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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gun Nuts Just Getting Nuttier

Posted by on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Things just keep getting weirder. Besides the gun nut who killed a bus driver and took a schoolchild hostage for almost a week, we've had two examples that show how fucking crazy the NRA and other gun nuts are. Their mantra that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun has been, er, shot down twice recently.

First, the killing of a famous Navy Seal sniper/author and another veteran at a gun range, by a third veteran. Navy Seals are the goddamn superheroes of real life, the most highly trained people in our military, and, hey, Bang, you're dead.

Second, a former LAPD cop is wanted for a shooting spree that so far has resulted in the deaths of two LAPD cops.

If only these helpless victims were highly trained good guys with guns . . .

Why do I suspect that if the killers in either of these cases had come at the victims with a knife or his bare hands, things might have gone differently?

Guns don't kill people, the NRA and the gun nuts insist, people kill people. Logical enough in theory, but bullshit in practice. Guns make it a lot easier for people to kill people, and that's why "well-regulated" is the part of the Second Amendment we should be talking about. Registration, universal background checks, and mandatory liability insurance for all gun-owners. Just like we do for drivers of cars!

Condolences to all victims, their families, and friends, and a great big Fuck You to the NRA and its lying and/or deluded gun-nut supporters.

 

Comments (49) RSS

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49
@48, I gave a method, well two methods, in #45. The fact is that the majority of firearm related violence occurs in poor urban areas and are mostly related to gang violence. Currently a minimum wage earner earns about $16,000/year if they work a single job. Maybe $24,000/year if they work a couple part time jobs. $16,000/year might be enough if you're single. It isn't really, but let's just say it is. It is not even close to enough if you have a kid, or two.

Whether or not you should have a kid if you can't afford one is a different question.

So, you have a kid or two and now you have to work two jobs just to feed them and pay your minimal rent. That doesn't leave a lot of time for any parent-teacher time, so by the time your kids get to be older, they're ripe for induction into a gang, and we know where that and The War on Drugs leads.

You know what else? Raising the minimum wage to $15-20/hour will most likely A) not put a single business out of business. And B) have a huge positive effect on the economy.

For most businesses, particularly those paying minimum wages, labor cost makes up about 20-35% of the product. So, let's say you have a $10 widget, $3 of that goes to labor. Your labor cost doubles, so now you have a $13 widget. That's not so great. But you have to realize that A) you suddenly have a larger customer base that can afford your widget and B) at a government level, your crime-related costs go down, your welfare costs go down...etc..etc.

Furthermore, if you have a choice between making an honest living for an honest wage and making a criminal living for an unpredictable wage, a lot of kids will turn their backs on crime. Why would you want to get a job that isn't even sufficient to pay your rent/feed your kids/etc.
More...
Posted by randoma on February 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM · Report this
48
(Late postscript which nobody will probably ever see, but what the heck...)

@47 The most basic understanding of the issue is evidently escaping your notice. That is, the unacceptable level of mayhem, injury, economic loss, and death inflicted by small-arms fire in this country. (I'm leaving "fear" out of this formula because it's unclear which side of the cause-effect boundary it lives on, or whether it's part of a vicious cycle.)

That's the issue to be solved. Our Supreme Court and Second Amendment so far seem to have largely been impediments to solving this issue. If you have a "claim," as to how to do this, by all means speak up, otherwise suck it.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
47
@44
"By the way, this exempts all arms and all 18th Century ammo technology from regulation, so we're good with the 2nd Amendment, right?"

Not according to the SCOTUS,
Can you find the appropriate ruling by the SCOTUS?

"You want just ONE item to regulate? Okay..."

No. I want to discuss INDIVIDUAL items as INDIVIDUAL items in order to keep the discussion on track and productive.
Because the usual case is that different people throw in different claims without the most basic research because they do not have the most basic understanding of the issue.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 8, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
venomlash 46
@23: According to the Supreme Court, "[t]he adjective 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training."
So the militia should be disciplined and well-trained. You know, like state police or the National Guard. And for what it's worth, Alexander Hamilton thought that the militia should be run by the Federal government.
Posted by venomlash on February 8, 2013 at 7:41 AM · Report this
45
@43, You could also stop the "war on drugs" and raise the minimum wage to $15-20/hour. Those two actions would probably be more effective at reducing gun violence than any of the proposed gun regulations.

