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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Responsible Gun Owner: Twenty Dead Children a "Drop In the Ocean"

Posted by on Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

A letter from a reader:

My name is Morgan. As a responsible gun owner I find your coverage of the recent elementary school shooting lacking. The bigger picture is this; 26 tragic deaths is one particularly salty drop in an ocean, with regards to untimely deaths in this country. How many people are dying each year because of poor diets, cancer, car wrecks, prescription drugs, choking, bicycle-ground/bus/car accidents? You get the idea. Print that and nobody will ever bring up guns again. So lets call it what it is: a distraction. Gun violence in the media is a distraction. What from? Everything else that is going on, bad roads, poor health care, drones spying on U.S. citizens, corporate greed, or maybe even child trafficking. Just like professional sports are the opiate of the masses, so too are these "little" sensationalized stories.

I won't call it hypocritical, but don't you also find some irony in the fact that The Stranger vol.22/no.16 not only contains your thoughts on national gun disgust but also a much larger article about two, soon to be three people who are being held indefinitely without trial, without conviction? If the FBI knocks on your door who will stand up for you? You? With what? Truth? Truth isn't a bulletproof vest and it certainly wont stop a bulldozer. Peacefully protest, great, but for how long?

Do some real reporting, don't take the easy route, be more than your job, impress me.


Shorter Morgan: "Look! Over there! Someone is having a second helping of dessert!"

They're all fucking nuts.


Comments (136) RSS

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If citizens with guns are a check against the BIGGEST MILITARY IN THE WORLD WITH AUTOMATED DEATH DRONES, then these people should be for Iran getting ahold of a nuke, right?


I am all for a mental background check for gun ownership because most people like this person and LaPierre won't pass.
Posted by Drew2u on December 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
right, except no one teacher walks into a DQ with 20 kids in tow and subsequently gets mowed down with an extra helping of fudge.

eat a crusty dick, fuckwad.
Posted by breed out the dbags on December 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
"If the FBI knocks on your door who will stand up for you?"

And here is why there can be no "conversation" with gun nuts on the topic of gun control. They live in a fucking fantasy world 24/7.
Posted by mubhappy on December 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
This is the same tactic that can be used to stop anyone from trying to fix any problem or make any improvement. How dare you write about the problems with our educational system, don't you know there are kids in other countries who don't even have clean water? Until we can figure out a way to rank all problems and only work on the very worst of them, you're a bad person for trying to make things better just because you see a problem and want to discuss how to fix the problem that you see.

It's crap. It's always crap. And attacking people for trying to make the world better in any way is a terrible thing to do, even if what they are working on isn't the most important way.

It's like saying you're a horrible person for donating to give kids in hospitals toys and games to make their stay more bearable, because you could have spent that money to feed starving kids and kids need food more than they need happiness and cheer. This is the sort of thing people who do nothing to make the world better say, because actually picking any cause and helping it is hard and will never be perfect.
Posted by uncreative on December 22, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Mike 5
If the FBI knocks on your door who will stand up for you? You? With what? Truth?

So in your world, when the FBI knocks at your door, you answers alone, with guns blazing?

Truth isn't a bulletproof vest

Neither is a gun.

and it certainly wont stop a bulldozer.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've considered the old "guns vs. bulldozers" problem, but I suspect truth has stopped more bulldozers than guns have.

Peacefully protest, great, but for how long?

So your problem with peaceful protest is that you get tired of it eventually? How does a gun help with that? Or do you just see peaceful protest as an inconvenient waiting period before you get to shoot at bulldozers with a feeling of justification?

But to turn your construct around: what do you think has done a better job of safeguarding liberty? A free press, or the right to bear arms? If you think it's the right to bear arms, then maybe you can illustrate for us how liberty somehow still remains in the many countries that don't provide a right to bear arms.
Posted by Mike on December 22, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
johnnie 6
Well, it's good to know that there's one more paranoid, delusional nutjob with a gun out there. Thanks for the info, Morgan!
Posted by johnnie on December 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
It's telling that so many people comparing gun deaths to other kinds of premature death never perceive the fundamental differences between them. Namely, that there's a staggering difference between homicide and accidents.

Morgan is also paranoid, as @ 3 observes. I've seen that with a lot of the other gun folk I've encountered. They really think the government is just itching to arrest everyone, round them up, and basically go all Israel-in-the-West-Bank-and-Gaza on everyone. I've been disappointed to find out that one friend of mine has succumbed to this crap while I wasn't looking.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
It's a super-insensitive way of putting it, but there may be some value in providing context: if it were an average day in the US, 30 people would have died that same morning from car accidents (about 90 people for the entire day), about 30 people would have died that day specifically from drunk driving related collisions, and about 30 people have died from drunk driving related accidents every day before and after the horrible events in CT. Think about that: since the shootings (and assuming an even distribution throughout the year), over 600 people have died in car accidents. More than 200 of those were involving a drunk driver.

Of course, it's not as though addressing mental health and gun control issues is mutually exclusive with reducing harm in other areas; we can accomplish both. I'm just saying that while they seem shocking, overall numbers aren't the most persuasive argument for focusing our efforts on shootings like the one we saw in CT.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
.... *splutters* I think crazy people like this manage to advance arguments like this because the sheer amount of STUPID involved shuts down smart people's higher reasoning functions. At least mine have shut down in self-defense.

I hate, hate, HATE these asshole gun-owners who are desperately trying to find a reason to avoid having to have a meaningful conversation about guns, especially when it leads to them DISMISSING 26 people dead (20 of them children).
Posted by ThetaSigma on December 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
seatackled 10
If the FBI decides to come after you, Morgan, there's nothing you can do with your guns. You might be able to take a few agents out, perhaps knock off an neighbor or a family member or two, but there's no way you win against the government.
Posted by seatackled on December 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
@7: I dunno, homicide and drunk driving deaths seem reasonable to compare - both totally preventable and through the reckless and irresponsible actions of an individual, somebody loses their life.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Do we have the right to own bulldozers? I'll bet there's some sort of namby-pamby nanny state waiting period and licensing requirement.
Posted by Arends on December 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
rejemy 13
Sounds like Morgan is offering to go on down and use guns to free those political prisoners. Don't let us stop you!
Posted by rejemy on December 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
Would it kill us to let go of the stupid gun thing for five minutes and take the time to talk about health care in this country? That's a much, much better topic and will serve to save more lives than worrying about whether somebody else has a freaking gun.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
MirrorMan 15
Wow! That letter...hurt! I feel like I just hit myself in the head with a baseball bat about ten times by reading it. What a shitshow!
Posted by MirrorMan on December 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 16
When I was six, a maniac came into our school and force-fed thirty children before he was finally taken down by some vegans with guns. Where's the outrage over that, just because it never happened?
Posted by MacCrocodile on December 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Shorter Shorter Morgan: "Since we cannot solve EVERY problem in the world at once, we shouldn't try to solve ANY problem, because that's hypocritical."
Posted by COMTE on December 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Is it just me or is Morgan's viewpoint on the world a little off? If the death of 20 kids in a mass shooting isn't horrifying enough for you, and is just another drop in a sea of violence, then you may want to examine yourself and how you view the world.

