Things That Shouldn’t Be Normalized


So when Erich Pratt says:

“In Georgia they have rallies at the state capitol and people bring AR-15s over their shoulders. The first year they detained the lead organizers and people freaked out, and now it’s just a common thing,” Pratt said. “People are a lot safer when there are good guys with guns because bad guys won’t want to go to those places.”

I guess that means shootings at military bases never happen? (Quote is from the link below.)




Aaaand right on cue we have another mass shooting in a U.S. city with multiple casualties.

Information is still coming in so I won’t speculate except that the news media will fill air time talking about what’s going on when there is absolutely zero information available and some Pat Robertson-type is sure to blame feminists, liberals, black culture, Hollywood, and violent video games. Everything but the obvious: easy access to deadly weapons.


This is what happens when you start mainstreaming the Second Amendment crazies:

Wis. city debates cop stop of men with assault rifles

APPLETON, Wis. – Police detained two men openly carrying AR-15 rifles near Saturday’s farmers market, setting off a debate this week about response at the highly attended event.

Appleton police say they received three 911 calls about the pair that appeared around 9 a.m. with the rifles.

Much of the situation was recorded and posted to YouTube, setting Internet discussion groups ablaze debating the situation – with many claiming the police overreacted and violated constitutional rights.

Charles A. Branstrom and Ross A. Bauman claimed they were carrying the guns for self-defense. After police identified them as real, police drew their guns, briefly detained the men and checked identification and paperwork. The men were also legally carrying concealed pistols. Both were released without tickets.


Ironically, Appleton’s city code outlaws carrying fake or toy guns in public.

“No person may carry or display a facsimile firearm in a manner that could reasonably be expected to alarm, intimidate, threaten or terrify another person,” the ordinance says.

I have to question the sanity of any person who thinks they need to carry an AR-15 to the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market for “self-defense.” Unless your Farmer’s Market is in downtown Kabul, that is some crazy shit.

Of course, this wasn’t about “self-defense.” That was obviously a PR stunt and lawsuit-bait by some radical group — my guess: Gun Owners of America, a far-right fringe group quoted in this story. In case you haven’t heard of them, Gun Owners of America is so radical, they think the NRA is too liberal. Not surprisingly, the group has ties to white supremacists. Funny how the racists and gun loons always seem to be drinking out of the same trough.

Anyway, in America today, 99.9% of the time when we hear of someone walking around a public gathering spot with an AR-15, it’s followed by news that they’ve sprayed the place with bullets and slaughtered a dozen innocent people in a matter of minutes. Maybe, their reasoning goes, if more people walk around with AR-15s, we’ll get used to seeing them around and will be “educated” about how safe these weapons are.


Which is fine until some idiot decides to use his assault rifle as a crutch, or hands the gun to someone and it accidentally kills someone or causes a massive explosion, or tries to unload the gun and does it wrong, or any of the dozens of other things that happen when the most responsible gun ownaz evah end up being just as careless and stupid as everyone else.

Because they try to tell us they’re special, they’re different, they’re some unique special snowflake, they have a skill, they’ll protect us when no one else can. But they’re not.

You’re not special. You’re not unique. You’re just as careless and fucked up as everyone else. You’re no different from anyone else.

And this is where we are. I’m trying to understand the psychology of these folks who like to parade around with an AR-15 strapped to their backs. Personally I think they’re compensating for something: small penis, small self-esteem, not enough time at the breast as an infant, whatever. These are people who need a security blanket to feel important/worthy/relevant, and who are desperate for attention. Some have said it’s about intimidation, and that may be part of it too, but I think there’s a deeply-rooted inferiority complex at play as well.

There’s this idea these folks perpetuate that they’re the “good guys with a gun,” and they will protect us if something goes amiss in the world. But you know what, guys? The idea that the rest of us are supposed to just trust you by virtue of the fact that you own a gun when y’all don’t trust anyone except your own little tribe just defies common sense.

There’s also, I would imagine, a certain amount of wanting to play junior GI Joe, in which case, let me suggest you join the damn military and serve your country. Or maybe that just looks too much like work for you folks, and you’d rather just play with your toys?

To which I say: grow the fuck up.


Filed under gun control, gun violence

34 responses to “Things That Shouldn’t Be Normalized

  1. Bob

    If a white guy was mugging a black guy who was resisting, which one do you think they’d shoot? If a woman was assaulting a man which one would they shoot?

