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

Decorated American General Smedley Butler summed it up nicely,

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

Of course, you wouldn't be interested, but others might, so some links:

Smedley Butler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

War is a Racket: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 7:55 am

resulting in approximately 20 million deaths. For more information and to read a well researched article, check out this link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/25/regimen-of-permanent-wars/

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 11:44 am

The Romans, the British and now us. If you have a military superiority, you can impose law and order and project power.

Were that not true, you'd be speaking German now.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

Might makes right?

Love it or leave it?

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?

At least, you are consistent with your adoration of imposed, totalitarian, authoritarian law and order.

The only freedom you support is the mythical "free" market.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

calling it a cliche?

The simple fact is that "right" is established by those who are in a position to enforce their will. History is written by the winners and, on the global stage, the US is the winner.

If you'd prefer a world in which Iran or North Korea had the "might", then good luck to you. But you have no idea how privileged you are to even live here. Criticizing your nation state would not be possible in much of the world.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

where several large powers have checks on each other, so that no one power can do whatever it pleases. Fortunately I do think that's the direction we're headed in.

And Eddie, you forgot one cliche. "You'd be speaking German by now." I'm sure neither of us have heard that one before!

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

Hitler to continue his war, then it is not impossible that the Nazi's might now have the power that we have. If you're telling me that's not a problem, then have the courage to say so explicitly.

You America-haters crack me up, because it is only our freedom that allwos you to publicly hate on your own people.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

write that I hate the American people or that I was a pacifist?

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

You made your bed - now lie on it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

I never said I hate the American people. I'll add "you made your bed, now lie on it" to my above list of cliches.

I like Greg's comment below about who really hates the American people.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

This conversation started about guns, right? I'm not the one claiming that Americans are more naturally prone to crime and violence than any other people on earth.

Because that's what the argument boils down to. Every time someone makes a point about better gun laws in other countries making a difference in the violence, the gun nuts come out and give excuses as to why it won't work here -"culture," "ethnicity," "diversity," blah blah blah. Setting aside the not so subtle racism of some of these arguments, what you all are essentially saying is that there is something so fundamentally different about Americans that nothing we do with regards to guns will stop the violence, even though it seems to work so well elsewhere.

Well I've lodged my fair share of criticism of the policies of the US government, but the views you wingers express require a level of hatred and loathing of the American people that is unheard of on the left.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

violent crime is 40 times higher than white-on-black crime. That's a statistical fact.

In fact, it's racist to deny that simply because it's not a fact favorable to what has sadly become overdone cloying political correctness.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 7:17 am

crime rate is higher than the black-on-white violent crime rate and that the black-on-black crime rate is much higher than the black-on-white rate. All these statistics skirt issues of poverty, law enforcement bias, crime reporting rate, etc.

None of these statistics have any bearing on Greg's above point. I believe bringing up crime rate statistics is called a red herring.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 8:02 am

crime within a race has no bearing on that. Anyway, block-on-black crime is at shocking levels. But the point was more to show that whites have far more to fear from blacks, then vice versa.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 9:02 am

from whites than from blacks. Your first sentence makes absolutely no sense.

The shallowness of your understanding and your apparent disinterest in any explanation except the most simplistic and least descriptive is both instructive and baffling. I guess that's why someone coined the term "dittohead."

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 10:47 am

there are five times as many whites as blacks. Per capita, blacks commit far more crime than whites and, as noted, black-on-white crimes is 40 times more, per capita, than white-on-black crime.

Your assertion is disingenuous PC crap.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:44 am

whites are more likely to be made victims of violent crimes by other whites than by blacks.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 11:56 am

What I do know is that black-on-white crime is far higher than white-on-black crime. QED.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

If corporate media could cover this issue in this way, it would be a game changer in the debate. The whole transcript is worth reading, but let me just provide a teaser. The piece shows that guns, not culture, are the problem, that gun control can be implemented successfully in a country that has a strong gun culture, and that when implemented has a dramatic effect on saving lives.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/12/18/new_town_to_newtown_how_96

"REBECCA PETERS: Well, it was in—Australia at the time was, as you said, a country, and it still is a country, where hunting is an important activity. There is a—Australia wins Olympic medals in shooting. You know, in Australia there’s a high premium placed on rugged masculinity, and it’s a frontier country. And so, it has some similarities with the U.S.

And also, another similarity was that we had had, in the previous couple of decades, occasionally mass shootings. About once a year, we had a mass shooting. And on each occasion, there was a lot of talk about the gun laws and politicians, similar to here, actually, avoiding the issue, saying, "Well, we need to look at family values and mental health and everything else," and basically being too frightened to do anything about the gun laws, because the gun lobby always threatened to punish electorally any party that did actually strengthen the laws.

