YOUR RIGHTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT

I am sick of writing this post. I am sick of responding to this type of event. I am sick of revisiting this issue every three or four months. I am sick of accepting that there is nothing we can do.

There are so many different directions to go with this. I'm overwhelmed by choice.

I could point out the staggering banality and complete disingenuousness of the common refrain that it's "too soon" to talk about policy solutions or it "politicizes the tragedy" to point out how this keeps happening over and over again while we do nothing because gun fetishists argue that "gun control" doesn't work (as opposed to the status quo, which clearly works well).

I could focus on the fact that the entire pro-gun argument falls to tiny pieces when you take away its straw man version of the opposition: that gun control will not end violence and killing, therefore it is not worth pursuing. No one has any illusions that man's urge to do violence to his neighbors can be legislated away. No one argues that more "gun control" will end gun crime. I think most of us would appreciate less of it, though. Maybe a mass shooting every 9 months instead of every 3. That would be pretty cool.

I could point out how selfish, misguided, and delusional it is to think that your wants, disguised as your own selective interpretation of your rights under the 2nd Amendment, are more important than other people's right to not get shot in the fucking face while sitting in a movie theater or in a classroom.

I could go with the "responsible use" canard, as if the fact that you can use something responsibly is evidence that it should be legal. You know how to handle guns safely and properly? Me too. Here's a medal. Thousands and thousands of people can't. Therefore it might be in our interest to look more closely at what we make available to them.

I could vent endless, eye-curdling word rage over your new-found concern with "mental health", an important issue that you care about only as a red herring to distract everyone from your precious guns. So you believe that the government can't stop you from owning an AR-15, but it can somehow FORCE people to undergo psychological evaluation and then force them to accept treatment, including medication? That's a curious interpretation of state power. Oh, and "mandatory mental health screening" in schools has been tried in a few places and rejected for what it is – a thinly-veiled effort to distribute surveys written by pharmaceutical companies ("Do you feel sad sometimes?") to get as many kids on Prozac and Adderall as possible. Next.

I could note how staggeringly disturbed you are as an individual if your response is "Well if more people were armed, they could shoot back!" as though it is a solution that a sane person would prefer. Armed vigilantism runs into the insurmountable barrier of reality: the attacker is prepared, and you are not. He will shoot you before you have a chance to shoot back. You are not tightly coiled and ready to pounce like he is. And when the live bullets are flying, you will be too shit-scared to use your weapon effectively in all likelihood. Again, if your idea of a rational response is "Well, let's arm teachers!" you need some of the mental health care you so suddenly value. Badly.

I could point out how ridiculous it is to think school security is an answer unless we're going to turn schools into military bases with three layers of defensive perimeters. Someone prepared to die doesn't have much of a problem shooting his way past locked doors and secretaries.

No, I will let all of that go for the moment. Instead, here is a concrete proposal, of the kind that I often receive criticism for lacking.

No one's going to take away your precious guns, not even the ones that fire military rifle ammunition like the .223/5.56 NATO caliber semiautomatic rifle used in this shooting. I know how unpopular that idea would be, because you believe you need these things. Or you simply want them, and you believe that your wants are more important than other people getting shot in the head. Instead, how about this:

1. A nationwide ban on the sale of any rifle magazine larger than 15 rounds. Aside from your convenience (reloading less often at the range) or your Rambo fantasies, there is absolutely no reason you need a 30-round magazine. Yes, a spree shooter could simply carry twice as many 15 round magazines to make up for the lack of 30-round clips. But every time he stops to reload, precious seconds for police to respond are gained. Opportunities arise for your favorite imaginary person – the heroic bystander armed with a concealed weapon – to intervene. Additional seconds for potential victims to run away will be purchased. A chance for a teacher to bonk him over the head with a textbook might come up. Or if nothing else, the shooter will be unable to fire quite so many rounds quite so quickly. A life here or there will be saved. Maybe there will be 22 victims instead of 28. That sounds like a worthwhile tradeoff for your very minor inconvenience, no?