While we're at it, I'd like a pony.
Posted by randoma on February 7, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Report this
44
@40 You want just ONE item to regulate? Okay...

How about percussion primers for ammo? No sales of any of them, separately or as part of something else, unless it's to someone who's registered and insured to buy them. By the way, this exempts all arms and all 18th Century ammo technology from regulation, so we're good with the 2nd Amendment, right?

This potential chokepoint in the manufacture of ammo has me thinking, if a certain Defense Department was looking for an inexpensive way to slow the slaughter, just placing exclusive contracts to buy all the output of the primer factories would accomplish that. There are only a handful of factories (and hard to build new ones, 'cause they tend to explode), and primers are cheap. A billion a year should cover it, with lots of money left over. A "protectionist" ban on imports would take on a whole new meaning, too.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 7, 2013 at 11:37 PM · Report this
43
@42 Nothing Obama or Feinstein is proposing will put a significant dent in the number shooting deaths. To choke off the flow of black market handguns to inner-city Chicago you'd have to require that all pistols be registered w/ the ATF as class 3 weapons, require that all legal transfers of ownership be cleared through the instant background check system, and require that if a pistol is lost or stolen the owner is required to report the incident to the police within 24 hours. Also set up a process whereby the ATF can strip you of your right to buy a gun if one of your weapons goes missing and a federal magistrate determines that you failed to take proper precautions against the loss. That would cut down the number of gang related shootings, but I can't see anything like that happening if for no other reason than, because such a system would be rather expensive to administer.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM · Report this
42
@41, Possibly. Or he might have just brought an extra firearm. Also, the crazy-person shooters do not, despite the amount of media attention, make up a majority, or even a large minority, of shooting incidents. The majority of firearm violence (including suicides, unintentional injuries/deaths, intentional homicides) would not be effected by a magazine cap.

Regardless, if it would make gun-control-nuts feel that they accomplished something, I, for one, wouldn't argue against such legislation.
Posted by randoma on February 7, 2013 at 7:26 PM · Report this
41
@40 Banning weapons based on 'military' features is silly, but banning hi-cap magazines makes a certain amount of sense. If Jared Loughner had been forced to make do w/ a 10 round magazine he wouldn't have been able to kill as many people.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 7, 2013 at 6:55 PM · Report this
40
@36
"Require registration, universal background checks and insurance that will stop neither suicidal people nor criminals"

That's why I'd like to see a discussion of just ONE item to be banned/regulated.
Pros and cons.
With specific examples of previous incidents that banning/regulating that ONE topic is supposed to prevent/mitigate and how.

I'll even start with an easy one.
Bayonet lugs.
I do not know of a single incident where banning bayonet lugs would have prevented or mitigated a crime.
Does anyone know of such an incident?
If not, can we take bayonet lugs out of the discussion?
No more "assault weapon" definitions that include bayonet lugs?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 39
@38

Most gun owners support universal background checks, limiting magazine size, liability insurance, and even the assault weapons ban. You're the one ignoring the wishes of gun owners to push an extremest view that uses gun fetishists as pawns to drive corporate profits.

Obviously, many of these things would reduce the number of guns in homes, and thus reduce suicides. As well as the larges meta issue: freeing the science to study gun deaths as a public health problem.

It was you gun kooks who cut off funding for research, and now you whine that the current proposals aren't fine-grained enough to target the problem? Too damn bad. How are we supposed to have perfect solutions without up do date research. Maybe you shouldn't have staked out such crazy positions, and then we wouldn't be where we are now.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on February 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 38
@37: Do you disagree with the substance of anything I said, or are you content to just settle in on name calling and convincing yourself that this path isnt both politically and practically a dead end?
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on February 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 37
Again, nothing for me to add. The gun nuts just need to be given enough rope and they hang themselves. Talk on, you guys. Talk on.

I'll only repeat that the gun nuts we're hearing from here, and across the media, don't represent gun owners. They don't even represent most NRA members. They're a fringe who are just as irrational and paranoid as they sound when you hear them here.

These kooks can't even get the average gun owner on their side. They can't even win over card carrying NRA members. Sad, very sad. It would be kind of funny except for all the wasted lives.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on February 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 36
Something like 2/3 of firearm related deaths in the US are suicides, and an enormous proportion of the remainder are established criminals shooting other criminals or 'civilians.' The vast majority of the above involve handguns.

