Bill O'Reilly is the only right-winger who is honest about the whole movement's position on the 2nd Amendment.

This is the problem in a nutshell. "The price of freedom." It doesn't matter how many people die. The rights of every impotent old white guy who needs to hoard guns in order to Feel Like a Man are more important than human life. The rights of suburban commandos to stock up on guns to fend off the Young Black Bucks or the Thugs or whatever euphemism is currently in fashion are more important than human life. The rights of some guy to indulge his hobby (Can I make chemical weapons in my basement and call it a "hobby" as long as I don't use them to kill anyone?) are more important than your right to leave the house and be reasonably certain that you're not going to get shot at random.

Mass shootings are to the modern US what human sacrifices were to some societies, but replace the sun with 2nd Amendment and the bountiful harvest with Freedom.
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If 58 people have to die so that we may enjoy the freedom to own 35 guns – the killer had at least that many – that is a sacrifice white America is prepared to make. YOU are a sacrifice they are prepared to make. You don't matter. Nothing matters. All that matters is Larry Limpdick's need to feel tough or manly or important or strong or ready for the Race War he and everyone else in the comments section of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is certain is coming because BLM or campus libtards or something.

We have so thoroughly normalized a completely demented, paranoid, conspiratorial, afactual right-wing worldview that a man can buy 35 guns and not only are there no meaningful obstacles to doing so but the fact isn't even considered especially noteworthy or out of the ordinary. The very fact that we live in a society where a person can announce that they own 10 or 25 or 50 or 100 guns and the overwhelming, immediate response is not "What in the living fuck is wrong with you?" followed by a psych evaluation is the definitive proof that this will keep happening over and over and over again.

It's not merely acceptable, it's normal.
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And it's not merely normal, it's a sign of patriotism and masculinity. You don't like guns? What's wrong with you? You queer or vegan or somethin'? Don't you love your country?

This will never stop in a society that thinks there is nothing abnormal about fetishizing and stockpiling something that has no purpose – "fun" doesn't count here, sorry – other than to kill.

The guy who did this is not scary because he is insane or mysterious. He is scary because he is normal. All of us know probably a half-dozen of this guy. Because we live in a society that tells itself that it's perfectly normal for a person to stockpile enough weapons to outfit a brigade of paratroopers. Despite the insistence that this is a perfectly normal and healthy thing for a human being to do, it is not. It is fucked up. And until we drop the "mental health" canard and admit to ourselves that the problem is we have allowed a deeply violent, paranoid, and twisted worldview to become so ordinary as to attract little notice, these sacrifices will continue on a more or less regular schedule.

81 thoughts on “THE SACRED HARVEST”

  • Martine Gallant says:

    The current state of normal in our country is literally sickening and all too often deadly. When will we agree that we've had enough? If an elementary school slaughter didn't do it, how is today going to alter the dimwit mentality of the folks who can't (or won't) think beyond their limited grasp of the 2nd Amendment? Unless bullets are whizzing past their heads during the normal course of a day, I'm convinced they will never, ever admit that there's a problem or that they should change one fucking thing about their approach to life in this terrible excuse for America.

  • Native Lemurian says:

    “I own more [guns] than I need, but not as many as I want.” —Phil Gramm, 3-term GOP senator from Texas

  • I think that he's already a muslim:

    Somebody's tweeting about it, so it's gotta be true.

    Retired, apparently wealthy accountant, according to the few things I took a quick look at. If he was ever a christian, his account will have been closed, deleted and the paper trail scrubbed out within a day or two.

    I know people who own lots of gunz. They think that I'm nuts for NOT owning any.

  • "The guy who did this is not scary because he is insane or mysterious. He is scary because he is normal."

    Thank you, glad someone said it. ❤️❤️

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    Remember, an armed population is our only protection against bloody, Haiti-style servile insurrections.

    It's always 1850 or so in American politics, and the long shadow of Toussaint L'Ouverture falls over every discussion of the Second Amendment.

    It's our guarantee against future Nat Turners.

