SIGN OF THE TIMES

Admitting you're wrong is a difficult thing to do but it's also a sign of maturity and wisdom. So I'm not entirely embarrassed to admit that I think I've been wrong about concealed carry for a long time. I agree with Donald Trump and essentially every Republican voter: the solution to the problem presented by terrorist attacks and mass shootings is more guns.

Maybe the NRA and the ammosexuals have been right all along and the widespread adoption of concealed carry might stop or lessen the body count from attacks like we saw in Paris last week. I doubt it, but it's not impossible. Maybe all of the would-be Rambos who envision themselves pulling out a concealed weapon and blazing away to save the day really can use their guns as effectively as they seem to believe they can. I wouldn't bet money on it, but there's only one way to find out.

No, I'm flip-flopping on concealed carry because I think that the only point at which we will begin to address – sincerely, and not just as window dressing and kabuki theater – the root causes of problems like this is the point at which we realize that our society is undeniably, completely, utterly broken and descended into the most grotesque kind of lunacy. And I think when millions and millions of people are walking around with guns and we respond to crimes or terrorist attacks in progress by blazing away en masse like some vulgar Wild West fantasy scenario, we might recognize how fucked up we have allowed ourselves to become. When someone opens fire in a theater and 1000 people pull out concealed pistols to return fire we might have a moment of self awareness. It will happen when our actions are as visibly barbaric as our ideas; when the world we see in front of us is as black and hopeless as our thought processes. We are hurtling toward a Mad Max / State of Nature world at present, so why not hurry up and get there faster. Arm everyone to the teeth and bring on Thunderdome.

Maybe people need to see with their own two eyes what the world they're advocating actually looks like, what the end result of the ideas they advocate will feel like to wear and to live with. As we are at a sincere loss for ideas on how to stop terrorist acts that can be perpetrated very cheaply, by a small number of people, with resources and planning skills within the abilities of any but the most incurably dimwitted, this is as good a time as any to give Vigilantism a try. Maybe we will like what we see. More likely, we will finally see how miserable, insane, and inhuman our world will look when we get what we have insisted for so many years is the solution. The only way to convince a lot of people to their satisfaction that a world in which every individual is judge, jury, executioner, and Delta Force commando rolled into one is utter insanity is to make them live in it for a while.

Those of us who survive will no doubt learn a great deal from the experience.

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52 Responses to “SIGN OF THE TIMES”

  1. Jason Says:

    Millions of people are already carrying. Almost one in thirty Americans has a permit/license.

    BTW, few things get me angrier than, "If only someone there had had a gun." Which is just as angering as, "A person with a gun wouldn't do any good."

    Both statements are idiotic. We can never know what would have happened and it's pointless to speculate. There is a non-zero chance that a carrier could do good and a non-zero chance he'd make things worse. Speaking of pointless speculation and as for Paris, though I know little about the specific logistics of each location or the behavior of the terrorists, it doesn't sound to me like an ideal environment for a concealed carrier to have been effective. The scenes were too large and too chaotic with too many people in confined spaces.

  2. svnski Says:

    ~200 dead in Paris vs the unknown (but sure to be much higher) number of people accidentlykilled/wrongly executed by vigilantes, kids shooting themselves & others with the new flood of weapons, suicides, etc… Sounds like a top idea!

    As for stopping these terrorists, only love will do it. Social incluision, mental health facilities and the like aren't sexy enough unfortunately.

  3. HoosierPoli Says:

    As Neil Degrasse Tyson pointed out:

    3,400: The number of Americans killed by terrorists since 9/11.

    3,400: The number of Americans killed by gun violence since five weeks ago.

  4. waldoh Says:

    Poor America; hoist, literally, on Her own petard.

    For a long time now I've believed that the violence America wreaks on the world has been a reflection of the violence that she wreaks upon herself. And, having thus being inured to the savagery that goes on around the U.S. each and every day must make the rest of the world's insanity sort of comforting.

    There is one hope that I can see, and only one, to avoid the dreadful scenario that you've described and which does seem to bearing down inexorably on the U.S.; elect Bernie Sanders.

    If your society is returned to a more equitable financial footing, and the economy is based on societal good rather than greed, perhaps, and I know, it's a big perhaps, some sort of sanity will prevail, the violence will lessen and saner perspectives will gain a footing.
    Anyhow, good luck. You'll need it.

