Skip to main content

  The weekly compilations of people doing stupid things with guns is depressing; David Waldman never seems to find a shortage of material to report. Over at Talking Points Memo Josh Marshall and crew have been doing their own coverage. But this week Marshall featured a reader e mail in response to Marshall's own gun story; they're both worth a read because they give a glimpse of what these tales look like from the inside.

More below the Orange Omnilepticon.

   Back in January, Josh Marshll penned an editorial about guns and where he is coming from, Speaking for My Tribe.

So let me introduce myself. I’m a non-gun person. And I think I’m speaking for a lot of people.

It’s customary and very understandable that people often introduce themselves in the gun debate by saying, ‘Let me be clear: I’m a gun owner.’

Well, I want to be part of this debate too. I’m not a gun owner and, as I think as is the case for the more than half the people in the country who also aren’t gun owners, that means that for me guns are alien. And I have my own set of rights not to have gun culture run roughshod over me.

I don’t have any problem with people using guns to hunt. And I don’t have any problem with people having guns in their home for protection or because it’s a fun hobby. At least, I recognize that gun ownership is deeply embedded in American culture. That means not only do I not believe there’s any possibility of changing it but that I don’t need or want to change it. This is part of our culture. These folks are Americans as much as I am and as long as we can all live together safely I don’t need to or want to dictate how they live.

Marshall relates an incident from his childhood that could have easily been one of the tragedies we read about every day. I won't summarize it here - it's worth reading in his own words. It drew a response from a reader who has been living with the consequences of a gun fail moment for years now. It's a perspective that doesn't get a lot of headlines. Again I won't summarize it - read it here.

Marshall makes a strong point in his editorial:

In the current rhetorical climate people seem not to want to say: I think guns are kind of scary and don’t want to be around them. Yes, plenty of people have them and use them safely. And I have no problem with that. But remember, handguns especially are designed to kill people. You may want to use it to threaten or deter. You may use it to kill people who should be killed (i.e., in self-defense). But handguns are designed to kill people. They’re not designed to hunt. You may use it to shoot at the range. But they’re designed to kill people quickly and efficiently.

That frightens me. I don’t want to have those in my home. I don’t particularly want to be around people who are carrying. Cops, I don’t mind. They’re trained, under an organized system and supposed to use them for a specific purpose. But do I want to have people carrying firearms out and about where I live my life — at the store, the restaurant, at my kid’s playground? No, the whole idea is alien and frankly scary. Because remember, guns are extremely efficient tools for killing people and people get weird and do stupid things.

emphasis added

         In all the talk about gun rights, the arguments about self defense, and all the other words being thrown around while the body count climbs, there's a larger story being worked out. No one buys a gun to be safe. A gun can't make you safe - it just makes you dangerous. And for some people, that's just what they really want.

        They want to be more dangerous than the things they hate and fear. They want a feeling of power over others. They want to feel in control in a world that is not shaped the way they think it should be. They want to be able to demand respect (deserved or not), be listened to (whether they're talking sense or not), and they want the the feeling of being able to tell the rest of the world to do what they say with an implied OR ELSE ready to hand. The rule of law, courts, the justice system, society - at the core they don't really believe in any of that, or that it would ever work for them.

         There have always been people like this. But they didn't used to have what they do now: an entire political party and well-financed industry lobbying effort cashing in on their fears and their votes, and a media machine feeding their frenzy 24/7. They didn't have an organized effort of crazy billionaires working to dismantle civil society, government, and the rule of law because it infringes on their freeeeedommmmmm.

       Not all of us want to live this way. But these people are in the process of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy about the collapse of civilization with their fears, their anger, their racism, and every other resentment that drives them in the driver's seat. And until we have an answer for that, there will continue to be Gun FAILS - and maybe worse.

Originally posted to xaxnar on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 05:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    Just sayin'.

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

    by xaxnar on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 05:03:56 PM PDT

  •  Well said, xaxnar (13+ / 0-)

    I hope this speaks to the goofballs who love to say, "Well if you don't want guns, don't have them."

    We ALL have them, even when we don't.

    Guns need to become like cigarettes - uncool.

    We couldn't beat the tobacco industry legally, so we sold cigarettes for what they are: dirty, gross, smelly, deadly.  People stopped smoking after a while.

    We do the same for guns - change the story, change the perception.

    Because I don't know if we'll ever beat them legally.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 05:22:03 PM PDT

  •  I'd like to get to the point where we can even (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, coquiero

    disarm most police, at least to the point where any firearms they carry have to stay in their cars until such time as a perp with a gun is identified.  But that's going to require a fairly major shift in gun laws for civilians first.

    •  To achieve that (6+ / 0-)

      would be to focus on all the social problems that lead to crime. All the wealth inequality, all the lack of living wage jobs, all the lack of social mobility, all the lack of 'american dream' opportunity.

      Without addressing those things, there will always be enough crime to demand that cops have guns.

