Extreme To The Extreme

[UPDATE]:

Apparently Wayne LaPierre’s nutball idea was proved to be a massive failure at Columbine over 10 years ago. ‘Nuff said. (h/t, Mistermix.)

——————————————-

Someone, somewhere — probably John Cole at Balloon Juice, but I don’t remember exactly — said post-Newtown killings, membership in the NRA should be a badge of shame along the lines of membership in the KKK. And thanks to Wayne LaPierre’s bizarre press conference this morning, we should be well on our way.

This makes absolutely no sense unless your organization represents one group only: gun manufacturers. Not sportsmen, not gun owners, but manufacturers. And we’ve pretty much established elsewhere on this blog that this is who they are, so end of discussion.

I’ve traveled a fair bit in my life, and one thing I recall from my travels to far-flung lands years and years ago was how in some countries, you had jack-booted military types with assault rifles slung over their shoulders patrolling airports. You didn’t see it everywhere but you would see it in more Third World-type places, places known for instability, and places which had experienced some terrorist activity. Back in the ’70s you’d see them in front of the El-Al Airlines counter in Athens and Rome. It always made me feel extremely uncomfortable, like, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough uncomfortable.

America has never been that place. We’ve never been a militarized police state, the unstable Banana Republic where the army patrols public gathering spots. That is not who we are. If that is who you think we should be — if that is who you want us to be? — then get the fuck out. As I said earlier, move to Somalia. Uzbekistan. Syria. Knock yourself out getting your G.I. Joe jollies in some war-torn shithole. Leave our kids alone.

You people are extreme to the extreme.

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38 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, NRA

38 responses to “Extreme To The Extreme

  1. Jim Beam

    I find it surprising that concerning guns, a majority of gun control people say the only way to solve the problem is by banning guns or certain types of guns. There is always more than 1 contributing factor to any of these types of things. But it appears no one wants to rationally discuss those other factors.

    When we realized we had a problem with drunk driving, people didn’t immediately start saying the only way to stop it was to ban all alcohol or certain types of alcohol. Why the difference. Both kill people, young and old.

    I am not saying there doesn’t need to be a discussion and changes to how we go about doing background checks, etc, but just that for most gun control people there is only one solution. If you want to discuss any other causes of gun violence, then they act like you hate children and are a 3 headed ogre*

    No offense intended to 3 headed ogres :)

    • Actually you’re wrong. There are tons of regulations over the alcohol content of beer, for example. And high gravity beers here in Tennessee were only recently allowed, and can only be sold in liquor stores, whereas regular beer is sold in grocery stores. If you’re a restaurant, you need a liquor license to sell high-gravity beers, whereas you just need a beer permit to sell regular beer. I lived in Scandinavia and I remember being shocked at the buzz you’d get off a bottle of beer you’d get in any store in Copenhagen, versus the pisswater here at home. And of course we also strictly regulate who can buy alcohol.

      And finally, as I mentioned in this post, the way we prosecute accidents involving drunk driving is completely different from how we prosecute gun accidents. If you’re a drunk driver and you get in an accident and kill your kid, you’re pretty much going to jail, end of story. If you accidentally shoot your kid because you’re too irresponsible to check the chamber for a bullet? Just a tragic accident, you’ve suffered enough. No jail time for you.

      So, no. You’re wrong. And if the gun people want to suggest we regulate guns the same way we regulate alcohol, I’m all for it.

      • Jim from Memphis

        “And of course we also strictly regulate who can buy alcohol.”

        Other than being over 21 years old, what regulations are there on who can buy alcohol? Is that the only regulation you want for who can buy guns?

      • Well, bartenders are allowed to refuse sales to people they think are intoxicated, for example. Because of liability reasons. Thanks to Bush The Lesser, gun manufacturers are shielded from liability. And yes, let’s restrict ALL sales of guns to people over age 21. Right now, IIRC, only sales from dealers have an age limit. Teenagers can still buy guns in private sales, and they legally possess and use firearms. I’m trying to think what would happen to an 18 year old caught with an open container of vodka in the car.

        And I think the NRA has been fighting even these modest restrictions.

        And let me add, there are also tons of labeling laws, dram shop laws, etc. applied to alcohol sales. Also, this country has a history of banning alcohol altogether — remember Prohibition? It failed not because it wasn’t effective but because it was a gross government overreach. And NOBODY is advocating outright prohibition of firearms in this country — NOBODY. So don’t even go there. But we have done that in the past as relates to alcohol and it worked. It also created some other problems and it failed from a civil liberties perspective but it worked.