  • Bessemer Mucho says:

    "The money of the gun lobby being necessary to the
    survival of politicians, the right of madmen to slaughter
    children shall not be infringed."

  • Happy to agree with you for once, Ed; it's not the guns that are the problem but the people who misuse them.

  • I've heard that if you define mass killings as 4 or more dead in one incident the U.S. has an average of more than one a day. I'm not sure if there's anyone officially keeping track of this.

    Geoff's link to The Onion is spot on. Kos frequently runs an article about guns seized at airport security stations. We should look to Australia's answer to the problem. We won't, but we should.

    Don't get me wrong. I have various inherited weaponry (if I ever need to hunt to eat I might even get them out of the locked cabinet). I understand the appeal of firing weapons. It was part of the reason I joined the Marines (at 17 – what'd I really know). Having a rifle, firing a burst from the M60, popping off a grenade from the M79. Made you feel 10 feet tall and covered with hair. It's primal. I get it. BUT except in Vietnam the weapons were kept under lock in the barracks armory. And a good thing, too.

  • GunstarGreen says:

    The truly baffling part is just how infantile the Second Amendment fetishists are. They'll accept that they're not allowed to own tactical nuclear weapons. They'll accept that they're not allowed to own warheads of any description, for that matter. They'll accept that they're not allowed to own or operate tanks, or attack helicopters, or jet fighters. They'll accept that they're not allowed to own rocket launchers, or land mines, or flamethrowers.

    But tell them that they shouldn't be allowed to own automatic assault weapons, or two dozen long rifles and twenty handguns? MUH RIIIIIIIGHTS.

    You don't need a semi-auto rifle to hunt deer. You don't need four shotguns and fifteen glocks to defend your home. It is not meaningfully abridging the second amendment rights of the citizenry to restrict weapons ownership to that which is necessary for reasonable tasks, and to prevent the kind of stockpiling that allows a person to build up an arsenal sufficient to massacre dozens of people in one sitting.

    "But I gotta defend myself from the tyranny of gub'mint!"

    If Uncle Sam really wants to beat your ass, he's going to roll an Abrams tank down your block, and your dinky little AR-15 isn't even going to scratch the paint job on that thing.

    "But I gotta defend myself from the gang war outside!"

    That's what the SWAT team and/or the National Guard is for. They can start using all those domestically-stationed MRAPs to respond to actual, meaningful threats rather than crowds of unarmed black protestors.

    But no, none of it will be addressed. This nation has already shown that it is perfectly fine with sacrificing dozens of Actual Schoolchildren at the altar of Our Most Holy Fathers Smith And Wesson.

  • Morley,
    Many of us around here have already figured out that carr is actually Ed doing satire. It's the *only* explanation.

  • One interesting idea (David Brin's "Jefferson rifle") unrestricted access to single shot long rifles and a much more restricted market for semiautomatic weapons. If a hunter is well practiced they can spare Bambi the agonizing roadkill death with one shot. And while we're at it, ferrous bullets, for two reasons, to stop poisoning scavengers, and create an excuse for buying a new rifle… I'll be right here, not holding my breath.

  • In my experience, the Christian Right-wing crowd disapproves of mental health checks for weapon buys because deep down, they don’t really believe mental illness to be a thing.

    I would suggest laws that hold gun shops liable for damages if they sell a gun to a nutter that commits a spree (spree already conviently legally defined, see above).You would still have third-party sales (“gun-show loophole”), but still, forward progress.

    A lot of the gun control provisions you want already exist under most states concealed carry laws, I would suggest lobbying to expand that umbrella to include gun ownership, period. For example, in GA I had to be fingerprinted and the police run a real background check. In KY, I had to take a class with a written test, as well as actually shoot a gun without harming myself or others. I did have to sign that I had never been committed, but that was just a CYOA for the instructor. I didn’t have to be fingerprinted for that one, but supposedly they run the background check every 30 days.