So, the answer is...

Say "Fuck You" to 80M+ peaceful gun owners
Ban rifles
Require registration, universal background checks and insurance that will stop neither suicidal people nor criminals

What gun owner wouldn't get on board with that, especially when delivered in a spirit of cooperation?

If your goal is to a) do absolutely nothing significant about the actual issue, b) ensure the sale vast quantities of guns and ammo, c) endanger the jobs of a bunch of Team Blue senators and d) give a floundering pile of Team Red idiots a platform to rally around while they're in the process of drowning, you're pretty much there.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on February 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 35
@16,

I'm afraid that's false. You can absolutely be sued for shooting someone in the face.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
34
@28
"The pattern of violence has continued, and no meaningful action has yet been taken."

So instead of the regular melange of unrelated stories and unrelated proposals how about shifting the focus to ONE proposed change and identify the specific instances that that ONE change would have prevented/mitigated?

Then we can work on passing that one item.
Something will have been accomplished.
And we then move on to the next item.

Because right now the conversation seems to be more about insults and uninformed assertions.
Can we get beyond that?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 7, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 33
@31 Considering there are way way more car crashes than gun shootings per day, wouldn't terrible logic* prevail that the driver's licenses and insurance enable car crashes, and thus gun licenses and insurance enable gun shootings?

*Terrible logic to go with your terrible analogy
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
TLjr 32
Clearly we now need armed guards at shooting ranges. And aboard every school bus.
Posted by TLjr on February 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
biffp 31
How does requiring driver's licenses and insurance stop every car crash?
Posted by biffp on February 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
30
@ 16

one cam be charged with a crime when one hits a person with a car. That person can be sued civally for that crime. car insurance is mandatory in most states.
Posted by pussnboots on February 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 29
So, in light of the ex-cop spree...how does any gun control changes prevent that from happening?

Real question. It doesn't sound like an assault weapon was used. It was a cop who probably legally bought guns prior to being fired, so background checks wouldn't prevent. Please. Tell me how proposed changes will prevent this.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
biffp 28
Agree with the Stranger keeping this up while nothing has changed. The pattern of violence has continued, and no meaningful action has yet been taken. This week, Wayne LaPierre was trying to deflect attention on Fox News Sunday by comparing Chicago to Afghanistan. To paraphrase the President, the fact that we can't solve everything does not mean we do nothing.
Posted by biffp on February 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
27
I agree, @20. Guns depersonalize killing. It's much easier to kill someone from a distance with a gun, whereas a knife requires you to be up close and personal, risking yourself both physically and emotionally, although obviously most attackers/killers are generally already somewhat screwed emotionally or they wouldn't be doing what they are doing.
We hear so much about gun owners rights, but what about my right to live without gun nuts? Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness can be easily wiped out by an unregulated gun nut.
But for those who think guns are so wonderful no matter the cost, this is for you:
http://letterstonewtown.tumblr.com/
Posted by StuckInUtah on February 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM · Report this
26
And don't forget the www.candlelightmarch.org Candlelight March and Vigil to End Gun Violence Saturday night on Cap Hill.
Posted by Sandman on February 7, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
seatackled 25
@24

I think you just said that the second amendment is necessary because it has the term "well-regulated."
Posted by seatackled on February 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
24
@18: Regulated like a clock, not like a law, was the common 18th century use of the word. All of which is entirely academic, because in context, "well-regulated" is just part of a justification for why the amendment is necessary, while the actual substance of that sentence ("shall not be infringed") is utterly unambiguous.
Posted by B^2 on February 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
23
Actually, dumbfucks @21 & 22, look it up.

It's true.
Posted by Failing public school on February 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
seatackled 22
Well, you know that "fairly unbalanced" means "not to be considered a trustworthy source," don't you?
Posted by seatackled on February 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM · Report this
emma's bee 21
@11: Ahahahaahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahaha... next, you'll be telling us what the meaning of "is" is.
Posted by emma's bee on February 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 20
Guns make it a lot easier for people to kill people....
And without putting the shooter in personal danger (most of the time). Oh, sure, I could see a circus- (or special ops-) trained person throwing a dagger, except that the dagger's speed is nowhere close to a bullet's ... and the target could simply move away.

