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Monday, December 17, 2012

Maybe Along With That National Conversation About Gun Control We Should Have Some National Conversations About Masculinity, Insecurity, Overcompensation, Dick Size...

Posted by on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM

BushmasterAd-Maxim_0.jpeg

That's an ad for the gun that Adam Lanza used to murder all those kids.


More from Amanda Marcotte Slate.

 

Comments (73) RSS

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--MC 1
No, Dan! He had a Glock and a Sig Sauer, but he left the Bushmaster in the car.
Posted by --MC on December 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM · Report this
2
Considering the bulk of the gun owners I know are small, scared little white men? Probably.
Posted by StuckInUtah on December 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
--MC 3
OK, OK, I take it back. He had the Bushmaster with him. I was operating on Saturday's information. (It was reported briefly on Friday that the shooter had killed his father, then drove to the school to shoot his mother, but all the information wasn't in yet.)
Posted by --MC on December 17, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 4
Ok, so we should restrict those ads then right?

We should put restrictions on the First Amendment, right?

Just want to make sure you're saying what I think you're saying.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
5
Reminds me of when Charleton Heston said that the problem with the murder rate in the country was "certain ethnic minorities."

Wasn't the Stranger just reporting Lanza got the guns from his crazy gun-nut mother?
Posted by GermanSausage on December 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Hover Dog 6
@4: It's ok to note that something is toxic and harmful without calling for government restrictions.
Posted by Hover Dog on December 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
@ 4, if that is what Dan is saying, then remember that public pressure upon an industry is NOT a form of censorship or an abridgment of first amendment rights.

But I don't think that's what Dan is saying. I think he's saying, Hey, is gun ownership related to our society's notions of masculinity? Is there a correlation?

That might have nothing to do with these mass shootings, but I'd bet that there's something to it when it comes to men who collect guns by the hundreds.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 17, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
@6,
Does that apply to guns too?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Amnt 9
Is there a lot of stupid and/or macho advertising in the gun market? Of course there is. But declaring that tens of millions of gun owners (even a few who are women!) are small dicked cowards isn't the way to start a dialogue.

It does have value in pandering to your existing audience and reinforcing the "us vs them" feeling however.
Posted by Amnt on December 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Cynic Romantic 10
@5 I guess her penis wasn't big enough either.
Posted by Cynic Romantic on December 17, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
11
Oh, Jesus. We have to solve anxious masculinity to stop the shootings? Excuse me while I buy a Kevlar bodysuit.
Posted by Prettybetsy on December 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
ryanayr 12
@4 - tell me if you support banning cigarette ads marketed for kids. If yes - you are a hypocrite.
Posted by ryanayr on December 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
13
My penis is plenty big. Never the less my need to own dozens of firearms and stockpile thousands of rounds of ammunition is clearly driven by deep seated insecurities. When people ask me why I feel the need to have my own personal arsenal, I tell them that I am preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 14
I have always thought that, to many people, gun ownership is some sort of phallic fetish, and much of their advertising reflects that.

But say you take the dick out of the picture - you're left with fear and patriotism, and that's worse.

I had an acquaintance on FB bring up that tired old song and dance about how "we" need guns to protect us from the government. How anyone can actually believe that a bunch of heavily armed yahoos can protect us from the US military if it wanted to go up against us, is beyond me.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on December 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
16
I think a lot of it is rather a culture that has the man with a gun as an icon, rather than just somebody interested in honing his hand/eye skills, or someone interested in putting some venison on the table, or someone who needs to keep the coyotes away from the chicken coop.

I'm old enough to have seen cultural change in a lot of areas, and so I know that a culture CAN change. And I know that laws have a role in that change, but they can't lead the change. What it takes is, first, a lot of people saying "Don't like this, not buying into that story anymore". Changes in laws and regulations come after that, not before, to nudge the reluctant along.

When we stop looking at the lonely armed man as sexy and fascinating, and instead start looking at him as lame and uncool, the shift will happen. I live in rural Canada, and there are a lot of guns around here, but they are for the most part owned by dad and grandpa walking around the farm in his rubber boots. It takes away a lot of the mystique.
Posted by agony on December 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 17
Agony @16 nails it.

Gun control is important but the biggest change must be cultural. I grew up in Canada, and you are seen as a paranoid loser if you owned weapons like this. I lived the tough-guy hockey persona and no one - and I mean no one - owned a gun, or bragged about it.

Here in the south it is the opposite. Many people here see shooting semi-automatics as a cool/macho thing. But culture can change.

