The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Far Right in Frenzy Over Possibility of Gun Legislation

By Don Terry on January 3, 2013 - 2:54 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda, Hate Groups

Whether the massacre of 20 Connecticut first-graders and six educators by a madman armed with an assault rifle in December will lead to meaningful gun control legislation is far from certain.

But nearly three weeks after the Dec. 14 bloodbath, the American far right – from elements of the Tea Party to bigoted bloggers to conspiracy theorists – is working itself into an absolute frothy uproar at even the possibility that it may become more difficult to purchase a military-style assault rifle or a magazine that carries dozens of bullets.

It’s reminiscent of the reaction that surrounded the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. That legislation, which applied only to newly manufactured guns, helped fuel a powerful militia movement – one that has been eclipsed by the recent surge in the anti-government “Patriot” movement, which includes armed militias.

One particular rant that has gained traction on white supremacist websites was posted on Dec. 28 by a blogger named Bob Owens and is entitled “What you’ll see in the rebellion.” In the piece, Owens speculates about what would happen if the “gun grabbers … confiscatory fantasy plays out.” It has already received more than 160 comments on Owens’ website, including this one: “Everyone talks of dying for their cause, because it’s glamorous. Killing for our cause is what it will take.’’

In Owens’ vision, the enactment of legislation being proposed in Congress would result in civil war and a targeted campaign of assassination that forces the president to stay in “his gilded cage except in carefully controlled circumstances.’’

“Even then he will be forced to move like a criminal. He will never be seen outdoors in public again. Not in this country.’’

“The 535 members of the House and Senate in both parties that allowed such a law to pass would largely be on their own; the Secret Service is too small to protect all of them and their families, the Capitol Police too unskilled, and competent private security not particularly interested in working against their own best interests at any price. The elites will be steadily whittled down, and if they can not be reached directly, the targets will become their staffers, spouses, children, and grandchildren. Grandstanding media figures loyal to the regime would die in droves, executed as enemies of the Republic.

“You can expect congressional staffs to disintegrate with just a few shootings, and expect elected officials themselves to resign well before a quarter of their number are eliminated, leaving us with a boxed-in executive, his cabinet loyalists trapped in the same win, die, or flee the country circumstance military regime loyalists, and whatever State Governors who desire to risk their necks as well.’’

The racist White News Now website liked the preceding two paragraphs of death and destruction so much that it reposted them, giving the impression at least that Owens was advocating violence.

Tea Party.org is also sounding the alarm. In recent days, the organization has sent out a series of hysterical E-mails warning, for instance, that “the anti-gun coalitions, Communist Party, Neo-Nazis, Washington liberals, politically diseased politicians and the anti-freedom freaks with their feverish lust to remove our fundamental rights will stop at NOTHING.”

One E-mail screamed “Obama Communist Coup Underway America in Danger!” The post continued, “‘America’s Fraud President’ is tightening his deadly grip on America’s throat and a catastrophic coup is coming. Obama has yet to be sworn in and already he is preparing his minions for gun grabbing.”

Another post on the site proclaimed, “The insane attempt to gun grab is being fueled by the U.N., the Obama Regime, Global Communists and The New Socialist Party – of which, I might add, Barack Obama is still an active card carrying member.”

The neo-Nazis at the web forum Stormfront also got into the act. One poster wrote a piece blasting “anti-gun Democrats” and saying they intended to use the so-called “nuclear option” – a parliamentary technique used to circumvent a filibuster – “obliterate the Senate rules and clear the way for 50-vote passage of gun control.”

A poster identified as “Brandonavan” was so incensed by this theory that he or she dashed off a threatening comment at 9:05 this morning.

“If these tyrannical SOB’s [sic] want to use a nuclear option, they better be prepared to be on the receiving end of a nuclear option as well, with them being ground zero.”

By 10:51 a.m., Brandonavan had gone from lion to mouse, posting an edited version of his/her earlier remarks: “If these tyrannical SOB’s want to use a nuclear option, they better be prepared to live with the consequences.’’

And in another chilling development, well-known neo-Nazi Craig Cobb posted the address of U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, along with photos of her and her husband, on the racist, anti-Semitic Vanguard News Network after the congresswoman recently proposed a ban on high-capacity magazines.

  • aadila

    MRJ,

    Good observation, but just to point out the Celts were culturally, geographically, and linguistically distinct from the Anglo Saxons.

  • aadila

    Though this may be well into the “high cotton” for some members of the stammtisch, I offer the following links for an overview of how violence manifests in cultures from the perspective of anthropology. One of them mentions the work by David Riches on Anglo Saxon violence.

    These papers are interesting, but don’t adquately address urban, intra-cultural violence. As I mentioned before, anthropology has been limited in its pursuit of those answers. Regardless of culture, I still insist violence begins and ends in the mind.

    http://www.academia.edu/172147.....f_Violence

    http://www.academia.edu/265144....._Identity1

  • aadila

    Coral,

    Actually, I am neither disagreeing nor agreeing with you in this case. I studied the Anglo Saxon language, and the written record of the West Frisian poetics is limited to what little remains over time (only a few hundred thousand words) but almost without exception this record is extremely warlike.

    So this is not really just one poem, but nearly the entire record of literature of the Anglo Saxons which has been presented as evidence. By all means verify this for yourself, but I think you will also find this to be true if you look into it.

    Anyway, I don’t think I missed your point about action myths at all. As we say in journalism if it bleeds it leads. I do consider it a perfectly reasonable starting point for questioning why violence is culturally esteemed, but I also see more nuances to be explored, and provided some counterpoint to your argument.

    There is compelling evidence that the Anglo Saxon peoples have been exceedingly warlike, and their myths and cultures have glorified the use of violence and brute strength as exemplary of human virtues. Whether that is unique to the culture seems less important than if and how such tendencies manifest themselves in the contemporary United States.

  • MRJ

    @ Coralsea

    “Now, WHY black people would drive 40 miles out from Chicago to picnic in an area with no tables, grills, etc. and that was next to a peat bog never seemed to enter into the opponents’ thoughts.”

    Another, from this area: “They drive around, and then park, and pretend to be breast feeding their baby while they case your joint.”
    This one has been used in this area, generational, for over 27 years: I first heard it that long ago, and just recently again (2010) from a 20 year old.
    The same lie, again, and again, and again.
    No one has EVER been actually witnessed, arrested, or involved with B+E in the situation as this story/account states: it is all just propaganda fomented from father to son for dozens, and dozens of years.
    “They bring their babies when they commit crimes.”
    The psychology of this, and the whole “criminals from birth” and intentional child endangerment/”their women are criminals too…”.