        What we’ve learned from that experiment is that we can find a happy medium of government regulation that allows people the products they enjoy while also minimizing the risks to public health and safety. Right now, we are not at that place in regards to firearms. And as Wayne LaPierre proved today, the NRA has zero interest in helping us find it.

      • Jim from Memphis

        “What we’ve learned from that experiment is that we can find a happy medium of government regulation that allows people the products they enjoy while also minimizing the risks to public health and safety. ”

        So you are happy with the current rates on drunk driving and the deaths resulting from this? What about deaths due to alcoholism – you are ok with those as well? Based on not eliminating all private ownership of weapons, I assume there is a level of gun death you are also willing to accept as a happy medium in governmental control. What rate is that?

      • Fuck off, Jim. You don’t even realize how stupid you sound.

        If alcohol were created with the sole purpose of killing people then I’d probably want a little more regulation on the product. But alcohol is not a gun. Guns are made to kill things. Period. That is their sole purpose. When it functions as it’s supposed to, something is dead on the other end. That does not describe a bottle of wine or jug of whisky. Guns and alcohol are not the same thing. Drunk driving is not the same as gun accidents. But it’s funny to hear a conservative Teanut suddenly so concerned about drunk driving. Republicans have been running a smear campaign against MADD for years through their buddy Rick Berman, all paid for by the alcohol and restaurant lobby.

        I’m finished with arguing with idiots. You’ve been had, Jim. You’re a rube. Wake the fuck up.

      • Jim from Memphis

        Well either people have really bad aim, or millions of rounds of ammunition are fired through guns without killing anyone each year on purpose. Guns can be used for many recreational purposes without anything being killed just like alcohol can. You were the one that suggested current alcohol restrictions were good which implies that you are ok with the deaths caused by alcohol because you understand that certain freedoms mean some people will abuse those freedoms. I simply asked what level of freedom you find acceptable on guns since you clearly stated that NOBODY wants to ban all guns. Surely you realize that if individuals are allowed to own guns, then some accidents or intentional deaths will occur with those guns right?

      • Surely you realize that if individuals are allowed to own guns, then some accidents or intentional deaths will occur with those guns right?

        “Some accidents”? Try 97,820 people shot a year, Jim. You’re okay with 97,820 people shot a year? That’s a good-sized city, Jim. Over 31,000 of them died. But by all means let’s continue to flagellate ourselves over 9/11.

        You’re a fucking idiot.

      • And you know what ELSE pisses me off about this ridiculous false equivalency, comparing car accidents or drunk driving to guns? We’ve got laws and regulations and safety mechanisms that we are constantly looking at and revising for things like automobiles — things “free market” assholes like you, Jim, are always trying to unravel. We have a National Transportation Safety Board which never gets enough funding. We have a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulating the transportation sector to make sure our roads are safe for everyone. Truck drivers have to submit to drug testing and there are mandatory rest periods, to make the roads safer for EVERYONE. We have regulations mandating seat belts and air bags and other manufacturing standards which morons like you keep telling us we don’t need because free market fairies will make us safer. We have state laws governing maximum speeds, we have federal rules about what vehicles can and cannot travel the interstates. Safety is fucking priority number one when it comes to cars and roads. Toyota just had to pay a huge settlement because of its acceleration problem with its cars — a settlement no one can get from a gun manufacturer, thanks to George W Bush who signed a tort liability immunity law for gun manufacturers.

        I would love to get half the safety regulations applied to guns and gun use that we have for cars and our roadways. But nooooo. As soon as we try the gun loons start calling for the whaaambulance.

        Your ignorance is pathetic.

      • Jim from Memphis

        Car companies are not held liable when someone uses one of their cars to commit a crime. If I am hit by a drunk driver or even a sober driver I do not get to sue the car manufacturer. If a gun is used in a crime, then the actual person using the gun is responsible for all damages caused, not the manufacturer. If a gun manufacturer makes a faulty product or commits a crime, then they are still legally responsible for those actions.

        As to the number of people shot per year, that was my question to you. How many people being shot is acceptable? If your new proposed regulations bring the number down by 50% will that be good enough? Again, you claim NOBODY wants a gun ban, so it logically follows that you are willing to accept some number of gun deaths per year – how many?

      • “so it logically follows that you are willing to accept some number of gun deaths per year – how many?”

        See Jim, that’s where your end of the conversation just derailed into the river; making assumptions such as “you are willing to accept.” If you knew who was, or wasn’t willing to accept in this world you’d be doing something besides beating the hell out of a dead mule.

        Unfortunately, many of us have to accept many things, sometimes unwillingly; gun nut crazies notwithstanding.

