Open Thread: Guns, Guns, and More Bloody Guns

This is an open thread dedicated to what the National Rifle Association wants you to believe is as necessary as air along with ~13,000 gun homicides each year, and seven children and teen gun deaths each day.

Freedom — we have it at gun point.

For the record, my household has guns. They’re used for hunting. Half the meat this household consumes is venison harvested from family property. They’re secured in a gun safe when not in use.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban in force from 1994 to 2004 didn’t impede the ability of this household to hunt its annual venison. Mass shootings were markedly lower during the ban, however, though increasing use of high capacity magazines eventually thwarted the effects of the ban.

Do I believe in the Second Amendment? Sure — including the part about a “well regulated Militia.”

The NRA doesn’t believe in that part of the amendment because it affects their actual clients’ profit motive; regulating a militia means gun makers can’t sell more guns.

At some point gun makers and their lobbyists at the NRA need to face reality: the market is saturated, which is why Remington is going into bankruptcy. There are no more arguments to be made to increase gun sales when there are more guns in the U.S. than Americans.

There are no more arguments to be made to sell more guns into a saturated market when gun proponents care more about their guns than the shattered children in classrooms.

Or when gun proponents’ arguments rely on augmentation and dispersion by foreign agents.

Bring your discussions about guns here. Keep them out of other threads so that others can have uninterrupted discussions on topic.

112 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Slippery slope.  Like, oh, promoting renewable energy sources or allowing citizens to sue tobacco companies.  Can’t let that happen.  Might mushroom into something popular and affect sales.  Might permit legitimate cultural space and status platforms to be used by one’s opponents without sufficient opposition.  The NRA uses much the same playbook as tobacco companies, oil companies, big sugar producers and industrial food manufacturers use.

    • Rayne says:

      Yup. I’m sure they use the same playbook because they overlap so much with those same topics — the nexus is the GOP and its willingness to accept campaign donations from industries and their lobbies intent on building a government of, by, and for business (hello, fascism).

      I wish SourceWatch had elevated the topic of guns to the same level of coal, but it still has some good links for research. does a very nice job examining — well, the pros and cons of gun control. One flaw is it tries too hard to balance the arguments; it also ignores government corruption when examining gun law effectiveness (ex. Mexico’s strict gun laws versus UK, Australia, Israel…).

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Pretty much the Powell Memo writ large, which memorialized attitudes becoming common in big business, not just the Chamber of Commerce.  Thanks for this dedicated comment thread.

  2. gmoke says:

    My hope and prayer is that every politician who accepts NRA money (possibly from their Russian friends) is voted out of office as soon as possible.

  3. jayedcoins says:

    Apologies for my first foray into commenting on EW to be taking the other thread off-track. bmaz said something about it that really resonated, and I got a bit fired up. I won’t try to rehash, suffice to say — I’m a long-time reader of the site, but always felt I was a bit out of my depth to comment. But bmaz made a comment about guns that I just had to cheer on.

    Long story short, enough is enough. I don’t even want to hear about “common sense solutions” anymore. The common sense solution is to have a heavily restricted and licensed ability for private ownership of weapons, akin to other major western democracies. There are no useful half-measures to take. My position on this has changed because now I have an almost-five year old who attends pre-K in the public school system, and will be in kindergarten in the fall. I may be selfish, but it’s a hell of a lot more selfish to think that your right to shooting sports, or collector’s items, trumps the inherent danger their proliferation creates for everyone else in the world.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I agree. The common sense solutions are weak and will fail, giving ammunition to those who oppose all limitations. We can’t negotiate with the industry through its tools at the NRA  or their crazy members. They are a minority, and a small minority. They can’t be allowed to dictate to the rest of us.

    • matt says:

      Damn, I have this gun argument with my Chicago relatives every holiday.  I have kids I care about too.  I  am a responsible gun owner and hunter.  I just finished a Hunter Safety course with my 12 y.o daughter- and I think that every adult and child over 10 years old should sign up for one of these classes… even if you don’t plan to hunt.  The environmental and land stewardship education alone is worth the effort.

      My point in the last discussion is that like abortion, “guns” is a topic that people just don’t discuss rationally- on both sides.  I hate the NRA and the direction they went.  But if those of you whose feathers got ruffled were in charge, you’d ban guns on looks… and in your ire, you’d blame guns for gun violence and miss the bigger social picture.   A gun “ban” only keeps guns out of the hands of responsible citizens.  Nobody can refute that 99% of legally owned guns are utilized without incident.

      Yes, to gun safety education, background checks, waiting periods, and limited capacity magazines! The majority of gun owners believe in these common sense measures to lessening gun tragedies.   But just like the GOP/NRA won’t budge on their “no rules” approach to the 2nd amendment… the Left comes up with emotional pleas to “get rid of all guns” to “save the schoolchildren.”

      The argument that “you don’t need your guns” to protect yourself from personal threats or from a tyrannical government is based on a feeling, not fact.  Guns are used by all the towns we live in, by law enforcement to “protect” from civil threats.  Guns and all sinister creations up to nuclear missiles are used  for deterrence and defense in YOUR name all over the world to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars.

      I agree that in today’s geopolitical climate, its not likely that a foreign army will invade the homeland.  Yet, the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security agencies spends TRILLIONS of dollars on “what if?” scenarios and contingency planing for nuclear terrorist attacks, domestic terrorist insurgencies, and… read the news… the possibility of a ground war/nuclear war with Russia and/or China.  If they are taking it that seriously why shouldn’t I?

      By the way, that is why National Security agencies actively promote and support gun ownership, because in the sad event of war on home soil… there is nothing more effective against an invading force than an armed citizenry.

      Finally, look at the numbers- yes we have more more gun deaths than Europe and Australia’s gun deaths went down after their ban… but the truth? Most gun deaths are suicide, and when you take away guns, the suicides don’t decrease… it’s only the manor thereof that changes.  The next highest category- being poor/black/brown in the decaying inner cities of America.  Think a handgun ban or AR-15 ban will stop inner city violence?  Think again- 95% of those guns are illegally obtained (but, yes to outlawing the gun-show loophole and straw purchasers).  Obviously, the entire social structure that creates domestic violence, poverty, public school inadequacy, and lack of economic opportunity will stop the motives behind gun violence in the first place.

      In my corner of America, firearm ownership is nearly universal.  Nearly all of my daughter’s classmates- boys and girls- have attended Hunter Safety and- don’t cringe- already own their own gun.  I’ll bet you have a few liberal friends that are gun enthusiasts.  Take a walk on the wild side, ask them to take you to the range.  Once you have a better understanding of positive gun culture,  you’ll be better able to offer up better solutions to keeping us all safer…  in a multitude of complex circumstances.


      • Ed Walker says:

        Do you know how often guns are used in domestic violence cases in your corner of the world? Is there a number that would change your mind?

        • matt says:

          Ed, I don’t understand.  Are you saying an ban on semi-automatic firearms will decrease domestic violence?

        • Ed Walker says:

          I’m saying that guns are used to threaten, hurt and kill people in the home. How many people getting threatened, hurt and killed in domestic violence does it take to change your mind about semi-automatic weapons? Of course other weapons and fists can be used for that purpose. I’m just talking about one kind, but a very important kind.


        • matt says:

          I’m very sensitive to domestic violence having my own experience during childhood.

          All I wanted you to understand was that all civilian assault rifles are semi-autos, but not all semi-autos are assault rifles.

  4. Pete says:

    Thank you Rayne.

    The Parkland shootings happened less than 2 miles from our home. Our kids are long gone from HS. While we did not personally know any of the victims or their family, I can tell you that perspective changes when it happens in your community.

    I am a multi gun owner and have a CCW. My part time job almost mandates it. I would not join the NRA or GOA if you gave me the money to do so.

    A 600 booth major “gun show” goes on in Miami, 50 miles south, this weekend where 18 year olds can buy an AR15.

    I do not have an answer except to say that something – regulation – is needed. I am pretty raw right now, but I’d support an assault weapon ban.

    Part of their argument is there is no one time solution so nothing we can really do. So let’s take several cracks at it over time.

    But really, I honestly think a root cause is the money. Gotta have that NRA rating and money to get (re)elected. Just substitute Pharma or Energy or or or. It’s the money IMHO.

    But like you can’t eat an elephant in one sitting do something. If one mass shooting is avoided by a ban of sorts then we are better off.

    The cowards in DC simply value their blood money more than the lives of children, teenagers, and adults.

    If Trump shows up he may not get as warm a welcome as he probably thinks he deserves.

  5. Ed Walker says:

    The trolls are all over @NRA threads on the twitter. They try to engage you in discussions that are beyond stupid. How do I know this? Sad experience.

    Also worthy of note: Remington Rifle filed bankruptcy in part because of slumping sales. It’s a prepackaged filing, and lenders will eat at least $700 million and maybe more. Cerebus Capital is the owner but it is going to surrender its ownership, probably to lenders who are not named. The Sandy Hook lawsuits were part of the cause, eating a lot of money to keep the company from liability. Here’s a description:

    The assault weapons ban was reasonably successful and could have been strengthened easily. But the NRA Death Cult killed it.

    The article says other gun companies are reporting lower profits. also, It looks like overall household ownership is down, and most of the new guns are bought by people who already have guns. The Guardian reports that there are 7.7 million people with between 7 and 140 guns.

  6. joejoejoe says:

    Maybe the best way to fight for gun control in the US is for US gun control advocates to advocate for a US tourism boycott internationally. I think US tourism from abroad is down roughly 4% under Trump. If you run ads about the gun violence in the US internationally and warn people to stay away, maybe you get other economic interests (hospitality, tourism) to get behind gun control for self preservation. I don’t think Marco Rubio is going to do the right thing on his own, but he might if fears a heart to heart from Disney more than one from the NRA.