2. Grandfather anyone with an existing 20+ round magazine, but institute a national buy-back program, no questions asked, for any older models. $50 per mag, well in excess of the sale price (approx. $20-30 for basic magazines for most common civilian rifles) escalating to $100 for certain models that retail for higher prices.

3. Pair it with a national buy-back program for any semi-automatic or illegally converted fully automatic weapon. No questions asked. No proof of ownership needed. Just walk into a police station, hand it over, and get a check for $____. If you'd rather keep your weapons, fine.

4. A mandatory training course, including a basic psychological evaluation, for anyone who chooses to buy semiautomatic rifles. We make people pay for months of Driver's Ed before they can get in a car. You can take five classes before you're granted access to your toy. If you don't want to take the course, fine. Buy a different kind of firearm.

5. Mandatory life in prison for straw purchases. Right wingers seem to think that harsher penalties deter drug crime, right? So let's stop pussying around with moms who buy guns for their 18 year old kid because Billy can't pass background checks on his own.

There you go. The only real restriction this creates is that you can no longer buy new 30 round magazines. If you're that desperate for one you could probably buy a used (albeit pricey) one. What would any of this accomplish? Well, it might take 10% of the semi-auto guns out of circulation. It would rapidly diminish the number of 30-round mags available. It might do something to take this kind of tragedy, which no society can eliminate completely, and at least make it A) less common and B) less successful when an assailant does decide to go on a rampage. No one's takin' yer guns.

Now go ahead and argue that your right to purchase a brand new 30 round magazine, as opposed to a 15 round one or used model, is so fucking sacred that people should keep dying so that you can enjoy it. I think 48 hours have passed, so the time is right. Go for it.

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87 Responses to “YOUR RIGHTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT”

  1. Martin Dole Says:

    Well this sounds great and is instituted already. The average honest Joe can buy a gun and wait. His mother purchased the guns not him. I have never seen a gun all by itself shoot anyone. We will never know what makes the brain do what it does. I have taken hunter safety with my boys. Taught them respect for the rifle and all are single shot. That way no mistakes are made after a round is fired!

  2. concerned citizen Says:

    Major Kong, like I said I am all for safety, and have insurance on all my guns, however is it the motor vehicles fault that it had an accident do to drunk driving. Last I knew it had to be the decision of the driver to get behind the wheel.
    Once again it goes back to educating our youth and doing the best we can to teach them right from wrong, and how to make the best decision. Lead by example.
    We just need to about that next time we go to dinner with our family, have an innocent glass of wine and drive home. Or for those who don't know how to safely handle and respect firearms yet just go target shooting with no training.
    Or plug in Modern Warfare or Black Ops.
    Our kids look up to us lets show them we care about our safety and others.

  3. Chris Says:

    Major Kong –

    I have since moved. Twice. I am in a decent place now.

  4. Jesse Says:

    I also would like gun safes in peoples home. Not cheap glass cabinets. At my work everyone has a Top Secret/SCI clearance. We are trained to shoot with the best in the world. If the gun is not in my holster or my hand we lock it up at work. There are no bad people no untrained people. Poked prodded scrutinized by the government like you wouldn't believe. My AR-15 at home is locked up, I own one since I use one at work.

    Magazine bans may be worth looking at nationally . CT, CA, MD, NY all have bans people got around them though.

    The US has ALWAYs ignored mental health and crazies need to be in NCIC. For law enforcement we dread dealing with psychologists. James Holmes should have been stopped from buying a gun. The 30 grenades well bombs are just to EASY can't stop that sadly.

    Training. Training. Training. 99% of cops are not trained effectively. You want a gun them be trained correctly. Rights can be regulated to a degree and mandatory classes is not a restriction.

    First person shooter games. We use them at work to train to kill. It is proven we spend billions to make us better killers now the same is available to 12 year olds on Call of duty on PS3 or Xbox.

