Posted tagged ‘Gun Nuts’

Now Is Not The Right Time. It Is The Only Time

October 9, 2015

Two campus shootings in a single day.


First up, Northern Arizona University, where a gun in the hands of an 18 year old student dispatched bullets into the bodies of four human beings.  One is dead.

G. T. Fowler, the chief of campus police, said that Steven Jones, a freshman, had opened fire after two groups of male students were involved in a confrontation. The police were able to take Mr. Jones into custody after he stopped firing the weapon and “everything calmed down for a few minutes,” Chief Fowler said.

This was, as Charles Pierce pointed out earlier today, not some deranged son of satan spinning out of our collective id.  Rather…

This is an ordinary Thursday night campus brawl that escalated to homicide only because one of the participants had a gun which, I guarantee you, he did not have to work hard to obtain. Maybe we should look into why these things happen.

Travel now to Texas Southern University where…

A gunman killed one person and wounded another on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston on Friday, the second shooting at the university this week.

This one is not likely to remain a mystery either, as “The Houston Police Department said a possible suspect in Friday’s shooting was in custody.”

Note, please the lagniappe in the Times write up on the TSU murder, that “second shooting” line:

On Tuesday night, a person was shot and seriously wounded while walking across the Texas Southern campus. There was no indication whether that shooting was linked to the one there on Friday.

Guns do not create the impulse to violence. They merely ensure that the consequences of just about anything can be fatal.

Most of all, guns destroy freedom.  They erode the freedom of assembly.  They make it scary to walk across a college campus at night.  They make you wonder if saying that, say, the GOP field is a bunch of ammosexual nuts might line you up on the wrong side of a nine held by some cultist in the church of the holy firearm who takes a hard line on blasphemy.

Guns fix their owner in a state of permanent fear — how else to describe the claim of a threat so constant that going strapped is the only rational response? — and impose that fear on all the rest of us.  Guns slaughter their own, as 20,000 + gun suicides attest.

An armed society is not a civil society.  It is one that rewards not our aspirations, but our night terrors.

But we all know this.

Guns. Need. To. Be. Caged.  It’s as political — or rather it needs to be — as Social Security, for our side as well as the NRA’s.  No politician from here forward gets my support unless they are gun control absolutists.

I don’t pretend anything I want will happen anytime soon.  But I do believe that at some point the massacre of the innocents will shock enough consciences to make change possible.

Rant over.

Pieter Breughel the Elder, The Massacre of the Innocents, 1556-7

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Border Cosplay Edition

August 31, 2014

Via TPM:

A border patrol agent fired several shots at an armed militia member while chasing a group of immigrants Friday near Brownsville, Texas…

the man was wearing camouflage and was carrying either a rifle or shotgun.



The self appointed guardian of the galaxy was lucky — the border patrol officer (like most people) was no Dead-eye Dick, and our last line of defense from the Ebola-carrying and Mooslim terrorist hordes of twelve year olds crossing our southern border was unhurt.  But, as we say in the portending business, It’s Only A Matter Of Time.

The shorter:

The sheriff said militias really aren’t needed at the Texas-Mexico border given the number of law enforcement agencies already working to secure the area.

“It just creates a problem from my point of view, because we don’t know who they are,” Lucio told the AP.

This has been another episode of Listen To The Man.

Image:  Claude Monet, Jean Monet on his Hobby Horse1872.

How Is This Not Manslaughter?

July 28, 2014


William DeHayes was showing Hoover his gun collection. While he was showing her his .22 caliber revolver, it accidentally fired and shot Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. [More at the Tampa Bay Times.]

Hoover died in the ER yesterday; the child she was carrying died with her.

This is, of course, merely the ordinary awful that necessarily flows from Second Amendment fundamentalism.  I’ll say one thing:  anyone who chalks an incident like this to the necessary cost of preserving freedom cannot be said to be pro-life.  If abortion by gun is OK by you…

In any event, the blunt fact of unfettered gun ownership and the celebration of a culture of the gun is that those most at risk of gun violence remain those who own them and their friends and family.  Put together the gun-suicides, “accidents” like these,* and shootings of intimate partners and or others known to the shooter, and you have well over half of all gun deaths in the US — a number which in total is essentially the same as those we lose to road accidents.