    When Florida first introduced ‘stand your ground’ laws, the protests targeted to tourists got noticed.

  7. orionATL says:


    February 16, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Oh, no.  EOH, you are so informed on so many a topic… I have deep respect for your many comments… But, an AR-15 ban?  That will do absolutely nothing.  A semi-auto gun is a gun is a gun…. they are all the same.  All, handguns, shotguns, deer rifles,  and military rifles in semi-auto fire a round when you pull the trigger.  I do believe the cause of this violence is social- the absolute disregard for issues of poverty, addition, and mental health in our social infrastructure.

    If you ban the AR-15, by logic you would need to ban all semi-auto firearms.   99.9% of AR-15’s are responsibly owned.  And, yes… many Americans believe they have a right to defend themselves from a tyrannical government.  In light of the Trump administration and the 702 surveillance abuse. so ravenously discussed on EW, what do you think would be the last defense against an unchecked National Security State?



    February 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    In a security state with tanks, armed drones and surveillance, do you really think you have a chance in hell?

    There can be sane gun regulation. Background checks, a national registry, waiting periods, licensing that must be renewed every couple of years similar to a driver’s license: With an evaluation of related police activity, threats and mental health intervention within that time frame.



    February 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I absolutely agree with you.  I just wanted to make the point that the “ban everything” approach is not effective and severely hampers dialog with gun rights advocates.  Do gun owners have a chance in Hell vs. the Security State?  Yes.  Look at those mountain goat herders in Afghanistan who have held off two world superpowers for nearly 40 years.   It would not be an easy road, but an alternative to total submission.

    That said, the NRA has done an awful job advocating for gun safety.  Their only message now, is that Liberals are trying to take away your guns… so arm your selves to defend against them? (the one’s without the guns, peacefully protesting).  Yea, responsible gun owners need an organization that will take the lead in all the suggestions that you made.



    February 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    As I said, the assault weapons ban worked just fine for ten years.  It works well in some states now.  And no, a semi-auto is not a semi-auto.  A SIG 226 9 mm with a 10 or 15 round magazine can’t do as much damage at the same range at the same time as a Sig MCX with a Nato 5.56 and a thirty-round clip.  With the latter, a perp could stand off a quarter mile or at one end of a football field and do a lot more damage to his classmates.

    The lethality of assaults is an issue that can be addressed now.  Waiting for a government that begrudges providing dental or medical care to increase access to better mental health care would be waiting for Godot.  Or like waiting for the US Air Force to file required documents in a national registry.

    We can address the lethality issue now.  Improving human nature may take longer.  We can limit access to such guns to a need to use, such as law enforcement and state militia.  Who would want their child to be the one who didn’t survive because the perpetrator used an AR-15 instead of a Colt revolver or kitchen knife?

    Connecticut and other states already bans AR-15 style weapons.  Must every state wait until it has a Sandy Hook in order to take rational steps to avoid them or their lethality?



    February 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    A SIG 226 9 mm with a 10 or 15 round magazine can’t do as much damage at the same range at the same time as a Sig MCX with a Nato 5.56 and a thirty-round clip.

    Wrong.  Depends on the range- at close range in a building the 9mm would be more damaging.  Obviously, a rifle is designed for long range.  And, let me state the obvious- it takes .5 seconds to change a gun magazine.  Honestly, I’m not against regulating the magazine capacity, I just don’t think that its going to have any effect on the body count.



    February 16, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I said a 9mm “can’t do as much damage at the same range at the same time” as a rifle round.

    Fifty feet across a classroom, a hundred down a hallway, two or three hundred across a parking lot.  An assault rifle, with a 5.56 that tumbles on entry or a heavy, spinning .30 caliber, has more stopping power than a 9mm pistol load. A “tasteful round hole” or “tear off an arm or a leg”.  The 9mm could be accurate in a room, not so much across fifty or seventy-five yards.

    A highly trained shooter might change a clip in under half a second.  A not so highly trained teenager, pumped with adrenaline, would be different.  Getting off 10 or 15 rounds in between clip changes is not the same as firing off 30 at a crack, especially on open terrain down school hallways or sidewalks or across parking lots.  How many students could get behind a two-inch hardwood door or concrete parking lot barrier in half a second?

    Lethality is a significant issue.  We can address it.  But I don’t think we’re arguing about facts.



    February 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Good. Let us ban all the semi-automatic guns. If you think you need that to “protect” you, you are an idiot.

    I am tired of this crap. If you want to go all “the 2nd Amendment requires daily school massacres” fuck off and rot.



    February 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    If people argue that assault rifles are SOOO important for sports at shooting ranges, then only permit rentals on shooting ranges. No take homes.



    February 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    The sporting use of AR platform rifles is just for fun.  The real reasons are to provide for the common defense against:

    1). criminal cartels/mafia/domestic terrorist groups.

    2). homeland defense against a foreign enemy.

    3). defense against a tyrannical government or government entity.

    Should any of these events occur on our soil, you will be damn happy that a portion of America’s are educated in the proper and justified use of firearms.



    February 16, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    1.Are you serious? When was the last time a citizen brigade took on the mafia or a terrorist group for that matter? Do we really want a vigilante state?

    2. Taxes pay for a ridiculous amount of homeland security. I’d rather not have drunken idiots, mentally deranged, or bigoted people with guns determining who they are providing security against. Because that answer could be ANYONE.
    (that is not to say I am describing all gun owners in this manner, but you can not dispute that there are some for whom the description matches)
    3. See my previous comment about the arms differential there. Even the police have been militarized.

    I’d rather see protestors en masse rather than a group of gun owners deciding who is and isn’t an enemy. Who gets to be general?



    February 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Tautology.  And I saw that movie, Patrick Swayze, Red Dawn, 1984.  I always liked Harry Dean Stanton.

    We’re not gonna agree on this.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Defenses against a national security state are laughter and derision, sunshine and fresh air, the courtroom and the ballot box, the press and the streets, a wholesome and legitimate venue for public assembly and freedom of expression.

    As for gun regulation, which you seem to like in the abstract but not in any specific circumstance, I would compare how little we do there with how we overreact to the supposed threats from immigrants.  Like, oh, Donald Trump’s family and millions of others.  Like the physicists who gave us the bomb.  Like the millions who built our railroads, made our steel, pick our fruit, clean our babies and houses, manicure our fairways, serve food and wash dishes at Trump properties, and volunteer to serve in our military.

    Most are among the hardest working, most law abiding, religious and family-oriented people in America.  A few bad apples, like bribed legislators in Albany or a bent governor, congressman, prosecutor or sheriff.

    Yet the government allows the DHS to define the border as, well, not the border.  It is every acre within 100 miles of the border, nicely capturing about 85% of the population.  We stop buses from Buffalo to Albany and Miami to Jacksonville and demand, “Papers, please.”  On occasion we stop cars on the freeways between San Diego and LA or LA and El Paso, especially in Arizona, and ask the same question. Overkill?  No.  To protect the Fatherland.

    Given how few criminals such enormous efforts trap, and how few criminals live among immigrants, we aren’t doing it to protect.  We are doing it for the political theater, to spend and to militarize the border and to normalize that change.  We do it to protect politicians from once in a lifetime catastrophes, while those same politicians ignore the daily catastrophic deaths from opioids and healthcare too expensive to use, and the weekly shootings in US schools.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Then there’s on-the-road civil forfeiture bonuses.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    really, matt.

    this talk of an “unchecked national security state” is phantasy nut talk. it is no sound argument for any gun ownership let alone assault rifles and militay ammo.

    it is a matter of self induced political paralysis that each time there is a gun massacre there are blowhards who opine editorially that such and such a law won’t work – mentally ill, assault rifles, background checks.

    that’s all self defeating nonesense. any law would be a good start, but a SETof laws would be much more effective. of particular importance is closing down the money trail guns sales create – gun show loopholes, changing gun ownership, gun ownership registration, liability laws targeting gun manufacturers ans sellers.

    and of course tackle the nra politically where it is vulnerable and investigate it thoroughly as a non-registered foreign agent for gun manufacturers.

    equally important gun and ammo marking, personalized safeties, gun insurance.

    in many respects gun ownership can be treated by governments state, local, and national as no different from car ownership.

    the fact that the u. s. is such and outlier compared to outher nations in both gun ownership and gun deaths per 100k gives the lie to any assertion that nothing can be done in the u. s.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    There’s a gun thread. Gun talk goes there starting now.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    rayne –

    it’s probably difficult if possible, but could all these gun threads be moved out en masse to the new gun talk home?

    the talk is important but is going to die here.

    i’m going to copy mine there.

    happy to then delete here if i could figure out how.



    February 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    the fact that the u. s. is such and outlier compared to outher nations in both gun ownership and gun deaths per 100k gives the lie to any assertion that nothing can be done in the u. s.


  8. orionATL says:

    sorry, eoh, i missed your seminal comment on the first copy.


    February 16, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Question for bmaz, why would Gates be filing pro se?  Because his lawyers refuse further work – can they before they’ve been allowed to withdraw – or because he’s run out of money?

    Separately, we happily survived an assault weapons ban for ten years.  More of us might happily survive a much longer ban. Thoughts and prayers have become a routine congressional dodge for doing nothing, taking the NRA’s money, and sitting on their souls.

    AR-15 style weapons are not for hunting or home defense, they are for playing GI Joe. Time to overturn Citizens United. Time to ask the NRA and its moneyed backers how they intend to pry our children’s safety from their cold dead hands.

