Limits To Freedom

We watched the Golden Globes last night and saw Jodie Foster … say whatever it was she was trying to say. Her speech was made all the more oblique due to the fact that a big chunk of it was bleeped out. I don’t know if it was a technical glitch or the network was protecting us from a cuss word or what. But it reminded me that our local NBC affiliate, WSMV, has a really bad habit of censoring GLBT topics in its programming, for example, this incident from 2010. And back in November I noticed WSMV gave us another Time-Life infomercial instead of this SVU episode about sexual abuse at a boy’s school.

Let me add: I never watch SVU, or any of the procedural dramas. Never. Which makes me think WSMV’s censorship must be pretty pervasive it would twice cross the radar of someone who doesn’t even watch the damn show.

So welcome to life in America today. A local affiliate can bleep out cusswords or even replace entire hours of programming if it’s deemed offensive to our delicate sensibilities. It happens all the time, especially as relates to sexy talk and teh gaiii. But apparently there are absolutely no limits to be placed on the Second Amendment. None. Zero. Mah rights, Founding Fathers, tricorn hats, arggle bargle.

Someone remind me, when was the last time a cuss word killed someone? Maybe someone missed the fainting couch and hit their head on the coffee table when Bono called U2’s 2003 Golden Globe award “fucking brilliant.” I dunno. Probably not.

How truly bizarre.

Recently this piece from July 2012 crossed my path; it takes a historical look at our country’s traditional restrictions on gun ownership — including the NRA’s own support of gun control. For example:

The founders barred large portions of the population from possessing guns, including slaves and free blacks, who might revolt if armed. The founders also restricted gun ownership by law-abiding white people, such as those who refused to swear allegiance to the Revolution. Those weren’t traitors fighting for the British. They were among the approximately 40 percent of the citizenry who, in exercise of their freedom of conscience, thought 13 disorganized colonies taking on the most powerful nation in the world was a bad idea.


The founders also imposed onerous restrictions on gun owners through militia laws. Men over the age of 18 were expected to serve in the citizen militia, armed and ready to defend the nation. They would be forced to appear, with guns in hand, at public musters where they and their guns would be inspected. The founders had an early form of gun registration: States conducted door-to-door surveys to identify where the guns were in case the government had need of them.

I did not know that. Can you imagine the outrage if government officials went door to door today to do a firearms inspection? OMG.

I did know that our image of the Wild West gunslinger strolling through the center of town with a gun on each hip was a Hollywood fabrication. Years ago I’d learned that famous Western towns like Dodge City and Deadwood had strict gun laws that would make modern gun loons scream “fascism.”

I also did not know that the NRA once pushed state gun control laws. Is anyone surprised to learn that this all changed when the Black Panthers started taking up guns in the ’70s? I’m not. As soon as the blah people started arming themselves the white folk got a little nervous, didn’t they? I keep waiting for the “gun conversation” to address the obvious racism so pervasive in the pro-gun movement. Maybe after the next white male nutball shoots up an elementary school.

So, now it looks like we’re going to have guns in our schools, for some bizarre reason that defies logic and common sense. As has been stated a hundred times already, Adam Lanza’s first victim was his mother: a gun loon who let her disturbed kid use guns to “teach him responsibility.” How’d that work out for everybody? If Nancy Lanza’s guns didn’t protect her, why would guns protect anyone else?

Our discourse in this country is so crazy. By all means, let’s make sure no one can watch an episode of a procedural drama which features a lesbian character, but if you want an arsenal in your basement? Go right ahead!

This country is big-time messed up.

I’m tired of talking about this. I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it. Really, what more is there to be said?


Filed under free speech, gun control, Media

13 responses to “Limits To Freedom

  1. democommie

    “I’m tired of talking about this.”

    So ain’t I. So ain’t all people that aren’t gunzloonz. The NRA counts on it. They absolutely know that regardless the outrage that, some number of newscycles down the road, the sheeple’s attention will be on something else. All they have to do is hold on for that period of time and then, when people stop screaming at them, go right back to selling death.

    Gunzloonz constantly tell me that they want blacks to have the same access to firearms as whites do. Sure they do. If they thought that there was a snowball’s chance in hell of the sortabrowns achieving parity in the arms race they’d be shitting themselves.

  2. Mary L. Wilson

    But, NO, Sister. This is NOT the time to stop talking about it or pushing for stricter gun laws. It is time that parents, teachers, and innocent, non-gun-toating citizens keep speaking out and support our President. He has the guts and strength of character to finally push his Administration to act…NOW. Gun owners DO NOT need AK-47s to hunt or even target practice. Assault weapons are made for the express purpose of ‘Killing the enemy’, not hunting for Bambi’s Mommy. There are many common-sense solutions: ban gun shows, and sent up a list, nationally of licensed gun sellers. Force them to make any one who wants to buy a gun to endure a background check, a wait period, and keep accurate records of WHO bought WHAT gun. We have had two fatal school shootings here in Knoxville, one at a large church, one at a hospital ER parking lot, and more. These were NOT gang-related…just deranged or pissed off folks wanting to “get even” with getting fired, ending an argument with a gun, etc. We must keep this subject in the forefront and even most NRA members agree it is TIME.