    What do you even say to this kind of thing?
    I, personally, give them three times for their racist rants and lies… and then just ask them this question:
    “Do you know any?”
    When they sputter and evade, I then ask them: “Then why do you say things like that about people that you have never even met?”
    “Any” covers any race/creed/religion/color they might have been maligning.
    Yeah, I make a lot of friends here.
    Some, I have literally put up with for over twenty years, always hoping they might stop, or at least when I was around… but they take delight in it, particularly when they have friends with them to back them up.

    In answer to your question: No, I have never killed a person, nor have I ever struck a person, and I hope like hell to never be in a situation where I have to make a definitive choice like that without recourse to some other form of evasion or escape.

    Yeah, seeing what happened to VAWA has not made a very good impression on me: there are facets of that that hit very close to home.

    I truly feel for your friend and her situation: I cannot even imagine what she had to go through.
    Strong.
    And my hat is off to you as well.

    “More enduring solutions involve beefing up laws and programs to protect those who are being menaced and holding law enforcement and the criminal justice system (and our elected officials) to a high degree of professionalism.”

    Accountability for indifference, or major error, and particularly in a case of possible malicious indifference or disregard needs be more than a slap on the wrist as well.
    Color of Law is not a joke, not an “oopsie, gee, I didn’t know…”, or “it can’t be that bad…” when threats have been made and someone is reporting them: particularly when firearms have been involved and a friend is dead through the same kind of malicious, community instigated/sanctioned harassment.
    R.I.P: Fred Gottschalk.

    @ Erika

    “Although even looking at class and racism one still wonders… …the white males have been using guns to control women, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians for centuries.”

    There is total agreement on just about everything between these two sentences.
    A fun one is trying to say to a Protestant that they are here because Europe thought them backwards, regressing, and an enlightened, Renaissance Europe didn’t want them is another thing guaranteed to make friends.
    Thank Luther.
    Thank Calvin.
    Unfortunately, many of them still think that way, and there are entire institutions set up for the education of “Christian Soldiers”.
    Read the response of NOW to the “Promise Keepers” and the web pages of those groups: they almost always use militaristic wording in their statements of intent.
    “Christian Warriors”.
    Talk to the guy across the street who was stalking a pair of underage girls in a local church, and trying to deprive them of Right To Worship… who is the local “Patriot At Large” of the local “Tea Party”… or his wife abusing, racist, Felony drug dealing/convicted son a house down….
    I. Would. Love. To. See. That!
    Think: cheering like a mad soccer fan.

    @ aadila

    Beowulf = MMA… UFC… Football and Wrestling glorified in HS Sports… and the libraries have to close or don’t have the money to staff or buy books while the football team gets a new stadium and equipment.
    Really, one only need look at most of the WS arm “sleeve tattoos” that you find: they aren’t puppies and roses and unicorns… most of them have Celtic knot work somewhere.
    I have been suckered into making a bunch of that stuff in my shop by people who thought it was funny to get an NA to try to sell Eurocentric products.
    One local even tried to get me to make “Thor Hammer” pendants for him and all of his racist buddies: I sent him packing.
    Then again, it does sell, and we are here (US)…

  • CoralSea

    Yes — let’s cite a single folk story as an indictment against a large swath of modern Europeans’ ancestors, because, you know, it makes so much sense to do so.

    I think you missed my point about “action” myths and stories, but I do agree with you that there are also many myths, stories, songs, etc. of heroes and heroines employing goodness and clever solutions to prevail. One often needs to understand the surrounding mythology to fully comprehend the nuances of many folk legends, however.

  • aadila

    Coral if we take one example from another ancient culture, the Odyssey of Homer, this mythic, poetic hero didn’t use violence to overcome most of his travails, but his wits.

    Or in the Ramayana of ancient India, we have another mythic hero Rama who is depicted in proper observance of societal duties (ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, and the ideal king.)

    In both cases, unlike the Anglo Saxon Beowulf, for example (or other similar Nordic myths) the hero derives his power from sources other than mere violence and brute strength.

  • CoralSea

    Just to be clear, aadila, my cannibal “Cheddar Man” ancestor wasn’t an Anglo-Saxon. He was stone age. And you know, when in, ah, stone age, I guess they had different ideas about, ah, food!

    Anyway, the whole cannibalism thing was a really long time ago, and except for that incident in the south Pacific with the stranded….Oh, ah, I guess I never mentioned that. Never mind!

    Seriously, however, conquest was a feature of early civilization, although many of the supposedly “war-like” groups also engaged in agriculture, large-scale trade (meaning that they were playing nice and trading rather than pillaging), and, in some cases (the Celts come to mind), egalitarian societies that cared for the those who couldn’t care for themselves and allowed women to have their own property and status.

    Unfortunately, as is still the case now, many of the best “stories,” whether on TV now or spoken around camp fires thousands of years ago, had to do with fights, conquests of various sorts, and hunting (“That bear with THIS big…er, the pelt shrunk a lot when we washed it.”) The whole, “I invented weaving last summer” stories probably also existed at one time, but since many of the more militaristic societies won out, those stories were placed on the back burner.

  • aadila

    It is interesting to note that while anthropology has often approached the ethnographic parameters of violence in warfare, it has had more difficulty doing so for interpersonal violence in urban settings.

    However I would like to point out that David Riches in his 1986 work Anthropology of Violence, brought into light some interesting correlaries between the violence of Anglo Saxon poetics and the violence present in Anglo Saxon societies.

    That is, to greatly simplify it, the notion that rendering hurt upon another is viewed as a heroic act. Is that notion truly any different that what we are seeing with all this national debate about gun control?

    Be honest.

  • aadila

    Can we all agree that the obsession with guns is correlated with masculine sexual anxiety?

  • Erika

    aadila, exactly right on both the class/race and penile issues involved here :)

    Although even looking at class and racism one still wonders why the United States has such a high violent crime rate compared to comparable countries – other countries have major class divides between the rich and the poor and horrible histories of racism, yet they do not have our murder rate. Of course, these countries do not have the gun obsession that the U.S. does.

    Now what causes the U.S. gun obsession – there are several reasons. First, the European settlement of the U.S. was initially done by two general groups – adventurers and losers. The attachment of both groups to guns – beyond merely being a tool to hunt for food – should be obvious. Adventurers seeking to go to a then wild frontier would have weapons due to them conducting adventurers which is to say danger. The movement west was largely driven by the goal of adventure. The developing frontier was often a violent place with little government or law enforcement around. This is the reality of the wild west – but also its mythology promoted in movies, books, and television shows. The clinging to guns thus is in a way a lot of ways a lot of grown men looking to play like they are cowboys or brave explorers setting off into the unknown. The American heritage contains both groups so it is no doubt in our DNA.