Besides, isn't that the point? That these 20 children ARE just 20 in a list of hundreds, if not thousands, who die from gun violence every year in this country?

However, because of how they died (in a mass shooting spree in their school, of which we are all aware, rather than one-by-one due to individual acts of gun violence that the majority of us never see), they have become a tragic example of the very real problem of gun violence in this country.

I'm not saying all guns should be banned. In fact, I live in a very gun-friendly state and learned how to shoot at a very young age. But we do not need semi-automatic assault rifles in order to protect ourselves or go hunting. All of my friends who hunt for food use single-action rifles or even a bow and arrows. Never once have I seen a hunter take a semi-automatic rifle for hunting.

Reasonable and responsible gun-control laws are not unconstitutional and are not a way for the government to take our guns away.

However, we also need to look at our entire culture, which is one that glorifies violence at almost every turn. It's OK for a child to see thousands of murders on TV, movies and video games, but heaven forbid they see a stray nipple or two men kissing! That would be wrong and could cause moral damage. Right.

In addition, our mental health care system is almost non-existent and in fact, mental health issues are still considered a "made-up" problem by many. Hell, half our country is willing to let people die of cancer just because they can't afford health insurance and we are shocked that there is little or no help for those with mental illnesses?

It's a multifaceted problem, but what cannot be denied is that one of those facets is how easy it can be for mentally ill and dangerous people to access not just guns, but semi-automatic weapons and ample ammunition. And that aspect of this problem has been pushed down the road for far too long.

Let's not let these 20 deaths, and the deaths of others who we do not know of who have died from gun violence, be "just another drop in the bucket". Let's make them that final drop that makes us realize something must be done.

And @1 and 4 are right on the money.
Posted by SherBee on December 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 19
WHY the HELL would the FBI want to show up at the common citizen's door? Like others have said, these gun nuts live in some other universe.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
" The bigger picture is this; 26 tragic deaths is one particularly salty drop in an ocean,"

I'd like to see you say that if your child, sister, or mother was one of the 26. For those people who lost a loved one it is the whole world; the entire ocean.
Posted by JenV on December 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 21

So citizens should not resist a tyrannical government that does such things as, deny due process, carry out extrajudicial killings of it's citizens, and deny the right to self defense simply because the government is better armed?

The dictators of the world thank you.

In any given year Governments kill far more people than the sum of all mass murders in history. Perhaps disarming governments would do more to end unnecessary loss of life.

Recent events in Syria and Libya have shown us the power of citizens with small arms against a powerful state security apparatus. In the last 30 years Afghanistan has held off not one, but the two most powerful militaries on earth solely with small arms.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shale not be infringed.

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Oy. The first part of his argument is obvious nonsense. He argues we should talk about gun control because we have other problems as a nation. He doesn't say guns AREN'T a problem, he simply suggests it's not worth dealing with until we cure cancer, end obesity, and prevent all traffic accidents.

And the second part of the argument is not only paranoid, it's kind of scary. Yes, our federal government has given itself troubling powers since 9/11, but he implies that he's at war with the federal government, that if the FBI knocks on his door, he'll respond with lethal force. He identifies himself as a gun owner, but he doesn't need protection against the government, we need protection from him.
Posted by Daniel_NY on December 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
I think the liberal obsession w/ taking away my guns is hypocritical and slightly irrational, but I wouldn't put it quite the way this guy does. Like Dan said, shorter Morgan.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
To take Morgan's argument one step further -- if he had a radical Muslim neighbor who he thought might be a terrorist, Morgan would be just fine if the neighbor had a basement full of semi-automatic machine guns. And if the guy eventually shot up the neighborhood and took out Morgan's children, well, what can you do. Cancer, ice cream, car accidents, Americans of any religion or political persuasion shooting his neighbours ... well, what can you do? Right? Shit happens.

Funny how there's been this whole "war on terror" thing going on for over a decade, doing battle with brown-skinned people with weapons killing Americans. But when white-skinned Americans mow down other Americans with guns, it's not terror, but just Americans exercising their rights.
Posted by Xian-Qi on December 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
@11, here's the difference between 1st degree murder (homicide) and death by accident due to a drunk driver: Intent.

With 1st degree murder, there is intent to kill. That man went to that school to kill people. Period. There was no other intention in his mind, except, perhaps, to kill himself as well.

Most drunk drivers are irresponsible and stupid, to be sure, but they usually do not have the intention of killing somebody when they get behind the wheel drunk. When they do kill somebody it is an accident, not intentional.

Technically, in a legal sense, by being irresponsible and knowingly driving while intoxicated, the driver can be charged with 1st degree murder because while the intention to kill may not have been present, the sheer level of irresponsibility - the knowledge that driving while drunk can lead to an accident where death can occur - can be considered a level of intent. However, it is usually not translated to 1st degree murder. Most drunk drivers who kill get convicted of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter or, at most, 2nd degree murder, simply because the actual intent to kill a person was never present.

One is an act of sheer will, the other is a set of circumstances put into place by an irresponsible person. While both are tragic and deserve our attention and energy to prevent them, they are not the same.
Posted by SherBee on December 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
In terms of accessing the moral and legal culpability of the person responsible, a drunk driving fatality and a gun murder are very different. In terms of accessing the effect that a commercially available product will have on public health and safety I think they are comparable. Matt from Denver says they are completely different because of something he learned in Logic 101, but he won't tell me what it is.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 22, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Regarding the argument comparing gun deaths to automobile deaths, the number of gun deaths is forecast to overtake the number of traffic deaths by 2015:…
Posted by muon1183 on December 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
@27 Oh well, at least you guys are winning the War on Cars.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 22, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 29
Also Dan your statement that all gun owners are nuts is the equivalent to saying, "All homosexuals are pedophiles." based on the writings of a NAMBLA aficionado.

Approximately 47% of the nation owns guns, that is around 55,000,000 households. We are normal people with lives, jobs and families just like everyone else.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 22, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
@25: I'm receptive to that point, and I don't think they're the _same_. I do believe them to be at least somewhat comparable when you're looking at the damage done to families and society at large.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 31
Almost every comment in here is an example of why gun advocates refuse to talk about gun control.

Keep ridiculing them and calling them crazy. You'll never have a meaningful discussion on gun control. Never.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 22, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 32
Oh @21, you're precious.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on December 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Soooo, I gotta say I do agree with Morgan, though he articulated his letter some what poorly.

What happened in Conneticut was an absolutely a tragedy. No question.

What particularly, in this case, causes me the most frustration is the fact that the Stranger has made countless self-righteous statements regarding gun-control, yet have a history of outright promotion of alcohol. Alcohol kills at least twice as many people a year as guns, I have no idea how many assaults it causes, and the number of broken lives to alcoholism is beyond count. For several years I have made a living dealing with the negative consequences of alcohol, but I can't even bring up the subject with most folks because I would be considered a square or party-pooper. People get more weird when they find out that I don't drink than they do when they find out that I own guns.

