Calling these guns what they are

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We spent a trillion dollars and almost 5,000 American lives trying to root out non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We fret about Iran getting a WMD, and we worry that North Korea already has one. Nuclear nonproliferation has been a key part of US foreign policy since the end of World War II.

Nobody says that we should stop trying to control WMDs because a crazy ruler of a rogue state could declare war on someone else anyway. Nobody says that "nuclear bombs don't kill people, people kill people." Everyone agrees that there's a difference between conventional weapons, which are bad, and WMDs, which are horrific.

So why can't we make the same distinction with guns?

Seriously: I'm not saying that an assault rifle is a nuke, but in the world of domestic murder, it's somewhat equivalent.

If Adam Lanza had entered the elementary school in Newtown, CT, with a run-of-the-mill rilfe or handgun, he might have shot half a dozen people. Maybe more if he could reload really fast. Some of them might have survived.

Instead, the 20 kids, six-year-old kids, were all shot multiple times, from a semiautomatic rifle that carried special deadly ammunition. None of them had a chance. In all, he killed 28 people before the cops could get there. That required a 30-shot clip and a gun that fired really fast. A gun that belongs on a battlefied. A gun his mother bought, legally, to fend off the apocalypse and the collapse of civil society.

There's a difference between the guns Sen. Manchen uses for hunting (which carry at most three rounds) and these weapons of mass destruction. There's no good use for a military-style assault rifle; you can't hunt with it and if you think it's really going to protect you against the end of civil society (or the black helicopters of the United Nations Army Of One World Government), you're too looney to have a gun anyway.

I'm not big on guns anyway, as all of you who hate me know. But can we please at least agree: Standing armies and conventional warfare, which we're not about to abolish soon, can do serious damage. Weapons of mass destruction do horrific damage. That's why we treat them differently. Can't we do the same for guns?

 

Comments

and I have only done so in answer to a variety of disrespectful behaviors up to and including personal attack. That I might have a reputation for such is both indicative of how often I am attacked and the forcefulness and skill with which I can respond. (Thank you for the compliment, but I already knew I was pretty good.)

One exceedingly common form of personal attack which I'd like to see stopped is the mischaracterization of what others have said or written; false attribution is the same as slander.

Two more generally disrespectful behaviors common here include ignoring points that have been made and instead repeating false claims while refusing to provide any evidentiary support for them when asked.

In a civilized debate it is rude to stick your fingers in your ears and yell "nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah" whenever the other person is talking.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

You spend the vast majority of your time here trying to deter readers from reading various commenters while insulting those who leave comments with which you disagree. You're a nasty troll who's a right-wing plant designed to make progressives look bad. Everyone knows.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

websites for aggressive posting, I really don't think you are in prime position to lecture others on how one should and should not post here or anywhere else.

But it does seem to me that some contributors here quickly resort to labels and abuse whenever they are confronted with contrary opinions. And you certainly cannot exclude yourself from that accusation when you routinely seek to try and dismiss others as "trolls" rather than substansively engage them on the issues.

If you cannot refute someone, it is better to merely remain silent than to deliver a torrent of abuse.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

I "admit to being banned from various other websites for aggressive posting."

I have not been banned from various other websites for aggressive posting and I have not said so. Now I'll defy the Guest to produce evidence demonstrating why such a claim should not be met with scorn and ridicule, but in normal "nyah, nyah, nyah" fashion, the response with be a non-sequitur or a blank repetition of the fiction.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

in an anonymous chatroom.

And you told us previously (and no, I'm not going to waste my time searching for a link) that SFGate blocked you from posting there because of (presumably) errant and disrespectful contributions.

Are you now denying that ban? Were you lying then or are you lying now?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

your legal appraisal of the crime of libel is a worthless as anything else you write.

I'd guess that since libel is willfully spreading falsehoods to injure a person and since I maintain my screen name is a perfectly legal alias, that the term applies. The fact that I'd need to quantify a loss due to the criminal act is less significant than you committing it on an anonymous basis.

