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Friday, December 14, 2012

We Are an Awful Nation

Posted by on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 2:04 PM

It is hard to imagine what these families in Newtown, CT must be suffering. Except I can imagine it. I am imagining it right now. And it's awful.

According to current accounts, a gunman, for whatever reason and of whatever state of mind, walked into a classroom and murdered a kindergarten teacher in front of her students. Then he turned his gun on the children, shattering their bodies one by one, leaving 18 kindergarteners dead. Imagine the terror. Imagine the carnage. Imagine the heartbreaking grief.

And the anger.

And yes, anger is an appropriate emotion to feel at this moment, not just at the gunman, but at the people and the politicians and the culture and the nation that would defend the indiscriminate right of Americans to arm themselves, whatever the tragic and inevitable consequences.

We have been told that our individual right to bear arms is inalienable, and that gun ownership is a fundamental part of who we are as a nation. Perhaps. But if so, then we are an awful nation—a nation that can imagine this morning's horror through the eyes of one of its young victims—and brush it off with the cliché that this is the price of our freedom.


Comments (39) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Actually we are an exceptional and awesome nation, asshole.

There are individuals in the nation capable of monstrous evil but they are not the nation.
Posted by Why Do Liberals Hate America? on December 14, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
this is the fault of the 5280's and the other gun lovin' anti gun control folks who constantly spew forth lies and deceipt, prventing sane conversation and normal gun control laws. why just yesterday he spewed forth that you can kill with a brick or a gun, therefore I supposet he point is, gun EZ access doesn't matter? what?

they have a set of about ten lies and distractions they constantly replay. every one is false. other nations like japan germany england ireland about 30 in all, have strong effective gun controls and limits and THEY WORK becuase NO, they do not have these massacres and mall shooting nor do they have the violence plagued neighborhooods we got here in america totally making life impossible for the lower 20% of society. we hear lies that gun control doesn't work, that it's a mental health problem, that males cause deaths why don't we ban males, hmmm? that the second amendment blocks gun controls when in fact morons texas in the 1840s' BANNED revolvers showing that yes, even an individual right to bear arms, is limited, big duh. think about it. your speech is limited when "I do" produces consequences, you do not have an unlimited right of free speech. NRA has no comments as if needing to know more: our gun culture and ez access to guns caused this death; meaning its the gun owners and gun lovers and the denialists who block gun control who are at fault.

england has about 4% gun ownership. if you want to go hunting, you can, if you really need a gun for carrying cash around, you can get a license. but mostly they don't have guns all over the place the way our gun loving gun culture has here. so in england NO they don't have these massacres and NO, their poorer neighborhoods aren't as violence and depressed, and even their cops don't carry guns. pretty much the entire set of talking points of the gun lovers is a big old lie. they like it that these deaths happen, they exult over it, they fantasize arming more people with guns, they are groveling in death.
Posted by gun owners to blame on December 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
and Anger does not help.

seek justice, not revenge.....
Posted by Pound Sand on December 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
My daughter started kindergarten this year. I feel like I'm going to puke. Guns ARE the problem. Period. If people didn't have such easy access, these things wouldn't happen so much.
Posted by paulus22 on December 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
there is no indiscriminate right to bear arms; otherwise you would have the right to bear amrs like nukes tanks bazookas etc. they are clearly arms. the gun lovers can't explain why it's okay to ban us from carrying nukes, but not other arms. the notion there is an unlimited right to bear arms is one of their top ten lies.
Posted by no rights are unlimited on December 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Goldy's right we are an awful nation. On the other hand nice countries seldom become super powers. I think viciousness and a slightly irrational strain of optimism have both played key roles in our rise to greatness. The gun culture personifies both.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@6 I'd trade being a superpower for being a much more peaceful happy nation any god damned day. Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and France are pretty awesome places. Fuck being a superpower. Let the Chinese do it.
Posted by tkc on December 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
we used to put insane people in institutions.

Liberals put a stop to that......
Posted by Liberals Are Mass PedoMurderers on December 14, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
chinaski 9
Took until today for you to realize we are an awful nation?
Posted by chinaski on December 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
We need to ban free speech. Extreme right wing and left wing speech makes people angry, paranoid, and left with feelings of helplessness. They make people feel that their only option is to strike out in violence. Some of the vile hatred that people spew forth makes us an awful nation.