  • GunstarGreen -I own two shotguns, three pistols and one revolver. I also have multiple boxes of ammunition for each firearm. Do I have too many guns and ammo to suit you, sir? Do you consider yourself the arbitrator of the number of guns a person can own? If not you, who?

  • And a suggestion for the disposition of the remains of "2017 homicidal cretin #273", cremation, ashes to be placed in the public toilets and urinals of Las Vegas so the residents and visitors can express their feelings.

  • Now do you see who (and why) certain people are deathly afraid of AI and the possibility of robots entering society in a meaningful way?

    They'll TAKE OUR GUNS and they will notice that we are not quite safe to be around.

  • Have to stop and ask yourself: Ned Flanders? Seriously?

    Let's not pick nits Mark, I've a hunting rifle and revolver since the seventies; an old Luger my grand-father brought home from the war and recently gave my then ten year old grandson the single shot .22 rifle my other grandfather gave me when I was ten; and a pocket revolver because though I am of the lifelong conviction that only pussies carry guns there are pussies out there carrying guns… It's. Not. The. Same.

    I've got hunting buddy, a homie, an Oregon boy, who's got like three hundred guns, some he's never even fired, spends more money on home security than he does his business. Know him the better part of fifty years and he's no good explanation for it.

    Like religion, like alcohol, it's a drug.

  • @Mark: Congress, whether federal or state, the same people who determine at what exact BAC you're breaking the law when you drive, at what age you cease breaking the law when you purchase cigarettes, and various other arbitrary limits that must be set for the purposes of law enforcement and the health of society.

    If it were me, I'd limit it to one bolt-action long rifle (for hunting) and one buckshot-only shotgun (for defense), but again — just as I defer the determination of exact legal BAC to my local representatives, I defer the determination of appropriate firearm possession levels.

    Because if we're alright with government limiting what we can do in terms of possessing or using substances that largely only wreck our own bodies, we'd damn well better be alright with government limiting what we can do in terms of possessing or using devices who's only purpose is to end life.

  • @ Mark:

    I'm not worried about people who have multiple firearms and sufficient ammo for hunting or range use.

    I know a guy who owns, at last count, 85 firearms. Some were left to him by his father (? don't know how many). He likes guns–a lot. I don't know if he has a concealed carry or not (I'm hoping "not") . I do know that he has a job that requires he pass a fairly high level security process.

    Weaponry IS cool, at least to me, in terms of it's crafting, the mechanics and, in many cases, the genius level engineering of its designers, many of whom lack a formal degree in that discipline.YMMV.

    I don't own guns, never have. I think about it from time to time and if I ever decide to get one it won't be an AR or AK variant, a combat-gripped 9mm, .40 or other handgun that isn't worth a shit for hunting or shooting at anything over a dozen or so yards out (range shooting is NOT what happens when you're heart rate is above 150 and you're scared). I'd get a shotgun, prolly a 16Ga pump and a box of #7 and some BB shot pellets. I would themn illegally modify the barrel (if that's even illegal anymore) to make it half it's issue length. From any room in my home I can put down a big, enraged assailant with one or two rounds using that sort of weapon. If they're outside and weren't sent to kill me, they will prolly stay outside because I have locks on every door and window and they are in use when I'm not home or not downstairs.

    Guns aren't the problem, idiots with guns are the problem. The problem of idiots with guns rests entirely on the heads of the GOP and their clients at the NRA and various arms manufacturers. Fuck those assholes.

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    The two things that worry me most about this latest massacre….

    First, that these mass shootings are so easy to carry out. We as a country do almost nothing to make it difficult for the shooters of the world to inflict horrendous carnage.

    Second, that the general tone from so many across the country (including Ed) is resignation that nothing will be done and it's only a matter of time before the next slaughter occurs. Will it be your workplace next? Your kids' school? Some public event you or someone you love is at? We don't know that part, but we do know another mass shooting will happen eventually.

    I honestly feel like I owe my daughters an apology for the state of the country they are growing up in.

  • Too soon, Ed. It's too soon to raise this issue. (Note: It's always too soon. Until it's too late, at which point it becomes too soon all over again.)