  5. Tracey Says:

    In my state, there's a college currently on lockdown with suspended classes because of a fine young all-Murkan boy running around loose with a gun who has threatened to shoot up the school because Reasons having something to do with being asked to step down from Student Council. Nobody's been able to catch him. He's from Pennsatucky just north of us, a fine, fine state where they luv them their guns 'n' religion. I'm just thrilled at living in the shadow of a target and having my family's life at risk because of another unhinged and deadly white man. Yeah. Let's arm everyone over the age of 6, that will never go wrong!

  6. Buckyblue Says:

    Hell, that's where we are now. I gave up any hope that we would ever do anything at Newtown. If 22 dead six-year olds doesn't do it for you, nothing will.

  7. RosiesDad Says:

    If I read this right, Ed, what you are saying is that if we descend completely into Idiocracy, maybe then we will look in the mirror and say, "Moron, wake the fuck up!" And then we will fix what's broken?

    The gun violence problem and the problem with terrorism are almost mutually exclusive. The gun violence problem is there because there are simply too many guns, period. The terrorism problem is much more complicated but rooted in the poor socioeconomics of autocratic nations which are mostly Arab, Muslim and in the Middle East. But one thing is certain: You will not fix the terrorism problem by adding more guns to the mix. You will, however, increase the amount of gun violence. But what the hell, who cares if Chicago starts looking like Mogadishu?

  8. nonynony Says:

    Maybe people need to see with their own two eyes what the world they're advocating actually looks like, what the end result of the ideas they advocate will feel like to wear and to live with.

    This strategy doesn't work. Human beings do not work like this.

    If you make things more horrible, people will continue to try to reach out for easy solutions to make things less horrible.

    The gun issue is a classic example of this – people carry guns because they're afraid. Ramp up the fear, more people will carry guns. Get to the point where everyone has a gun and then you'll never be able to take them away because everyone will be too terrified to give up their guns. Because of the other crazy people with guns.

    You don't make things better by making them worse and then hoping that everyone learns the right lesson. I would have thought that the Weimar Republic leading into Hitler's Germany, or the French Revolution, or the Russian Revolution, or Somalia, or hell any of the other number of times in the history of the world where things have gotten really bad and then somehow managed to get even worse would be enough to convinced everyone that the only way you make things better is by pushing to make them better. Not just standing back, waiting for the collapse, and hoping to rebuild something better from the rubble.

  9. Jughead Says:

    You are only treating symptoms; the root cause is capitalism and the gun manufacturers will continue to write the laws because they own, through their puppet NRA, the Congress.

  10. Skipper Says:

    Or, people who want to live in a country with concealed and open carry, small government, no social programs, and no pesky government regulations could just move to Somalia.

    On a more serious note, Jason is right. Listening to the descriptions of the scene inside the theater in Paris, a gun would have been useless. Everyone was on the floor. Anyone who poked their head up was shot. So, with you lying on the floor in a dark theater, unable to draw a bead on the terrorist dressed in black with an automatic rifle, that popgun tucked in your belt isn't going to do any good at all. Thinking it is is just a Rambo fantasy.

  11. well mostly Says:

    RosiesDad and Hoiser hit it well.
    I get the point Ed, though it's a bit rough. Rather like the "proceed Governor" line from the Presidential debate.
    As horrific as it was and with all due respect for those effected, 127 dead from guns is what we call a normal weekend in the USA. However, as long as we don't get killed by the real bad boogie man, a terrorist, we're safe. Am I right?
    If we don't see things clearly now will we ever?

  12. Jado Says:

    "The only way to convince a lot of people to their satisfaction that a world in which every individual is judge, jury, executioner, and Delta Force commando rolled into one is utter insanity is to make them live in it for a while."

    I DO admire your blind optimism at the learning capacity of people who already think the solution to terrorism is universal carry.

    I don't admire YOUR learning capacity in thinking that people who have NEVER learned a lesson thru experience could possibly learn this lesson.

    Apparently my pessimism in thinking people never learn anything is accurate. How depressing…

  13. c u n d gulag Says:

    "Maybe people need to see with their own two eyes what the world they're advocating actually looks like, what the end result of the ideas they advocate will feel like to wear and to live with."

    What?
    Their travel agents can't book a vacation for 2-4 weeks in Somalia – or some other FSM-forsaken spot?
    Oh.
    Right.
    They can.
    But they're too scared.

    So, yeah, let's arm everyone with guns!
    Let "God" and the CSI folks, sort them all out.
    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh….