    That brings us to something else in our DNA – the influence of losers. Now i know you will likely get mad at me for pointing out that many of the early settlers of what is now the U.S. were losers (and this includes my ancestors) – but the fact is that it is true. The Pilgrims and Puritans came to the U.S. because they lost a religious battle in England. Catholics and Quakers came to the U.S. for the same reason. Even before the revolution, an influx of Protestants from Europe such as French Hugonauts came to the Americas after losing a religious war. During the settlement period, and heavy immigration period, people came to the U.S. who often were driven from their homelands by various wars – always on the losing side. This continues into more modern times – note the number of people from South Vietnam who came to the U.S. after they lost their war against North Vietnam. And of course, the Native American population was decimated and displaced by white settlement – and the African American population was brought here in chains. Thus, losing and displacement is also in the American DNA. As a country settled by people who were displaced, the U.S. has been settled by people who fought and lost – thus, fear of being displaced again from one’s new homeland has likely passed down through the generations.

    That brings us to the third component – the remarkably violent history of the U.S. who has been constantly fighting – in fact, being a mix of adventurers and people displaced by losing wars in Europe, it is hardly surprising that us Americans are a violent lot. Move in the insecurity which comes from having fought and lost in your homes to the adventurer spirit and you have an insecure person looking for a fight. The U.S. has fought tons of wars – the message coming from the government is then might makes right. The U.S. has even been the aggressor many times – starting the War of 1812 to try to take Canada, the Mexican American War, and the Spanish American War which were all naked terrotorial grabs (or an attempt which almost resulted in the death of the U.S.). The U.S. also fought an incredibly violent and destructive Civil War where one side (the Confederacy) was actively trying to take over much land outside of the United States at the same time.

    Now you add in the class structure and the basic hypocracy of a government which claimed to be for equality yet has historically always sided with the rich and often oppressed the poor. The American Revolution was an upper class revolution staged by the richest people in North America (and some of the richest in the entire British Empire at the time). In fact, Ben Franklin may well have been the richest non-monarch in the world at the time of the American Revolution and George Washington wasn’t too far behind. The American government was thus set up by the rich – at the time, only white male property owners were allowed to vote. The fact that slavery was not only tolerated but specifically protected by the founding fathers shows that the U.S. from the start had designs to oppress poor people (you can’t get poorer than being a slave).

    The American government soon showed its desire to oppress the less fortunate and protect wealth and privilege – although for the most part, there was peace as long as the lower classes didn’t threaten people’s property. But as the Civil War shows, Americans would go to great lengths to protect their personal property – however, what the South did not count on was that the rich people in the North were much richer and reached the conclusion that slavery was standing in the way of industrial progress (the fact that slavery was dying in the south as the country industrialized was one reason why the slave owners felt so threatened). In fact, there were battles over tarrifs but they all had their root that the Southerners were afraid of losing their property.

    In fact, this fear of privileged people losing their property today explains much of the gun culture. In fact, the rich people are perfectly content to see poor people kill each other as long as they only kill their kind. Hence, that is why the party of Mammon opposes gun control. To the rich, the only goal is to keep down their taxes – and to scare the middle class. A violent criminal underclass is the perfect way – in fact, while the criminal underclass in the U.S. has always been violent, it is not surprising to learn that Ronnie Raygun’s CIA worked hand in hand with the Mexican drug cartels to bring cocaine into the U.S. It is also not surprising to learn that many of the most prominent banks in the U.S. have profited handsomely from drug dealing at the international level.

    The fear of crime helps drive profit – from gun manufacturers to hysterical media to politicians to business executives who using the fear of crime by lower middle class white people have been able to run off with almost everything. What better way to keep control than to direct the fear of the lower middle class towards the poor? Thus, hysterical crime stories spread fear – then add into the fear of government oppression inate in the American psyche by saying the governmetn is coming for your gun. And make it understood that by “gun” they really mean “are coming for your manhood” – the guns and bullets are all phallic symbols after all. So you have the media driven crime fear and the claim that the government is coming for your guns (or money – or Medicare see the Tea Party’s ludicrous “Government Hands off of Medicare” signs) solely to lead the target – middle class white males to vote to serve the ultra wealthy’s interest.

    The ultrawealthy don’t care about guns – well, maybe they care about the profit they make selling them. Guns are merely a tool for them – and in any case, no one in their neighborhood would think of using such a thing except for maybe hunting peasants (oopsie, i meant pheasants). They have security gates, cameras, bodyguards, packs of hounds – for them guns are merely for little people. Guns and the resulting fear of crime that results from having guns being easily accessible are merely a way to terrify the middle class into voting for them. Unfortunately, for the rich the game might be up. The old angry white male who believes everything that Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the NRA tell them about liberals population is shrinking fast – and the new populations taking their place are more likely to see guns as symbols of white male domination. Mainly because the white males have been using guns to control women, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians for centuries.

    Guns are a symbol of oppression and control by the upper classes, not freedom and it is folly to think otherwise.

  • Erika

    Sam, besides the obvious phallic implications, sleeping with one’s gun sounds like a good recipe for blowing away an “unexpected child visitor”

  • aadila

    Sam,

    Agreed on preservation of rights, however, I don’t think anybody but me is saying do away with all the guns. I won’t kid you. If I could I would.

    But from what I have seen about the proposals is banning certain types of firearms that go beyond the reasonable excercise of rights to bear arms (and that is the right in question, not the right of self defense or to protect others).

    Why does someone need a bushmaster with a banana magazine to defend their home? The .223 that nut in Connecticut used is a varmint gun with high velocity and flat trajectory, not a self defense gun for close quarters. The .38 is a perfectly suitable weapon for self defense or police in this country wouldn’t have used it for decades. With a speed loader it can be as useful as a semi automatic pistol, or so family friends in the FBI tell me.

    Also Sam your right to have a gun doesn’t outweigh my right to life and limb. I personally don’t want to see a bunch of vigilante concealed permit holders opening fire in public crowds because they have neither the training nor the experience in stressful scenarios for the most part to keep their wits about them in chaos.

    Also no matter what the gun we’re talking about, there are a lot of safety measures like cooling off periods for purchase which are a good idea. The NRA has always argued that simple, reasonable precautions such as this are violations of “rights”.

    What forms of gun control would you consider reasonable to consider, given at least half our country is ready to ban firearms altogether?

  • CoralSea

    Sam — I agree with you on keeping a hand gun on you/with you at all times if you really feel the need for protection. This idea that you can hide it in your sock drawer but still be sure of getting to it in the case of home invaders is silly; but your pissed off ex-boy or ex-girl friend or kid is likely to know where it is.

    MRJ — You raise to difficult and knotty issues. For the record, yes — I have been shot at. And mugged. I prefer to live brave, because you can also have those things happen to you ANYWHERE.