  • When one of these Repubs says it's too soon, the natural followup should be, "Okay, when? You set the date, I will show up."

    And if you want to limit discussion to "just the facts," fine, let's do that. No emotions, no "principles." Facts.

  • At the heart of the issue is the myth that white American men are just a few guns away from being John Maclean or Rambo (I said this on your FB page). As long as men are fed the fantasy that they can be a hero if only they had enough guns, nothing will change. Once these weak willed men actually find themselves in a shooting situation where not only are they not the hero but more than likely they kill as many innocents as the shooter, then we might see some changes.

    I've had students who were former military and one was even a former sniper. After the Colorado theater shooting someone in class piped in with the "If a good guy had been allowed a gun then. . ." and the former sniper went off on what a ridiculous thought that was. He said (and I don't remember verbatim) "I'm a highly trained, highly skilled sniper and I would never open fire in a shooting situation like that because once you add in adrenaline and chaos, you're going to kill someone and then you're no better than the original assailant. It's utter shit for someone with no gun training beyond a three hour course to think that they can do good in that situation. And finally, have you ever killed someone? It's not as great as Hollywood makes it out to be."

  • Brilliant as usual.

    One of the worst (of many) things I hear the gun worshipers say is that guns (and/or a quasi-imperial military) are the only things preserving freedom and civilization. Uh, no, the only thing preserving freedom is the people freely choosing to organize into communities and polities (never was a PoliSci major, hope I got that right), and freely respecting the rights of others. They don't seem to understand that guns don't do that.

  • I keep saying that the media needs to quit labeling these events as "the largest mass shooting to date," and call them what they really are: "the largest sacrifice to the NRA in the nation to date." Also, I am going crazy with the reports on how many guns this normal, lovable gambling gun nut had. Why is that newsworthy at all? He lived in a state in which there were no restrictions on gun ownership. So if he wanted to assemble enough weaponry to arm a small country, welp, he sure as hell could do so. And why do they ask how this guy was able to get the guns to his room? Again, all perfectly legal. This is the world we have chosen. I'll just continue to enjoy my life as much as possible so that if some motherfucker with a hidden or overt grudge decides to unload his stockpiled ammo on some event I am attending–or just at the supermarket–I will have at least had some fun.

  • Death Panel Truck says:

    I keep saying that the media needs to quit labeling these events as "the largest mass shooting to date"

    It's almost as if they're issuing a challenge to another gun nut to top it.

  • old white person says:

    We demand it of innocent random Muslims everytime. Now I'm applying it to white men: apologize, please, for the crime committed by a guy who looks like you but probably has nothing in common with you.

  • Our society and nation have some extremely serious anxieties and fears, creating far too many individuals who have very definite mental health problems. However, like so many other of our social, economic and political problems, we really don't want to face up to them! That would require most of us to act like real adults, rather than the pampered pets we really are. And the corporations who have created this incredible consumer culture don;t want us to reject all their manipulations of the market. Not to mention their machinations of our governments, especially at the State and national level.
    These :true powers" in our society like us the way we are so they can continue to use and abuse us continually, "shearing the sheep regularly" in order to benefit therefrom and create the inordinate wealth they enjoy while our society/nation slowly declines.

  • I've said it before and in other places, but this will continue until wealthy, white men are the targets of this sort of assault. If an ammosexual nut opens fire on a boardroom, at a yacht club, some "philanthropic event" with men in suits that are priced like a car, then, and only then, will there be an honest call for changes in the laws. Just let a Walton, a Koch, or a Mercer be the target or even a bystander, and there will be a need for some regulation up in here!

  • WTF does Bill O'Reilly know about "the price of freedom?"

    He's just another name in the long list of rightwing blowhards who never served.

  • To be sung to the tune of "The Green Berets"

    Hero soldiers from Fox News.

    Chickenhawks with Rambo views.

    Never served or even tried

    but tell me why soldiers died.