    • matt says:

      really, matt.
      this talk of an “unchecked national security state” is fantasy nut talk. it is no sound argument for any gun ownership let alone assault rifles and military ammo.

      OrionATL,  it seems like a blind spot to me that you are a virtual expert on the over-reach of government surveillance… yet ridicule me for fear of a “National Security State.”  I know, from reading your comments that you are also very well versed in American and World history.  I know that most people on EW and generally everywhere believe that the apex of US power is crumbling.  I know that many educated people fear a “post-NATO-US” geopolitical situation with Power rising in Russia, China, and all the rest of the “Global South.”  It cant’ happen here? Really?

      And, what do we really disagree on?  I agreed with all the common sense measures noted in the thread, except for a all out semi-auto firearm ban or assault-style rifle ban suggested by BMAZ (who obviously knows nothing about firearms).

      If anyone has interest in disusing the particulars- tell me what the difference is between an AR-15 and your average hunting rifle?

      And, does anyone here actually know the difference between “hunting” and “military (NATO)” ammo?     (the truth might surprise you).

      • orionATL says:

        matt –

        you’re a smart, articulate commenter here.

        with respect to gun violence and gun rules, of which there are far, far to few in this nation, you are just going over yourbstale, irrelevant arguments in your head.

        people are dying of guns in this country – unnecessarily – just by the sheer, overwhelming number of guns, i. e., their overwhelming availability in a moment of passion – by massacres, by criminal grudge fights, by domestic violence, by suicide, by accidents. the overarching reason is simply the extraordinary availability of guns in this country compared to any other non-warring nation – nearly 300 million guns for 325 million people. that is just insane.

        you can argue your well-learned rote arguments all you want to, but you are remaining blind to the reality of a major social catastrophy this nation is handling very, very, badly, in part due to citizens like you who refuse to recognize the bloody reality and keep confidently dancing around in our public discourse, as you have been doing here, with their gun sophistry – oblivious, oblivious to suffering, death, and loss.

        imagine each of the 17 killed have 10 family, friends, and fellow students (colleagues) who valued them. that adds up to 170 people haunted for the rest of their lives by the loss of a loved/valued one. what do you say about their life-long loss? now add up all the lives lost to guns in a year (~45k) and multiply that number by ten again. ~500k suffering souls. how much are your sophistical gun-ownership-arguments worth to you in light of that suffering?

        • matt says:

          Suffering.  Where’s Pete? Isn’t he a theologian. I don’t doubt the misuse, abuse, and negligence of firearms causes suffering.  Way more so in the lands that we occupy with our massive military than here in the US, but yes there is a lot of suffering in the world and for a lot of different reasons.

      • orionATL says:

        matt asks –

        “… If anyone has interest in disusing the particulars- tell me what the difference is between an AR-15 and your average hunting rifle?…”

        AKKKKK AKKKKKK AKKKKKK AKKKKK. goddammit. i missed the fuckin’ stag but cut down his oak tree. jones ain’t never gonna let me hunt on his property again.

        • matt says:

          First off you don’t hunt with an AR-15, because its not the proper caliber.  As I said before, there is no difference between the function of a semi-auto deer rifle and an AR-15, so I’m not sure what you are getting at other than making a parody of a “redneck” hunter.

        • orionATL says:

          using “redneck” here is a trick of political rhetoric and a “redherring” and you damn well know that, matt.

          you asked this question:

          “…. If anyone has interest in disusing the particulars- tell me what the difference is between an AR-15 and your average hunting rifle?…”

          the parody is of your question.

          your average hunting rifle (30.06) is single shot. no bullets sprayed or rapidly fired. no ammo designed to tear gaping holes in flesh.

          the ar-15 is the opposite. inaccurate to fire, but able to cut a small tree in half with its fusillade ofvcarefullybdesignedxammo to do max damage. :))

        • matt says:

          No disrespect… YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG.  Honestly, go to Cabella’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods and ask the guy behind the gun counter.

          NATO AR-15 rounds are small caliber- a hair larger than .22.  As per the Geneva Convention and NATO they are full metal jacket designed to stop enemy combatants with the least amount of bodily damage.

          This is compared to hunting bullets which are hollow point which are designed to expand and fracture causing multiple wound channels and a quick ethical expiration.

          Look, if you don’t know this, you really have no experience with firearms.  Instead of trying to be an expert, why not trust someone like me… who has expertise and experience AND A PROGRESSIVE/LIBERAL MINDSET… WILLING TO BRING HONEST AND HELPFUL DIALOG TO THE TABLE ABOUT AN IMPORTANT ISSUE.

    • matt says:

      That’s the problem- a ban of that kind would cause another Civil War.  It represents a view that is uncompromising.  A near majority of guns of most types are semi-automatic.  You cannot bring that proposal to the table without causing a revolt.

      The truth is guns pose a very small statistical risk to schoolchildren.  Of all the risks to life and limb… there are so many more that are of much greater importance.

      • Ed Walker says:

        Matt, I didn’t always feel this way, but the gun nuts have blocked every compromise effort to control guns for decades, and the one or two things we have at the national level have huge loopholes and are poorly funded and enforced. If there’s a civil war, it’s because the other side is intransigent and has been for decades. That intransigence has led to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

        I reached my acceptance level of deaths at Columbine. What’s yours?

        • matt says:

          Ed you are rightly disturbed.  As am I.  I think its normal to be angry and look for the quickest remedy.  And, has kindhearted human beings we need to grieve the lost of the FL victims.

          I want to take action too.  I want to perform the most accurate and effective interventions an any level to improve the safety and security or our children.

          That said, there are tolerable/statistical risks to ALL human endeavors in society.  Raising the speed limit to 75, medical interventions, playing football, down hill skiing, drinking alcohol, eating junk food, etc all cause a statistical rate of morbidity and death.  We don’t come to the table and ask our lawmakers to ban these things, we educate and regulate.

          I have only advocated for interventions that will truly improve the underlying social conditions that cause domestic violence in its’ many forms.  That is, a strong social welfare system with adequate public education, mental health and addictions infrastructure, and and economic safety net.

          To the specifics of Gun control- again I stress that everyone here was right with limited magazines, background checks, waiting periods, and an end to the gun show loophole.  And, you are all right about how the NRA has refused and reasonable legislation and has reversed many of these common sense regulations.

          I came into the conversation, when BMAZ blurted out his support for an all-out semi-auto gun ban.  I just tried to explain how, realistically that would be challenging the historical status-quo and would functionally require the seizure of EVERY category of firearms from ALL law abiding firearms owners in America.

          I get it.  Everybody’s upset.  But throwing pitchforks in the air at 1/3 of American body politic is not going to get you anywhere- it only emboldens your adversary the NRA, who can say, “look you need to vote for this asshole GOP candidate because the liberals are going to seize your gun collection, hunting rifle, or means of personal defense.

      • Ed Walker says:

        Adding, this is from a New Yorker article

        One result is that American children drill—again and again—for mass shootings. Anyone with a child might be in the position of hearing awful, alarming reports on the news, and then rushing to text sons or daughters, wondering if even that is safe, or if the sound of the alert might reveal their child’s hiding place to a shooter.

        This is how we raise children in cities like Chicago. Even the kids at Parkland had the drills. Do you think that’s a fair price to pay for semi-automatic weapons?

  9. Rapier says:

    Todd Ricketts, Cubs owner along with his family,  is now head of GOP fundraising.  Well I am not sure the deal is done.

    Anthony Rizzo works for the Ricketts. So do a lot of guys that speak with heavy accents if you get my drift.  In there lies the possibilities of heavy dramas, that won’t get played out.

    Anyway Anthony should give Mr Ricketts a call.  In my dreams anyway.  When there is big money involved even Rizzo knows his place. I am not blaming him mind you.  Are any Cub fans going to care if the teams owners are made men in the GOP?

    I suppose I need to add the obvious. The GOP is guns. Cripes the guys shot playing softball last year love guns. Any talk about laws or anything with the GOP and guns is a sad pathetic joke. Not Quixotic, but simply absurd. No, worse than absurd. It is an act of self humiliation to even address a Republican on guns. They have to be kicked out of office. And maybe there should be a cost to the RIcketts

    • Rayne says:

      Is the GOP guns or are they money? I sense some reluctance among some GOP to step up to the mic and advocate for ‘guns uber alles’ right now and after other mass shootings. Are they simply in lockstep because of the party’s policy of omerta about who is bought? Recall Kevin McCarthy getting shushed by Paul Ryan when McCarthy aired his suspicions that Rohrabacher and Trump were bought — is the absolute fealty to the NRA no matter how many American dead part of the omerta? And by fealty to the NRA I mean to the organization’s reliable wallet.

      • matt says:

        Love them or hate them, American gun owners are free votes for the GOP until the Democrats can convince them that they understand reasonable gun control and positive gun culture.

        • orionATL says:

          let them vote republican all they want.

          others who have remained indifferent are beginning to get really agitated.

          those who vote republican because they love their guns more than their fellow citizens’ lives and safety can keep them and keep voting republican. they are the same type of selfish, insensitive, sorry-assed citizens as religious fanatics who vote republican to destroy abortion rights.

          but the tide is slowly changing on gun owning fanatics. only ~25 % of the population own any gun.

        • matt says:

          Jesus, this is not an all or nothing discussion.  For as smart as you are, you are starting to scare me with your absolute intolerance of a different point of view.

        • orionATL says:

          the discusion:

          matt says:

          February 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

          Love them or hate them, American gun owners are free votes for the GOP until the Democrats can convince them that they understand reasonable gun control and positive gun culture….