I have a law that I believe will save many many more lives than any amount of gun-control laws ever will: Breathalyzers built into every car. This would prevent just about all drunk-driving deaths.

But this will never get headlines. There will never be a national debate about Breathalyzers in every car. There won't even be a Stranger article based on the idea. I doubt they would ever even address the issue of the incredibly high alcohol-related deaths. Because it doesn't sell.

Of course, the wisest course of action would be to get to the bottom of what causes our dependence on alcohol as a nation. My bet is that it's probably the same thing that causes our fascination with guns. Some people arm themselves to protect themselves from it, some drink to ignore it. Some do both (yikes!). That's the issue where I would like to see the focus of our outrage.

But if you need an easy fix, put breathalyzers in cars. That will save more lives than gun-control measures, and likely face much less backlash.
Posted by walter matthau on December 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Puty 34
@29 And you live in a country with through-the-roof firearm violence. Clearly substantial legal and cultural change is needed.

Dan's exasperated point -- that the gun supporters hurling scrambled rationalizations against needed change are "nuts" -- is fair.
Posted by Puty on December 22, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Puty 35
Urgatha: Many U.S. gun advocates walked away from the conversation decades ago. The conversation might have to happen without a lot of them.
Posted by Puty on December 22, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Puty 36
Sorry, Urgutha. Two "u"s.
Posted by Puty on December 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Ziggity 37
@21: Almost every amendment has its exceptions, and its clear the national movement is towards reducing gun violence in ways that are responsible (e.g. not adding 100,000+ guns to schools). So, yes. Yes we "shale".
Posted by Ziggity on December 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 38
People! "Bad roads"? Did nobody catch that?

Gun violence in the media is a distraction from bad roads.

Bad roads are as important as health care, drones spying on U.S. citizens, corporate greed, and child trafficking.

Because. Because have you seen the bill for a front end alignment on a Chevy Tahoe these days? There's potholes out there and America isn't watching. You can't even DRIVE in the blessed CURB LANE for all the chuck holes.

Enough about guns. Fix those roads!

And I want a tax cut. Who moved the remote?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 22, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Morgan, you ignorant idiot.

Ever heard of Martin Luther King? Gandhi? YES, civil protest DOES work.

"...overall numbers aren't the most persuasive argument for focusing our efforts on shootings like the one we saw in CT. ''

How many people will it take to change your mind? The Onion said 1,000 dead kids at one time. What's your number?

But really Morgan, your time is up. We are the peaceful, civil (and civic) minded people of this country and we have had enough.

I'm not coming for your guns; I'm coming to make sure YOU are held responsible for them.
Posted by westello on December 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 40

The reason Stranger staffers hate guns but adore alcohol is because they're a bunch of opportunistic hypocrites.

They want what they want and fuck everyone else.

I'm sure they're all good people, but I'd kill myself before I ever put them in charge of anything serious. They're too uncompromising.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
I'm a liberal. I strongly support gun rights. I do not feel welcome to participate in this discussion. Enjoy your confirmation bias, Slog writers.
Posted by NancyBalls on December 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
delirian 42
@8: Why do you link mental health and gun control in the same sentence? Oh yes, you assume that people with mental illnesses are dangerous. There is no evidence for that. People that have mental illnesses are no more dangerous than the general population and study after study has shown this.

All of this talk about mental health in the context of violence is incredibly stigmatizing. It is disappointing because the real conversation should be about gun control. Why do you think that the gun nuts are focusing on the 'danger' of people with mental health issues? It is because it is a common narrative (even though it is a lie) and because it serves as a distraction. They can say that the guns are safe, it is only a problem with the 'crazies'.

Stop repeating their lies. Access to guns drives violent crime. People with mental illness shouldn't be a scapegoat.
Posted by delirian on December 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
The main difference between the auto accidents & gun related deaths is that the US stands alone in our gun deaths in developed countries. We're just totally off the chart. This suggests that there is more we can do to change it...
Posted by ScruffyBallardMan on December 22, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 44
But what about MY right to have a nuclear weapon in my home to protect my family? The second amendment just says arms...doesn't say what kind. So I have the right to own a nuclear weapon so I can protect my family from the FBI, door to door sales people, cockroaches ...well probably not them.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Ninety percent of gun owners give the other ten percent a band reputation.
Posted by tiktok on December 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM · Report this
@25, small point: a drunk driver who kills someone with their car can't be charged with first degree murder if they didn't intend to do so. Intention is key.

@14 (I think): straw man argument about talking about health care instead of gun restrictions. This conversation is not about all other deficits in our country.
Posted by sarah70 on December 22, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
what a weird letter! I think it is equally impossible to have a meaningful conversation with either a gun nut, or a gun control nut. You are both wrong, clearly unwilling to budge on an issue that is not important to you, clearly, not having been in the position of having to defend yourself with a gun, ever, in your life, and if you had ever been in that position, the argument would be nuanced and considerate if so.

My 93 year old grandmother is alive today because of her gun, she defended herself against an attacker that broke into her home with a baseball bat in tow and a criminal record that made clear that he would indeed have raped and bludgeoned her to death, having previously been suspected of virtually the same crime, but never was there enough evidence to arrest him, and because she had a weapon, she killed him, and he never hurt anyone again. She no longer has her gun, at 93, she just aint able to barely stand, let alone wield her .45ACP semi auto handgun (with high capacity magazine...)

I am not sure what point this fellow was trying to make, but the writer is clearly inarticulate. Crazy? No, just stupid and bad with analogies and such, obviously not a brilliant person... To put it lightly.

And FYI - the mentally ill DO NOT have a higher likelihood to engage in violence than the general population, and that is a clear and proven fact, and in fact, they have a much lower likelihood to harm others and a much higher likelihood to hurt themselves. I am very concerned about this blaming the mentally ill for these massacres. Yes, you are clearly nutz if you kill unprovoked, but no, it is not appropriate to demonize the mentally ill, and in fact, is a major problem that prevents people from seeking help for fear of being branded this way, and it is the left and right that are doing this equally. There should not under any circumstance be any prejudice against the mentally ill on any level, they deserve to have every right that we all do until so time as they do something that deserves the losing of certain rights, and only when convicted duly in a court of law, and like the rest of us, they should be able to earn some or all of those rights back when they have served their sentence. No person that massacres unprovoked should ever get out of the state hospital (preferably), or prison (if under current laws in most states).
Posted by scratchmaster joe on December 22, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
@42: You're reading an awful lot of things I didn't write. Would you have been happier if I'd used two sentences, or are you suggesting that the state of mental healthcare in this country is just fine?
Lack of access to mental health services harms our society, and not primarily through violence.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 49
Maybe it's me...but I still think something is missing in our reactions to this whole thing.


No one is really angry.

There is sorrow. There are people mourning. There are people using it to push latent agendas. But no anger.

Maybe it's shock, but I hope at some point people get really riled up. I mean pitchforks and witch hunting and scapegoating fired up.

Scrape away all the guns, insane geekitude and Oedipal complex veneer, and look at the crime itself.

19 year old killing 20 six and seven year olds with a gun.

