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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nancy Thinks We're Being Too Mean to People with Guns

Posted by on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Via email, Slog reader Nancy expresses her dismay over our "divisive" coverage of gun control (the emphasis is all mine):

It's really hard to have a mature conversation about gun-control when your entire staff insists on labeling people with opposing opinions as "nuts."

First of all, our entire staff has not labeled everybody with opposing opinions on gun control as "nuts." I don't believe Emily has even written on the subject yet. As for the rest of the staff, we've only labeled as "nuts" the gun nuts who are actually nuts, like those who insist that the only way to prevent gun violence in schools is to put more guns into them. Come on, Nancy, you gotta admit: That sounds kinda nuts.

The us(the stranger)-vs-them(extremist gun-rights strawman) tone threatens to put you in an information bubble, and alienates more people than you realize: rational, level headed, progressive people.

Because there's nothing that alienates rational, level headed progressives more than fighting for sensible gun control.

It is insulting, and demeaning, and strongly contributes to the fractured ideologies of American politics.

Careful, Nancy. You're beginning to sound kinda nuts.

The Stranger should be among the first willing to bridge these ideological gaps, but you are playing the Fox News game and trying to force an ideology on your readers.

And why exactly is that? Why is it up to The Stranger to try to bridge ideological gaps, when so many of the folks on the other side are so—okay, I'll use the word—nuts? (Also, how does one "force an ideology on your readers?" Really, I'm not asking that rhetorically. I've got some ideology I'd like to force on readers, so I'd like to know.)

You aren't going to find many meaningful conversation in the comments either. Reasonable people are repulsed by your one-sided, demeaning articles, and those that stay around are incensed by your tone, and you take their emotional defensiveness as evidence that you are correct.

Reasonable people find us repulsive and demeaning? That sounds awfully emotional and defensive of you. I can only take that as evidence that I am 100 percent correct about everything. Yay for me!

It's sad. I expect more from journalists at the Stranger. Social engineering is not your job. At least I hope not. You are abusing your position of authority.

You know what I find sad? Dead children. And FYI, check the masthead: I've recently been promoted to Social Engineering Editor.

If these articles really contain information that could reasonably change a gun-rights advocate's mind, then you are missing a great opportunity. If these articles are merely a way to rile up support among a small subset of liberals who support gun rights, then you are playing off of their emotions and biases in a most unprofessional and detrimental way.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that first sentence, but regardless, our posts have been chock full of useful information and analysis. For example, I've pointed to an epidemiological study that found people who possessed a handgun 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than people who did not. I've done the math and calculated the $18 billion annual cost of implementing the NRA's proposal to post an armed police officer at each of our nation's 130,000 K-12 schools. And I've very calmly and rationally explained exactly what kind of gun control regulations I would support. Read the posts and then come back and explain what's so "unprofessional and detrimental" about them. (Unless, of course, you mean detrimental to the agenda of the NRA.)

It undermines you credibility, and the credibility of journalism in America. You weaken the national dialogue, and divide people, while failing to contribute rational and level-headed arguments.

Yes, we've called some people nuts. And yes, perhaps we've at times allowed our emotions to get the better of us. I tend to get a little weepy at the thought of 20 little children having their brains blown out at school. My bad.

But when you cast blanket aspersions like that, without even bothering to read my posts, well, it is you who are being demeaning and insulting. (I'd accuse you of weakening the national dialogue too, but apart from this fisking, you've thankfully had no voice in the national dialogue at all.)

If you want to be the left wing Fox News, then full steam ahead, you're on the right track, but I've always been under the impression that your progressive ideologies had value in and of themselves, and were not merely a tool to manipulate your readers.

Gosh. I wish I had the impact of Fox News. Which brings me to my main response to your email, Nancy: Fox News! It exists! As does the rest of the professional, right-wing, propagandist press! And fuck if I'm going to unilaterally disarm in the name of civility, while they're still out there pretending to be fair and balanced.

As a journalist, I have only one ethical obligation, and that is to be truthful. And that means truthful about my own emotions as well as about the facts. So when I see something outrageous like the head of the NRA arguing to regulate video game guns instead of real guns, I express outrage. And if you find that insulting or demeaning or repulsive, I suggest you quit your concern trolling and just stop reading Slog.


Comments (127) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I'm pretty sure "Nancy" was Gay Dude For Romney's latest incarnation.

And you should keep being mean. Being mean is how people learn some things are unacceptable.
Posted by mubhappy on December 27, 2012 at 6:15 AM · Report this
They're. Not there.
Posted by sorry, it just bugs me. on December 27, 2012 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
I'm thinking some on the right see The Stranger as having a powerful voice people listen to. And they might be afraid their long period of unrestrained gun running could come to an end. They might actually see, too, that President Obama is a very effective leader who can accomplish his goals.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 27, 2012 at 6:36 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 4
I'm perfectly content to sit back and watch you numbnuts yammer on to your heart's content, because I know you'll never have the votes in congress to get a single thing passed. So carry on. It's immensely entertaining.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 27, 2012 at 6:38 AM · Report this
What Nancy doesn't realize is that the country no longer has any interest in hearing from people like her. Fuck them, fuck their collective death wishes, fuck the NRA. If we want sane policy, we can't meet the insane people half way.
Posted by fin on December 27, 2012 at 6:57 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
BTW, I just finalized a deal on a flamethrower. $3,500, but what the fuck. It's only money, right?

No paperwork. No background check. No regulations. No restrictions.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 27, 2012 at 7:08 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 7
@6 I am also pro flamethrower regulation.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 27, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 8
These people who walk into schools and movie theaters with their little plastic .22-caliber guns are just fucking amateurs.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM · Report this
venomlash 9
@6: Can you send us video of that sucker in action?
Posted by venomlash on December 27, 2012 at 7:21 AM · Report this
I'd like to meet the pro-gun non-nut demographic that disagrees with Goldy's favored gun control measures. Nancy seems to think you owe these guys a big apology. But as far as I know, mandatory background checks for private sales, mandatory training, safes and locks, and generally promoting a culture that thinks of guns as deadly tools instead of just badass accessories are all on the agenda for pro-gun non-nuts. You just might qualify as a pro-gun non-nut, Goldy.

Congratulations, you center-right bastard.

But I guess that's just the problem. There's really no far left position on gun control, but there's one hell of a far right. That leaves guys we're used to thinking of as big time lefties, in this case Goldy, advocating reasonable, centrist positions. And a habitual centrist like Nancy, in her effort to hunker down at the political mid-point between Goldy and the NRA, winds up defending grade-A nutjobs against a guy she would probably agree with if she ever bothered to look up his policy proposals.

Posted by tacky on December 27, 2012 at 7:22 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
You know you are right about something when someone else gets this upset about your words. Way to use the podium you have to call out and attack one reader. Is that what "professional" journalists do Goldy?

Because you know what? She is right. You can not claim to want rational debate when your side is practicing politics as divisive as those on the other side. Once it devolves into carthartic name calling, it no longer matters who is right, and guess what wins?

The status quo. The gun culture. Do you really expect to win votes by calling those who do not agree with you murderous lunatics and nutbags (even if they may very well be nutbags)?