    Armed citizens patrolling the street whose primary intent would be shooting another human should be regulated and generally outlawed. We’re not talking about a rancher protecting a herd of sheep from coyotes here, we’re talking about our children taking stray bullets because these guys were too lazy and stupid to stay awake and pass a high school civics class.

  2. I seem to recall that “the racists and gun loons always seem to be drinking out of the same trough.” has always been true.

    • Billy Goat

      On that question I’d assume most white supremacists would happily disarm every black person in the US. The NRA itself is quite happy to have guns in the hands of black people, the more the merrier.

      I suppose that if one were to ban possession it would probably start being enforced in the ‘hood.

  3. While “grow the fuck up” is excellent advice, the people who need to hear this are unlikely to leave adolescence, ever. So wouldn’t it be nice if we had a legal structure that either kept these children unarmed in public or else corralled them all at Starbucks, where we could make a point of avoiding them.

    • But … but … but …. SECOND AMENDMENT … and … and … and … CONSTITUTION … and… FREEDOM … and … AMERICA … etc. etc.

      But mostly: WAL-MART (nation’s no. 1 gun & ammo retailer, and the company we have to thank for Stand Your Ground and other anti-gun control laws).

  4. Billy Goat

    I hail from the UK. We outlawed possession of firearms for the most part after Dunblane. Michael Ryan in Hungerford was the first really widespread story about a gonzo crazy shooting. That was the 1980s. Dunblane was like a book end for it.

    However, it surprises me that a shooter could be on a military base and shoot that many people without someone retaliating. With Major Hassan we saw a crazy Koran Thumper kill dozens of well trained men who could have eliminated him if they had their side arms holstered and loaded. It’s one thing to create a gun free zone at a school or office. It’s quite another thing to completely disarm military personnel on military bases. It looks comical. officers and NCO’s should quite clearly have a side arm available on base. Keep the squadie weapons in the armoury for obvious reasons, but disarming officers while performing duties is inviting this sort of rampage.

    • Reports are still coming in but from what I’ve read, several of those killed were police officers who were, in fact, armed and responding to the incident. In the case of Hassan I think that shooting occurred at a medical facility at the base.

      Kinda puts the lie to the gun loonz’ argument that “the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Also as I point out in my update it shows how wrong people like Erich Pratt are when they say “bad guys will stay away if they know good guys are there with guns.” As if shootings don’t happen everywhere regardless of who’s armed and who isn’t.

      • OzarkHillbilly

        “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” And Antoinette Tuff. Just sayin’.

      • Billy Goat

        They did have to shoot him to stop him, you can’t pretend that he just ran out of bullets and then surrendered after negotiations.

      • And your point is …??? We weren’t there. How many of those 12 or so people were killed in the crossfire? It’s possible. Who knows, it’s too early to tell. And there are — what — one or two still on the loose? I haven’t heard the latest.

        Trying to draw any conclusion at this stage is stupid. But one thing is for certain: if guns weren’t involved, nowhere near this many people would be dead.

      • Billy Goat

        I there are two shooters you very likely have terrorism. If you have two of them the motive changes considerably. However, he was shot dead after being cornered for two hours. One other thing this asshole had a criminal record a mile long. I’m surprised that he had security clearance on that base as a convict. I know that I’d never get work like on a Naval base if I had been convicted of a crime previously. He must have been pulling strings no end to land a gig there with his history.

  5. There’s a fairly obvious question hanging over incidents like this that the gun nuts just don’t, or can’t, address. With so many guns already floating around the U.S., why are there still so many mass shootings? Where are the fearless, carrying patriots when you need them?

    • Or to put it another way: if guns make us safer, why are there so many shootings?

    • Billy Goat

      Generally that would prompt the gun advocate to point out that crime is lowest in heavily armed rural areas with open or virtually open possession and most frequent in urban areas with restrictive laws. That’s where race comes in.

      On the other hand it’s also true that an absolute ban is going to drive down gunshot deaths considerably. Here you could also look at the homogeneous European populations that do enforce those bans and again consider some racial factor.

      It’s a paradox.

  6. Flying Junior

    California up until 2012 had an open carry law which only specified that the gun(s) on said person be unloaded. It was still legal to carry the appropriate bullets on one’s person as long as they weren’t actually loaded into the weapon. A lot of gun guys from the “free states” thought that this was inherently dangerous in that valuable seconds might be lost in attempting to load the weapon when faced with a credible threat to life and family.