Look at the masculine attitude towards gays. The other day I was playing basketball and someone made a comment about "cocksuckers getting married." 10 years ago, he would have been given masculine approval or at least silence. Now, he was confronted as a bigot. His opinions are not "cool."

If masculine culture starts to look at gun owners as pathetic losers who need guns because they have small penises to compensate for, the rate of gun ownership will fall.
Posted by Tim Horton on December 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
18
The Motive

Today, some highly paid, brainless twit on the Wall Street Journal News Online, reported that police were searching for the motive for the mass murder of children at a Connecticut elementary school.

The motive?

An Afghanistani sheep herder returned to his home and found the scattered body parts of his wife and children. He gathered up their remains and gave them a proper burial, then sat and pondered the motive of the Americans who sent the drone to do that horrible killing.

The motive?

The super-rich laid off workers and offshored their jobs to the cheapest sweatshop in Bangladesh and workers there died horribly due to extremely substandard conditions, and Walmart falsely claims no knowledge of the location of their factories nor origins of the product.

The motive?

A major war occurs among European countries and an extraordinary number of soldiers die a horrible death from mustard gas, while Paul Warburg was the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank (less publicity at that position, he had been offered the chairmanship) and Paul’s brother, Max Warburg, was the financial advisor to the Kaiser (the German ruler) and director of the German central bank.

The motive?

Many eons ago, in an Asian war, the team I was with was ordered to destroy a village of innocents to cover up a command mistake --- instead, we fragged the brigadier general who was on site and had issued the order, then blamed his death on “the enemy.”

Our motive was clear: murder the guilty to save the innocent.

I make no claim to understand the motives of the mentally ill, the psychopaths and the greedheads, but perhaps the answer lies close at hand.

The president of the University of Washington once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist when he rendered the decision to empty out mental institutions and set the stage for defunding mental health in America, perhaps that UW president knows the motive?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/worl…
More...
Posted by sgt_doom on December 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
scary tyler moore 19
to answer your question dan, yes, it is time.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on December 17, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
ballard dude 20
it kills me that ANY discussion of limiting ownership draws cries of 'it won't work'. we need to be able to at least agree that selling guns whose sole purpose is killing people needs to stop. naive, i know...
Posted by ballard dude on December 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 21
@12,
No, I don't support banning cigarette advertising to kids.

Not unless we ban advertising for EVERYTHING that is harmful to kids. Which is, of course, impossible. And why stop at kids (what's the definition of "kid" anyway?)? Why not ban the advertising of unhealthy stuff for adults too?

I'm looking for consistency.

Either we have freedom of speech or we don't. Which is it?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
smajor82 22
@4, 8 Nice try, but big logic fail. A conversation about cultural notions of masculinity is not a freedom of speech issue unless you are against that conversation.

As for comparing gun control to trying to alter people's perceptions about a social issue, that's no different than comparing gun control to marriage equality, in that it's a ridiculous comparison.
Posted by smajor82 on December 17, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
smajor82 23
@21 Your desire to live in a world of absolutes is really cute. No one here is challenging freedom of speech, but you don't have it anyway. You can't threaten someone's life, slander someone's name, use crude language in most public areas, show tits on primetime T.V., etc. As a society, we agree that there is a tradeoff between personal freedom and the welfare of the group. Sometimes those tradeoffs are no-brainers, like enforcement of property rights, traffic laws, and health and safety standards. Sometimes they're not so simple. Navigating those complexities is the job of adults in a democracy. Since you seem to have trouble with that, maybe you should sit this one out and let the adults talk.
Posted by smajor82 on December 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Mattini 24
Replace the image of a gun with a triple bacon cheeseburger and it would still be a familiar ad.
Posted by Mattini on December 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
25
Life is complex. To expect consistency assumes a simplicity that simply isn't there.

The gun debate has, for a long time, been divided between rural folks who value their guns as practical tools, and urban folks who fear guns because in an urban setting guns are a threat rather than a help.

The terrible event at Sandy Hook has opened up a more complex debate, a more nuanced view. It is in that complexity that the two ideological opponents are beginning to see (if still somewhat distantly) some common ground. I applaud Dan's addition to this debate. It would be worthwhile to discover if there is a connection between the view of gun as "macho" and the scientifically proven fact that the visible presence of a gun makes people more aggressive even when it is a really good idea to be less aggressive.
Posted by heartfelt on December 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
26
@23
"Sometimes those tradeoffs are no-brainers, like enforcement of property rights, traffic laws, and health and safety standards."

