-year-old son was at a midnight showing of "Batman" in the Philadelphia suburbs Friday morning. He walked through the front door safe and sound at 2:40 a.m. Eastern, the exact instant that hell was breaking loose 2,000 miles away. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world, but the future of my son and President Obama's daughters depends on more than luck. And sometimes, "thoughts and prayers" just aren't nearly enough.

Sometimes, action is required.

Cross-posted at Attytood.

Originally posted to attytood on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  BRAVO! eom (6+ / 0-)

    "Hate speech is a form of vandalism. It defaces the environment, and like a broken window, if left untended, signals to other hoodlums that the coast is clear to do more damage." -- Gregory Rodriguez

    by Naniboujou on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:33:15 PM PDT

  •  I accidentally rec'd this, (11+ / 0-)

    thought it was a different window i was on. 8-(

    Your call for common sense utterly misses the mark. There's nothing sensible about gun control legislation. It doesn't work, never has, and never will.

    Crimes and negative events have social and cultural roots, not tool roots. All the things you list as important are totally irrelevant to anything.

    You're utterly wrong in your factual claims as well. No one has ever banned the AR-15...they prevented further sale of the rifle with certain accessories. Variant model sales continued throughout the ban. Also, increased sales before and after more than equaled previous sales without the ban, meaning the only thing the ban did in the end was give more money to the gun industry.

    Your call to action is laudable, your target misplaced. End the war on drugs and other sin legislation, create meaningful social programs (especially mental health care), work on keeping families together, end wealth concentration, etc. THOSE are what will save lives.

  •  No. (5+ / 0-)

    Your "common sense" involves an unacceptable slate of infringements on the safety and way of life of Americans.  Your grab bag of arbitrary restrictions further no public policy interest and arise from an irresponsible ignorance of firearms, gun ownership, and crime.  It's an argument your side will continue to lose, and rightfully so.  It will also cost Democrats, and set back the genuinely worthy causes (yours not being amongst them) that deserve our attention and energy.  

    So now, we cannot work together on this issue.  Not until you've actually done your homework and come back with an empirically justifiable set of solutions to the problems of violence and crime we face.

    •  Unacceptable? Really? (12+ / 0-)


      What benefit is there to an individual or the community to allow people to purchase 6000 rounds of ammunition in a matter of a few weeks?

      Who needs the equivalent of an M16 or a 20 or more bullet clip for any fire arm who's not on active duty in the military (and for what)?

      I used to respect the NRA, some 40 years ago when I was a kid earning my marksmanship certificates and sharpshooter bars at the 50' .22 caliber rifle range at camp. Certainly no longer.

      Back then the NRA stood for safety and a proper respect for the deadly nature of firearms. Today, the NRA is a self-serving hotbed of right-wing conspiracy theories that every elected and rank and file Democrat should stand up to and call out for what it is, not a protector of the right to bear arms, but the protector of the gun industry and their own warped political power.

      This country needs reasonable gun laws to protect the vast majority of people who don't need or want to own a gun nor fear those who do.

      No one should have a concealed weapon without a permit issued for a damn good reason.

      No one with a violent felony conviction should be allowed to buy a gun under any circumstances and every gun purchaser should be required to demonstrate that they know how to properly use it or learn how.

      This is the kind of thing that happens far to frequently in America because of the cavalier attitude of far too many gun owners -

      Democracy is a contact sport...

      by jsmagid on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:44:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not impressed by outrage at the arbitrary. (3+ / 0-)

        What business is it of yours if I can buy 6000 rounds of ammunition in a matter of a few weeks?  Or a day for that matter?

        What makes you think just anyone can legally buy "the equivalent of an M16?"  

        If the right is finding a natural ally in the NRA, it's because Democrats have ceded the organization to them.  I'd dispute your characterization of it as hyperbole; the NRA is still principally an organization dedicated to improving public marksmanship.  I'd also point out that the NRA enjoys a significant groundswell of support from Democrats, and endorses a non-trivial number of Democrats--including progressives--for public office.  And I'd also point out that anti-gun Democrats bear a measure of responsibility for pushing the NRA into the hands of the right, and they've done so at the expense of the party and against the clearly expressed will of the majority of Americans for reasons that are unfathomably--borderline unconscionably--indefensible.

        Gun owners by and large do not accept these arbitary limitations on our civil liberties.  And for the foreseeable future, we have both the legislative and judicial clout to hold that ground.  If you want to partner with us on matters of public safety, I highly advise you to stop wasting our time with these silly, uninformed and impotent demands you call "compromises."

        •  bears repeating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          If the right is finding a natural ally in the NRA, it's because Democrats have ceded the organization to them.
          The NRA I knew growing up bears little resemblance to what I see today, though the local chapter did endorse Tom Perriello here in VA-05 over a tea-bot.

          Violence is a very complex issue that has little hope of being addressed when political organizations think there is an advantage to take one side of an issue over another.

          "Hey Joe Walsh, when did you stop deadbeating your wife?"

          by wretchedhive on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:42:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bull! (0+ / 0-)

          I'm one of the 90 percent of American gun owners who does not belong to the NRA. Like the Republican party itself, the NRA as been purging those who do not march in lock-step with its plans for Civil War, Part II. Speak reason in regard to gun issues and you get late night death threat phone calls.
          The NRA is today a collection of paranoid, sexually repressed dead-enders, psychopaths, who on a regular basis shoot little girls and cops serving warrants who they think is really Obama at their door to take their dicks away. They are backed by the big money to be made selling people-killing weapons and hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition.
          So start shooting mofo, and there will be nine like me shooting back, defending our country. Big, fat, white slow-moving targets are not hard to hit.

        •  How about insurance? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm all for insurance, to cover the costs of the damages done by guns. It's in the billions, I'm sure.

          Women create the entire labor force.

          by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:37:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "empirically justifiable set of solutions" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, Ms Citizen, caul, Matt Z

      I'm curious - how do you expect any "set of solutions" to be "empirically justifiable" if you think that prior success is a necessary precursor to implementation?

    •  I'm curious how you would feel (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, caul, splashy, Matt Z, PSzymeczek

      about regulations like those in Canada. I know very little about them, but I read this Wikipedia page, and it offers some footnoted evidence about the decrease in the murder rate and the suicide rate after their 1977 law about licensing was implemented.

      I'm genuinely curious and admittedly ignorant about how Canadian law differs from American.

