Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 17, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ENOUGH....Yesterday I thought about writing a post bemoaning the tendency of so many people to use the Virginia Tech massacre as an instant excuse to trot out whichever position on gun control they already favored, but after a few moments I thought better of it. Aside from being tedious and sanctimonious, I'm not sure it's even a reasonable point. When stuff like this happens, people like to talk. And when they talk, they talk about all sorts of stuff. They're just being human.

Using it as an excuse for all-purpose foaming-at-the-mouth bigotry, on the other hand, is just vomit-inducing. It must be a Pakistani Muslim! No, it's a Chinese national! No, it's a Korean national who's a permanent resident! Foreigners everywhere! Keep 'em out! After all, next time it really will be a Muslim shooting up one of our universities!

Anyway, turns out the shooter was "a South Korean native who immigrated to this country as a child." So there you have it. Time to chill.

Kevin Drum 1:34 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (160)

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Comments

He wouldn´t have killed so many people in any european country, as the only weapon available to him would have been a kitchen knife...

Posted by: banguns on April 17, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

So are you telling me that we should not ban F-1 visas?

Posted by: gregor on April 17, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well Al, how is it then that these things happen almost exclusively in the USA ?

Posted by: banguns on April 17, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg, iceberg, whats the difference?

Posted by: bushburner on April 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Chill? Kevin -- the whole technique of the right is to scream and lie and scream some more. Facts and/or relevance be damned.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on April 17, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

To the first commenter, "banguns": evidently you are incorrect.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 17, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The hits keep on coming too. Now the VICTIMS aren't even safe from denegration. Derbyshire at NRO sez that the victims were wusses for not fighting back.

Posted by: Kryptik on April 17, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed MSNBC.com changed their front page from "Police identify shooter as 23 year old South Korean" to "Police identify shooter as 23 year old student". At least someone is making an effort to realize his nationality has absolutely nothing to do with this.

Posted by: Fred on April 17, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

By all means,. let Derbyshire and Instahack sour the milk.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad you opened up the issue rather than remained silent..Kevin, on the few right wing blogs, I read( since you weren't covering the story) I really didn't come across xenophobic concerns, just the issue of hand guns predictably. But in the main, a concern for the victims and their families.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on April 17, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Schlussel, Schlussel, Schluss, Anschluss............ wait a second!

She's one of my people. Here's how we Germans immigrate to other countries. We send about 30 Panzer Divisions and the Luftwaffe in and we continue to blight the landscape until someone kicks our butts.

Which is what is required in Debbie's case.

Heck, the shooter's been in the country almost as long as Michelle Malkin. He's an American.

Live with it.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 17, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

the mayor of Nagasaki was gunned down today at a train station.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Before this, the most recent campus shooting was by the American-Indian kid in Minnesota (I think).

Keep those American Indians out!! Er, wait ...

Posted by: ed on April 17, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday, I thought Norman made an ill timed comment regarding this tragedy - However, it was amazing how prescient his post. He had commented that if advising Bush, he would suggest certain remarks - Indeed, life does imitate art - Bush came out and, while extending condolences, began the pitch to stop gun control laws.

Norman, you magnificent punster, you were indeed correct.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 17, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

By MICHAEL DALY
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST

Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 9:22 AM

Still love those guns, Virginia?

Ready to admit that it's madness for any psycho to be able to saunter into a gun shop and acquire firepower capable of killing 32 innocents?

Feel different now that the blood is the blood of so many of your most promising young people?

You've been shrugging for decades as illegal guns from your state plague our city, killing and maiming and terrorizing New Yorkers by the thousands, at one point comprising 47% of the guns our cops recovered.

You even yukked it up with a "Bloomberg Gun GiveAway" raffle at a gun shop that sold at least 22 guns used in crimes in New York.

You went into a tizzy when Mayor Bloomberg sued some of your gun shops after undercover agents made fraudulent "straw purchases."

Your idea of gun control has been to pass a law making it illegal for undercover agents like those Bloomberg sent South to make such buys.