In your haste to appear more mature than you are you seem to have made some basic mistakes. Even your examples have laws that are constantly changing so "no-brainers" does not seem to apply.

"Navigating those complexities is the job of adults in a democracy."

And the first step is being able to identify your own biases and keep the inflammatory rhetoric out of the discussion.
Looks like you have a problem with that.
Looks like Dan's link was laced with inflammatory rhetoric.

Once you take out the rhetoric you're left with a question of whether you personally value A more than B and more than C.
If you value A more than B and disapprove of C you will have a different argument than someone who values A the same as B and approves of C.

If you cannot see that then you'll just spend your time attempting to mock people who value B or claiming tangents should make them support A more than they do.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 27
Somebody call Pamela Des Barres to ask if this explains Ted Nugent.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
28

Can we ban 18 to 24 year olds?

Young Creepy Guys are hurting us.

Police have arrested a 19-year-old Skagit County man who threatened on Facebook to "shoot up every school within a 100-mile radius" if his gun rights were taken away after the Connecticut school massacre.


Read more: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Skagi…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
29
The Slate article mentions somebody saying that a .223 isn't an appropriate rifle for hunting deer, that it's "too weak."

That is, in effect, true. A .22 isn't an appropriate gun to shoot an animal that big, and .223 ammo is basically the same size. A .223 is a human-killing-sized round.
Posted by drivel on December 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 30
@4,

The government has long reserved the right to regulate advertising. You're only getting bent out of shape over it now?
Posted by keshmeshi on December 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Ziggity 31
@23 nails it. Every amendment to the Constitution has exceptions carved out of it. The 2nd is no different. This all-or-nothing bullshit is great as a parlor game, but when people sit down to legislate in response to this tragedy it'll be about as useful as an AR-15 is for protecting your home against the end of the world.
Posted by Ziggity on December 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Fred Casely 32
@21: Okay then, do you think it should be legal to yell "Fire!" In a crowded theater which is not actually on fire?
Posted by Fred Casely on December 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 33
His mom stockpiled the guns, so this argument about masculinity and insecurity and dick size just comes across as a cheap shot against men.

Maybe we could turn this into a conversation about overzealous mothers who pamper their dependent, effeminate, adult children in McMansions while they instill them with paranoid delusions?

Or, you know, we could just ban assault rifles and acknowledge that both masculinity and femininity have been reduced to a gross caricature for marketing purposes? Y'know, the sensible approach.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on December 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
ryanayr 34
@21 - Fair enough. would you support me putting a full-page ad in the paper claiming you stole 1,000,000$ from poor elderly people and then used the money to kill 5,000 adorable puppies and then print your address and phone number? FREEDOM OF PRESS!!!

@23 - I've always found people who rely on absolutism do so because they don't want to actually think about the topic being discussed.

@21 - you need to increase your ROI on puppy killing. 20,000$ per puppy death seems a little steep.
Posted by ryanayr on December 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Fnarf 35
@21
No, I don't support banning cigarette advertising to kids.Well, OK then. You've certainly won that argument.

And this one. Good going! We're all so proud that you have it worked out in your mind that mass murder is a fair price to pay for your fantasy.

While there certainly is a powerful element of diseased masculinity here (otherwise they wouldn't be advertising to it), I think the bigger social issue is what I call Brave Heroic Bullshit.

Most gun owners today lie awake at night, sweating and shivering, as they fantasize about "taking him out" -- maybe taking a bullet in the arm, but struggling on, rolling out of the way of another shot, and then bravely plugging the bad guy, against the odds, and watching as he tumbles backwards off the rooftop, arms outstretched, his own gun slowly turning in the lights of the news helicopters. Then afterwards, a grateful President will come visit them in the hospital and thank them on behalf of the lives of the precious little children they saved.

Needless to say, in the real world, these jackasses are the first to go down. Even real cops with years of weapons training can't discharge them safely and accurately in crowds of people, and often die trying. Remember the guy who shot up that Sikh temple in Wisconsin? He shot the first responding officer fifteen times.

You think you're protecting your kids, but you are endangering your entire community when you do so.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 36
@23,
Since you seem to have trouble with that, maybe you should sit this one out and let the adults talk.
What's with the personal attacks? If you can't participate in a discussion without using insults, perhaps YOU should sit this one out.

As for your post @22, I'm NOT against having that discussion, nor did I say I was against it. I merely asked if Dan's post was suggesting restrictions on free speech.

I'm aware we're not living in a "world of absolutes." That doesn't mean we can't question these things. It also means we need to be mindful when the freedoms we have ARE limited. We have currently have "free speech light." Not total freedom of speech, but almost freedom. It's important to make the distinction.