    Btw – Great post, Ed! :-)

  14. drouse Says:

    I really don’t know what you do about the “taxes are theft” crowd,
    except possibly enter a gambling pool regarding just how long after
    their no-tax utopia comes true that their generally white, generally
    entitled, generally soft and pudgy asses are turned into thin strips
    of Objectivist Jerky by the sort of pitiless sociopath who is
    actually prepped and ready to live in the world that logically
    follows these people’s fondest desires. Sorry, guys. I know you all
    thought you were going to be one of those paying a nickel for your
    cigarettes in Galt Gulch. That’ll be a fine last thought for you as
    the starving remnants of the society of takers closes in with their
    flensing tools.
    John Scalzi http://whatever.scalzi.com/

    I realize that the group referred to in the quote and the group under discussion now are not quite the same. However, if you drew a Venn diagram of the two groups, there would be very little outside the overlap.

  15. geoff Says:

    My daughter was required to write a "Modest Proposal" (Swift) type satire in high school. Her topic: how to prevent school shootings. (This was not long after Sandy Hook.) Solution? Mandatory open carry for all students. It was pretty hilarious.

  16. Brutus Says:

    I recognize you’re being arch, in the same vein as “we must destroy the village in order to save it,” but I hope this thought experiment remains just that. Someone correct me, but I don’t think we’ve had a real Wild West, cops-and-robbers shootout in the U.S. since the era of Prohibition. Yes, we’ve had mass slayings, but only from one side of the aggressor/defender fence. With terrorists and school shooters, the expected end for the perpetrators is death; they go in knowing they're on a suicide mission. Thus, my expectation (and that of others) is that the armed mob would only worsen events, and we would learn nothing.

  17. Mr. Wonderful Says:

    What you mean "we," Keemo-Sabe? Those of "us" who advocate for more guns, more fantasy heroism, more "nuke the Ayatollah," will never snap out of it. And even if some will, it's not worth the loss of innocent lives and the general degradation of society in order to teach them the lesson. As for the rest, they'll always find a way to explain the failure of one fantasy by inventing another.

  18. doug Says:

    Long ago, drunk driving was not punished much. MADD organized. At many localities, when a DWI case came to court, the front row of the spectators were MADD members and the judge knew he had better not let the perp off. In short, the power of the people locally was apparent in the changes that has occurred in punishment for drunk driving.

    Somehow, the call for change we need(whatever that is), needs to come from everywhere.

    Ed, 'throwing in the towel' might be dangerous….
    CUND glad to see you posting again.

  19. Jason Says:

    Brutus-
    "Someone correct me, but I don’t think we’ve had a real Wild West, cops-and-robbers shootout in the U.S. since the era of Prohibition."

    The most prominent one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

    Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout

    I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can remember off the top of my head.

  20. Mo Says:

    Sure, let's all own guns. And then lock down the ammo production until only a billionaire can afford ammo and the black market stuff has a tendency to misfire and jam.

    Maybe then those who feel dis-empowered will focus on the source of the problem – our oligarchy who have been siphoning off the wealth – instead of buying guns as a drug to overcome that nagging feeling of powerlessness.

  21. Skipper Says:

    Guns for the working class — Nikes for the rich.

  22. chopper Says:

    If I remember correctly, you had to turn in all weapons when entering Barter Town; the site of Thunderdome…

    Well done Ed.

  23. democommie Says:

    "Nike for the rich", well,fine. But they don't do "running", they hire people to do it!

    We already have a pretty goo data set (despite the fucing NRA and their useful idiots in gunzlooznation) that shows the percentage of gunzloonz stopping crimes being vanishing small when compared to the number of criminal and stupidental shootings.

  24. dan Says:

    "When someone opens fire in a theater and 1000 people pull out concealed pistols to return fire …" then the answer will be more guns.

  25. Duke of Clay Says:

    democommie —

    Don't you realize that nearly 11 billion crimes a year are prevented by honest citizens with guns — most of the "I saw a black kid walking down the street and I stood on my porch with my gun out and he kept walking" variety.

  26. Major Kong Says:

    As much as I enjoy playing Fallout 4 I don't think I want to live there.

  27. Michael Says:

    White people with guns = paddyrollers. There is no need to reach farther for explanations.

  28. quixote Says:

    I think the earlier commenter who mentioned "Nikes for the rich" was referring to missiles. Not shoes.

  29. Mo Says:

    Actually, what I really want is a shoulder-launched RPG.
    Guns are for weenies.

  30. Skepticalist Says:

    Pass out the pistols. Nature knows when it's time to move on.

  31. Bob Says:

    I've watched working class Americans vote against their own economic situation my entire life (I am 57 years old) and I'm supposed to believe there exists a relationship between reality and beliefs?

  32. ChrisH Says:

    I wonder if we can concoct some social experiments for this. Hand out squirt guns or suction cup guns to everyone at a high school and set up some basic rules and see how things go.