      The cool thing is that addressing those things and thereby reducing all crime also reduces the events of necessary self defense... and reducing the events of necessary self defense would make gun ownership for self defense less of a no-brainer issue.

      So I think it's a good idea to address all those causes and achieve the entire goal. It certainly seems more likely to succeed than focusing on objects that don't act on their own.

      Now get yourself a song to sing, and sing it till you're done.

      by JayFromPA on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:06:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll say it - gun culture is not necessarily (4+ / 0-)

    permanent.

    I grew up with guns. Was taught to shoot straight at the age of 10. Guns were a tool, never a toy.

    But now, no one hunts anymore. No one in my family has guns anymore. And I can't imagine any of the next generation wanting to have guns or participate in shooting sports.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:43:07 PM PDT

  •  State laws are working their way up to SCOTUS (5+ / 0-)

    New York's concealed carry law, one of the most restrictive in the country, has already made it to SCOTUS. In April SCOTUS declined to review it.

    NYC's concealed carry permit fee, $340, has made it past the first challenge, and the court (I have to look up which one?) found the fee to be constitutional despite CCW fees in other parts of New York state being much lower cost. The opinion was that as long as the fee is used to defray the cost of more extensive background checks, then the fee is constitutional because administering the RKBA was a legitimate function of the state.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:50:20 PM PDT

  •  Something most gun folks used to understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, a2nite, teabaggerssuckbalz

    This:

    But do I want to have people carrying firearms out and about where I live my life — at the store, the restaurant, at my kid’s playground?
    Keeping a gun in your own home is one thing. Carrying one into public spaces is something else entirely. It's the point where the gun owner's rights clash with other peoples' rights.

    I believe I can reasonably make an argument that keeping my guns in a safe in my home, going to the range, or going hunting in an area where such is legal and customary don't affect your rights.

    But it's absurd to make the same claim about strapping on a handgun and going to the grocery store. That impacts the rights of other people - and there is no reason that my rights should be considered as trumping yours in that situation.

    The whole "carry everywhere" fetish is relatively new - it only got going over the last 20-30 years. It is a big part of the reason why today's gun culture appears so threatening to non-shooters.

    •  How does my carrying a firearm impact your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankRose

      rights if we're in the same public space?

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Short Answer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rodentrancher

        Do I have to worry someone around me is carrying a gun? Do I have to watch what I say, what I do? Can I relax while being in a place where people assume they have the need and the right to be able to use deadly force at any time? Can I count on them participating in the norms of civil order when they obviously don't trust in it? Do I have to maintain constant awareness of possible lines of fire and where the nearest shelter from gunfire might be? Is it safe to assume they are competent to handle a firearm? How do I tell someone carrying a gun for self defense from someone carrying a gun for criminal purposes - and how would they if something started to go down?

        It becomes the difference between a shared public space, and a no man's land...

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

        by xaxnar on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:37:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats an awful lot of worrying and fear... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, FrankRose

          I thought it was supposed to be the RKBA crowd who were the ones scared of their own shadow?

          •  Problem is, they're carriers of the disease (0+ / 0-)

            And they're spreading it.

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

            by xaxnar on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 05:03:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, they're usually sitting/standing/walking there (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, FrankRose

              just like you.  Totally minding their own business.

              People who carry concealed typically want to be left alone.  They want to go about their day without getting beat up, robbed, shot just as much as you do.

              Maybe the real disease vector is the criminal element of society?

              •  If you truly believe that... (0+ / 0-)

                You need to carry a concealed weapon to be left alone, to go through the day without getting beat up or robbed, you have bigger problems than a gun can solve.

                And carrying a gun is the surest way to increase your chances of getting shot. Your family's too.

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

                by xaxnar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:21:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  two quick points: (0+ / 0-)
                  You need to carry a concealed weapon to be left alone, to go through the day without getting beat up or robbed, you have bigger problems than a gun can solve.
                  No, I have a pretty good track record of avoiding confrontation.  That in no way precludes me from carrying anymore then my spotless driving record precludes me from buying vehicles with as many airbags as possible.

                  We don't always have 100% control of our environments no matter how hard we try or how lucky we've been so far.

                  And carrying a gun is the surest way to increase your chances of getting shot. Your family's too.
                  Sorry, but thats myth busted here and here and here too.
                  •  You miss my points (0+ / 0-)

                    What you are implying in your comments is that you consider yourself to be living in a society where criminals are to be encountered everywhere, or at least so frequently that you feel the need to carry a gun to be ready at all times to protect yourself when you are out in public. (And doubtless to defend your home as well.)

                    This is what I mean by the bigger problem - not simply that you feel the need to carry a gun to protect yourself, but that you feel you live in a dysfunctional society. You carrying a gun does nothing to change that society for the better. In fact, it might be ventured that you've tacitly come to accept that society as normal.