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 27, 2012 at 7:27 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 12
VL, I'd post it here when it arrives if this was a normal blog. In the meantime, check YouTube. There's lots of video out there.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 27, 2012 at 7:43 AM · Report this
most. gun. owners. are. nuts.


they think widespread dispersal of guns in usa is not a cause of our levels of gun violence. what? how mental is that?
they refuse to look at experience of japan, england, australia -- places that have achived decent safety levels, without descending into tyranny.
they tell us guns make us safe, yet we have 280 million all over, and ahem, no, we're not safe. not compared to england.
they continaully say they need one for home defense, yet fail to explain how it is of use if locked up in the gun safe, while if it's ready and available on the nightstand, in case of an intruder, it's also available to be stolen by your kid, your kid's druggy friend, or the intruder.
they continually harp on whether you know the difference between this detail or that one about guns; like do I need to know about wall st. derivatives to know wall st. fucked up, and requires regulation?
they get angry if you call them nuts, claiming that the nra doesn't speak for them, yet there is no gun owner group with say one million members ploughing money into congressional races to fight for closing the gun show loophole or a new ban on assault weapons.
they continually claim they can't see why having "legal" guns, produces "illegally used" guns; they say things like "but that kid lanza STOLE the guns, so therefore no gun laws will work!" when this is crazy -- they work rather well in canada, england, japan etc.
they claim having guns deters crime then whine if you publish the addresses of those with gun permits.
then you have assholes like 5280 making fun of the issue braggin about flamethrowers, etc.

look, there are some who are not nuts. and I refer to police who got special permission to have guns in england, the hunter in canada who gladly agreed to license their hunting rifle with whatever super tight licensing rules they got there, and the few in america who are actively pressing for reform. but the average joe who owns a glock, a sig and a bushmaster at home is as fucking nutty as ms. lanza, incapable of telling when the teenager in the home or the ex who returns in a drunken rage will take the fucking arsenal and misuse it.

their core belief that guns are helpful, is just fucking nuts. canada is not descending into tyranny. nor is england. and in toronto you can walk all around in the middle of the night in a way you just can't in the south bronx. and no, there was nobody shooting at firefighters in australia in the last few days either. we put 280 million guns out there all over and the gun owners can't see this creates incredibly high risks and rates of gun death by criminals and crazies and the average joe who gets suicidal or drunk. This is NUTS.

their final argument: do you expect to get us to support reform, if you call us nuts?

YEs, I do. I believe in the long run being frank and honest and truthful and sometimes emotional and putting blame where it exists works. Slave owners were immoral. Gun owners create and foster the gun culture. smokers needed to be told stop fucking smoking, you're raising my health care premium rate! gun owners, you need to change and become ashamed of your past idiocy telling us all that all these guns would make us safe -- they're clearly not, and it's nuts to deny it. Cut it the fuck out, you nuts.
Posted by okay, MOST are nuts. on December 27, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this
Amnt 14
Eh, step one is always to deny the legitimacy of the opposition. It's a complicated and emotional topic, look at all the time and effort Goldy puts in, as well as some of us who occasionally piss in the wind on Slog by offering a dissenting view.

It's annoying, but there isn't much to do about it as this isn't a format that fosters much meaningful discussion on the topic. Many on the left treat guns like many on the right treat abortion. It's easy to talk about taking rights away from other people when you don't think of them as legitimate.
Posted by Amnt on December 27, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
You can't reason with gun nuts. When you use the words "gun control" to describe anything, no matter how reasonable or sane, they put on their 2nd Amendment-colored glasses and scream until you go away.
Posted by Karina on December 27, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Everybody must read @13 for an excellent exposition on left, right and center postures on gun control. And nuttery.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM · Report this
Puty 17
I've been reading the gun post comments for the last few days. Ugh. The sniveling pack of delicate daisies who support loose or non-existent gun laws could frankly stand to be a little more gracious and conciliatory given how many people get shot and killed in your country in a year. Instead, a lot (not all) of the gun supporters commenting here come across as selfish, entitled (but teh Constitution sez I get guns! Wahhh!) and shockingly apathetic toward suffering. Comments like Boring Dad's "you're forcing me to donate to the NRA with your extweemism" are about playing politics: branding opponents as extremists (they're not) to neuter the debate so it won't result in gun lovers having to change the way they think or behave.

There were almost 8,600 gun murders in the U.S. in 2011 and more than 31,000 gun deaths total. Clearly, real change needs to happen and hardcore gun owners are going to have to compromise. Gun control advocates--who are unsurprisingly proving themselves more reasonable that many gun lovers--realize that the solution to gun violence isn't simple and isn't 100 per cent about restricting guns. But get real--increased ownership restrictions are part of the fix.

Keep it up, Goldy!

Posted by Puty on December 27, 2012 at 8:24 AM · Report this
This whole debate is retarded. Enough with the stupid guns already. We should be talking about mental health care. You know, the people who snap and eventually try to cause harm to others with whatever weapons they have at hand? Let's try to prevent that, instead of focusing on the weapon itself.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
Oh good, another gun control concern troll. "I would totally be on your side promoting reasonable, responsible, totally unspecified, maybe entirely toothless measures if only you weren't so DIVISIVE!"

Fuck that. If the American right has taught us anything it's that even the most intemperate shit you can say never costs you a seat at the table. In fact the opposite is true -- delusional right-wingers vomiting up eliminationist hate speech have only made the more-polite-but-still-objectively-insane right wingers seem more palatable by comparison.

What we need is to shift the terms of the debate so that the totally reasonable and successful equilibria reached in other developed countries become the sensible, boring middle ground that they really are, "melt down all your guns to make flowers" becomes the liberal position, and "my right to keep a private arsenal in my rec room trumps the rights of 20 children to live" gets you laughed off to some anarchic Russian oil republic where you belong, to say nothing of "Armed guards in schools! Good guys with guns give me a throbbing erection! etc."
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 20
What does it run on, diesel fuel?
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 27, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
NotSean 21
@19 ... shift the terms ...

You're onto something there. A rebranding of the 'gun control' movement would be helpful. Something which ma and pa would find difficult to say 'no' to.

For example: 'pro life' is a good brand. Without reading further into it, why who could dare say they are 'anti life'.

'Gun rights'... sounds like standing up for the constitution, our founders, mom, baseball, and apple pie. Who would be against 'rights'? Rights=freedom=USA! USA! USA!

'Gun control'... sounds scary, regulatory, and intrusive.

Sloggers, find the new brand.
Posted by NotSean on December 27, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
I disagree with tacky @10. There is a far left wing position on gun control - some lefties want to repeal the second amendment. I don't think that is feasible or wise. There are too many gun hoaders who would go postal at an attempt to repeal the 2nd amendment and the idea is less gun-deaths, not more. The second and third words of the 2nd amendment are "well regulated". I disagree with the supreme court over the reading of that amendment to support the individual right to bears arms [as compared to a collective militia], but there is no denying that gun rights can be regulated. We have the supposedly unlimited right to free speech, but you can't make terroristic theats, commit slander or yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. The right to bear arms is not 'unlimited' and many responsible gun owners are okay with some regulation. But those on the far-right who wail when people talk about taking away their assualt rifles are indeed 'nuts'.
Posted by Schweighsr on December 27, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23
The successful campaign to make it socially unacceptable to drive a car drunk was not built on the premise that drunken drivers should only have nice things said about them lest their feelings be hurt.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Funny, nobody ever gets offended by being called a "car nut" or a "baseball nut."
Posted by Zeusifer on December 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
I read the Stranger regularly, and will continue to do so. But I also agree with Nancy on this one. You can hate me now.
Posted by GMO on December 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 26
LOL! Funniest post yet! (You win).
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Good point, @23. Imagine if we got as collectively hysterical over "car control" as some of us do over "gun control". No brakes! No steering! Don't violate my right to drive a semi truck through a school zone at 60 mph! And by the way, School Zone?? That's like an invitation to fast, reckless, drunken driving! We need more fast, reckless, sober drivers to counteract the drunk ones!
Posted by Karina on December 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Fnarf 28
Every gun nut says "I'm a responsible gun owner", when they're not saying "it's not about guns, it's about mental illness", or one of the other tried-and-true deflection maneuvers. What they really mean is "I support some unspecified moderate gun control measure because I know it will never pass".

