One F**ked Up Gun Nation Under God

The other day it was a nutter in a Portland mall. Today, two gunmen in an elementary school in Connecticut.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association’s response?

Maybe “Hello Kitty” and “Transformers” themed .357 Magnum’s for six year olds is the answer, but I doubt it. I doubt God is thrilled about the possibility either.

Look, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is bullshit because guns make it a whole lot easier to kill people.

Google “Shooting at UK school”. The last such incident was in 1996. Don’t tell me gun control doesn’t help prevent such atrocities against young innocents, because it does. But instead of action we get something that properly belongs at The Onion.

Update: Multiple dead reported at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut, “Police said some of the shooting victims are children but it is not clear if they are among the dead.”

Update 2: More than a dozen persons, including  children shot and killed at Newtown, Conn., elementary school, federal, and state  law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

Update 3:

CBS News confirms: 27 people are dead in Connecticut school shooting. 14 are children.

— KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM (@KCBSNews) December 14, 2012

CBS News’ John Miller reports there is preliminary information that the gunman was the father of one of the students.

Charles Pierce:

In the wake of the horrors in Connecticut today, is it time  yet to consider, maybe, perhaps, possibly having a national conversation over  whether, maybe, perhaps, possibly we should do something about the possible  problems with celebrating the freedom to have such a heavily armed populace?

Or are we still waiting for it to be time to consider, maybe, perhaps,  possibly having a national conversation over whether, maybe, perhaps, possibly  we should do something about the possible problems with celebrating a heavily  armed populace in reaction to what happened in Oregon, or in Kansas City, or  Aurora, or is it just time to beat up on Bob Costas some more?

Jesus, I am so sick of this country and its goddamn cargo cult of deadly  weapons


Update 4:

WTF?!! More of the same old, same old.


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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Reports of such incidents seem to be escalating, and it’s more than TV and technology bringing us up-to-the-minute news. We’ve all watched as our country becomes meaner, and often for perceived insults. The concept of “if you don’t like something, kill it” has become too pervasive, but guns are just the tool.

    It’s attitudes; the sick belief that ones’ desires trump the rights of others to live; it’s a “you or me” kind of thing promoted in high tech games, movies, books, and attitudes; it’s pure, unadulterated selfishness. Parents who teach their children that they are special and better than others; teachers giving out blue ribbons, not just to the winners, but to all in the competition, are depriving those children that “losing” is part of living, and one needs to learn that as much as winning.

    We see less terminal variations in our politicians, in school bullying, in the press – try reading WND, Drudge, various TP sites, etc. to see a bizarre type of hatred fed to people as patriotism. Road rage, shopping frenzy, all are smaller acts of the same kind of anger and loss of self control; loss of humanity. Read the comments sections in on-line publications articles for examples of the hatred and just plain meanness that permeates our society.

    We, as a people, need some emergency lessons in civility, humanity, humility, and how to deal with things one doesn’t like. Shooting is not a resolution.

    Dear God – while writing this, breaking news says the shooter was 20, carried 2 handguns, and as many as 20 young innocents may be dead.

    I wonder: Did this young man, and the mall shooter, play a lot of games? Games where killing is how one wins? Life seems to have greatly lessened in value. If this sounds like a rant – it is. I’m sickened by the deaths of children and feel a panicked need to wrap the little ones in my family in protective bubbles.

  • Eric Loomis:

    At what point do we start holding the National Rifle Association morally responsible for all these shootings? At what point do we get over our idiotic national love of guns and start acting like grownups in this country?

    Talk about your gun rights all you want. People also have a right not be shot in movie theaters and schools. That’s a right far more important than your ability to own an AK-47.

    ….It seems that up to 27 people are dead. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison. You are goddamn right I am politicizing this tragedy. The NRA is a criminal organization and should be treated as such. Even if it is 1 person dead.

  • Guns are a symptom of a much deeper illness.

    I’m a gun owner, although I’ve never had a handgun, nor have I wanted one. I live in Northern Nevada where I can go for hundreds of miles in sagebrush. I take a gun for protection, but I do enjoy “killing” inanimate targets. I would fight should someone take away my guns, or my right to own them.

    My father was a hunter, but he shot nothing that could not be used for food and yes, we ate it. That was a firm rule and one passed on to me and on to my children. One deer a year, as well as clams, fish, abalone, pheasant & quail appeared on our dinner table. He was a W. Texas ranch kid, and enjoyed game, but never, ever killed anything for fun. His respect for all life was too strong.

    He also taught me how to hunt, fish, dive and to care for equipment, not for sport, but for survival should it ever be necessary. (Yeah, I can track, too – unusual skills to teach a girl, but I’ve actually used that when looking for a missing child.)