      •  Good question. (0+ / 0-)

        The murder (by firearm) rate decrease 0.5 per 100,000 over a quarter century.  This is significant insofar as the pre-1977 rate was already down to 1.15, but tempered by the normalized mean standardized national rate for total homicide.

        •  Here is the citation quoted below (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "More specifically, the standardized national rates for total homicides, homicides by firearms, and homicides by other methods for suspects and for victims for the years 1972-1976 and 1977-1982 were analyzed to determine whether the use of firearms in Canadian homicides has increased as predicted by supporters of capital punishment or has decreased as prophesied by advocates of gun control. Our findings revealed that while the mean standardized national rate for total homicide did not differ significantly between the 2-year block periods for either suspects or victims, significant decreases were found in the use of firearms for suspects and for victims since the legislative changes in gun control and capital punishment in late 1976. Even though there was a tendency for nonfirearm homicide to increase subsequent to gun control implementation, these findings become less worrisome when the relationship between suspect and victim standardized national rates are examined for firearm homicide versus nonfirearm homicide and for the year blocks 1972-1976 versus 1977-1982. For both blocks, a significantly greater proportion of victims per suspect was killed when firearms were the method of killing. In short, our findings firmly support the conclusion that gun control is beneficial. Although gun control may be influencing some suspects to kill by other methods, it is less likely for these suspects to kill multiple victims. (Author abstract modified)
              Main Term(s):     Gun control

          link :

          Now this study analyzed the effect of both gun control and the elimination of the death penalty. So the article does not really say what you think it says.

          •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The authors found exactly what I said they did.  Murder by firearm rate dropped from 1.15 to 0.5 per 100,000.  There was no statistically significant change in the national mean standardized total homicide rate from 1972-1976 to 1976-1982.

            That Sproule, et. al. still find the controls beneficial despite their findings is their problem, not mine, especially when Americans enjoyed comparable gains in public safety (errata here) without enacting liberty crushing legislation.

            •  They also said gun control was a good idea. (0+ / 0-)

              Read the entire article. Or at least what I excerpted. And you fail to mention the whole death penalty part. The article said that gun violence dropped when stricter gun control was enacted and the death penalty eliminated.

              And then you contradict the writers of the study you quote.

              So lets look at you next source:

              This article examines the impact of Canadian gun-control legislation on violent crime, suicides, and accidental deaths.

              Abstract:    Canada's 1977 Criminal Law Amendment Act mandated a firearms acquisition certificate for the purchase of any firearm; strengthened the registration requirements for handguns and other "restricted" weapons already imposed in 1968; and placed automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns, and rifles in a prohibited category. The legislation also provides stiffer penalties for firearms-related crime and prohibits the acquisition of firearms by those convicted of serious crimes. Compared with the United States, Canadian trends in violent crime, suicide, and accidental death over the past 10 years show no dramatic results and few perceptible effects from the gun control legislation. The decrease in the use of firearms in robberies is apparently the only change that stands out over time or in comparison with parallel trends in the United States. The stock of firearms in general and handguns in particular has grown somewhat since the 1977 legislation. The legislation may have slowed the rise in firearms violence that might otherwise have occurred. 7 figures, 22 references.

              link here:

              What does the author mean by compared to the US? Did crime go up or down in the US compared to Canada?
              And this study cites a decrease in the rise of firearms violence. In other words slowed down the increase in violent deaths. And again you do not control for the death penalty effect.

              Where does the author address gun violence in the US outside of a comparison with the US. And where does he claim that crime went down? And you do realize that gun control in 70s and 80s was much more severe than it is now, right? So the cite is really not on topic.

              When you look at your data provided in the errata you see an incident of 3.5 violent crimes per 100,000. That is a percentage of .000035 of the population. Assuming a population of 350 million that means a victim total of of 12, 250. So what are you gun advocates afraid of? The likelyhood of being a victim is very minor. And the DOJ numbers of people usinh weapons to defend themselves is between .9 and 1.1 percent. So all those guns are really not helping fend off crime are they?

              •  Who cares how Sproule feels? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                What matters are his findings, not whether he likes or dislikes guns.

                Where do you get the notion that gun control in the 1970s and 1980s was more severe than it is today?

                Mundt found that US and Canadian firearm homicide, suicide and accident rates fell at approximately the same rate, despite the fact that Americans had not enacted any new national gun controls since 1968.

                If the likelihood of falling victim to gun crime is so low, what are you anti-gun advocates afraid of?

                •  The laws in the US have gone from (0+ / 0-)

                  no issue to shall issue to must issue as regards concealed weapons permits. Weapons that were banned are now legal. A higher number of guns are present in the US. Guns are available over the internet. Gun shows proliferate. People's attitudes towards guns have shifted to the right. The policy of the NRA radically shifted in the late seventies following their entrance into electoral politics.

                  We worry when things like the Aurora shooting happen . And we try to figure out how to minimuize the occurance of such events in the future. We do not want this to happen again. The question is how many more people must die needlessly until people who think like you will try to become part of the solution instead of standing on the sidelines and shouting down the debate.

                  You have shown a willingness to warp and misconstrue studies so support your specious arguments. Either that or you are not very good at reading. I do not want to take away your guns. I just want the lying and the misrepresentations to stop. Tell the truth. Stop the lies. That is the problem that liberals have with you and the NRA. And consider why your gun is more important to you than a dead innocent victims life.

                  •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

                    You've gone out of your way to misrepresenting the actual findings in reports you cite, highlighting meaningless phrases indicating the authors' political preferences while utterly ignoring the conclusions.

                    You present, then disavow out of insane incredulity, clear evidence of defensive gun use that far outstrips even the most pessimistic estimates of gun violence.  

                    I don't doubt that you worry about mass shootings, but it's simply a lie to say that you try and figure out a damned thing.  You come back with the same old nonsense about ammo capacity, cosmetic complaints about stocks, and your obsessive hatred for the NRA.  You're slate of solutions hasn't changed in two decades and betrays a thorough ignorance of both criminology and even the basic mechanism of firearms.

                    And that's the problem Americans have with you. And I would dearly love for you to stop you dragging my party down with you in your disgusting exploitation of outrages like Aurora.

                    •  Show me how I have misrepresented anything (0+ / 0-)

                      Go ahead prove it. Or do you just like shooting your mouth off like a big man with nothing to back it up. What have you ever done for the Democratic party. Did you ever walk a precinct? Or phone bank? Ever volunteer for a local party organization? Or volunteer for a candidate? I have for over 20 years. DO NOT TELL ME I AM DRAGGING THE PARTY DOWN.

