January 30, 2013

Gun culture

I am sure that Steve will hate this, but Hunter is right, this is a crazy idea that women need 'scary-looking' guns to defend themselves.  As a friend of mine noted on FB, the sound of a pump shotgun loading a shell might be the best home defense in the world.  Certainly it seems nuts that you HAVE to have a very scary assault weapon to defend your home.  I call bullshit on that.

And I would note that the gun culture (that I differentiate from the responsible and sober gun owners out there) encourages this kind of mindset.  The country is going to hell and you better be ready to shoot someone.  No interest in helping that country not go to hell.  Just buy more guns.

What is more, and I think Smitty has spoken to some of this, the gun culture encourages people to get out there and do stuff with their guns.  I am not talking about the trainers and the sober people.  I am talking about the culture that suggests the Rambo ideal.  Like this guy.  Or another guy I read about who saw a guy pull into his drive way and went out and shot him.

January 27, 2013

Gun rights as facade to disconnect the social safety net

Milwaukee sheriff urges residents to get gun training, says simply calling 911 and waiting not best option | Appleton Post-Crescent | postcrescent.com

I suggested in December that part of this gun control discussion was about the kind of community we want in this country.  For many on the right, they seem to be saying, "we are not going to pay for security or other programs that benefit us all.  If you want to be safe, buy a gun."

Turns out, at least one sheriff is suggesting that exact thing.

January 26, 2013

The conservative case for an assault weapons ban - latimes.com

The conservative case for an assault weapons ban - latimes.com:

There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden.

January 25, 2013

The right continues to head over the cliff to crazy land

First, this, given that we have been discussing gun control.  Daily Kos: Fox News 'psychiatrist' says Obama wants gun control because of 'abandonment' issues.  The insanity that is Fox News just continues to amaze.  These are the people who read Orwell as a manual.

And speaking of ruthless and racist bastards, they are trying to rig the future elections for President while they are at it.  This plan would reconfigure electoral college votes in Democratic leaning states to associate with congressional districts, not with the popular vote.  As Josh and every one looking at this has noted, this is an intensely racist approach.  The GOP, having lost every group except older white males has decided that instead of appealing to blacks, hispanics, women or Asians, they will simply disenfranchise them.

It worked very well for the segregated South.  Just when I think the GOP has hit rock bottom, they decide to just cheat openly.  This, mind you, from the group that was angling and even hoping that Romney would win the popular vote so they could declare Obama's presidency illegitimate (not that his victory changed that for so many of these fuckers), and were grousing about that even back in 08.  Now, they want to make it a very high likelihood that future Presidents would be Republicans who lost the popular vote.  And they don't care one bit.  Winning is everything.  How you do that--well, except for waving the Bible when you feel like it--is completely up to the crazy Republican.

One more from idiot land, and I will turn my attention to work.  In New Mexico, a Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill that would require a pregnant rape victim to carry the pregnancy to term to secure the evidence.  That's right, getting an abortion would constitute "destroying evidence," and the sponsor swears that the purpose is only to go after rapists.
"Brown said in a statement Thursday that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.  New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders,” said Brown. “By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
One of the things I have observed in the abortion debate is how often the mother or future mother disappears.  Her needs, her health, her desires, or even her body--they simply disappear.  It is as if these conservatives only see a little tiny fetus hovering in the air.  They will use her to justify their actions and say that it is about "protecting women," but as in the Orwellian Republicans trying to protect forests and clean air, it really means that they don't care one bit about the woman involved.

I noted this to a pro-life friend, and pointed out how I could understand the basic opposition to a women who is (theoretically) promiscuous and careless and gets an abortion because she can't be bothered to take responsibility for herself.  In pro-life talk, she had the freedom to not have unprotected sex or to abstain all together, and now that she is "knocked up" that ship has sailed.

But with rape, all the pretense of choice and freedom disappear.  For some pro lifers (and polls suggest this is a small, but very vocal and very well represented in the GOP part of the population), since God ordains life at conception, then even the rape pregnancy is a "gift."  The fact that she had no choice at any stage of the process doesn't matter one bit.  How dare she raise an objection?  So what if she has to be reminded every day of her ordeal--that doesn't matter.


January 22, 2013

These particular gun rights people are idiots

And they happen to be elected members of the US Congress.  First, we have Ted Yoho who thinks that since the original amendment was about militias, and was intended (in his mind solely) to protect the citizens from their government, that citizens should have the same weaponry as the military.