@30,
I'm not getting "bent out of shape" about it just now. I've always questioned government regulation of advertising. But it does seem relevant to bring up now, given Dan's post about advertising, don't you think?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Fnarf 37
Fuck. only the first sentence is supposed to be in the blockquote there -- quoting Urgutha Forka. I'll add a too, in case I've destroyed the comment page.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Fnarf 38
@36, don't get me wrong. I think you're doing us all a great service. I urge you to continue your efforts to associate the idea that guns should be uncontrolled with the idea that cigarette should be advertised to kids.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
39
@24.
"Replace the image of a gun with a triple bacon cheeseburger and it would still be a familiar ad."

Or a car.
Or anything that they are marketing to men.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
ryanayr 40
@38 - He's just asking questions! Where would we be without the question-askers? As a declarative statementer, I would have nothing to make statements about if not for the question-asker posing queries!
Posted by ryanayr on December 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 41
@32,
Interesting history on the origin of that phrase. Holmes himself later regretted making it (somewhat):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fi…

But to answer your question: Is it illegal to do so now? It depends on the outcome, right? If you get up and yell "fire!" and nobody does anything, do you still get arrested?
There should be consequences for behaviors, yes. If you yell fire and a bunch of people trample each other to death as a result, you should be held liable for their deaths. Yes.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 42
@Fnarf,
I have no idea if gun owners lie awake sweating at night because I've never owned a gun nor do I ask any of the gun owners I do know how well they sleep.

I don't think guns should be uncontrolled. I think they should have very strict regulations. But I also think they should be legal to own.

But my point is more to question why the Stranger writers seem more than happy to restrict some freedoms (e.g., guns) while at the same time wailing about how they're denied other freedoms (e.g., pot smoking).

They're being hypocritical, but they're largely preaching to the converted anyway, so they rarely get challenged. Their anit-gun posts are sometimes just as credulous as the anti-pot stuff they dig up and ridicule from time to time.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
ryanayr 43
@41 - Sort of like that ancient proverb:

"If you kill a person in the woods and it does not make a sound, and no one ever finds the body, do you still get arrested?"

The basic common denominator of restrictions on free speech is intent to do harm, which is the common denominator in yelling fire in theater and advertising cigarettes to kids. One can always choose to harm oneself, but to push someone else towards harm by malice should not be a choice.
Posted by ryanayr on December 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 44
Urgutha Forka, I think what's being discussed is not a desire to curtail the freedom to create or publish these ads, but an angle on the "culture of violence" that goes deeper than critiquing things like first-person shooter video games and Quentin Tarantino movies that reasonable, rational adults can and do responsibly enjoy--to the ways that certain marketing campaigns and modes of framing everything from guns to violent entertainment appeal to certain long-festering cultural insecurities.

I see it this way--as a martial artist, I enjoy watching UFC or MMA matches (though even in the practice of the art itself, I miss some of the individual vocabularies of the various arts that are "rounded off" in the mixing). What I don't enjoy is the framing: the way that cultures in which opponents bow to and otherwise honor opponents and teachers has given way to the chest-beating machismo of the average (or slightly below) beer commercial.

There's nothing to be gained by censoring these frames, or even by questioning why marketers use them (I think it's simple and fair to presume that they use them because they work). But if we don't ask why they work, I think we're leaving a frightfully important task unfinished.

And yes, fair.unbalanced, that can apply to cheeseburgers, cigarettes, and anything else that is sold by appealing to culturally entrenched pathologies in the minds of those in the target audience.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Fnarf 45
@41, try it and report back to us. If your probation officer lets you have access to the internet, that is.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
raku 46
Thank you, Dan! Gun control and mental health services are critical, of course. But the gun defenders are right that there would still be plenty of murder, rape, and other violent crimes even with free mental health care and a complete ban on guns (although much less).

Well over 90% of murders and violent crime are committed by a small portion of men. The fact that many other places have guns and mental illness but little violent crime prove this isn't some kind of biological imperative, but a cultural problem.

Gun control will help with accidents and the symptoms of this problem, but the primary source of this problem is a warped cultural acceptance of violent masculinity. If America can fix this problem, you can have all the guns you want. In the mean time...
Posted by raku on December 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Fnarf 47
@42, your position on guns, and that of every "moderate" gun owner, is disingenuous, because you know perfectly well that it is safe to call for "very strict regulations" when there is no chance whatever that even the mildest regulations will be passed, anywhere. And you are not, in fact, calling for those regulations; you're pretending to. What you're calling for is keeping things the way they are. Actions call out louder than words.