    In regard to the self-defense issue, such as women being attacked in domestic abuse situations and/or stalked, I personally agree that if she fears for her life and can do so, she should kill the guy if she cannot otherwise escape. Unfortunately, the Justice system may not take too kindly to that. Same with people who are being harassed and threatened and decide to fight back with lethal force. As I have said, firing off a bunch of rounds in a populated area may well take out an innocent bystander as well as your tormenters.

    You raise an all too valid issue in how little protection there is for people being stalked and harassed or beaten and threatened in domestic situations. Any real progress in this area will involve the political will and social pressure to deal with violent offenders and protect those who are being menaced. Judging by the lack of interest in the Violence Against Women Act in Congress, clearly many of our elected officials don’t really care about this (one Congressman I know still refers to Battered Women’s Shelters as “Run Away Wives Shelters. I’ll let you guess his party affiliation, but it begins with an R and ends with an N).

    Putting the awful task of using lethal force against a neighbor or a former loved-one on a civilian isn’t an ideal choice. Do you know what it is like to kill someone? Would you, if you were a woman, like to have the baggage of having to kill your children’s father because he is coming after you with a knife? Yes, you would do it, hopefully (and hopefully, the kids won’t have to witness it). But it will change your life in some very difficult ways, including possibly having to defend your actions in court. I don’t know this (thankfully) from personal experience, but I do know someone who went through it.

    I believe that people should be able to defend themselves, but guns are only one tool, and in many cases, they aren’t the best (unless you are my brother-in-law shooting the bear that has just battered down your front door in Alaska). More enduring solutions involve beefing up laws and programs to protect those who are being menaced and holding law enforcement and the criminal justice system (and our elected officials) to a high degree of professionalism.

  • MRJ

    @ aadilla

    *giggle*

    Whoops… cite, not site.
    Typing too fast, and personally involved.
    My Fault.

  • Sam Molloy

    There are bad people, who do bad things. Our basic right to self defense should never be given up. A lot of people have died to protect your rights, even if you don’t want them. Do not throw them away. A lot of the people trying to ban guns have permits in states that are very hard to get one, and / or armed guards around them. Protection from the government is a complete fantasy. Being involved in politics is the answer, as they will always have superior forces, for good reason. Protection from a total or regional breakdown of law and order is reasonable, as even the best police can’t be everywhere. On a technical level, a shotgun is much better for home defense than taking a .223 “varmint rifle”, shortening the barrel, adding a pistol grip in front and painting it black. Even with a shotgun, don’t keep a shell chambered and depend on the “safety”. Kentucky’s CCW permit training suggests that, while it may sound extreme, the safest place for a handgun at home is on your person while you are awake, and very close when you are asleep. They make bedside holsters. A burglar or unexpected child visitor can’t get it if you have it on you. Even an X-Acto knife carries a lot of responsibility with it.

  • aadila

    MRJ said: “This “projection” of violence and fear also explains the ICBM. ”

    As does its phallic shape.

  • aadila

    Coral you have extirpated one of the roots of the problem buried deep in the American psyche, which is glorification of the individual over the group. As an aside, the Republicans were against public education in the beginning, so why would attempting to voucher our schools into non-existence be a surprise?

    Not to mention the fact that schools with predominately minority students pay their teachers less than schools in the same district with predominately white students, as substantiated by Dept of Education findings in 2009, available for anyone to see. Is that a level playing field?

  • MRJ

    Wow. This really is a polarizing topic.

    Hmmm… OK… there are some very good points all around… can all of those posting agree that firearms have been a major part of the history of the world, and that in order to determine might vs. right since the first gob of whatever was thrown at whatever predator to drive it away from a tree top, or a feeding ground, or watering hole, or family, that finding better and better ways to project that thought/action has been an ingrained part of our collective psyche?
    Rocks and sticks replaced dung… spears (sharpened sticks to begin) and arrows replaced those… the advent/introduction of gunpowder escalated and changed the entire spectrum of changing another’s mind/thoughts/actions to further and further project these violent, dominating, aggressive behaviors and the have and have nots of escalating cultural and religious disparities to place one (person, god, language, way to open an egg, whatever, etc..) over another… we, as a species, like to throw things, we are actually almost perfectly designed (that was a tongue in cheek) or evolved for it, and it will continue to be part of us until there are no more threats or perceived threats to our existence: personally or collectively.

    This “projection” of violence and fear also explains the ICBM.

    I would have any who have stated that there is no need for any type of defensive armaments of any kind against aggression by those who do have that “paranoid, penis thing” (as so eloquently put by Erika) going, spend some time with an abuse victim: until the threat to life and limb, or family, is nullified or removed, a person who is in fear will look to anything to defend themselves, and, in many cases, rightly should.

    There are literally thousands of women who own firearms for personal protection for darn good reason, and you would be hard pressed to take it from them.
    Until you, personally, have been in that type of situation, all of the explanations of “paranoid”, etc. are, unfortunately, seemingly, just a somewhat self righteous stance for non-aggression.
    Say that at Wounded Knee.

    I agree entirely with this: No one should have to feel the “need” to own a firearm in this Country for protection, and those stockpiling and worshiping the “fire power” ARE a major threat and should be considered as such.
    Do you want to know the difference?
    Look at the types they own, how they were designed (bolt vs. auto-feed, etc..), and what their stated intent to use/collect are.
    How much actual wood and gun blue is in their collection, and are they clean, rust free, unloaded, trigger locked or gun-safed, and purchased through a licensed dealer requiring a background check?

    Do they own a “Ghillie Suit”? There is one reason for the ownership of such a thing. To hide from people.
    Do they own head mounted low-light gear? There is one reason for that: “tactical” people hunting.
    Suppressors? Flash or noise does not matter. There are one reason for those: protecting the shooter’s sight at night, and dispersing/hiding noise.
    Do they own more than one pistol for “home defense” (laughable if more than one) and what kind? A “tactical” contemporary with a 15 shot, or some historic type?
    Multiples of high cap. magazines and bulk purchases of the ammunition required. I (personally) don’t care who says what: accuracy for “hunting” is not what those are about.
    Are their purchased or chosen targets shaped like people, or just a dot, square, or circle on a box? That alone shows intent.
    Do they use those targets at a range or specific, metered distances, or on “tactical” courses? Again, a Church “gun group” going through the motions of an assault in an urban or rural setting are not practicing deer or other types of hunting for food. (An aside: those here who don’t like this equating Churches and tactical assault gun groups should come here.)
    Are there Automatic “Black Weapons” with pistol grips, body armor, kevlar helmets, web gear or “load bearing” vests, “tactical small unit” books and training videos, boxes of MREs, drums of gasoline, 30 or more firearms, etc…. are all indicators of someone with a serious problem in the “NWO/ZOG-JOG/FEDS R GUNNA TAKE OUR GUNS” mind set: I know of at least a dozen in this area who fit all of the above to almost every one of the listed indicators.
    Let’s add Documented Spousal Abuse (divorces), Child Abuse or Endangerment (documented), Drug use and Convictions (documented), history of racist rants and tirades (witnessed), frequenting seditious chats and web pages (admitted, witnessed), handing out copies of the “Turner Diaries” and Koerneki’s manifestoes (witnessed), ties to local, armed militias and “Patriot” groups (documented, witnessed)….