          February 16, 2018 at 9:39 pm

          let them vote republican all they want.

          others who have remained indifferent are beginning to get really agitated.

          those who vote republican because they love their guns more than their fellow citizens’ lives and safety can keep them and keep voting republican. they are the same type of selfish, insensitive, sorry-assed citizens as religious fanatics who vote republican to destroy abortion rights.

          but the tide is slowly changing on gun owning fanatics. only ~25 % of the population own any gun…

          matt says:

          February 16, 2018 at 10:29 pm

          Jesus, this is not an all or nothing discussion.  For as smart as you are, you are starting to scare me with your absolute intolerance of a different point of view…
          orion answers:

          no matt. it’s not intolerance at all. i’m just refusing to be accept a deal that offered by gun folks that i consider not in my society’s interest, nor my own.

          imagine this scenario: gun owner comes into my little shop. says “if you’ll give me some leeway on guns i’ll by your product (vote for you dems). i say, “no. i am not willing to discount what i am selling just to get your business. that’s not the way i do business; not the way i run this little shop of mine. go look for a deal somewhere else.”

          and so you go off to get your deal from the republicans – and whadda deal you get. welcome to it!

          you see, matt, sensible, non-single-issue-obsessed voters know which party offers the best deal across a range of issues, not just gun issues only, or abortion issues only, or protect-my-fortune-from-taxes issues only, or don’t regulate my chemicals issues only. the republican party exploits single-issue voters bigtime. and those voters are dumb and happy with the bargain they get from the republican shop keeper.

          the key to destroying nra power and hyper rich-guys power is to work hard to dismantle the voter suppression and gerrymandering traps that empower the republican party and are thus at the root of the nra’s power and the hyper rich guy’s power, etc. in state and federal legislatures.

        • matt says:

          I’ve been to DC to lobby for health care reform.  Far from idealized battles of righteousness… it is a tedious back an fourth for months or years on little issues, details, and sticking points.  I’m afraid no matter what the issue, you will have to sit down at the table and hash out particulars with both your own Party and the other.

        • Rayne says:

          Dude. As I already noted, we had a reasonable ban on assault weapons. It worked for most of 10 years until the use of high capacity magazines got around the ban — that’s an opportunity to fix the assault weapon ban. And the ban died only because of NRA lobbying.

          Listen very carefully to what those kids in Parkland FL have to say about gun control; their voices sound like the rest of their cohort across the country, fed up with living in fear. Those near-future voters aren’t the GOP’s; they’re mostly white kids from a well-to-do community and they are furious with the status quo. It’s quite the other way around: the GOP better rethink its current operating (business?) model or it will be a dying minority political group with the taint of support by criminal enterprise.

        • matt says:

          OK, when you come to the table to make legislation, you want a 5 round magazine limit?  That’s just like California- they understand that the only difference between an AR-15 and a hunting rifle is the large capacity magazines.  This is a reasonable regulation to negotiate.

  10. Rayne says:

    For BMD who attempted to comment for the first time and wrote a book in the process:

    – Americans do not have an unlimited right to own guns. See the clause, “well regulated Militia.”

    – Try advocating for the rights of children to simply live as strongly as you advocate an unlimited right to guns.

    – Your post was too long, bordering on a DDoS of this thread by crowding out others. We’ve also heard the same arguments before.

    See ya.


  11. Yogarhythms says:

    1984, Orwell’s quote “War is Peace”. 1986 Reagan calls $70 million per MX ICBM “Peacekeeper”. 2018 has seen 17-18 School shootings. Recently AR-15 on campus in Florida Highschool and 17 students are now dead. Election costs are profit driven in our capitalist system. If we Ban Citizens United legislatively and fund all elections we remove NRA power over elected officials. Step 1 take money out of campaigning for Office. Step 2 make voting on weekends and mandatory. Step 3 make education free including meals. Step 4 pay teachers wages enough so they can live in neighborhoods with school. Step 5 Social Safety Net fully funded. Florida HS Shooter reportedly lived where Police responded over 39 times last two years for domestic abuse, disturbance of peace. Painful experiences left unaddressed in home setting. No neighborhood support structure. Expelled from school and any support present through school. So society has to address “Little Murders”. Or not and pray for the dead.

  12. matt says:

    On a broader point- you guys don’t want to go down the rabbit hole and actually think about the specifics of gun control.  You just can’t get the pictures of those innocent children out of your heads.  The cost for that is high politically.  There are many moderate and even liberal gun enthusiasts that would support a progressive social agenda if the Democrats would get informed and show they understand the facts about responsible firearm ownership.  I would encourage you to read Bernie’s take on gun control.  After we take a deep breath and mourn the dead, can we agree that this is a reasonable approach?

    • orionATL says:

      matt –

      you expect decent, principled dems to sell out to gun fanatics just to get their votes?

      man you cut your walleye fishin’ hole on thin ice this time.

      • matt says:

        Now, I am pissed.  I AM NOT A GUN FANATIC.

        I would have my ass kicked, by the real gun-nuts for my views supporting nearly all the gun control measures discussed on this thread.

        I merely did not support a ban on a particular “style” of firearm having nothing to do with function, nor an all-out ban on semi-auto firearms which make the bulk of all firearms in all categories made in the past 100 years.

        • orionATL says:

          well., it’s true that 22’s, for example, have been semi-automatic (meaning a pull of the trigger that sends a long-rifle bullet on its way, intitiates a process that pulls a long-rifle cartridge into the chamber ready to fire) forever.

          arguing to protect more dangerous guns which use the same mechanism is not compelling or legit in my view.

          the gun problem in this country is pistols, not long guns. pistols kill tens of thousands of us yearly. arguing long guns mechanisms where gun control is an issue is bringing in an obfuscating, irrelevant issue. this is all the more true when mixed with arguments suporting ready availability of military-style weapons.

        • matt says:

          When passing laws, understanding the various mechanisms is VERY important- misunderstanding them is what causes so much push-back from law-abiding firearms owners.

          Handguns are whole different can of worms- the crux of the matter being, does a citizen have a right to protect him/herself with deadly force?  That’s another thread, I’m sure.

          If you limit magazine capacity, there is no functional difference between classic Remington, Winchester, or Marlin hunting rifles and the AR-15.  The differences, besides the smaller caliber of the AR are related to the ergonomics and accessory rail.

    • Rayne says:

      Friday’s indictment makes it clear Bernie Sanders has been propped up by outside forces. From here forward I will not listen to anything he says without first listening to other progressive voices.

      That said, YOU NEED TO READ WHAT YOU’RE PUSHING since it includes an assault weapons ban and background checks and elimination of gun show loop holes. And then you need to re-read what I wrote about the assault weapon ban specifically.

      If you keep pounding on this without actually paying attention to what you’re pushing or what others are saying, you’re trolling.

      p.s. Howard Dean’s position in 2003 (before the assault weapon ban expired) was nearly identical to Sanders’. I didn’t have a problem with Dean’s position because he understood and articulated that what works in Montana doesn’t work in NYC. Sanders is LTP as the kids say AND he’s not a Democrat.

      • matt says:

        I thought it was regulation of certain categories of assault weapons- which I’m fine with.  This thread has been foucsed on the AR-15.  Yes, again to preventing the gun show loophole and background checks.  These are common sense regulations, and why I am NOT a member of the NRA.

      • matt says:

        Orion already vetted me and relieved me of any “Troll” label.  :)   This is an honest discussion between informed people about an important issue.

        [3:31 pm EST – I missed the part where orionATL was bestowed editor’s powers. I also missed the part where you realized your overbroad statements were undercutting your arguments. Proceed with greater caution. / ~Rayne]

  13. Rapier says:

    RE: until the Democrats can convince them that they understand reasonable gun control

    No no no no no, and no. Convinced?

    I’m sure there were strongly worded letters in the Berliner Tageblatt in 1933 opposing the Enabling Act, and then the SPD made their fruitless no votes.

    PS. Oh, I see it’s a troll doing the Liberal shtick.

    • matt says:

      The only reason I come to this site is because the posts are insightful and the comments are very intelligent.   But for the love of God, there is not just one type of Liberal or one type of Republican.  America has ALWAYS been a pluralist society.  How dare you insinuate that supporting responsible gun ownership is a platform only suitable for Nazi’s.

      Too, the troll thing has been beaten to death here- I’m not a troll.  I’m sympathetic to 95% of commentary on EW.  I just happen to have an (honestly moderate) viewpoint on firearms.

      • orionATL says:

        matt –

        you are definitely not a troll. you are a thoughtful, smart commenter here. however, you will come to recognize in time that you are dead wrong in your stubborn affection for some “gun freedom” arguments. control is as essential for guns as it is for autos or stock trades or electrical wiring and plumbing in a home.

        • matt says:

          I already agree with the majority of Democratic Party gun regulation proposals.  That’s different that banning all guns outright which is essentially what a semi-auto ban would be.  And, many of you balked, at the idea of adopting more accurate language for gun control that would bring law-abiding responsible firearm owners to the Democratic Party.  That’s the sort of extremism that polarizes our political process.  If we could pick up even 10-15% of soft Republicans or independents on the gun issue we could start turning election results Blue.

  14. orionATL says:

    matt is right about “semi-automatic”. it is true, i think, that a lot of weapons, pistols and rifles (don’t know about shot guns) are semi-automatic. it’s an old technique that makes it more convenient to fire a gun – you don’t have to stop and reload after every shot. so banning universally on the criterion of semi-automatic would not be sensible if you want to allow some guns as they exist today and have existed for decades to be sold and held privately.

    but then it would be possible to mandate that the semi-automatic feature be removed from some weapons, e. g., pistols. this would have an effect similar to outlawing magazines – slowing down the number of shots that can be fired by a shooter- for fun or otherwise.