                      If your idea of truth is public polling then I suppose you think Sadam Husein was responsible for 9/11. Or you doubt that the President is a citizen. Or a Christian.

                      Just because you can handle a real debate with someone who will call you out on your bullshit does not entitle you to impune me. Or my motives. I have not said anything about the specifics of firearms.

                      To quote you "You come back with the same old nonsense about ammo capacity, cosmetic complaints about stocks, and your obsessive hatred for the NRA.  You're slate of solutions hasn't changed in two decades and betrays a thorough ignorance of both criminology and even the basic mechanism of firearms."

                      I have not done any of these things. I simply questioned your sources. To which you have no response. I am not concerned with ammo capacity, the difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons or the difference between arms and ordinance. So I do not argue about them. But the studies you cite are shit and you have no answer for this. So you deflect and change the topic.

                      Glad you finally figured out how to post a link, genius.

                      How again did I exploit Aurora? care to point me to that part?

                      •  In order: (0+ / 0-)

                        1. You presented a lit review of defensive gun use estimates you said shows that such estimates are unreliable.  The report makes no such conclusion and no such conclusion is supported by its contents.

                        2. You misrepresented the Sproule article as demonstrating that "gun control is a good idea."  The findings support no such conclusion, regardless of the author's personal feelings.

                        You and your allies are dragging the party down.  You're one of the larger obstacles to securing greater rural support for progressive causes that actually work, and you do so for reasons that defy any rational explanation.  You personally have  stood on the bodies of victims to proclaim your own righteousness.

                        •  First of all how dare you accuse me of expolitatio (0+ / 0-)

                          of the victims. What kind of a lowlife are you? Where are the quotes that back up your argument about Sproule. I include quotes and links to the articles. You provide nothing. I have no responsibility fro rural politics as I live in a semirural district in Florida that will soon be represented by Allan Grayson. And he will support gun control and he will win in an area of orange orchrids, strawberry fields and ranching as well as DisneyWorld. And so I am working fro Democratic victory in rural America.

                          What are you going to do to insure Dems win in a rural area? Are you going to walk precincts and ring door bells? Are you going to phone bank? Pass out lit?

                          I question studies cited by gun advocates after reading them. And I am the reason you can not get Dems elected in your area. How about you guys work harder.

                          I am offended by your reference to having "stood on the bodies of victims". I am considering asking for an HR for that statement which I find to be below the belt.
                          You are a person who lacks honor, you are a cheap-shot artist. And when faced with data that contraindicates your cherished belief you engage in personal attacks instead of countering with other evidence.

                          •  And the faux outrage continues. (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, you exploit the victims.  That's a simple statement of fact.  Don't really care why you do it--you probably think you're doing it out of the most noble of intentions.  Don't much care for it, though.

                            NRA endorsed Democrats are a third of the present Democratic Caucus in the House.  I support them, and they preserve my rights.  I'm not terribly concerned with whatever little anti-gun temper tantrum you might get behind in Florida; you've already lost the war.

                            As for Sproule: "Our findings revealed that while the mean standardized national rate for total homicide did not differ significantly between the 2-year block periods for either suspects or victims, significant decreases were found in the use of firearms for suspects and for victims since the legislative changes in gun control and capital punishment in late 1976."

                            You questioned nothing.  You presented a review of estimates and made not one argument against any of them.  You simply said they were garbage and that was that.  To be more precise, you claimed the review found that they were garbage.  It did no such thing.  You've shown yourself to be quite comfortable with lying.

                          •  If we have lost the war it is because of (0+ / 0-)

                            the lies of the gun community. You people in RKBA and your allies will stop at nothing to get your way. You will not engage in honest debate, you will lie, and smear, and then when you are losing you pull out the HR. You and your whole group are beneath contempt. You value your bang bang toys more than you value human life. You are the worst part of the Democratic party. You have sold your soul to the NRA whether you like to admit it or not.

                            You may dislike the NRA but you are their trusted ally. You love your guns more than you love your country. You will not engage in an honest debate. It is not about guns, it is about your fundamentalist attitude. You are like the Taliban. Or the Christian right. You and your ilk are destroying America. And your favorite Congresspeople are destroying it  to.

                            Remember this site is about electing more and better Democrats. And the Democrats who support your position need to be replaced with real Democrats. If you bothered to read other comments written by me you would understand that I am relatively pro-gun. I believe in responsible ownership and training, not confiscation. But I despise the mindless fundamentalism that you people bring to smother the debate. In no way are you and your ilk progressive in your thinking. You may be in the right on a few issues but your style of thinking and argumentation place you in the hard right.

                            Do you people care about anything else? I do not see RKBA in non gun related discussions. Maybe you are here on a ruse? Not an accusation but a thought, a suspicion.

                            You cowards have thrown the weapon of last resort, the HR. And that speaks volumes about you people and your values.

                          •  Don't dislike the NRA. (0+ / 0-)

                            Others in RKBA may, but not me.  In any case, I think we've come to a fitting conclusion.  I still have my liberty and you're frothing at the mouth in incomprehensible anger.  So I'll leave it with:

                            1. You're a terrible, terrible Democrat,
                            2. You're an contemptible liar, and
                            3. You're immaterial.

                            Good bye.

                      •  Almost forgot. (0+ / 0-)

                        Ms. Citizen cited the Sproule study.  You cited the review of the defensive gun usage studies.  I cited Mundt, to which your only objection is an off-hand, out of context comment regarding the pitfalls of variation across international borders.

                    •  Oh I see, by mentioning it I am expoliting it. (0+ / 0-)

                      We are not allowed to talk about recent events because that hurts your feelings, right?

              •  he found no benefit (0+ / 0-)

                and still concluded it was a good idea.  Such a person can contribute nothing productive to the dialogue.

                If the goal is to reduce murders, and you haven't reduced murders, it's a failure.

                If the goal is to grab guns, and you've grabbed guns, it's a success.

                Thus, by virtue of what you consider to be a success, we know what your real goal is.

                Medic Alert: Do not resuscitate under a Republican administration.

                by happymisanthropy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:53:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Quote and citation please. (0+ / 0-)

                  He did not say it was a good idea. He said it did not make things worse. Big difference. How do you know what my goals are? Have I told you? No I have not. I have just discussed the research. Which you people continue to  misrepresent.