  3. I am a left-wing liberal lady and I own a gun. It’s a pump action shot gun and it makes a nice big scary “ka-chunk” when it’s racked. It was chosen specifically for the “holy crap that’s a shot gun” nature of that sound. (I own this weapon because three years ago my first cousin was kidnapped (and probably killed, she’s still “missing”) by members of what is a believed to be an organzied gang out of Los Angeles, and I have been very vocal about finding out what happened to her. Since she was in Seattle at the time, I don’t find the distance between myself and L.A. to be all that comforting.) (The question of the efficacy of my owning this weapon vs. a giant organized criminal conspiracy of psychopaths is not lost on me, but this isn’t the space for that conversation.)

    My husband’s family owns a variety of weapons for hunting animals that they actually consume. (And in fact they are almost religious about not shooting animals for sport, that if one is going to shoot an animal one had better be willing to eat that animal.)

    My point is that I am a gun owner surrounded by other gun owners and I am calling for an assault weapons ban. There are legitimate reasons to own guns in this country. There is no legitimate reason to own a semi-automatic or fully automatic assault rifle capable of killing dozens of people before you have to reload. None.

    John Stewart had a really great monologue on this the other night – and the thing that sticks with me most is when he said, “you can’t own a surface-to-air anything”. A surface to air missile is, arguably, an “arm”. And yet there are multiple restrictions on our right to bear that sort of arm, yes?

    So why can’t we restrict the sale of automatic weapons? I don’t get it.

    • I’m sorry about your cousin. I hope your family gets some information so you can find some closure. How awful that must be to just .. not know.

      My husband’s family hunts. I used to work the hunter check station at a national recreation area during deer and turkey season. The point is, no one is trying to take anyone’s guns away. No one wants to prevent people from being able to protect themselves or to hunt for sport or food. That’s just more fearmongering from the right, to equate some sensible public safety regulations with “OMG they’re gonna take our guns!”

      • It’s the not knowing that is so maddening. In my heart I believe she is dead, but at this point it would be a gift to find some definitive piece of information.

  4. greennotGreen

    On the first part of your post, I find it quite ironic that a local affiliate would censor discussion of LGBT issues since Nashville has a thriving gay community that would *not* be offended to see their members recognized on national TV.

    • WSMV has been embroiled in gay controversies in the past. While Nashville may have a thriving gay community, the WSMV viewing area encompasses a while wide swath of Wingnuttia that goes all the way up to Kentucky, far the east and far to the west. It’s not just a Nashville station. And management has not shown itself to have a lot of courage where these things are concerned.

  5. deep

    I did know that our image of the Wild West gunslinger strolling through the center of town with a gun on each hip was a Hollywood fabrication. Years ago I’d learned that famous Western towns like Dodge City and Deadwood had strict gun laws that would make modern gun loons scream “fascism.”

    Another interesting thing: The shout-out at the OK Corral was about gun control.


    To reduce crime in Tombstone, on April 19, 1881, the Tombstone’s city council passed an ordinance prohibiting anyone from carrying a deadly weapon.[24] Anyone entering town was required to deposit their weapons at a livery or saloon soon after entering town. The ordinance led directly to the confrontation that resulted in the shoot out.[25]

  6. Wow ! I learned a lot from your post and comments here.
    We don’t own a gun in our household, But we’ll get one, one for each of us just in case there;s a zombie invasion.

  7. What bothers me most about WSMV’s selective censorship is that they tend to pull shows that are making headlines nationally, as if something that the rest of America is excited about or interested in is too risque for our delicate sensibilities here in middle TN.

    And if one needs a good example of tone-deafness by the NRA, consider their new iPhone app… a shooting gallery game designed to be played by kids 4 years old and older… complete with NRA “information” which includes a healthy dose of anti-gun-control propaganda and liberal Democrat politician bashing. Stunning arrogance in that this “game” was released three weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre.

    What part of the Second Amendment’s “well-regulated militia” confuses me? In my eyes, “well-regulated” means we can regulate firearms. To the gun nutz it means we can’t. No regulations? But it clearly states “well-regulated”!

    Did “regulated” mean something different two hundred years ago?

  8. democommie

    Southern Beale:


    “Men over the age of 18 were expected to serve in the citizen militia, armed and ready to defend the nation. They would be forced to appear, with guns in hand, at public musters where they and their guns would be inspected.”

    is the part of “bearing arms” that teh gunzloonz are sure isn’t required of THEM. Leave serving the country to the poor, dumb slobs who are too stupid to get out of doing so.

    There is a lot of stuff out there on the intertoobz about how the various states (mostly in the northern part of the pre “War of Southern Treachery” U.S.) either disbanded their militias or simply ceased enforcing the laws on the books, between 1800 and 1860. Curiously the Southern U.S. states mostly kept theirs, possibly due to the reasons outlined in the article that the link you provided:

    which explores the possibility that the state militias in the south (particularly in Virginia) were used/maintained primarily to quell uprisings by slaves, such as:

    “America’s Largest Slave Revolt: The German Coast Uprising of 1811Uprising”*

    in Louisiana.

    Can’t have them uppity type sortabrowns bein’ uppity.

    OTOH, I can sorta see “management’s” side of things, too, also. If those 3/5 people had brought a list of requests to Massa’s house and stood there lookin’ at the floor while he laughed himself silly, they might not have ALL been hung.