What happened in '96 was so shocking, and also the level of anger and dissatisfaction and frustration in the public was so high by then, that really that was the tipping point for Australia. As you said, the prime minister exercised leadership. He called all the states together and said, "We're going to fix this." And the laws were state laws, so we had a patchwork of different laws. Some states had stronger laws, but the states that had weaker laws undermined those with stronger laws. And what we got was a scheme of nationally uniform laws, which set a much higher standard and included bans on assault weapons and some other measures, which basically meant that the whole—that you can still own guns in Australia, but the system is just much more under control.

And as a result, now 15 years later, we’ve not had a mass shooting since that time, and also gun deaths in general are about 50 percent lower than what they were. And that—the laws—the evaluation of the law shows that about—it’s also—it’s saving hundreds of lives each year and also about $500 million a year in the economic costs of violence that’s been avoided. So, overall, our gun laws are a resounding success."

Posted by Greg on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

most of the population deriving from the UK, and most of the rest from elsewhere in Europe, or from Asia which is generally a peaceful place too.

They don't have former slaves nor illegal hispanics, which easily form the two largest groups of criminals in the US.

Comparing a sleepy outpost of the British Empire with a melting pot of former slaves, immigrants (legal or not) and a host of ne'er-do-well's from around the world is always going to lead to more disputes, conflict and violence.

America is the most heterogenuous nation on the planet - there is no common culture that binds us, so we need an aggressive legal system. And guns.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

your views when you spout this racist garbage?

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

I can understand you disagreeing with someone else, but not for somehow hating them or being angry with them just because they hold a different opinion.

Oh, and expressing the well-known fact that blacks are hispanics have higher rates of criminal participation is hardly racist. Indeed, it would be racist to deny it.

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

It's not considered racist when race is talked about in correct liberal terms. Meaning if someone posted that various races needed special entitlements, it would be revealed leftist deep thinking.

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

Whether or not you agree with affirmative action, it's not racist to say that certain groups, be they racial or economic, should be extended some consideration of their circumstances.

It *is* racist to suggest that America's violence problem is immutable through gun control legislation because of "ethnicity," as guest put it. Guest is arguing that "ethnicity" not only predisposes some people to more violent behavior than others, but that it's so ingrained in their ethnicity that gun control laws won't work here. That's horribly racist, because it's arguing that particular ethnicities (and we all know which ethnicities he's referring to) have something inherently wrong with them, rather than being the victims of economic circumstance.

I suspect you understand the difference, but you never miss the opportunity to sneer a facile false equivalency in the interest of scoring a cheap rhetorical point. That's just your style, matlock.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

Guest talks about culture, Eddie talks about how quest is racist, I mention that guests comments are no different from liberals when they talk about race, you complain that your race talk isn't racist.

Your culture/race talk isn't racist because you use the proper buzz words and references. Latinos love to cook, Asians love to study, blacks love to dance, etc...

Greg out and about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua0TT87KNwo

Posted by matlock on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

who stole the land and killed the inhabitants of the "new world" in your list of "ne-er do well's (sic) from around the world?"

Is "Guest" a pseudonym for David Duke?

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

The American Indians (or whatever the PS phrase is for them this year) were relaatively unarmed and easy prey for the invaders.

Imagine if they had had the same arms as the Colonials. Might have been a very different story.

If Germany or Japan had invaded the US mainland in WW2 they wouldn't just have had to deal with the US army but also every American family. We would not just have rolled over like France.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

Let's say you're right that teh blacks and teh hispanics are somehow inherently more crime-prone. You're wrong, but that's irrelevant. The point is that gun deaths were far higher in Australia before they enacted strict gun control. It was the gun control that made the difference, not the lack of blacks and hispanics. To put it another way, since as you say there are far fewer blacks and hispanics in Australia, then by definition it wasn't the blacks and hispanics doing these mass shootings. BTW... for what it's worth, it's usually a white guy doing these massacres here too.

So if you did the same thing here, I think you'd get similar results. We may not have the same absolute rate of gun deaths for a variety of reasons, but we'd see a similar dramatic reduction in that rate.

And no, I don't think a bunch of farmers would pose a threat for a professional army. That's been pretty much discredited.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

as the US forces discovered in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying a land for an extended period is made much more risky and dangerous when the indigenous people all have arms, can make bomds and so on.

That's also why neither Napoleon nor Hitler invaded Switzerland - it would have been too costly.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 6:58 am

Gun ownership rate in Vietnam is very low. They still found a way to resist the invaders and win.

I suspect the difficulties the US has encountered whenever it invades a country have less to do with individual gun ownership, and more to do with the fact that people tend to resist foreign invasions and occupations. They'll find a way to do it.