    • matt says:

      I’d like to take a moment of silence.  I have achieved the Holy Grail in the EW comments!  ATL has conceded a point!  Lots of laughs, brother. :)  Thanks for weighing in on the discussion and contributing your insights.  Again, I’ll say we agree on a lot more than we disagree.  And, now we’re on the right track- getting to the informed regulation of specifics.  Have great weekend!

  15. Pete says:

    No sign of him visiting the school -which still has adjacent media staging – much less visiting with families of the deceased in Parkland.

    Two funerals for students yesterday. Nearby synagogue had cars parked along the road for miles in all direction.

    The Parkland Community and the families of many of these victims are deeply engaged and enraged. As my wife says, they WILL NOT let this (the underlying issues many of which are posted here) go.

    I dunno how this community voted wrt Trump. I suspect not for him by a lot. IMHO he would not fare well visiting in other than the “protected” confines of a hospital.

  16. Evangelista says:

    Doing something precipitately, because it looks like, or is popularly touted to be, a quick-and-easy solution, or for demanding it seeming emotionally satisfying, or for any other irrational reasons, is stupid.

    Doing something precipitately that will do no actual good is even more stupid.

    Doing something precipitately that will do more harm than good is more stupid yet.

    Doing something precipitately that even morons, ignoramuses, idiots and fools can recognize with only moments of consideration (‘consideration’ because the given categories are not given to ‘moments of thought’) would result in an at minimum angry, and at maximum organized violence, backlash is even yet still more stupid.

    In fact, the problem(s) producing “gun violence” is(are) not guns. Guns are only tools. How and when and where tools are used, or mis-used is matter apart from the tools. In all cases of misuse, including where guns are the tools mis-used, the apart factors, the factors initiative in the mis-use, are what need to be focused to.

    Focusing to the tool(s) used in consecutive-pattern events of mis-use is worse than a wasting of time, since it does not address the causes and and so does nothing to stop, or slow, or even interfere with the misusing pattern.

    In the case of repetitive gun violence incidents, attempting to outlaw gun ownership is especially ill-advised. First, because ownership of guns is not component in the problem. Possession of a gun is the component element. People engaging in berserker violence are not concerned with niceties of legality. Second, because guns are better than the alternatives that would remain available if guns were “outlawed”. Consider the damage done without a gun in the Boston Marathon case. Visit a trauma unit where bomb, machete or axe wounds have been treated to get some knowledgeable answers to questions of what does what damage in use situations. If you do not address the underlying problems, but only ‘banish’ the most commonly used tools, you are going to only re-direct the resorting to violence to choose other tools.

    In any case, whatever any, or any mob, might choose to do, legal or not legal under the United States’ Constitution, with intention to ban firearms, where you will have to begin, and where you should begin in any case, will be to disarm the police. And to curb the police.

    As long as you accept, and encourage by not controlling, a class of goons given permission to use violence up to and including murdering with impunity, you are going to, simply by doing that, encourage irrational eruptions of violent reaction not only against police, but against any and all selected others throughout your society.

    • Rayne says:

      First, we’ve had an assault weapons ban. Re-instituting the ban would not be precipitate.

      Second, guns are tools designed to kill. Hardly comparable to a screwdriver wielded by an angry person.

      Lastly, your 434-word comment is overlong, a bad habit of yours. Many of our readers are using mobile devices and long comments make it difficult for them to read the comments and contribute. Be more concise if you are not adding new researched material here.

      • Evangelista says:

        Hi Rayne,

        Do the designations “Mini-16,  “Mac-10”, “Mini-mac”, “Uzi”  ring any bells in your memory?

        Those were the weapons-of-choice in the ’90s when “Assault Weapons”, meaning, in fact, weapons with assault-rifle styling, including flash-hiders, were “banned”.  The weapons were not auto-capable, or three-shot auto capable.  They were standard semi-auto rifles with open or camo stocks and clip receivers.  Flash-hiders, that got a lot of publicity, if you recall, all of it assigning them to be the next most terrible thing after silencers, permitting sneaky-shooting, but with noise, preventing shooters’ locations being identified by hiding the three-to-four foot long muzzle-flash a rifle makes, do not hide that flash except from the eyes of the shooter, behind the weapon, preventing dazzle, so the shooter can still see in low light, such as jungles, forests, and indoor and low light urban settings.  The entire “assault weapons ban” was a joke, made worse by the ignorance of the make-a-show idiots who perpetrated it demonstrating in perpetrating the idiocity of their idiocy.

        In fact, the “assault weapons ban” was only sorta-kinda Constitutionally “legal” because the weapons banned were not sold as real  assault weapons, but as assault-weapon-like rifles.  Arms are weapons for killing people.  The arms the second amendment states We the People’s right to bear are people killer weapons.

        During the ban era an assault-weapon style weapon purchaser could avoid the onus of the ban law by declaring that his intention for the like-an-assault-weapon was to use it to kill people, of course in a responsible and well-disciplined way…  The second amendment would then protect his right to own the weapon from the ban law.  A good joke, no?

        The Macs and Minis and Uzis, and a number of machine-pistols popular in those ban-years were, are, all full auto.  They were ‘illegal’ for that.  They were proliferate.  Was anyone killed in Florida with any of those?  I suggest you look up on the ‘net and read some Carl Hiaasan ´Miami Herald articles;  he wrote of at least the more sensational events (there were too many every-day ones to more than box-score in the sports section).

        For a bit of “new researched” information to include, since I am not sure that without it this might not be too long, I just looked up on the ‘net so that I can report here, the President of the United States, whole enjoying a “really lovely piece of cake” for dessert while hosting the President of the Republic of China, had fifty-nine (59) Minuteman cruise-missiles launched against Syria.  The Minuteman is an assault weapon.  Fifty-nine of them is one missile short of two banana-clips (thirty shots each).  President Trump was in Florida when he set that example of how “we do things in America” for Nikolas Cruz—I mean, President Xi…

        President Trump’s Nikolas Cruz moment cost United States taxpayers ninety-three million dollars ($93,000,000).  It killed about the same number of people.

        How are Trump’s and Cruz’s actions morally different?    How many whole schools, not only single students, has the United States entirely destroyed by bombing?  How are United States drone-strikes morally different from what Nikolas Cruz did?

        Cruz was obviously, and documentedly, a troubled youth.  He needed professional attention he did not receive.  In Parkland, Florida mental health matters, like Cruz’s, were, as in Cruz’s case, routinely routed to police, who were, and are, not equipped to deal with those.  President Trump and the Republicans in Congress recently jammed through a tax-cut for the rich most able to afford to pay more taxes.  A feature of that tax-cut shifted more onus for funding provisions of services, like mental health services, to states and communities, like Florida and Parkland, who have more poor than rich to tax.  A couple of psychiatric counselors with time to deal with Cruz could have, just by providing the attention his case evidences he obviously needed and was acting out to gain, prevented the Parkland shooting.

        Trump’s handlers, who created the tax-cut legislation, Trump, who pushed it and the Republicans who pushed the legislation through (illegally since it violates a costs cap Congress had legislated into law), and the responsible bureaucrats and officials in Florida and Parkland are not responsible for what Cruz did, but the AR-15 rifle he used is?

        Trump just provided a budget for the next two years that cuts federal social services and health benefits, including mental health and youth counseling benefits, and eliminates programs, where, instead, as the Parkland shooting demonstrates, programs need to be created and services beefed up and staffed.

        Trump and the Congressionals who are pushing that services cutting budget through are not responsible for the Parkland shooting, that could have been prevented, and the next one(s), but the weapon Cruz used is?

        You, Rayne, and all who think like this and demand the weapon be made responsible have a serious problem.  I hope it is only thoughtlessness, because that is easy to correct.


        • Rayne says:

          Whew. What a lot of pointless hot air. Glad you got that out of your system. Utter shame it DDoSs anybody attempting to read these last comments on a mobile device, thought. Basta.

    • Trip says:

      Good thinking. On that logic, let’s have no laws, because the problem is really about criminals. Unless we can stop people from engaging in criminal behavior, there is no point in having laws, since laws will never stop them. I mean, really, 90% or higher of people never break laws. With that in mind, laws are pointless.

      • matt says:

        Trip, you’re right 100%.  Laws do not stop criminals or the criminally insane.  Think about that long and hard.

        • Trip says:

          Think about having no laws. Think about that hard.

          Do you think corporations would contaminate water, and then again and again? Do you think rapists would just stop raping? What about pedophiles and child abusers? Should they walk freely, because we just haven’t done enough for them? You think it might be a good idea that they freely work in schools and daycare? Should wife beaters go on beating? How about alcoholics getting behind the wheel? Why not serve grain alcohol to toddlers in bars? In fact, let them buy oxy legally, it’ll lift the economy. And really, I feel like performing surgery tomorrow, even though I’m not a surgeon, do you want to be my first experiment?

        • matt says:

          99% of people follow the rules (laws) as part of voluntary or coerced consensus.   I believe in the rule of law and the wider concept of social contract.  Once again, laws are not effective with people who are criminally insane- both the ones who don’t think (psychopaths/mentally ill) and the ones that carefully break laws with cleverness and manipulation (sociopaths).