But anyhow, previously you unambiguously and falsely promoted the idea that I had been "banned from various other websites for aggressive posting,"

Now, while complaining that you are too busy to find links to support your false pronounceent, you have vectored your story towards me only having been banned from a single forum -- though still for "aggressive posting."

Of course, it's just more lying. (You *are* a crafty liar. I'll give you that.)

The tone of your commentary and the mean style of your mock-debate is very revealing. You have deep resentment, self-righteous fervor, and a marked pettiness.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

I too remember a few posts by a "lili" all hot and bothered about having his proud lili name banned by the sfgate censors. Anyone who reads sfgate comments knows they tolerate a fair amount of intolerable posts (to me). It takes a fair amount of clueless anti-social behavior to get banned from sfgate. (Dick Vitale and his dozens of reincarnations, anyone?)

Whether that "lili" who was whining about being banned is this same "lili" currently posting is open for question, but it seems obvious (or oblivious) one or more people are using that name to try to suck the life out of this website too. Obsessive posters just don't seem to comprehend that other reasonable people might find their posts, rhetoric, and often smugness very offputting. No wonder people in "First Life" don't want to re-invite them to parties, dinners, or have face-to-face intercourse.

Alas, boorishness is found within all political persuasions. Ironically, there may be a correlation between obsessive, dogmatic personalities and people most obsessed with politics and politicians even though the vast majority of people don't want to follow any dogmatic or rigid positions favored by others.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

ironically the very same kind of trolling that he loves to accuse others of here. The fact that he now denies that having previously admitting it when he thought it would be seen as a "badge of honor" here speaks volumes for his lack of integrity.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 8:52 am

closely involved in Upton Sinclair's socialistic and nearly-successful 1936 gubernatorial run in California -- expounded on the nature of lying by describing three forms of it. The form of lying where a small part of truth is incorporated in a lie is in evidence here.

That small part of truth is that I was banned from SFGate and have said so. The reason for my being banned can only be guessed at, but I did frequently write critically of the Chronical editorial policy which was so obviously skewed against justice in the Ross Mirkarimi matter. Many others who also politely objected to the paper's slant were banned as well.

The immediate cause of my banning was my entirely facetious remark -- explicitly made so -- that "all Jews are terrorists." I made that comment in reaction to the failure of SFGate moderators to remove an equally offensive comment to the effect that "all Arabs are terrorists" and speculated that if one was deemed acceptable then the other must be too.

The way the system works over there, duplicitously-made complaints seem to be counted against the one complained of just as much as honest complaints. Fortunately here on the SFBG site, there is no such system, since obviously it favors the speech of those who have no integrity.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 9:57 am

but I must admit to making personal comments. I've written before that I know my imperfections--responding in kind to personal attacks is one of them.

It is completely disingenuous of "Guest" to claim some sort of moral high ground when he throws around plenty of insults.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

excuse the same behavior from you. Aren't Progressives supposed to show by example that they are a more enlightened species?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

I don't claim any excuse for my human imperfections nor define myself as "progressive."

I prefer to argue on the merits and use humorous ridicule rather than personal insult to respond to hateful rhetoric.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

the same thing if your instinct is to respond to opinions you don't agree with personal attacks rather than considered counter-arguments.

You claim other opinions are "hateful" but that is simply your way of categorizing differing opinions so as to let you off the hook from behaving badly.

Just because someone is right-wing (or left-wing) doesn't ipso facto make them hateful, unless you are intolerant and bigoted yourself.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

Most of the opinions to which I respond either in agreement or disagreement, whether from the right, the left or wherever are not hateful rhetoric, nor do I describe them thusly.

But there is some rhetoric, be it racist towards minority youth (like in response to the Awful Truth story) or name calling of people in Oakland as morons or homeless people as vagrants (or worse), that I consider hateful.

So you can climb off your high horse. I may be opinionated, but not intolerant nor bigoted. And my first instinct is not to respond with personal attacks.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

Very rare maybe but you forgot about the American revolution. The reason that we have the problems we do with mass shootings is because we don't know how to instill values into our children and as adults some of us have not learned to be responsible. The reason the government can bully us is because we are to lazy to do anything about it. Most people think that they are free because they are Americans. Being a former military person I know that we are only free when we fight to keep ourselves that way.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 22, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

yeah you won't have a mob come in your house, but where I live like I said on other posts there is a great chance someone will come in your home. Swear on my life neighbor used to do drugs and 3x's some one looking for her tried to come in my door. Not saying I would have shot them, but they didn't knock nothing (drug dealers I think she beat them).