Nope, that isn't crazy at all.

And from my own state of Oklahoma, Representative James Lankford blames gun violence on a combination of Social Security benefits and welfare moms.  No, really.  And the piece notes that he is the 5th ranking Republican in the House.

Nope, gun people are perfectly sane, and the Republican party is reasonable.  Very reasonable.  Nothing to fear here at all.

January 20, 2013

Guns and the far right

I am not trying to cause more anger in my threads (big part of that was mine, btw) over gun rights, but would like to at least place some of my fear in context.  As I said in my most recent comment, I do not fear my fellow responsible Americans who own guns, and who secure them from their children and teach those same kids from the moment they can crawl to respect and even fear those guns.

I fear people who equate extending healthcare to Hitler.  I fear people who can't even imagine that a black guy is their president.  I fear people who believe that the end of the world is just around the corner.

Left to their keyboards and discussion groups, no big deal.  But put them in an armed camp with a Glenn  Beck urging them to secede from the country and we have a problem.  And even the army recognizes that we have a threat from the right here in America.  As I posted on Facebook this morning, I remember when McVeigh set off a bomb a few blocks from my wife, the immediate explanation was that it had to be Islamic terrorists.  Even when we were looking for two white guys, that was the go-to explanation.  Americans, it seemed, could not do this to us.

Except they did.  And do.  In the last 10 years, I can remember numerous examples of right wingers on the attack against other Americans.  That has to be recognized here in the discussion about gun rights and gun control.  And it has to be added to our discussion of the gun culture.  When you combine paranoid and angry people (not necessarily mentally ill, btw) with easy access to guns that can kill a lot of people--and you have a problem.

I am not nuts to fear that.  Nor am I ignoring the Constitution.  And I am not equating those people with those of you who responsibly purchase and use guns.  So please don't say that in the comments.

January 19, 2013

The gun culture is nuts

Sorry.  I have respect for the people who really respect and appreciate guns.  I don't hunt any longer, but have no problem with that, and I respect the decision to have a gun in your home for self-defense--even though I am not sure it is a good idea.

But what I don't respect is the "gun culture" where owning guns is about bravado and people buy them just to buy them and out of some tribal loyalty to the right wing hatred of government.  I am constantly amazed at the right wing wingnuttery raving about everything from Obama as tyrant or comparing him to Hitler.  And owning guns is a part of that (though clearly not the only factor).  Lanza's mom owned the guns that killed her in order to protect her from some future dystopic economic failure.  A dystopia, I would add, that the entire right wing flogs and markets just as they do buying gold or selling MREs.  She then failed to secure her weapons from the son she said was unstable, and Sandy Hook happened.

Because for every reasonable person who takes extra precautions with their weapons, there are people like this who take a loaded fucking gun to a gun show and it accidentally discharges.

These are the people you are asking me to trust when you decide that more guns are better.  Just as adult Republicans will have to rescue their party from Michelle Bachmann, grownup and sober gun users need to rescue guns from the NRA and the idiots who run it.

NRA ad was not only awful and offensive, it was inaccurate

No, Sidwell Friends School has no armed guards

January 17, 2013

Speaking for My Tribe

Speaking for My Tribe | TPM Editors Blog:
Well, I want to be part of this debate too. I’m not a gun owner and, as I think as is the case for the more than half the people in the country who also aren’t gun owners, that means that for me guns are alien. And I have my own set of rights not to have gun culture run roughshod over me.

Yep, the NRA is as reasonable as any Tea Partier these days

NRA Warns Members That Confiscation Could Be Next | TPMMuckraker

Because regardless of what we liberals say, we really want to take all your guns and turn you into slaves--well, just before we load you into railroad cars to ship to concentration camps.

Yep.  Reasonable.  Sane.  That's your NRA

January 16, 2013

David Frum weighs in

on the NRA's ad attacking the Obama family:
the NRA's sneering references to the president's family are beyond the pale. As the makers of the NRA ad should know, and probably do know, the First Family has come under years of racially coded attack for their "uppityism," as Rush Limbaugh phrased it. This latest attack ad looks to many like only one more attempt to enflame an ancient American wound.