          This doesn’t mean that we should have no laws.  It just means that there is a portion of the population that simply won’t obey them.  “Laws” are not going to stop suicide bombers and school shooters.   Lessen the body-count, maybe.  But, horrific acts are a choice.  I ‘m much more interested in understanding why individuals make violent choices.  I would wholeheartedly recommend the book, For Your Own Good; Child Rearing and the Roots of Violence , by Alice Miller.  Read it and you will understand why Nikolas Cruz did what he did and the societal changes necessary to prevent it.

        • Trip says:

          Lessen the body-count, maybe.

          How is that insignificant?

          If it’s your BODY or someBODY you love, that makes a huge difference. It should make a difference even if it’s someBODY you don’t know.

          I have several psychologists in my family, including one child psychologist. I have several friends in same and other type of similar work. Some who were up close with and evaluating a serial killer. Nature/Nurture, Nurture/Nature. How someone is treated in developing years (even in the womb, genetics) what they were fed, environmental circumstances, yadda, yadda. I agree with that. But laws do make a difference. They are not just there for punitive measures, but stopgaps. I don’t have to tell you that. Because someone might do something awful ‘anyway’, doesn’t mean you should make it easy and toss your hands up and say “Oh well”.

      • Evangelista says:


        Your logic is flawed.  You write, “Unless we can stop people from…”  We stopping (other) people is, apparently, what you assign to be “law”.  You suggest that without your authority, bolstered by your law scaring other people into behaving those other people will run wild.

        They won’t run wild, they will rebel against you and your superiorist-supremacist authoritarian aggression against them and their rights to rule themselves.

        You want to herd cats.  Cats don’t recognize would-be herders’ authorities.

        In the Constitutional United States, for its establishment on English Law Principle, Presumption of Innocence, which includes right to be presumed innocent, the law that controls me has to come from me, and the law you control yourself by has to come from you.  We each have responsibility to obey recognized reasonable common, meaning commonly recognized, regulations, which we all accept restrictions of for recognizing their reasonable correctness.  Unlawful and incorrect laws we each have obligation to oppose.

        Crimes are clear and willful, and intentional, and voluntarily undertaken, violations of known commonly recognized regulations.  You have to know an action is fundamentally wrong and deliberately engage in it anyway.

        If you followed the above you should recognize that law exists in the mind and conscience of the individual, not in the might of an authoritarian.  The example is Constitutional U.S. but the principle is universal

        It is for this that authoritarians who stand behind and order others, as you suggest, only incite disobedience and rebellion.  It is for this that militarily armed police in Ferguson, Missouri making massive show of force, only incited more rebellion, more demonstration, more looting, more defiance.

        To rule by law you have to demonstrate law.  You have to lead.  You have to make and abide by your own law.  You have to demonstrate to others why your law, the law that you, yourself, obey, is law they should make for themselves, too, and follow, too.

        A privileged, above the law, government and above the law goon cops wielding authorities to coerce, not law, but their orders, are antithetical to legitimate law, and will not be able to enforce law, however much they oppress, however many they kill.  Rebellion will be ongoing, will arise again and again, because those oppressors are not leading.  They are not leaders.

        As soon as someone takes a lead, begins setting an example of lawful behavior, provided that person can subdue the oppressors (or provided he or she puts the oppressors into the hands of the people, for their disposal) law will return.  The vehicle will be the people following the leader’s example and controlling themselves.

  17. greengiant says:

    While the mass shooting catches my attention,  the homicides noted in the Rayne’s first sentence and  the over 21,000 gun suicides,  ( 4,000 of them by vets ),  the 500 to 800 accidental deaths,  that demand solutions.

  18. Scott A. says:

    Something I’ve been thinking about for a while:

    We should have a national insurance program to compensate any and all innocent victims of gun violence.  The insurance should be paid by tax revenues and whatever money can be generated through lawsuits against the perpetrators of such violence.  Since as a country we cannot seem to prevent these crimes from happening, at least we can try to decrease the significant burden such crimes impose on those who are most immediate affected by them.  Obviously it would be better to find ways to prevent such violence; but failing that, we should seek to take care of the victims and those who depend on them for income, support, parenting, etc., rather than leave them as just unlucky bag holders for our inability to solve the our problem of gun-love.

    The above is obviously not a solution to our gun problem, but I can’t see why we shouldn’t do it, nor is there any fundamental constitutional question about whether we can do it.

    If someone is injured or killed by a person driving an automobile, there is a good chance that they or their survivors would be able to recover damages from the party at fault, since you can’t legally operate an automobile without purchasing insurance. Since we acknowledge that automobiles are inherently dangerous to innocent third parties (as well as their own operators), we reasonably insist that their operators (or owners) bear the burden of being able to compensate anyone they harm. That’s insurance.

    Now many accept that for similar reasons, we should insist that gun owners purchase insurance to make the victims of gun violence bear less of the burden if they are similarly harmed.  But the analogy is hardly perfect:  most of those hurt by weapons are not hurt by accident, or by someone acting innocently.  And if the party at fault is willing to commit murder or use a gun recklessly, the possibility of requiring them to be financially accountable to their victims seems wishful thinking.  And the task of passing legislation to require such insurance seems as hopeless as any other debate we might have at present over curtailing the use of firearms.

    But I think we conceive of this problem not as one of personal responsibility but of social responsibility.  Socially, we as a country have chosen to allow the proliferation of firearms which imposes a terrible burden on those who are the innocent victims of those guns.  To then abandon such victims to their own resources, with no hope of compensation from the person who was the direct cause of their harm, is a distinct, cruel, immoral harm.

    What should such insurance provide?  At a minimum, it should pay for survivor’s benefits to dependents and the spouse of the person killed; the medical bills and rehabilitation of those who survive; and disability benefits for anyone who is rendered in need of ongoing care or supplies due to permanent injuries, and compensation for lost income for those rendered unable to work for a prolonged period of time.

    Among other benefits, this would helpfully make it much clearer than it is now just how large and terrible the actual costs of our failure to address gun violence is.  When these costs are disbursed among the unlucky victims, it is hard to get a clear picture of the actual burden our system creates, or to responsibly share the burden of it.  Congress should have to appropriate the funds that represent something approaching actual cost of our country’s love of guns.  While doing so might still fail to convince them to address the problem more directly, it would greatly clarify the debate for many who do not have any other immediate connection to the costs of their inaction on guns.  I think that would be useful.

    • Rayne says:

      This is a novel idea; it could be implemented at state level, just as automobile insurance is regulated at state level. While this comment is a bit long, it’s worth examining as a new and different response to the problem. I wonder how failure to pay premiums would be addressed?

    • Pete says:

      Your post made me recall early words at the school press site from Pam Bondi, Florida AG (and Trump fluffer) about how the state would pay for the funerals, fly in/out family members, etc.

      I must admit in the moment my temporary feeling of “that’s quite nice” was equaled by my recall of the support of Trump by Bondi and Governor Scott as well as the constant school funding fights waged by the Florida Legislature.

      I question myself when I have these conflicting thoughts about gestures that ordinarily would be warranted. Of course these families should not have a worry over paying for loved one’s funerals. Of course these politicians ought to be slammed for their patterns of support.

      And as someone else mentioned somewhere: Florida – the state of stand your ground.



      • Trip says:

        I must admit in the moment my temporary feeling of “that’s quite nice”

        Not me. I felt that they were culpable.  Paying for funerals isn’t ‘nice’ at all. It’s the very very least that they are doing.

    • matt says:

      That’s not a bad idea.  If you are going to be a responsible gun owner, paying for liability policy should not be out of the question.

    • Scott A. says:

      Thanks for the replies, and sorry about the length–since this is a relatively new idea (I think) that I’m flogging, I wanted to make the idea somewhat explicit.

      Just to clarify one thing: I don’t mean this to be insurance purchased by individuals, but rather a social insurance, paid for by all of our tax dollars.  As insurer, the government would then be entitled to sue to recover damages from those who use firearms and cause damages, to recoup the insurance settlements that have been paid out.  But I expect that this would not fund much of the cost of the program.

      The idea of making gun-owners (or gun dealers or gun manufacturers) buy liability insurance has been around for a while at least, and while I might prefer that to my suggestion, I think it is impossible because of the gun lobby.  The point I want to make here is that my proposal should not justify any objections on the parts of gun owners/sellers/makers.  And so it should be something we can actually achieve broad agreement about.

      • Trip says:

        While you’re at it, how about health insurance from the government, in the event that someone gets cancer or other diseases caused by negligence or bad faith actions of corporations? That should cover everyone and everything since corporations promote poor health choices, drugs with side effects, cars with defects, as well as spills and chemical contamination, amongst other horrid things. You can add poverty, starvation, and all of the ills that go with it since corporate tax cuts impact that as well.

        • Scott A. says:

          I’m in favor of that too, but I think the argument for it is different, and much more complicated, and in any case, would not solve some of the other problems caused by gun violence (e.g., loss of income and support for dependents, long-term disability costs, survivor benefits), unless it is part of a broad package of welfare policies that don’t have anything close to a super-majority of support here now.

          Maybe this proposal is no more politically feasible than universal health coverage.  But I think the argument in favor of it is quite specifically tailored to the American belief in unfettered gun ownership, and therefore more suitable as a rallying point in our debates over gun ownership.  If as a society we can’t agree to cut back on gun ownership, then at least we should agree to pay for the real costs of that decision.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s called “taxes.” We’re just shit at collecting an adequate amount and fairly redistributing them as needed because we let the biggest offenders buy their way out of paying more with the money they’ve pocketed.

          See Finland, Sweden, Norway as examples of doing social insurance better.

  19. wayoutwest says:

    The liberal left continues to show less affliced citizens why they cannot be trusted to safeguard our individual rights. They try to claim the brand of common sense gun control but the rabid gun banners are too numerous in their ranks to ignore.