It's not gun opponents who cloud the issues, it's responsible gun owners who are happy to let the NRA carry the heavy water for them as long as it means they can continue to avoid real talk about the subject.
Posted by Fnarf on December 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 29
I think it's clearly time for the Democrats to come out in full force for the total repeal of the 2nd amendment and confiscation of ALL firearms. This should be thier primary issue until it's accomplished.

Please.... (Please, please, please!)
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
"Social engineering is not your job. At least I hope not. You are abusing your position of authority."

Your job is to reinforce my point of view and you are not allowed to deviate from that any time.

As far as abusing your position of authority, you may not be cognizant of the fact that by posting strings of words that together form ideas or opinions, on the Internet or on pieces of dried out cellulose pulp, you are subjugating those who happen to stumble upon and decipher those words. You have a responsibility to those whose minds you have enslaved and who now look up to you as the ultimate 42.
Posted by PaulBarwick on December 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 31
They're not just nuts, they're sadistic, paranoid, far-white, Gun Supremacists.
Posted by Original Andrew on December 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
@29, how's that thinly veiled compensation working out for you?
Posted by Karina on December 27, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Yes, because sarcasm is the way to get your message across, you prick.
Posted by JimmyCap on December 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
@13 - Comment of the month!
Posted by lotus eater on December 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 35
Okay, Lets start by looking at gun laws, gun ownership rates and gun violence in Switzerland and Mexico.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Lissa 36
I am a gun owner in favor of a number of ideas that have been proposed to mitigate gun violence in this county. I look at it as a public health issue and personally feel that treating gun ownership along the lines of how we treat being a private pilot, with that level of regulation, might be useful.

Having concerns does not make one a “Concern Troll” and neither does emailing you privately about them. Nancy wasn’t rude, or abusive, judging from the excerpts you’ve relayed to us; she just wanted to talk to you. She reached out to you in good faith and you fisked her, using some pretty cheap rhetorical tricks (most notably implying that she doesn’t care about the victims of Sandy Hook) and held her up for derision and the amusement of Slog. And to what end exactly?

It’s that kind of asshole behavior she’s objecting to, and as Theodore @ 11 also points out, is, in point of fact, counterproductive to your stated goals.

Being a dick on Slog may be nice for your ego Goldy, but to coin a phrase, way to shoot yourself in the foot dude.
Posted by Lissa on December 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Nothing changes until people are ostracized for owning guns. "Sorry my kids can't play with your kids because you have guns in the house."
"Sorry we can't come over to dinner." etc.
Then the gun folks hang out with gun folks until they kill each other off. Remember that the 300 million privately owned guns are held by only 60 million people. They average 5 guns a head. Eventually they will use them on one another. It is just too dangerous to even be around them.
Posted by dr. jim on December 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
@19 I like the idea of going totally constitutional with the 2nd amendment. If you want to own a gun you have to join your local militia. That would involve, paying dues, training, etc. it'd be fun for the gun owners, no more dealing with idiots who don't know the difference between an automatic and a semi-automatic.
But basically, make the militia accountable for the actions of its members. This will cover the 'mental illness' issue people bring up and allow people to own their guns as the founding fathers envisioned it.
Also, a well regulated militia could be a great back up to emergency response.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Wait, really @35? Your idea of an argument is "let me cherry-pick one country with tight gun laws [... also the world capital of drug trafficking, but let's leave that out] and one country with slightly looser laws [... also the fourth-wealthiest country in the world per-capita, also notoriously small and homogenous, but let's leave that out too] to make the point that ..." what exactly? Gun control isn't so powerful a force that its effects overwhelm every other contributing factor in predicting crime?


How about if we look at ALL the comparable countries and then you try to argue there isn't a trend with the US (most guns per capita! gun crime levels comparable to third-world countries!) as an extreme outlier.
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
prompt 40
It amazes me that you call out Fox News for their bullshit reporting and how O'Reilly yells over people who disagree with him and complain about how no one ever wants you at their press functions, and then you do this. Don't you have better things to do with your time than publicly shaming people who are trying to make a point to you? You want to be a left version of Fox News and never considered that is a stupid fucking thing to want to be.
Posted by prompt on December 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 41

I'd support mandatory training programs. The gun owners I know already go heavy in for paramilitary style training. Many (most?) of them are already ex-military. (You would consider them paranoid, but they believe they must be prepared to defend themselves, and the country, against a tyrannical government and know that owning a gun is not enough when the government they may need to stand against has the best trained military in the world).

Looking at Switzerland (where almost everyone has both a gun and military training but gun violence is almost non-existent), it makes me wonder if gun safety shouldn’t be a mandatory course in high school (most high schools used to have shooting ranges back when nearly all young men went through ROTC), regardless of the students intent to own a gun. While it may have little or no impact on mass shooting incidents, it would certainly drive down accidental shooting numbers (which would be a significant plus).

The formation of citizen militias with well-defined gun safety courses would be an excellent idea. I would totally support membership in an upstanding citizen militia as a requirement for gun ownership.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 42
@40: its ok, because nancyballs showed up the day after (of?) newtown to argue the "progressive gun owner" position. as @1 says, she's the gaydudeforromney of the 2nd amendment debate.

what a job! what a country. what an internet.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
@36 Lissa, the reason why that tract of logic labeled "concern trolling" is due to the fact it a goofy dodge as why we have laws. The fact that people drive drunk doesn't negate the need for laws that address drunk driving. Every law has been broken by someone, but we create laws to create accountability to our society.
Guns are a touchy subject for me. I don't own one, doubt I ever will. I have friends who and I've shot a few with them. I have no problem with responsible gun owners. But as I said, it's a sore subject for me. By the time I graduated from high school. I lost 3 friends to guns. When I went to college and started meeting people from elsewhere, I realized that most people didn't have to go to funerals for their best friend because they got killed by a gun. It seems to be a lot of gun owners live in their bubble (we all do), it's helpful to remind people of that bubble.
I don't think Fnarf's comments help. But I think Goldy and a lot of others have offered suggestions that wouldn't ban guns just acknowledge how powerful and dangerous they are.
Just as you in a different thread want women to feel safe from rape, I hope other high schoolers don't have to bury their friends. High school sucks enough.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 44
@38/41 Wow, the two sides converge.

Problem solved. What's next? I hear cancer is still an issue. Slog?
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Michael of the Green 45
I love it when Nancy uses straw men to protest the use of straw men.
Posted by Michael of the Green on December 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
@41 I didn't say anything about the character of gun owners. So you can try to guess my perception of gun owners, which you did and you were wrong. Please try not to do that, if we're gonna have an honest adult conservation. But at least we agree on a militia model of gun ownership. Or for rural owners perhaps a hunting club, which would have the same effect.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 47
sounds like we may agree on on more than I thought. Sorry for assuming otherwise.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Holy crap! I agree with her and you effing social engineers are screwy.