    Even the Police in some areas are justifiably afraid of some of these types and will downplay or ignore reports/complaints against people of this ilk.
    In many cases as well, if the popular vote and consensus is that the local Sheriff or Law Enforcement was elected on a platform of “Good Christian Moral Family Values”, any POC, LGBT, Interracial couples, etc. might as well pack up and leave.
    Is this legal?
    No.
    Does it happen?
    Every day.

    I would site a local woman and her two children here, now dead, who had made repeated reports about a stalker/ex spouse, with multiples of restraining orders, and a local Sheriff’s Office and local State Police who have a history of refusing to investigate or even respond to reports of stalking or Domestic Violence….
    I would site a local Hispanic family here who had their dog shot right off of the top of it’s dog house in their yard by three guys driving around looking to do it with a shotgun….
    I would site a local African American man who was threatened at night with high powered lights in his windows and shouted threats, destructions of his property, stealing of his mail and destructions of his mailbox, U.S. Postal Service being used to contact absentia property owners to “help” target him, SLAPP litigation against him for “complaining” and local, specific laws passed targeting him alone in a township in light of his situation… and unknowing collusion by local News channels interviewing his neighbors with long, long histories of Hate Group organizing in this area and other areas of the State, and local Racist targeting by others in the area….

    This list can go on for pages.

    That is just here, in this small community, in the U.S. of A..
    It is a onion as to the reasons why a person might or might not “need” a firearm in any country on any area of the globe.
    Was the ANC justified in owning weapons?
    There are multiples of laws against illegal ownership/use, and it is a hard pressed issue in light of current affairs to even begin with this Hydra.
    Until you have been shot at, threatened, or assaulted you will not know how you will react, or what you might “need” for your defense, or the defense of your family from some deranged individuals in an area who have actually stated intent to do you and yours personal harm.

  • CoralSea

    Good addition to the discussion, aadila. Unfortunately, our country appears to be sinking deeper into the swamp of “every man for himself” rather than seeking to make the entire country a better, brighter place for us all to live. Just look at the retreat on public education.

  • aadila

    I really like the comments from Coral and Erika.

    But it seems to me that a lot of the discussion about public saftey and firearms forgets that gun violence doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

    There are economic, social and cultural reasons why crime and violence occur and many of those reasons are historical (e.g. the legacy of slavery without reparations paid to former slaves).

    It is very difficult to convince anyone who benefitted from the historical transfer of wealth and opportunity over generations that they have any responsibility whatsoever to those who were punished by history. As much as well meaning folks like Sam insist it is a level playing field, every credible statistical argument shows that for just this one example, slavery, the field is very much titled toward descendents of non-slaves even today.

    No doubt this comment will be taken out of context, so I am supplying just one example that relates to the out of control gang violence and collateral deaths that Coral mentions in her last comment.

    But there are many other social, cultural, economic and historical factors that should be taken into consideration when we want to solve the problem of gun violence. In this sense I think the NRA is right that it is not just the guns.

    Unfortunately, the people supporting the NRA are willing to kill or die to avoid addressing the deeper social problems that lead to violence, and that leaves us very little political wiggle room outside gun control.

  • Coralsea

    Dog ownership is indeed an excellent deterrent to getting burgled and to home invasion. I no longer have a dog, but I did at one time have a couple of basset hounds (they were English bassets, bred for hunting rabbits and crossed with harriers to give them slightly longer legs, shorter ears, and slimmer bodies). Not only did they have “big dog” barks, but they presented a positively excellent tripping hazard for guests and intruders alike.

    I agree with Erika’s assessment of the urban/rural divide above. The stakes whenever one discharges a weapon are much, much higher in urban/suburban areas — there are more people who might be hit by stray bullets. Since I live near Chicago and work periodically in one of the gang-dominated neighborhoods there, I can say that most people aren’t nearly as concerned (unless they are gang members) about shots aimed specifically at them as they are about the shots sprayed wildly by gang bangers and other miscreants. I’m sure that anyone with access to the Internet knows about Chicago’s “body count.” Most of the people who die in our infamous “drive-bys” aren’t those who are the intended targets — they are innocent bystanders. More shooting with NOT solve this problem.

    The Chicago police are currently using intelligence and gang mapping techniques to prevent some of this violence. When they hear of a shooting involving a particular gang, they can deploy officers to areas where retaliation is likely to occur, and bust the retaliators. From what I understand from attending neighborhood policing meetings, they are having success with this.

    Finally, as Erika also pointed out, a lot of the unfounded paranoia is just plain weird and often based on racists or classist ideas that, when held up to critical analysis, are just nutty. I grew up in a very affluent area outside Chicago and got involved in a campaign to turn an old church campground that was next to a wildlife sanctuary at the edge of town into yet more wildlife sanctuary. A developer who wanted to buy the property had convinced a lot of people to vote against the bond issue required to make the purchase, telling them that if the currently abandoned property (with a bunch of derelict structures on it) was turned into a park (actually, a wildlife preserve), then “black people from Chicago will come there for picnics!”, which was code for, “they’ll come to steal stuff!!!”

    Now, WHY black people would drive 40 miles out from Chicago to picnic in an area with no tables, grills, etc. and that was next to a peat bog never seemed to enter into the opponents’ thoughts. Fortunately, we did manage to debunk this lunacy, and the “park” is now one of the crown jewels of the community.

    History repeated itself (somewhat) several decades later when there was talk of converting an old freight rail line into a commuter line to connect with Waukegan and other destinations north and south. The police chief (a white guy) got all hysterical, claiming that it would just make it easier for poor minority people to take the train to the town to rob it! At the exact same time, the Chamber of Commerce was bemoaning how difficult it was to get retail workers and other low-wage workers to work in the local shops or provide domestic services — because wealthy locals certainly weren’t going to take THOSE jobs. So — on the one hand, we have the opportunity to make it possible for people who might take those jobs to actually get to them — but if THEY were able to get to the town, they would unleash a crime wave, because if they didn’t drive Mercedes, they must be up to no good! This sort of weird logic never fails to amaze, anger, and sadden me because it is all centered around phantom ideas of “the other” that, when exposed to the light of day, are utterly ludicrous.