As I've previously commented, based on FBI statistics that just doesn't happen.

19 year olds strike out against peers and adults. We get that. But not this. This is like some insane perversion the human psyche to do this. Holden Caulfield is supposed to be the Catcher of little kids...not the Shooter thereof.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
delirian 50
@48: You implied it, and I have a hair-trigger patience with that type of talk, especially here at the newspaper that printed the article warning of waves upon waves of violence on the streets if mental health funding was cut. A discussion of mental health funding can be done another time (and I would certainly support universal public-subsidized access).

Currently the discussion is gun violence. And the gun nut who wrote the letter is at least partially correct--twenty dead kids is just a drop in the bucket. I'm sure at least that many kids have been gunned down around the country since then. Probably more have died with gun accidents and suicides by gun. Almost none of the homicides were due to mental illness. Most were causalities of domestic violence, child abuse, and the War on Drugs. And yet, here we are ignoring these root causes. How many Stranger articles and comments have mentioned domestic violence, child abuse, or the War on Drugs as key elements in gun crime? They don't, I've checked. They focus on making a boggieman out of people with mental illnesses. It pisses me off.
Posted by delirian on December 22, 2012 at 5:41 PM · Report this
RTam 51
Who says liberals want to take away everyone's guns? Nutjobs, that's who. I'd venture to say that the vast majority of liberals want stricter GUN CONTROL, not gun banning across the board (with the obvious exception of high-powered automatic weapons).

Liberals own guns, too. We just don't think it's a god-given right - second amendment or not.

And talking and/or action about one thing does not preclude talking or action about something else - don't be a moron.
Posted by RTam on December 22, 2012 at 5:57 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 52
wow, nobody chums the water until comment 21.
Posted by wilbur@work on December 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM · Report this
Fnarf 53
Mathematically your correspondent has a point. Something like 500 people have been killed by guns in the US just since Newtown, 150 or so by homicide.
Posted by Fnarf on December 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
I think what the crazy NRA folks don't understand is they are way more menacing and threatening than the government, so the whole "we need guns to stand up to the government" thing just creeps me out.
Posted by DJSauvage on December 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Magnum PI 55
Well, he is right about about the "one particularly salty drop in an ocean", but he's describing the wrong ocean: the US averages over 11,000 firearm murders annually.

Listen, I'm a gun owner. I'm not a nut, I don't talk about tyranny, and any interaction between me and the FBI would involve me putting my hands up and shitting my pants. I despise the NRA for its tone-deaf infantile "it's mine!" tunnel vision. Please, we can do a better job regulating firearms. Make it harder for us! Seriously! If you're that interested in purchasing a firearm, you'll wait a couple of days, you'll take the training, you'll take a test and get a license with your picture on it. How can getting a driver's license be WAY harder than buying a handgun? Why can't private sales go through a FFL, so you know they're not a felon. Boohoo, you're out an extra $25. We can beef up background checks, ban or regulate high capacity magazines, and actually preclude people with mental illness from legally buying firearms. Right now, when you buy a firearm legally, you check a box that says you're not mentally ill. That's our current prevention. That's nuts. Fuck, isn't the spate of recent massacres an awful but strong rationale for Obamacare?

That said, probably none of this would have prevented Sandy Hook. But so what? If it prevents another massacre, or denies firearms to someone with a history of violence, or just maybe reduce the number of gun homicides in this country, wouldn't that be just great?
Posted by Magnum PI on December 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
@50: "I have a hair-trigger patience with that type of talk"

I guess.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 6:29 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 57
Using Morgan's logic, 9/11 was also a drop in the bucket compared to annual deaths in America. At least republicans were consistent in calling for a restrained response. If I recall correctly, the Bush administration acknowledged that since there was no way to ever prevent all terrorist attacks, then we shouldn't try to beef up background checks. And the NRA advocated putting a boxcutter in every passenger's hands.

@49 - I am also surprised by the lack of anger. I can asure you I have enough anger to spare.

Posted by Tim Horton on December 22, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Did I just happen into a high school debate class? Appeal to emotion has won the day. Dead babies are the deciding argument.

Gandhi recommended self-defense above annihilation. "I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor."
Posted by Linda J on December 22, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
@55 it may not prevent Sandy Hook but over a year I would wager it'd prevent at least 28 deaths.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 22, 2012 at 6:38 PM · Report this
"Right now, when you buy a firearm legally, you check a box that says you're not mentally ill. That's our current prevention. That's nuts. Fuck, isn't the spate of recent massacres an awful but strong rationale for Obamacare?"

"Adjudicated Mentally Defective," not just mentally ill (one's a legal definition, the other is a medical one). Unfortunately, this is still pretty accurate. The states are _supposed_ to hook up their mental health records to the federal database, but I think only six or so have done it.
Posted by doceb on December 22, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
Fnarf 61
@60, how do you propose to address the people who become "mentally ill", whatever that means (you will have to define it), AFTER they purchase their weapons. Ten, twenty, thirty years after?

If you are prevented from owning a firearm because you are mentally ill, are you allowed to go back and get one after you are cured?

What if, like Mr. Lanza, you are "mentally ill" (though it is unclear he would be categorized as such before the fact), and thus, under your system, you can't buy a firearm, but you live in your mother's house, and she has a dozen weapons? How does your system take account of that? What if he had just been visiting for the afternoon?

All this talk of mental illness is a smokescreen. Guns are the issue. The only issue.
Posted by Fnarf on December 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
Violence has declined, according to Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker:…
Posted by Linda J on December 22, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 63

In your book Skipping Toward Gomorrah, you devote an entire chapter to praising the use of guns for recreational sport.

You're a bit late to the party, but I'm glad you finally came around.

Maybe its because you've grown older? Maybe its because you have a kid? Maybe its because 20 sets of parents with kids not unlike your own will now and forever know the worst pain a human can ever feel?

The irony is, Robert Bork (whom you lifted the title of that same book from) died just a few days ago.

And you're right- Bork and Morgan and the NRA-they are all fucking crazy. The NRA just delivered a "from my cold dead hands" speech over the graves of 20 kids aged 5-12 years. Westboro Baptist tried to picket funerals over said graves. And Morgan here is equivocating the mass slaughter of children with diet-related diabetes. They are all fucking crazy.

Which is why I suggest that we stop compromising with crazy. Why do we write chapters on wrath books likle Skipping Toward Gomorrah where we try to understand the crazy? Are you going to write another one where you try to understand paranoid schizophrenics by dropping acid before visiting Mogadishu?

Why should I compromise with the NRA? The NRA isn't going to compromise. Batshit though they are, they have a stainless steel spinal column. Reach out to them and they"ll take everything from your elbow to your shoulder blades.

One does not compromise with the uncompromising.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
delirian 64
@61: The reason people with a severe mental illness should not have access to firearms is not because they present a risk to the public, but because it gives them access to a potent method for suicide. The current standard is that if a person has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, the the flag is set and they can't own or possess firearms. In order to maintain due process, anyone with the flag set (which also includes felons and people charged with domestic violence) can petition a court for restoration of that right. As far as I'm concerned, there should be no innate right for anybody to possess a firearm, but since it is still considered a civil right, this is the process that must take place.
Posted by delirian on December 22, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 65

The only thing that has happened since 9/11 is stripping the American public of their Constitutional rights and TSA security theatre at the airport.

