Today’s Fallen Heroes of Your Right to Bear Arms

“The suspect in a shooting that killed a Brazos County constable and one civilian died from injuries during a shootout near the Texas A&M University campus Monday afternoon. Three other people were injured in the gunfire, including two College Station police officers and a civilian.” [WFAA]


Things that don’t stop gunmen: targets with firearms, who are trained to use them. Sad to hear of this happening again (again!).

Everyone of us who enjoys a drink has blood on our hands for the 38,000 or so DWI deaths annually. They gave their lives for our martinis.

@redmanlaw: And each of those drunk drivers had to pass state-mandated tests before being legally allowed to get behind a wheel.

And while some states allow you to acquire that driving license at 16, most states won’t legally allow you to buy that alcohol until 21.

And I don’t know of any New Year’s Eve checkpoints to see what you’re packing.

My point: Between outright prohibition and wide-open permission, there’s a solution that we as a nation can make an uneasy peace with, as we do with drunk driving. But while the NRA prohibits any rational discussion whatsoever — and the best the guvmint can do is produce videos advising us to duck and cover — yes, I’m going full-on Blood On Their Hands. This is fucking insane.

I reject being lumped in with every fucking gang banger and crazy motherfucker who shoots someone. You recognize no difference between me and them.

/biannual stating of positions on the gun issue. Back to Guns and Ammo TV on the Sportsman’s Channel.

@redmanlaw: If you’re in lockstep with LaPierre, then yes, I’m putting it on you.

But I don’t think you are.

My complaint is with political helplessness — that we as a nation can’t even discuss a solution because we’re not allowed to. And we’re not allowed to because the NRA has successfully made it a Third Rail.

So, until then, it’s Second-Amendment Martyrs. Satire is the only alternative I’m permitted.

@redmanlaw: See? This is how I feel when the talk around here turns to religion sometimes.

@Tommmcatt May Just Have Some MJ In His System As Well, So What?: Except I don’t lay every Religious Wackjob at your feet, and I’m not laying Fucking Idiots With Guns at the feet of responsible firearms owners.

What I am saying is that any attempt to do anything about it is stymied by the NRA — the post-Charleton Heston NRA, not the happy hunters providing firearms training we grew up with.

And as long as that remains the case — as long as that NRA refuses to allow the rest of us to figure out some solution that’ll work for everybody — I’m sticking with Second-Amendment Martyrs. Because given how that NRA frames the issue, that’s what shooting victims have become.

What I understand Nojo to be saying is that guns are not the problem, it’s the appalling lack of regulation. To argue that gun control would not keep guns out of the hands of bad or crazy people is exactly the same as saying that laws against drunk driving don’t keep drunks from getting behind the wheel of a car.

If you’re going to make that kind of argument, why bother with any laws at all? It’s illegal to rob a bank and yet, nevertheless, there were 4,534 bank robberies in which “loot was taken” just in 2011 alone.

@karen marie still has her eyes tight shut: What I understand Nojo to be saying is that guns are not the problem, it’s the appalling lack of regulation.

If only Nojo was as clear about his own understanding…

But that’s it. You’re not going to prevent every given drunk driver or fucking armed idiot from wreaking havoc. But there are things that can be done — things that have been proposed, and swatted down — to at least limit the likelihood of fucking armed idiots wreaking havoc, just as we’ve successfully limited the likelihood of drunk drivers wreaking havoc.

We’re a violent people. That won’t change. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands in despair.

@Tommmcatt May Just Have Some MJ In His System As Well, So What?: We need some sort of macro that will automatically add “(not including sincere believers like Tommmcatt and flippin who actually try to live by Christ’s teachings of love and helping one’s fellow man rather than trying to use their twisted interpretations of scriptures–or obscure ancient hygiene laws–to impose their so-called values on others and deprive fellow citizens of their human rights)” when anyone types “fucking Christians.” Because that’s what I always mean.

@nojo: I just had this same debate on FB, and a couple of interesting points came out of it.

One: everyone pretty much agrees that mental health care in this country is sorely lacking. Fixing that would clean up 90% of crazy motherfuckers with guns (most of whom purchased their guns legally, and who would have legally owned their guns regardless of what regulations existed, since we don’t have an adequate “you’re a crazy motherfucker” filter in place).

