CULTURE OF LIFE

(Editor's note: It's finals week, the Stanley Cup playoffs, and right before I leave the country for eight days on vacation. Please forgive the brevity of this and the previous post. I'll be back to having nothing better to do soon enough, don't you worry.)

I'm glad that other people are starting to talk about the Fox News crowd's legitimately disturbing habit of killer worship. Sean Hannity's obsession with convicted murderers who kill the "right" people is enough to wonder if a chat with a court-appointed psychiatrist is in order.

It may be the case that providing property owners certain proportional latitude in defending their possessions is an unhappy legal necessity. It is also the case that elevating property owners who do take advantage of those legal provisions to the status of folk hero and celebrity is a direct and dangerous promotion of a culture of death, a worldview in which murderous bravado is favored over a "bleeding heart" — that is, sympathy for other people. That a category of celebrity is swiftly developing around property owners who, acting on some application or misapplication of law, end human life is as morbid a symptom as any, and suggests a barely veiled malice brewing in the shadows of American conservatism. If Sean Hannity and his colleagues have any real interest in the promotion of an authentic culture of life, they'll abandon this bizarre obsession with legal latitude for killing, which has that distinct flavor of savoring a twisted loophole. Until then, they will remain responsible for the role models they promote to their viewership, and the deathly culture they create.

The extreme popularity of Hannity and his ilk reflects, of course, the fact that large numbers of Americans – say, the kind who wait in line to get George Zimmerman's autograph – subscribe to the same mentality. They don't see gun ownership as a potential means of "protecting their family" in some worst case scenario that they hope, pray, and endeavor to avoid. They really, really hope the opportunity to shoot someone arises. Or, as the recent Hannity Hero shows, they manufacture the opportunity when it doesn't arise quickly enough.

I live in a legitimately unsafe neighborhood. The most recent shooting two weeks ago happened about 100 feet from my front door. Most of the houses in the neighborhood have been burglarized at some point in the last decade. In two years I've thought perhaps once or twice about the prospect of someone breaking in. I lock the doors and sleep with my phone so I could call 9-1-1 if necessary. Other than that, it doesn't really cross my mind. Like a normal person, I don't spend a lot of time talking or thinking about people committing crimes against me even though statistically I should be more concerned about it than some gun-stroking old white guy who lives in Pigs Knuckle County or some suburb with nonexistent crime.

The first time someone says they need to be armed to protect their family I think, that's poor logic (statistics show that a gun in the home is far more likely to end up being used against someone you know than a home invader) but a sensible enough assumption. The next fifty times they bring it up I think, gee, you seem to think about this happening an awful lot. It suggests that either one is paranoid and terrified of the world in general or…kind of looking forward to being able to shoot at another human being. The more you expect something to happen, the more quickly you're bound to jump to the conclusion that it is happening.

These are the people I envision when I listen to media personalities hero-worshiping the Castle Defender archetype. Such people are heroes only to people who really look forward to being able to kill someone without consequences but lack the balls to join the Army.

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75 Responses to “CULTURE OF LIFE”

  1. Dbp Says:

    This type of thing is super common. And the freaky thing is many don't even try to hide their desire to shoot someone to death. Many of them will openly hope someone breaks into their house so they can gleefully shoot them until they die, no matter if one grazing shot incapicates the intruder or scares them away or whatever else could happen. Many of these people seem to not care that desiring to kill is creepy or that their method of hunting (because it is basically hunting people with this attitude) will damage their own carpets and upholstery. These are of course some of the responsible gun owners of America.

  2. Ed W. Says:

    A long time ago, before Washington DC gentrified, I lived in some pretty bad neighborhoods[FN1]. Once, the place I was living in was broken into, while I was at home. I thought it was the landlord coming to check up on the place, so I opened my bedroom door, yelled out "Hey Ron, is that you", and saw a guy who definitely was *not* Ron walking down the hall towards me. I looked at him, he looked at me, then he took off running out the door. I had been in bed reading a book, so was not dressed to chase him, and I was so surprised I didn't really want to. I just put on some pants and shoes and called the police.

    I admit, I was pretty scared for a few days–what if *he* had a gun, or what if he had decided not to run, what then? In both of those situations, things could have gotten ugly, fast. But until reading this post, I had never thought to myself "I wish I had a gun so I could kill him". I still don't wish that, but to a certain breed of conservative, I passed on/failed to take advantage of the holy grail of justifiable murder. Eh, that's fine with me.

    [FN1] One of the other places I lived was 2 blocks from an open-air drug market. One day a car pulled up to a parked car a half-block from my place, fired 30+ shots from point-blank range into the other car and *didn't hit anybody*![FN2] How shitty of a shot do you have to be to not hit anyone with that many rounds from like 8 feet away?!

    [FN2] I didn't see it, but heard it, and when I went outside to see what had happened (maybe not the best idea I've ever had) a bystander told me about the most inept drive-by in recorded human history.

  3. Xynzee Says:

    The first time I heard the 911 recording of the guy in Texarse who shot the two people breaking into his neighbour's place I was absolutely taken aback by the sheer joy, woo hoo! I finally get to shoot someone! tone of his voice. His lack of disconnect was shocking.

    I've pretty much been fortunate to have lived in "good" neighbourhoods all of my life. So much so that we generally left the doors locked. It wasn't until after my dad remarried that she insisted that the doors were locked at all times. Darn nearly broke my nose the first time this happened.

  4. Major Kong Says:

    I don't think I could shoot someone over my TV set.

  5. democommie Says:

    This is the same Sean Hannity that champions waterboarding and volunteered to undergo same about, what, six or eight years ago?

    I know a retired, black undercover cop whose been in some incredibly shitty situations, professionally and he has NEVER mentioned to me that he wanted to shoot scumbags. Take them off the streets and put a dent in crime maybe, but not shoot them.

    People who have gunz and poor impulse control–what could possibly go wrong.

  6. c u n d gulag Says:

    "The extreme popularity of Hannity and his ilk reflects…"

    Ed, actually, Insanity's ratings are dropping.
    They moved his time-slot to accommodate Megyn "Legs" Kelly's growing popularity – especially among the old white male beaver hunters.

    His ratings are dropping on radio, as is ALL of Reich-Wing Hate-Talk Radio.

    He's trying to give his ratings a boost.

    The FOX rage-junkies need ever increasing doses of hate, fear, and rage, to get the same high that they had before.

  7. BigHank53 Says:

    I'd like to take this opportunity to flip over the I-wana-shoot-a-criminal coin so we can look at the other side for just a second. Y'all need two things if you want to do this. The first one is a gun, and that's what they talk about all the time. The other vital component, of course, is the criminal. You need an underclass that's desperate enough to turn to crime, and violent crime, too. (Nobody shoots the rip-off artists that re-seal driveways with any old black goop they find.) Ever wonder why the right opposes anti-poverty measures so vociferously, even the ones that would actually save society money? Gawd forbid that we should run low on criminals before every wannabe John Wayne has notched his gun belt.