        BTW, does Marsha Blackburn represent you?

      • Jim from Memphis

        FCM – I was moved from Cohen’s district to Fincher’s district during the last reorganization.

  2. Mike G

    you had jack-booted military types with assault rifles slung over their shoulders patrolling airports

    Like LAX in March 2002, with National Guard soldiers with M-16s at the security checkpoint. Because…who the hell knows why, it’s security theater. Authoritarians love this stuff for its own sake, regardless of whether it has any effectiveness.

  3. democommie

    “And as Wayne LaPierre proved today, the NRA has zero interest in helping us find it.”

    Because for the NRA’s honchos (and far too many of its members) the “middle of the road” is PAST the ditch that’s the other side of the breakdown lane.

    • No, really the thing is, LaPierre’s statement made perfect sense if you’re an organization representing gun manufacturers, not gun owners. That’s what I’ve said all along. People are just now sorta clueing in to the fact that the NRA is a business lobby.

  4. democommie

    I just heard that sound bite of Weenie’s about that the “Only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun…”

    He sounds a lot like Romney, it’s like he has to make up being emotional. There’s a name for people like that, “sociopath”.

  5. Good post, good post! In regard to Jim in Memphis; Hey Jim, remember Harry Coleman?

    • Jim from Memphis

      No. Who is Harry Coleman?

      • Jim from Memphis

        Ok I read back up on the story. Are you suggesting the bartender at the restaurant should have been held liable for the shooting? Did he not do enough to cut off Coleman and allowed a drunk man to go out to the parking lot and shoot another man?

  6. democommie

    “Ok I read back up on the story. Are you suggesting the bartender at the restaurant should have been held liable for the shooting?”

    Why would that be the case? Small penised man can’t defend his honor without a gun so we blame the bartender?

    I’m sure that the hardcore gunzloonz would be okay with a guy like Coleman being convicted and then executed in the courthouse parking lot, one round behind the ear with his own gun. Boy, wouldn’t that be BIBLICAL!

    • Jim from Memphis

      I don’t know why the bartender would be to blame either. I am not sure why fcmackell was asking about the Coleman case.

      • I wasn’t asking about Coleman; I was making a statement in the context of a question. Curiously, what does alcohol and drunk driving have to do with guns?

      • Curiously, what does alcohol and drunk driving have to do with guns?

        Absolutely nothing.

      • Jim from Memphis

        “Curiously, what does alcohol and drunk driving have to do with guns?” I don’t know… SB was asking that guns be regulated like alcohol so I asked her what regulations other than being over 21 it took for someone to buy alcohol. She then went on a rant about the manufacturing of alcohol and all the regulations that are placed on it… not really relevant to who can purchase alcohol.

      • SB was asking that guns be regulated like alcohol

        No I wasn’t. I was responding to a commenter who made that analogy regarding gun and alcohol laws.

      • Jim from Memphis

        “And if the gun people want to suggest we regulate guns the same way we regulate alcohol, I’m all for it.”

        Sorry, I thought you wrote this sentence.

  7. democommie

    And on Christmas eve, about 50 miles west of here:

    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/topstories/article/288850/483/Police-Webster-NY-gunman-was-ready-for-war

    Yeah, we need more gunz.

  8. democommie

    I see Jim is using that worn out false equivalency of gunz v motor vehicles, a favorite of gunzloonz, everywhere. It’s been debunked so many times that only someone who is deliberatley avoiding the truth would bring it up.

    There are something like 300M gunz in the U.S. if we accept the various estimates out there. They are used by between 0 and approx 100M if we, again, accept the various estimates. Y’see, Jim, there’s NO way of knowing all that much about gunz and gunz use because you gunzloonz have made it exceedingly difficult at every level of gummint to get hard figures on those two categories.

    These figures, otoh, are estimates by the U.S. Dept of Transportation.

    This link:

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2010/dv1c.cfm

    is about the number of motor vehicles (approximately 245Million) and drivers (approximately 209Million) in the U,S. in 2010.

    This one:

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/10maytvt/10maytvt.pdf

    is about total road travel, a tad shy of 3 trillion miles in the U.S. in 2010.

    Since nobody that I know can drive more than one vehicle at a time, we’ll divide the number of miles driven (2.98 Trillion) by the number of drivers (209 Million) getting an average number of miles driven of approximately 14,258miles/driver/annum. If we divide that number by 55mph (a much higher than average speed for all conditions of driving) we will obtain a figure of about 259 hours per year or about 43 minutes/day every day of the year.
    I know that there are a surprisingly (and disturbingly) high number of people who play with their guns a LOT but it might not be unreasonable to assume that the average person does not. If we allow for the highest estimate of firearms owners (100Million) we would have to see them using their gunz an average of about 90 minutes per day in order to show an equivalency of time of use between firearms owners (a roughly estimated population) and licensed drivers (a population “estimate” that is reliant upon reams of factual data).