You seemed to think it was no big deal when an aide to your junior U.S. senator got caught carrying an automatic pistol into the Capitol, you having voted Sen. James Webb into office as an avowed opponent of gun control.

You had a big debate this year about whether Virginia Tech was wrong to discipline a student who was caught carrying a licensed pistol to class.

Never mind that a Virginia gun license is not half as hard to get as a driving license.

Never mind that there are so many guns lying around that an escaped jailbird managed to get hold of one and kill a cop and a security guard at the edge of the Virginia Tech campus at the start of the school year.

Yesterday, the shooting was in the heart of the campus, which suddenly felt like the bleeding heart of the whole nation.

We certainly have enough parents in New York who know all too well what the families of Virginia Tech will be suffering.

We also have cause anew to give thanks for the bravery of Auxiliary Police Officers Eugene Marshalik and Nicholas Pekearo, who died stopping a crazed gunman in Greenwich Village in March.

We have reason to remember Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saying that the two brave auxiliaries and the equally brave cops who then killed the gunman may well have prevented a massacre. Our psycho certainly had enough bullets.

When we listened to yesterday's gunshots as recorded by a cell phone video, we assumed the police we saw holding back had been ordered to watch the perimeter while other cops charged through the chained doors toward the gunfire. We hoped they had not hesitated as the cops did during the massacre at the Columbine High School in 1999.

We replayed yesterday's video and listened to those gunshots again, each the hyper-real sound of a gun doing exactly what it is engineered to do no matter who is holding it, no matter who it is pointed at, be they on a New York street or in Norris Hall at Virginia Tech.

Today, Virginia Tech will hold a public convocation in the wake of the carnage. President Bush has said he will attend, but his spokeswoman assures us he remains a firm believer in the right to bear arms.

Also expected to be there is Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is returning early from an overseas trip. He recently signed Bill 2106, the anti-Bloomberg legislation that forbids undercover agents from making straw purchases.

Not even the worst campus massacre in American history is about to stop Bob Moates Sports Shop of Midlothian, Va., from going ahead with its big Bloomberg Gun GiveAway. The winner will receive a Para-Ordinance Model 1911 .45 automatic, silver and no less deadly than the black pistol a witness says the Virginia Tech psycho used. The 1911 is part of the company's new line of "Gun Rights" pistols, which carry the guarantee the company will donate $25 to the National Rifle Association for every one sold.

"The drawing is April 19," a man at Moates said yesterday.

No wonder some of our cops up here in New York say the bumper stickers down there should really read, "Virginia Is for Gun Lovers."

What do you say now, Virginia?

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if it is true in this case, but sadly schizophrenia typically shows up in early adulthood. It affect everyone evenly, male and female, foreign and national.

In layman's terms this kid may have gone nuts and it has nothing to do with him or his ethnicity and it is a crying shame that he did not get treatment before hurting others and himself.

Posted by: Tripp on April 17, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday I though about writing a post bemoaning the tendency of so many people to use the Virginia Tech massacre as an instant excuse to trot out whichever position on gun control they already favored...

That was kind of my initial reaction.

But, look, there really IS something terribly wrong about a disturbed person having such easy access to such tremendous firepower.

I don't see how you get around that. There's a reason such things are so common in the US, and it certainly DOES have a great deal to do with exceedingly weak gun control laws.

I'm guessing we will encounter all manner of absurd over-interpretation of this horrific event, just as we did with Columbine.

But the gun control problem is real and basic, and will not and should not be dismissed.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile yesterday, just like every other day for the past several decades, over 100 Americans were killed in auto accidents.

Posted by: Tom F on April 17, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

He was an English major, and a professor had found his writings as "disturbed" and suggested counseling.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed MSNBC.com changed their front page...

Be prepared to hear Michael Savage ranting about the coverup. On second thought, don't listen to him... But it'll be out there I guarantee it.

Posted by: thersites on April 17, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

mhr,

if the killer had been a white man we wouldn't have to warn against bigotry!

Posted by: thersites on April 17, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I posted about this last night. Probably pissed off both right and left.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

When will the whites of this land, be able to cry out "Free at last, free at last, Thank Bushie, that we are free at last"

When will whites be allowed to own land, obtain power and wealth - Oh, the eternal crushing of the soul of whites by the Minorities who rule.