Despite warrant-less wiretaps, taking your shoes off and having your genitals groped you are no safer now then you were on 09/10/2001.

If anything you are less safe as our ongoing wars in South West Asia have created a whole new generation of Muslim extremist.


"One does not compromise with the uncompromising."

We compromised with the National Firearms Act 1934, the Gun control act of 1968, the Hugh Amendment of 1986, the Import ban of 1989, The Gun Free Schools Act of 1990. the Brady Act of 1993, the expired Assault weapons ban of 1994, the NICS Improvement act of 2007.

Those who wish to ban guns will not rest until all guns are banned and allow no room for compromise.

You have said to me personally that you want me either killed or stripped of my rights, that alone is reason enough for me to bear arms.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
Hi, @55. I love you.
Posted by jt on December 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Here's one difference between gun deaths (all kinds, intentional and otherwise) and drunk driving deaths that's worth considering.

Drunk driving deaths have gone down steadily over the last 40 years. Why? Because we can control who has access to alcohol and who is allowed to drive a car. We can also mandate safety features on cars.

So, if you're dedicated to that comparison, we just need to apply the same principles to gun ownership. Control access to ammo, license who can own a gun, and mandate safety features on the guns themselves.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM · Report this
@67 I've said this a couple times. But I own a brewery. You know, the profession that was stopped constitutionally. I sorta see where they're coming from. But, and it's a giant but, we've comes to terms the harm our craft can do and we work really hard to prevent it. I always tell our bartenders to never over serve. It's our social responsibly and even though that extra helps the bottom line. Bottom lines are never as valuable as a life.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 22, 2012 at 8:46 PM · Report this
eastcoastreader 69
hey Morgan- here's a big FUCK YOU with love from someone who lives in CT.
Posted by eastcoastreader on December 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 70
For those people who lost a loved one it is the whole world; the entire ocean.
@20 - Thank you. It's clear that Morgan has no idea what grief feels like.

And while there's little that compares to losing one's own child, it was unthinkable to me that this event would fail to evoke basic human empathy in even the coldest among us.

Thanks, Morgan, for setting a new low.
Posted by Free Lunch on December 22, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 71
Gun violence has also been dropping steadily since the 90s though there are now more guns on the street, guns are only one part of the equation when it comes to violence.

Very true, you are even regulated by the same federal agency. I briefly looked into starting a distillery, it was roughly the same hoops that you jump through to get a license for firearms manufacture.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 22, 2012 at 9:17 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 72

Speaking of paranoid schizophrenics......
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
At current trends, gun fatalities will soon be greater than car fatalities (because the former has been slowly increasing and the latter precipitously dropping). So you can put that comparison to rest, Morgan (even setting aside the difference that the vast majority of car fatalities are accidents, while that is not the case for gun fatalities [a majority of those are suicides]).
Posted by madcap on December 22, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Here's the problem with the tyranny argument: almost all the people who make that argument are people in whom I have less trust to lead/defend society than our official police/army.
Posted by madcap on December 22, 2012 at 9:42 PM · Report this
@55 Requiring that all private gun sales go through an FFL would go a long way towards keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 22, 2012 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 76
That is straight up wrong, pure speculation.…

Also your comment in 74 is a bit strange as at least half the gun owners I know are either ex-military or law enforcement.

Since you have nothing to offer but personal attacks: Go choke on a dick commie!
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM · Report this
@71 the TTB is annoying to deal with but in all honesty so is getting rid of beer stone. I'm not a fan of guns, I lost three friends to gun violence while in highschool. I'll fully admit to enjoying shooting a gun, I have the patience for fishing but oddly not hunting. I do believe there are people who own a gun and understand how powerful they are. I just frustrated when people are blasé about them. That said, I am rather disappointed by the willingness to discuss our gun problem with gun owners.
It seems to me it's silly to pretend guns aren't an issue in this country, you guys have the most to lose. Be proactive. We as brewers in Washington still do hill climbs to talk to Olympia in how we can have more freedom in our art and also work on our social responsibility. I wish I'd see you guys take that tact.
The US is a huge place full of a lot of people, it's good to know your neighbor and work with them.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 22, 2012 at 10:23 PM · Report this
@77 ugh. Typos galore. I'm just frustrated. And also a 'lack of willingness'. To add to that, everytime people talk about raising the excise tax on beer, I don't think they're coming for my kettle rather one less meal eaten out.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 22, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
MirrorMan 79
Cascadian Bacon, read comment #55, please.

We can, and ,in fact, SHOULD, regulate firearm ownership. Not outright ban.

A car has a specific purpose, transportation. It unfortunately can be also take a life when operated irresponsibly.

Guns are similar, except their purpose is harm, and in the correct hands, they can save lives, not take them.

My brother is a police officer, and I grew up in a household with guns. That being said, why in the hell does anyone, outside of a soldier in the field, need an assault weapon and a 100 round magazine?

Please? Anyone?

And one other thing, which has been touched on repeatedly here and on other forums. So many people are taking an either/or approach to this regarding mental health and gun access.

Aren't we we, as a country, capable of putting on our big person pants and dealing with this in a comprehensive way? Can't we listen to the special interests and say "That's nice. But we need something that addresses the problem at hand, not your agenda. So sorry that it pisses the fuck out of you, but burying children pisses the fuck out of me, not to mention their families."

Seriously, what world do these people live in?
Posted by MirrorMan on December 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM · Report this
MirrorMan 80
And regarding your comment at #76?

Your Freudian slip is showing.

Commie? Really?
Posted by MirrorMan on December 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM · Report this

You really want to act like your right to own a gun has somehow been restricted by all of the statutes you quote? If you really believe that, you are a fucking nut. There's no other way to put it.

Laws rarely keep up with technology, and this has definitely been true in the realm of firearms. Semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines are not used for self-defense. The only time you'd use an assault weapon to defend yourself is if you were being attacked by another assault weapon. Banning assault weapons them would be a better at preventing such an attack than having a suburban arms race.

I am a liberal and I would love to take every last fucking one of your guns. I make no apologies for that. The awful liberal societies that have taken such measures are safer places to live than the US. But I also recognize that taking every single gun is probably politically untenable and I'm willing for common sense compromise. Are you?

Making it at least as hard to own a gun as it is to get a driver's license seems reasonable. So does banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. And requiring all gun owners to have wrongful death insurance policies in the unfortunate event that their guns are used to harm someone. So why not contribute to a common-sense solution instead of screaming about liberals coming to take your guns.
Posted by mshawn on December 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
When Dan said "They're all fucking nuts," I took that as all the nuts who are justifying the Newtown massacre and wanting to add more guns to solve the problem, or minimizing the massacre by saying "people die all the time, so what". I don't think he was talking about all gun owners ... hunters, sport shooters, etc.
Posted by Xian-Qi on December 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 83
why in the hell does anyone, outside of a soldier in the field, need an assault weapon and a 100 round magazine?

