The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 22, 2012: No, Wayne, We Don’t Need More Guns

In the aftermath of one of the most horrific mass shootings in our nation’s long history of mass shootings (see partial list of recent mass shootings here), David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association (NRA) the began an announcement to the press “for the purposes of beginning our discussion of the topic that’s been on the mind of American parents across this country, and that is, what do we do about the tragedies of the sort that struck in Newtown, Connecticut — to avoid such events in the future?” He then introduced Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who proceeded to lie.

Wayne said, “Out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment.” Except if that were true, he would not have been making those comments, because the facts are not yet known and won’t be for some time. But after promising on Tuesday that the NRA would have a “meaningful contribution,” their solution to prevent more mass shootings in schools was – yes, you guessed it – more guns in schools. Really, Wayne? Do you honestly think that if we put armed security guards in every school, that fewer children would die from guns? Maybe you really do believe that, because among many stupid things you said was this gem, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This is the mind set we must face if we are to do anything about the prevalence of guns in our society. A mind set that believes that the only thing wrong with the guns in our society is that there just aren’t enough of them, not that there are too many in the hands of people who have no business holding one let alone owning it. A mind set that thinks guns provide a level of safety their absence can’t match, despite the clear evidence that guns provide a level of danger their presence can’t eliminate. A mind set that believes you have every right in the world to kill someone for no other reason than that you believe, some how, some way, that he posed some kind of danger, possibly imaginary, to you or someone in your care.

They will try to make this about anything but guns. They will try to make it about mental health. They will try to make this about public health. They will try to make this about school safety. They will try to make this about ANYTHING but guns. But there is one, and only one, thing that all mass shootings have had in common – guns. People have committed mass murder without using guns, but those incidents are few and far between, and they certainly aren’t happening at the rate of about one per month, as is true with mass killings using guns. But until we talk about the issue, we won;t come to any meaningful solutions. And since the discussion will revolve around the Second Amendment, the very first question we should ask and answer is a simple one: What year is it right now? Because it isn’t 1791, and we don’t rely on out militias for law enforcement, only law assistance. And since militias were the clearly obvious reason for allowing people to own guns, shouldn’t we discuss them, too? The “right to keep and bear arms” is not without context, and a discussion on how to reduce the number of mass shootings in our society must address that context.

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss guns or any other topic you wish.

46 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 22, 2012: No, Wayne, We Don’t Need More Guns

  1. I’ve said it before, I keep saying it: Guns suck, are absolutely worthless in this day and age. Get rid of the damn things. Repeal the second amendment (or, at LEAST, insist the “well regulated militia” part is SEVERELY interpreted). Even guns for hunting … what’s the point? There is no NEED to hunt. Love the woods, prairies, the critters that live there? Get rid of your damn gun and buy a Nikon or equivalent with a long lens, then by all means go hunting; hang your ‘trophy’ PIX on your walls! Buy your meat at the damn store, or become a vegan … your choice.

    Guns are useless, worthless; pecker extension their ONLY (imaginary, of course) “virtue”.

    Wayne LaP ‘shot himself in the foot’ yesterday. Too bad he missed his head (no one, himself included, has a good enough aim to get him in the heart, it’s obviously way to small. That’d be like a blind guy trying to pin the tail on a jackass from across the yard).


  2. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

    And guns are designed to enable people to kill people as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Get rid of guns and people have to turn to less efficient methods of killing people.

    “Children die in car accidents and swimming pools. I suppose we should outlaw cars and swimming pools too, then.”

    These are false equivalencies. Cars and pools are not designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Guns are.

    The gun lobby’s solution to ending gun violence is to arm everybody. But police, who are armed, get killed in the line of duty by someone who catches them by surprise. Then again, take every incidence where a mass murder opened fire on an unsuspecting crowd. Assume everyone in the crowd is armed. Caught by surprise, the first few die before they can draw their guns. Dozens of others, however, do manage to pull out their guns and start shooting. Under the NRA’s scenario, the only person they will shoot at, and hit, is the “bad guy.” No one will, in their panic, start shooting at anyone with a gun. Simply put, the NRA’s vision of a safer America defies logic and reality. It is a Hollywood version of what the world would be like if only, if only, everyone were armed to the teeth.

    The other vission is to remove guns from society. Will “bad guys” still find ways to get guns? Yes. Just as now, a “bad guy” could show up unannounced, armed with multiple firearms and body armor, and start shooting unsuspecting people who either get killed, wounded, or manage to flee uninjuried. The “bad guy” would keep shooting until eventually gunned down by police or he kills himself. I.e. nothing different from what we have. Except: by eliminating guns, it will make it far more difficult for the person who flips out one day to obtain an arsenal of lethal weapons. The “bad guy” will have to resort to some less efficient killing tool. Thus fewer unsuspecting people will get killed or wounded when they are surprised by the “bad guy.”