Why, if a white should kill, the Media would print his name as SMITH, Joseph Jay, kinda like them printing CHO first.

Posted by: stupid git on April 17, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't so simple as "too easy access to guns" or otherwise Switzerland would be a bloodbath.

But it isn't, despite the extreme prevalence of firearms.


There is something about American culture that promotes this and I don't think there's a simple answer as to what that is.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 17, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

That is the thesis of my assertions, Dr. M.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

I wrote that post yesterday Kevin.

Just saying.

Posted by: trifecta on April 17, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, take your medication.

Posted by: Tyro on April 17, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Best comment yet concerning the incident via Sadly, No!

note: I'm not associated with Sadly, No! in anyway, the comment, as a "shorter" doesn't play right just simply quoted.

Posted by: Simp on April 17, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK
The issue isn't so simple as "too easy access to guns" or otherwise Switzerland would be a bloodbath.

But it isn't, despite the extreme prevalence of firearms.

There's a big difference between a sufficient and a necessary condition.

Too easy access to guns is not a sufficient reason for a massacre like this to occur, but it can certainly be a necessary one for many disturbed individuals. Take away their access to tremendous firepower, and you won't have anything like the same level of violence.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

My own preferences aside, I can't see that there are real policy implications of incidents like this. This kind of killing spree is -- thank god -- a very anomalous event. It may sometimes make sense to take anomalous events into account when crafting policy, but this doesn't strike me as one of those times. I just can't imagine a successful gun policy that specifically targets mentally ill middle class students with no prior history of crime of violence. At least, no policy that isn't extremely draconian.

Posted by: Adam on April 17, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

The occasional shooting rampage is just something we have to live (and die) with as Americans.

About 13,000 people in the US are murdered with guns each year. That's about 35 per day.

What happened at Virginia Tech (33 killed by guns) happens every day in America -- it just usually happens in 30-35 different locations each day.

Yesterday's shootings were tragic, but such massacres are not an existential threat to society.

Posted by: McCord on April 17, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Does a gun license in VA require any sort of training? Seems if it takes a month to get the license, they should at least train you during that time, as one does with a driver's license. That gives the instructors time to evaluate the people that may be using guns in the future. I would assume the instructors would also need some training in recognizing potential emotional and mental problems such as this young man had but it still amazes me how easy it is to acquire something made specifically to kill, regardless if it's for self-defense or not.

Posted by: Fred on April 17, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Swedish PM Olaf Palme was gunned down in 1986. Being Sweden, the authorities still haven't found the murderer.

Posted by: daveinboca on April 17, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well, McCord, one might say similar comments about Iraq. Was it not 41 killed by a bomb blast at a university in Baghdad either yesterday or the day before? Of course, over there it is considered by some to be "progress", or more of a Frank Drebin moment of "Nothing to see - Move along".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 17, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK
That is the thesis of my assertions, Dr. M. Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.)

Well great minds think alike and all. ;-)

But in all seriousness, I wish I had a pat answer to horrible, horrible tragedies like this.

At most I can only say that the university should have immediately notified the entire campus about the presence of a shooter via cell phone calls and PA systems rather than sending an email.

That was truly irresponsible.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 17, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Osama bin Laden planned the horrible events of 9/11 - Being America, we still have not found him.

Posted by: stupid git on April 17, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Is This A Symptom of our "Chain Letter Society"?

Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on April 17, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution says that the right of the people to bear arms "shall not be infringed."

The term "arms" is there for a reason. The Founders, in their wisdom, did not limit the right of individuals to bear arms to only guns.

Every American has a unalienable Constitutional right to own, stockpile, and carry and and all weapons he or she wishes, including nuclear weapons.

The NRA will soon be expanding our highly successful lobbying efforts to ensure that all Americans have the right to own and use nuclear weapons, for self-defense.