    It certainly would help if people would actually think through who they think they are defending themselves from. Statistically speaking – it’s a family member or acquaintance. If you have a gun lying around loaded, then you are arming THEM as much as yourself.

  • Mitch Beales

    How can anyone be surprised that the NRA supports the interests of the arms industry which funds it rather than the hunters and gun owners who have been suckered into joining?

  • Mitch Beales

    Pops you probably prefer your hateful stereotype but it might interest you to know that “hillbillies” were unlikely to be slave owners. Slavery was largely an institution of the southern lowlands and, to a lesser extent, the Piedmont. Mountain folk were about as likely to be supporters of the union as of the confederacy. Much of the “hillbilly” region of Virginia seceded to become the state of West Virginia.

  • aadila

    Sam, in order for the tax on non gun owners to fly, it would first have to be established that gun ownership means less police work.

    As we have seen by the astronomical homicide and suicide rates (the latter ranking higher in gun deaths), and accidents with use of firearms, given the motive for car and home burglary to obtain firearms, and the generally weak statistical argument that gun owners are actually less likely to get hurt or killed in a confrontation with an armed villain, it stands to reason that this tax could be better applied to gun owners.

    Not to mention the fact that police have their hands full simply because there are millions of firearms circulating and end up in the wrong hands. They only got there because our society makes it so easy.

    Besides, my understanding is the militia component of the 2nd Amendment refers to the security of the free state, i.e. threats from other states, not law enforcement.

  • Erika

    CoralSea, you bring up a really good point regarding the demographics shifts in this country as well as the lack of near universal military service/training.

    The demographics of this country have shifted towards a more urban/suburban population – that means that fewer people are growing up around guns. i grew up in a city and where i am from, pretty much the only people with guns are criminals, the police (and there is much less distance between those two groups than there should be), and the crazy people out in Kenesaw* who passed a city ordinance requiring gun ownership because they were scared that crime might spread from Atlanta** The areas where there were lots of guns around were not safe – the residents did not want more guns – they wanted few or even no guns. The areas where upper middle class people and upper class lived had few guns around – in a city/suburban environment the safe areas are the areas that do not have guns around.

    That is the flaw of the “more guns make people safer fantasy” – it is the areas with lots of guns that are unsafe. All having guns around does is increase the risk of accidentially shooting your daughter coming home late from her date or risk escalation of a domestic argument into murder.

    The military issue is also important – in the military people are trained to treat guns with respect and handle guns safely. That is what people who try to argue that the people are the militia really miss – at the time there is mandatory militia service, every male citizen was required to report to the town square for drills and receive training. In countries with universal military service that continues today. Weapons are heavily regulated as well under a militia system – by type, by how you can use them, etc. That is the flaw in Sam’s tax non-gun owners ideas. First, it is unconstitutional – quite simply, most people who would refuse a modern militia type situation would have religious objections to military service. Its unconstitutional to tax someone based upon their religious beliefs. Second, unless Sam is ready to have mandatory military service, training, drills, risking being sent to Afghanistan the modern militia idea does not work. Also during the militia era, military weapons were kept in a central armory – its not like people took home cannons. What the gun nuts miss is at the time of the Second Amendment, there were a whole lot of restrictions on guns and expectations of people to receive training on the safe handling of guns.

    The militia was also never intended as a law enforcement mechanism – there is a word for what happens when the military (or a militia) if you prefer is a law enforcement mechanism: martial law. The Constitution prohibits that (except in time of insurrection or invasion which is why Lincoln could Constitutionally suspend the writ of habeas corpus and declare martial law in parts of the Confederacy). Quite simply, the idea of people getting together to conduct military drills on the public square is so archaic as to be laughable. The idea that guns are needed for personal protection is also so archaic as to be laughable.

    And quite simply, if you really believe that people are so after you that you need a gun you probably do have symptoms of paranoia and probably should be kept as far away from guns as possible.

    * which of course is located in Cobb County which should have the county motto of “Where old South racism meets new South suburban sprawl”.

    ** Kenesaw is probably about 30 miles from downtown Atlanta along I-75 which if you’ve ever driven on that section of I-75 you know the utter insanity of this worry.

  • Reynardine

    In my Baskerville Hall days, I had three: Bell, a lab/foxhound cross; her daughter, Mistletoe, aka Bumper, from a Great Dane; her son, Bull, whose father was a Labrador and who considerably outsized his parents (though not his sister). Bull’s sister, Bugle, who was given away nearby, was the grandmother of my present dog, Burma. I haven’t really *needed* firearms.

  • Sam Molloy

    Leslie, I think all states have some law against making one’s firearms available to other people. Had she obeyed the law or even excersized reasonable common sense this tragedy could have been avoided.

  • Leslie

    I agree with Erika that a dog is a great deterrent to home invasion.

    Sadly, Adam Lanza’s mother owned a variety of weapons for her protection and those are the same ones he used to kill her.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadila, there is a suggestion going around that non gun owners pay extra taxes to cover the extra police protection they need. I know, it is funny, but it is based on the militia thing you mentioned being interpreted as a requirement. Erika, don’t get one then, it’s OK. But they do make an excellent TV remote. Brian, welcome, you sound like you should have joined the NRA already. It’s only $35 a year.

  • Coralsea

    Drew (and others who have been critical of some of the posts) — I think you might wish to re-read them. Mental health care is an issue that periodically intersects with gun violence, but I don’t believe that anyone here said that gun ownership indicates mental illness (although obsessive belief that one is under siege along with lots and lots of gun purchases may indicate a problem). As I said, my family members who live in Alaska definitely need to own guns — and no sane person would say otherwise.

    I don’t have a problem with hunters because the vast majority of the hunters I know and have heard of are well trained and follow good safety practices. Also, as I have remarked in previous comment strings, when I was growing up in the 1960s, just about everyone had guns in their homes because their fathers were World War II vets and also, we lived on the edge of the country. With so many people owning guns, this meant that the kids had been told–and understood–that these guns weren’t toys, and they weren’t going around aiming them at others.

    At this point, however, there are so many people who do not have guns (gun ownership is much more “loaded” — forgive the pun — than in the 1960s), when kids get their hands on their friends’ parents guns, they may not understand that aiming it at someone for fun and pulling the trigger is a joke. I practically had a heart attack a few years ago when I was visiting a neighbor whose husband owns hand guns (he likes to target shoot). THEIR kids understood that daddy’s guns weren’t to be played with, but the little hellion from down the block got his hands on one of the guns and ran into the living room with it, shouting and laughing with the kid of the house trailing behind, semi-hysterical. The neighbor kid turned and fired at the kid who lived in the house. Fortunately, the gun wasn’t loaded. I don’t know why it was out–and if it was out for home protection, why it wasn’t loaded–but, as I said, everyone there practically had heart attacks on the spot.

