Accessories to Murder

“Millions of NRA members and not one has shot up a school,” we were actuallied on Facebook today. “That’s a fact.”

About five million, more or less. They pay their forty bucks a year to “help us defend your Second Amendment freedom whenever and wherever it comes under attack.”

Their money, along with that of weapons manufacturers, is funneled into politicians who work tirelessly to do nothing — or worse — to solve a problem that has killed 1.5 million Americans since 1968.

They are all accessories to murder.

We know of no other way to explain it. We’ve spent years listening to their arguments, especially the days after yet another slaughter of innocents. The American response to massacre is a profane ritual, a macabre dance where everyone knows the moves in advance.

And every time, their argument boils down to one fundamental action item: Do nothing.

A somewhat recent step in the dance has been to blame mental illness for the shootings. If this was a serious argument, the Obama rule adding Social Security mental-disability records to the gun-purchase background database would not have been repealed by Congress and signed by President Trump a year ago. If this was a serious argument, the NRA would not have strongly advocated for this repeal.

It is not a serious argument. None of them are. They are all deliberate distractions to keep us from addressing the problem. They are an expression of the real mental-health issue that bedevils our nation:

These people are sociopaths.

We know of no other way to explain that, either. You can shoot up a movie theater, a church, a college campus, a nightclub, an outdoor audience, or a goddamn grade school, and these people will mouth concern for the victims while working to ensure there are more of them. We generously allow them to “debate” when we should be shaming them, condemning their failures as citizens and human beings. Our civic respect enables them, when they should be shunned.

There are debates to be had, legitimate debates, about rights and measures and effectiveness. Perhaps we could study firearms deaths as a public-health matter, although that was outlawed by the NRA. Perhaps private citizens could sue gun manufacturers for liability, although that was outlawed by the NRA. Perhaps we could close the gun-show background-check loophole, but that’s blocked by the NRA. Perhaps we could re-enact the assault-weapons ban, but that’s blocked by the NRA.

The NRA, the politicians whose souls it buys, and the members who provide the cash to enable the transactions.

These people, all of them, are sociopaths. They are all accessories to murder.

And they all have blood on their hands.



1:00 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

Ali Velshi said that he owns a gun, and the NRA sent him a membership card. He said that he’s never paid them a dime but he suspects he’s counted among their numbers.

Pointing out that he’s a gun owner, the MSNBC host then questioned the NRA’s claim of five million members by saying he annually receives a membership card though he’s never asked or paid for one.

“I strongly suspect that I am counted in the secret records of the NRA as a member,” he declared. “I’m not. They don’t represent me and I suspect they don’t represent and aren’t paid for by a lot of members.”

Velshi continued, “The NRA is the gun industry’s lobby. It doesn’t represent gun owners. It represents gun makers and exists to protect their profits.”

After comparing the NRA to other large industry lobbies, Velshi noted that he thinks the association is “ingenious” because it is doing the “bidding of gun makers under the cover of being a broad-based organization and it uses the money to promote a way of thinking that pits ordinary responsible gun owners against the vast majority of Americans who believe in gun control.”

1:11 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@JNOV: Yeah, there’s plenty of dispute about the “4.5 million” (I rounded up) members, and the NRA has claimed millions more as “affinity” in the past.

There are also interesting charts about (known) NRA revenue, and how it shot up after Sandy Hook. And then you can get into the weeds about the PAC versus the organization proper. Pkus those NYT numbers making the rounds, trying to collate all sources of NRA political donations.

I wasn’t even going to bother with this angle until some asshole filled up my bingo card with all the standard post-shooting arguments, starting with getting real snippy about the AR-15 not being an “assault rifle”. And then I got pissed.

1:42 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@nojo: Yeah. I just started thinking about groups reporting unverifiable numbers as a means to prop up their façade of importance and hide their money.

Back to my favorite analogy of corruption, the LDS church does this. You can’t get leave the church unless you resign, and someone had to take the church to court to get the right to resign. So fucking weird. Anyway, even after you resign, they count you. Actually, no one [ETA: outside of The Church Office Building] really knows how many mormons they are, but saying you’re the fastest growing church helps the pitch in less-developed countries.

1:46 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@nojo: How can gun people not know that the AR-15 is a modified M16? Is the M16 no longer an assault rifle?

1:53 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

I think I finally and almost totally lost my shit when work sent out an email about a possible active shooter near the office. I telecommute, and I guess the copycat thing is to be expected…



The copycat thing is to be expected <– Not a normal sentence

"Shoot(ing) up a school" <– This phrase isn't part of my standard vocabulary, but I've heard it enough that when I watched the student video where the kid says, "OMG they're fucking shooting up my school," I thought, whoa – this is what we call it.

School shooting (n.)

Shooting up a school (v.)

School shooter (vocation/aspiration)

2:01 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@JNOV: The M16 is automatic and the AR-15 is semi. Something line that.

I actually chased this down. AP style calls for “assault rifle” if auto, “assault weapon” if not. I pointed this out, and was told the AR-15 isn’t even an assault weapon. Varmint gun, I guess.

That’s when I came back with “Hiroshima was an atom bomb, not a nuke. Get your facts straight.” I’m saving that for future use.