Two: the self-confessed gun nut I was discussing with suggested that he should be charged with a felony for every gun stolen from him (we were talking about how criminals acquire guns), and should be charged with manslaughter for every person killed with a gun stolen from him. Interesting idea, hard to implement successfully, I suspect. This was entirely his idea. I was talking about the possibility of creating new regulations regarding the safekeeping of guns (gun safes, locks, etc.).

Three: no one (except those operating on pure dogma) blames rational gun owners for what’s going on. Everyone in the discussion was able to agree that the problem is higher up: the NRA, and the corporations funding the NRA, and (by extension) the marketing of the Third Rail status of gun rights, as well as the money going to politicians.

Four: enforcement of existing laws came up a couple times, with most parties agreeing that there’s not enough of it. We have lots of laws, and we ignore a sizable chunk of them. Passing more laws, although it feels good and is comparatively cheap, doesn’t actually help much if they fall into that same black hole of not-being-enforced. Funding needs to go to making the laws we already have work like they’re supposed to, before we go wasting effort on new laws.

There is certainly room in this debate for actual debate. It just gets stymied when it gets above our pay grade — the NRA jumps on it, the corporations jump on it, the politicians jump on it. All have a vested, multi-billion dollar interest in keeping it a Third Rail. Until that ends, we simply can’t have a useful discussion at anything other than a personal level.

@IanJ: I’m on board. Any proposed solution that actually, y’know, addresses the problem, is a solution worth discussing.

And the NRA could earn some major brownie points if they would just stop the fucking shrieking. All those beer commercials preaching “responsibility”? Sure, cynical as hell, but they do help establish norms, and the new norms have contributed to lowering the drunk-driver death toll.

Work with us, people. And we promise we won’t execute our Secret Plan to take all your guns during Obama’s second term.

Well, it goes to the much greater point of where politics stands right now: between the Tea Party and Citizens United (and all the public mentality that demonstrates), we’re unlikely to make any progress on a national level.

Perhaps it’s up to state and local governments to start leading instead of waiting for the Feds to step up. I don’t know the extent to which that’s legally feasible, but perhaps the thing to do for now is push for local versions of the change you want to see.

@IanJ: The Supremes’ 2nd Amendment position would and does make that difficult now.

One thing that impressed me when I went to Israel a couple of years ago is that the streets are full of 18 year old IDF kids packing automatic weapons, and every big hotel and restaurant has a dude packing heat at the door — but there is very little gun crime. Why?

@Dodgerblue: Cowboy/frontier mentality of Americans? My aunt who lived in London for much of her life noted that, any time she came back to visit. Maybe the Israelis don’t watch all the violence-glorifying movies we do. (Really? Shooting a dozen guys to death with a machine-gun is cool, but a brief view of a nude body isn’t?)

We Canada City Dwellers watch the same stuff you guys do. With more boobs and F-bombs.

I’m inclined to agree with Michael Moore. It’s all about fear (although Israel has it too) but also a lack of society discipline (it’s not like Canada City dwellers are much better), the history as DB points out and lack of a strong public mental health program.

Given the choice, I’d rather see boobs and than bodies.

You can thank Saint Ronnie for pulling the plug from mental-health services.

And while the Random Armed Fuckheads get the headlines, urban mayors will tell you it’s the daily street violence that racks up the body count. But hey, providing alternative opportunities, that costs money, too. Maybe the gang kids can ask their parents for a hand.

We’ve really boxed ourselves in as a nation: Any real solutions are off the table. But let’s stop kids from wearing costumes to movies!

@IanJ: It seems like various Seattle mayors have tried over the years to get guns banned in public parks–just trying something–and no go. The guns people immediately took them to court and the rules got tossed due to the 2nd Amendment. It’s too bad that no one gives a flying fuck about any of the others. Basically, there’s next to nothing that can be done at the local level.

@¡Andrew!: Oh well, it seemed like a good idea — there was practically guaranteed to be some huge hole in my logic.

@ManchuCandidate: Boobs don’t hurt people, people’s boobs hurt people.

@flypaper: You’ll pry those boobs away from my cold, dead hands.

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