    Lastly ask the pros. We ask scientists on the environment ask the few cops who are experts. Why do politicians always ignore the actual doers of the job.

  5. c u n d gulag Says:

    I don't know if today's video games exacerbate this situation by de-sensitizing our young people to violence.

    I don't like them, and if I had children, I wouldn't allow them to play them at home – and if I found out they'd played them with some friends, I'd ask that friends parents to please not have their child play those game with mine, when he/she was over there.

    Having said that, when I was a kid, we played a lot of Cops & Robbers, and Cowboys & Indians. And no one I knew ever became a cop, a criminal, a cowboy, or an Indian – though, I imagine you'd have to be born the latter. But "Dances With Wolves," and "A Man Called Horse," may disprove that impression.

  6. mel in oregon Says:

    i own an m16 (ar-15 & also plenty of .223 ammo). i only use it for shooting not hunting. my .308 mossberg is for hunting. i also own a .38 colt double action police special & a smith & wesson .40 caliber. that said, i have never been a member of the nra. i despise what they stand for. also, i don't give a shit about the second amendment. lives of children & other innocents are far more important than some right written when the country was far different than it is today. more than that, i am willing to give up my ar-15 if we can stop the violence. it's entirely for recreation & has no empirical value. i doubt if any meaningful legislaltion will be passed. sure there will be tears shed, but remember how obama & romney ducked the question asked during the debates. also, the comments from the corporate news media concerns background checks. the ct. shootings were with the perps mother's legally purchased weapons. the oregon shootings were with a stolen weapon. background checks wouldn't have prevented either tragedy. the easiest answer is outlaw high velocity weapons & high volume magazines. any other proposals are just whistling in the wind.

  7. Alan C Says:

    Let's take the first clause of the Second Amendment seriously. If you're going to own a gun, you are in the militia and can be called up for service at any time! I bet gun purchases go way down if that's in place.

    Obviously I'm kidding, but we need tighter restrictions on what kind of weapons people can have and on who can own them. We can quibble about things like magazine size, but Ed's list is a good starting point.

  8. Hazy Davy Says:

    …would like to take c u n d gulag out for a chocolate malted. Just because.
    …does not allow guns in his house, with one exception, a friend, a 30 year veteran of law enforcement is allowed to come in without removing his gun
    …took his 10-year old son (with said cop) to the range, last month, for the first time. Both of us shot guns for the first time, after our safety training.
    …holy f^&*, would not have a gun in my house. And honestly, no amount of surprise, no amount of weaponry, would make you victorious if I thought you were a threat to my family. [Though, to be fair, there are devices in the house, which I am trained to use as weapons, which I bet any intruder is not.]
    …may be naive. We *do* have an arsenal of NERF weaponry, and we did build a pneumatic cannon (spud gun). And we've had discussions that these are toys, which mimic what weapons do, but that they are not weapons. Have I desensitized him? I don't think so. When he felt the kick of the .38, he was both excited, and scared. I think he gets the difference.
    …believes that, if you want to arm teachers, you need to ensure they're adequately trained to use them (especially in "surprise" situations), and to secure them (to minimize the risk of accidents), if those are even simultaneously possible. But if you want to make teachers do all of that, then you have a different objective for the education system than I do.

    but mostly, I want that chocolate malted. And I want to not have to think about this stuff.

    [And as someone who is legitimately enraged by this massacre, and equally saddened, I'm #$%^& sick of the people engaging in tragedy porn, in sympathy competitions. After 9/11, people waved their flags rabidly, declaring they were more American than thou. And now, so many people posting their faux mourning, thinking that we can't tell the difference between real sadness—and I believe c u n d gulag, for example—and people who want to be a part of the movement. And yeah, this is parallel, not even a tangent, so I'm sorry, Ed. But I'm sick of it all. I'm tired of people who aren't aware of what they don't know. I'm sick of people who announce feelings they don't really have. And I'm apoplectic about people making stupid-ass arguments about things they know nothing about, and proposing things which prima facie won't work, and …

    mostly, I want a better world. And I'm grateful for powerful minds like Ed's to at least suggest things that move us in that direction. But I'd be happier if the collective would discourage folks who move us the other way, rather than preserving their right to do that.]