  33. Gil More Says:

    1996, The Port Author Massacre, Down Under. Left 35 dead & 23 wounded. 2 Days, One shooter. THEY changed !

    Read the death by death chronicle put together afterwards. Those in the cafe and gift shop were mowed down. The Lone shooter is laser focused on any thing that moves and double up if it moves toward him.

    Their are many cowboys or hero's out there in the US. If I was put in such a position I would like to keep my bride safe and myself alive. The problems inherent in these nut-job plans is they are singularly instructed to kill at Place XXX , them move to Area YYY. Many many innocents lie between you and the really bad guys. With your authorized Open Carry or Concealed carry members, all sticking their heads up like gophers. Their action ensures they will be the first sent to Christian Heaven.

    Port Author lasted 2 days. Finally cornered, the suspect began burning a home and eventually ran away, his clothes on fire. . . Arrested, guilty 35 life sentences

    Registration, Stricter gun laws and less people dead. . . We could learn… We won't.

    We never will.

    Build the Wall, the camps, re build more Guantanamo Bay detention camps even a few more of those Relocation Center for internments peoples… Or a prison. It will be all right. someday.

    TX Public executions will begin in 1 to 2 years in a football stadium. O.K.C. a year later will carry out death sentences via hangings at the Murrah Federal Building.

    By then the War Relocation Center for internment will have been set up for Syrians. They will supervise building of TRUMP WALL (TM) on our Southern US Border by boundary workers from Mexican, Nicaraguan, and Costa Rican lefties.

    Good night America, Good night

    May the peace of the lord be with you always and if not, pull a Glock.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)

  34. Jason Says:

    Gil More-
    So I guess the point of your post is that armed citizens can't stop crimes from occurring? Or is it just mass shootings?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/03/do-civilians-with-guns-ever-stop-mass-shootings/

    "Registration, Stricter gun laws"

    You left out mass confiscation. They didn't go door to door but they required you to sell guns back to the government for destruction.

  35. Wim Says:

    I think the survivors will have learned as their first lesson to buy cheap body armor from China.

  36. Gil More Says:

    Jason,

    Maybe the occasional crime(recent Chicago grocery store) but doubtful on mass shootings. The problem is the unskilled Mom with the pistol in her purse getting shot by her 4 year old in the line at Wally Mart. Our net loss thru accidents and crime will never equal our net gain in terrorists killed or hostages saved.

    6 concealed / open carriers don't have a chance against 2 guys with AK's in a theater. To think so is insanity.

    The televised executions were a futuristic look at what the slide to Thunderdome would be like. Oklahoma and Nebraska are now trying to use drugs for executions that are not per the protocol for ending life. . . Taint right.

  37. Skepticalist Says:

    I enjoyed the first "Hunger Games," especially.

    Think about what's missing in that one.

  38. Major Kong Says:

    I can see it now…..

    The terrorists stand there awestruck while I calmly unholster my Kimber Tactical Ultra Model 1911, fix them with my steely gaze, and pick them off one by one with well-placed .45 ACP rounds.

    If anyone needs me I’ll be in the bathroom, practicing my Clint Eastwood squint in the mirror.

    “Go ahead………make my day”

  39. Al Says:

    I think Ed may be right and Jado wrong about the efficacy of widespread adoption of concealed carry as a way to bring real gun control. The question is, what does it take get a majority of Americans to stand up to the NRA. One thing that is clear about gun violence is that people directly affected are likely to change their minds. Consider Jim Brady and Gabby Giffords. Before they were shot both were against control but then became fighters for control. Admittedly, not everyone who gets shot will be in favor of gun control, but I'm sure a majority of victims do change their attitudes. So, if widespread concealed carry speeds up the point at which more than half of the U.S. population are in families affected by gun violence, meaningful gun control will come sooner. That, of course, is a very high price to pay.

  40. Anon Says:

    The next big experiment in security-vs-freedom may well be a clampdown on Muslims in America. Probably Hillary Clinton will spearhead it, because she needs the money, and at least one of her money men is a Muslimphobe:

    http://gawker.com/democratic-donor-articulates-nuanced-no-civil-libertie-1743601427

    Liberal opposition will, of course, be muted. I didn't exactly see liberals taking to the streets when Obama carried out the summary execution of an American citizen. Did you? I guess IOKIYAD. Or maybe it's just that Obama killed a brown-skinned Muslim.

    In case you missed it in the other thread, here's ex-Muslim Sarah Haider calling liberal murtadophobes out for their condescending racism and kuffarsplaining:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/5/30/1389271/-Sarah-Haider-Islam-and-the-Necessity-of-Liberal-Critique

    TL;DR: You know who the REAL islamophobes are? Apostates! Islam scares them shitless! Har har, what a bunch of bigoted shitheads those apostates are, amirite?