If you are unhappy about a couple dozen students being killed because some nutcase could easily get ahold of so-called "high powered" weapons, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by: National Rifle Association on April 17, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah. The University is definitely in for a lot of scrutiny and heads are going to roll. And now, I get to jump through a lot of hoops while the University and the community college are frantically retooling their policies, and instead of research this weekend for a paper I have due, I have to sit on a panel. What will you bet that "more of the same" is what we walk away with, and my ulcer will grow larger before I get home?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus Yes, I thought that as soon as the news broke yesterday morning. Turns out that despite a shooting rampage last August with VT security people dead, the administration and campus police had no Emergency Plan worthy of the name. Not even PA or sirens to alert the campus of a security threat. Living in the mountains kind of isolates one from a sense of urgency, perhaps. In any event, elementary security precautions were not taken---the e-mail was a pathetic gesture, not a warning.

I do think that campus police, the Bburg police and the administration have more than a little accountability for what occurred.

Posted by: daveinboca on April 17, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

And yet we never, EVER hear "lock up all the men!" no matter what horrific crime any man commits. And in spite of the fact that men commit more than 90% of murders.

It's almost like we treat it like a pathology of that particular individual, rather than some divine revealed truth about "that group."

Of course, that's only when it's men. Because men are, of course, by definition normal.

Posted by: anonymous on April 17, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK
Too easy access to guns is not a sufficient reason for a massacre like this to occur, but it can certainly be a necessary one for many disturbed individuals. Take away their access to tremendous firepower, and you won't have anything like the same level of violence. Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM

That's true, but he could have chained the dorm's doors closed and set fire to it and probably killed as many or even more people.

I think that requiring people to pass a training course in gun safety and use, like we do with automobiles, would also do a great deal of good.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 17, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Fred posted the same idea earlier.

I think this really needs to be implemented and it's something that both sides of the debate should be able to support.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 17, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it would be obvious why this guy went berserk. He was an English major. They're all crazy.

Posted by: Cobb on April 17, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

My father arrived at Virginia Tech in 1957 as a foreign student from Lebanon. He went there to get a masters' degree - and VPI (as it was then called) was cheaper than the other schools he got into - see Cal Tech.

Dad lived at International House in those days, which was full of foreigners. (that's how he met my mom, a student at a nearby women's college and a Southerner of nine or ten generations)

Looking at the list of the Virginia Tech dead, and the interviews with survivors, I notice several Middle Eastern names just for a start. There are also immigrants from all the rest of the world, including the Romanian Holocaust survivor who died protecting his students.

People who hate immigrants will of course use this tragedy as an excuse to bash immigration, but Virginia Tech has a long tradition of welcoming foreign students, and of course, foreign-born students who are permanent residents or naturalized citizens.

You would have to find boxcars and send out battalions of troops to purge Virginia Tech of the non-native-born, and then you would still be left with the children of immigrants, people like me with funny names who maybe have an immigrant father. To get rid of all of them, you would have to purge people like Barack Obama. And you would have to decide which immigrants' children you're going to purge - Irish? Mexicans? English? Indians?

Oh yes, and how about all the professors who are naturalized citizens, or children of naturalized citizens with attendant "funny names"? I have a friend on the faculty at Virginia Tech who is an Arab-American, born here; his father, like mine, graduated from Virginia Tech. Shall we get rid of him, too? Probably a quarter of the faculty would have to leave.

And would such ethnic cleansing prevent future gun massacres? Not bloody likely.

Just saying. The logic of immigrant student goes crazy = get rid of immigrants really doesn't hold up.

Posted by: Leila on April 17, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Derbyshire at NRO sez that the victims were wusses for not fighting back.

You've got to be kidding me. I've never been shot at, thank goodness, but if memory serves me right, even the military can't train the instinct to take cover when shooting starts out of its soldiers.

The pathetic fantasies of Derbyshire and the rest of his dickless chickenhawk brethren to imagine that they represent soem kind of heroic ideal no one else measures up to -- despite the fact that they actively avoid the military service that would elt them prove their mettle -- hardly gives them grounds to criticize a bunch of college students facing a deadly situation they probably never imagined on the basis of some bullshit storybook idea.

Besides, these poor kids did exactly the natural thing: Take cover, and either hope the cavalry comes or bug out when they got a chance.