10:32 am • Saturday • February 17, 2018

The US military versions do NOT have full auto pray and spray options anymore because it wastes ammo so that (it’s not an assault rifle bullshit doesn’t mean anything anymore.)

10:24 pm • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@JNOV: Velshi lives here, and maybe 5 percent of people recognize him. Why the fuck does he need a gun?

11:08 pm • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@blogenfreude: Oh, and I feel a bit guilty that I have the 5 bluray set of Planet of the Apes, but Heston’s estate probably only made a few shekels …

11:43 pm • Saturday • February 17, 2018

@nojo: So speaking of getting “actuallied” on Facebook….

I posted something on both the Book of Faces & Twitterz noting that after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 killing 7 people, machine guns were outlawed; but on 2/14/18, seventeen people were killed by a machine gun. Two strangers who love guns and you’ll be shocked to hear that judging from profile pics they’re overweight white men, I’m guessing with small penises, felt the need to DM me on Twitter to mansplain that the AR-15 is not a machine gun. One told me he’d show me the difference by shooting me in the head with each one in turn, the other one offered to rape me with an AR-15.

I deleted my Tweet before I got more advice/threats/responses along those lines, and reported the asshats. Per Twitterz management, they’ve been banned for threatening violence. I briefly considered contacting the SFPD and making a report for violations of Cal. Penal Code 422.

In other words, every Thursday as a woman in misogyny land.

12:00 am • Sunday • February 18, 2018

@SanFranLefty: Some related story the other day: Woman acquaintance posts something controversial on FB, threats arrive via Messenger.

This never happens to me. Never. Never, never, never. If I’m challenged, it’s in public. Always.

12:04 am • Sunday • February 18, 2018

@blogenfreude: Manhattan remains my favorite movie behind 2001. I own it, and I’ll own up to it, as I often do.

But you don’t see me making excuses for Woody Allen. Perhaps because it’s all been downhill since Stardust Memories, but still.

12:09 am • Sunday • February 18, 2018

@blogenfreude: Cuz he’s Canadian?

12:15 am • Sunday • February 18, 2018

@SanFranLefty: Jesus!

This is making the rounds. You probably saw it, but Emma Gonzales, thank you. May you give us the strength we don’t seem to have. Please shame us into action. It’s not your job, but we haven’t been doing ours, and for that, I am very, very sorry.

12:39 pm • Sunday • February 18, 2018
1:00 pm • Tuesday • February 20, 2018

@nojo: A friend wrote a thoughtful essay about Allen that’s been getting a lot of good notices/shares on social media:

9:52 pm • Tuesday • February 20, 2018

@mellbell: I might have seen a reference or two to that. And I wasn’t aware of contemporary criticism by Didion or Kael.

(I must have first subscribed to the New Yorker after that. A Kael-lashing I would have remembered.)

So: Manhattan. Thst one cuts to the bone, just as expressed. It was my personal comedic awakening, that you could do more with comedy than just run gags. Annie Hall is funny; Manhattan is beautiful.

And, no, I had no issues with it at the time, none whatsoever. Those would come later. About a dozen years later, more or less.

Why not? Well, here’s what just came to mind: The Mariel Hemingway character is 17.

I was 20.

At my age, at that time and place, I wasn’t bothered by it. Although he would have been better off with Diane Keaton.

1:04 pm • Wednesday • February 21, 2018

Re: Florida House rejects ban on assault rifles as Parkland students watch
GOP mocks mass shooting survivors as “crisis actors”

They’re gonna have to build a bigger Hell to hold all these evil, hate-KKKrazed, Republinazi psychopaths and the despicable, racist assholes that vote for them.

3:33 pm • Thursday • February 22, 2018

Panicked Billy Graham Realizes He Took Wrong Turn Into Heaven’s Largest Gay Neighborhood

“Oh no, oh—Where am I, exactly?” said the celebrated evangelist, who witnessed numerous same-sex couples making out upon Heaven’s lush green pastures and became disoriented when a crowd of shirtless, muscular homosexual men poured out of a nearby nightclub and streamed past him on every side.

“This can’t possibly be right. I am in Heaven, aren’t I?” According to heavenly sources, Graham, who during his life referred to homosexuality as “a sinister form of perversion,” shrugged, smiled, and continued walking straight into the neighborhood’s largest bath house.

Actually, there’s no question that the disHonorable Reverenazi Graham is enjoying eternity somewhere much hotter than Heaven while having the contents of his intestines force fed to him like a foie gras goose.

8:24 pm • Thursday • February 22, 2018

Whoa, Marco Rubot had a major malfunction at CNN’s Town Hell.

“You… will… be
(Beep. Click. Pop. Whirr.
Unzips pants and bends over).

Insert $5 million dollars to complete your request.”

10:06 pm • Thursday • February 22, 2018

@¡Andrew!: A friend, paraphrasing his mom of all people, quipped on Facebook, “May cremation be just a warm-up.”

11:10 am • Friday • February 23, 2018

@mellbell: It’s almost as if people who weren’t around during his heyday have no idea who he was.

You want a true Man of God? Fred Rogers. Power-pleasuring religious leaders can fuck off.

2:55 am • Saturday • February 24, 2018

@¡Andrew!: And as the final touch, Billy Graham is getting buried in a casket made by the unpaid slave labor at Angola State Prison in Louisiana.

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