The Gun Industry is more important than your lousy lives

Another mass shooting in the only country in the world that won’t do a thing to stop them.

“I know!” Republicans say. “Let’s do nothing! That should solve the problem!”

The vast majority of Americans support reasonable gun control such as stricter background checks. Even the majority of NRA members.

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Republican Jesus says “Beat your swords into plowshares … No, wait! Guns! Much better.”

The NRA, however, is no longer a group of hunters but instead is the lobbying arm of the gun industry which funds most of its activities. The NRA acts in opposition to the desires of a majority of its members.

That’s the real enemy: The people who profit from the deaths and the politicians who care more about money than lives.

If we did nothing to protect ourselves against Islamic terrorists, people would scream that it would then be our fault for not defending ourselves properly.

These exact same people who scream about Islamic terrorism are not only doing nothing to prevent more gun deaths like this, but are actively working to make these deaths even easier, by getting rid of reasonable laws to prevent the mentally ill from getting guns (while at the same time eliminating funding for treating those mentally ill).

If this had only happened in a church, where the prayers would be so much more powerful and … Oh, wait

Well, if this had only happened in one of those states where everyone can open carry, because then a good guy with a gun would have stopped the … Oh, wait

Shooters, Background checks, and hypocrites

by guest blogger Mark Waid

First: like everyone with a soul, I condemn the shooting of the Congressmen in Alexandria. It is horrible, it is unacceptable, I wish those wounded the best. I am genuinely sympathetic towards them. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat.

That said: Mo Brooks.

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cartoon by Dan Martin

The victims were, to a one, among the very same representatives who fight tooth and nail against even the slightest, most basic common-sense gun control measures or closing of loopholes, who serve the NRA more faithfully than they do their own constituents, and who throw up their hands (“What’re you gonna do, amirite?”) every time someone dares suggest that maybe, just maybe, an entire nation of reasonably intelligent people might be able to figure out some way to help stop the murders of Sandy Hook children besides, or even simply in addition to, insisting that every civilian be armed at all times. At least one of the Congressmen who was there, Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia, present on the field, eyewitness to the horror, has since told us that if they’d only been allowed to bring their own guns, they’d have been safer, because everyone knows that the first and most natural thing you do when you take to the diamond is strap on your gun holster. Just remember not to slide.

Yet as incomprehensible as I find these Congressmen’s priorities to be, let’s give them the enormous benefit of the doubt that they really, sincerely do believe that arming everyone regardless of whether or not they’ve had the slightest bit of firearms training truly is the best and only way to fight the problem and not just what the NRA pays them to say. Let’s go wide and assume they’re voting 100% with their conscience. All of them. Except for the one totally devoid of a conscience when it comes to you and your children.

Let’s turn our attention to Alabama representative Mo Brooks.

Of the men on that field, Mo Brooks is a uniquely vomitous waste of carbon. A representative who has repeatedly campaigned against any sort of stricter background checks at all — any — at all — in any form — had this to say about the shootings right after he doubled down on his absolute, unwavering conviction that our founding fathers were talking about SKS 7.62 assault rifles when they drafted the Second Amendment:

“With respect to this particular shooter, I’d really like to know more about him — whether he was an ex-felon, by way of example, who should not have had possession of a firearm — I’d like to know other things about his background before I pass judgment.”

You know what, Mo? WE ALL WOULD. Gee, IF ONLY THERE’D BEEN SOME SORT OF PROCESS IN PLACE THAT WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THAT SORT OF INFORMATION BEFORE SOMEONE GOT SHOT. THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HELPFUL.

Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe there’s some way I’ve overlooked that Mo Brooks didn’t suddenly get around to changing his mind about the usefulness of background checks until someone pointed a gun at him. But it wouldn’t seem so.

Absolutely nothing I’m saying here is a call for Second Amendment repeal. Not my point. And background checks would not have stopped the shooting. Hodgkinson apparently purchased his assault rifle legally. We know this. Likewise not relevant to what I’m saying unless you want to deliberately and willfully miss my point.

My point is about naked, “I deserve better than you because I’m a Congressman” hypocrisy.

My point is that Mo Brooks, who steadfastly opposes more informative background checks at every turn, just told us that he wants a more informative background check on the shooter. Not on any of the shooters involved in any of the 152 other 2017 mass shootings thus far, mind you. Just this guy. The one who was an immediate threat to Mo Brooks, not the others who threaten you or me. Because for Mo Brooks, when it comes to the ones who shoot at us and our kids because he won’t tighten background checks or do anything to make obtaining guns the slightest bit more difficult for those who we know after the fact should not have had them because of various mental health problems or histories of violence … well, y’know, who could have known?