And Tomasky agrees:
Let’s start with the ad’s broken logic. A, the Obama family has Secret Service protection; B, other American families do not; C, because of this, Obama is an elitist and a hypocrite. It’s pretty ludicrous. Malia and Sasha Obama get lots of things because their father won the presidency. They also have a chauffeur; get to ride on a big fancy airplane free of charge and don’t have to endure any TSA-related indignities; live in a beautiful big house rent-free; and so on. By the ad’s logic, all of these are instances of hypocrisy.

Both men point out that the President's kids should be off limits.  

No, the NRA isn't sociopathic at all. Not one bit.

Nope, they just attack the President for having armed guards for his kids.  Because, of course, that is the real debate.  Securing the first family who is vulnerable for reasons that the rest of us don't even conceptualize, or having armed teachers in our schools.

Don't tell me the NRA is a reasonable organization.  Just don't.  This same week they issued a shooting app for the Iphone that included targets that were little coffins.  Good grief.

And this dawned on me.  If the Assault Weapon ban was so ineffective and did nothing, why does the NRA and gun groups hate it so much?  If it is just symbolic, then why would they care?

January 11, 2013

Statement from Sociopathic Guns and Shooting People Organization

NRA-ILA | Statement From the NRA Regarding Today's White House Task Force Meeting

While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.  It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems.  We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. 
The rich statement of accusing the White House of coming in with their mind made up (pot, kettle), but only better when asking for background checks and closing loopholes on gun sales is an attack on honest Americans.

Don't tell me the NRA is reasonable.  I have heard their robo calls telling me how Obama was in league with the UN to help disabled people around the world take away our guns.  I have seen them blame 20 year old video games and suggest that all we need are armed teachers and principles.

I am not anti-second amendment.  I am not anti-gun, and I am not anti-gun owners.  But do not tell me that the NRA is anything other than a reactionary and sociopathic organization.

January 5, 2013

Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws See More Homicides | ThinkProgress

Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws See More Homicides | ThinkProgress

I have no idea if the study is well done or not.  Just interesting.

Republicans have been busy defending rapists and voting against storm victims

There are two things that used to be less political.  Trying to help women in domestic violence situations and responding to storm victims.  As Chris Christie said of storms, they hit blue states and red states alike.  It is an American issue.  Yet Republicans, including my two senators from a state prone to natural disasters voted against the funding for Hurricane Sandy victims.

That is bad enough.  For many of them, it is just fiscal blindness.  For others, I suspect a basic lack of compassion.  But the Republican House killing the Violence against Women Act is, as this writer put it, "Protecting rapists, murderers by killing VAWA."  I just read Louise Erdrich's The Round House, which is a novel about rape and violence against Indian women.  Turns out that something like 1 in 3 reservation women will be raped, and Indian mothers are often teaching their daughters to expect it.  But here is the thing.  Agood many of those rapes are by non-reservation males, and when they are not tribal members, the tribal justice system doesn't have the jurisdiction to prosecute those attacks on tribal land.  And those with the jurisdiction often decide to not prosecute.  This bill would have given more control to tribal authorities.  And that, as it turns out, is Eric Cantor's big sticking point.  Other Republicans don't like the protection extended to non citizens or lesbians.  Evidently because Republicans don't approve of those groups, their women don't deserve protection.  But there appears to be room to negotiate on those points.  Cantor, from what I read, will not budge on protecting Native women.  I even called Cantor's office to ask the reason, but the staffer had nothing for me.  No spin about civil liberties or transparency or whatever.  Nothing.

I read that Phyllis Schafly hates the bill because, it

is “as sex-discriminatory as legislation can get.” Why? Because it isn’t designed to protect men. Schlafly argues that domestic violence is a problem that affects men and women equally: “A Centers for Disease Control survey found that half of all partner violence was mutual, and 282 scholarly studies reported that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men.”
That's right.  The same people who insist that feminists and liberals are the ones equating men and women and not understanding physical differences are now asserting that actually women are just as aggressive and violent as men.  The numbers don't match that, but who the hell cares about facts?

But I expect this from people like Schafley.  She is reflexively and tribally conservative and if liberals want this bill, it has to be bad for her.  Cantor's insistence on protecting rapists and killers of Indian women, however, strikes me as even worse than anything Schafley has ever spewed.

Republicans appear to be outdoing themselves in their disdain for anyone who isn't white, male, fully abled, rich, Christian (conservative Protestant or Catholic).