Please? Anyone?
They don't need it, they want it. What's your point? That we should only be allowed to own what we need, not what we want? That we should ban what we want? That would eliminate a shitload of things we have.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 84
Buying more guns won't make your units any larger.

At all.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 85
@Fnarf, 61,

You're right. Let's address the problem. The problem is guns. Let's address the guns.

I will agree with you and get behind you 100%. If you're for a ban on guns, I'm with you. All guns? I'm with you, a ban on ALL guns. Regulations, I'm with you. I'll support what you support. Completely.

But you must also support me in the problem with alcohol. Guns are unnecessary. Alcohol is unnecessary. Guns kill. Alcohol kills. We can address both these problems at the same time, we don't need to deflect. We don't need to say one is too hard to do now. Ban guns, ban alcohol. We can do both. Both are terrible for our society. Ban both.

Are you with me?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Report this
delirian 86
@85: And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a red herring dressed up like a straw man. Bravo! Not every troll can pull this off. We are talking with an expert!

You have a gift, sir! Please don't waste it on us!
Posted by delirian on December 23, 2012 at 12:34 AM · Report this
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the Stranger, but nobody should be reading it for unbiased, reasoned debate on the issues of the day. That said, I do not disagree much with the conclusions expressed here about Morgan's ability to reason, to argue effectively or his ability to examine his biases as the are expressed in his many premises. But frankly I could say the same thing about 90 percent of the commenters here as well. This is a long shot, but could any of you point me to where a rational discussion of the subject might be found?
Posted by dbgill56 on December 23, 2012 at 12:38 AM · Report this
Posted by Article & Responses Relatively Rational on December 23, 2012 at 1:35 AM · Report this
@87: Apologies for the note read fail.

Google "kontradictions"
Select 1st link
Read "Why Not Renew the 'Assault Weapons' Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You…"
Read Responses
Posted by NOTE: HTML is not allowed in anonymous comments. Any HTML... on December 23, 2012 at 1:46 AM · Report this
@76 -Soldiers and Police are some of the people I have the least trust in, given the rates of domestic violence, spousal murder, etc. in both the military and law enforcement. Also, they have a habit of doing shit like leaving assault rifles on the trunks of their cars and driving down busy streets.
Posted by Chris Jury on December 23, 2012 at 2:04 AM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 91
Shorter Morgan: "People are going to die anyway, so who cares if it's from guns, or something else?"
Posted by Aurora Erratic on December 23, 2012 at 5:41 AM · Report this
The FBI actually investigated our Vietnamese neighbors in the early 80's for being from Vietnam (this is why their country of origin matters). We know this because they knocked on our door and the doors of all the neighbors and asked us about them. And the FBI was told that our neighbors are wonderful people, because they were, and we thought it was really freaking weird of the FBI to be investigating them, which it was.

And that was the end of that.

So there you go, when the FBI comes knocking, the people who will stand with you are your community.
Posted by EclecticEel on December 23, 2012 at 6:39 AM · Report this
@33 You just get a friend to breathe in it for you. They're useless.
Posted by gnot on December 23, 2012 at 6:41 AM · Report this
@49 I know. Where is the Anti-NRA Gun Owners For Gun Control organization? Do you know how much press they could get right now? How much support? Where the hell are they?
Posted by gnot on December 23, 2012 at 6:44 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 95
@ 85, you really don't wish to be taken seriously anymore, do you?

Rifles like the ones used in Aurora, Clackamas, and Newtown kill when used for their intended purpose. Alcohol kills only when misused, and never when used properly (in moderation).

For someone willing to call others "hypocrites" over this issue, you're being a huge one yourself. That's very disappointing.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 23, 2012 at 6:57 AM · Report this
Both gun-control opponents and advocates writing here bring up the same common ground. They do not feel safe. They want to feel safer. Gun-control advocates feel threatened by guns and less safe when they are around. Gun-control opponents feel that guns make them safer from other threats (hence the emphasis on all the "other" problems "out there"). The data suggest that both sides are correct depending on the way one looks at the history.

Thank you 55 for bringing up what I feel is the most needed point here. The letter writer is making the assumption that gun-control advocates want to take his guns away. What we really want is to make something that is very dangerous safer. The reason guns are becoming more dangerous than cars is that we clever humans have figured out ways to make cars safer. We can do the same for guns. Seat belts, air bags, DWI laws, required insurance and inspections have made cars safer without removing them.

The world is a scary place for all of us. We all want to feel safer. But feelings and reality are not the same thing. The data tell us that guns in the home make people less safe way more often than they make one more safe. It is a costly security blanket. One of the ironies is that we want to feel safe so that we can have greater freedom. But a bunker is only a self chosen prison. We need to get together and find a better way to feel safe that supports the freedom we really desire.
Posted by heartfelt on December 23, 2012 at 7:27 AM · Report this
sheiler 97
unbiased, reasoned debate

Excuse me 87 but THERE IS NO SUCH THING as unbiased, reasoned debate anywhere in this country. Have you been asleep for the last, oh, 20 years? War in Iraq? Unreasoned? Attacks on 9/11? Unreasoned. American policy on torture? Unreasoned. Biased. Lies.

If you don't believe me why not take a look at the number of newspapers that have folded or are hanging on to life/publication by the tips of their fingers while hanging out a window.
Posted by sheiler on December 23, 2012 at 7:45 AM · Report this
@76: It's not "straight up wrong", you are conflating violent crime rates with gun deaths. I even pointed out that the majority of gun deaths (around 55%) are suicides; those would not show up under the FBI's violent crime statistic. Violent crime also includes non-fatal crimes like aggravated assault and rape, not all of which involve guns anyway. See… for a graph of gun deaths versus car deaths.

As for your comment about ex-law enforcement and military personnel, you failed to understand my comment. I didn't say I distrusted all gun owners (which wouldn't make sense, because I own firearms), I said I distrusted most of the people who make the argument that they need guns as a defense against a tyrannical government.
Posted by madcap on December 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM · Report this
@87, @97: An unbiased debate doesn't make sense anyway. The point of a debate is people arguing from an established position. If everyone's neutral, it's not a debate, it's a discussion.
Posted by madcap on December 23, 2012 at 8:02 AM · Report this
Non violent protests have overthrown dictatorships. A very long quote from Gwynne Dyer follows.

"The past quarter-century has seen a wave of non-violent revolutions that overthrew tyrants in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, and brought democracy to several dozen countries. In the past two years it has finally reached the Arab world, one of the last bastions of tyranny.

In the context of a revolution, non-violence is a powerful political technique that constrains the amount of violence that can be used a regime whose authority is being challenged, by avoiding any use of violence by the revolutionaries that would give the regime a pretext for using all the force at its disposal.

It is, in other words, not a moral position but a carefully calculated psychological technique. It works because while morality varies according to the perspective and interests of the actor, almost all human beings (apart from psychopaths) have the same fundamental psychology. They need to justify their actions to themselves and to others, and non-violent action deprives the oppressor of an essential pretext for resorting to public violence himself.