Sure, that NRA stooge LaPierre is right about a good guy armed with a gun being necessary against the bad guys with guns.

In fact, the gov't should IMMEDIATELY arm every neighborhood in Seattle with their very own operational drone programs, and tanks, and H&K assault rifles and full body armor, etc., so we can protect ourselves from loco coppers and the FBI, the national terrorist police.

Let's see what else we'd require to be the good guys with guns.......Satcom for ready communications, our own intel agencies, shoulder-fired missiles, hmmm.....
Posted by sgt_doom on December 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
"As a journalist, I have only one ethical obligation, and that is to be truthful."

Posted by doceb on December 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
@47 I think you'd be surprised by how much people do agree on things. The political dichotomy we suffer from in the country often blinds us to that fact.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Goldy 51
@40 She wrote a letter to the editor. I gave her the forum she asked for. And I publicly shamed her words not her person, as I published neither her full name nor her email address.

@49 The facts and the truth are not necessarily the same thing. One can lie with facts. I think the obligation goes a bit further, which is to provide the facts within a truthful context, even if that context is simply being honest about my own biased perspective on the facts.
Posted by Goldy on December 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
NotSean 52
>>...treating gun ownership along
the lines of how we treat being a private pilot, with that level of regulation, might be useful

I had the same thought the other day. A system which includes a lot of apprenticeship time and peer evaluation. A system where you have to earn the privilege to move onto more dangerous equipment. A system where you can't be succesful until you demonstrate full-priority concern for the safety and well-being of others.
Posted by NotSean on December 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
@44 pretty nifty, eh?
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
@36 (Lissa)
"Nancy wasn’t rude, or abusive, judging from the excerpts you’ve relayed to us; she just wanted to talk to you. She reached out to you in good faith and you fisked her, using some pretty cheap rhetorical tricks (most notably implying that she doesn’t care about the victims of Sandy Hook) and held her up for derision and the amusement of Slog."

Unfortunately, that is about par for the course here.
Look at all the articles posted by The Stranger that refer to people who disagree with them as "nuts" or imply that they are not "sensible".
Then compare that to the number of articles that promote SPECIFIC changes to our existing gun laws.
You'll find that the "nuts" articles are posted dozens of times more than articles with specific suggestions.

In fact, Goldy had to be goaded into writing that one article where he proposed vague changes.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 55

I’m back - I’m a glutton for punishment :)

I’m also a gun nut based on the spectrum as defined here – I safely own, enjoy, and practice with my guns regularly, and have since I started with my dad and uncles 30+ years ago.

I’ve been accused of being an NRA sock puppet and/or stooge on here – I’m not sure how to disprove this, and I’m not sure it matters to anyone, so I’ll just say that I really am a boring suburban douchebag with a family and a professional job (and all my teeth) who does all of the above, and there are millions of people like me, whether you know them or not.

I would gladly represent the topic of responsible gun ownership in a public forum or honest discussion, if it were on offer.

To cut to the chase, would it be possible for people here to agree that a) we’re all looking to minimize gun and other violence, b) full gun confiscation isn’t going to happen politically or practically in the United States and c) doing nothing is stupid and counterproductive (and is where we’re headed if there’s no common ground)?

If no, then never mind, and it probably goes the way of prior political battles.

If yes, here’s what I (and I think a lot of other boring douchebag gun owners) could probably get to:

True enforcement of existing gun laws, harsher penalties for breaking them
Harsher sentencing and followthrough on violent people, period
Creation of a background check program for secondary market gun sales
Mandatory safe storage requirements
Begin drug policy reform to start draining money and violence from the criminal economy

Would that be a starting point for you guys?
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
@55 that's pretty much what the center wants. I'd ignore the hard left and right on this issue. My problem with most of the gun rights folks, is thar they simply want the other side to offer suggestions so they can tear them down. It's a bad strategy, you guys have the knowledge. Offer some suggestions from the inside.
You just did here, I applaud you.
But @54 why can't you offer a specific idea? Why avoid adding your input?
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Posted by PaulBarwick on December 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
"a) we’re all looking to minimize gun and other violence, "
"b) full gun confiscation isn’t going to happen politically or practically in the United States and "
"c) doing nothing is stupid and counterproductive (and is where we’re headed if there’s no common ground)?"

"If no, then never mind, and it probably goes the way of prior political battles."

The problem is that if you allow for "b" then there will always be some number of shootings.
And because of that, there will always be people who will use it for either "political battles" or grief porn.
The question is "how many gun-related deaths are 'okay' in your personal opinion in regards to which gun-laws".
And that answer will vary for each person.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Jaymz 59

OK - I'll see your reasonable start and raise you mandatory licensing: You need to prove you have the skill and ability and training to get a license and then use that license to purchase a gun.

I would add registration, but the licensing step is much more safety related and should quell the concerns of those who think the government will target and confiscate weapons if they know where the weapons are located.
Posted by Jaymz on December 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
@22: So we shouldn't take guns away from gun nuts because gun nuts will kill a bunch of people if we try to take guns from gun nuts? Sounds legit.
Posted by Minerva on December 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
@58 if course there will be some number of shootings. Happens in countries with super strict laws. Laws don't magically make a problem go away (you and I both know this), they simply add accountability and hopefully reduce the harm caused by such a problem.
'Grief porn'? Really, dude, that's a pretty callous point of view. If you want a specific number of acceptable gun deaths in the US, to me it'd be along the average of other first world countries and not an outlier.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 62

It's astroturfing, pure and simple. Notice that no one concern trolls conservatives to be nicer and more "reasonable". Liberals are the only ones who are told to play nice, no matter how vicious and vindictive conservatives are.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Well of course it's "nuts" to suggest that More Guns is the answer to America's gun violence problem. I mean, it sounds like a perfectly cromulent idea, but somehow, inexplicably, it's failed to work: putting ever more guns on the street has inexplicably failed to radically diminish gun violence. I have no idea who could have predicted this outcome, but I think that at this point we must accept that if 300,000,000 guns haven't been enough to reduce gun violence we just don't know how many more guns would be needed to achieve this effect. Adding more guns just isn't getting the job done, at least not quickly enough, and so clearly we must ramp up the program; I submit to you that the only possible answer is Hand Grenades.
Posted by Warren Terra on December 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
@55 Actually, you have advocated that more people need to own guns as well.

But, indeed, I see you are willing to have some increased regulation. Unfortunately, "gun rights" advocates in legislature are not proposing any of those things - gun sanity advocates are proposing them and being shot down. On the other hand, we already have harsher sentences for crimes committed with guns, but it remains the only area of violent crime that stands out from the overall reduction in violent crime over the last 15 or more years.

So, I'm not seeing any reason politically or practically not to keep challenging the ideas of gun expansion advocates like you as essentially nuts. Absent advocacy approaching Goldy's rather restrained level of emotion, nothing will change. If the NRA and their gun nut flying monkeys aren't afraid that there will be even stronger restrictions, they will never agree to any of your proposals except the ones that increase the strength and depth of the police state - stronger punishments. But stronger punishments wouldn't have stopped the Sandy Hook shooter's survivalist gun nut mother from having all those weapons available to the shooter - only someone challenging the sanity of her having them in the context of that family. We have a whole society treating talking about weapons as if we were talking about religion, but religion can't accidentally kill a little kid visiting a home or be sold privately and used to shoot up a bunch of random people. Guns are a health hazard we are asked to treat as an abstract philosophical question.

Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Jaymz 65
@64 - "Guns Are A Health Hazard". If not a bumper sticker, it should be. Good points all around.

We regulate mercury and explosives and medication and consumer goods and fruit and vegetables and construction and so many, many other things that are potential "health hazards" and yet we pause at regulating guns? Disconnect, me thinks.
Posted by Jaymz on December 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
"if course there will be some number of shootings."

And there will be people who will call for MORE laws based upon their claim that at least one of those shootings should not have happened.

"... reduce the harm caused by such a problem."

And even if there is only one shooting per year, there will be calls for more laws to "reduce the harm caused by such a problem."
But all you're really doing is claiming that X laws are not (in your opinion) sufficient and we should have X+1 laws.
X+1 becomes the new normal and the next shooting results in calls for X+2 laws (or you are being a gun nut who is unreasonably opposing reasonable gun laws).
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 67
@64: Actually, I haven't and don't advocate anything of the sort, and again based on my experience in the gun nut crowd for three decades, I believe I represent the majority . There are plenty of people, like criminals and violent individuals, who have no business possessing guns, and addressing that is a core part of what I proposed above.

I think the choice whether or not to own a gun is a personal one and it’s none of my business if other normal *responsible* people choose to do so, just like if they choose to get married, drink booze, use drugs, have kids, enjoy (legal) porn, hike Everest, etc.. With all of these things there are laws, rules, norms and consequences.

I was honestly trying to put something forward that stood a chance of beginning to address the cancer that is *violent people with guns*. If you define the tumor as the entire 50-60-whatever million people who enjoy shooting and enjoy hanging out with other like minded people, all I’m suggesting based on past experience is that nothing substantive will happen.

I could absolutely be wrong, it’s one guys opinion, but I think there are more like me.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
@6X. In the balancing of x+1 laws vs. x+1 deaths from x+1 guns, you gun advocates keep choosing x+1 deaths and x+1 guns. This makes people uncomfortable - the choice of death over life under any set of conditions.

Of course the reality is that gun laws have move steadily in the x-1 direction for 30 years but it is never enough for you gun advocates, which is why we call you nuts - you have no sense of limits under your current ideology.
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
@66 you keep arguing slippery slope, so let's repeat: EVERY OTHER first world country has stricter gun laws than the US. EVERY ONE has fewer guns per capita.

If the game we're playing is "let's choose the acceptable # of gun deaths to trade off against the acceptable amount of regulation," then judging by the rest of the world we're nowhere near the sweet spot.

What percentage of America do you think agrees with the statement "I value Nancy Lanza's right to her crazy, suicidal arsenal more than I value the lives of 20 children?" I'm all for having that vote.

Let's call it "gun security." Right-wingers love "security," right? We can get those fabled "security moms" in on this.
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 70
@59: First off, thanks for the civil response, I appreciate it.

I’m going to try to explain how this proposal sounds to a gun nut (i.e., the majority of responsible, legal gun owners who you all hopefully would choose to work with), and why I think it’ll poison a *first* step:

If you buy my premise that violent people with guns are the tumor to be excised (at least as step 1 – not saying that there aren’t steps 2 through x or that you all can’t advocate for eliminating guns over 20-50 years, it’s a free country and it’s your right), what you need to do is target the tumor and minimize having the radiation hitting the much larger body of people like me, because it’s the latter that provokes the barriers going up and indignation to start – whether you like or agree with that, that’s the way it feels.

Proposals like licensing, as well as registration, arbitrary rules on purely cosmetic features of particular firearms, etc., hit the majority of people like me who are fully within the law and take our sport and interests very seriously, while 100% missing the tumor. You’re presuming that we don’t already get trained, practice safety, and act responsibly, which I can tell you just isn’t the case – visit a range and see how many seconds it takes to get corrected if you do something unsafe. But by definition, criminals who don’t follow laws are not going to participate in any of the above.

So we’re left in a spot where there’s a blast of law X, which in practice changes absolutely nothing around actual violence, treats several tens of millions of people like criminals, and then when it accomplishes nothing, starts another cycle.

What if we tried step one that I proposed and then look at violent crime statistics over time to see if we can move the needle aggressively downward, starting now?
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
"you keep arguing slippery slope, ..."

And another person who uses a term that they do not understand to describe something that does not match that term.
This bodes well for the rest of your post (sarcasm alert).

"so let's repeat: EVERY OTHER first world country has stricter gun laws than the US. EVERY ONE has fewer guns per capita."

And aside from examples such as Switzerland which show that gun-ownership does not equate to gun-violence, all you are doing is saying that those countries do not have an equivalent of our 2nd Amendment.
Therefore, you are either
a. in favor of repealing the 2nd Amendment and then implementing an Amendment for nation-wide gun control
b. okay with X deaths/shootings with a certain level of gun-laws. Which is is purely personal opinion.

So either come out an say that you want to repeal the 2nd Amendment or stop claiming that your personal OPINION is anything other your personal opinion and worth as little as anyone else's personal opinion.
Without a 100% ban there will be a next shooting.
And there will ALWAYS be someone who will argue for X+1 laws after it.
It's grief porn.


And further examples of my point.
This isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@70 Violent crimes stats ARE down, across the board - except gun killings, which is operating to its own logic and has fallen at a much slower rate than other types of violent crime. This just another little twisted ideological smoke screen statement you are throwing out to tickle peoples fear of random violence to support your position of readily available firearms by trying to get them to share your paranoid belief that you are more threatened overall today than you were 30 years ago.

Actually, I don't give a shit about you and your pals who enjoy hanging out firing eachother's guns and talking about tactical body armor. You are right. This group probably can't be changed, so they will have to be worked around. There are many many regulations that can be put in place already considered constitutional that could be a in a comprehensive honest gun safety package (not "gun safety" as in "has a lot of practice" like the Sandy Hook shooter.) Please don't threaten us with what your reaction might be. You will only realize OUR paranoid fears.

There either is or isn't a majority to support comprehensive gun safety regulation. It is possible that there are too many otherwise reasonable people who you can convince that they are under threat from dangerous people of color if YOU don't have your guns. But maybe we can get them to have second thoughts on that belief if information from other sources is not blocked by the NRA and their supporters.
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 73
Yes, let's all listen to those rational, fair-minded, even-handed, responsible gun-owners, and ignore all those crazy, gun-hating librul morans:…
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
@71 This is why you gun nuts have to worked around. You equate ANY additional gun regulation from any baseline as equal to trying to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Any giving back of any ground you have won in the past 30 years for your gun free for all you see as a desecration of all that is most sacred under the heavens.

Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this

Of course it's an opinion, you simpleton! We're arguing about public policy here. There's no such thing as an objectively correct policy. But it doesn't follow that all opinions are equally valid -- some opinions are supported by mounds of evidence from all the countries that have had success with stricter gun regulation. Other opinions -- like "any additional gun regulation will always lead to calls for even more gun regulation until something terrible happens!" -- are not supported by any evidence at all, just your paranoid fantasies.

If the majority of Americans agree with the opinion that "more gun regulation in exchange for less gun violence would be a good trade-off," then we can ban your silly gun the same way we can ban knives on airplanes despite your God-given constitushnal' right to bear arms.