Here's a proposal I could accept: state-by-state registry; mandatory training programs, both before purchase and biennially thereafter; mandatory written and physical tests, both before purchase and biennially thereafter; micro-marked ammunition that can be traced back to a particular weapon in a database; mandatory trigger locks; mandatory liability insurance. Gimme those, and I'll even go so far as to accept concealed carry and "assault weapons", as vacuous and symptomatic of a crippled mind as they are.

But it doesn't matter what I think, because none of those things will pass any legislature in the country, even singly. None of them will even come to a vote. You know it; I know it. Every gun nut in America knows it. You want to have a dialog. Dialogs are for suckers, in my view.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
48
@44
"... anything else that is sold by appealing to culturally entrenched pathologies in the minds of those in the target audience."

and

"... things like first-person shooter video games and Quentin Tarantino movies that reasonable, rational adults can and do responsibly enjoy ..."

I think that it is the cognitive dissonance there that is part of the problem with this discussion.

"But if we don't ask why they work, I think we're leaving a frightfully important task unfinished."

They work because they appeal to the same thing that allows "reasonable, rational adults" to "responsibly enjoy" things like "first-person shooter video games".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
49
The NRA defends free access to assault weaponry by turning sober campaigns for ‘gun control’ into a debate for or against guns. Under cover of defending the right of good 'ol boys to shoot turkey in the woods, the NRA lobbies for domestic access to military weapons. I was brought up in the country - hunting, shooting, fishing. I was taught strictest safety - a season’s walking up and beating before my first shotgun, a four ten. US gun law suffers from the NRA velcro-ing its interests onto the sacred 2nd amendment 'right to bear arms', distorting it into a licence to, in effect, drive F1 cars on normal roads. Who goes hunting with automatic weapons - or even semi-automatics like the one used at Sandy Hook? They are unnecessary for field sports, or the pot. Too many websites on guns, are, in a largely urbanised world, larded with fantasy. I see BB guns and air rifles marketed as 'boy's toys' imitating, in their style, high powered infantry weapons. The debate on gun control needs to focus on restricting exaggerated domestic fire power – ‘This gun from Bushmaster will always shoot straight and aim true’ Yes. Well
Posted by Sibadd on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
onion 50
except that the gun was bought by and registered to a woman? is masculinity really what got this gun into the hands of the killer?
Posted by onion on December 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Fnarf 51
@50, you're right, the pathology that makes these guns available is not strictly male, though it is predominantly so. But I don't think she put those guns in his hands and said "go shoot up the school, sweetheart". It was the male who came up with that plan. It always is.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 52
@48 - And I think the assumption of cognitive dissonance--or perhaps the assumption that there cannot be an enlightened embrace of dissonance (worked for Varese)--is a yet bigger (or perhaps just deeper, more elemental) problem with this conversation. There is a difference between the listener who listens to Mission of Burma and hears the Mingus and Bartok references and the one who doesn't; the sports fan who watches MMA and recognizes when a fighter switches from Muay Thai to Savate to Goju-Ryu (and is also mindful that mixed-martial-arts competition has a better track record with regards to brain and spinal injury than the NFL), and the one who just likes to watch dudes beat on each other; between those who can recognize a tradition going back to at least the Jacobean revenge tragedies in so-called "exploitation" cinema, and those who just want to watch dudes get their heads blown/knocked/burned off; and so on.

First-person shooter games may or may not be a good example; I don't know because I don't play them, and don't care to. I can say, as a student of various martial arts over the last quarter century, that there are assumptions about those who practice this sort of thing that apply only to a certain subset of students. Likewise, I think that there are more and less self-aware consumers of certain strains of violent or transgressive cinema or music. Because I'm so often in the position of defending self-aware study or consumption of athletic pursuits or entertainments seen as "barbaric" by those without any basis for understanding, I extend the benefit of the doubt to gaming.

The point is, if you're going to move from the material implements used to commit atrocities (guns) to abstract notions like the "culture of violence" or spirituality, you should have the courage of your convictions and acknowledge that there are responsible and irresponsible ways of participating in (or at least interfacing with) that culture just as there are responsible and irresponsible ways of keeping firearms, smoking weed, consuming pornography, etc.
More...
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 53
Bushmaster makes an overpriced poor quality rifle that doesn't not even meet mil spec.

Which is why I build my own.

@49
Plenty of people hunt with semi automatic weapons, it is nice to have a quick follow up shot. Brownings BAR semi automatic hunting rifle has been selling great for around 50 years.