    I have also noted on this site that I have been mugged twice. Both times, I pounded the heck out of my attackers (long story about my aggression issues). Frankly, in both cases, unless I had had a gun out, in my hand, I don’t see what good it would have done. I guess I could have shot at my failed assailants as they were fleeing (why?), but then I would have risked hitting someone in the houses across the street or the Holiday Inn where the two attacks took place.

    As for home protection: if I was serious about wanting fire power, I would go with a shotgun. Among other things, the shot would be unlikely to kill some pedestrian walking by. Again, unless you have a gun out and ready to go, I’m not sure that it would provide all that much protection if a random maniac crashes through the door while you’re watching TV in the family room with a bowl of popcorn. Out in the country — maybe a rifle is a good idea, but it has to be available, which means that other people than you can get it. (Also, in regard to your friend’s wife with the partially disabled hand — that doesn’t inspire confidence. So — she’s such a bad shot that she needs 30 rounds? I hope I never find myself an innocent bystander nearby.)

    Finally, discharging a weapon in a populated area is serious business. Often people will bring up, “you can kill someone with a baseball bat.” True. But if you swing a bat and miss your target, it isn’t going to kill the two-year-old playing in his front yard at the end of the block.

    Personally, my take on self-protection, like Rey’s, involves being vigilant and aware of my surroundings. I work in a lot of “high crime” areas, and I am careful, but I neither need nor want a gun. As far as my home goes, as I’ve written before, I own several very nice swords and I keep them in my bedroom. I also sleep in the nude. I rather think that a marauder would be even more shocked and terrified if they were confronted by a somewhat chubby, nude, red-haired woman wielding a big sword than if I confronted him in silk jammies and hand gun, although I haven’t had occasion to find out first hand (and hope that I do not).

  • Erika

    aadila, unfortunately any hope of a Constutional view of the Second Amendment is pretty low following Heller. That is one reason why Heller was such a legal and historical abomination.

  • Reynardine

    I had some of the worst, nastiest cases from Hell without ever resorting to a gun. To be sure, my humble abode was then known as Baskerville Hall.

  • aadila

    Why not just require people to be part of a well regulated militia in order to own firearms?

    That’s what the Constitution states.

    By the way Drew just a couple things. One, only licensed dealers are required to conduct federal checks for firearm sales at gun shows. The “gun show loophole” which needs to be closed is the transfer of firearms from one person to another without that check.

    Also I must chuckle at the idea of firing 30 rounds from an AR with one hand. Are you sure you want to be this person’s neighbor when she starts firing in circles? That is the most ludicrous idea I’ve read on this thread. If she has one hand free she should use it to call the police, not endanger her community.

  • Erika

    Drew, like racism and sexism (which only a fool would deny go hand in hand with guns the belief that one must own a gun is based upon irrational thinking. The fact is that unless you are engaged in illegal activity out of your home, the odds of a non-domestic related home invasion are pretty close to zero (and the odds of domestic related home invasions are also pretty close to zero). Home invasion robberies to steal goods were extraordinarily rare even at the time that the media was hyping them (which coverage tended to be extraordinarily racist). Quite simply almost every residential break in takes place during times when people are away – most actually take place during the day time when people are working.

    And the fact is that having a dog and having outside lights on – or even a burglar alarm with signs (i have one because it saves a considerable amount of money on homeowners insurance to have one (such that the net cost is essentially zero – note that many mutual insurance companies require you to install burglar alarms) and i like having the monitored smoke detector) is much better personal protection at home.

    Thinking that a gun will protect you at home is nothing but a macho fantasy – thinking that you need a gun to protect yourself at home* is nothing but pure paranoia – and generally paranoia based upon racism. Thinking that the government will march in and take your guns especially in wake of the Supreme Courts legally and historically wrong Heller opinion (which President Obama supports even though it is in fact legally and historically wrong – mainly because it is very good politically for the Democrats).

    There is no way around that. The fact that you protest against the obvious trying to deny the obvious ties between racist paranoia and gun ownership is quite telling. Only a fool or a racist would deny that our racist media driven paranoia flaming the fames of racism using extraordinarily rare and unusual crimes and treating them as if they are typical would deny that. So if you aren’t a racist, you must be a fool.

    Your concern trolling does not impress me in the least.

    * well maybe if you live in the wilderness surrounded by grizzly bears and wolves. But in my opinion, you’d have to be pretty crazy to live out there

    (and obviously i am not in the mood to be nice to these gun nut people)

  • John

    Erika, I could’ve sworn you were a Ted Nugent fan.

  • John

    Drew, excellent post..I’ve always said that left wingnuts share the same mental issues as right wingnuts, it’s just the ideology that differs..I have no doubt you’ll be pounced upon by the more radicals members here but if you do, just kick back and a good laugh at their expense..and kudos to you for being a responsible gun owner

  • Jane Schiff

    YES to Reynardine -
    “a number of statements from the whackwing have crossed over into sedition.”

  • Drew

    Couple of things I would like to address concerning comments posted. Let me begin by saying that I am an owner of several firearms and a member of the NRA. I also do not own these firearms due to any racist, sexist, or other bigoted reasons or beliefs. In fact I currently have the honor of serving as an Equal Opportunity Professional in the military. In my current job visit the SPLC website daily as well as several other sites to keep abreast of current extremist/discriminatory issues going on in America as well as abroad. I’ve seen a trend in the comments posted here that really is no different then what I see on extremist sites of people posting racially discriminatory remarks and posting false information as fact. How do you think my Caucasian service members react when they see comments calling them hillbillies, racist, sexist, etc for owning firearms? While there may be cases of this being true is it really any different than some white power wacko saying that all minorities are criminals? I only bring this up as I push the SPLC pretty heavy as a tool for leaders to use and can’t stand when we sprout stereotypical behavior just like those we work against. Additionally I’ve see it several times said that the victims of the Fort Hood shooting were armed. That is a complete false hood. Like all Government installations it was a gun free zone. While it was true that all were trained (combative and firearms), the only armed personnel were the law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting. The victims were all unarmed, with the exception of the police officer wounded in the final confrontation. Our weapons are locked in arms rooms far away from where the shooting took place and the ammunition is kept in another locations miles from any arms rooms. Additionally if you look at the last shootings that have occurred this year, all were either bought legally thru a firearms dealer, illegally thru a straw purchase conducted with a firearms dealer, or stolen. Having been to many gun shows I can tell you that most do conduct back ground checks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a statistic for guns bought at a gun show being used in a crime. Bottom line is that if we don’t fact check our “facts” why would anyone believe any true facts? Lastly I want to address why would anyone want to own an “assault weapon” or high capacity magazine (this is just my view and not to correct anyone else’s view. All of us have a right to our beliefs). My neighbor, like most of us in the military, deploys regularly. This leaves his wife alone with her two young children. She also only has partial use of her off hand. This means that she has difficulty loading firearms during reloads. She chooses to have an AR type weapons with a 30 round magazine loaded as her home defense weapons because as she said,” I have 30 rounds to protect my kids”. While I may not see the need for that type of weapon, who am I to say what any law abiding citizen may or may not use to defend themselves or their family. Just my two cents on the issue.