Mark Waid is an Eisner Award-winning American comic book writer, known for his work on titles for DC Comics such as The Flash, Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and for his work on Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil for Marvel Comics

School Shootings: The new normal

Ho hum. So what’s in the news today?  Another school shooting? A child killed? Three dead?

Meh.

Nobody cares about that any more, don’t you know? We hardly even notice these things any more. Well, unless the killing is committed by a Muslim — then it gets attention.

This is the new normal, where crazy people can get guns easily and instead of stopping the problem at its core like every other modern nation has done, we just chalk it up to the cost of living in America. After all, what’s more important, the livgun-deaths-us-other-countries-chartes of children or the right to own deadly weapons?

Seems that question has been answered.

I used to post about these every time they happened, and I referred to it as the “Gun Control Shuffle”:

1. Have a mass shooting.

2. Bury the dead and cry.

3. Politicians talk about the need for gun control so this never happens again.

4. Gun manufacturers, through their lobby group the NRA, warns that the government is out to take everyone’s guns.

5. Gun lovers buy lots of guns because they believe the NRA and the right-wing media.

6. Gun manufacturers’ income skyrockets.

7. Gun manufacturers use this money to bribe politicians through their lobby group, the NRA.

8. Despite overwhelming public support, no gun control passes.

9. Another mass shooting occurs.

Repeat every few months.

I got tired of posting it, because instead of repeating every few months, it got to be every few weeks.

But apparently that’s the world we want to live in now.

To my gun-owning friends: The dam is bursting

by Guest Blogger Mark Amidon

Anyone who has known me for more than two conversations knows that I don’t believe much in the efficacy or desirability of Big Government Programs. “Gun control” would be one of them. But we live in a system with many democratic elements, which means that when there’s a big enough idea out there, it’s going to find its way into legislation.

The NRA in particular has devolved over the decades from a gun-owners’ club (I remember Eddie the Eagle) to a shill for the gun manufacturers. They have put up a fairly solid wall and bought a lot of legislators to keep any notion of gun control out of the regulations. In many aspects of our politics, “compromise” is such a dirty word that no negotiation has been taking place at all.

 Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., holding a filibuster over the need for the Senate to address gun laws

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., holding a filibuster over the need for the Senate to address gun laws

This is turning a complex, nuanced situation into a binary (“black or white”) one. By opposing any “erosion” of gun-ownership rights, you (or your lobbyists) have drawn the proverbial line in the sand, and held fast and strong for decades. You’ve built a huge dam to hold back the waters of control.

Here’s the thing: dams burst. By holding back against compromise, you have created an uncompromising situation. You have accidentally created an environment where more and more people outside your “gun culture” are no longer willing to live and let live. You don’t have to worry about your more strident opponents anymore; you have to worry about everyone in the undecided middle of the bell curve. Those are the folks who always wind up being the “swing vote”.

The rhetoric has been “Big Government is coming to take your guns!!!”, but that didn’t actually have support in the middle of the bell curve. Things like keeping guns away from the mentally ill, guns away from parolees, guns away from “terrorists”; those are what had widespread support. But the gun lobby held fast against that. And built up pressure behind the dam.

You know what’s going to finally enable Big Government to take your guns? The critical mass behind the dam. By not compromising on a political point, you have opposed actions which wouldn’t actually compromise your core belief in self-protection, or even having cool toys. If you don’t help draft legislation which will actually address the biggest concerns (a “floodgate” in your dam, to extend the analogy), that dam is going to burst.

Figure out which of your principles are actually not subject to compromise, and then see which proposals actually don’t compromise them. And don’t let the shills tell you which they are.

 

Mark Amidon is a small-‘l’ libertarian who keeps getting mistaken for liberal or conservative by conservatives and liberals, respectively. While holding anarchy as a lofty ideal, he nonetheless appreciates Hobbes’s “Leviathan”, and is more a data-driven being than an ideologue.

Making assumptions about “open carry” gun owners

by Guest Blogger M. David Blake

Many years ago in this country, it was possible for anyone with an automobile to visit the filling station, fill their vehicle’s tank with gasoline, and then pay for it.BN-EF674_0822op_G_20140822143314

Weird concept, isn’t it? Nowadays, motorists are almost always required to either authorize a transaction at the pump, or pre-pay the cashier. And the reason for this change in expectation is simple: some motorists—statistically a very small number, but enough to be noteworthy and to ultimately affect the bottom line—figured out how easy it was to drive away without paying for their fuel.