I would hunt with my AR however the State of Washington says that the 5.56x45 round used by the AR15 is not sufficiently powerful for harvesting deer, so I bought an AR10 in 7.62 NATO.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
54
The penis is the only part of an infant's body that is culturally acceptable on which to perform cosmetic surgery. Try to think of another part that is OK to cut off a baby's body besides the foreskin of the penis.

The penis is the only part of the human body that it's socially acceptable to mock to a person's face. It's rightly considered unacceptable to tell a person they are ugly if their facial features aren't ideal according to the consensus. It's rightly considered unacceptable to mock a woman for having smaller than average breasts. It's rightly considered unacceptable to mock a person because their skin color isn't the same as the majority's. But the penis, because it's dirty or funny or something you can mock openly despite that it's a physical attribute that beyond a person's control.

If you want to change the culture of masculine insecurity, stop implying that men with average and smaller cocks can't be as manly as a man with an elephant trunk between his legs. The title of this post contributes to the insecurity it's attempting to confront.

The next time you say an SUV driver is compensating for a small cock, imagine roughly %25 of the men that are within earshot are smaller than average. You are being exactly as shitty as you would be if you proclaimed that women with small tits are bitches to compensate for their boob size in a room full of women with small breasts.

If our concept of masculinity contributes to gun violence, and I'm not sure it does, then we can start the healing by getting all the size queens at The Stranger and Slog shutting the fuck up about how great huge dicks are, and how gun owners and by extension perpetrators of gun violence are compensating for their inadequacy.

OK, feel free to start commenting on my small penis.
More...
Posted by Scrum on December 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Fnarf 55
@53, it wasn't poor quality enough to prevent your compatriot from shooting each of those six- and seven-year-olds between three and eleven times as they huddled together in the far corner of the room.

one of the enduring mysteries of the gun kook is the compulsion to go into very detailed discussions of weapons and calibers after any kind of horrible incident like this. It never fails. Way to show empathy. That and your offhand "condolences to the dead" in the other thread -- you don't offer condolences to the dead, you offer them to the living -- tell us a great deal about your mental state. You take comfort in your 7.62 whatevers, now.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
blip 56
@53 Perhaps improving upon your marksmanship -- such that a gun that can give you a "quick follow-up shot" would be unnecessary -- would be a fair compromise, so we might be able to keep weapons designed for the battlefield out of civilian hands? Being able to shoot in rapid succession seems like a luxury one could sacrifice for the sake of public safety.
Posted by blip on December 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
57
@52
"... cognitive dissonance ... Mission of Burma ... Mingus and Bartok ... Goju-Ryu ... NFL ... Jacobean revenge tragedies ... "

You might want to read my previous posts on tangents.

"First-person shooter games may or may not be a good example; I don't know because I don't play them, and don't care to."

That was your example.
Not mine.
I was pointing out the cognitive dissonance involved in claiming that first-person shooters are acceptable and that extremely violent movies are acceptable and then referencing "culturally entrenched pathologies" when the subject is guns or the advertising that Dan referenced.

"... material implements ... abstract notions ... courage of your convictions ... pornography ..."

Look at the statistics.
99% of the guns owned and the gun owners will never be involved in any gun violence.
And you want to talk about "responsible"?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 58
You might want to read my previous posts on tangents.

My tangents are the most interesting thing you'll read all day. That said, those "tangents" were also examples of cultural products that could be lumped in with "culture of violence" by those inclined to draw lines in the sand.
That was your example.
Not mine.
I never suggested that they were your example. I was reflecting on the matter, and suggesting that maybe they weren't as good an example as my others--not because the same things may not apply, but because I'm considerably less knowledgeable regarding video games than I am regarding music or cinema.
I was pointing out the cognitive dissonance involved in claiming that first-person shooters are acceptable and that extremely violent movies are acceptable and then referencing "culturally entrenched pathologies" when the subject is guns or the advertising that Dan referenced.
I stand by what I wrote. If you care to respond to my points, rather than repeating your previous assertion, I may come to believe that I've been corrected via a cogent rebuttal. There's a first time for everything. ;)
99% of the guns owned and the gun owners will never be involved in any gun violence.
What percentage of people who enjoyed Martyrs or Inglourious Basterds do you imagine have been involved in any gun violence? I don't think we're as far apart as you think we are. To whatever degree you wish to act as an apologist for gun ownership, I'm happy to meet you as an apologist for the so-called "culture of violence," at least insofar as we're looking at individual works or products as opposed to tendencies in the framing.