But let's get back to reality. I'm less concerned about the far-fetched scenario that Americans will have to organize groups of partisans to defend against a foreign invasion after the total defeat of the US military (a la Red Dawn), then I am about the very real scenario of deaths from gun violence which happen all too frequently in the here and now.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 9:06 am

are still rare, else they would not attract this type of publicity. We'd be jaded about them in the same way as we are about bombs going off in Iraq or flooding in Bangladeash.

What is not rare is the crime in our streets and homes, and that is why the average citizen wants, needs and has firearms. It's not at all uncommon for a home invasion or mugging attempt to be thwarted because the vicitm had a gun.

Bernie Goetz was deemed a hero, but he'd have been just another victim had gun control taken away his right to defend himself.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 10:10 am

Btw, for those that love to quote the China statistic. The police chief of that district in China has already said had these been elementary aged school children, most would have died from their wounds.

Israel had the same problem with mass shootings until they armed their teachers 40 years ago. There is some type of mental block when an attacker hears one bullet fired their way. They found that after the first return fire, the attacker commits suicide or runs away.

The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with Hunting and everything to do with the freedom to defend yourself. In hillcrest a woman had three people assault her in her home. Had they been violent, she would wish she had a 30 round magazine.

Hurricane Katrina and California earth quake has proven people love to riot.

Best Analogy: Wolf with dentures kills 10 sheep. Next day Sheep ban Dentures. So much cheaper then figuring out how a wolf could walk around in sheep's clothing. But where is the real freedom? You build the walls to your own prison.

Best two things you can do to end senseless murder:
1. ban gun sales to those under 25 (most gun murder is males under 24)
2. Ban alcohol sales after 8pm

#2 above will save more lives then any gun control law.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

And sheep can't ban anything. Let's stick to the reality based universe.

In the reality based universe, gun control proved extremely effective in Australia to stop the gun deaths.

I don't know if your ideas will work. I suspect they won't. But I do know gun control can work, because it did work. It seems sensible to try what worked.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

with mass school shootings 40 years ago. My quick research uncovered one, a politically motivated attack by DFLP in 1974.

My research was brief, so please educate me about this history.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 18, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

That's something I never heard about, though I have a hunch the story it is less true than the one about Katrina rioting; which itself is based on a police-perpetrated mass shooting.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 7:15 am

When white people were going into abandoned grocery stores and taking what they needed post-Katrina, the news said they were "finding" food. When black people did the same thing, they were "looting."

Posted by Greg on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 9:08 am

And a store being "abandoned" doesn't mean you can steal from it.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 9:39 am

There's been a natural disaster. For whatever reason, people aren't prepared with stockpiles of food. Help from the National Guard doesn't seem to be forthcoming. It could be days before there's food. But the grocery store is there. No one is staffing it, the power is out, but it's there and it's full of food.

According to your morality, I suppose the "right thing" to do would be to starve while the food rots. I'd like to see you standing between people and a grocery store full of food in such a situation. That would be a lovely scene indeed. But nah... that won't happen. You'll be right there with them... either "finding food," or "looting," depending on your skin color of course.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

acts is called "perfect necessity." I'm no lawyer and don't even watch them being played on t.v. much, so I may be wrong in my description of it, but I think nonetheless it is applicable.

And yes Greg, you nailed it. The above commenter's style in is so petty that it would be perfectly in keeping for them to stand with a shotgun protecting rotting vegetables from being put to use feeding starving children.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 20, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

It's considered such a heinous crime that it's typically the only situation where we allow US cops and troops to shoot criminals in the act.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

If it is, then it just shows that the criminals are making the rules. People who take advantage of others by profiteering off scarcity aren't shot on sight, but starving people who take abandoned food to stay alive are? That's the morality of reptilian capitalism.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

your home and steal all your food? Or your belongings so I can sell them for food?

IOW, crime is justified as long as the perp is hungry?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

An abandoned store is not the same as somebody's home.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

then I can't explain it to you. You probably can't see the distinction between jaywalking and murder either, because both are crimes.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

Either "being hungry" excuses a crime or it does not. It certainly isn't a elgal excuse - loot and you will be arrested.

So in what perverse sense do you think that theft is a crime but looting somehow magically is not?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 7:19 am

When white people were doing it, they were "finding food" and it wasn't illegal; but when black people did the same thing, they were denounced as "looters." Either it's a crime, or it isn't. Which is it?

Posted by Greg on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 8:27 am

So your attempt to rationalize looting just because some of them may have been hungry is irrelevant.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 26, 2012 @ 9:14 am

rampaging mob. But of course i'd need automatic weapons to successfully repel a mob.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

If everyone had access to automatic weapons, why do you think you'd be the only one who has them?

Posted by Greg on Dec. 25, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

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