Wait though! Why should you be forced to follow such stuffy rules? You are a responsible motorist, and you might prefer to pump first, and then pay afterward. Anyone should be able to see that you’re good for it. After all, you were able to afford a really nice car, and by golly, you’ve taken care of that sucker too!

Want to try? Good luck, because the cashier is unlikely to turn on the pump based on little more than your appearance as a “responsible motorist,” and you probably won’t be able to argue your case. Whether you are responsible or not, cashiers know, barring that restriction, someone would stiff them for a hefty dose of guzzeline.

Now, some of the open carry advocates out there are responsible gun owners. Statistically, most of them are responsible. If you are a gun owner, you are probably responsible too. I am not questioning your credentials as a responsible gun owner. We’ll take it as a given that you are safe, sane, and trustworthy.

All the same, a few of the people carrying guns around in this country are breaking the social contract. They’ve figured out how easy it is to fire off rounds at whoever the hell irritated them last, or whatever group offended their sensibilities, or anyone/anything they decided didn’t deserve to exist unmolested.

But you’ve been asking us to assume they are all responsible gun owners, because doing otherwise jeopardizes our collective trust in your own personal display of firepower.

Those mass shooters are statistically a very small number of gun owners… but they are enough to be noteworthy, and to ultimately affect the bottom line.

Here’s the bottom line:

After today, if I see weapons, my assumption is not that you are responsible gun owners. It’s that you are about to become active shooters, and that everyone should get as far away from you as possible.

M. David Blake is a science fiction writer, and the editor of STRAEON. This article first appeared on his personal Facebook page, and is reprinted with permission.

It’s time we started profiling conservative white men

Let’s face facts, people. Other than 9/11, the greatest terrorist attacks in America have been predominately from conservative, Christian white males. You are far more likely to die from a Christian attack than a Muslim one here.  It’s time we got rid of our political correctness and admit that these people all want us dead!

Who blew up a building in Kansas City? Conservative white guys. Who flew that plane into the IRS building? o-CHARLESTON-CHURCH-SHOOTING-570A conservative white guy. Who shot up the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin? Who murdered people in that church in Knoxville? Who blew up a bomb at the Olympic park in Atlanta? Who shot up the Holocaust Museum? And who, today, killed children in a church in South Carolina?

Hint: It wasn’t Muslims.

Those are only some of the examples. Clearly, we must start treating all conservative Christian white men as terrorists. Perhaps we should start deporting them all, regardless of whether we have evidence against them or not. And it’s not like we need to worry about rights like habeas corpus — these are terrorists we’re talking about. Simply being a conservative Christian white male is enough to be a suspect.

This policy of profiling and saying that every conservative white male is a potential terrorist and therefore deserves no rights should be quite popular among the people who have for years argued against giving rights to suspected terrorists: Conservative white males.

Oh, and we also need to start profiling babies. Last year, more people in America were killed by toddlers handling guns than by Muslims committing acts of terror. Clearly, babies cannot be trusted — our only solution is to profile them all and place restrictions on where babies can be taken. (I mean, duh, we’re not going to restrict guns, are we? They have rights, you know!)

* If you can’t see the point I am making here, please refrain from the angry responses.

Tired of the Gun Control Shuffle

Whenever there was another mass shooting, I used to post about the “Gun Control Shuffle”:

1. Have a mass shooting.

2. Bury the dead and cry.

3. Politicians talk about the need for gun control so this never happens again.gun-deaths-us-other-countries-chart

4. Gun manufacturers, through their lobby group the NRA, warns that the government is out to take everyone’s guns.

5. Gun lovers buy lots of guns because they believe the NRA and the right-wing media.

6. Gun manufacturers’ income skyrockets.

7. Gun manufacturers use this money to bribe politicians through their lobby group, the NRA.

8. Despite overwhelming public support, no gun control passes.

9. Another mass shooting occurs.

Repeat every few months.

However, I found that instead of repeating the Shuffle post every few months, I was doing it every few weeks.  And lately, it seems like I would have to be doing it every few days.

Have you noticed?  Have you noticed how we’ve become so used to it that it hardly even makes the news? That everyone just says “Well, that’s it. There’s another shooting” and then walks away, as if there’s not a damn thing we can do about it?

I guess we as a society have decided that lives just aren’t as important to us as guns are; that there is no number of deaths that will make us do anything about the problem; that we just are giving up and letting the small percentage of gun nuts bully us all into letting them have their way.