    I watched a very humorous, although deadpan tongue-in-cheek, critique of this policy by a very lovely and beautiful UCSF undergraduate on the UCTV network. She attended an open carry rally in San Francisco and interviewed some gun nuts as part of her course studies. Great video. It did not stay in rotation for very long because of its lack of scientific value. These guys, exclusively, were walking down the streets of San Francisco with basically Quickdraw MacGraw type holsters containing unloaded weapons. She asked polite questions. It was basically the same idea which has been tried in the great state of Texas as well as other parts of our nation. That it’s perfectly normal and okay to walk around carrying a weapon.

    It’s not.

    We got the fuck rid of that law earlier this year. You don’t walk down the street carrying a gun. Period.

  7. OzarkHillbilly

    It’s really pretty simple why they feel the need to carry a gun everywhere they go. They are pussies.

    • OzarkHillbilly

      I keep waiting for the opportunity to point and laugh and say at the top of my lungs, “LOOK AT THE PUSSIES! LOOK AT THE SCAREDY CATS!”” I think shaming them just might work.

      • democommie

        ” I think shaming them just might work.”

        Or get you killed. You’re not dealing with a demographic that accepts insults–not when they’re armed, anyway.

        I picture the vast majority of these asswipe cowards seeing themselves as Colonel Jessup doing his putdown of Lt. Kaffee in “A Few Good Men”. Colonel Jessup wound up going down for conspiracy to commit murder but, hey, he wuz keepin’ them commies offa the wall!

    • Billy Goat


      That was a FILM character. You can discuss these issues with people on the other side of the spectrum. They won’t gun you down, generally they are a bit squirrelly because they are worried that the CCW permit could revoked, or that if they are in an incident verbal outbursts could be used against them.

      • democommie

        “That was a film character”.

        I’m aware of that; Many of teh gunzloonz are not. They genuinely believe that they’re what stands between MurKKKa, as they would LIKE it to be, and demoanarchy. Well, it’s either that, or that lying, cynical, paranoic fucktards. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll go with the latter.

        BTW, for all of their talk about being our last, best hope against the forces of EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEvil gummint, most of them have no intention of actually defending anything but their own warped values.

  8. greennotGreen

    In 1997 I flew to Ecuador, but we had a stop in Bogota where for some reason we had to de-board the plane for awhile. Our gate where we waited was guarded by several soldiers with Uzis (or something like them) and German Shepherds. I did *not* feel safe. I felt distinctly threatened. People walking around with loaded guns scare me.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Do police officers scare you?

    • I wrote about my similar experiences traveling the world in the 70s. This was during the era of constant hijackings and airports in places like Athens and Rome were crawling with jack-booted military police carrying machine guns. I didn’t feel safe, either. I wanted out of there ASAP.

      • Barb_in_GA

        You remind me of when I was in the Turin train station, probably about the same time you were traveling. The piazza was ‘guarded’ by these very young soldiers who spent most of the time whistling at girls and letting their friends play with their guns. And yeah, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I think of that often when I hear how good guys with guns will keep us safe.

  9. democommie

    “You can discuss these issues with people on the other side of the spectrum.”

    Really, you think that I have NOT talked to people who own gunz? The ones I talk to have told me, to a man that NOBODY will ever take their gunz away and a fair percentage have told me that taking their gunz away is PRECISELY what MY intentions are. I’m not talking about people who do concealed carry or strut around farmer’s markets with their M-16, AK-47 or variants thereof strapped on a super-duper combat sling of some sort.

    Having a rational argument with anyone who is irrational is not going to happen.

  10. democommie

    “Most cops I know are right-wing assholes, to be honest.”

    Well, yeah, but they’re right-wing assholes who really like unions, at least their unions.

  11. democommie

    “good guys with guns will keep us safe.”

    That might be true. The problem is figuring out who the “good guys” are. When people who are teh batshit fucking KKKrazzee are allowed to own (read “stockpile”, in a lot of instances) weppinz and ammo. Most states, including NY–which has fairly stringent firearms laws–allow people to get gun or pistol permits after they fill out an application and take a gun safety course. A lot of those gun safety courses are taught by people whose only apparent motive is that of making a buck.