The fantasy of the gun? It’s all fun and games until the reaper lays hold of its victim’s cloak:


There’s more.  Here’s the bit that I just can’t stand:

Police are still investigating the incident, but believe it was an accidental shooting, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

An accident? Not a charge of involuntary manslaughter?

Maybe that’ll come, but sweet FSM! You pick up a gun and shoot someone dead — even if you didn’t mean to — and that’s not a crime?

The NRA, ammosexuals, and all their enablers in politics and the media tell us that the term “responsible gun owners” has actual meaning.  It doesn’t, as this case demonstrates .  I’ll update this post if it turns out that Mr. DeHayes faces actual consequences for taking another person’s life, but until then, I’m going to vent:

Responsible means that whatever happens with your gun is your fault.  Period.  You accidentally discharge it and no-one gets hurt? How’s this:  big fine, confiscate the weapon involved, lose the right to bear arms for a year for the first incident, forever if you repeat.  Someone gets hurt or dies?  Jail. Civil liability.  Loss of gun rights for life.  That’s responsibility.

But of course, I dream.  That’s not how we roll.  Instead, we’ll just  water the tree of liberty with a newlywed, and celebrate life by burying her fetus — and wait (not long) for the next red harvest.

a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior.  The state may be able to prove involuntary manslaughter by showing the defendant’s recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous instrument or weapon, – See more at:
an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as DUI). – See more at:
an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as DUI). – See more at:
an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as DUI). – See more at:

*Scare quotes because such shootings are not acts of god — the deer that darts across the road just at the moment when you have to swerve into a tree or take a 400 pound antlered rodent through the windshield.  They are the statistically predictable outcomes of handing guns out freely to a population in which only half of the folks are above average.  That is, even though there is no way to predict that Ms. Hoover would fall victim to this awfulness, we knwo we can expect some number per year or month of folks felled by stupidity, carelessness, and general fuck ups with a gun.

Image: Hans Baldung, The Knight, the Young Girl, and Death, c. 1505.


And Another…

June 10, 2014

Shots were fired  this morning at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.  The shooter is dead, as is one student. reports that a teacher was shot as well.

As news of the shooting hit, @PoliticalLine tweeted this:

6/5: Seattle U shooting

6/6: GA court house shooting

6/8: Las Vegas cops shooting

6/10: Oregon high school

not even a full week…

My son goes to high school next year.  We’re lucky in that we live in a state with relatively low incidence of gun violence — 17th out of 50 for gun murders as of 2010.  But Oregon experiences such murders at half the rate Massachusetts do, and statistics are no comfort when it’s your kid, your friend, your partner on the wrong side of someone’s gun.  And, to repeat the obvious, Vermont the state with the lowest rate of gun murders at .3/100,000 still pays a higher butcher’s bill than at least a couple of dozen countries.  We tolerate a level of threat to our kids, to all those we hold most dear, that our closest allies and competitors would see as utterly unacceptable…

…as, of course, it is.



I got nothing, except this penetrating glimpse of the obvious:  domestic terrorists are holding us all hostage.

Those who fire their weapons get their grotesque fifteen minutes of … maybe local news, mostly, given the increasingly routine (read, less newsworthy) character of a story that, as the tweet above documents, repeats itself in all but location over and over again.

But the real terrorists, the masterminds, the ones for whom Guantanamo was built, are those who flood America with the weapons that leave our kids, our cops, folks out at a mall or wherever in literally mortal danger.  They would be, it seems to me, the NRA, the political elites, mostly but not exclusively from the GOP, the usual suspects — trading deaths of children, cops eating lunch, whoever, for market share and a grasp on the political power that can be distilled from fearful rage.

The consolation, if there is any, comes from the long view:  gun ownership is down as a fraction of the population.  And the Tea Party version of the GOP locks in the conditions that shrinks its base.  But any relief that may come lies in the long run… and you know how that quote ends.

