Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the wake if the Newtown CT massacre, we have been called by President Obama to have a "national discussion" on guns. In that spirit, I suppose, I came across the following post on Facebook:
Reposting the words of a wise friend: All the prayers, hugging our loved ones, asking "why?" etc. etc. is all well and good. But at the end of the day, 26 died instantly because these weapons are readily available. No one had a chance. Stop with the bullshit about how a crazy person can kill in other ways. Recognize that these weapons specifically have caused so many tragedies in our country. I read in China a mad man assaulted a classroom of kids but most will survive. Why? He used a knife. So you want to do something concrete? Pressure for a ban on semi-automatics. And while they are not banned, show your utter distaste for those who own them - use shame to make people give these arms up. The mother, THE MOTHER legally purchased the semi-automatic. So there is no 'responsible' gun owner when it comes to these hideous weapons.

Now, I don't find the idea of "shaming" people who have done nothing wrong acceptable. I don't like what they have done to smokers, even though I have never smoked. So I wrote the following:

"I have to disagree on this one. First, there are about 300 million weapons out there. You can't "ban" them any more than you can deport every undocumented alien.

Second, a steady diet of "shame," "distaste," and "irresponsible" rhetoric directed at a full 40% of the population is a sure path to even more hatred and divisiveness in our society.

Third, it won't work. In 2002, 13 teachers, 2 students, and a policeman were shot and killed in Erfurt, Germany. In response, the Germans further tightened their already tough gun laws. Regardless, in 2009, 15 students were shot and killed in Winnenden, Germany. In Norway, another big gun control country, a nut job managed to shoot and kill 68 young people at a youth retreat. In Switzerland, where every household is required to maintain a firearm, this is unheard of. It's not about the guns, it's about society.

The truth is, we have been awash in semi-automatic weapons since about 1900. The current violence seems to be more proximate to our failure to institutionalize and properly restrain the mentally ill than it is to the presence of firearms."

Now that's not any kind of earth shattering analysis to be sure. But it sure did elicit a response. Or three actually, all from the same person. Here they are, consolidated, as nobody posted in between:

We have been awash in semi automatics since 1900? Seriously? You can buy one for under $500 today (or in this case steal one from your mom). We are awash in them now because the NRA, backed by the factories that want to sell more and more of these military style weapons, have the $$ & power to not change any laws- even if countless more children die. There is NO reason for these weapons except to protect the right of some grown men & women to enjoy their toys. Get a normal gun to protect yourself. You don't need to put out rounds and rounds in a few seconds.

Here is a little youtube video to show you how fast these weapons are. The Glock 9mm is supposed to be one of the weapons the killer used. Those kids didn't stand a chance. And Kurt here and the NRA want more of these in the hands of every man and woman in this country. This will make us all safer? I doubt it!

And one last note from today's news Kurt: "What we know is he shot his way into the building. He was not buzzed in," Malloy said. "He penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building. That's what an assault weapon can do for you." If he had stolen a normal hand gun from his mom, maybe all we would be talking about was some mentally disturbed kid killing himself and his mother.

Oh no, you can't shoot out a lock with a "normal handgun." Anyhow, I opted not to respond publicly to this torrent of ignorance and instead sent the author the following message:

"I don't know you, but I thought I would take a minute to respond to your responses to my response on (my friend's) post in mid-December. I don't want to take up her FB space with this, and I am not interested in getting in a public pissing match with anybody, so I decided to send you a little note, just to try and back the ideas you challenged.

The Colt 1911 semi-auto pistol was invented in - wait for it - 1911! It is indistinguishable from today's semi-auto pistols, and chambered a .45 round. So yes, these weapons have been around for a very long time. The 1911 is still available and is far more powerful than the little Glock 9 you find so scary. As an aside, the 9mm is the metric equivalent of the 38, a very common caliber. My wife likes a 38, since the recoil is more manageable than higher caliber rounds.

On the long gun side of things, the Browning Automatic Rifle was released in 1917. It was an actual "assault weapon," meaning it had a selective fire feature. It is now almost impossible to own, but it was once readily available. The point is, these kinds of things have been around for a hundred years.

The .223 so-called "assault rifle" used by that asshole in CT is, in fact, a rather low caliber weapon. Some states ban them for hunting, as they are considered too under-powered to reliably take down a deer. Again, the point isn't to say these aren't dangerous weapons, only that they aren't much different than a host of other guns that have not been so demonized (yet). While the rifle succeeded in shooting its way into the school, it was not because it was particularly powerful or high-caliber. Or because it had a pistol grip, flash suppressor, bayonet mount, or any of the other aesthetic features commonly used to define a civilian "assault rifle."

In fact, CT has an assault rifle ban, and this was a permitted weapon under that ban. He didn't get into the school because he had a high-powered gun, but because he had A gun and there was nobody capable of stopping him.

I am not sure what constitutes a "normal" handgun as opposed to a common .22, 9mm, .40 or .45, but that was your choice of words so you can define it. I would suggest that if you think a 9mm is somehow beyond normal, you are uninformed about handguns. And finally, you are absolutely correct about one thing - those poor children (and the adults as well) never had a chance, because there was not a single person within a 20 minute drive equipped to stop him. They wouldn't have had a chance had he been carrying an 1886 six shooter or a samurai sword. If there is nobody around capable of stopping a killer with a weapon, there is simply no way to stop a killer with a weapon. Which weapon he is carrying is, at that point, largely irrelevant.

Anyway, that's just where I am coming from. I am not a big gun nut, just a guy that likes to go can plinking or shoot skeet a couple times a year, so I thought I would share some things I believe to be true. I hope you had a great Christmas and wish you a terrific 2013."

So far, no response, I will keep the blog updated.

Monday, December 24, 2012

NBC's David Gregory: Guns for me, never for thee.

NBC News tool David Gregory mocks NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre:

"You proposed armed guards in school. We'll talk about that in some detail in a moment. You confronted the news media. You blamed Hollywood and the gaming industry. But never once did you concede that guns could actually be part of the problem. Is that a meaningful contribution, Mr. LaPierre, or a dodge?," asked Gregory.
The same story notes that Gregory's own children attend the private Sidwell Friends school, which employs an 11 person full-time security team.

You little people that want to protect your children? That's not a meaningful contribution, that's a dodge.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Somebody Needs to Send Youkilis a Razor

Friday, December 07, 2012

I'm Sensing a Theme Here

Barack Obama's tribute photos have something in common. Remember Obama's tribute to Neil Armstrong?

Then there was his tribute to Rosa Parks:

Today we have this release, honoring Pearl Harbor:

It seems that no matter who did it, no matter when it happened, a "tribute" from Barack Obama always revolves around an image of Barack Obama.