  8. John Danley Says:

    Jed Eckert: How did you get shot down, Colonel?

    Col. Andy Tanner: It was five to one. I got four.

  9. Middle Seaman Says:

    The gun culture in the US looks strange and scary to people who didn't grow up here. Growing up in a country at war, all shorts of personal weapons are tools you know to use efficiently, but also know their potential danger.

    The intentional misreading of the 2nd Amendment, the arm dealing and arm twisting NRA, your garden variety righties who exploit the gullible and violent to get rich and spew poison are a blight on the country.

  10. GunstarGreen Says:

    Let it never be misunderstood: Most of the American Right are primitive savages, violent people for whom the law and the threat of repercussions are the only barriers to outright, gleeful murder. The ones who most vociferously defend their "2nd amendment rights" are those that are the LEAST qualified to own a firearm — they are the ones that spend each day hoping and praying that *today* is the day they get to shoot another human being and watch them die.

    The only reason they've not joined the military is because they are cowards who are afraid of facing an enemy that they know for a fact is armed and ready to kill them just as much as they are.

  11. Nick Says:

    This post, and some of the comments, fairly accurately sum up the divide between gun culture and conservative culture, I think. Everyone I've met in the gun culture–most of whom were probably conservatives, but didn't make a thing about it–has always been big on de-escalation. My concealed carry instructor emphasized nothing morethan the fact that the only time someone else should see your gun is if you think that you or someone else are about to die. My range instructors, the ones who have mentioned self-defense at all, have always gone with the old maxim that "the only way to win a gunfight is not to show up for it." They believe there may be a need for self-defense, and believe in being prepared, but to them it's the same as any other disaster preparedness–a way to mitigate the damage should the absolute worst happen–and they would no more hope for a break-in than they would hope for an earthquake or a hurricane. Day to day, they are more concerned with the sporting aspect of shooting than the "potentially killing someone" aspect, and while tey tend to favor the "Second Amendment as check on the government" interpretation, they're not the ones making a run on ammo because a scary black Communist got elected.

    Conservative culture is different–not all conservatives, but the modern Hannity/Zimmerman style. They seem to view guns primarily as a means to stand up for white males, who they believe to be the most oppressed people in history. They believe they are under seige at all times, by the poor and minorities and the federal gummit, and thus shooting one of those groups (or better yet, two in one) is a victory for the white male on par with going Galt.

  12. Whatver Says:

    Home owners. Get a dog. Or a big doggie dish and a tape recording of a dog.

    A billy club or baseball bat or axe handle or hockey stick is a nice touch as well.

  13. Major Kong Says:

    I actually never had a problem with guns before the recent push for concealed-carry or open-carry in every state.

    I really don't care how many guns you want to keep in your house. Once you start walking the streets with a loaded firearm, we've crossed into "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins" territory.

  14. Mo Says:

    Thank you for this one, it so neatly corrals some of my stray intuitions on the gun ownership thing.

    Another power trip for the weak. Election of a Democratic president popped their little I-Voted-Republican-Therefore-I-Personally-Am-Powerful bubble, so now it's guns and teabags to compensate for being inferior to everyone in all respects.

  15. John Danley Says:

    @Major Kong. I concur. Fists and stones may break my bones, but a .50 caliber handgun being brandished in public by a wingnut is where my nose (and the rest of my face) ends. Friends don't let "friends" pack heat.

  16. jharp Says:

    I will never shoot someone over property. Never.

    They can have my stuff. All of it. That's why God invented insurance.

  17. Jason Says:

    I hope the OP's statement about guns being a bigger risk for the owner wasn't relying on crap research like Kellerman's. Dig a little deeper, his stuff is every bit the garbage that the extreme pro gun research is.

    Nick: Thanks for your post. De-escalation is heavily emphasized in my experience too. Anyone who has read stories about people who have had to kill to save themselves knows that no matter how justified the killing, it still takes an enormous emotional toll. Those who look forward to shooting someone should seek help, they are disturbed.

    Major Kong: The push for concealed carry has been going on for 20 years and all evidence indicates that legal carriers are more law abiding than the general public (not surprising since they are a self-selected group that has to have a clean record to gain that status). Here in Ohio, law enforcement was against allowing concealed carry in the first place – and later admitted it wasn't a problem. They opposed allowing carry in establishments that serve alcohol – and later said it had amounted to "a whole lot of nothing". We are almost to the point where one in thirty Americans has a carry permit. And that's all Americans, not just those who are age eligible. In Ohio, the number is more like one in twenty. We aren't a problem.

    As for open carry, I think I echo many gun owner's feelings when I say that open carry should be legal, but shouldn't be done except in very specific circumstances. If you are hiking in bear or snake country or have a clear need for fast access, that's fine. It's also provides protection for concealed carriers who have inadvertently exposed their guns. But these idiots gathering in groups and carrying ARs into fast food joints are doing far more harm than good for the "cause". Just because you can do a thing doesn't mean you should.

  18. Rich Says:

    I've lived in neighborhoods of varying degrees of gentrification in DC, Chicago, and Atlanta. the neighborhood in Atlanta had the worst rep, although very little happened there besides some minor property crime (e.g., someone once stole my garden hose and the wringer to which it was attached; it was a crappy hose I'd planned to replace, so I was more pissed about the wringer). It was at holiday dinner where there was much discussion of guns by one homeowner and guest who happened to live a short distance from where I worked, the idea that some random person with a gun would provide safety struck me as ludicrous then and still does.

    the previous owner of my house had had motion detector lights and an alarm installed. As time went on, I used the lights almost never and the alarm only if I was going to be away for a long period of time (I used to work overseas for weeks at a time). I usually let my neighbors know when I was going to be away. the worst thing that ever happened was a rather large limb from the swamp oak in my yard crashing on the spot where I often parked my car on the street (the car was parked elsewhere).

    The only real crime I ever had was in Chicago and coincided with my buying a VCR and TV. My guess was that it was an inside job by someone who worked at the appliance store–too close in time to the purchase to be coincidental.

    It takes some caution to live in the city. OTOH, I go out late from time to time and if I ever felt questionable, I'd probably take a taxi home rather than walk. The idea that some random gun user is going to "rescue" me never enters my mind and if I think about it now, I have to wonder what unintentional injuries they could cause.

  19. ladiesbane Says:

    There is more than one type of gun owner, even among the spectrum that makes you roll your eyes and sneer. But if you're going to narrow the spectrum to the arrogant creeps who adore Fox News, I think the relevant connection is fear.

    Traditionally, boys are taught to seek power and fear weakness. Boys are scorned for displaying fear and socialized to handle it by aggressiveness. For those folks not raised with guns as a normal life tool, folks whose fears are stoked and then soothed by Fox News, it's a false sense of security they are buying at the gun counter.