    Further to the “equivalency”. While most firearms owners involved in recreational shooting/hunting are not doing so with other people shooting at the same target/animal OR them most drivers operate most vehicles on public ways in concert with other drivers, in every sort of weather imaginable over roads of varying textures, widths, grades and states of repair and in vehicles that are similar in being highly variable.
    This comparison does not, btw, take into account the people that are just plain fucking crazy that drive cars or those who are sane but have other disabilities that affect their driving.
    So, Jim, there is NO equivalency to be found in your cars v gunz (and it is driving you’re really talking about, not drinking—cuz nobody really thinks a person getting shitfaced and falling down is a major public safety issue—NONE. Please take the time to do a little research and stop using braindead attempts at equivalencies like the cars/gunz thing, mmmkay?

    • Jim from Memphis

      Please note, my original question to SB was in regards to her statement of “And if the gun people want to suggest we regulate guns the same way we regulate alcohol, I’m all for it.” I simply asked what other requirements were in place to purchase alcohol other than being 21 or older. It seemed to me she did not really mean that anyone over the age of 21 should be allowed to purchase a gun, but that is what her statement indicated. SB then went on to list all kinds of regulations regarding the manufacturing of alcohol and that she was happy with the governmental regulations on alcohol and that NOBODY wants to ban guns. So this led me to question how low gun deaths would need to be to reach the happy medium of governmental regulations on guns that would lead SB to stop asking for more restrictions. She hasn’t answered that question yet.

      • So this led me to question how low gun deaths would need to be to reach the happy medium of governmental regulations on guns that would lead SB to stop asking for more restrictions. She hasn’t answered that question yet.

        That’s not what your question was but to answer it, what a fucking idiotic question. How about, as low as possible? Did anyone say, “zero food borne illnesses and then we stop regulating the food supply”? No. Did anyone say, “zero car accidents and then we stop regulating traffic and automobile standards”? No.

        We are constantly revising and reevaluating EVERYTHING all the damn time, Jim. Because the world is constantly changing, Jim. Jesus but you’re an idiot. Welcome to the land of grown-ups.

        Please go find your critical thinking skills. I think you left them somewhere around the third grade.

        Talking with you is pointless, it’s one straw argument after another. You’re trying to bait me into saying I want to repeal the Second Amendment and it’s not going to work because that’s not what I want or what ANYONE wants, no one serious, no one in Washington. I want people to hunt. I think people should be allowed to have a handgun to protect themselves. But I also think we need to regulate the shit out of this stuff.

        So fuck off. I’m not going to fall into your stupid little trap.

  9. democommie

    Hmmm, nothing from Jim, yet. He must be off looking for the statistics from the Federal Safe Use of teh Gunz Administration so’s he can counter those of the Federal Highway Administration.

  10. democommie

    Oh, I get it, Jim was only talking about “deaths” as in people who drink and die from drinking. Well, now, that’s a whole different thing.

    This link:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm

    is to the CDC’s stats for 2009 for alcohol related deaths. It’s about 25,000. Now, a lot of those people whose deaths are the result of drinking alcohol have had years of a bad habit catch up with them. Some %age of those who drink die of binge drinking (and it is a REAL problem). The CDC issues plenty of warnings about it. Every state has laws on the books that seek to curtail public drunkeness and DUI/DWI. Curiously few if any states have laws against things like this:

    as long as you’re on private property.

    Drinking to the point of destroying your own liver is sad but there is no legislating morality (as much as the biblethumpers would like to). Shooting somebody and wounding or killing them is not in quite the same category, the shootee is not exercising free will.

    • I’d like to turn that question around on Jim: how high do the gun deaths have to get before you’ll accept some form of regulation? How many innocent kids have to be slaughtered before you decide stopping in the midst of mayhem to reload instead of shooting a 100-ammo clip does not violate your freedom?

      At what point is your freedom to arm yourself to the teeth against some imaginary sleight to your manhood no longer more important than some child’s freedom to see his or her 10th birthday?

      Any limits at all? Any? Because if the answer is “none” you’ve just defined “Extreme To The Extreme.”