I’m not totally without hope.  As folks commented in yesterday’s thread, the Supreme Court has not (yet) ruled that regulation of guns is out-of-bounds.  I can imagine a state-by-state tightening of the regulatory regime; I can see the culture of the gun shifting even now in parts of the country.  I don’t think we’re going to forever accept the demand to water the tree of liberty with the blood of school kids.

But damn, folks, we’ve got to get on with it.

Rambling, I know.  I’m just heartsick, sinking deeper and deeper in the hole with each day’s red harvest.   Like I said.  I got nothing.

Image:  Joseph Wright of Derby, The Dead Soldier, c. 1789

Carl Hiassen Was Right. Imagination Can’t Out-Crazy Reality: Gun Nuttery Department

February 13, 2014

Via Salon, we learn what a Colorado Republican state senator — who took office in the wake of a recall of a Democrat who favored limits on gun magazine capacity — had this to say in support of the bill he introduced to overturn the large magazine ban:

A nearly identical law has already been voted down in the Dem-controlled Colorado state House of Representatives and is certain to fail in the state Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats. But the state Senate held a hearing on Herpin’s bill all the same.

It was during this hearing that Herpin made his unfortunate remarks in response to a question from a Democratic senator on the committee.

“My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar. “So, in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine. I was wondering if you agree with me.”

“Perhaps James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin responded. “As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”



Once more, I got nothing.

Or rather — I have no idea what must take place in an allegedly sentient being’s mind that would allow that person to say such a thing.  My sympathy goes to every friend and family member of those murdered in Aurora, and insulted by Senator Bernie Herpin.

Image:  Nicholas Poussin, The Massacre of the Innocents, 1625-1626.

Oh Brave New World…

May 6, 2013

…that has such people in’t


A 3D printable plastic handgun is now (more or less) available.

As the linked article suggests, there is a nasty possibility of having the thing blow up in your hand if you use too-powerful ammunition…but still.

Talking Points Memo is also on the story, with a gussied up video that adds swelling music and shots of WW II bombers to the mix.  They grabbed this quote (warning – do not read while eating lunch):

“I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people,” Wilson said, according to Fox News. “That’s what it is — it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not put it out there. I think that liberty in the end is a better interest.”

Presented without further comment, this story, also now up on TPM.

And this one.

And…hell, wait half an hour and there will be another tragedy to report. (At somewhere north of 50 gun suicides per day, that’s a reasonably non-hyperbolic time period — to say nothing of gun violence imposed on others.)

The nuts, Civil War revanchists, and simple thugs who drive gun policy in this country are a danger to themselves and everyone else.  Demographics are getting them too...but not nearly fast enough.

May 2, 2013

Outsourced entirely to Charles P. Pierce:

If your “way of life” involves handing deadly weapons to five-year olds, your way of life is completely screwed up and you should change it immediately because it is stupid and wrong. (And, again, also, too: goddammit, “learning to use and respect a gun” means at least knowing that the fking thing is loaded when it’s sitting in the corner of the parlor like it’s a damn umbrella stand or something, and we should talk about that part, too.) It is not in any way “normal” to hand a kindergartner a firearm. If a mother from the inner-city of, say, Philadelphia did that, and the kid subsequently shot his sister to death, Fox News never would stop yelling about the crisis in African American communities and the Culture Of Death, and rap music, too. If your culture is telling you that children who have only recently emerged from toddlerhood should have their own guns, then your culture is deadly and dangerous and that should concern you, too. If your culture demands that, in the face of a general national outrage over the killing of other children, your politics work to loosen the gun laws you have, as they apparently did in Kentucky, then your culture is making your politics stupid and wrong and you should change them, too. I do not have to understand these people any more, and it is way too early in the day to be drinking this much.

Portrait_of_a_girl_with_gun_and_hound copy

Image:  Portrait of a girl with gun and hound, after the style of Joshua Reynolds, 18th or 19th century


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