  9. wonderbread Says:

    Are we seriously derailing to talk about video games right now?

    So let me get this straight: people should be able to buy the actual tool that is used to kill and there should be no way for the gov't to check to see if they are secured in your home.

    But a *simulation* that features the use of that tool should be censored and banned?

    The real thing that can do real damage to real people is okay but the simulation is now?

    Guns don't kill people, video games kill people?

    Give me a fucking break. This is what Ed meant by saying that the sudden "mental health" obsession is getting thrown up as a distraction. Someone starts talking about sensible gun control ideas and gun enthusiasts start throwing out any and everything to distract.

    I also don't get the gun to car comparison. Cars are tools of transportation. They are designed to get us from place to place and if they are misused they can hurt people. So we regulate the shit out of who can use them and how they can be used.

    Guns, on the other hand, are tools of destruction. All guns are expressly designed to kill. And some guns are expressly designed to kill other people. As in engineers work on them to make them more and more efficient at killing other people. That is what they are FOR. If you use those kinds of guns to kill someone, it was not an "accident" like a car accident. You simply successfully used the gun for its expressly designated purpose. Yea, I would be happy to see fewer tools with that purpose out in the world.

    PS: no pro-gun folks have touched the "regulated militia" idea brought up several times in this thread. I wonder why? …

    – An angry school teacher

  10. wonderbread Says:

    *not instead of now

  11. j Says:

    Oh, and I think that Shadow's Mom has a really good idea. Liability insurance is the perfect analogy to a car ownership and so suggesting mandatory firearm insurance would shut the face up of somebody who makes the blisteringly ludicrous analogy between cars and guns. Then people would get insurance discounts for keeping their gun in a safe, etc.

  12. Hazy Davy Says:

    And concerned citizen…you don't see anyone fighting to take the "pleasure" of driving drunk away?

    Read your last paragraph, over and over, until you can figure out what's wrong with it. (Hint: it's not just one thing.)

  13. JohnR Says:

    There's a simple rule about power – those who desire it should not be trusted with it. That would work pretty well with guns, too, I think. Personally, I'm just tired as hell of all these "sensible gun-owners". I grew up in a hunting area, I can understand the urge to hunt, and even the use of hunting under certain circumstances. I like shooting a gun, myself, although I can't hit a barn with a rifle, let alone a pistol. But a gun for home defense? Screw that. The only one I'd even consider would be a shotgun just because the effect of the shot is minuscule next to the effect of the noise. The thing is, when you get into the debate, you've already lost. Every sensible "gun-owner" is responsible for those terrified and dead kids and all the others before them, just as the rest of us are, for not managing to push our supposedly representative government to respond to the people who aren't fucking shits. Shooting a gun is fun, yeah. So is raping women and killing your neighbor with a pointy stick, right? Lots of things are good, clean, traditional fun, but many of them we don't consider "OK" any more. Some things just cost more than they're worth.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    Hazy Davey,
    I'd love a chocolate malted!!! (If I can't have a banana one, that is).

    Maybe I'm a little more touched by this tragedy since my best friends lived in Bethel, CT, the town right next to Newtown, from 1994 to 2000, when they moved to Chapel Hill, NC. Two of their three boys went to Elementary School there (their youngest is Autistic, and they moved when he was 3). And I'd gone to Newtown several times with them.

    So, unlike other horrible gun tragedies, since I'd been in that town, I feel some sort of connection.
    But I'm probably too much of an 'empath,' so even if this happened 6 states away, I'd probably be just as upset.