                  Here is my goal. To have a honest debate about guns in America with real data and not to be shouted down by the pry it from my cold dead fingers crowd. Not to confiscate your guns but to see if we can lower violent crime in this country.

                  In no way have I done anything but check your sources. I have discovered problems with these studies and pointed then out. None of you have pointed to any study that contradicts my position. Instead you attack my motivations which you claim to understand but do not.

                  So let me spell it out for you. My assertion is that the research does not support any conclusions because much more research needs to be done. The research on DGU is flawed and more needs to be done. Period. I am not a supporter of restrictive gun control. But we need to know the truth. And gun rights supporters make claims they can not substantiate. Now it may be true that gun control advocates make the same mistake. I have not really looked at that side yet.

                  The NRA engages in an unfair campaign of smearing its opponents. Like telling lies about the President. I hate that. But I do not hate guns. I am an occasional shooter myself and received firearms training in the Boy Scouts.
                  I believe in mandatory service for 18 year olds that would include mandatory firearms training to realize the "well regulated militia" of the founders ideal. But I also support a debate on firearms without the NRA shouting everyone else down.

    •  People are dead at the hands of someone who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, splashy

      should never had had access to a gun. And you talk about
      "an unacceptable slate of infringements on the safety and way of life of Americans." Is gun ownership the equivalent of freedom of speech?

      It seems to mean that in the midst of a pile of bloody victims and dead bodies you are the one who should be required to empirically justify the status quo.

      We have done our homework and you position has been found wanting, empirically. The oft cited study by the National Academies Press indicates that the available research is weak and "fragile".

      The research is simply not there. Estimates based on anecdotes put gun use in self defense at between 100,000 and 2,500,000. This is basically saying we do not really know but here is a guess. And Department of Justice reports that between .9% and 1.1% of crime victims use a weapon of some sort to defend themselves. Whereas 20% fight back unarmed. And the number referring to weapon use does not break out gun use from other weapons.

      One more thing. A week ago in Clermont, FL a guy answered a knock at his door at 2:00AM. He was carrying a gun and when he answered the door the cops on the other side shot him. They were at the wrong apartment looking for somebody else. This victim was legally entitled to possess a gun and to carry it for self defense in his home. But it provided no protection for him. I mention this not as proof of anything but just as a cautionary tale.

      •  Sure you did your homework? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Walt starr, happymisanthropy

        Because by your own admission, the lit review sets a floor at 273 acts of self-defense with a firearm per day.

        So, please, put away your bloody shirt and arbitrary proposals.  You're not doing yourself any favors.

        •  Your link came up as 404 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Nice going genius. And how does the lit set a bottom level of 273 DGUs per day. Can you please explain this to me?
          My point was that these numbers are not reliable. the range is way too broad. My citation was specifically DOJ reports on the percentage of victims that respond with some type of weapon. And .9% does not seem like a reason to declare that we now live in the Wild West.

          The range of numbers come from surveys that are not as reliable as hard DOJ numbers. And the NAP says that the reaearch is weak. I do not have a bloody shirt and made no proposals. I pointed out the weakness of your argument. But what can you expect from someone who leads people to unrelaible wikis and websites that come up as 404.

          •  Here, let me fix that for you. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There you go.  Better now?  Let me know if you ever need help fixing a link.

            The report reviews a series of 21 estimates, 19 of which coalesce around Kleck and Gertz at 2.5 million and 2 of which gather around McDowell at 100,000.  This is not a range, but two spikes reflecting two ways of counting defensive gun use.  Arguments against reporting biases fall into two categories, an upward bias for Kleck and Gertz estimates and a downward bias for McDowell.  

            •  It seems that there are real problems with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Kleck and Gertz statistically speaking. Their study is flawed see Hemmingway:

              link here :

              The come back from Kleck and Gertz over Hemminway was as summed up by a reviewer was to engage in ad hominum attacks on Hemmingway.

              See link :

              Unfortunately the NORC article original is behind the JSTOR paywall. But its conclusion is that the research is incomplete. But Kleck and Getrz are dead.

              As for McDowell "While our analysis does not allow a firm conclusion that shall issue licensing increases firearms homicides, it does suggest caution about these laws. Some observers consider strict limits on firearms outside the home to be among the most effective forms of gun control. [51] Beyond any influence on violence, the policies are easy to enforce and they do not inconvenience most gun owners. When states weaken limits on concealed weapons, they may be giving up a simple and effective method of preventing firearms deaths.

              link here :

              Oh and Kleck says "Kleck has written that "One of the least productive lines of inquiry in the gun control debate has been to compare the United States with other nations,"

              Link here

              Where does McDowell make any estimates that apply to the US as a whole. The only thing I can find refers to Florida and shall issue laws, not must issue laws.

      •  I hope those cops (0+ / 0-)

        are tried, convicted, and executed.

        Medic Alert: Do not resuscitate under a Republican administration.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:56:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Unacceptable infringements on safety (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, goheelsgodems

      An unacceptable slate of infringements on the safety and way of life of Americans?!?!?!

      Americans are killed by gun violence going to the movies, in restaurants, at political rallies, in stores, wlaking home from the 7-11, and even in their own homes.

      To me, an unacceptable infringement on safety and the way of life for Americans is the the very real possibility of getting shot by a gunowner when going about my legal and peacable business.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:42:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can we work together on insurance? (0+ / 0-)

      Would gun owners (of which I am one) be fine with everyone having to buy insurance to cover the costs of damages caused by the gun(s) they own? The premiums would be higher for assault weapons, lower for hunting weapons.

      It could be done like this, maybe:
      When you buy a gun, insurance is expected to be bought at the point of sale, or within a very short time. If you go to target shoot at a range, your insurance is checked to make sure it's up to date. If you get a hunting license, the insurance is checked. Any time you have a gun in public a police officer can check to see if your insurance is up to date.

      You know, like how we do vehicles.

      Sure, some would slip through, but at least some of the costs of the massacres could be at least partly paid for by those that want guns readily available to everyone.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know it's the theme of the day but (8+ / 0-)

    you should consider the very valid points raised by the other side of the issue. You paint things in black and white leaving yourself no room to see nuance. What if scary black guns are actually involved in very small percentages of crimes? Because they are.

    I have a wife and small kids, I'm much more terrified of drivers texting than guns. If you eliminate suicide, domestic disputes and drug deals, death from strangers by firearm drops off the charts. I also didn't worry about getting flown into by terrorists in jet liners.

    I think we're horrified by the 24/7 news cycle trying to keep us glued to the TV by the latest tragedy.