    It needs work but I have to go drink beer,right now.

  • Seems to me it isn't a price of freedom, but a deliberate terrorist campaign. And it is working.

    We just saw how that Las Vegas massacre distracted everyone from Trumps mishandling of Puerto Rico Hurricane relief.

    The more mass shootings, the less scrutiny of the looting and pillaging of the country by the 1%.

  • Karl Kolchak says:

    The depraved violence America has unleashed in the insane war on terror come home to roost. Michael Moore first made the connection in "Bowling for Columbine" when he pointed out that the Columbine shootings, which took place in a community where many adults worked at local a missile factory, happened on the same day America began Serbia.

    Back then, huge mass shootings were still pretty rare. Post-GWOT, they have become a regular occurrence, and it is our society's profound and seemingly increasing lack of caring about the horrors we have unleashed overseas that has warped our sensibilities to this appalling degree.

  • The NRA and their corporate backers are disgustingly effective at propaganda that convinces fools to waste billions of dollars on junk for which they have absolutely no need. The melding of the NRA and the GOP has created a modern fascist movement. They have completely hoodwinked a high percentage of the population to think the GOP stands for individual freedom while enslaving the population to meet the corporate profits of the gun manufacturers no matter the cost of lives. Young white men are dying by suicide at astounding rates. I thought I had read that suicide by gun had become the number 1 cause of death for rural white males on the Brady website, but those numbers are hard to verify due to the lack of funds to do real research

    Despair will not fight fascists. People need to be carefully taught to recognize propaganda. Or if that is not realistic rational people need to think up effective propaganda to combat the NRA marketing.

  • "Sacred Harvest", eh?

    "The Constitution is not a pact with the devil, nor is it a suicide pact. It is a formalized, legalistic ritual of blood sacrifice. There are some things that we as a society, alas, must tolerate in order to stay true to our founding beliefs and to remain free. Schoolchildren shot to pieces is one of those things. The massacre of country music fans is another one of those things, the 273rd blood sacrifice to that one provision of the Constitution this year." — Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

    Jesus, it's like some "Cabin In The Woods" shit out there.

  • How bout a little legislative experiment? Make the "bump stock" an illegal accessory. Then go to work on the kind of ammunition available to civilians. And while you're at it, get Donald Trump, Jr. indicted for conflict of interest for making an ad for silencers being made available to the public. But start with the "bump stock." Philadelphia lawyers have already successfully argued that the "bump stock" only "simulated" fully automatic weapons fire. Woody Guthrie wrote a damn good song about Philadelphia lawyers a while back, a good companion piece to his one about Little East Texas Red.

  • Friendly critic says:

    I love your analysis here. Absolutely spot-on. But I want to call you out on one piece of your rhetoric — it's really common, but your writing is vivid enough to put it in the foreground. Your lines about "impotent" and "limpdick" — Do you realize that you're basically equating secual potency with virtue, for men? Why do you and so many otherwise smart critics of patriarchy do that? If I can get it up, I won't shoot people? Really?

  • Friendly critic: I think Ed, by using this language, is criticizing this ethos, not promoting it. Making fun of it, so to speak.

  • Must not have heard about limpdicks driving jacked up de-engineered suburban assault vehicles with tires the size of Volkswagons and hood ornament a perfect rendition of the human female reproductive system, blowing black smoke out their reamed assholes, a gun in every rack.

    Only pussies carry guns, and fuck the patriarchy.

  • @carrstone "it's not the guns that are the problem but the people who misuse them."

    Which is why we should be extremely careful about who we allow to have guns and what kinds of guns civilians can legally possess.

  • @Mikki: Already happened, sort of, when Republican congressmen got attacked at a softball game. The Kochs don't go anywhere without security, probably true of the rest of their class. A lone gun nut isn't a threat to them.

  • @ Justicia:

    But, but, but…teh gunzlovurz are all lawbidin' cittzenz, till they ain't!!!