      Also, Demo: in case you missed it. If only there’d been an armed guard in that New Jersey police station. /sarcasm

      • Jim from Memphis

        SB – note how the situation in New Jersey was resolved? I wonder how many more people would have been shot if no armed response was available? Notice no innocent people were killed in that situation either. So, armed people nearby on the scene were capable of shooting only the criminal with no loss of innocent life is supposed to be an example of why armed guards are a bad idea?

        SB – there are already all kinds of gun regulations in place now. Typically anyone committing a mass shooting is breaking several of those laws and regulations, so I am not sure how you expect new regulations or laws to lower the gun deaths short of an all out ban on guns. How many people do you expect to be saved by instituting a ban on extra large ammunition magazines? I doubt such a regulation could be credited with saving even a single life. Heck the dude in Aurora had to slow down his shooting because the 100 round drum jammed on him. So my solution to gun crimes and gun accidents would not revolve around banning scary items. I do agree that all sales should go through background checks, but individuals do not have access to the system. Open up the system and this could be resolved pretty easily. The states also need to report all of their data to the NCIS background system. I am sure some federal money could be withheld for those that don’t comply that would quickly lead to compliance by the states.

      • Jim,

        Notice how the criminal got the gun in the first place? He didn’t walk in there armed. He took it from an “armed guard.”

        God.

        “Typically anyone committing a mass shooting is breaking several of those laws and regulations…”

        Seriously? So laws don’t work, why have them! Let’s repeal all laws. Laws against murder and rape and robbery and burglary and everyting else. That’s your solution? Extreme to the extreme. And speaking of the “dude in Aurora,” thank GOD the clip did jam. You make my point. Instead of hoping and praying for product failure, let’s just ban those high capacity clips. Then if some nutball does decide to go on a rampage, we know he (it’s ALWAYS a he, isn’t it?) will have to stop to reload. Instead, as you suggest, hoping the product doesn’t work as intended.

        Your position lacks common sense, Jim. How many mass shootings would there be if people didn’t have weapons they used to cause mass shootings? How many of those CT kids would have died if the shooter’s mother wasn’t another one of your “responsible gun enthusiasts” who stockpiled weapons and took her mentally disturbed son to the gun range? And by the way, remind me how things turned out for the Connecticut shooter’s first victim: his mother. She was armed. She was trained. She shot guns all the time. Didn’t help her one bit.

        Utterly lacking in common sense. Completely. 100% But why am I surprised, this is the same person who says science isn’t real and climate change is phony.

        Here:

        • 1994 Assault Weapons Ban resulted in 6.7% decrease in gun-related homicide;

        • Use of assault weapons in crimes decreased by 2/3 nine years after the 1994 ban went into effect;

        • The ban expired in 2004. From 2005-2007, 25% of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were slain by assault weapons.

        And finally, despite the reams of loopholes the NRA got into the 1994 assault weapons ban, and the NRA’s war on gun science making it all but impossible to conduct any serious fact-based research, the law was still effective.

        So yes. Laws do work, sometimes. Imagine that.

      • Jim from Memphis

        SB – the point is criminals will continue to get weapons if they want weapons. Now when a criminal gets possession of a weapon and intends to kill as many people as possible what is the best way to stop that person? Well as noted in your article, people with their own weapons were able to stop the criminal with no innocent lives lost. In the case of the CT school shooting, nobody was able to stop the shooter until the armed police were able to respond and the shooter decided to kill himself.instead of facing the police. Now would it really have mattered if the shooter used 2 hand guns instead of a rifle to shoot those kids? Having a weapon does not necessarily mean you will be safe in all situations. Not having a weapon does mean you have little chance of stopping an active mass shooter.

      • Mass murderers like the Newtown shooter are not “criminals” on anybody’s radar, Jim. Mass shootings are a crime of opportunity. If Adam Lanza hadn’t been able to get his hands on his mother’s legally-obtained guns he wouldn’t have been able to kill anyone. And if apologists like you weren’t continually giving a pass to the irresponsible gun owners in your cabal, we wouldn’t have so many guns out there in the black market for criminals to get their hands on in the first place. Idiots like Ron Ramsey who wants everyone to be allowed to leave weapons in their cars — how easily it will be for criminals to steal more guns! I know of two people who left loaded guns in their unlocked cars overnight and had them stolen. That’s “responsible gun ownership” for you.

        But yes, you’re on record as being another phony “small government conservative” in favor of having armed guards everywhere to “protect us.” You know who else had armed guards everywhere ostensibly to “protect the people”? Pretty much every dictator since forever.

        This makes no sense to anyone with a fucking brain, Jim. But keep yapping. You’re a constant reminder of how utterly removed from reality the right is.