    What caused that young guy to become a crazed killer? What can we do to prevent other young guys from turning out like him?

    You realize don't you that theater was a gun free zone. Rules don't always help.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:55:25 PM PDT

  •  Here we go. (14+ / 0-)

    Both conservative and liberal guns-for-all-seasons-and-all-reasons advocates shout "It's not the guns! It's the people, the drugs, the school system, the social programs, the juvie system, mental illness, the lack of jobs,....[put in your personal fav here]...but it's not the guns!"

    Which allows them to walk away from the discussion without ever offering a single concrete useable suggestion for how to make this not happen again.

    The diarist is asking gun people to talk about guns as part of the issue.  For the most part, they won't.  Because it's not the guns.  It's everything else.  

    Many (not all) pro-gun restriction people will go half way, ask for middle ground, acquiesce to the values of hunters.  But the anti-gun restriction folks insist it's not the guns.  It's never the guns.

    Meanwhile, in some states it's easier to carry a firearm to a political rally, a church or a taproom than it is to carry a lighted cigarette to the same places.

    It occurs to me that if we have no people, we'd also have no gun violence.

    Total annihilation of humankind:  the only solution to gun violence.

    /snark off

    •  Root causes & who benefits (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mass shootings seem to happen on a semi-regular basis. I think it's something to do with the culture, a side effect.

      For instance, bullying seems to be a perpetual problem. I would  call mass shootings are an extreme example. It seems to me that bullying is so prevalent in schools to the point that it's effectivelly intentional.

      There's all sorts of things that happen in public schools, all the high stakes testing, that doesn't happen in the private schools where the 1% sends their children. And big business is getting more and more involved with school "reform". What big business wants out of public schools is compliant workers. And the bullies will be 1%ers or 1%er-wannabes, and people learn at a young age that bullying is "normal", and the vampire .01% who got there by stealling workers wages and pensions, look normal. They don't have to defend their anti-social behavior.

      One side effect of our warpped societ and the cumulative effects of the social control devised by the ruling class to keep the rest under control seems to be gun massacres. Especially when mental health services keep getting cut.

      The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

      by stargaze on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:41:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautifully written and well thought out post. (14+ / 0-)

    And yes, the Onion deserves the Pulitzer for that piece.

    The problem with reasonable restrictions on guns in the United States is the screamers.  They are the ones, for whatever reasons say "no" as a knee jerk reaction to even the mildest suggestion of restraint.

    High capacity magazines?  Yeah they need them for something and it is their constitutional right to stockpile them.  And of course, we can't ban semi automatic or automatic weapons, what else could they use the high capacity magazine for?

    In a nation where you are not allowed to get behind the wheel of a registered automobile without being licensed by the state, killing tools must remain available for all.

    And it doesn't seem to matter how many innocents are caught in the crossfire while the debate goes on.  I'm pessimistic that this shooting will change anything any more than the last one did. The NRA speaks with a loud voice.  

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:41:13 PM PDT

  •  Welcome to dKos, Will (11+ / 0-)

    I've been reading you there for years, and it's good to have you here now. When you come back to read the comments, understand that we have a group of people here who, despite their protestations, have drunk enough of the NRA Kool-Aid to bristle at any sensible attempt to return to the limitations - which weren't very strong anyway -- of 2003.  

    Thanks for this.  It's good to see the liberal blogosphere branching out.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:48:42 PM PDT

    •  Well, they weren't very effective. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stargaze, happymisanthropy

      It was the economy that reduces the overall overbearing stress on the people that brings about less violence, not a bunch of rules that were half nonsense.

      Seriously, expecting laws that regulate flash hiders to reduce crime is like expecting a law that regulates the shape of a car's tailpipe to reduce the number of speeders.

      Summarily, it's the economy, stupid. Tax the cash hoarders so that the greenbacks flow through the economy again, effectively allowing us to take care of our own.

  •  The country has had this "discussion" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jsmagid, xaxnar, Ed in Montana

    dozens of times in my life.

    It all comes down to this. A great many American males identify their genitals with guns. They react to the thought that their guns might be taken away as a castration threat.

    This of course is psychotic, but then a great many American males are psychotic. That is why the US is so much worse off than every other developed country in the world.

  •  Take a bow, Wayne LaPierre, it's your moment (7+ / 0-)

    when he stand up and be accountable for his actions in proliferating this lifestyle? is he ashamed of his actions? is is that the simple fact that his entire family is employed and supported by the finances of the NRA? can no one see what a huckster he is?

    There will be a special circle in Hell for Wayne and his family next to the EIB network chief, Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News family and most of the Repug Congress.

    What Fresh Hell is This? -- Dorothy Parker

    by chazz509 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:10:35 PM PDT

  •  I think we know what is needed. The question is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, splashy

    what is preventing it.  Yeah, I know.  The NRA.  How exactly do they control the discussion?  I have seen a lot of people speak in generalities but I haven't seen anything concrete.  How many members are there?  Who are they?  How much do they donate and to whom?  What is this report card thingy?  If we had a better understanding of who was pulling the strings that's one part of the answer.  

    It shows that against the backdrop of America's actual problems, the shallowness of what passes for political dialogue and debate would seem too jarring to ever live down.
    I love this quote.
  •  I give Mike Bloomberg a lot of credit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, splashy

    for asking for a serious conversation, not a screaming match, about what we can do to reduce gun violence in this country.

    I respect the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and carry firearms. I worry more about my kids getting run over by a texting teenager or an overworked adult trying to multitask than by a crazy person who opens fire on a movie theater or a restaurant.

    I also don't want teenagers to have access to high-capacity magazines (wasn't that part of the problem at Columbine?), but I don't have any problem with a 16-year-old doing target shooting or hunting with other members of the family.

    It would be nice if we could have a more nuanced discussion here at DK without it turning into "two sides, which one are you on?"

    Maybe not, though.

    •  The problem here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Walt starr

      is that bloomberg can be summarized as saying
      "It's time to have an adult conversation on how to filter guns out of the hands of the masses"
      He basically tries to begin the conversation in a way that shuts out all mention of mental health / economical / community factors, as if the had no place.

      The guy was educated enough to be able to make some really nasty shit (ricin) capable of killing thousands if released in the right places. The guy was smart enough to plan out an action and likely get away without identification. And all without ever purchasing a gun. Look at the state of his apartment. Look at how many months he spent planning Aurora.