    The fly in the ointment of much human endeavor is insanity. We can keep people from doing all sorts of thing based on their mental fitness–like, say, driving a bus with 58 people off a cliff and having it land on a church picnic and maim another 500 or so–but we can't keep them from owning and using firearms, cuz 2nd 'mendment freedumdums.

  • demo: Except we can't, really. When a passionate young man who feels alienated from society has a brain infected with the toxic mental virus of fundamentalist Islam, there is nothing we can do to stop him from driving a truck through a crowded street.

  • No more than stopping a passionate young man who feels alienated from society with a brain infected with the toxic mental virus of fundamentalist Christianity driving a truck through a crowded street. They all bow down to the same damned dog.

  • @Justicia

    You won't get an argument from me on the first part of your comment.

    I don't know enough about guns to comment on the second part but which, if enacted, smells of government overreach to me.

    What's next, are you going to ban whole milk and force people to be satisfied with skimmed? Allow only e-cars, force everybody to wear a Mao suit?

  • "When a passionate young man who feels alienated from society has a brain infected with the toxic mental virus of fundamentalist Islam, there is nothing we can do to stop him from driving a truck through a crowded street."

    Or, when a passionate young man who feels alienated from society has a brain infected with the toxic mental virus of Southrunpridenaziism, there is nothing we can do to stop him from driving his chevy through a crowded street.

    True. But if you're crazy and you flunk your driving test you can't rent a car.

    If you're crazy and can't hold a job or take part in most aspects of daily life AND you live in about 30 or so of the 50 U.S. States you can buy a lot of weaponry and ammunition and you don't have to SHOW a drivers license or even ID in some of those places.

  • what a country! killing is fine, as long as white men do it. otherwise, it is a terrorist.

    slavery, genocide and mass murderers. yes indeed!

    the American Way. without guns, what would America be like?
    well look at the rest of the world. that'w what it could be like, but too much money/power is at stake. and the big old bad Government will get you.

    i guess people haven't notice we are an Empire. they already took everything else. let the idiots shoot up each other, while we steal everything else.

    those stupid white men are so easy. played for everything. so easy.

    but let's pray for these "dead" people, like that will do any good.

    what a dumb Efffing country

  • "What's next, are you going to ban whole milk and force people to be satisfied with skimmed? Allow only e-cars, force everybody to wear a Mao suit?"

    That's it? That's what you're presenting as an argument. Have you been huffing "Raid", again?

  • Ten Bears: No argument from me. (I just had Nice on my mind). In the case of the United States, your example is the bigger threat, to boot.

    I honestly think part of it is a generation of older white men are simply enraged that the blahs, the wimmins, the fags, and the ferriners no longer have to cower before them, the Great American White Male. This rage bubbles and churns for decades (in this case) until he decides to implement The American Solution.

  • "What's next, are you going to ban whole milk and force people to be satisfied with skimmed? Allow only e-cars, force everybody to wear a Mao suit?"

    Because of what they have to do to make skim milk palatable, it is arguably less healthy than whole. I am not sure what e cars and Mao suits have to do with anything. Other than reflexive general carrstone "I be attackin the libtard sacred cows hurr hurr"

  • "Or, when a passionate young man who feels alienated from society has a brain infected with the toxic mental virus of Southrunpridenaziism, there is nothing we can do to stop him from driving his chevy through a crowded street."

    No doubt. Especially when filled with entitlement rage.

    "…But if you're crazy and you flunk your driving test you can't rent a car."

    Not all that difficult to pass a test. And even if one fails, not that difficult to steal a car or truck and soldier on for Allah, Jesus, or The Lost Cause.

  • @Brian M

    So, now you attack my metaphors instead of my opinion. Does that mean that you agree or disagree?

    I'll let Gavin McInnis comment on your debating style for me:
    I don't agree with him on all his opinions, but I'm sure that you'll recognize yourself

  • # democommie

    What, your mother let you out the crypt again even though the sun's still up?

    What's noteworthy about your comments is that you never seem to proffer solutions of your own, only calumny. It would be sensible for Trump to ask you to move to the Mexican border; we wouldn't have to build a wall, your mere presence there would deter illegal immigrants.

