NOW Is It Time To Have A Conversation About Gun Control?

Horrible news out of Charleston, S.C.:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A white gunman opened fire Wednesday night at a historic black church in this city’s downtown, killing nine people before fleeing and setting off an overnight manhunt, the police said.

South Carolina has the most liberal gun laws in the country, thanks to “reform” recently passed by wingnut Gov. Nikki Haley. And this is the result. The Boston Globe’s Michael Cohen sums up the laws thusly:

globe gun

Gov. Haley and South Carolina politicians who endorse the NRA’s agenda have blood on their hands today. Yes, there is a causal relationship between easy access to firearms and gun violence.

The idea that simple gun control measures wouldn’t have prevented this and thousands of other tragedies across the country every year is ludicrous. The idea that there’s absolutely nothing we can do about this bloodbath is insane. The idea that we have to live with this violence in our communities because Freedom and the Constitution is pure bullshit.

Enough. We do not have to put up with this. This is not how a free people live. This is how free people die.

12 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

12 responses to “NOW Is It Time To Have A Conversation About Gun Control?

  1. Jill Meyer

    You’re preaching to the choir, SB. Now to make your good point to others. We simply can’t continue to kill.

    • GregH

      But, but, but CONSTITUTION, and guns aren’t the problem !!!! Also, it wasn’t a BLACK gunman killing people in a WHITE church, so this is just an isolated incident and no laws need to be changed. Finally, if only those black church members had been packin’, this would have turned out completely different! The *ONLY* thing that can protect black church goers from a lone, crazed, white, teen with a gun is a bunch of deacons armed with guns! /end bitterest sarcasm in the history of humanity

      • Kathleen

        Amen. Dear God. To me the real problem is that guns are viewed as a solution to hatred and fear, which the media pander to. On another note, a young African American made the same point about guns in an interview I saw on NBC’s Today show.

  2. Joe

    This from the story in the Charleston Post & Courier about the authorities identifying the young man alleged to have committed this crime:

    On his Facebook page, a photograph shows Roof staring blankly at the camera with a sunken forest in the background. On his jacket are two flags: one flown in South Africa during apartheid, a period of racial segregation, and one from Rhodesia, an area of Africa now known as Zimbabwe.

    Roof’s uncle told Reuters that Roof got a gun as a birthday present in April, when he turned 21. The family member told the news agency that he had recognized his nephew from surveillance images.

    Dear God in heaven – just give him a gun for his birthday. I’m too sickened to make some snarky comment. And more and more of the racist hatred that has been fulminating in this country having reached continuing new heights since Obama became president.

  3. Sorry for the partial repost, but I’d like to offer an argument to the conservative Constitution/Second Amendment talking points:

    The explosion that takes place in a gun is the most irreversible process in the universe. You can’t ‘ooops’ and undo it.

    The more irreversible a process, the more legislated it is, requiring a degree of training and wisdom that respects that irreversible process.

    This is why we demand safe driving abilities for people who want to drive cars; why we don’t give sharp knives to children; and why we entrust explosives to people who’ve attained important qualifications in order to do so. Normally, we get pretty testy with processes that can harm us.

    Not so with Americans and their guns.

    You are paying an awful price for the skittishness that keeps you from addressing this issue.

    It may be that Americans will need to consider cultivating a de facto liberal party; the democrats are actually high quality conservatives, trying to stand in for liberals. FDR was your last liberal.

    • Conservatives will rightly point out that you don’t have a right to operate heavy machinery or drive a car, but the right to own and bear firearms is ensconced in the Constitution. And they will be correct on that point, however just because it is in the Constitution does not mean it cannot be regulated — every right in the Constitution is regulated. Including a woman’s right to an abortion, which has been regulated nearly out of existence in states like Texas. Conservatives are awfully inconsistent in their views on Constitutional rights. Apparently the one about guns is the only one that can’t be regulated. Despite the fact that the word “regulated” is IN THE FUCKING SECOND AMENDMENT.

      • Yes, SB, you’re right, reasonable people can negotiate reasonable changes to your existing Constitution, but like the stand-up comic Jim Jeffries points out, the system needs to make allowances for the slowest members of a society.

        As such, having a Constitution that has dangerous phrases in it that the simpler elements of American society can latch onto and ride means you are going to have a rough time wrestling such directives from them.

        What happens most everywhere else is that it isn’t assumed that the founding fathers got it right the first time, and all that was needed was a few Band-Aid amendments to fix it up. Not at all; if the whole thing needed reworking, then that is exactly what a government would consider doing.

        Take for example your First Amendment regarding freedom of speech. How is this an amendment? Shouldn’t something so essential to a democracy be completely entrenched in a constitution, even if doing so requires revisions and redrafts? By its very implication, an amendment suggests that there was an original change of mind. Is this to suggest that a subsequent change of mind may repeal it, as was the case with Prohibition?

        Perhaps the biggest problem with this whole picture is that the complex process of authoring social directives hasn’t been assumed by a suitably reflective governing body. For that matter, Americans seem to assume that their founding fathers handed them a mostly workable Constitution and a system of government, and that most of the social thinking has been done. Not a chance. It was for this reason that I suggested that Americans need true liberals; they are more comfortable stepping outside the box of conventional thinking, while your democrats would make for suitable conservatives.

        I’m not telling you that promoting liberal ideology is the only way to renew the social discussions, but it might be the only genuinely doable strategy in face of the massive reticence for continuing the greater social evolution of America. The Second Amendment is only one of the symptoms.

  4. This was an assassination, albeit not a very clean one.

  5. Mneal

    The SC laws mentioned by Cohen are not that different than TN.

  6. Prup (aka Jim Benton)

    Just now my wife discovered a piece on Vox from an Australian comic I did not know, Jim Jeffries. This may or may not be familiar, but his take on gun control is both hilarious and devastating to all defenders of the 2nd Amendment.
    It’s here.