Memo to the Derb: I read comic books, too, but I know they're fucking fiction. Tool.

Posted by: Gregory on April 17, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote: the mayor of Nagasaki was gunned down today at a train station.

He has died. Police apparently think the assailant was Yakuza (Japanese gangster).

Of course, Derbyshire probably thinks the mayor should have just gotten all karate on the guy's ass....

Posted by: Gregory on April 17, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

People who hate immigrants will of course use this tragedy as an excuse to bash immigration

Likewise, people who support IllegalImmigration or MassiveImmigration in general will use this as an opportunity to bash those who oppose that by accusing them of trying to use the tragedy to oppose immigration in general. P.S., yes, that is a finger.

Posted by: TLB on April 17, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.): I get to jump through a lot of hoops while the University and the community college are frantically retooling their policies

Frantic? This oughta be a no-brainer. Just add the following to the Student Policy Handbook: "mass murder of fellow students on campus is expressly prohibited".

QED

Posted by: alex on April 17, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

There are vile and ignorant people everywhere, and they are not just limited to gunman on the VT campus. Unfortunately, the Internet amplifies their views and gives them broader coverage. But do not doubt that Ken Ham and Debbie Schlussel are just as evil -- yes, I mean "evil" -- in their own way.

Posted by: Gregory on April 17, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

That's true, but he could have chained the dorm's doors closed and set fire to it and probably killed as many or even more people.

But he didn't do so. There are very few cases of such mass murders being conducted via anything but guns; I guess that there's something particularly satisfying to a disturbed individual in blowing someone away with a gun.

Look, I'm making a basic common sense argument here. If you take away far too easy access to guns, you raise the barriers to engaging in such massacres. That will have the effect of diminishing their number and severity.

One of the reasons I hate the over-interpretation of these events is that it always proves feckless. Yes, we have a society particularly prone to create such individuals, and maybe that's because a) there are too many violent videogames, b) we create too many isolated alienated people, and/or c) we consider violence a solution. But who knows which if any of these solutions is correct, and can present arguments to prove it beyond serious dispute? Such appeals only distract from real solutions, instead of creating a consensus for "solving" these purported underlying problems.

My argument, though, is simple: take away the easy access to guns, that is, raise the barriers to their use, and we'll see fewer and less severe tragedies of this nature.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Just to clarify, the 3:27 post isn't me, but (I think) another Gregory.

Posted by: Gregory on April 17, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it would be obvious why this guy went berserk. He was an English major. They're all crazy.

Yeah, I'm just waiting for someone to come out and say it's creative writing that's the problem.

I just wish I were kidding.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote: the mayor of Nagasaki was gunned down today at a train station.

Hey, at least the attack wasn't nuclear.

Posted by: alex on April 17, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Leila (Dove's Eye View, I presume?) you are always spot-on. They would have to get rid of me, too. I have a funny last name and a father who immigrated as a child. Except I get a pass as a green-eyed redhead.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Switzerland?

Whenever the subject is universal health care or any other social welfare-type issues, the right always says that there is no comparison between small, homogeneous European countries and the U.S.

And yet they love to trot out Switzerland as an example of a gun-toting paradise.

Tell you what, I'll agree to universal gun ownership if you agree to unversal health care. (I'm hoping that the latter will save more lives than the former will cost.)

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on April 17, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I'm just waiting for someone to come out and say it's creative writing that's the problem.

I just wish I were kidding.

Well, Carol Iannone of NRO claims it's the spiritual malaise of English departments that's the problem. That, and co-ed dorms:


http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2007_04_15_archive.html#8250210470340828139%238250210470340828139

Posted by: bgn on April 17, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I meant to link to Leila's blog. If you aren't visiting, you should be.:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Carol Iannone of NRO claims it's the spiritual malaise of English departments that's the problem.

Once again, their reality laps my cynicism.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Tell you what, I'll agree to universal gun ownership if you agree to universal health care.

Indeed. What the right also neglect to mention is that service in the Swiss military is also mandatory. Just think how many countries we could effectively invade if every US citizen between,say, the ages of 18 and 52 was required to enlist in the National Guard?