Also, let me respond in advance for you: "But SWITZERLAND!!!" Next you will prove that sugar can't possibly contribute to diabetes because Usain Bolt likes Cocoa Puffs.
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
"otherwise reasonable people"
"dangerous people of color"
"twisted ideological smoke screen"
"fear of random violence"
"your paranoid belief"
"firing eachother's guns"
"talking about tactical body armor"

This isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 77

Replace "gun" with "abortion" and "gun nut" with "pro choicer" and "2nd Amendment" with "Roe v. Wade" and you could have pulled that statement from a pro life rally's stump speech.

Mad Libs are fun!
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@66 by that logic we shouldn't have traffic laws because they'll add on and on until cars are banned. I don't think you're giving people enough credit to be pragmatic to avoid a situation like that.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
"paranoid fantasies"
"silly gun"
"God-given constitushnal' right"

Again, this isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.

And so it continues. The same as it always does.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 80
@Boring Dad and others: It would be lovely if all gun-owners were, in fact, reasonable, responisble socially engaged people who enjoy guns for hunting and sport but that is far from being the case. Only a bit over half of gun-owners surveyed say they own guns for hunting. The majority cite security as their main reason for having a gun. An apparently spurious reason given the very low incidence of actual crime deterrance reported. The idea that owning a gun in and of itself confers some form of general protection is proved false over and over again. It is well-established that most gun-related deaths are suicides. Most gun homicides involve people who know one another and those usually involve a person pulling out a gun in anger. In actual gun related criminal activity, such as robberies, stolen guns account for less than 15 percent of cases. The other 85+ percent are guns used by legal owners. The third major cause of death and injury is accidental discharge and greatly effects children using guns which have not been properly secured. When reasonable, responible gun-owners begin to address these issues in reasonable and responsible ways we can have a dialogue. Until then anyone blocking meaningful gun-control laws law is being unreasonable and irresponsible.
Posted by thatsnotright on December 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
@76 You call being called out on your dishonesty and unsubstantiated paranoia "denigration". The light is too bright for you I guess.

I've been around a lot of gun owners just as I've described here. The one's I've spent more time with are people I have otherwise had great respect for and liked, but the gun fetish trumps everything else for them. By pointing it out here, I hope to invite others to see this fetishism for what it is in their family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances when they exhibit its symptoms. It ain't about hunting. Most of the time we keep quiet because we don't want to rock the boat, but we don't have to leave them to be the only people making rules the way they have the past 30 years in our society to the extreme degree they have and that they hope for more of.
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
I think you should read #80 and replace "gun" with "car" and appropriate other substitutions.

"I don't think you're giving people enough credit to be pragmatic to avoid a situation like that."

I do not think it is about being "pragmatic" as much as realizing that applying the same logic may result in THEM not having a car.
Which is different from the situation with guns in that the argument is about OTHER people (even if they are law-abiding) being regulated. Because of the fallacy that fewer guns held by fewer law-abiding people means less gun-related violence.
Which brings it back to either:
a. in favor of repealing the 2nd Amendment and then implementing an Amendment for nation-wide gun control
b. okay with X deaths/shootings with a certain level of gun-laws. Which is a purely personal opinion.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
@79 I'll avoid any loaded adjectives, as I've had during our chats here, does your X+1+1+1.... equation work for all laws or just gun laws?

Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
See #82.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
@79 you correctly point out I am making fun of you. I was not trying to be undercover about it.

As long as you keep making assertions that aren't based on evidence, I'm going to keep calling you paranoid/irrational/dim-witted. For instance, repeatedly citing Switzerland as a model for the US: you're either intentionally trying to trick people with a comparison you know is bogus, or you're dimwitted enough to believe it's apt. Which one is it?

The US has the most permissive gun laws of any G20 country, and only Brazil and Mexico beat us on gun violence. It's not opinion but common sense that a move away from permissiveness would shift the US closer to the better outcomes enjoyed by those other 17 countries, and that nothing disastrous would happen as a result because it hasn't in any of the 19 countries that have tried it. The part that's my OPINION is that given the above, stricter regulation would be a good idea rather than a bad idea. I come to that opinion because I value the lives of children more highly than I value the gun-boners of paranoid weirdoes like you.

You are entitled to draw your own conclusion, but when you start saying that we can't possibly add one more gun law because creeping fascism and Switzerland, then you're just being a nutter.
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
psbirch 86
Speaking of cars: Remember when we passed laws to regulate the use of cell phones in cars and the number of fatalities resulting from people being on the phone/texting while driving went down?

Posted by psbirch on December 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
... and in case it was unclear, I am:

(B) ok with X deaths given a certain level of gun laws Y.

The US currently has a very, very high X and a very, very low Y. I believe there is majority support for lowering X by raising Y. That's my personal opinion. I find people who believe the opposite, given our current extremely high X and extremely low Y, pretty revolting. That is also a personal opinion.

Are we all in agreement about the meaning of "opinion" yet?
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
@84 I'm pretty sure the 1st amendment doesn't get scrapped when limitations of free speech are enacted. Nor did the 21st when the TTB ruled that brewers could no longer put caffeine in alcoholic products. Both are pretty clear examples of laws being creating that co-exist with the constitution.
I don't understand why you think the 2nd would have to be removed to do any form of gun control.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
"For instance, repeatedly citing Switzerland as a model for the US ..."

And now you're beating a straw man.
The point about Switzerland is to show that gun-ownership does not equate to gun-violence.


Again, this isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.
Even when you have to resort to beating straw men.

And so it continues. The same as it always does.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 90
@72: I think you're indirectly making my point.

Violence for people like me has fallen dramatically and continues to do so, we're not getting shot and killed, or raped or robbed or assaulted at nearly the rate our parents did. We're living in increasingly safer bubbles. We're also not interested in stupid shit like tactical body armor, FYI.

Pick your statistical source, but it's fair to say that the majority of actual homicide victims in this country are dominated by young people, often minorities, who are in shitty situations where crime is much more common. In looking at the evidence, I believe that the war on drugs and what it has done to communities all over the country is a dominant factor (adding in poor education and opportunities, and a host of other factors).

You could assemble your majority, be wildly successful and melt down 99% of the guns in the country, essentially adopt the Norwegian gun control model wholesale, and I don't think it would change the above. There would still be a pool of 2.5 million weapons available, and the means and reasons for desperate people in fucked situations to get their hands on them and shoot each other in order to traffic cocaine, weed, and other stuff to people like my neighbors, or yours, who live in the bubbles.

There is, however, a subset of people in this group, and within society at large, who have a propensity to violence. If you're poor and desperate, and steal things or transport a duffel bag of cocaine in order to live, I honestly feel like you're redeemable and worth a second or third or whatever shot. If you're one of the violent ones, though, from whatever part of society, I honestly feel like you should be separated from the rest of us. It's a small group but it is ruinous. That is the only area where I personally am a law-and-order person, I think our imprisonment rates otherwise are disgusting and a huge waste of money and people.