    Btw, I used 'noteworthy' hyperbolically.

  • Cannedsludge:

    Solutions have been propsed for at least the last thirty years that would make it more difficult for people to commit mass murder with easily available and horrendously lethal firearms. That your fucking heroes of FREEDUMB have consistently kept anything from being done about it is the problem.

    Actually, you make one observation that's true. Me moving to the U.S./Mexican border WOULD have as much effect on the immigration situation as building a wall–excedpt it would cost a bit less.

    "Calumny–the making of false and defamatory statements in order to damage someone's reputation; slander."

    If you're suggesting that I'm attempting to damage your character–that's the word that's being used hyperbolically. You have no character or, more precisely, your "character" is similar to the honesty, integrity and intelligence displayed in your comments and your randroidan fascination for societal balkanization.

    My mom's been dead for 17 years, asshole, my dad for 45 years, next month. But at least I know who my father was.

  • @ Brian M:

    So, you're saying there's no way to control people's access to weaponry that is designed for only one purpose–killing humans with great efficiency? Am I missing something?

    We do limit people's access to weapons. It's illegal to own functional fully-automatic weapons, unless one has proper licenses. You also cannot own battle tanks, field artillery, armed aircraft, biological, chemical or nuclear weaponry–so why is that? It seems that the problem of controlling access to weaponry is completely down to craven Congrifters and their monetary benefactors, the NRA and the arms industry.

  • Not a Real Tory says:

    I find it fascinating that people (using the term loosely, here) like Bill O'Reilly can say that the murder of 58 Americans is the price we have to pay for freedom and that's just hunky dory.

    But women should not have the freedom to choose abortion because it's murder. Maybe if women collected guns and shot up a bunch of old white men, we would get some gun control passed. Or would that still just be "the price of freedom"?

  • Multiple gun owner here. I have a number of handguns (7), a 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle. I sold my deer rifle because I no longer hunt.

    I am not a gun nut by any means but I do know what GUN FEVER is. I grew up in the Rocky Mountain west where guns are plentiful. I was a soldier and enjoyed firing various weapons and being an expert at the range. Later, as a civilian, I worked with a bunch of guys who were into guns and shooting and I got caught up with it and purchased more handguns than I would ever need (I have since sold at least 4 of them). It was almost like a disease where I had to get a new gun as I got tired of shooting the same old guns.

    I enjoyed the target shooting competitive aspect but what turned me off about some of those dudes and some others you find at gun shops and ranges were their fantasies about using the guns on "bad guys," their very anti-liberal views, and in some cases, overtly racist views. Some of those same people had very poor firearm safety practices and a real hardon to carry concealed weapons.

    Like any closed group, the members of our gun group reinforced each others' views about the necessity for packing heat and for buying lots of guns and ammo. It was truly an echo-chamber and some of the more extreme viewpoints about needing guns to defend ourselves from the coming race war started to become "normalized." That's when I decided to stay away from those nutters.

    I still have many of my guns, and I still enjoy target shooting, but I keep them unloaded at home and securely locked away. I am all for more controls on firearms, particularly if those controls
    1) Make it harder for a person to commit mass murder (e.g., getting rid of bump stocks, controlling the sales of assault-type, military weapons that can do much more damage than handguns).
    2)Make it harder for people to just go buy a gun. Universal background checks would be a good starting point. As much as I resent too much govt. surveillance of private citizens, I do think that we should be able to flag people who are purchasing large numbers of weapons and ammunition so as to keep a better eye on them. This is clearly a touchy and difficult issue to resolve in a fair way, but our legislators have got to start.
    3) Permitting more empirical studies of gun usage and violence. It seems that almost every day a kid shoots himself or a friend with their dad's (or mom's) gun that was not properly secured.
    4) Finding a way to diminish the power of the NRA, which has become a far-right organization that peddles mis-information about guns and self-defense.