That is not to say that he will use no force at all. In last year’s Egyptian revolution, for example, about 830 people were killed, almost all of them protesters. Very few were policemen, and none were soldiers. At any time in the six weeks that Tahrir Square was occupied, the Mubarak regime could have cleared it with machine-gun fire in ten minutes, but the protesters, by avoiding the use of any violence themselves, did not give the regime the excuse to resort to such extreme force.

The secret police could snatch a few students from the edge of the crowd and beat them to death in an alley, and they often did. However, the regime never ordered the army to open fire on the crowd, for two reasons. Torturing people to death in the privacy of police basements is deniable, but massacring large numbers of the regime’s own citizens in public fatally undermines its claim to legitimacy. Besides, the army might not obey the order to shoot.

Non-violence is not a sure-fire technique for revolution. Some regimes HAVE cleared the square with machine-gun fire and lived to tell the tale – Burma in 1988 and China in 1989, for example. Some non-violent revolutions have degenerated into civil war, as the one in Syria is doing at the moment. But most non-violent revolutions succeed, and in the past quarter-century they have virtually doubled the number of people living in democratic countries."…
Posted by Theo Magyar on December 23, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Technically, by the numbers, this person is correct. Twenty-six deaths is not very many compared to the total number of people who die from avoidable causes in the U.S. However, while our and the media's attention is disproportionately drawn to the deaths of people who are young, pretty or obviously innocent, I would not call coverage of the Connecticut shooting a distraction.
Posted by DRF on December 23, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
NotSean 102
@95 I suppose the argument would be that guns are made for target shooting and deterrence of 'bad guys'.

Guns are 'misused' when they shoot anything or anyone else.

So, you see, in that sense, guns are like alcohol, cars, and puppies. You don't want to ban puppies, right?

Then you can't restrict gun..BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!! Oopsies! (Shoulder shrug)
Posted by NotSean on December 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Cars are either driven or driven in the vicinity of nearly every single American on a daily basis. There's more cars, they're used by more people and they're used more often. All told, the accident rate is pretty damn good. But it could always be better - regulation for better and better safety features is always going to be welcome.

Not surprisingly, gun nuts are also the sort of people who strenuously argue against laws to reduce auto deaths. They're the ones against mandatory helmet and seatbelt laws, car design regulations, etc so I suppose their casual disinterest in reducing the number of deaths in this country is consistent.
Posted by lololol on December 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
MirrorMan 104
Urgutha Forka @ 83
You are being intentionally obtuse (I hope.). I said GUN CONTROL, not BAN. We don't place a limit on how many cars you can own, but as their USE can potentially have an detrimental impact on the lives of those around them, we issue licenses and test you regularly so that we are sure you are competent in that usage. If your vision goes to hell, or you regularly fail to operate the vehicle in a responsible manner, we rescind those rights. It should be the same with firearms, although perhaps a higher bar. You could still obtain them, and use them properly, it would just be more difficult. But if you want it bad enough, and can prove that you are responsible, you could get it. See how that works?
Posted by MirrorMan on December 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
@31: Maybe they should make it so that us calling them crazy has a little bit less truth to it. Until then, gun nuts be fuckin' crazy!
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM · Report this
thanks for posting this dan

it's been hard to remember why i hate you with your relative lack of posting lately

please quit thanks in advance
Posted by Swearengen on December 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
@ 85. But alcohol IS regulated. Restrictions and limits are in place around its use and sale. Looking at the limits around the use and sale of firearms is a reasonable step for a reasonable society to take - we look for a balance between freedom and regulation that most people can accept, even with some grumbling.
Posted by agony on December 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 108
@83: I thought that the RKBA was essential, or NEEDED, for the maintenance of Liberty, all that Red Dawn BS, not just because you WANT cool toys.

I'd wager that if America does become a Tyranny, the vast majority of Gun Nuts are going to be on the side of that Tyranny. Because the idea of a Leftist Authoritarian gubmint in this US is fucking absurd.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
@107 "But alcohol IS regulated."

As are firearms. Both are rather lightly regulated considering how dangerous they can be. We tried to eradicate booze from our society back in the 1920s. That didn't go so well. Do you think trying to get rid all the guns would be any different?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
@108 All that Red Dawn BS is why the NRA says we need our assault weapons and hi-cap ammo clips. The truth is we just want our cool toys.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
@ 109 Is anyone seriously trying to get rid of all of the guns? I'm seeing calls of this sort, but only from fringe groups. Serious people are talking about restrictions on assault weapons.

Other countries do this. There are many models out there to look at, see how they've worked out, and have a real discussion in the US about curbing the ease with which unnecessarily high powered weapons can be obtained. Jumping immediately to "they want to take away all of our guns" is the kind of nonsense that keeps a vital conversation from happening. Anyone seriously interested in finding a way to build a safer AND freer society, won't use that kind of rhetoric. That kind of jumping to extremes is the province of silly little boys trying to stir the pot, not adults looking for improvement.
Posted by agony on December 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Let's start blaming the fat people, the REAL cause of all our problems and stop interfering with Morgan's constitutional right to shoot federal agents!
Posted by LukeJoe on December 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this

1: it's not "my system." It's "the system," and I'm not sure why you seem to believe that I think it's great, or why you think I should be held to task for its shortcomings.

2. I mentioned caring for the mentally ill as an aside in one post, and somebody flipped out over it. I wasn't the one pushing the issue.
Posted by doceb on December 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
@109 you're a moron if you think alcohol is 'lightly' regulated. As an owner of a brewery I have to: report every 2 weeks to the TTB how much product I produced, how I'm storing it, how much got sold, shrunk, spoiled, etc. heck I even have to tell them how much malt and hops I went through in that period. Then I pay excise tax based on those various factors. Then I have to do nearly the same for the WSLCB on a monthly basis.
I also have to be ready for a FDA, TTB, WSLCB or any other entity inspection with a day's notice. I could go on and on. But hopefully you get my point. Since prohibition alcohol is not 'lightly' regulated.
Lastly, I don't want to ban guns outright, very few people do. So stop spreading fibs.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
@114 Licensed gun dealers and manufacturers also have to make detailed reports to various federal agencies and are subject to inspection. The fact that either product can be sold over the counter to pretty much anybody who is at least 21 years old constitutes a substantial threat to public safety. Most drinkers enjoy their chosen vice responsibly, but the same can be said of the vast majority of gun owners.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
I think that is, broadly speaking, a pretty good argument Morgan makes. It amounts to "freedom isn't free" and the cost is the occasional blood drenched massacre.

Nobody is obliged to be persuaded by an argument like that - I'm sure not. Its morally depraved but one can't deny its logic and integrity.
Posted by Alden on December 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 117
How am I being hypocritical?

Yes, it is intentional. I should have just posted what I did @31 and then left it alone.

People don't want to ban guns, really? They just want tougher restrictions? Really?
I don't buy it. They talk restrictions now because they know they have to speak softly. If they actually had the power though, they'd choose to full out ban them. People who hate smoking would love to ban it entirely, but they have to go bit by bit. When people hate something, they want everyone to hate it.