Or, to put it another way, they can have my simulated dismemberment when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
More...
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
Fnarf 59
@56, banning any kind of rifle at all might address the horrors like last Friday, but almost all gun deaths in this country come from handguns used in more prosaic incidents, like the father who shot his seven-year-old at the gun store the other day, or the thousands of other victims of crimes, accidents, and arguments.

But handguns are off the table. Americans oppose any kind of handgun ban three to one, and the Supreme Court will not allow one anyways.

There simply is no realistic way to reduce the rapid increase in handgun ownership (in the hands of a dwindling number of enthusiasts) until we can more or less expect to see guns going off at all hours and in all places. We are the land of the flying bullets.

Have some Jonathan Chait if you want to feel that sickening feeling:
The House Republican caucus is dominated by ultraconservatives whose members reside in safe districts, and whose only chance of defeat is at the hands of a potential conservative primary challenge.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/201…
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
60
@58
"My tangents are the most interesting thing you'll read all day."

No. Not even close.

"What percentage of people who enjoyed Martyrs or Inglourious Basterds do you imagine have been involved in any gun violence?"

I'm guessing that all you have are tangents.
You have no understanding of the subject and you are too enamored with your own prose and your self-supposed expertise.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Posted by AndyM on December 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 62
@60 - Might a discussion on these matters is impossible because some parties to it will dismiss any posits to which they have no response as "tangents" and any messengers with whom they don't want to engage as self-enamored (never mind whatever "pot/kettle" allusions one might be inclined to invoke)?
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 63
@62 - "Might a discussion on these matters BE impossible . . ." I'll have a talk with my editor.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
64
@62
You should look up "tangent".
Pornography is a tangent in this discussion.
Yet you felt compelled to comment upon it.

You still seem to be unable to get past your own prose.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 65
The ad being used as an example of the problem of "masculinity, insecurity, overcompensation, dick size" is arguably pornographic in itself; that it has a connection worth discussing to the role of the media in the culture of violence seems pretty nearly axiomatic to me. If it doesn't seem that way to you, I freely admit that I'm not qualified to convince you of it; foundational premises are notoriously sticky that way. And since anything I would have to say on the matter would be based on the premise that this connection is all but self-evident, I think we can agree on, if nothing else, the likely fruitlessness of any further conversation. Indeed, I'm kind of regretting wasting as many drops of my precious time on this as I already have.

Be well.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
66
@65
"... is arguably pornographic in itself; ..."

It's a picture of just an AR-15. Nothing else.
You can argue that it is pornography if you want.
I'm sure that there are people who would view it as such.
But pornography is still tangential to this discussion.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
onion 68
56 - yes. to that bit about hunters improving their marksmanship. that they all just become bowhunters and they'd HAVE to rely on their skills on not their technology.
but i've also heard discussion of whether or not it's the semiautomatic function that is the problem, or the capacity of the magazine. shotguns can be semiautomatic. but they can't shoot 30 shells in rapid succession.(right? i'm a bit ignorant here)
also - yes to 51. The woman did buy the gun, but it took the dumbass dude to make it into a mass murder weapon.
Posted by onion on December 17, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 69
@41: So, by that measure, if you storm an elementary school classroom waving a gun, you shouldn't be arrested for anything more than trespassing as long as nobody is killed or injured and there's no property damage?
Posted by Fred Casely on December 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
smajor82 71
@36 - You're right - sorry.

@26 - The idea that we should forfeit some freedom in the realms of property rights and traffic laws IS a no brainer. As I acknowledged in my comment, some issues take thought. The point was that social issues, including free speech are nuanced and an all or nothing approach doesn't help the conversation. The rhetoric you refer to was my examples of gun control that worked? Rhetoric is not data. Rhetoric is waxing vaguely about A B and C without a single detail about what you are referring to.
Posted by smajor82 on December 18, 2012 at 7:05 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 72
@68 Wrong, more or less. There are box-magazine assault shotguns. The first one that comes to mind is made by Saiga in Russia. It's essentially a shotgun version of an AK-47.

Shotshells are big, so you'd only get about 10 rounds in a magazine the size of a 30-round .223 magazine. But, in principle, you could festoon your body with a bunch of extra mags and practice quick reloads to the point that you could carry and fire 100 shots in a couple of minutes.