    Even the less noxious control measures are designed to harass law abiding gunowners while the federal government makes lists of those who exercise their oldest individual human right, to hold and bear arms.

    We have a small number of young men who are causing this outsized killing creating fear that the left uses to push a gun banning agenda. Where are the calls for some type of intervention with this small group of troubled people?

    The actual cause of this mayhem doesn’t seem to be important to the liberal left and many people correctly see them as opportunists with a clear Marxist NWO agenda. Destroying the individual right to bear arms would make their task of undermining all individual rights much easier and replacing them with group/Party dictates.

    There is growing rejection of this leftist power play throughout the West and its many tentacles are being severed. Freedom loving people around the world have seen that the clever commies can be stopped and made to retreat. The longterm battle cntinues but the beachead is secured and now there is is the opportunity for offfensive action against these power hungry forces.

    • Trip says:

      Where? Your GOP has loosened restrictions on mentally ill getting guns. It also has been systematically destroying mental health options. It took away investigations into threats, especially those with white supremacist organizations. Thanks for the commie comment, Mr McCarthy, we see you.

    • matt says:

      We’ve beaten the semi-auto topic to death… but the topic of individual freedom to protect against government tyranny seems to be to be laughable to all of you.

      I find it endlessly ironic that you distrust the power of your government when it comes to privacy, but wholeheartedly trust the most ingrained and emboldened law enforcement/national security/military apparatus in human history.

      Did you see how this apparatus functioned in Standing Rock? What happens when the threshold of acceptable intervention slides a little more?  Current events (KSA, Russia, Argentina… and historical volumes show the perpetual recurrence of purges against opposition figures to established governments.  Should America stay to the Right, and should things get worse than they already are… EW sympathizers will be labeled “agitators” and “America haters.”  After they take your website off line… and black list you… they might just come to your door (or send a drone).

      Germany before the 1st world war was one of the most liberal places on planet Earth.  In a single generation it went from an epicenter of poetry, art, music, and philosophy to the Third Reich.  Liberals were the first to go.

    • Rayne says:

      So we should ban “a small number of young men” to address the “actual cause of this mayhem”? Wouldn’t that be a restriction of freedom in the form of pre-crime punishment?

      And if many “freedom loving people around the world” have less gun crime than the U.S. because they regulate guns, doesn’t that put a kink in your argument?

      • matt says:

        Rayne,  violence (gun and its many other forms) is a function of social unrest, poverty, and lack of opportunity.  Mexico has very strict gun laws, yet the murder rate is through the roof, because criminals don’t purchase guns legally.  The same is true in the US where the murder rate and gun violence is highest in Black & Brown improvised neighborhoods.  17 dead is just a normal Summer week in South Side of Chicago- no national outrage, little media coverage on account of that.  Middle class White kids? That turns heads.

        If we look North, our Canadian neighbors have plenty of guns and much less gun violence.  I might add that they are able to purchase an AR-15, but must take a class similar to our concealed carry requirements in many states.  I think many firearm owners would support a compromise like that.

        • Rayne says:

          Dude. That reply was for WOW whose logic collapsed. You just opened yourself up for no good reason. Pick your battles.

          You just argued the public is upset about the deaths of “Middle class White kids” by another of their kind, after saying “violence (gun and its many other forms) is a function of social unrest, poverty, and lack of opportunity.” Clearly this particular episode of gun violence has little to do with “social unrest, poverty, and lack of opportunity” if the shooter was a member of a well-to-do community.

          And people *are* upset about Chicago’s gun crime; it’s a convenient bête noire dragged out by white politicians when they want to make a racism-imbued point to demand more militarization of police but won’t actually go so far as to deal with gun laws exacerbating Chicago’s violence. But the average white media consumer can’t be bothered to read stories about Chicago’s problems when it doesn’t affect them in suburbia, nor can they be bothered to do more than glance at the criminality of Chicago policing which also exacerbates violence — the shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald being but one example.

          As I said, pick your battles. This one wasn’t yours.

        • matt says:

          I thought it was an open thread, and we can all reply, comment with each other?  Since you directed the last comment at me, I’m assuming it’s acceptable to respond?

          The article about guns coming across state lines has nothing to do with gun laws in those states.  There are no gun stores in Chicago and it’s plainly cheaper to buy them in bulk across state lines.  The ATF, FBI, and CPD have know for years that the bulk of all “crime” guns come though a “Straw Buyer” and a handful of unscrupulous gun shops who buy in bulk and resell at a premium.   This was always a mystery to me- why a Straw Buyer was not legally responsible for the hundreds of serial numbers guns they sold that ended up used in crimes.   I guess IL has changed that now, finally.  But, I’m afraid that, like drugs, the cartels will now supply that market.

        • Rayne says:

          You’ve made a whopping 178 approved comments here so I’m going to spare you because you’re still a bit green.. WOW is a known troll, one of the few we have tolerated for probably too long. WOW is walking a fine line right now, and you do not want to get too close to that edge.

          Your weak sauce claims that you’re okay with Bernie Sanders’ version of gun control but popping up to decry any gun control approaches the line, especially when you defend a known troll. Capisce?

          As for the issue of Chicago and guns: clearly state-based gun laws have limits which need to be reevaluated and repaired. IN does not have a right to encourage businesses which damage IL so that nice white people can occasionally pule, “OMG! Chicago! Crime!” Start with nationwide gun registration, background checks, and closing the gun show loophole.

        • matt says:

          I supported ALL gun control regulations discussed save an all out semi-auto ban or a stylistic “assault ban” not based on magazine capacity or shortcuts (bump stocks, conversion kits) to full auto.

          I don’t live in a bubble.  I have to deal with people like WOW every day.  They are my family members, neighbors, and co-workers.

          For the n-th time… a troll is not someone who represents the Right with a mainstream argument and wants to join a discussion.  I wouldn’t know about WOW’s behavior in the past… but his one comment here sounds like my father-in-law, and every guy down at the local bar.

        • Rayne says:

          This is how it worked on some of the U.S. in social media: they couldn’t distinguish between a discussion based on open sharing of ideas and agents provocateur who merely created dissension, thought they were just regular Joes like people in real life. WOW does not share anything new nor have they been open. But you would know that if you were here +10 years like some of us.

          Take heed: don’t tell editors and contributors how to run the shop.

        • matt says:

          Fair enough.

          Thank you and everyone else here at EW for the good work you do.  That is never in question.


  20. yogarhythms says:

    Logic 101 Conditional If/Then. If the first condition is true then the second condition must be true.

    AR 15 assault rifle fires bullet’s that kill and wound people. Nikolas Cruz went to High school with AR 15 assault rifle and opened fire. Nikolas fired AR 15 and is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Assault weapons ban will reduce number of AR 15 bullets being fired. NRA says but for Nikolas students and teachers would still be alive? FBI. Sheriff, Police, School Administration, No public agency that interacted with Nikolas was able to help avoid this outcome. What can FBI, Sheriff, Police, School Administration do differently? What can citizens do regarding guns that our Legislators can’t/won’t do?


    • matt says:

      Logic is only as good as the premise.  And, when you do it on paper you exclude multiple variables that are inherent in human behavior.

      If I’m understanding your premise correctly, I believe your logic assumes that no AR-15 = no 17 dead.  In an alternate universe with an assault rifle ban (all things being equal) the shooter could have used a different firearm, made an explosive, poisoned the cafeteria food, or driven his car into a crowd.  All of these scenarios could = 17 dead.

  21. k says:

    Couple of points
    1) This is a lie.
    “NATO AR-15 rounds are small caliber- a hair larger than .22. As per the Geneva Convention and NATO they are full metal jacket designed to stop enemy combatants with the least amount of bodily damage.”
    Yes it is marginally larger then a .22 but it is designed to tumble and tear up the flesh and bone after entry. So that is a lie. the .223 (5.56 MM). It is a military round designed to stop the enemy. This is part of the reason that it is banned as a “hunting” ( deer etc) rifle in many states since that caliber tears up the flesh and ruins it for consumption.
    2) You want to protect the mythical “responsable” ammosexual then stop protecting the conspiciously irresponsible ones
    A program that requires the owner to show an unlimited liability insurance policy on each weapon and separate policy for each user.
    Anytime one of these irresponsible gun owners shows up some place with a weapon where they are banned ( i.e. airport) if unloaded, with no rounds aacompying it, it is automatic year and a day in general population of prison, $10,000 fine, surrender of all weapons accessible by the irresponsible gun owner ( so spouses and children have to surrender weapons as well) for destruction, lifetime ban on ownership. Mandatory immediate arrest and prosecution. No plea deals, probation, white collar prisons or any other special treatment.
    If the weapon is loaded, or has any ammunition carried in proximity, 2 years in prison and $20,000 fine plus all previous sanctions and conditions.
    And just like arrests for marijuana or other drugs a lifetime ban on working for the government on any level or position, including sub contracting. Again just drugs the offender is banned from any government benefits in any form including pensions, corporate welfare. Then to follow utah and traitor states laws the offender would be banned from voting, jury duty and any other activity where a felony conviction would be a bar. ( Judge, police?)
    Now a few years of this and maybe we can see how many responsible gun owners ( except in boondocks where needed for food) which is an oxymoron.
    Personal preference would be total ban where any gun owner is a criminal violating ban and can be treated as a attempted murderer.

  22. k says:

    A ps

    I forgot the point that “accidental discharges” cease to a exist legally.