    Anyway, not all of us gun owners are idiots or freaks. Some of us are responsible and want new laws to reduce the damage that guns and assholes wreak on society.

  • Hard Hearted? says:

    This is going to sound horrible, but after thinking about it I have to say that I don’t have nearly the Sympathy for the Vegas victims that I had for Orlando or Newtown.
    Why? Because the victims of Vegas were for the most part from Nevada and the surrounding western states. My guess is most were in favor of the lack of regulation on guns, and voted for pols that pushed the policies that created our current culture that led to easy access to weapons, and their accessories which make such tragedies more likely.
    At some point, you reap what you sow. Am I supposed to feel bad for the people that want to get rid of the ACA if they got their wish and one of them dies from cancer because insurance companies are able to reinstate lifetime caps? Am I supposed to feel bad for the people that support the wall if they get screwed by the wall getting built?
    The victims of Vegas didn’t deserve this but how can you not realize that letting anyone and everyone have access to the weaponry of mass murder is going to have negative consequences, including to you or the people you love?

  • @ Redleg:

    You were in Army Artillery? If so then you, better than a lot of the idiots who are preppers know what happens when a ragtag civilian militia goes up agains soldier with weapons that START at "nasty as fuck" and go up from there.

    I have never had a problem with people who own guns and use them for sporting or hunting. I always have a problem with people who would ask, "Does this AR-AK-Barret-Glock make my dick look bigger?"

  • Saw a piece of this at Crooks and Liars, you're mainstream!

    I, demo, would prefer to be no closer than a televised broadcast were these citizen militias to point their popguns at the US Army. 'Course, though long ago, I have more experience with that sort of thing than most. When the spectical is over I'll go hunt bear.

    Hard-hearted, that's the sort of thing we out west don't forget.

  • "You're right, what you said is horrible and I'm glad I don't know you."

    This is coming from a guy who is on record as not giving a fuck about anybody who is not him.

  • Hard Hearted? says:

    It may be horrible, but is it untrue? Do people that advocate in word and deed (voting for pols that push particular policies) which create an atmosphere in which such shootings are easily attainable via readily available legal weaponry, deserve the same sympathy as a bunch of school children. I dare say that a vast majority of country music fans from western states were, in all likelihood, staunch 2nd amendment advocates, and voted for pols that thought likewise. Their gun loving culture gave this guy access to weapons and accessories that easily modified particular guns into mass murder machines. All legally.
    Do they not own any of that?
    Sometimes stupid opinions/decisions come back to haunt you. In this instance in the most painful way. I'm not saying they deserve no sympathy, but they are not completely innocent when it comes to how and why this heinous act occurred

  • @ Democommie

    I was a field artillery officer back in the day. Spent some time as a fire support officer in an infantry company and the rest of my time in an artillery battalion.

    I laughed when I read your point about the ragtag "militias" versus the regular army. I used to make this point to my gun-humping associates who were all in support of these local militias. I said that most of those idiots probably couldn't even score the minimum on the physical fitness standards, much less understand and employee combat tactics, and wouldn't stand a chance against against federal troops.

  • @ Redleg:

    I rented a room from a guy who left loaded gunz all over the house–all shotgunz for both deer slug and Canada goose.

    He worked for an outfit that sold fleet maintenance supplies and was keen to get into the Fort Drum supply chain (good luck with ever doing that shit without handfuls of money to spread around–and I'm not talking about bribing Sgt. Bilko). He came back from a couple of days on the road, including a stop at Fort Drum, right after some posse comitatus moron had decided to take on the gummint–sometime in late 2006 or early 2007. There was something on the news about it when I came home and he looked up and said:

    "I've seen what they've got at Fort Drum. These fucking idiots wouldn't last a day against that shit."

    And this was coming from a guy who rillllllllly hated the feds.

  • Mandatory liability insurance for every gun. You can not prove or do not have it, gun is confiscated. I am sure the gun insurance companies would see ownership of multiple guns as cause for much steeper insurance prices, more likely to be stolen or used in a massacre.

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