                    As for the second point you took issue with, the studies you link to are hardly unambiguous. (Statistics for gun violence are problematic because of industry and RKBA efforts to keep the issue as confused as possible. As per what happened to N.I.H. and C.D.C. for example.) When I say your odds of you or a family member getting shot are greater, it's an inevitable consequence of being in proximity to a gun as a gun owner and carrier.

                    If you kept rattlesnakes as pets, your odds of getting snake bit would go up; if you carry dynamite around to blow up stumps, your chances of getting accidentally blown up increase as well.

                    Accidents happen, people make mistakes and/or do stupid things. If guns are part of your daily routine, your environment, sooner or later the odds will catch up with you.

                    Did you even read the stories in the links at Josh Marshall's place? Sheesh!

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

                    by xaxnar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 06:00:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I see... (0+ / 0-)
                      What you are implying in your comments is that you consider yourself to be living in a society where criminals are to be encountered everywhere, or at least so frequently that you feel the need to carry a gun to be ready at all times to protect yourself when you are out in public. (And doubtless to defend your home as well.)
                      Nope.  False assumption...
                      This is what I mean by the bigger problem - not simply that you feel the need to carry a gun to protect yourself, but that you feel you live in a dysfunctional society. You carrying a gun does nothing to change that society for the better. In fact, it might be ventured that you've tacitly come to accept that society as normal.
                      Leads to false assertion.

                      Either you're projecting, or you simply don't understand other people.  Or their motives.

                      When I say your odds of you or a family member getting shot are greater, it's an inevitable consequence of being in proximity to a gun as a gun owner and carrier.
                      Because you say so, right?
                      •  Bingo (0+ / 0-)

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

                        by xaxnar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 07:22:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  so there lies the rub. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          notrouble

                          Those who are not gun people (because they never had guns in their lives, due to how/where they were raised) can't get their head around the concept of living with guns.

                          Those who grew up around guns (because they grew up in 'gun' families, lve out in the sticks, whatever) can't get their head around the concept of having an unfamiliarity. uneasyness, or outright fear of an inanimate object.

                          Naturally the person unfamiliar with guns will want to control the presence of guns their environment, because that's what they're familiar with.  Naturally, they are going to find the people who live with guns working against their goals.

                          What you may call 'gun safety'  I call prohibition.  What I call gun safety, you might call 'an accident waiting to happen'.

                          •  Glad you've got that all sorted out (0+ / 0-)

                            Just one thing.

                            What makes you think I've never been around guns, or had guns in my life? What makes you think I don't own a gun? What gives you the idea I don't know what it's like to live in the sticks? What makes you think my family has never been involved with guns?

                            I can understand the idea of a gun as a tool, one that needs to be respected and used competently. I can understand the gun as a piece of sporting equipment. I can understand the idea of a gun as a collectible of fine craftsmanship. And I can understand it as a means of self-defense if it comes to that.

                            My problem is with people who think of guns like a combination security blanket and lucky rabbits foot. My problem is with people who confuse Main Street with Dodge City. My problem is people who think carrying a gun is a sign of authority or moral clarity. My problem is with people who aren't comfortable dealing with the world unless they're armed and dangerous.

                            Because that's what carrying a gun makes you, whatever else your reasons, rationalizations and fantasies may be. If you can ignore or deny that inescapable consequence of carrying a gun, concealed or not, then maybe it's no wonder you're in the middle but all by yourself.

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

                            by xaxnar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:43:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  just one thing (0+ / 0-)

                            What makes you think a firearm is a combination  security blanket / lucky rabbits foot? Especially to people who's background you know nothing about?  What makes you think people who carry legally have a wild west mentality?

                            Or that carrying a gun is somehow makes them an authority/morality figure?  Or that you are somehow morally superior to somebody who is licensed to carry?

                            My problem is with people who think they know what another is thinking, or who believe that they can caricature another person's beliefs without knowing them.  My problem is with people who carry themselves as some kind of all-knowing, holier/more-liberal-then-thou because they life a different life then others, yet they have all the answers.

                            Because thats how you come off, whatever else your reasons, rationalizations, and prejudices may be.

                          •  You know... (0+ / 0-)

                            You're pretty well reduced to plagiarism here. Go play somewhere else, troll.

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

                            by xaxnar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:51:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I do know.... (0+ / 0-)

                            It took all of about 20 seconds there to reflect your argument against itself.  Its not hard to assign somebody a position and traits they don't deserve .  And apparently you can't take what you dish out.

                            You've digressed to petty name calling, I'm done here. It's apparent you've made up your mind and further conversation is more or less moot.

                          •  Considering you've nothing new to add, (0+ / 0-)

                            And no effective counter points, that's just as well.  Good riddance.

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

                            by xaxnar on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:11:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Do you think if legal concealed carriers weren't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankRose

          around you'd stop worrying? The criminal element will still be carrying. Last time I checked (even with Zimmermans included) CPL holders still commit less crime than LEOs (per Florida statistics).

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:13:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, WakeUpNeo

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 04:30:54 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site