    In the case of Fox addicts, they are scared of change, scared of losing their (perceived) position at the center of society, scared of social difference and equality between those differences. Yes, it's biased, awful, uninformed, terrible. But they do feel lost, and that is scary. (No pity, but it still drives their actions in ways unsafe for everyone.) Sneering at them won't help their thinking evolve, and it won't make them feel secure enough to not need their gun fetish anymore. Or is that not your goal?

    Posts such as this one remind me of the type of atheist who stridently sneers at religious people for having faith in what they see as bronze age legends, calling out all the evil done in the name of religion. Proclaiming that someone’s faith is BS only makes them dig deeper. Faith, like love, is an intense emotional state, not something you can disprove. Railing against it is like telling a teenager that her new boyfriend is awful — violent, jealous, callous, abusive. No matter how much evidence you have, it doesn’t change her feelings; it just makes her defensive (“You don’t know him like I do! He loves me!”, etc.) Next thing you know, she’s quit school, pregnant, and living in this jerk’s van — and she still won’t leave him.

    Dismissing her love ensures that she will only cling to him more steadfastly. Sneering at people's faith makes them defend it to the death. And mocking people motivated by fear only makes them clutch their security blankets more tightly.

  20. Casey Says:

    "The more you expect something to happen, the more quickly you're bound to jump to the conclusion that it is happening."

    This couldn't be more true. In college, I lived in a house with a young conservative type, who constantly brought up being able to use the gun he kept in a lock box in his room on an intruder (a decision so mind-bendindly stupid that I can't even begin to explain how much everyone else in the house hated him). One time, a good friend of ours (not his) climbed through the back window to grab something he left (probably some pot or something). The roommate bolts downstairs, gun drawn. It is 100% conceivable that he could have shot one of my best friends, especially if his judgement is clouded by the conservative's intruder wet dream. In a surburban college town close to Disney World.

    We live in Florida. He had owned the gun for 2 weeks, no background check, no classes.

  21. charluckles Says:

    I thought about this a lot when the German exchange student was killed recently. His fathers response summed up something that I have just never been able to understand : “I didn’t think for one night that everyone here can kill somebody just because that person entered his backyard,”. Why are so many people who consider themselves followers of Christ ready to murder someone over a material thing? Do they genuinely feel their lives are threatened or are they really this blood thirsty?

    One of the things I found most amazing about my first walking trip in the UK was the idea that you could readily just walk across someone's property and not have to worry about getting a shot gun pointed in your face. Are we really this much worse than other cultures? Petty crime is a problem there too.

  22. Mack Says:

    Ladiesbane: wingnut gun strokers are pretty much the same as the religious? Yeah, pretty much. But neither will go away if we just ignore them.

  23. Major Kong Says:

    Sorry Jason. I've owned guns for many years. I always shot "Expert" in the Air Force when I qualified on the 9mm.

    I've never felt the need to walk the mean streets of Westerville Ohio carrying a concealed weapon and I question the judgement of people who think they do.

    I can think of few scenarios so dire that I need a weapon yet not so dire that I'm still in condition to employ the weapon by the time I figure out what's going in.

    Other than in combat I've had loaded weapons pointed at me exactly four times. Each was by a so-called "responsible gun owner".

  24. Brian Says:

    I recently attended a "Sportsman's" banquet. As a hunter, I thought that it would generally be about hunting and promoting responsible behavior while hunting, fishing, or whatever.

    There were tables around the banquet hall that held items that were donated as fund raising efforts, and for $100 you could buy 30 white tickets, 2 blue tickets, and 1 red ticket.

    There were tables dedicated to the white tickets that generally had lower value items in it. However, some of them definitely had nice hunting rifles. Things you would use to actually hunt. .30-06's, .308's, .22's and the like. Regular old bolt action rifles. The tables also held binoculars, knives, rain gear, that kind of stuff.

    The blue and red tables held, almost exclusively, small handguns and semi-automatic black rifles (assault weapons). It seemed strange to me that a nominally "sportsman" organization would value those weapons over hunting rifles.

    Then, the President of the group gets up to tell a speech. And proceeds to tell a joke….

    "A waitress is walking home when she gets mugged. As the mugger is dragging her down, she reaches into her purse and grabs her gun and shoots him.

    When the police arrive, they ask her why did you shoot the mugger.

    She answers, I couldn't live without my paycheck that was in my purse!

    So they ask, Why did you shoot him 9 times?

    Her response, because that is all the magazine would hold."

    HAHA– get it?

    She killed the guy, and that's funny. And it is conflated to 'sport'.

  25. Don Says:

    Dear Jason, I'm in a bad mood today about this gun bullshit so excuse my belligerence (really.) But I grew up in bear, snake, mountain lion, and moose country. Our parents turned us out of the house every morning and expected us back at dinner. They also taught us what not to fuck with out there, and how to perceive and avoid things that would fuck with us. You know what can sound and (however briefly) look just like a bear crashing through the woods to maul you to death? A Cub Scout pretending to be Davy Crockett. Oops.

    If it's not hunting season or hunting is banned at your hike's location, there's a good chance other hikers will not be taking appropriate precautions to avoid getting shot at. If you really feel you can't take a goddamn walk on a mountain without openly carrying a loaded weapon, you should stay home and just endanger your own family.

  26. Xynzee Says:

    @Jason: do the CDC and FBI count as reputable?
    They've been collecting data for years pertaining to gun deaths and injuries.

    One interesting stat was that weapons purchased primarily for hunting were less likely used in killing other humans (accidentally or intentionally).

    Victims were far more likely to die at the hands of a known assailant than an armed robber.

    You can find links over at Daily Kos.

  27. Nick Says:

    Jason, I agree–I can't imagine how awful it must feel to kill a person, so I can't understand why anyone would want to unless it was life or death. You're right on w/r/t open carry too; it's one thing when you're in the middle of the woods or desert, whete nobody cares, but I view open carry in populated areas as equivalent to hate speech–yes, it should be legal, but you're an asshole for doing it.

    Ladiesbane has an excellent point as well, and reminds me of a blog post Anthony Bourdain wrote a while ago. I'd link it if I weren't on my phone but the upshot is that being dismissive of gun owners, who value gun culture as tied to parts of their upbringing and culture and identity, does nothing to find common ground. Very well written (and I pretty much love Bourdain anyway); I highly recommend Googling it.

  28. Ed Says:

    here's the Kos page with all the links. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/26/1077930/-Statistics-Guns-and-Wishful-Thinking

  29. Jason Says:

    John Danley- I agree that a "wingnut" brandishing a fifty cal is a bad thing. However, it's very rare that legal carriers brandish at all, and legal carriers who pack a .50 can probably be counted on one hand. Makes for a terrifying image though.

    jharp- I'm not willing to kill over property either. I've been carrying for just over five years and never had to think about drawing. Want my wallet? Take it, as long as I'm convinced they aren't going to hurt me, they can have my wallet, car, TV, whatever. I'm against the death penalty for any crime, I sure as Hell am against it for burglary.