  15. bb in GA Says:

    Depending on your stat source the US had a homicide rate rising from about 1.0 in 1900 [recently subject to revision higher] to about 9.7 per 100K back in 1932, trended downward to about 4.5 in the late 1950s and locally peaked in 1980 at about 10.2 and gradually reduced to the 5.5 to 6 range by 2000. We’ve been bumping along roughly there since.

    Murderers who use guns have most recently accounted for about 75% of the yearly total which would be about 4.3 per 100K. The so-called ‘assault’ rifles (usually just bad-assed looking semi-auto weapons with large capacity magazines) have regularly been used in 1 – 2% of these murders.

    So we are talking something on the order of 0.1 homicide per 100K. When the ‘assault weapons ban’ was passed back in 1994 w/ a ten year sunset provision, I thought that there would be a tremendous statistical hill to climb to make any statistical inferences about the effectiveness of the law unless it were almost 100% effective.

    Well, I was right. Gun restriction fans and gun rights promoters have concluded that the 10 years of data supports their respective positions.

    At this writing, it still is not clear that Mr. Lanza used his 0.223 cal rifle in the attack. He may have just used his handguns.

    Emotional times like we have right now seem to make for bad law. Might I cite the ‘Patriot’ Act and some of its progeny (like the NDAA)?

    Norway has considerably more restrictive gun laws than the US, for instance:

    All guns registered
    All gun owners licensed and required to have training
    Some calibers restricted
    All ammo sales registered

    Mass murderer Anders Breivik killed 69 and wounded over 100 with his LEGALLY OBTAINED, registered, weapons in Norway in 2011. He also killed 8 people and injured over 200 with a bomb the same day. He killed the equivalent population in the US of over 4000 people in one episode. (Norway pop ~5E06)

    For those who haven’t heard, SCOTUS declared in the Heller case (IIRC) that the 2nd is an individual right. I know, I know it’s a corrupt, blah, blah, SCOTUS (just like the ones that handed down decisions that I don’t agree with…)

    Those who oppose gun ownership in the US ought to ‘cowboy up’ and educate the public to their position, sell enough of them to get the needed political support, and amend the Constitution to change the 2nd Amendment to what they want.

    In fact, I have predicted it here before (just like BHO’s victory), the Left is going to win in the long run (another 20 years.) I think that if y’all push it too hard too soon you will get your civil war (as most Cracker history students believe we’ve not had the first one yet.) Then you can get the ethnic cleansing that many here have long desired.

    Of course, maybe some old Crackers said stuff like that back in Brown vs Board days…

    //bb

  16. Edward Says:

    Another reason to consider gun control is that the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels are coming from America. Americans seem oblivious to the fact that Mexico is turning into a failed state. We should be helping Mexico with this problem.

  17. 1douchebag Says:

    Armed vigilantism runs into the insurmountable barrier of reality: the attacker is prepared, and you are not. He will shoot you before you have a chance to shoot back. You are not tightly coiled and ready to pounce like he is. And when the live bullets are flying, you will be too shit-scared to use your weapon effectively in all likelihood.

    This is something that really pisses me off. All these jerks keep saying "If I'd been there with my glock… you know- tap, tap." Bullshit.

    I was at a party several years ago where there was a drive-by. When I heard the shots, my gut reaction was "get down." Maybe if I'd been in the military or law enforcement I would have reacted differently, but I wasn't. And I'm 100% sure these dicks advocating armed civilians/teachers weren't either.

  18. MKP Says:

    the goal isn't to arm the victim per se, though dying armed may make certain insecure types feel better. any targeted victim is, as everyone agrees, generally fuct. however:

    http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/auditing-shooting-rampage-statistics/

    also, given this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence

    and the fact that our government is perhaps uniquely constituted as one deriving its powers from the consent of those governed, there seems to me a strong philosophical case for retaining a measure of violent capacity in the hands of US citizens.

    the mag size bit, like the "victims should be armed" bit, is all feels and no substance. i definitely dig #4 and #5, though.