      But bloomberg doesn't want to spend time on the mental health, as if the question of sanity or insanity doesn't have a place in the conversation.

      Bloomberg doesn't want to spend time on the economy crushing the hopes of the recently graduated youth.

      Bloomberg doesn't want to spend time on the topic of how our jobs have become such sources of pressure on us, demanding more and more of us, until our general capability to be social with our neighbors is so degraded as to allow people to simply detach from society and we just let them fade away into the background noise of our lives.

      Nope, bloomberg doesn't want to talk about these issues. He wants to skip right past these like a child rushing past a graveyard, thinking that if you ignore them then they'll go away. He wants to talk about what method the mentally unhealthy economically damaged social shut-in used to act out those issues, as if taking the gun away would have solved this guys problems.

      And the great majority of DKos is right there with him.

      •  You're right that (0+ / 0-)

        Bloomberg doesn't want to talk about mental health issues, and his stance on education (my primary issue) is also of concern to me. I don't vote in NY, but I wish the president was also talking more about mental health (as well as gun control).

    •  Do you think that requiring insurance (0+ / 0-)

      For each and every gun is a good idea?

      It could be set up to charge more or less depending on the kind of gun.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:14:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's missing is a call to action - and what kind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, caul

    News coverage has become what I called yesterday "tragedy porn". Round up some grieving people, get them to display their agony for the public to lap up in 'sympathy', make noises of concern, find some 'experts' to explain what happened (even as no one has the answers yet), maintain sober expressions...

    It's like a formal dance with all the steps laid out; everyone knows their place and goes through the motions.

    There is something passive about it all, as though making the proper displays absolves people of actually doing anything meaningful about what just happened. You hear no calls from our so-called political leaders to address the underlying issues - too much firepower available too easily for no good reasons. You hear no one from the media making the obvious connections.

    And here's something that should really freak out thinking people. The alleged shooter put together an arsenal of weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, amassed explosives - and not one security system tripped an alarm?

    Haven't we spent billions of dollars building a homeland security agency that is supposed to protect us from acts of terror? Doesn't the government track millions of phone calls and emails, financial records, etc? SO where is all that money going and what good is it doing?

    There's the problem that by its nature we don't hear about the successes, because nothing happened - just the failures. Did the alleged shooter slip through the cracks because he didn't fit some profile? Are we all going to be subject to who knows what in a security over reaction?

    There's damn few good answers to the questions events like this raise, and little to no indications people we trust with the responsibility to prepare against events like this will take any credible action.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:22:51 AM PDT

    •  All good questions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm thinking that requiring insurance would help. The insurance corporations could insist on training and more safety features, and the money could be used to help pay for the costs to the victims and communities.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:17:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So many people want an either/or solution ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    either eliminate all guns and make them illegal,

    OR do nothing to change the status quo where so many (deadlier and deadlier as the cheaply available technologies can allow shooting more rounds faster) guns are so easily accessible to people they shouldn't be.

    I must say that either is dangerous.  Making guns illegal would certainly create a tremendous criminal enterprise just to take care of the demand that will not go away.  Just look at how well Prohibition worked and the consequences it brought.  Continuing the status quo is also madness, but it is more likely due to the grip the NRA has on most Congress-critters and state legislatures.  It is madness because it is leading to making it easier every day for people that should not put their hands on a firearm - the internet makes it so much easier that straw purchases (which still continue untouched, in states like GA and VA, to take these "legal" guns to New York/CT/MA) may soon look like a quaint idea.

    If we do not find a way to reach reasonable regulations on firearms, we will be faced with choosing between maintaining a civil society or the readily accessible firearms, we really can't have both.

    To the people that think that nothing short of outlawing all firearms and to the people that think that any regulation on firearms is an unacceptable violation of their constitutional rights there is nothing that can be suggested that will be reasonable.  For the rest of us I propose reasonable, national (it has to be federal/national because the mish mash of laws that exist is exactly what makes it impossible for any state to truly regulate firearms) regulation.

    Here are what I consider reasonable regulations (that IMHO do not violate the Second Amendment):
    1) People that want to purchase and maintain firearms must obtain training
    2) These people must pass an exam proving that they can use guns they intend to purchase safely and get a license indicating so
    3) All purchases need background checks and there is a database of who owns what gun/serial number (clearly the definition of who should not have access to a gun will be contentious, but that can be worked out)
    4) Pass the assault weapons ban permanently and outlaw any clip/magazine/semi-automatic that can be used to turn many guns into automatic weapons (for all intents and purposes).

    Now I don't see how that "infringes" on anyone's Second Amendment rights, but the gun fetishists (even the ones among us) will insist it does.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:57:35 AM PDT

    •  5. micro taqging of ammunition (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, DefendOurConstitution

      current nano technology could do this, at least to the point of knowing what store the bullets came from.

      The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

      by stargaze on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:05:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Science fiction has not yet become science fact. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, happymisanthropy

        Not as far as the science of bullet tracking.

        As far as nano tagging, the tech for adding the tag would need to be put in place in thousands of private company warehouses nationwide.

        Such as, the warehouse that sends ammo to your local walmart as well as a few dozen other walmart stores, would need to be able to tag the load being sent to YOUR walmart.

        But next you would want them tagged with their locations while en-route through the supply chain. That means the nano tags would have to re eraseable and rewritable, like RW Compact Disks or rewritable dvd's. That means that the local walmart warehouse would need the ability to erase tags as well as write tag info, erase the tag on ammo that arrives there and write tag info while in stock, erase tag info and write new tag info on preparation for shipment.

        And that's simply not a system that will remain secure. A laptop with a wii game (skylanders) can defeat that type of system.

    •  I believe that you are right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, splashy, DefendOurConstitution

      Most of us do not want an outright ban on firearms but we do want them to be "well regulated". The problem is that the NRA dominates the discussion and shouts down everyone else. As does the right wing on every issue. They have a culture of shouting and misrepresenting facts. The President has said on many occasions that he does not want to eliminate gun rights. Yet the common "wisdom" is that he does want to take guns away. Why is this? Because the NRA is lying. And no one will call them on it.

      Hey RKBAers - do you think that the President wants to take away your guns? Will you stick up for the truth? Will you tell the NRA to stop lying? Will you defend the President and the Democratic party from the lies told by the NRA? Will you tell the NRA that no Democrat leader is willing to take them on and make reasonable gun control to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of psychotic people like the Aurora shooter a priority?