    Major Kong- I don't need to imagine scenarios where carrying a weapon could be helpful. I've got a folder full of links to news stories about people who were carrying and did need their gun. The majority of concealed carriers that I have encountered see carrying no differently than wearing a seat belt or having fire extinguishers in their homes. They know that the likelihood they will need to use that tool is incredibly low and a last resort.

    I've lived a fairly crime free life, and I'm glad for it. But I've known:
    *A friend who was murdered during a mugging.
    *Acquaintance murdered in her home.
    *A relative abducted by her estranged husband and subsequently assaulted and nearly killed.
    *A childhood friend whose brother in law was murdered.

    …and had a gun pointed at me during an armed robbery (I worked in a jewelry store).

    I frequently go unarmed as my daily routine takes me to places where I'm not allowed to carry and I don't feel "naked" or as if I'm a sitting duck. I know that being aware of your surroundings is the most important thing, and above all, that I'm unlikely to be a victim.

    And to repeat, if you ever get shot, the odds that it will be a legal concealed carrier are insanely low. We aren't the ones to worry about.

  30. Major Kong Says:

    Plenty of "law abiding" people are stupid, careless or have anger-management issues. They're law-abiding right up until they aren't.

    My "irrational" fear of them carrying guns is equal to your irrational fear of a crime rate that's been dropping for decades.

    I fear the guy with the "Never mind the dog, beware of owner" sign in front of his house.

    I fear the guy with the "Stop honking, I'm reloading" bumper sticker on his truck. It's usually next the "Warning! Driver doesn't call 911" sticker.

    I fear people who say things like "Be polite to everyone you meet – but have a plan to kill them."

  31. democommie Says:

    "Major Kong- I don't need to imagine scenarios where carrying a weapon could be helpful. I've got a folder full of links to news stories about people who were carrying and did need their gun."

    How thick is that folder? How many years back does it go? I know one blog that puts out a report on incidents involving gunz and moronz in ONE state and she has, on average, half a dozen or so to talk about, every week. Also, she doesn't mention intentional shootings as a rule. What she does report is that an awful lot of people get hurt or dead by fucking around with gunz when they don't understand (and a handgun safety course is not going to give most people any understanding about anything except how to use a gun–not when or where or under what set of circumstances they should use a gun; only the mechanics) what they're doing.

    I've managed to live sixty four years without a gun. I've managed to not get into a predicament where a gun would make things come out to my advantage.

    Open carry is for pissants.

  32. Jason Says:

    Jesus. I'm going to reply even though I don't see the point when people are replying to things I didn't say or ignoring points I've made more than once.

    Major Kong- Again, (and again and again), the likelihood of you being shot by a legal carrier is so small that it's absurd to worry about it. It is in fact far far smaller than the already small chance of needing a gun for self defense. And funny you should mention the drop in crime — it happened during the same span that concealed carry exploded nationwide, which I would think would make you reconsider your fear of legal carriers. I'm not going to carry water for idiots with deranged bumper stickers. But I also don't fear them because I know they are generally idiot blowhards.

    Democommie- "How thick is that folder? How many years back does it go?"

    When I said folder, I meant a folder of links. Scores of incidents going back many years. And I stopped actively seeking them out a long time ago.

    "I know one blog that puts out a report on incidents involving gunz and moronz in ONE state and she has, on average, half a dozen or so to talk about, every week."

    Was this supposed to impress me? A half dozen chucklefucks abused an incredibly common tool? Does she have a folder of people doing stupid shit with cars that lead to death and injury?

    "Also, she doesn't mention intentional shootings as a rule. What she does report is that an awful lot of people get hurt or dead by fucking around with gunz when they don't understand (and a handgun safety course is not going to give most people any understanding about anything except how to use a gun–not when or where or under what set of circumstances they should use a gun; only the mechanics) what they're doing."

    Gun accidents can be virtually eliminated if four rules are followed. Those rules can be taught in five minutes. The problem is that you can't cure stupid. When even a Navy SEAL shoots himself in the head to impress a woman he picked up in a bar (the good old, "There isn't one in the chamber," trick)….

    Also, the course for getting a carry permit in Ohio is twelve hours long, ten in the classroom and two on the range. Although I have issues with the curriculum, it most certainly explains the laws regarding the use of deadly force.

    "I've managed to live sixty four years without a gun. I've managed to not get into a predicament where a gun would make things come out to my advantage."

    That's great. I lived the first 37 years of my life without one and am not bothered when I can't carry now. I've also never been in so much as a fist fight, I've always walked or talked my way out of the few conflicts that I've been involved in (pretty much none since my early twenties) and I'm proud of it. Nothing about carrying changes any of that, if anything, it puts a greater impetus to avoid conflict.

    "Open carry is for pissants."

    With the rare exceptions I mentioned, I agree.

  33. democommie Says:

    Jason:

    Thanks for dropping by with your predictable and long ago debunked talking points.

    "Major Kong- Again, (and again and again), the likelihood of you being shot by a legal carrier is so small that it's absurd to worry about it."

    Citation required.

    "And funny you should mention the drop in crime — it happened during the same span that concealed carry exploded nationwide, which I would think would make you reconsider your fear of legal carriers."

    Correlation is not causation. The NRA should really run a course on THAT once in a while. Furnish some data that backs the assertion.

    "When I said folder, I meant a folder of links. Scores of incidents going back many years. And I stopped actively seeking them out a long time ago."

    There have been hundreds of thousands of homicides and suicides by gun in the U.S. since the 1970's and a much higher number of injuries by gun. It's not scores of incidents it's hundreds of thousands of incidents. The Lott and Mustard "study" and Kleck's work are relied on by gunzloonz who want us to believe that there are somewhere between several hundred thousand and several million DGU's per year. Oddly, the NRA doesn't seem to be able to document even a tiny %age of those numbers. Furnish your folder "full" of links. If they are to actual scientific data, I'll look at them. If they're self-referent or based on Lott or Kleck's work, save yourself some time–they don't pass muster.

    "Was this supposed to impress me? A half dozen chucklefucks abused an incredibly common tool? Does she have a folder of people doing stupid shit with cars that lead to death and injury?"

    A half dozen chucklefucks a week in one state with similar things occurring in the other 49 states, multiplied by 52 weeks a year. That's how we arrive at hundreds of thousands of killings and injuries by gun over the last couple of decades. Way more than a half dozen chucklefucks.

    The whole "people doing stupid shit with cars" meme is horseshit and you know it. U.S. drivers spend billions of hours in hundreds of millions of vehicles racking up over 3 trillion miles in total travel. Automobiles in every imaginable state of readiness are operated in conditions over which drivers have almost no control. If not for the fact that medical science and improvements in design have made automotive accidents far more survivable than they were in the past, the death toll would be horrendous, but it would still NOT be something that can be compared with firing a weapon. It's a bullshit comparison and everybody knows it.