And to circle back to Sandy Hook, the root of this discussion, please rewind a bit to the Norway model above. At a glance the Norwegian gun control model sounds like a nearly perfect representation of what Goldy proposed at the beginning of all this. But a piece of shit named Anders Breivik, operating within that framework, killed 77 people in 2011 using a combination of legally-purchased and permitted guns and a homemade fertilizer bomb. My point is, none of the above will address a madman who is determined to be the most famous person in the world, all you can do to stop that guy is to meet violence with violence - it's why cops carry guns (semiautomatic ones, including AR-15s), as a last resort

And to touch a nerve, I truly wish there had been some trained, responsible people on that island who had access to properly stored AR-15s who could have saved some of those kids. No doubt it wouldn't have been all of them, but I shoot with grandmothers and 19 year olds who would have put holes in his head or gone down trying.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
@89 Switzerland shows that highly regulated gun control works. It's about the quality of gun owners not the quantity. If all the gun owners in America had to go through all the training that the Swiss do, then I'm sure our numbers would more readily match those of the Swiss.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
I understood the first time around what you were trying to say by citing Switzerland. It remains a bogus comparison. Switzerland is much wealthier than the us and would have fewer gun crimes regardless of gun laws, just like Mexico has more gun crime regardless of gun laws because it's a fucking drug war zone. You dolt.

That's not a straw man, it's you being either stupid or mendacious. I'm still waiting to here which.

Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 93
I concur 100%!
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Switzerland does not actually have a very high number of gun OWNERS- it has a high number of guns per capita, because about 20% of adult male Swiss are in the militia, and are keeping GOVERNMENT owned guns in their homes- guns which they are prohibited from loading, under military regulations, except at a gun range.
They are issued government owned ammunition, which must be kept sealed. They are prohibited from transporting these government owned guns in a loaded state.
Subtract these military owned and regulated weapons from the numbers, and Switzerland has a much lower gun ownership rate, and very tight gun regulations.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on December 27, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Jaymz 95
@70 and elsewhere - much has gone on since I checked in, but I'll focus one thing for now. You want to reduce violence by violent people, which is laudable, and I have no problem with that. Enforce existing laws, incarcerate the truly violent and release and treat non-violent citizens who make poor personal choices - fine, and OK. I also recognize that there is nothing in licensing that would reduce gang violence and the senseless murder of young people by each other, and that the truly insane bent on mass destruction will find a way to carry out their deeds regardless of licensing or many other proposed gun regulations.

But this is a very big topic, and one area of tragic consequence is the death of family and friends through accidental discharge or impulsive act or simply a negligent act by an uninformed gun owner. Sure, you have the necessary training, and I have a scouting merit badge from my NRA membership days as a teenager and am well versed in gun safety, but many many frightened people just pick up a handgun, look over a few books, and drop it in a drawer, only to be retrieved by a curious child or cuckold husband and someone is dead.

Your shooting clubs and organizations should be able to issue original gun licenses en mass, effectively grandfathering in you and your responsible friends, but the depressed citizen looking for a quick suicide route or the frightened lady who was just assaulted and thinks a gun will magically save her the next time will have to slow down just a touch and get some actual training before handing them such a powerful tool.

Like me, I suspect you don't feel nearly as touched when an angry and violent young black man kills a young Hispanic man during a turf war with an oft-traded stolen gun as you do when a five year old stumbles upon mommy's pistol in her nightstand and kills his sister. Why not accept just a little bit of additional regulation - "hey, prove to me you have the skill and training to own this gun before I sell it to you" - in an effort to reduce this kind of gun violence?
Posted by Jaymz on December 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 96
Actually, you dolt, Switzerland’s GDP per capita is less than the US’s by most measurements.…
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
@90 I truly despise you for threatening me and my family with the millions of guns YOUR permissive gun laws have already flooded our country with. Seriously. Bunch of fuckin vampires...
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 98
@95: Personally I agree with that the way you've laid it out. It makes sense and builds on the existing waiting periods that are already an attempt to address the 'crime of passion' or horrible suicide situations - I think that combining that with the mandated storage requirements I proposed about a million posts ago could knock out a significant number of deaths and tragedies.

@97: I don't know what to say. If you feel threatened by me you have a warped view of the world. I grew up around guns, used them with my dad to have enough to eat (along with five lb blocks of government cheese) for a lot of shit years in northern New England, and have met and made a lot of friends in the gun nut community. You obviously don't know those people, and by demonizing the lot of us you're going to get absolutely nowhere on this topic. It's not a threat, it's reality.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
@98 You don't see any link, do you, between the ongoing easy supply of weapons to the criminal community and your defence of comfortable access for 'recreational' gun owners?
Posted by diner mo on December 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 100
@99: I do. To thwart the flow I support federal background checks (that I've gone through for every gun I've ever purchased) and I support the expansion of that program to private party sales, as I mentioned earlier in a post that may have put you to sleep. I would have no problem throwing anyone caught making straw purchases for third parties into federal prison.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on December 27, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
"I understood the first time around what you were trying to say by citing Switzerland."

No. I'm pretty sure that you did not understand it.

"It remains a bogus comparison ..."

And that shows that you did not understand it because it was not a comparison.
It was a counter-example showing that gun-ownership does not equate to gun-violence.


Again, this isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.

And so it continues. The same as it always does.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
@101 I know you're going for the low hanging fruit. But could you please explain to how gun regulation of any sort equals repealing the 2nd amendment?
Posted by CbytheSea on December 27, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
"But could you please explain to how gun regulation of any sort equals repealing the 2nd amendment?"
Why don't you show where I claimed that gun regulation equals repealing the 2nd Amendment?

Again, this isn't about discussing the subject.
This is about your belief that your opinion is more than just your opinion and attempting to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.
Even when you have to resort to beating straw men.

And so it continues. The same as it always does.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 8:01 PM · Report this
Oh, for fuck's sake.

1. Switzerland is the 4th wealthiest country in the world, up there with Qatar and Luxembourg. Your link is "adjusted for purchasing power," which is beside the point.…

2. Poverty rate in Switzerland is 7% compared to 15% in the US.

3. Income inequality in Switzerland is low, comparable to the UK/France. The US is medium high, comparable to the Philippines, Jamaica and Iran.

4. Unemployment in Switzerland is 3%. It's more than double that in the USA.

5. Switzerland is 93% German, French and Italian. It's extraordinarily homogenous so there's less ethnic conflict.

6-100. You can't possibly believe that an honest way to look at the preponderance of the data is to say, "oh, _Switzerland_ has lots of guns and low gun crime, and _Mexico_ has few guns and lots of gun crime, therefore guns and crime are in no way correlated!" Those two countries were deliberately chosen by fairly_unbalanced precisely because they're outliers from the general trend, which is more guns == more gun crime, with the USA at the extreme on both axes for wealthy first-world countries.

Why is Mexico an outlier? Oh, right, drug war.
Why is Switzerland an outlier? It's Disneyworld in country form, and as pointed out up-thread their gun ownership is part of a very well-regulated militia, not a bunch of rednecks with assault rifles.
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
Dipshit, if you want to try to make a point like "switzerland shows that gun ownership does not equate to gun crime," you are implicitly making a COMPARISON between switzerland and other COMPARABLE countries with presumably less/equal gun ownership but more gun crime. Without another country as a basis for comparison, you just have some statistics about switzerland which would be totally meaningless. How else do you define "low" crime or "high" crime?

So while you're apparently too stupid and/or lying to admit it, you ARE comparing switzerland to the US, and it's a fucking fruity comparison because switzerland is an animatronic clock with a lot of bank accounts and the US is a large, diverse country with an inequality problem.

Here, let me save you the trouble of replying: "same as it ever was, you think your opinion is more worthy than mine just because your opinion is backed by logic and data and mine is backed by irrational prejudices. in reality all opinions are equally valid and therefore we can't have any gun control because crazy peoples' opinions differ and the second amendment. straw man, x+1+1, something something, switzerland. thank you and good night."
Posted by waffle on December 27, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
"How else do you define 'low' crime or 'high' crime?"