      I do not wish to confiscate anyone's firearms but I would like firearms owners to take responibility for the damage guns cause.

      •  Psychotic? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, happymisanthropy, wishbone

        The guy had no history of mental illness or criminal behavior, as far as we know. Those with mental illness are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.

        Should car owners take responsibility for the bad acts of other drivers? Should all knife owners be held responsible for stabbing deaths? I own a chain saw, a very dangerous tool that must be used carefully. Am I at fault if someone accidentally injures themselves with their chain saw?

        Why should anyone be held liable for the acts of complete strangers?

        None of us in the RKBA group has any use for the NRA. Their lying and fearmongering is disgraceful.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:06:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Car owners are held responsible for the actions of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          others, they are required to carry uninsured motorist insurance. And yes you are responsible for what happens with your chain saw. You are partially at fault if someone injuries themselves with your chain saw. Ever heard of the law of torts? Ever thought about civil law and civil suits?

          Why should I be held responsible for the actions of a company I own stock in? Yet my stock price and dividend will suffer if the company loses a big suit. Is that fair to me?
          Everyone who pays taxes takes responsibility for the irresponsible actions of others. According to your logic why should we? How do you feel about health care reform?

          Can you please explain where RKBA and the NRA differ? Honestly I would like to know. Because I do not see any difference. What do you guys stand for?

          •  You have moved (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the posts. This:

            they are required to carry uninsured motorist insurance.
            Is much different than this:
            I would like firearms owners to take responibility for the damage guns cause.
            The former protects me from someone's actions. The latter makes me responsible for someone's actions--actions that have no direct effect on me.

            See the difference?

            Read again:

            Am I at fault if someone accidentally injures themselves with their chain saw?
            Should all knife owners be held responsible for stabbing deaths?
            Yes or no?

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:29:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are not at fault if it is not your chainsaw. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Unless you are the owner of the property that the accident happened at. You are not responsible for your gun if it is store properly and locked. But you should be responsible for the irresponsible use of your firearm. Our concern is not with the responsible law abiding gun owner who uses sound judgment and discretion in the use of his/her firearm. Can you agree that gun owners should be encouraged to act responsibly?

              Our argument is with the position that all regulation is an infringement on freedom. We believe that irresponsible people should not have access to guns. For the same reason that drunks should not be driving cars while drunk. All gun owners do not share responsibility for gun deaths. But those who fight common sense rules for the use of guns are in part responsible fro the harm that guns cause.
              If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

              •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

                all gun owners should be encouraged to act responsibly. You will find no disagreement on that with any RKBA member. Nor will you find any one here who will claim that all regulation is infringement. That is a very extreme position that even the NRA does not share. And we're all liberals here, so the NRA is held in the same contempt by us (except for their shooting sports and hunter safety division) as by any one else here.

                We believe that irresponsible people should not have access to guns
                All gun owners do not share responsibility for gun deaths.
                Thank you.

                Common sense rule are fine, and I am all for them, as long as they reduce irresponsible or criminal use of guns, without infringing on rights. Irresponsible morons, like people who leave loaded guns where kids can get them, or the pinheads who go target shooting in the middle of a drought (Utah) and set the woods aflame, give all gun owners a bad name.

                Effective and reasonable regulation can be done--witness the success of the NICS background check system, which many people are surprised to learn was backed by the NRA. It has prevented more felons and domestic abusers from buying firearms than all the hardware and magazine size restrictions ever tried.

                See? We agree on all sort of things...

                "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:28:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Actually car owners DO take responsibility (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          By buying insurance on their cars.

          We are all held liable for injuries with a chain saw, because they get medical help.

          In fact, we are all held liable for massacres, because we all help pay for the medical needs of the victims, the police and other people that deal with the situation, and the businesses deal with the loss of business from the situation.

          We are all paying, so I'm thinking that having the gun owners pay more by having insurance is a good thing. It puts the costs on the people who want it to be easy to get weapons.

          Women create the entire labor force.

          by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:24:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Insurace! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm advocating for insurance on each and every gun.

        Women create the entire labor force.

        by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:21:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would include having them buy insurance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To cover the costs of damages caused by the guns.

      That money could help pay for the costs of massacres, and with the insurance corporations involved it may lead to safer guns.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:19:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "founding fathers" were not always right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, caul, splashy

    So if you believe the interpretation of the 2nd amendment as you can own any weapon you want, you may be legally correct but not right.

    The fact that is undeniable, and which I believe the author is highlighting, is the easy access to weapons of mass destruction infringes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The NRA's answer to Aurora is to arm everyone else in the theater so they can be self protected. They're fucking nuts and therefore do not deserve a seat at the table when discussing public policy on how we address this deadly issue.

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:13:24 AM PDT

  •  I don't have any answers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    As a human, these shootings disturb me.  I also get irritated by media opinions passed off as "news" or facts.  For example, the USA "20 Mass Killings Per Year", is horseshit.  For some perspective, look here:

    Rampage Killings

    or, look at the FBI crime statistics.

    What bothers me most, however, is the thought that a law will "fix" the problem.  It won't. Sexual congress with children is illegal.  We've written many laws against the practice.  Yet, there are 10's of thousands of offenses in the US and EVERY OTHER COUNTRY, per year.

    But, we've written a law...and when some high profile guy like Jerry Sandusky shows up on radar, we "tsk, tsk", comment, tear down Paterno's statue (as if that is a big fucking deal and solves anything) and move on.

    If a new law would solve the problem, I'd be all for more gun control and, in fact, I'd like to see some of the law strengthened.  

    But I doubt it will stop a Holmes, or a Kliebold or the next angry young man who believes HE is so important that he must make a statement through murder.

    In a perfect world, we wouldn't need guns.  There would be no assaults and no children harmed by the deviant sexual inclinations of adults.

    But, it's not a perfect world.  It is unlikely that behavior will ever change for the better.  And I do not believe that a change in a law will make a difference either.

    •  The issue is not that the law failed to stop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sandusky. It is that people failed to enforce the law. From the administration of Penn State to the local police and DA's office they failed to enforce the law. But because they failed to enforce the law means that the law is a failure? Glass Steagal put nearly 1500 bankers in jail after the S&L scandal of the eighties. Then we got rid of Glass Steagal and the same thing happened. Only this time no one went to jail. So getting rid of laws does not work either.

      You may not believe that changing the law will change anything but I say that doing nothing is even worse. It is defeatism. If you believe that behavior can not change for the better then you need to examine whether or not you are really progressive, if you believe that you with the help of others can change the world.