  • coralsea

    I agree with the folks who mention the need for better access to mental health care. Erika is correct — a lot of these folks would probably fit the criteria for paranoid personality disorder.

    One problem, however, is that unlike those who have mood disorders (depression, mania, bi-polar), who tend to seek out or be open to treatment, persons with personality disorders (paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, etc.) rarely seek treatment unless it is court ordered. This means that there are a lot of sick people wandering around who have no “record” of being mentally ill.

    I also agree with Sam; there are certainly legitimate uses for firearms. My sister and her family live in Alaska out in the sticks where bears, moose, wolves, etc. are encountered daily. Not only do they hunt for food, but my brother-in-law recently had to shoot an enraged bear that had smashed in their front door. But Sam is correct: who the heck needs extended magazines if they are a decent shot?

    I hope the Secret Service looks in to these posters. Many are probably disaffected teenaged boys, but a few are likely dangerous.

  • Erika

    The clinging to completely unrestricted guns as a security blanket is an obvious sympton of male insecurity syndrome. Its also largely related to racism and sexism in that the gun nuts fear the people who Rush Limbaugh and Fox News tell them to fear (black people, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats, homosexuals, women). If it wasn’t for male insecurity syndrome this wouldn’t even be an issue – sensible gun control would pass easily.

    They are right that there needs to be mental health treatment – that of male insecurity syndrome such that the insecure men who fear black people, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats, homosexuals, and women will receive treatment for their irrational fears. Male insecurity syndrome caused byconsumption of right wing media needs to be treated as a mental health issue. Most of the gun nuts likely meet the DSM-IV (soon to be replaced by the DSM-V) standard for being paranoid – some likely qualify as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia based upon delusional thoughts such as dropping a nuclear bomb on Congress or that some people with their hunting rifles could hold off Seal Team 6 or whatever.

    However, with the NRA for all practical purposes standing for the National Republican Association and the Republicans being electorially dependent upon irrational people the odds that male insecurity syndrome will be treated as the mental health issue it is is very low. The odds that the gun nuts – well other than the idiots who post threats against the President of the United States and members of Congress – will receive appropriate mental health screenings and the treatment they need is very low.

    Of course, i’m pretty sure that Bob Owens will back down as quickly as Ted Nugent did about not being serious once the Secret Service comes knocking.

  • Ace

    When I say I want better controls in place, this is why. I see the need for a firearm at times. I respect that they can protect people, if used responsibly. It isn’t the responsible gun owner who keeps his weapon locked up tight. recognizes the humanity of his neighbors, and is willing to think about the safety of others that I don’t trust. It is the gun toting wacko who thinks blowing away people and their families is a proper way to make a point and still expects me to respect this and want to live next to them.

  • Brian Sitterley

    I read what you people write and presumably believe, Motivates me to join the NRA next paycheck.

  • TheSapient1

    My favorite piece of crazy not even mentioned in this article is the call for more guns as a solution! It’s as if everyone has forgotten that shooting at a US military base not to long ago. It was just as effective as any other shooting and its victims were ARMED and TRAINED military personnel. How do they think untrained civilians will do any better? Ohh…and the cries of “what will the government have to defend themselves?” Are laughable. I think the largest and most heavily armed military force on Earth could fend of some bands of crazed racists.

  • Linnea

    Agreed, Sam. I’m not crazy about guns, but I agree they have their uses. However, I’ve always been baffled by the gun nuts’ insistence that they have to have the right to own 30- (or more) round clips, and AK-47s or Uzis or whatever. What the hell happened to having a good old-fashioned shotgun for home defense? Any bad guy with an ounce of sense would run the other way when confronted with one of those things. I think we need a couple of things: 1) better background checks including mental health (and I work in medical records and am pretty fanatical about privacy!), 2) close the gun show loophole already, and 3) make it impossible to get clips of more than, say, 5 or 10 rounds, and put a limit on how many can be bought in a certain time period.(This would not apply to plain old boxes of bullets… most people only buy a few boxes at a time, anyway.) Here in Minnesota, the legislature put a limit on how many packages of pseudoephedrine cold meds can be bought in a certain time period, and requires purchasers’ signatures. As a result, our meth problem is slowly improving. Why not do the same for something that is *designed* to cause death, or at least, serious injury, when used as intended?

  • Kiwiwriter

    Hey, if nothing else, the spoutings from Stormfront, VNN, and the rest certainly do speak to the importance of providing affordable mental health care for the American people.

    These statements manifest a whole boatload of psychological symptoms…not to mention threats of criminal behavior that should alert police agencies across the nation.

    In any case…if Obama was going to make a coup, he would have done it in 2009, when he had massive support in the polls, and a Democratic House and Senate. Doing so would have saved him the financial costs and kinetic energy on a bruising re-election campaign.

    I’m tired of hearing this garbage from nutters…read the stuff that was spouted about Franklin D. Roosevelt back in the 1930s and the Kennedys in the 1960s…according to John A. Stormer, we were supposed to have been conquered by the Communists in 1968. Instead we got Nixon and Agnew.

  • Reynardine

    Sam, you have some excellent suggestions. Meanwhile, a number of statements from the whackwing have crossed over into sedition.

  • Sam Molloy

    Pops, we do. I am an NRA member but in my opinion the NRA should jump to the front of the pack and suggest some reasonable solutions that responsible gun owners can accept. Background checks identical to today’s checks could be mandated for private sales without “registration”. Unlock the medical privacy (Hippa) laws to include batsh** crazy on those background checks. And if anybody says they need a 30 round clip for home defense, suggest they take some shooting lessons.

  • adamhill

    Competely apart from the gun control issue, I wonder if such emotionally volatile and irrational people should have their guns locked up and put out of their reach until they can demonstrate that they’ve calmed down. They’re like adolescents having a hissy fit.

  • Pops

    Hillbillies with their slave owning predilections have always made for some interesting times; there is an old Irish curse – ” …may you be born in interesting times.”

  • Claudia Garcia-McIntosh

    Doesn’t all this just bring into clearer focus that too many people are so afraid of their own idiosyncrasies that they all completely ignore the real problem-lack of accessible mental health care coupled with social stigmas?