Ban guns and ban free speech. The first and second amendments must both be repealed. This MUST be done to make us safer.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 11
You can leave anytime Goldy, please go exploit tragedies somewhere else.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
also the Third.

It is time to face facts and force Americans to quarter troops......
Posted by no whining now... on December 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
@7 During WWII France, Denmark, and the Netherlands were all overun by the Nazis. It took the awful USA and the evil USSR to stop the even worse Third Reich.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
This is because Connecticut recognized homosexual pairings as "marriage".

Expect a replay in an elementary school near you, Seattle.......
Posted by Choices Carry Consequences on December 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
what nation does goldy think is better?

hint....there are none
Posted by Goldy. Self-Deport Your Ass.... on December 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Also, the next public figure who says that "Now is not the time to have a discussion on gun control" is basically consenting to be collectively punched in the fucking face by the nation at large. Just so we're clear.
Posted by j.lee on December 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
34x42 17
many somewhat rational adults seen to think that legislation is an answer to these problems. bullshit. it's a cultural sickness.

the same people who demand no laws regarding drugs, gay rights, and prostitution, want to enact heavy laws on guns. does nobody recognize how futile it is?
Posted by 34x42 on December 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
quix 18
While I agree we do need to give some teeth to the "well regulated" language in the Second Amendment, guns are far from being the only issue that needs to be addressed in the wake of such incidents. This country has a tremendous problem with the availability and accessibility of mental health services. When y'all are writing 15 different posts about the need for gun control, it would be lovely if even one of you could take a few moments to address other significant factors that lead to this kind of violence. These things don't happen in a vacuum. The ease with which a mentally ill person can get their hands on a gun is a problem, but so is the fact that nobody seems to notice that these people are mentally ill until after they've engaged in the most destructive violence imaginable is another. Let's not be so myopically focused on guns that we miss the rest of the picture.
Posted by quix on December 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
I've got some pretty strong feelings about the continent of North America too. You don't see this happening in South America, do you?

This stupid continent.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM · Report this
meanie 21
@10 here here, civil rights have gone too far!

how dare people have the freedom to act in legal ways, the government should restrict all actions that might be used improperly.
Posted by meanie on December 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 22
How about anger at a media that does everything it can to sensationalize, dramatize, glamorize (yes they do) and thus encourage the next act of violence.

If the Stranger wants to help, maybe they should moderate their coverage a bit. Two, three Slog posts would cover it (the tragedy, gun control, a late day followup, done). There are other things happening in America and the world, some just as tragic, some actually happy and good. This wall to wall coverage you guys are doing is CRAP.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on December 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Fnarf 23
@18, the murderer had access to mental health treatment. His brother and neighbors are describing him with "developmentally disabled", "Asperger's", "autistic", "obsessive-compulsive disorder". He's obviously been under some sort of care, and I guarantee he was on medication at some point as well.

The simple fact is, we don't have any answers for most mental disorders. Short of locking everybody up -- and where do you draw the line on Asperger's, exactly? A fourth of the US has mental illness issues at some point in their life -- there isn't any amount of money that's going to make this problem go away.

What makes guys like that terrifying is that they have virtually unlimited access to firearms of all sorts. Simple possession laws in one state obviously mean nothing; this guy was loaded for bear.

The only way to reduce these situations is to reduce the number of firearms and the amount of ammunition for them. Every "legitimate" firearm owner enables the spread of more weapons, whether directly by losing their guns to theft, or indirectly just by keeping gun shops and sellers in business.

I would hope that every gun owner in America would take out their weapon(s) tonight and say to themselves "I can't be a part of this anymore". But that won't happen; tomorrow morning the gun shops are going to be full of people buying new and stocking up.
Posted by Fnarf on December 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
It's time to give up the retarded conventional arguments and look at the big picture:…

It's been gravely irresponsible to have let gun massacres (not to mention the usual murders that are little reported on anymore) become the norm, and to let gun advocates and politicians try to chalk it all up to lack of character education.