I don't define those because I'm not discussing those.
I'm demonstrating (with Switzerland as the example) that gun-ownership does not equate to gun-violence.

I am amused, though, that you list so many differences between Switzerland and the USofA and then claim that those differences are the cause of the gun-violence in the USofA.
Which seems to support my claim that gun-ownership does not equate to gun-violence.

Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 27, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 107
Dear Dan,

You are correct, as is every issue of The Stranger, on every single topic.

Also, Nancy, and all other gun owners who respond to discussion of gun control with death threads (as most do), are, indeed, BATSHIT CRAZY and should either be issued cement boots and pushed into the ocean, or launched into the Sun.


A Loyal Customer
Posted by wilbur@work on December 27, 2012 at 9:40 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 108
And the same goes to Goldy -- thanks for doing what you do.
Posted by wilbur@work on December 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this
Hey gun nuts: you totally won the PR war, yet you keep yammering on about how you are victims. 51% against ban on assault weapons, but majority support limits on clip size. All time high of support for hand gun ownership. From Gallup:…

Summary: "Americans favor new legislation to limit gun sales, presumably to help prevent the kind of gun violence that became all too familiar in 2012. This is seen in increased support for making the laws covering the sale of firearms more strict, and for passing new gun laws. However, views toward banning semi-automatic guns or assault rifles are unchanged, and -- possibly reflecting Americans' desire to defend themselves given the rash of high-profile gun violence -- a record-high 74% oppose preventing anyone but the police or other authorized officials from owning a handgun."
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 9:48 PM · Report this
P.S. I'm not going to agree it makes sense or is an ok thing.
Posted by cracked on December 27, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
McBomber 111
So, back to the original post -- Goldy, I'm a big fan and usually with you, but you proved Nancy right in your defensive, shaming response. No room to respond respectfully to a plea for civility in a nationwide debate? You've garnered over 100 comments, but most are the base, bickering over statistics. If you want to actually make change (which you seem to do, and I'm behind you!), you need to listen as well as talk. We on the left ARE better than the Bill O'Reilleys, because we listen and measure and aren't reactionary. It's not sexy, but that's what separates us from them. I don't give a fuck about journalistic ethics when reading Slog (c'mon), but as Lissa said, don't shoot yourself in the foot.
Posted by McBomber on December 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM · Report this
McBomber 112
And, if there were a Slog poll, I would surely choose to drink with Boring Dad, over Goldy or Nancy, since he sounds like a person who can talk rationally.
Posted by McBomber on December 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM · Report this
Bottom line: Put an initiative on the ballot. You know, something like I-676. See how well it does. Until Seattle's fake-o "progressives" can learn to talk to anyone but themselves, you don't stand a fuckin' chance. Now you can all shit on me for saying that. Go ahead, I know you will. But you don't stand a chance, period.
Posted by Mister G on December 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 114
Shit on you? Hell, I'd buy you a beer. Because you're dead on.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 28, 2012 at 12:53 AM · Report this
Stay tuned, #114.
Posted by Mister G on December 28, 2012 at 1:24 AM · Report this
Goody, you are why the left never wins. We could take a winnable stance and go for a meaningful change, but assholes like you have to take the my way or the highway stance and be such jerks about it that you drive away the folks in the middle who would agree with us. A little bit of moderation and we could make some progress, but apparently you prefer ideological purity and making fun of this woman who might otherwise support reasonable gun control. So the next time you are talking about why we can't get any meaningful gun control passed, think about why Nancy isn't interested in helping anymore.
Posted by i don't know on December 28, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Thank you boring_dad for your comments, a flag of reason in this storm of bile. I am in favor of further gun regulation, but don't want any part of the shit your throwing here. The person @116 has the right of it, calling out Nancy as you have done does nothing to further the debate only makes you look like the asshole. Fox news would be proud of you.
Posted by MerryChristmas on December 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Jesus will give me a Cleveland Steamer before Goldy writes anything thats remotely sensible. What a liberal douche.
Posted by SonicsSuck on December 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Perhaps Nancy is way too good and decent for such a leftwing, anti-gun rights blog as this one. She needs to find a more pro-gun blog. I'm sure there are many out there.

Seems like she's trying to shame THE STRANGER into writing pro-gun right articles. She's just shocked that there are people out there who do not believe in putting the right of gun owners over the rights of the rest of citizens to be safe.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on December 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
sperifera 120
I was reading a comment thread somewhere right after the (most recent) massacre, and the comment that stuck out to me was: "You're not a cowboy, and the King of England isn't sending his troops to take your house." That kinda sums up the whole issue in a nutshell to me.
Posted by sperifera on December 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
I apologize for posting this twice, (here and in Some Logic Lessons) but some things deserve repeating...

So, I keep seeing references to how gun control (or rather gun banning) has worked out great in the UK. However, if you look at the actual data (published by the UK Home Office):…

Page 2 - relevant file is 'Historical crime data'

You'll notice that from 1980 to 1997, the per capita homicide rate was an average of 11.2. Handguns were banned in 1997. From 1997 to 2002, per capita homicide INCREASED to a maximum of 17.9 in 2002. (Mostly due, I believe, to Shipman) it has trended downward since then, averaging 12.9 from 2003-2011 with 11.5 in 2011.

But wait you say! Firearms are responsible for a miniscule number of deaths (.07 per 100k) per capita! How is that possible?? Amazingly, lacking firearms, people kill each other with sharp and blunt instruments! Apparently, a lack of firearms does not deter people from killing each other! Additionally, since the 1997 ban on handguns, at-home burglaries (burglaries from occupied locations) have increased significantly. A 'gun nut' would point at that and say, "See? Guns deter criminals." A 'gun control nut' would probably say, "Things are different in the UK."

So while yes, the handgun ban did, in fact, reduce the number of homicides by firearm, it did nothing at all to reduce the overall number of homicides and if you were a 'gun nut' as opposed to a 'gun control nut', you might say that the lack of deterrence of an armed populace caused the overall number of homicides to rise!

So, once again, if you want to reduce gun violence, you need to address the root causes of the majority of gun violence in the United States - gangs, drugs and poverty, which in many respects are intertwined. If you want to reduce mass killings you need to take a long hard look at mental health. I realize that all of those things are much much much harder than another 'assault weapons' ban, which will in fact, just be part of that slippery slope to the erosion of the second amendment because it will not have any effect on the majority of firearms crime.
Posted by randoma on December 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
(Please note - the per capita homicides are listed as per million. So an average of 11.2 homicides per million before the handgun ban, 11.5 as of 2011, post handgun ban). I believe these figures are normally listed as per 100k - I used the data as presented by the UK Home Office. Also interesting reading here:…
Posted by randoma on December 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this
Wow, still hung up on guns. Are you sure the only nuts are the only ones who fervently defend guns?
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
#121, isn't it interesting that the mental health issues surrounding the massacres seem to affect only 20-something white males? Are they the craziest group?
Posted by Mister G on December 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Also, #121, why even bother with stats on gun banning when the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the second amendment recognizes a right to own and use guns for self defense?
Posted by Mister G on December 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
126 Comment Pulled
GlibReaper 127
@N-1 Thanks for the tip, Goldy's Poop Chute. Totally weird that Goldy isn't listening to your sage advice smattered across the past few days' comment threads.
Posted by GlibReaper on January 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM · Report this

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