    "Gun accidents can be virtually eliminated if four rules are followed."

    Which they demonstrably are not.

    This link:

    http://www.athomeccwohio.com/Program_Overview.html

    is for an Ohio CCW licensing course that they claim can be completed in one day for a cost as low as $40. Excuse me if I think that course and others like it are going to be the ones that are chosen by people who like gunz and don't like wasting their time on training.

    "Nothing about carrying changes any of that, if anything, it puts a greater impetus to avoid conflict."

    How so? Going back to the nonsensical assertion by Lott that up to 3M DGU's occur per year (and one should assume that number has increased since he first pulled it out of his ass–or is it somehow exempt from the effect of population increase and gun ownership proliferation?), why do we very, very seldom hear about a DGU?

  34. Arslan Says:

    The fact that violent crime has been declining is an argument against more guns, not for it.

  35. arjun Says:

    The problem with the growth in "responsible" gun owners is that they can't guarantee that their guns won't fall into less responsible hands.

    I had a cousin who was shot and killed by another cousin in an argument when he and i were both only 15. The murdering cousin got away with it because the family covered it up by saying it was an accident, but years later he was convicted of armed robbery and was constantly in legal trouble.

    My father had guns for hunting squirrel and rabbit when i was growing up, but i had no idea where he kept them and wasn't curious. IOW, i know there are truly responsible gun owners out there. But the proliferation in gun ownership is bound to lead to growth in the number of the kind of nut who thinks it would be great if they had a reason to kill someone.

  36. Major Kong Says:

    Violent crime has been declining largely due to two factors:

    1. Demographics. Violent crimes are mostly committed by young males. I don't have the exact ages but it's in the ballpark of 20-30. There was a huge drop in crime during the years 1942-1945 for that exact reason. Most of the young males were otherwise occupied.

    2. "Tough on crime" policies that go back to the 1980s. Not that I agree with all of them but longer prison sentences, mandatory minimum sentences and "three strikes" laws have kept a lot of people in prison that would otherwise not be.

    During that period states that passed CC laws didn't experience a greater drop in crime than states without such laws. Crime was dropping everywhere.

  37. Xynzee Says:

    Just something to think about — especially Jason — I presently live in rural Australia. Which means many of the people I associate with are farmers and many of the towns folk own a hunting rifle. Farmers needed one just like they need a hammer, towns folk own them for hunting. As an aside the main "game" animal are feral pigs, which many use dogs and a knife, over a gun, it's "more manly" that way I guess.

    Personally I'm trying to line up the opportunity to bag myself some fresh bacon.

    The last time anyone in town was shot — even accidentally — was years ago.

    However, there was a *legal* gun owner who nearly ended that streak by shooting his co-workers. Fortunately, one of the guys I work with foiled this plan by stealing the guns out of his car, while the guy was still in it. From what I've been told, much hilarity ensued.

    But here's the kicker, the guy who was going to shoot his co-workers was… an *AMERICAN*!

    Go figure. The only guy in the town's recent history who was going to go on a spree shoot happened to be an American.

  38. Greg Says:

    It's the lead, guys, or rather it's reduction. Not 3 strikes, not concealed carry, just cleaner air with less lead to make us violent.

  39. Greg Says:

    Sorry, its reduction. Damn stupid autocorrect.

  40. Xynzee Says:

    Let's consider armed robbery of say a convenience store.

    It is far easier to take very simple — read inexpensive — practical steps to prevent the attendant from being injured let alone killed by an assailant armed with knife or bat than a gun.

    The counters in many convenience stores in Sydney use retreat zones and 0.25–0.5in cable mounted in a sturdy frame that prevents the assailant from jumping the counter and assaulting the attendant. The phone and alarm are in the retreat zone.

    To offer the same level of security to a guy working the graveyard shift at 7-11 in Crapsburg Ohio, not going to happen. Bulletproof glass isn't cheap.

    Because it's so difficult to get a firearm, people who intend to use a gun in a crime in Sydney aren't going to risk it on getting at most $100.

  41. Jason Says:

    Democommie-
    "Citation required."

    Seriously? I'll give you some evidence, but do you honestly believe that the 11 million, or so legal carriers commit gun crimes in numbers that come even close to hundreds of millions of non-carriers? Even if they committed crime at a higher rate than their population, you'd still be more likely to be shot by a non legal carrier.

    Anyway, cut and pasting something I did some time ago:

    I found multiple sources from multiple states, but I thought that the Texas stats, seeing as they come from the most populated shall issue state and are the most complete and easily accessible, would suffice. The source is the Texas Department of Public Safety (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/RSD/CHL/Reports/ConvictionRatesReport2007.pdf). I used the most recent year available, 2007. [The latest year available now is 2012, I'll get back to that shortly.]

    Texas tracked convictions in 126 crime categories. Some highlights:

    * Permit holders totaled zero convictions in 100 of them.
    * In the category of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, there was a total of 2,520 convictions. Seven were legal carriers.
    * Aggravated robbery: 1664 convictions, one by a legal carrier.
    * Of the eight capital murder categories, six had zero convictions by permit holders. Out of a total of 82 capital murder convictions, two were committed by legal carriers.
    * Perhaps most striking are crimes specifically tied to weapons or firearms: Deadly conduct from the discharge of a firearm — permit holders had zero convictions, the general public 203. Being in a place where weapons are prohibited — permit holders had zero convictions, the
    general public 75. Unlawful transfer of certain weapons — permit holders had zero convictions, the general public 34.

    I took a quick look at the conviction percentages for the five years after I did the above. It turns out that those numbers were from the *worst* year by far. Legal carriers comprised 0.2612% of all convictions in 2007 (despite being 1.2% of the population). Every year since, the number has been under 0.2%.

    So are legal carriers perfect angels? No. But when you put together a group of people that large, you are going to get some crime, I don't care if it's nuns or preschool teachers. The point is, as I said, Major Kong's fear of being shot by a legal carrier makes no sense when he is many times more likely to be shot by someone carrying illegally.

    "Correlation is not causation. The NRA should really run a course on THAT once in a while. Furnish some data that backs the assertion."

    I did not say nor do I believe that concealed carry caused the drop in crime. I was pointing out that while millions more Americans began carrying guns, crime dropped; if we were the nightmare that Major Kong has, that shouldn't have been the case.

    "There have been hundreds of thousands of homicides and suicides by gun in the U.S. since the 1970's and a much higher number of injuries by gun. It's not scores of incidents it's hundreds of thousands of incidents."

    I was answering your comment about your friend's collection of stories amounting to a few a week, not comparing anything to total national numbers.

    "The whole "people doing stupid shit with cars" meme is horseshit and you know it."

    I wasn't using that meme. I was only pointing out that any commonly owned and used tool will be misused. I actually groan when people pull the, "More people are killed in car accidents, let's have car control." It's a stupid argument, I agree.