As for the simplistic mantra that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun (which has been proven false anyway), um, will the shooters' heads be adorned with glowing white or mean red or black halos, so that everyone can make the distinction?

I'm just thankful that my father never relocated us to the U.S. for his health in the early 60s, and thankful that I've lived in Canada all my life without ever having encountered a gun (other than in my forensic science course).
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on February 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 19
@ 2, CF is not a journalist. He doesn't work for The Stranger. He's Dan's brother, and an English professor at Northwestern.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM · Report this
disintegrator 18
@11: Says who?
Posted by disintegrator on February 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this
17
@10
"Not many gun rights advocates want to engage in respectful conversation when the article ends with a great big Fuck You to so many people."

I think that this time it is more about generating controversy which leads to long forum threads and lots of page views.
It's the real liberals versus the not-ideologically-pure-enough liberals.

If it was really about advancing the discussion of what can be done to reduce property loss, injuries and/or death then it would be a completely different discussion with a completely different introductory story.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Sam Levine 16
In order to get liability insurance for something you need first need civil liability. At the moment shooting someone in the face generally carries criminal, not civil, penalties.
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on February 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 15
NancyBalls, that's because you have been proven to be:
A sock puppet
A gun nut (not a gun owner, a nut)
And not a real liberal.

The end.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on February 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Report this
matt 14
I agree with you completely. But to play devil's advocate for a moment, stories like this one tend to make the NRA feel justified in their position: http://abcnews.go.com/US/armed-detroit-h…
Posted by matt on February 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
Haven't we gone over this enough already?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 12
@8 When was the last day that someone in America didn't die from the use of a firearm?
Ignoring an epidemic does not make it go away.
Posted by Sir Vic on February 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
11
"Guns make it a lot easier for people to kill people, and that's why 'well-regulated' is the part of the Second Amendment we should be talking about."

I know that it has only been brought up a dozen times or so in these forums but "well-regulated" means "skilled".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 7, 2013 at 8:37 AM · Report this
10
@5 Not many gun rights advocates want to engage in respectful conversation when the article ends with a great big Fuck You to so many people.

I am most definitely not a gun-nut, nor a staunch supporter of the NRA, but I sure as hell don't feel like elucidating my opposition to gun control when I'll be labeled as a sock puppet, a nut job, or accused of not being a real liberal.
Posted by NancyBalls on February 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
seatackled 9
@7

Regulate well.

Seriously.

Or, as the post says, in plain English, very straightforwardly, "Registration, universal background checks, and mandatory liability insurance for all gun-owners."

Seriously.
Posted by seatackled on February 7, 2013 at 8:29 AM · Report this
8
I've been thinking of checking to see how many consecutive days the SLOG has been grinding its gun-control axe now.

It's stretching well into last year. I'm guessing November was the last day someone wasn't bloviating about guns.
Posted by CPN on February 7, 2013 at 8:28 AM · Report this
Just Jeff 7
What's your solution on these nutty shootings?

Seriously.
Posted by Just Jeff on February 7, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Lew Siffer 6
I liked it better when slog focused on city centric news. Getting boring here.
Posted by Lew Siffer on February 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM · Report this
emma's bee 5
Yes, nicely tied together. Still waiting for the NRA sockpuppets (e.g., @2) to astound us with their enlightened, liberal, civil discourse on how we as a society should attempt to prevent gun violence.

Hint: creating databases of and then locking away in a mental institution anyone with a DSM-V-listed diagnosis doesn't qualify.
Posted by emma's bee on February 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM · Report this
4
Beautifully done, Bill. Thanks.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 7, 2013 at 8:01 AM · Report this
3
The liability insurance is a key point. Insurers don't like to pay out. Passing an Allstate or State Farm inspector is likely to be more difficult than passing through the ATF database.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 7, 2013 at 7:57 AM · Report this
2
Way to raise the level of discourse, buddy. Surely this "article" will spur insightful and respectful discussion between people of opposing viewpoints. Great job. America needs more journalists like you.
Posted by NancyBalls on February 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM · Report this
1
Gun nuts like the Latin Kings and Gangster Disciples Chicago Fan?
Posted by Why is it ok if you rap about your gun culture? on February 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM · Report this

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