Posted by bobs on Dec. 20, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

The fact that you argue that without assault weapons, the shooting would have been less lethal is absurd. He could have done just as much damage with a Glock 17 and multiple magazines, the fact that it was a rifle is just a semantic.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

Not to sound like a Scientologist. It seems most of these people are under the care of a shrink, the modern shrink practice seems to be medicating and then more medicating.

Perhaps the problem lies with our modern level of treating people with a host of drugs.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

sort of.. but I doubt you'll like where I tell you it leads.

Modern society is profoundly alienating and poorly suited for human happiness. There are basic human needs that have developed over thousands of millenia that are not met in modern life. Also environmental toxins and general poor nutrition promoted by greedy corporate entities contribute to widespread psychological malaise.

Yes there are too many people taking drugs. Their sense of anguish and depression is a perfectly sane and healthy response to the sickening stimulus of the modern world.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

He wasn't suffering from poor nutrition or feeling the impact of too many toxins.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

No sane person fell for the Dan White and his twinkie BS. But the "eat right and all will be well" Rainbow shopper San Franciscans often have a variation of it at most any turn.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

Just because they are buying goji berries and bulk-buying wholewheat pasta doesn't mean they aren't a nutjob. And that includes the staff there, BTW.

San Francisco is probably whackier than most places, even though it is also more affluent. And Oakland has similar gun control laws but a far higher murder rate - 123 so far this year.

It's the people, yo.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

That's another clear mark of a troll.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

the SFGate website for trolling, I guess you should know.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

He's an equal opportunity troll - trolling 24/7.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

Lilli got banned because he was (is) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, rude, pompous, arrogant horse's ass who insulted and was a jerk to anyone that he disagreed with.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

He's only here to make progressives look bad.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

posts here to discredit the left.

His comments are too inane and ludicrous even for the most hopeless of liberals. He's a stereotype of a caricature.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:33 pm
Posted by Hortencia on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 3:21 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

family. There is no proven link between these incidents and poverty, just like there is no proven link between terrorism and poverty.

I believe, however, dear Hortencia was referring more to the scourge of shootings in our near neighbor - Oakland.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

bother Tim, because most of those victims were black or hispanic. We only need more gun control, apparently, when whites get killed, because presumably they aren't asking for it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

...the reference was to Oakland.

Posted by Hortencia on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 8:03 am

When most of them are actually very gentle, introspective people. Without Aspies Silicon Valley would come to a grinding halt. I didn't mean to stigmatize them.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

eat right slogan.

I have met a few people I suspect of aspergers and they seem harmless.

Dude must have had a serious case, perhaps mixed with some other chemical problem.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

Most of us don't react to the society we live in by going around shooting kids, or anyone.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

probably have chemical imbalances, there probably have been these people for as long as man evolved. There may be a bit more as people have children older. In the past these poor souls would probably make good cannon fodder, be strung up before they are 20 for petty theft or be so busy surviving they didn't have time to whine about their situation.

The modern answer is to drug them up real good. Sitting around the house with little to do while stewing on how shitty your life is, while compounding whatever illness that person may have with self medication, such as lots of weed and meth... Not the answer.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

Man can only make sense of his life when he is engaged in productive behavior. Productive behavior is most satisfying when it is done in a social fashion.

We need a CCC-type program for these kids, so that their youthful physical and psychological energy can be directed towards something that is uplifting both to them and a society they feel part of.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

You're sounding like those "hug-a-thug", "soft-on-crime" morons in Oakland.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

Some lawyer would find a way out for them when they get bored.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

Now there's a pompous start to a sentence that is almost guaranteed to never have an informative predicate, but rather is a prelude only to the expression of a massively biased generalization.