    "The Lott and Mustard "study""

    I don't rely on Lott. I don't trust him.

    "Kleck's work are relied on by gunzloonz who want us to believe that there are somewhere between several hundred thousand and several million DGU's per year."

    I trust Kleck more, but I'm still not relying on his numbers. I find it more useful to rely on gun control darling Hemenway, who uses the National Crime Victimization Survey and comes up with a number around 60,000*. That would be double the total gun deaths, and around six times the total gun murders. And Hemenway's number is an outlier that is lower than every single other piece of research.

    *When discussing the DGU issue, it's important to note that we are citing outdated research done when crime was higher. Both Hemenway and Kleck have made clear that whatever the number was at the time of that research, the number is almost certainly lower now.

    "Oddly, the NRA doesn't seem to be able to document even a tiny %age of those numbers. Furnish your folder "full" of links. If they are to actual scientific data, I'll look at them. If they're self-referent or based on Lott or Kleck's work, save yourself some time–they don't pass muster."

    I already made clear what my links were. You cited a friend's collection of news stories regarding people doing stupid things in one state. I answered that I had *news stories*. I don't think I can paste a crap ton of links but I will if it's kosher here. And why do you cite the NRA? I can't stand the NRA, don't trust them, and think they are a right-wing proxy that survives on terrifying ignorant people.

    "This link: http://www.athomeccwohio.com/Program_Overview.html
    is for an Ohio CCW licensing course that they claim can be completed in one day for a cost as low as $40. Excuse me if I think that course and others like it are going to be the ones that are chosen by people who like gunz and don't like wasting their time on training."

    That link doesn't contradict anything I said. They still follow the Ohio syllabus, which means 12 hours of instruction, including de-escalation. My class was done in one day, one long freaking day. And his cost is $60. Still cheap (mine was $120) but he works with set group sizes.

    Major Kong-
    "During that period states that passed CC laws didn't experience a greater drop in crime than states without such laws. Crime was dropping everywhere."

    As I mentioned above, I don't believe CC reduced crime. Most of the research on the issue shows either a tiny positive effect, a tiny negative effect, or no effect. Which means the greatest likelihood is that it doesn't have much impact on crime either way.

  42. Brian M Says:

    Greg: Of course, many (not all) of the most fervent Gun Golems (My Precious…I need to protect My Precious…and more ammo!) are hard right anti gubmint regulashuns people, too. So, leaded gasoline…and paint… would still be prevalent in the environment if they had their way.

  43. Major Kong Says:

    You know, Jason, for someone who claims not to be one of "those" gun people you're spending a lot of time and effort trying to convince people on a liberal blog.

    You don't see me over at "The American Rifleman" trying to argue the finer points of gun control.

    The Governor and Legislature of Ohio may trust every idiot in the state to exercise deadly, ranged force in public.

    I don't.

  44. Jason Says:

    Brian M-
    Believe me, the Catch 22 of being a pro gun liberal is that the things that will reduce crime are things that most of the pro gun crowd would adamantly oppose. We have an absurd healthcare system, we fund our crumbling public schools according to the wealth of the people who live around them, we continue with an idiotic and destructive drug war (though both parties have championed that gem), and on and on.

    Major Kong-
    And for the last time, your mistrust is not backed by evidence. But I'll drop the subject from here on. My apologies if my posts were inappropriate.

  45. democommie Says:

    I spent the better part of an hour putting together some information which the intertoobz then had for lunch–so that was a wasted effort.

    Jason:

    You keep moving the goal posts bud, but it still ain't a win.

    This:

    "I found multiple sources from multiple states, but I thought that the Texas stats, seeing as they come from the most populated shall issue state and are the most complete and easily accessible, would suffice.'

    Is not a citation and no, it won't suffice. You said a folder full of links, show your work.

  46. democommie Says:

    BTW, speaking of an absurd healthcare system, who do you suppose pays the butcher's bill for shootings in the U.S.?

    Also, here's some open carry warriors at work:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/guns-bullying-open-carry-women-moms-texas

    Gutless pieces-of-shit.

  47. Jason Says:

    I said I'd drop it democommie so I'm not going to continue the debate itself. I will however correct your mischaracterization of my words. Again, my links were news stories used to make the point to Major Kong that I don't have to imagine scenarios where a gun would be helpful. I was always clear about that, I never referred to them as peer reviewed research. Despite being told this before, you continue to act as if I said differently.

  48. Sarah Says:

    I know one blog that puts out a report on incidents involving gunz and moronz in ONE state and she has, on average, half a dozen or so to talk about, every week.

    The one scenario with the little kids who come across a gun while playing and one of them gets shot is apparently common enough to have become a cliché. This actually did happen around the corner from me; an eleven year old boy and his four year old brother were playing very late one evening and found the gun. I'm not entirely clear on all the details (I don't think I ever saw the exact story in the news), but it was the eleven year old who was shot and he died. This neighborhood is middle class; we do have our share of domestic violence incidents and the occasional burglary (plus the one pedophile who raped and strangled a seven year old), but no meth houses or crack houses that I know of and no drive-by shootings.

    I can't imagine being four years old and losing a big brother like that.

    Also, she doesn't mention intentional shootings as a rule. What she does report is that an awful lot of people get hurt or dead by fucking around with gunz when they don't understand (and a handgun safety course is not going to give most people any understanding about anything except how to use a gun–not when or where or under what set of circumstances they should use a gun; only the mechanics) what they're doing.

    The NRA loves to yammer about their safety programs, but I'd be interested to know (1) to what extent those safety programs are required (because it seems like requiring them would go against their libertarian leave-me-the-hell-alone-and-don't-tell-me-what-to-do ideology, but making them voluntary means that a gun owner can voluntarily decline them) and (2) to what extent those safety programs are actually effective, especially when gun owners can voluntarily decline them.

  49. j Says:

    I wonder if the zombie apocalypse scenario in popular culture is so popular because of people's homicidal fantasies.

  50. Major Kong Says:

    I can see it now.

    The heavily armed gang members stand there awestruck as I calmly un-holster my Kimber Tactical Ultra, fix them with my steely gaze, and pick them off one by one with well-placed .45 ACP rounds*

    *Because as every gun writer knows, handguns achieved perfection with the Colt Model 1911 and anything less powerful than .45 ACP is completely inadequate.

  51. Elle Says:

    @Jason

    I found your information about legal carriers and conviction rates very interesting.

    However, I think that there is one huge area of concern for me in which crimes are generally underreported, and extreme harm is done in ways that isn't against the law. That area is domestic abuse.

    This paper from 2006 has some narrative and data about the ways in which guns are used in households in which there is domestic abuse. From surveys of women in domestic abuse shelters, guns are used by intimate partners to control, threaten, and coerce women, even if those women are not shot or shot at. Women in domestic abuse shelters are more likely to report there being a gun in the house at all than women in the general population.