Posted by: JM on April 17, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: Once again, their reality laps my cynicism.

Oh, just admit it - you don't have the imagination to make up anything that nutty. Alas, neither do I.

If either of us did then we could make an easy living as right-wing pundits. Ever wonder how hard those folks laugh after they get paid for writing this stuff?

Posted by: alex on April 17, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, this whole episode and the reaction to it is just sad. Everyone -- EVERYONE -- is just using it as a way to hawk their particular issue. They see their own confirmation in what happened. There is no analysis, there is no thought, there is no reflection. There is just reaction.

And it is the reason why we are doomed as a civilized nation.

Posted by: Peter on April 17, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Too easy access to guns is not a sufficient reason for a massacre like this to occur, but it can certainly be a necessary one for many disturbed individuals. Take away their access to tremendous firepower, and you won't have anything like the same level of violence. Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM

That's true, but he could have chained the dorm's doors closed and set fire to it and probably killed as many or even more people.

Yes, but he or anyone else could still do that, and there's simply no way to prevent it, but there is a way to limit (if not prevent) access to handguns.

What's worse: a situation where someone can set a fire and use a gun, or a situation where someone can only start a fire?

Posted by: Stefan on April 17, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

If it's true that we're more screwed up than the Swiss or Canadians, who also have guns, but don't murder as much as we do, what's the answer there, exactly? We could: 1)Not make changes and accept that murder is inevitable 2)Make our society less prone to violence while still offering the same access to firearms 3) Regulate firearms more tightly

1 is easy, and probably what will happen. If anyone even knows how to start to get 2 done, you should be out doing it, but I'm not holding my breath. 3 should be doable--we just lack the political will. And to my mind, 3 is the pragmatic solution. Some people may be able to handle guns, but we're too screwed up, as we prove time and time again.

Posted by: JMS on April 17, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

JMS - I opt for number 2.

I look at it like a doctor-patient relationship. When the patient is sick and you don't know what is wrong, you keep testing.

Well, society is sick, and we are the health care team.

It is time that we tried some new thinking and deal with some unpleasant realities that seem to have no qualms about dealing with us.

Hey, maybe this time, the hoofbeats are Zebras.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Count on catastrophic tragedies such as these to make the wingers, even the semi-mainstream ones, drop the masks and reveal themselves for the putrescent curs they are. (See also 9/11, Katrina, etc.)

Posted by: Wally Ballou on April 17, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

bgn,

And here I thought they might have been pushing the Kansas City Star's finest "manly" alum, Ernest Hemingway. Ah, for the unreal life of moviedom, where guns do not kill people, but screen writer's do.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 17, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Count on catastrophic tragedies such as these to make the wingers, even the semi-mainstream ones, drop the masks and reveal themselves for the putrescent curs they are. (See also 9/11, Katrina, etc.)

I think it reveals their fear, cowardice and selfishness -- the fact that deep down, they know they'd be cowering under desks wetting themselves, and that no one could count on their help, so they overcompensate with ridiculous comic-book heroic fantasies.

Posted by: Gregory on April 17, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Nice thoughtful take, TLB.

How sad to be you - hating immigrants, despising visitors, actively picking on the economically unfortunate. I hope you don't have kids. All that poison of yours would surely damage them.

Posted by: skeg on April 17, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Guess we haven't heard from eggy on this because he hasn't yet received his talking points. That, or he's down at the recruiting station, ready to kill some libruls, I mean, foreigners for the way they've made America a more violent place. The bastards.

Posted by: Kenji on April 17, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

3)) Regulate firearms more tightly

Well, actually, most states have rigorous firearms regulations, while others...maybe not so much. I think a better position is to have continuity of firearms regulations throughout the nation.
And that, truly, is about the best we can do short of stripping everyone not in law enforcement or military of all guns.