They're rare, compared to hunting shotguns or riot guns based on hunting guns with tubular magazines, so you are effectively correct.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
onion 73
72 - ok. wow, assault shotguns. I learn something every day. but still...it's the capacity of the magazine that really allows for quick mass murder. I just think the conversation could be steered towards magazine capacity rather than the fact that a gun is semiautomatic. for example, my husband says his dad hunts with a semiautomatic shotgun. (not sure what - ducks? turkey? game birds?) but that shotgun sure doesn't shoot a billion rounds in one go.
Posted by onion on December 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
74
This debate is simple. You could put ANY right in the place of "right to keep and bear arms" and it would be the same. Some people don't care about guns, don't like guns, feel safe without a gun, wouldn't want to own a gun. Everyone else would like to have one, or at least have the option. Do you get to decide for me? Is my gun dispensable and unnecessary, simply because you personally have no need for it? Now, you might argue that my gun is deadly. Maybe it'll kill someone. Better safe than sorry. If that's your argument, you need to be fighting to take my car away first, because it's far, far more likely to kill someone than my gun. So are my stairs, by the way. And my swimming pool, if I had one. Some people think it's fine to tell others they shouldn't be able to watch porn, or have their gay marriage legally recognized, or own a pit bull, or get an abortion, because they feel those things are dangerous and also don't personally care about giving them up. I have personally always supported the rights of others to make their own choices, as long as they aren't hurting anyone. I have always had guns. I have used one in self-defense during a home invasion. I have always kept them locked up, and separate from the ammunition. I am a responsible gun owner, and should not have to give up my right to be one because someone else wasn't. The vast majority of gun owners are like me, and yet we're about to be judged and punished for the actions of a few sick individuals. The idea that it's a gun, or lack thereof, that makes a person dangerous is ridiculous. I'm a huge Dan fan, and I consider my right to have a gun no different than my right to have an orgy, or an abortion, or a hard drive full of fetish porn. Ignorance and fear are driving this debate. (Oh, and I'm a woman, so problems with my masculinity and/or penis size aren't tainting my point of view.)
More...
Posted by Haley on December 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
75
Just to start this off... I do not own any weapons other than kitchen knives while my girlfriend owns 2 pocket knives that are smaller in blade length than the kitchen knives.

Gun control via laws cannot work for a very practical reason. I do not need a manufacturer to build a weapon for me to purchase in order to own a firearm. I can build weapons far more damaging (and deadly) than ones that can legally be sold. It might take me a couple of days to get the parts but I could build a tank killer cannon if for some stupid reason I thought I needed one. The same cannon loaded with grapeshot would do wonders against people in body armor.
Modern weaponry may have more range (and definitely better accuracy to a point) than older types but no real difference in how deadly they are. Modernized weapons can be reloaded faster and a person can carry more ammo but that is about all.
Case in point: The Henry and Winchester repeating rifles in the 1870's allowed a cowboy to carry a lot of ammo if needed. A Native American with a bow was highly limited on the amount of arrows he could make and carry at a time. But that Native could easily outshoot the average cowboy. And that arrow will do a lot more damage to a person's body than the bullet will. Knapping an arrowhead takes some skill to do but it isn't that hard to learn. And you can find instructions on how to make a good bow in just a few seconds time if you know what you are doing on Google. Hard to conceal of course but so what? Decent bows can be used at ranges of over 100 yards while a pistol sucks at those ranges. Oh and Kevlar armor won't protect you very well from an arrow. A target arrow will punch right thru it and even a broadhead will go thru it.
Nuclear weapons are something that I can not in any way match at home but since I live in the US I don't have to worry as much about the Government dropping one on me. The fallout from doing so (both real and political) would be devastating to a lot more people than killing me that way would be worth.
Now am I a threat to anyone because I have that sort of knowledge? No. I have absolutely no intention of doing anything with that knowledge. If I were insane then I would be a threat but I am not insane. For the same reason I don't tell people of better ways to cause terror in the US besides flying aircraft into large buildings. Yes there were (and probably still are but I am not interested in finding out) more effective ways to terrorize a city than killing a large number of people in a couple of buildings.
And none of that requires me to be a gun-nut, which is something I am not. I just read a lot. And played a lot of war-games. You can learn a lot by reading anything that catches your eye. Some of it you might wish to unlearn but guess what? You can't unlearn something you have learned.
And now you have learned that there is a truck driver out there that could (but won't) plan an effective terrorist attack and can design weapons capable of standing off the Army (for a short time anyway) and you can not unlearn that fact. Have a nice day.
More...
Posted by Romial on December 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
watchout5 76
I can't believe there's anyone in this thread wanting advertising companies to be allowed to target 12 year olds. You sick fucks, you're the problem we're all whining about.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on December 20, 2012 at 5:56 AM · Report this

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