    If a controlling partner has told you that they will kill you (or your children) if you stray outside a certain set of behaviours and parameters, then you don't ever have to see the gun they keep in their nightstand again for it to be an ever-present factor in your decision-making.

    I would entirely support limiting access to guns for men convicted of domestic abuse or who are the subject of restraining orders. However, it would seem from this abstract that such provisions in law are not well used.

  52. Khaled Says:

    To echo what Major Kong said- I've worked in the 'hood for years, and the fantasy of being able to pull out your hand cannon to shoot the bad guys like Rambo is silly at best, destructive at worst. I've had my store in Dayton (west side of Dayton for you Ohio folks) robbed at gunpoint, and what everyone there wanted more than anything else was for the guy to leave with the money- lives cannot be replaced. I don't have the time to look up the links, but google pharmacy shootings in California- Stockton and Sacramento (?) both had shootings where the pharmacy staff had guns and opened fire on the robbers. Firefights broke out, and what do you know- innocent people ended up getting shot- in one case a 40 something pharmacy tech, mother of children, in another case, a customer who was shopping. The customer lived, the pharmacy tech did not. While everyone blamed the robbers, quite justifiably so, I was horrified that the owners basically decided that their inventory was worth more than the lives of their staff and customers. The first thing you learn in dealing with a robbery is to give the armed robber whatever they want so you don't get shot. Having someone who wants to play Dirty Harry enter into the event means that someone is gonna get shot. The only people I want near me carrying a weapon who are my cousins, one of which was a SEAL and the other one is a Major in the army who did a couple tours of Iraq. They've been in combat- your average CC permit holder, I gather, are not combat vets.

    There was recently a case in Pittsburgh (well, Washington, PA, near Pgh) where a veteran was assaulted during a road-rage incident, and the vet pulled out a gun and shot the other guy dead. The vet was charged with murder, and was found innocent. What I wonder about the whole incident is why shoot the guy? The person that was shot was 55 years old, by all accounts he sounded like a bully, but did the combat vet really need to shoot him? I understand protecting yourself, but shit, a well placed kick or baseball bat does the same thing, and it isn't guaranteed to kill someone else.

    A final point about CC- if it doesn't reduce crime, then why have it? Because some people like having guns? I understand hunting- I don't hunt, but I get why people like it. I get target shooting- expensive, and I would get the same thrill playing Duck Hunt or COD, but I get it. Carrying your gun around looking for trouble? Oof. Seriously though, if everyone having a gun made someplace safe, then the 'hood would be the safest place in the world, since everyone has a gun.

  53. NickT Says:

    "a gun in the home is far more likely to end up being used against someone you know than a home invader"

    Or both, if you are Oscar Pistorius. Funny how the NRA doesn't seem eager to talk about that, isn't it?

  54. Major Kong Says:

    Khaled – The case where the combat vet shot the 55-year-old.

    It's possible that reflexes honed in combat may have kicked in. He may have shot the guy without so much as thinking about it.

  55. democommie Says:

    Bye, Jason. It would have been interesting to see if you had anything but wind and bullshit.

  56. sheila in nc Says:

    Very interesting thread although I'm not a gun owner. But I want to gentle some of the harsh that's been tossed at Jason. Jason: I read your posts as trying to reassure the rest of us that the universe of CC's, exemplified by you, should not be perceived as threatening to us non-gun owners. I appreciate all you say about yourself and your attitude towards guns, and honestly, if they all had your attitude, perhaps everything would be OK. But I get the feeling that your defense of the totality of CC's is based on projection of your own point of view and self-image. And the fact remains that the more people who are urged to deal with their fears and fantasies by embracing gun ownership, including CC, the more likely it is that there will be people carrying who should NOT be. Isn't that what all of us, gun-owning and non gun-owning, should be trying to prevent?

  57. Khaled Says:

    Major Kong- that is what the defense successfully argued- that when assaulted, he just clicked. It doesn't help his case that he had morphinein his system when he shot the other guy. What I was trying to convay was that if the vet didn't have his gun, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to shoot and kill the bully. While I do not think the guy should have been found guilty of murder, I think that having a gun "for protection" resulted in an otherwise needless death. Some cowboy commented that " this is why we have a 2nd amendment"…. Because muskets settling horse and buggy rage was all the founding fathers could think about when writing it.

  58. Xynzee Says:

    "Because muskets settling horse and buggy rage was all the founding fathers could think about when writing it."

    Khaled, consider that stolen and plagiarised :)

  59. E* Says:

    @ democommie: You get bonus points for the Ryan Miller quote. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvE82q4yKEM

  60. Xynzee Says:

    @Jason & Nick:

    The biggest problem you have are these guys:
    http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/guns-bullying-open-carry-women-moms-texas

    And the nutters that showed up to support Bundy.

    All of them are "legal" owners, but decidedly not ones who should be allowed to own so much as a cap gun. Unless we can keep these yahoos from getting guns, your arguments are invalid.

  61. democommie Says:

    "But I want to gentle some of the harsh that's been tossed at Jason."

    Sorry, no.

    Jason has eyes in his head and chooses to not see the incredible violence that is done by people he views as being RGO's.

    The NRA and their various fanbois have gutted the CDC's programs for actually keeping track of gun violence so that an informed decision can be made by the voters to do something about the carnage.

    If Jason wants to come into a thread with bullshit and blather he's gonna have to be willing to be called on it, or go away.

  62. Major Kong Says:

    I'm not even anti-gun. I'm just anti people walking the streets with guns (except in a few extremely rare instances).

    I don't buy the argument that it's just like keeping a fire extinguisher or first-aid kit around, because we don't have thousands of people killed with fire extinguishers or first-aid kits every year.

    A modern firearm is a highly efficient killing tool. It allows one to kill easily, at range, multiple times with minimal effort. That's why the Army issues rifles to infantrymen and not broadswords.

  63. Arslan Says:

    Let me share a story which demonstrates a problem I have with certain "responsible gun owners." One winter I was at a family cabin with my mother and step-dad, both of whom have NRA lifetime memberships and CCWs. They carry their S&W .38s everywhere. I saw that they had left one of the weapons in the open, on a table. Now we were all adults in the house and there were no children within miles, but I asked if the gun was loaded. My mother responds that it is, and I proceed to unload it. With this incredulous voice, she asks if a loaded gun "bothers me." My response was quite simple, "There is no reason for this gun to be loaded, therefore it shouldn't be."

    Here we see a difference between actual responsible behavior and NRA gun nut mentality. My attitude toward gun safety is largely based on experience in the army, where you do chamber checks, use bolt-blocks, etc. My philosophy is that you should make the accident physically impossible. If I watch you check a weapon's chamber and then you hand it to me, I'm checking the chamber myself. Redundant safety means accidents literally cannot happen.