Man can only make sense of his life when a man knows when to ignore trite cliches and overbearing platitudes.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

When that amendment was written, there were only cumbersome guns in existence. This has been like a frog in water being slowly boiled—the frog will just stay in the water and die...because it's so gradual, it doesn't know what's happening to it.

This is a symptom of many problems....

There does need to be strict gun regulation, already. The NRA has loads of $$ and uses it...when are we going to stand up to them? Overkill is what this gun culture is, and I guess that word didn't come out of me by accident.

Better services for the mentally ill—this is where taxing the wealth comes in—because we're all connected. The rich think they are entitled to their "freedom"—well, guess again: you're not free if the boy down the street goes off his rocker and his mama has guns...you're not safe.

And finally, teach kids some skills they will carry with them for life: life-affirming skills of self-awareness and compassion. Easy to teach, and we all will be the beneficiaries. What a waste of an opportunity *not* to teach these very real skills at a time of life when they will be absorbed like sponges.

And no, this is not perfect. There are plenty of guns already out on the streets. But if there is a new culture of love and sensibility being born here, let that flourish and then we will see a decline of these symptomatic murder sprees. Actions have consequences, or rather, inaction has consequences: Right now, we're asleep, passive, and submissive to the gun culture we already have.

PS~these new skills being taught already in some schools~by their very nature, will create better community, ie people watching out for each other. Lack of community is another instigator of mental illness...when so many of us are so isolated.

Upshot: there is *much* we can do. Will be interesting to see what gets made into law now that we've reached the tipping point.

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

rules plus a tax on the rich to find ever more social services. What else would we expect from you?

But actually the wealthy are largely immune from gun violence as they can afford security systems, bodyguards and, more generally, they don;t live where the violence is.

Most victims of gun crime are criminals and gang members and drug dealers killing each other and, frankly, few people care about that. Oakland has had 123 murders so far in 2012 and there's no outrage there. But kill some middle-class white kids and it's suddenly a big problem?

Incidents like this make me want to upgrade my armory, and the very last thing I need is do-gooders like you telling me I can't do that. Are you only a fan of violence when it's a left-wing sheriff abusing his wife?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

The wealthy are not immune from gun violence! Connecticut is a pretty wealthy state. Virginia Tech? Not the ghetto, etc, etc...movie theaters? Don't we all go there?

"Few people care about criminals and gang members and drug dealers killing each other"? Well, I care, and hopefully, so do a lot of other people.

You wanna upgrade your armory? Go ahead. I just think—and I'm not the only one—that gun acquisition for people should not be a smorgasbord...frankly, I find that obscene. It is fed by fear, and the fear is born out of an unfortunate way of seeing: that there are "crazies" out there, and you need to be armed. Instead of—let me spell it out for you—that there are people out there who need our help, and that is what "government" is for—to level the playing field so that all may thrive.

As far as your last sentence: "Are you only a fan of violence when it's a left-wing sheriff abusing his wife?" why would I even dignify that with an answer?

Posted by Daniele E. on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

does anyone care. 123 murders in Oakland this year but they are nearly all non-white criminals and so we don't care.

And yes, of course we want guns because we know that others have malintent. But the rich generally are much less exposed to gun violence, as they do not live or work where it happens. Tim is all over this because white kids were killed - where is his outrage over the Oakland murders?

And, I'm sorry, but you made a fool of yourself supporting Ross's violence, so don't act shocked when people here throw that back at you when you are critical of other violence. We seek consistsency here.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

It took less than 2 hours for some asshat to bring up Ross. Amazing. Give it a rest already.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

she has to lie on it. Seems that Daniele believes there is "good violence" and "bad violence" according to who is perpetrating it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:53 am

Tim won't say anything about the Oakland murders because the sad fact is is that the vast majority of Oakland's murders are black-on-black. If he said something, he would have to confront the fact that there is a huge problem within the black community with their young men (and some women) killing each other off in vast numbers.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

...is poverty and lack of social services because the rest of us don't want to pay for it.

Posted by Hortencia on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

co-dependently enables a vast underclass is going to reduce crime. We simply end up with a situation like Europe where taxes are 60% and there is little incentive to work because of all the welfare benefits.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

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