Sunday, December 16, 2012

Savage Nation

I have tried not to watch the news too much since the slaughter of school kids on Friday.  It is just to hard to bear.

And then last night the Caliber's Shooting Range and gun store ran a commercial on TV with some loopy guy day dreaming about getting an assault rifle.  Can you believe it?  What kind of proprietor would put that on TV?

Thirty one pro gun lobby Senators refused to appear on Sunday News Shows in the wake of the massacre of school children.  I want their names.

 I haven't heard a word from the NRA.  Their chief  Wayne La Pierre needs justice visited upon him soon.  Post his home address and see if he feels comfortable living there.  Most school children's parents won't feel comfortable Monday morning sending the little ones off to school, not as long as La Pierre's organization keeps reform at bay.

And how about the firearm manufacturers who profit from assault rifle sales.  Let's find the CEO of the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used to kill the innocents. He must face the dead children's parents and explain his actions.

And the next pol who gets on TV and says this is the greatest nation in the world needs to have his career ended asap for being a psychotic liar.  We will never be the greatest nation until sane gun control laws are passed.  All assault rifles should be turned in under penalty of five years in a federal prison for non compliance.  All sales must end immediately.  This would be  something that would make us look sane and set a tone for the proper sale of sporting arms and screening of firearm buyers.  I say all of this as an owner of guns.

This is a good read about the greatest nations on the planet.  We are not one of them.


Bubba Muntzer said...

Amen. Amen to everything you said. Damn. That was a good one. When you get fired up you get focused. I can see you running a big city or a big BLM.

Not that I couldn't before, and besides, what would I know about running anything. I can barely run my own life. I have five loaves of bread right now and nothing to put on them. All my socks have holes in them but I have four nice winter coats.

As for the NRA, someone looked up their Twitter feeds following the last four massacres and they've used the same strategy every time. Go silent for at least a day and then start talking about something else.

The silence was from one to four days. This time they are still silent. People are disgusted, a lot of us are.

It's harder every day to pretend we aren't living in a violent country -- this Neoliberalism is a violent form of Capitalism, we have a violent political discourse, we've got Neocons and we're at war all over the globe, we're being spied on, our workplaces are being raided and we're being deported, our standard of living is under constant attack by a class that expects us to pay for everything including their losses, and still wants to reduce our wages and take away our retirement -- and a lot of people know the NRA has had a lot to do with all of it, especially this carnage, coming more often every time and beyond what we could ever imagine.

At least a certain percentage are disgusted, and it will be interesting to see if things break down the way they did in the election. I was looking at some conservative message boards. The regular folk are unrepentant, repeating the same old NRA sound bites for the ignorant -- no law could have prevented this, gun laws only take guns away from the good guys, etc -- but they may not be a large enough percentage of the population any more.

The 31 cowardly, frightened senators may be taking the NRA approach, or maybe they got to thinking about a new Liberal majority and are in their offices with their doors locked wetting themselves.

I'll be interested to see what happens with the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling, and gun control, and with the president and with the Democratic Party's soul, and with the country. If it's all connected like I say it is, things could start moving the other way.

They could only get 10,000 people to come to the capital and protest when the Republicans made Michigan, of all places, a right to work state. Maybe 20 little children dying at the hands of the NRA will finally wake people up to what's happened, to them and to their once exceptional country.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, how does your proposal keep weapons out of the hands of bad guys? Great so we get rid of big scary rifles, do we get rid of small weapons you can hide as well? And do we really put more people in prison as way to curb possession of yet another illegal item in support of your proposal?

The horror that was visited upon those little kids last week is not addressed by gun control. It's best addressed as a close look at why we Americans embrace and tolerate violence. It's about our reluctance to take responsibility as a society for our mentally ill, our neighbors, and ourselves.

Anonymous said...


The assault rifle used by the shooter is a direct descendant of the last weapon I carried 42 years ago in Southeast Asia-- a CAR-15, a short-barreled version of an M-16.

There is a plethora of designations -- civilian and military -- and CAR-15 may very well be incorrect, but that's my memory and I don't feel like looking them all up.

Whatever the correct military designation, the weapon was issued to K-9 units (moi) because it was easier to handle while a German shepherd yanked your other arm. It was issued to helicopter air crews and Special Forces because it was easier to use in confined spaces.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a photo of one of these newer weapons (an M4, I think). I thought it looked familiar, though it's been a very long time since I held one in my hands.

I Googled the nomenclature for the old and new. I'm sure today's version has new bells and whistles, but all the important parts were right where I remembered them -- selector switch, charging handle, magazine release, etc. I'm pretty sure I could go to a gun store, pick one up and know how to use it without a minute's instruction.

The weapons you see today are descendants of the weapons I carried way back then. I know why I we carried them. I know why soldiers carry them today. I cannot fathom why a civilian would be allowed to walk in off the street and buy one.

And to think, during the Iraq war we used to shake our heads in dismay at reports of the arms bazaars on the streets of Baghdad. Who needs Baghdad when you have Wal-Mart?

Seriously, Google "Wal-Mart guns" and look at the photos. You will see photo after photo of my old weapon's great-grandchildren. It boggles the mind. At least it boggles mine.

We can argue about calibers and automatic vs semi-automatic and mental illness and philosophies until the cows come home, but we need to start somewhere with something concrete.

Making it impossible to buy an assault rifle at a Wal-Mart sounds like a reasonable beginning to me.

Be well.

janecraft said...

Bubba's comments about the violent nature of our society are spot on. I would be in favor of an assault weapon ban, but I think these massacres are symptoms of a problem larger than the availability of assault weapons. The nature of community, privacy, relationship, communication, intimacy, and identity have changed forever. How do we reasonably structure our institutions going forward to create a livable, free and safe place for people? Who can imagine what that might look like?

Rodney said...

To anon:

In 2011, the NRA actively opposed legislation proposed in Connecticut of all places. The proposal would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state.

Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates, said Robert Crook, head of the Hartford- based Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation.

“The legislators got swamped by NRA emails,” said Betty Gallo, who lobbied on behalf of the legislation for Southport- based Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “They were scared of the NRA and the political backlash.”

Proponents abandoned the legislation, which drew opposition from gunmakers including Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) In addition to the e-mails and letters, more than 300 pro-gun activists, including many NRA members, attended a committee hearing to oppose it, said Gallo, a Hartford-based lobbyist for more than 35 years.

Crook said the proposed state legislation “wouldn’t have made a difference.”

“We already have a lot of good gun laws on the books,” Crook said. “You can’t control people who have never done anything wrong before and then just go off the deep end.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said in an interview this weekend that high-capacity magazines “made the crime all the more deadly” and called for limits.

The NRA has essentially disappeared in the wake of this latest massacre. They've taken down their Facebook page and their Twitter account has been silent. Maybe, HOPEFULLY, sanity is trying to make a comeback, but I'm not to optomistic.

Anonymous said...

Remember what happened only months ago at a Corrales Village Council meeting? The village proposed a low key, reasonable gun ordinance. The NRA alerted local members. A mob showed up.

Loud, unruly, trampling the First Amendment in service to the Second, the mob shouted down anyone who had the temerity to support the ordinance. The mob clearly intimidated the council. The measure failed. The mob went back to their homes, most of which were not in Corrales.

It was as un-American an evening as you could ask. It's the standard m.o. of the NRA.

northierthanthou said...

The gun lobby is a great big bundle of dissonance reduction. There is little to be accomplished in engaging them. I don't even know how to speak to them in most cases.