For once, both parties really are to blame for lack of leadership on this, and it starts with the cynicism at the top that decided that common sense gun regulation was an election-loser.
Posted by YellowPup on December 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
raku 25
The mentally ill, on average, are no more violent than everyone else. There are some categories (eg, untreated paranoid schizophrenics) who are more violent on average, and agreed there should be much more in the way of health care for mental illness, but the mentally ill are not causing murders in general.

If you really want types of people to profile against - white men commit the vast majority of mass murders in this country.
Posted by raku on December 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
emma's bee 26
The casual acceptance of such carnage by otherwise-thoughtful (on non-weaponry issues) commenters like Ugurtha @10 makes me want to puke. The further West you travel in this country, the more gun fetishism holds sway over a majority of the populace. even in cities. This is a fracture point for the urban archipelago.
Posted by emma's bee on December 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
@13 well, gosh I'll remember to not time travel back to 1941 and go to northern europe... the time of the Nazi invasion BEFORE the US was a superpower or before there were atomic weapons and hence before the entire concept of global superpowers.

Posted by tkc on December 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
@25 Uuuuuh.... One problem with racial profiling: You realize that the majority of murders in the US are not committed by white people, right? Like by almost 5 to 1.…

Spree murders are a tiny percentage of murders. That's the entire problem. We are completely desensitized to just our day-in-day out rate of homicide. Which in and of itself is insanely high.
Posted by tkc on December 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 29
Ok, yes, I often make sarcastic posts... this will be a non sarcastic one.

I definitely do not casually accept horrid, terrible events like this. Murders like these, probably more than any other major event, have a huge impact on how I feel about our country, guns, laws, and human nature in general.

For the record, I don't own any guns and never have. I've fired many guns (my father was a duck hunter and I was an infantryman in the National Guard some time ago) but it's been years since doing so.

I'm in favor of strict regulations on guns, scrutiny on gun owners and on people who've expressed interest in gun ownership, and harsh penalties for people who sell or give away guns without doing serious background and mental health checks.

That said, I can't help but notice that the "ban guns" crowd is eerily similar to the "ban abortions" crowd. Both want to get rid of something they hate, but don't seem to realize that banning it won't actually get rid of it (just like banning free speech wouldn't actually get rid of free speech.... which is the point of my original post).

I just want the knee jerk reactionary cries to at least be tempered by dialogue on trying to solve the REAL problem, not just getting rid of one of the symptoms.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this

but you're totally good with banning the 3rd amendment,
Posted by let's get our priorities straight here.... on December 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
HelpMeJebus 31

I don't believe anyone is calling for an outright ban on guns. There's a big range of options between a total ban and what we have now. How about we start with sensible regulations and see how that works out?
Posted by HelpMeJebus on December 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
Maybe it's an "awful nation" to Goldfucker because he's reduced to slumming it at the Stranger.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on December 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
@31, why the hell SHOULDN'T we have an outright ban on guns?

Can you let us know why anyone needs a gun? Other than to kill someone, that is. And all of you guys who say "knives kill also" can have your knives. Have all the knives you want. Knives are useful for other things. Guns aren't.
Posted by sarah70 on December 14, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 34
See the comment @33.

There you go. A call for an outright ban on guns.

There are so many comments in so many posts today I can only assume others have made the same suggestion to ban all guns.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 35
Urgutha, don't kid yourself. These people have an agenda, and it isn't "ban assault weapons," "regulate ammo purchases," or anything other than "ban guns."

Heh. As if that were possible. Maybe they're expecting Tinkerbell to come through and spread some fairy dust or something. Talk about being deluded.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 36

I'm glad (and not surprised) that you didn't bother with any of the posts here today. They were, for the most part, knee-jerk, reactionary vitriol. A waste of time.

Gun control is like abortion control. Trying to stop it by cutting off supply is laughably ( and sadly) futile. You won't get anywhere until you address demand.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 15, 2012 at 2:35 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 37
I'm always happy to participate in a rational discussion. Noting that happened here qualified.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 15, 2012 at 5:16 AM · Report this
Goth son of single mom public school teacher goes on rampage: Blame right wingers.
Posted by Billy Chav on December 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
@1 (and pretty much everyone else),

This nation was founded on genocide, plain and simple.

It isn't just guns, and it isn't just issues with mental illness and/or the social safety net - it's US.

Posted by Mr. X on December 16, 2012 at 1:51 AM · Report this

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