  19. Wellnab Says:

    @JohnR:
    Some things just cost more than they're worth.

    Yes. This is true of so many things, but particularly of the gun debate. Guns don't, by themselves, kill people; but they make it very much easier for people to kill people. Less of that would be great.

  20. Shane Says:

    Coming from a man that owns 3 guns and one high capacity magazine, I do not disagree with any of this! In fact I would say anything larger than 10 rounds is unnecessary.

  21. Gregg323 Says:

    First time, long time. Good post, Ed. Everything you stated seems very reasonable, but I have a question regarding a more extreme position regarding gun regulations that I'd like to toss out to your learned readers because I don't know what my views are right now.

    I'm currently on the far left of the political spectrum, but I grew up with firearms and feel comfortable around them. Even after I changed my political views I couldn't really accept a lot of arguments for gun control for the same reason I don't think the drug laws work…I always felt it was utopian to think we could put the genie back in the bottle (among other arguments). But after this last spree I've had enough and emotionally I don't care what it takes to prevent this from happening again, but logically I think these shootings are symptoms of a dying empire and it doesn't matter what we do at this point, we're fucked. The fact that half the population seems like it can't have an adult conversation about gun control, whether or not that is the solution, shows just how fucked we are.

    So my question to the G&T readers, especially on the left, is this: we chastise the right (and a lot of Dems as well) for sacrificing the Bill of Rights after 9/11 by passing the Patriot Act. It was a moment of fear and sadness, and we allowed that to cloud our judgement. Is it possible that we on the left do the same any time there is a shooting spree? After all, the same thugs that prosecute the drug war and the war on terror will be the same ones that prosecute any ban on guns. Is it worth expanding our police state? Most of the time I'd say no, but after this…fuck everything…I don't know anymore.

  22. Kevin NYC Says:

    Anyone can own a gun.. but they have to be registered with their local militia and show up the first Monday of every month for a muster.

    They must appear at 8pm with rifle, 200 rounds of ammo and enough food for a week. appropriately clothed and with a militia registered cellphone.

    anyone who missed 2 meeting without excuse will be paid a visit.. if they fail to appear next time a committee will be sent to confiscate their guns.

  23. anon Says:

    False equivalence for the win. Just stop with the guns=cars analogy, mkay? That's about as bad as the voting & buying alcohol analogy.

  24. bb in GA Says:

    Get over the militia thing.

    The 2nd has been recognized as an individual right by the SCOTUS. You have to change the court's composition (can happen during BHO term 2 if the right people die) and bring a case they will hear and could reasonably merit a reversal (or support liberal friendly restrictions.)

    As a holding action, if Ds get full control any time soon, a bunch of un-Constitutional laws could be passed to gum up the works for a decade.

    Constitutional amendment – pretty tough, but not impossible

    Revolution – toughest of all, but if you win…

    Some of the proposals to heavily tax this or that associated w/ firearms and ammo might eventually rise to the level of a poll tax vis-a-vis the 1st amendment. Too far fetched?

    //bb

  25. wonderbread Says:

    So I guess that the right wing should just get over the fact that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of women's right to an abortion? Since when is that how arguments about the Constitution work? Just because something is currently interpreted one way doesn't mean it will be interpreted that way tomorrow. And circulating alternative interpretation is the first step in possibly building enough momentum to eventually get a different ruling. In the meantime, I find it telling that most gun nuts I know don't even know that the word militia is mentioned in the 2nd amendment.

    And who is talking about armed revolution?? Is that some weird gun nut projection or just straight up trolling?

  26. bb in GA Says:

    @w-bread

    No, revolution is a Left or Right wing extreme alternative as per the DoI.

    Yes, you are right to keep circulating your alternative opinion, but in the meantime, as a practical matter, the militia thing is over – short term. Your reference to abortion on demand is very apt and applies likewise.