However, with all that aside, the primary problem is that no matter how many laws you have on the books...there will always be that one "determined assh#le" who is hell bent on killing to prove whatever fantastical point they're out to prove.
And, I also think we're going to have to accept the fact that some people in this world are just so f^cked up inside their heads that no amount of regulatory "don't do that!" laws is going to stop them.
The only thing left for us to do is weep, and pray that the next person who goes postal decides that their problem's are theirs and no one elses.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 17, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think scrambled egbert might have been a wee bit rattled by my PMS-fueled suggestion that he be parted out like a dead Chevy.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK
Likewise, people who support IllegalImmigration or MassiveImmigration [...]

I assume that your clever ramming together of words and use of internal capitalization is to imply that you are using these terms as some kind of "trade name" and not in the usual sense of the words.

Or is it just that—ironically, given your obsessive nativism—you have no command of the language of this country?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 17, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

...given your obsessive nativism—you have no command of the language of this country?

When there is a choice, I always vote for the ironic.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK
And yet we never, EVER hear "lock up all the men!" no matter what horrific crime any man commits. And in spite of the fact that men commit more than 90% of murders.

I think you are thinking too small: the refrain you do hear—though in cleverly obfuscated language—is to lock up all the humans, who create exactly 100% of all crime. Now, as I said, no one actually says "lock up all the humans", instead, they suggest intrusive policies which deny practical freedom to the nominally free in the name of "security".

Posted by: cmdicely on April 17, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

As TLB replies, "Si", if truth were known.

And I can recall another Cho family from Korea - Father came to the Seattle in the 60s - Had been a ROK soldier - His uncle had begun purchasing property along a highway which became sort of a motel row - Cho, married, and started managing a motel for his uncle - He and his wife lived on the premises, and, I seriously doubt, ever slept more than 4 or 5 consecutive hours a day during a week - Cleaning, renting, cleaning, fixing, etc.

However, all of this work paid in being able to send two sons through the University of Washington, where they both received their Master's Degrees and one has been with Boeing for years. They, now, own many parcels of real estate in the Seattle area.

Say, Si, once again, TLB.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 17, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I assume that your clever ramming together of words and use of internal capitalization

The use of internal caps only with no initial cap is sometimes a sign of a computer programer who programs in java or, if older, c++. That is the convention for those programming languages.

Posted by: Tripp on April 17, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

or, if older, c++.

A knife to my heart!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK
Just think how many countries we could effectively invade if every US citizen between,say, the ages of 18 and 52 was required to enlist in the National Guard?

Fewer than we do now: if very few American citizens felt that matters of war and peace were a simply an opportunity to cheer for their favorite team with no personal risk or cost, the US wouldn't be able to invade nearly as many countries as it is inclined to under the status quo arrangement, where consideration of the costs of war occurs only on the fringes until the body bags start piling up with benefit warranting the cost.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 17, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Tim McVeigh killed five times as many people without a single bullet using stuff you can buy at the hardware store.

What happened yesterday is a fraction of the death toll you see on many days in Iraq, no guns involved all too often there as well.

I'd rather not bicker about the various tools we use kill each other as they're numerous and we'll never get rid of them all. Ordinarily I'd be up for a barn burner of a gun control argument...but I'm pretty much feeling what Kevin is feeling.

I'd rather just discuss what ails the human heart that leads to this kind of thing. Poverty? Religion? Mental illness? I dunno.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 17, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Sebastian, I think you are right. These quick-fix summations, which seek isolate single causes, are actually part of the problem in a society that has lost its taste for complicated thinking.

Posted by: Kenji on April 17, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

"...seek to isolate single causes", that should have read.

Posted by: Kenji on April 17, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

sheerahkhan: Well, actually, most states have rigorous firearms regulations...

Hmmm...I was thinking that it used to be that way. Several years ago, I read that the NRA had adopted a sneaky little advocacy approach that involved lobbying individual states to amend/change their state constitutions so as to reduce rigorous firearms regulations, or to make regulations more difficult to enact statewide.

If memory serves, it was those state-level efforts that eventually led to so many states adopting concealed carry laws.