  41. Gil More Says:

    This is one of my favorites.

    Tombstone AZ has an Old West gunfight reenactment for the tourists. One of the actors shows up late and his gun wasn't checked before the shooting began.

    By the time he figured out he wasn't shooting blanks he fired 5 of the 6 bullets in his revolver. Shot a fellow "actor" who was airlifted to Tucson. Bullet fragments hit a bystander who refused treatment.

    This was just last month.

  42. Robert Says:

    My one experience of having a gun pointed at me helped me realize something.

    The man with the gun knew what he was going to do. By the time I knew, the gun was in his hand pointed at me. By the time I could have pulled my CCW and aimed, he could easily have made worm's meat of me.

    When I brought this up in a discussion elsewhere online, someone responded, "That's why you always carry your weapon with the safety off and a round in the chamber." And that's why the accidental shootings happen.

  43. Lless Says:

    And Robert, won't those accidental discharges get interesting in an environment where everyone is packing?

  44. Gil More Says:

    Robert,

    I was "out of bounds" for 5 weeks and returned with a different mindset. When I was gone, I would find myself in Cooper's Green, then Yellow and realize it was time to move along ASAP.

    Back home, it was normally just heighten awareness and avoid any Orange.

    My mindset is now to skee-daddle at Yellow and live another day, and another, and another.

  45. Barry Says:

    Ed: "Maybe people need to see with their own two eyes what the world they're advocating actually looks like, what the end result of the ideas they advocate will feel like to wear and to live with. "

    Seconding, thirding and fourthing all of the people above – it's clear by now that 'the worse things get, the better they get' only applies to people like ISIS, the Taliban or other scum.

  46. Robert Says:

    Gil More – I would like to know what your comment means. Sent

  47. Robert Says:

    Gil – I think you were referring to Cooper's Color Code, but I thought it was white, yellow, orange, red.

    Truth be told, I'm usually in yellow when out in the world.

  48. Gil More Says:

    Robert,

    Sorry for my lack of any (correct) explanation or detail. Your google -foo is excellent. My comment was lacking and a bit confusing.

    Yes, Cooper's simple system for situational awareness. White, yellow, orange and red. Some include black.

    Years ago, when I got my sweetie on board with this, I probably over thought things and made it easy for us. Simplest way was use the colors of a stop light for her, and for me, scaffold usage tags at work; Green, Yellow and Red. We tossed Orange in between Yellow and Red at some point. Based loosely (as you can see) on Jeff Cooper's observations.

    When out in the real world yellow is a good place to be, relaxed and alert.

  49. Gil More Says:

    Cooper's simple system for situational awareness (Wikipedia)

    White: Unaware and unprepared

    Yellow: Relaxed alert.

    Orange: Specific alert.

    Red: Condition Red is fight.

    The USMC uses "Condition Black," although it was not originally part of Cooper's color code. According to Massad Ayoob, "Condition Black," in Cooper's youth, meant "combat in progress.

    Scaffold Tags

    Green: Good to Go, read for warnings about hot pipes or tight conditions, etc.

    Yellow: Warning, 90% of time time scaffold a yellow is not fully OSHA compliant and requires a safety harness and lanyard. Missing rail open holes. If Carp's had more time they could make it green, but. . . they didn't have it or couldn't get it. Total CYA move if anything is not perfect.

    Red: No one allowed on scaffold unless they are Competent inspector or builder.

    Orange is rare, but when used it is substituted for red above and then red get pushed to absolutely no one can get on scaffold for any reason. Usually overhead work or radiological concerns.

  50. Gil More Says:

    Just saw this stat on police shootings from an instructor.

    It comes down to only 47 percent of shots fired in incidents occurring at contact range (literally arms distance from the shooter to the target) actually make it into their target, and that goes down to around 20 percent of incidents occurring at 21 feet. –

    See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/11/25/lights-sights-lasers-course-review/#sthash.6LVlZfZF.dpuf

    What kind of stats do you think John Q Public are going to put up at the Quickie Mart ? Cops probably have a massive adrenaline dump a couple of times a month. Hows that going to work out for someone who has only punched holes in paper at the local range ?

  51. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    The Texas state senator has recently offered a better and safer route to the same end you present here when he complained that Texas should not accept Syrian refugees because it would be too easy in Texas for them to buy guns. Thus doth the logic of gun worship finally carry us to the absurdity it always harbored. This is also the route to ending the absurd understanding of the 2nd Amendment now the "law of the land."

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