    Gun goes of around people ( including anywhere within range, other side of sheetrock, non bulletproof barrier) automatic assault with a deadly weapon, gun goes off and causes injury, no matter how minor, attempted murder, someone dies ( even if child or wife/husband ) murder in the first.

    Again no arrest or prosecutorial discretion allowed.

    These are the common sense comprimises that I am offering

  23. matt says:

    Not that anyone really cares at this point, but to K, I’m sure you watched the doctor video going viral about how the .223 NATO round was designed for maximum tissue damage. The truth is that terminal ballistics is like high level physics- and although the .223 FULL METAL JACKET can bounce around in the human body cavity when it hits bone, it WAS CHOSEN AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO EXPANDING/FRACTURING HOLLOW POINTS. All bullets kill, so this is kind of a useless argument. The reason FULL METAL JACKET bullets are banned for hunting is the opposite- they often pass strait through the animal and do NOT cause enough tissue damage for an ethical kill. The hunting rounds do massive tissue damage and can ruin a whole quarter of meat (I know from experience)- that’s why many hunters looking to stock the freezer bow hunt.

    Again, not a really a useful discussion as all bullets in all calibers are deadly.

  24. k says:



    Is that hollow points and expanding bullets are illegal under Geneva rules.

    So to avoid conspicious violation of geneva rules the US military found a work around that still inflacts the tissue/bone damage of a “dum dum” without violating the latter of the law.

    a .223 round was specifically choosen to inflict maximium damage. Your assertation that since it was anly marginally larger then a .22 round was at best purposefully misleadin and since you have choosen to show off your knowledge it qualify’s as a lie.

    Address the rest of my comprimise suggestions. Or would you rather continue to promote your falsehood of being open to “reasonable common sense” solutions that in fact favor ammosexual murder advocates.

  25. matt says:

    (reply in comment not working)

    Hey, K, to the best of my ability I do not lie. I have been known to misunderstand a thing or two… no argument about that. I happen to know quite a lot about ballistics, and to a certain point you’re right- NATO full metal jacket rounds are designed to kill- but no more so than any other round. There is no “better” or “more ethical” cartridge that the military passed on. The US Military did pass on expanding/exploding hollow points for ethical reasons, and for the same reason this round is used in hunting: Its more ethical to let a human survive, its more ethical to let a deer quickly expire.

    I agree with liability insurance for gun owners. Honestly, it would be very easy for auto insurance companies to run up simple policies. A business owner must have workers comp, and general liability and all drivers in most States must have auto insurance. Doctors must have malpractice insurance. We almost mandated health insurance (but you know what happened to that).

    I do take offense at the “ammosexual” slur. Sexuality and gender identity have nothing to do with this issue, and it implies a “bad” sort of sexuality, being a pun on “homosexual.” Most firearms owners are extraordinarily responsible and do not deserve to be labeled as “murderous gun-nuts.”

    • k says:

      First off you do show your true colors when you state “..“bad” sort of sexuality, being a pun on “homosexual.”..” 

      Letting a bit of your white sheets in the open. Necrophilia is bad sex, child molesting ( roy moore) is bad sex. Forced is bad sex. And yes people who rather lay with their guns are obviously into just sick territory.

      Military changed caliber in part because a .30 caliber had a greater tendency for a through and through wound which was not inherently crippling or fatal. To increase the damage to humans the .223 is specifically designed to tumble and careen about the inside of a body.

      Then if there does exist that “responsible” gun owner you agree with dracian punishment for those who are irresponsible? “Accidental” discharges show irresponsibility. So you agree that any discharge of a weapon should be prosecuted as a crime? See my past post for punishment. And that any irresponsible gun owner who “forgets”, or not, and takes a gun or ammunition anywhere where it doesn’t belong ( i.e. airport, Gov. building, anyplace posted or understood as such) should be treated as a dangerous felon and immediately incarcerated.

      I would ad banning any caliber weapon and/or ammunition whose design is exclusively for murder. If it is too inhumane to shoot a deer with it whay should it be allowed to murder people.

      As for not being properly addressed as a “murderous gun nut” when the unicorn like “resposible gun owners” stop protecting and excusing the behavior of the conspicious whack jobs then they will lose the label. As long as they feel that defending mass slaughter in the name of being able to seize your murder tool on demend whenever cowardice, fear and bigotry drives you then you remain murderous gun nuts.


      Action not talk. Classic political ploy claim to be seeking a solution while continueing to drag conversation on and on then blame other side for the pre ordained failure you were seeking.


      • matt says:

        You’re getting hyped up, young lad.  I can feel your hate.  When you go to bed at night in a safe place,… I want you to dream about all the police men and women with their 9mm’s and semi-auto 12ga shot guns protecting you.  Think about your privileged US citizenship and how the greatest military force the world has ever known is killing thousands every week with .223 and .30, cal ammo in your name, so you can have the freedom to voice your opinions, and put cheap gas in your car.  Save the blame for yourself- you might have blood on your hands too.

        • Rayne says:

          I will be so glad when this thread’s comments close so I don’t have to read this […] any more. Get it out of your system now, matt, because this thread is it.

        • k says:

          I will dream of Ghandi and not the butchers you cited.

          Now that you have shown that facts again are not your friend you are beating a hasty retreat into the last refuge of scoundrels.

          Amazing how other countries have militaries yet do not tolerate the slaughter of their children in the name of….What?  safety is obviously bogus ask those17 in Florida, Freedom to do what? commit mass slaughter, feed your rambo delusions, wht freedom exactly? Other then allowing repeated massacres of our children what freedom does the US have that australia, UK, or Canada don’t have?

          Your arguements are hollow. Your “logic” is laughable and, by your inane arguements, it is obvious your morality is lacking.

          Really trying to ban masacres will place blood on my hands but you who wish to enable the whack jobs with increasingly lethal armamnet are pure as the driven snow? Well for snowflakes, like nra members, purity can only be achieved amidst other snowflakes. Reality is not kind to the delusional.


        • K says:

          If you are old enough to call me a young lad then you could probably claim senility or other age related mental issues as a defense for your comments. If that is not your defense well you seem to rush to embrace your ignorance on this as with so many other issues. Sounds like a thuglican ammosexual.

          And yes I do harbor hostility to those who would slaughter children and those fellow travelers who strive to protect the “right” for those who butcher people.

          What you don’t?

  26. wayoutwest says:


    I’ve been called many things and regularly threatened with banishment but I was never called an ammosexual here. I hold a mirror up to show how other people see these true believers but you used the heretical logic and facts they fear will undermine the collective. Your unquestioning support for all their other gun rights meddling isn’r enough because you are a gun stroking degenerate in their belief system.

    • matt says:

      Thanks, wayoutwest.  At the end of the day we all have to live together.  I too am surprised at the level of animosity toward traditional conservatives on this forum.  I don’t see politics as a zero sum game- both (any many times multiple) platforms vie for dominance, when often times there are reasonable compromises.  There are inherent flaws in radical liberalism (as there are in staunch conservatism).  It is only by accepting our inadequacies that we can move forward…. kinda like a marriage.

      For Liberals whom haven’t read it- The Righteous Mind; Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion– might be helpful in improving dialog with your fellow conservative neighbors.

  27. Scott Hartley says:

    Once again we witness a mass shooting of innocents.  It’s a good thing we have Syria to lament over — and El Salvador — so America is not quite the most dangerous gun country on earth.   And it’s a safe bet that Congress will do nothing, but then Congress currently has an approval rating so low that if we consider rationally, they no longer enjoy legitimate standing to enact laws, any laws, for the country.   

    So let’s set that aside for the moment, as the ambitious and good-hearted protesters in Florida have done. 

    Perhaps the rest of us are stymied by an irrevocable obligation to the consensus intent of America’s “founding fathers,” who cited, among many considerations in the Constitution, the need for a “well-regulated militia.”  Certainly we should all have the right to carry guns, so long as we are members of a well-regulated colonial militia marshaled to resist the tyranny of King George.  Perhaps we never thought to ask: what consensus did the founding fathers actually have?  I wonder, amid our frenzy to get Hamilton tickets, how did we fail to note the real history on which that play is based, where the said “fathers” not only disagreed, but did it so vehemently that the one was moved to kill the other.  In fact there is no absolute “founding father” intent; there never was; and that silly idea should die along with Antonin Scalia who promoted it.

    But let’s set that aside, too.

    Just now I am requesting a real consideration of the so-often-cited Second Amendment, where the word “gun” does not appear, nor does the term “AR-15.”  The text of this article refers more broadly to “arms,” as in SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).  Yet I am sure no one admitted to credible public discourse is so demented to suggest I have a constitutional right to acquire a ballistic missile with tactical nuk I might find useful in the event San Francisco seems threatening to invade my home, where I stand my ground.  No one suggests that.  Nor have I a right to a private stash of sarin gas, an Abrams tank, or even an RPG.  In fact, there is a long list of arms I cannot get, and the Constitution provides no inventory for what is permitted and no remedy for the many exclusions.  

    Rather, it seems the only specific “arms” I have this inalienable right to “keep and bear” correspond perfectly with the main profit centers of Colt, Smith & Wesson, and other corporate sponsors of the NRA and the our derelict Congress.  

    It’s just business, just profit.  Nothing is written on the back of the sky with God’s pencil.  Those who have fastened to a romance about the 2nd Amendment with such emotional fervor are not defending any sacred principle; they are, to put it bluntly, deluded.  They are just acting as dupes for corporate arms venders.  And if we’re honest with ourselves, we should also understand that gun regulation offers no quick magic fix for aggression and violence.  But it is a step, a reasonable, positive step, and we do have to take reasonable steps toward a more civilized condition.  The sooner the better.

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