    //bb

  27. Arslan Says:

    Obviously none of these laws would work so we can't even try.

  28. Arslan Says:

    "Mass murderer Anders Breivik killed 69 and wounded over 100 with his LEGALLY OBTAINED, registered, weapons in Norway in 2011. He also killed 8 people and injured over 200 with a bomb the same day. "

    Which was considered extremely shocking because usually nothing even remotely close to this happens in Norway. Also, I suppose maybe we should lift the ban on explosives too, since "criminals will always get them if they want" right?

    Also, can we dispense with the "assault weapons are just scary looking semi-auto" guns argument? When a soldier serving in an army switches his M4 or Kalashnikov to semi-auto, does it stop being an assault rifle? What about the AN-94, which fires two-round bursts unless you hold the trigger down after the first two shots leave the barrel?(this gun is not for sale in the US)

    The term "assault rifle" was coined by Adolf Hitler(seriously, read on) for propaganda purposes when they released the Stg-44(Sturmgewehr or assault rifle in English). It was appropriate because the weapon's intermediate round plus a high capacity magazine made it ideal for assaulting positions(keep in mind this was in a war where most soldiers, especially on the Axis side, were armed with bolt-action rifles). Assault rifles are more deadly on semi-auto. This is why in Basic Rifle Marksmanship you qualify with two twenty round mags, firing "one-shot-one-kill."

  29. Anonymouse Says:

    Wonderbread: "Guns don't kill people, video games kill people?"

    That's the Fux Noise propaganda of the day. All the obedient little sheeple will bleat that non-stop until given a new phrase.

  30. warmbowski Says:

    I think the best argument against armed vigilantes is that either they are gonna be so scared and not thinking straight, they are gonna be more likely to either shoot innocent bystanders, or a police officer (when they arrive on scene), or get shot themselves by the police when they they turn up in an officers view wielding a gun.

  31. bill Says:

    Don't mention militias in their Second Amendment context nor talk about buyback of certain types of guns or he'll cut ya!

    Sure, he'll mockingly refer to Abortion on Demand and talk civil war and secession, but that's only because you pushed him, you liberal bullies!

    And anyways, he really doesn't believe in this stuff. He's just playing armchair historian pedaling fantasies of future race riots and class war and the South Will Rise again as drippingly mocking fact for shits and giggles..

    bb, one of the last conservatives capable of semi cogent argument, finally succumbed to the sickness on December 17th, 2012. He was last seen backed into a corner, snarling at a small stuffed rabbit on the end of a stick.

  32. Nate Says:

    @concerned citizen: Videogames are the scapegoat of today, just like Heavy Metal music and Rock and Roll was in the 80's and 40's. Or comic books. I've played videogames for practically all my life, including the so called "murder simulators" and "realistic" wargames of today. I would never even think of going on a shooting rampage. I don't even own a gun. Of course, I can also easily discern the difference between fantasy and reality and right and wrong.

    That said, there are certain types of videogames that are clearly not for children, most retailers have rules against selling an M (Mature 17+) rated title to anyone that is under 17. All videogame titles that are released in the US go through the ESRB, a content ratings board, and are rated much like movies are.

  33. Bears Fan Says:

    I was on a pro gun site over the weekend and asked if there were any practical reasons for the average citizen to own high capacity magazines, whether for hunting or self-defense is there any situation where these accessories are required to get the job done. There were lots of silly extraneous arguments, like why do cops need them? but nobody even tried to address the question. I tried to point out that fully automatic weapons are highly regulated, so why shouldn't something like a high capacity magazine be subject to the same. There was the usual slippery slope argument, but no one came forth with a legit argument for the existence of these things. Of course such a ban wouldn't have stopped this tragedy, but it was really an exercise to see just how intransigent the NRA types are. It is the height of selfishness that in their mind, their simple wanting of something which seems to add, nothing, really to the gun owner's life other than not having to reload as often, is more important than the potential damage that can be done by it.

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