    Given a choice between a guy opening fire in a crowded theater and dozens of theater-goers opening fire in response, verses a guy knifing people in an open theater and people jumping him in response, I choose the later scenario. In both scenarios people will get hurt. In the first scenario, some people will surely die. In the second, there may be no fatalities.

    We cannot make this world absolutely safe for everyone. But there is no logical, rational argument for not ridding our society of the most lethal tools created solely for the purpose of killing people.

    • there is no logical, rational argument for not ridding our society of the most lethal tools created solely for the purpose of killing people.

      True. Absolutely, positively, without a doubt.

      There is NO NEED, and NO REASON!!! for ANYONE to own or carry a firearm. Never.

      Guns are designed ONLY to kill something, anything that the gun-toter wants to kill. Only a totally useless species would ever advocate such silliness as that, much less make it possible.

      • I have no problem with people who hunt, provided it’s done in a responsible and sustainable manner. I’ve never had the desire myself, but I am happy to eat venison, elk, pheasant or whatever off someone else’s table. Ditto fish or shellfish. Hunting organizations can be critical allies of conservationists and license fees provide an essential contribution to Fish & Wildlife bureaus all over the country. Besides, watching someone trying to shoot doves is vastly entertaining.

        • I don’t have a problem with people who hunt either. And once all the guns are gone — melted down — hunters can use bows and arrows, baseball bats, knives, spears, whatever. My sole wish on the matter is a totally gun-free society, or better yet a gun-free world.

  3. So the NRA boasts a membership of 4.3 million people. That’s about 1.4 percent of the population of the US. 1.4 % is small enough that they should be squashed like bugs on a windshield when it comes to having any say in gun control regulation. Such a small number that elected officials should be ashamed to be influenced by them at all.

    • Such a small number that elected officials should be ashamed to be influenced by them at all.

      That would be logical. Unfortunately logic doesn’t always win in the U.S.A.
      Money, money, money…
      Perhaps the tide is turning and a much larger percent of the population will see reality that the gun lobby needs to be pared down to a nub.

    • “Such a small number [of heavily armed, gun-toting crazies] that elected officials should be ashamed to be influenced by them at all.”

  4. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

    This statement should only appeal to whiny, spoiled, crusty-nosed toddlers, but sadly, it appeals to a certain population of adults who think and behave in the same manner as those toddlers.

    • ““The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

      Not so Wayne, sometimes, according to some wingnuts:

      “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a swarm of beefy adolescents or suicidal adults.”

      • “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

        A tacit acquiecence that laws don’t stop bad guys. The best way to avoid having to stop a bad guy with a gun is to make it as difficult as possible for bad guys to get guns. But gun nuts just don’t get it.

  5. The US has 320 million people and about 300 million guns. Almost a gun per person.

    Israel, which has basically been in a state of war for about 60 years, has much stricter gun control laws and has about one gun per 60 people.

    • A big waste of air are those two!
      Yawn, yawn, yawn if they thought that was going to be a zinger!
      Watters did emphasis the cost of Obama’s living condition while there…
      Jesse you are a waste of time and space.

  6. Ahhhh. A very nice Solstice family gathering. My sister and niece, my 2 daughters (one with beau) and the grand kids. The menu included lamb balls with tzatziki sauce, roast beast rollups with teeny grape maters and sprouts with a sour cream/horseradish dipping sauce, broiled mushrooms stuffed with crab and topped with 6 Italian cheeses, salmon mousse with crackers and oysters on the half shell. Also had some pico de gallo with mango and tortilla chips.

    Note to Zooey: The daughters love both the bags and the soaps.

      • Pure Speculation: to bring more storm systems further south to add more snow to the Sierra Nevadas & Rockies to mitigate the expected Midwest drought this summer.

        I.e. private companies profit from creating conditions that cause global warming. Taxpayers get stuck with the bill for taking steps to mitigate the effects of global warming.

        Situation normal, all f’d up.

        • That’s interesting – never crossed my mind, however, it does make sense.

          (although I wish they’d stop…we’ve enough precipitation – well above100% of for this time of year)

  7. Low-water rivers offering up glimpse of history

    …Perhaps most interesting, a rock containing what is believed to be an ancient map has emerged in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri.
    The rock contains etchings believed to be up to 1,200 years old. It was not in the river a millennium ago, but the changing course of the waterway now normally puts it under water — exposed only in periods of extreme drought.

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