      The lack of will illustrated by the response to this shooting is a small part of a bigger picture. It is as if the entire country has entered into a mental depression. We have lost the will to make our lives better. And because of this we are in decline as a great nation.

  •  I just love Bloomberg's comments! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this post.

    There are many other topics that both candidates are not addressing, and they both seem to be stuck in a war of "why YOU are not fit to be President".

    Re: The meaning of the Second Amendment:  I would highly recommend the essay Guns and Grammar by Dennis Barone.  It was submitted to the Supreme Court as a brief, and largely ignored by the court.

  •  Excellent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for this thoughtful diary and for speaking up.

  •  ¶¶¶_ TA DA _¶¶¶ (0+ / 0-)

    What really happened in the Batman Shootings is the natural outcome when people are promised something of value, after successfully completing a difficult task, and that promise is nothing less than puffery nor more than...a lie.

    I have no doubt that many more than seventy or eighty young Americans, after a most successfully completed degree program and being only able (at best) to secure positions that they were vastly overqualified to hold, have committed suicide.   Now, most folks, when pushed to wits end will suffer though, some end it all and some attempt to end all.  

    They [Capital T] need to stop lying to people about the, fictional, benefits of higher education and this one problem will be ended; it’s just as
    Noam Comsky states, [I paraphrase]
     “If you don’t like terrorism, stop being terrorists,”
    (or as I put it)
    of course, that would require an actual civilization thus is impossible.

    The children, now traumatized or desensitized, are much more likely to die from the lies of Corporate Education THAN from a deranged, via CE, person’s actions.  Dead from the actions of a coldly calculating society OR a single “Unit” is still just as dead.

    by Tor Hershman on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:33:12 AM PDT

  •  Many people are paranoid of "surveillance" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, AaronInSanDiego

    I keep seeing diaries and comments here about how evil "The Government" is about watching and tracking individuals that they think might be doing something suspicious.  Then when something like this happens the same people are all aghast that "Why didn't somebody notice this guy???".  He repeatedly bought THOUSANDS of rounds of ammo and other armaments.   But if  "The Government" was to watch him (do surveillance on him) while he gathered all this stuff together, it would be a violation of his rights - yes or no?   Where does that line get drawn?

  •  get the damn assault weapons off the streets (0+ / 0-)

    sympathy is nice but it can be a distraction from solving the real problem.  The bottom line is that these assault weapons should not be available on the market.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:29:34 AM PDT

  •  thoughts and prayers (0+ / 0-)

    are just another PC way to say something safe, regardless of how trivial. I'd rather people say nothing especially if they're media talking heads but, of course, they wouldn't last long in their positions if they did.

    This kinda bs empty-speak is why I got rid of my tv decades ago.

    "Your Actions Are So Loud, I Can't Hear a Word You're Saying"

    by toosinbeymen on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:46:53 AM PDT

  •  I am so freaking sick (0+ / 0-)

    of hearing "the silver lining" comment! There is no silver lining and there never will be as long as the NRA and RWNJ's hold sway over our government. Why is it the party who is so concerned with an embryo, has no regard for the safety of our children. Columbine, Va. Tech, etc, etc.. Our children are dying because you need to be able to hunt from helicopters with assault rifles! No, no more silver lining! The assault weapon ban can't even be discussed. We learn nothing from these senseless tragedies! I for one have had enough. I am pretty sure the Founding Fathers would not have let a freaking gun club make laws for the land!

    Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

    by Nica24 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:18:22 AM PDT

  •  Assault Weapons Ban (0+ / 0-)

    Yes it is time to address this ASAP! Thank you for your post.

  •  Slaves were told to pray for divine intervention (0+ / 0-)

    I see all the calls for prayer from our so-called leaders in the same light. Every year brings more hatred and more mass shootings. Does it make sense to simply call for a ban on assault weapons or high capacity magazines? I think not. 1. It can’t happen with our political system 2. America has a problem; guns are part of the problem, but not the worst part.

    The problem is our culture of reverence for money and toughness, for machismo. It's been part of white America for a long time. Think of Andrew Jackson, his seizure of Indian lands and the Trail of Tears. He also opposed public education. Think of manifest destiny- the right of our forebears to seize all the land all the way to the Pacific- in fact they wanted the northern half of Mexico. The only good Indian is a dead Indian. Similar attitudes existed in other countries, but most Europeans were shaken by the violence of World War II and tried to build political structures to keep such wars from ever returning.

    How many American white males say “I don’t have anybody that I can talk to about my deepest fears and problems?” That’s why there are more white than minority shooters (proportionate to population)- crazies are no more common in whites than non-whites.

    It's ironic that Christianity is much less evident in Europe, which mostly supports the idea of shared responsibility for all citizens, than in the US which has a worse infant mortality rate than Greece, and can't see that all citizens need jobs and retirement security.

    Consider our adulation of pro football. Pro football existed in 1912 but was tiny. As long as we admire violence and tough men, we will have this problem. I hope that a few states, maybe Vermont, will be able to construct a decent health care system. For the country as a whole- I don't expect it. We are hamstrung by our political culture and our constitution, which was written by slave owners and was OK for the early 19th century when there was no public education.
    Today our public education for poor children ensures that they can never be self-sufficient adults, unless they become criminals.  Overthrow the government? Well, that hasn't worked too well for Egypt, has it? The Buddhists have the right idea. Despise no one and help your neighbors build a better small world that includes real education and obligations for the common good. Vote for Obama because he’s less dangerous than Romney. But expect him and Nancy Pelosi to deal with these tough long-term issues?

  •  Insurance! Make gun owners buy insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Publius Cornelius Tacitus

    Get some big money invested in gun safety, and watch the regulations and safety features start happening.

    As it is now, the only money involved is the money of the arms dealers, who only want to use gun violence as a marketing tool to promote buying more and more guns.

    If every gun owner had to pay premiums on each and every gun they own, I'm thinking that it just might make a difference.

    If nothing else, the victims would get help coping with the aftermath of things like this.

    Perhaps the insurance corporations would manage to get that dratted loophole that lets private gun buying happen, where there is no background check. It wouldn't have made a difference in this case, but anything to lower the violence is a plus in my mind.

    At least there would be insurance to help cover the costs of this massacre, and other gun owners throughout the US would have to help bear the burden of that cost, instead of only the communities that end up with the massacres.

    Women create the entire labor force.

    by splashy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:24:12 PM PDT

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