    The attitude of the gun nut type seems to be one of paying lip service to safety, which is why you can have a situation like last year's "Gun Appreciation Day" during which five people were injured at various gun shows across the country. One of them was an idiot who uncased a loaded shotgun and injured someone via accidental discharge. Hmm…I'm pretty sure someone, somewhere, told me long ago that you don't carry cased weapons around loaded. But it's all cool; that guy just wanted to show somebody his sweet 12 gauge.

    Then you have stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEuBXWujeYQ

    Now I saw this guy's follow up video where he talks about his mistakes, but come on- I'm not even a handgun expert(didn't have a handgun in the army so can't claim any formal training except from ex-cop step-dad), but even I know that you need to establish a proper grip before drawing the weapon from the holster, and that means making sure your finger isn't going to slip onto the trigger. Why did this guy shoot himself in the leg? My guess is because he was attempting this tactical Sykes-Fairbairn shit and he was more focused on his imaginary scenario than what he was actually doing.

    As for defense in public, I would say the chances are extremely slim, and the chances for something terrible to happen quite high, especially in one of these spree shootings where the Dipshit Chorus sings "If only a good guy was there with a gun…" For one thing, whoever is planning on committing a crime knows they are going to do it. You on the other hand, are walking around trying to remember the name of a song or thinking about what you need to get at the supermarket. Second, even if you were a combat veteran, you're in a completely different legal and tactical environment, and again, you weren't expecting something to go down. I'd imagine if you were on patrol in Iraq, at least you have an understanding that you might end up in combat.

  64. Robert Says:

    I don't have a citation (using my phone), but isn't there a verified statistic that two thirds of gun deaths in the US are suicides? I ask this as the father of a severely depressed teenage son. We do not have a gun in the house.

    For some reason, people are reluctant to bring that issue into the discussion.

  65. Sarah Says:

    @Robert, from the Pew Research Center:

    19,392 people killed themselves with guns in the United States in 2010.

    "Suicides by gun accounted for about six of every 10 firearm deaths in 2010 and just over half of all suicides, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

    So, a majority or 60%, but not most or not even a supermajority (depending on how you define supermajority). Still, enough to justify keeping guns away from people suffering from depression.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/05/24/suicides-account-for-most-gun-deaths/

  66. democommie Says:

    @Arlsan, 8:52AM:

    I watched about the first 15 seconds or so, then rolled it out a bit. When he said, "James Yeager", I knew he was a fucking idiot. What kind of shithead shoots himself then says that he was persecuted about it?

    There were 2,298 comments in the thread. I read a few, waste of time.

    There may have been a time when idiots like the guy who made the video were a very small minority of those who are so militant about open and concealed carry (and I'm not certain that was ever the case) but at this point there are prolly a substantial %age of the 11M CC/OCW warriors that Jason contends are out there, who are batshit KKKrazzee, pissed off at authority (and blacks and gays and women and whatever) and have much higher regard for their powers of deduction and hand-eye coordination than is justified by their actions. Those fuckers ARE dangerous and they are tolerated, if not supported by people like Jason.

  67. HoosierPoli Says:

    In Germany, it's basically impossible to keep a gun in your house without breaking a number of very, very serious laws.

    Property and violent crimes are both much less common than in the US.

    I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'…

  68. democommie Says:

    I spent nearly 4 years in Wiesbaden, Germany back in the late 60's/early 70's while doing my four years in the AF.

    I used to walk everywhere at all hours and never had problems, even when I was a typical drunken, semi-belligerent, completely stupid "Ami".

    I would not have fared so well in Mainz or Frankfurt, mostly because of the Airborne and other Army troops who went out of their way to start fights. In the event, there were maybe a half dozen shootings involving U.S. troops–in the entire command area–that I ever heard about.

  69. Sarah Says:

    @Arslan, out of curiosity I looked for the original video. I'm thinking that he thought he would have his own inevitable encounter with a mass shooter and he wanted to practice. I seem to recall after the Virginia Tech shootings a lot of assholery about how the students should have rushed the shooter (ha!), along with the standard fare about how a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, yadda yadda. Scary to think that there actually are people out there who not only believe their own bullshit but are preparing to follow through on it. Although that channel is labeled for "comedy" and it's titled as this guy's misadventures, so maybe it's intended to be funny. If that's the case, I'm not finding it so, but I'm obviously not the intended audience for that.

    There's also the Wild West archetype about the gunfight and who can draw and shoot with the most speed and accuracy.

  70. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    They don't see gun ownership as a potential means of "protecting their family" in some worst case scenario that they hope, pray, and endeavor to avoid. They really, really hope the opportunity to shoot someone arises. Or, as the recent Hannity Hero shows, they manufacture the opportunity when it doesn't arise quickly enough.

    They've been taught to value only power and control as the true essence of a masculine identity. And, at the same time, they've been led by propaganda to never question the forces systematically stripping them of that power and control, capitalism and corporatism.

    They don't have the *language* to deal with their real problems; but they do have a vocabulary for asserting power through guns and through killing people.

  71. Chris Says:

    Ah, I see it's the same old crap. The author is still assuming Fox news represents the majority of the people he fears, and has written this piece to reflect an ill informed view he has formed a long time ago. Boring.

    People like @Mo came here for confirmation bias, and will use the author's post in other online arguments because he/she can't form opinions on their own (isn't that why the author criticizes Fox News viewers?).

    A few people like @GunstarGreen come here to spout propaganda 101, dehumanize the enemy: "Most of the American Right are primitive savages, violent people for whom the law and the threat of repercussions are the only barriers to outright, gleeful murder". Ironic when the author calls the gun owners paranoid and then you write that, isn't it?

    And then of course, the stat whores on both sides. Stop it. Nobody else cares about your stats. The other side won't bother to read the numbers you spend an hour looking up. Both sides bust out numbers to support their argument (as if one life is balance-able on a spreadsheet against another), and when one person can't beat the other's numbers, people like @democommie claim the other side has made it impossible to get the real numbers. It's useless. Nobody believes the other because it doesn't confirm their entrenched belief.

    This blog used to be wonderful. Now it's just a caricature of what it used to be, the same all-or-nothing viewpoints from the author and the viewers that I can get readily from Fox News or MSNBC. When Ed's not mis-representing the people he disagrees with, he spends all of his time refuting the most bat-shit insane weirdos I have ever seen.

    Remember that post you had about how Bill Nye wasted his time debating the creationist? That's what you routinely do.

    You're better than that. Or at least you used to be.

  72. Arslan Says:

    Yeah, fuck statistics and like, evidence and stuff!

  73. democommie Says:

    "and when one person can't beat the other's numbers, people like @democommie claim the other side has made it impossible to get the real numbers."

    And you're saying what, I'm lying about that? Put up or shut up, troll.

    BTW, how many gunz do you have?

  74. democommie Says:

    Shorter Chris @10:40 AM:

    "Everybody but me is a moron."

    Thanks for the insight.

    Y'know, the fact that you're not happy here is one that is easily remedied.