    I’ve explained all this to show that not all gun owners are homicidal maniacs. Literally all of gun owners I know are very responsible with their weapons as they are in all areas of their lives. As with anything, it’s the ill or unlawful that get press time.

    For the first time, though, I’m questioning gun laws, especially those for hand guns, but it will only be law abiding people who comply. Guns come across our southern borders, giving gangs, criminals and the mentally ill a way to obtain same. I want the right to protect my family and myself, should that be necessary.

    As a side note, Japan would not attack mainland US because “all Americans had guns.” I rather like keeping that fear alive when it comes to hostile nations, but new technology makes a 30-30 a bit irrelevant.

    Perhaps we should also look at mental health provisions (or lack thereof) and all that is fueling anger in this country. We’ve lost our base of morals and humanity, focusing on the “I, me, my.”

    • Hunters are my environmental allies. Since people have eliminated the wild predators in so many places, we must step in and take their place to protect plants and eco-system healths. I support deer hunting in our urban forest preserves, but only with knives as guns would be too dangerous for the many people around and within them.

      But yes guns in the city (and especially in the suburbs it seems) are a big nuisance. And the harder we make it to get one the harder it gets for even the bad to get them. The only reason not to take them all away is so some wingnuts (right and left) can fantasize and fetishize overthrowing the government.

      I would be happy to allow rural county residents their target and hunting guns. But it has to be a pain to own and especially a pain to buy and sell with all kinds of traceable databases on ammo and ownership to boot. In the city you could belong to a club if you have a doctor’s note explaining your addiction. Okay strike that last. Easy to join clubs would work too as long as they have good social and physical locks.

    • I have no problem with ownership of hunting weapons or hunting. I don’t happen to have any now because I haven’t hunted since I was a teenager. I do have a problem with ownership of military-grade weapons, bullet-proof vests and such; things designed solely to facilitate killing other human beings. I don’t the weapons involved in this case, but but there are other cases of severely over-weaponized shooters.

      Possession of a handgun is a grey area. I know hunters who carry one to finish off a wounded animal (because they were bad shots that didn’t kill cleanly – why they don’t use a knife I can’t say).
      One my sons carries, but he’s so paranoid he wouldn’t live in the Waldorf Astoria if the doorman wasn’t carrying an Uzi.
      My late brother, an ex-Marine officer, carried a gun in the New Mexico backcounty.
      I don’t own a handgun and it’s just as well. While I’m a decent shot with a rifle, I can’t hit a barn from the inside with a pistol, though I suppose I could learn and own if need be. If possible, I’d just as soon live where guns are not necessary.

  • A new report says Lanza, the shooter, was 20. His mother was a teacher at the school. Did he feel anger at mommy because she cared about other children?

    Reagan cut mental health funding across the country and it’s never been corrected. We need those resources increased, not diminished. With more returning from war, VA can’t handle that group alone, either. Options must be made available.

    The topic of mental health probably deserves it’s on thread. It’s been a problem too long ignored.

  • I live about 25 miles away from Newtown. My granddaughter just posted on FB a few minutes ago that their 2-year-old and his soon-to-arrive brother will be homeschooled.
    I know exactly where she’s coming from. It’s one family’s answer because society doesn’t have an answer. Or more accurately, the politicians have abrogated their obligations to society in exchange for their obligations to their campaign donors.

    Providing law and order and protection from tribes disgruntled at being dispossessed was the original de jure justification for the 2nd Amendment, with defense against a tyrannical government being a tacit understanding. Today, however, given private vs government disparities in firepower, intelligence and control, that argument is as pointless as guaranteeing the right to own a featherduster. Liberty and civil rights won’t be protected by armed private citizens in America today. For better or worse, it’s politics/government or nothing.

    As Polizeros remarked here, “things are coming unglued in this country”. Indeed they are, in more ways than just this example.

    • Was this last election a tipping point? Has the back of the the moralistic wingnut/corporate coalition been bent if not broken? Maybe the point tipped was a very low one and still things must be pushed for them to move, but now there is an ever so slight downhill moment helping. Obama, pot, gay marriage, global warming. The winds seem to have shifted even if they amount to only a gentle breeze.

  • Moviing away from guns and shooters, the ones who need support are the children who witnessed such horrors that will stay with them forever, the parents and siblings of those who died.

    4years, 9 months ago, my daughter died while holding her 8 month old daughter in her arms. It was a heart attack due to the compromising of such organs from 3 years of chemo that began when she was 14. As a parent, no matter the age of your child, it is a loss that is beyond comprehension; the pain never goes away, we just learn to live with it…or we break.

    Not a day passes without thoughts of her, and those parents in CT, once the shock dulls, will feel that every single day of their lives. May Creator offer ease and comfort.

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