Whatever. I don't own guns nor do I ever see myself owning them, so any restrictions or bans would have zero impact on me. But I know how much nanny-state liberals LOVE to fucking ban and control things, so I simply don't buy the talk about "we don't want to ban them, just regulate them." I just don't buy it, sorry.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Yes, 117, Liberals LOVE to ban and control things - Like women's vaginas!
Posted by pots'n'kettles on December 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
And that's what a governing body is for - different sides of an issue debating, and working toward something that both sides can accept. Entrenched positions at opposite ends of a spectrum distrusting each other and screaming at each other while nothing ever changes - well, if that's the world you want to live in, then sure, take up extreme positions. It's not the only way to do this, though - as I said earlier, other countries have various positions on gun control, (and often a far large contingent of nanny-state liberals) yet those who need to be armed in those countries continue to bear arms. I live in Canada, and nearly everyone I know owns a gun.

Frankly, I don't buy your "I don't buy it". It's just more fun to act like an asshole on the internet, make ridiculous statements, and then sit back and laugh at everyone else, for certain definitions of "fun".
Posted by agony on December 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
The only reason these mass shootings don't happen TEN-FOLD is because the populace is being drugged en-masse. If you look at societies structure with a critical eye it's undeniable that the old design has failed and we are going down-hill fast. People in general are far less happy than they were just 40 or 50 yrs ago. The dead oceans are inevitable at this point. Its OBVIOUS that progressives/liberals aren't capable of affecting any real positive change. [see: throngs of folks crying in the street because their masters finally let them get married
40 fuckin years after the summer of love!! They should've been flipping over cop cars and buttfucking in Starbucks. My point is that this system has slow boiled your critical thinking skills and isn't worth protecting. Let the anarchists have their A.K. 47's and maybe we can re-structure into smaller, denser self-sustainable communities that don't create adam lanzas. Down with the globalists.
Posted by carsten coolage on December 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 121
The main difference between gun deaths and other types of death such as drunk driving accidents is that we can have conversations about how to limit them. I have never heard of an organization lobbying FOR the right to drive drunk.I have never heard of anyone claiming that eradicating smallpox was a viral genocide.
Posted by thatsnotright on December 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 122
@117 – I want restrictions, but I would vehemently oppose a ban. Your slippery-slope argument makes you sound like some paranoid nutcase, which isn't your regular persona. I'm hoping you're just being completely disingenuous.

Saying that no individual should own, say, an anti-aircraft missile isn't a slippery slope to no guns at all. Likewise, saying no individual should own a weapon capable of downing 100 people without reloading is different from saying a 10 round magazine is excessive for personal protection.

There's a line somewhere. It's not all or nothing. Agreed?
Posted by Free Lunch on December 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM · Report this
mwdean 123
Keep talking, Morgan. I very much want all the gun nuts to try to out-vile each other, so the rest of society can see you for who you really are.
Posted by mwdean on December 24, 2012 at 6:23 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 124
@ 117, you demand that everyone apply absolute consistent reason to this, yet continue to make invalid comparisons. God only knows why.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 24, 2012 at 7:04 AM · Report this
I hope this Morgan's last name doesn't begin with a T . . . This could easily be my brother who unfriended me for my support of equal rights. As unhinged as this Morgan is, though, he's just a tad more eloquent than the one I know, so there's that.
Posted by SifuMark on December 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM · Report this
There's nothing wrong with this argument if you're only thinking in terms of numbers. However, when you put it in terms of human emotion, there is no way you can only think of those kids as merely numbers and statistics. The loss is so much more than mere numbers.
Posted by not just a number! on December 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
Can people not see that when they pigeonhole every gun owner as a "paranoid nut job" (insert your insult of choice), they're being as intolerant and cruel as the people who believe that women who use birth control are "sluts"? It's depressing to me that the very same people who are fighting the good fight on so many issues are suddenly trotting out their own generalizations and misconceptions. I own a gun. More than one, in fact. I guess you know everything there is to know about me. I'm a paranoid, irrational Republican with a Bible in one hand and an assault rifle in the other. Or maybe I'm a young woman in a very happy open marriage, polite and kind, NOT a Republican, who fought very hard to legalize gay marriage here in Maine and will continue to support the rights of others to make their own choices. Campaign for gun control if you must, but don't do it based on an unfair generalization that dehumanizes an entire segment of the population. We've all seen that tactic used by the other side; I don't think it's behavior to imitate.
Posted by Haley on December 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
I have yet to encounter anyone that wants an assault weapon ban that actually knows what they are. It's basically like trying to stop drunkenness by banning alcohol over 100 proof. You annoy sone enthusiasts while doing nothing for the problem you think you're solving.
Posted by mage on December 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM · Report this
@128 - I consider an "assault weapon" to be one capable of discharging more than a certain number of bullets in a certain amount of time. Personally I think any gun that can discharge more than one bullet without reloading should be banned for civilians, although that includes a lot of guns that few would consider to be "assault weapons". I'll happily take any law that reduces the lethality of the guns people can legally possess.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on December 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
The second-to-last paragraph really cliches it: this guy is mental. If he thinks having a gun will protect him from the FBI, he's far too disconnected from reality to possibly be the "responsible gun owner" he claims to be. He probably think responsible gun ownership means keeping a pistol under your pillow so as to be responsibly ready to defend your family at any time from largely-imaginary threats and from things that are too big to be shot at... things like the FBI. Seriously, Morgan needs to read that article Slog published a while back about that guy who responded to an erroneous drug bust at his house by running to the door with his gun, who got about 40 bullet holes for his trouble.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on December 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 131
I would like Morgan to know that, even though I could stand to lose a few pounds, I have been eating Christmas cookies since I got up this morning.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@127 - I don't really see that happening, at least not by serious people looking for serious solutions. Instead of saying "Oh, some of the nut jobs on the left are being insulting, so I'ma take my gun and go home", listen to the sensible things being said by non-nut jobs.
Posted by agony on December 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
It says something about the general level of intellect in the "drop in the ocean" camp, that they really can't fathom being concerned about one really horrific thing at once.

It is possible to be outraged by, discuss, and look for solutions, to more than one social problem at a time. That may be asking a bit much of Morgan, though.
Posted by ephena on December 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 134
"The Guns of Brixton" in a letter.
Posted by More, I Say! on December 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Fenrox 135
@5, I think the gun would win, provided you know where to shoot the bulldozer. and if anyone is driving the dozer.
Posted by Fenrox on December 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Admittedly the Black Panther armed contribution was a very strong pillar in the Civil Rights struggle, one which is papered over by a Ghanidfication of MLK. Without guns, resistance to police brutality is much harder (a baseball bat won't work).

On the other hand, the pharmaceutical equivalent (to take one example from the letter) would be unregulated medicines killing people as drugmakers could put poisons out as miracle cure-alls with impunity. We solved that particular social ill. A badly regulated gun market is also very solvable.
Posted by dingo chapness on December 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this

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