Posted by: JM on April 17, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

JM,
I would agree which is why I would advocate a continuous (read: it's the same law, state by state) for regulations. As I come to understand, one state may be stringent in it's gun laws, while the neighboring state has lax gun laws with "don't tell us where you're from, and we won't ask you either" gun fairs.
btw: I'm not a big fan of the NRA. They have good programs and classes, but their political advocacy leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 17, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't so simple as "too easy access to guns" or otherwise Switzerland would be a bloodbath.

1) Uh, Switzerland *is* a bloodbath. Check the levels of domestic gun violence, which rival that of only the US.

2) Hand guns are very difficult to come by in die Schweiz (IIRC, you have to be an officer in the reserves), so you don't see as much gun violence outside the home (compared to the US).

Well, that's all for me on this thread; I don't feel like playing whack-a-mole for the rest of the day with gun-nutty distortion of facts.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Twenty years ago I lived in West Ambler Johnston and had classes in Norris Hall. I'm deeply heartsick about this. I'm not sure what the answer is, I don't like guns and don't see the need for widespead gun ownership but I don't think advocating for guns bans are effective.

Those who say he would just set the place on fire? The entire campus is built of stone -- Dolomite from the local Quarries and mostly cinderblock walls inside. My god if an F5 tornado ever came to VA Tech, I think the buildings would still be standing.

Posted by: HokieAnnie on April 17, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, so I lied. One more take-down:

That's true, but he could have chained the dorm's doors closed and set fire to it and probably killed as many or even more people.

Ya gotta wonder -- if fire, knives, bottles of bleach, ninja kicks -- are all so damn efficient at killing people, why, oh, why do both psychos and the NRA (assuming there is a difference) prefer to use guns?

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, Sebastian, I think you are right. These quick-fix summations, which seek isolate single causes, are actually part of the problem in a society that has lost its taste for complicated thinking."

Nothing's harder it seems than looking at the evil in the hearts of man; it's not just complicated, it's ugly and it's a lot more comfortable to blame politicians, laws, the cops, etc. than ourselves.

Disputo, try to show some class.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 17, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian, would you do me the favor of reading this?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting and challenging read, thanks! I'll make some comments a little later.

I agree with the general sentiment--everybody maintain decorum and take ten deep breaths so we can get a rational handle on this.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 17, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

"What do you say now, Virginia?"

I'll go with "Come down here and say that, cocksucker."

Posted by: Brian on April 17, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State wrote: "Sebastian, would you do me the favor of reading this?"

I read it.

Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a gun-saturated society, especially my fellow lefties.

Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a racist society, especially my fellow lefties.

Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a sexist society, especially my fellow lefties.

Everyone needs to accept that fact that we are a fossil-fuel-dependent society, especially my fellow lefties.

Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a militaristic society, especially my fellow lefties.

Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a society run by and for the ultra-rich to the detriment of everyone else, especially my fellow lefties.

Et cetera.

I recognize that a large number of my fellow Americans have a sick fascination with guns, to the extent that it is something of a national mental illness -- an illness which takes a very large toll in deaths of innocents, not only in the big shooting sprees that make national headlines like VA Tech, but the ongoing shooting spree that takes lives every day in every city in America (not to mention the ongoing shooting spree in which heavily armed humans slaughter helpless animals for "sport").

I don't "accept" it. Why should I?

Melt the guns,
melt the guns,
never more to fire them.
-- XTC

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 17, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm one of those bloodthirsty thugs, then, because I harvest a couple of deer every fall. (Kinda necessary when the top predators are gone).

And guns are not going to go away. So do we yell at one another, or do we try to work on the social ills?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Using it as an excuse for all-purpose foaming-at-the-mouth bigotry, on the other hand, is just vomit-inducing."

But using it to garner lucre is okay, right?

Posted by: Brian on April 17, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote: "I guess I'm one of those bloodthirsty thugs, then, because I harvest a couple of deer every fall. (Kinda necessary when the top predators are gone)."

There's more too it than that, such as the efforts by every state "wildlife management agency" in the country over decades to ensure (in part by deliberately killing off the natural predators) that there would be an overabundance of white-tailed deer and other preferred "game animals" for "sport hunters" to "harvest" every year. That's what "wildlife" is "managed" for -- not for the well-being of the animals or for ecological balance, but to ensure an overpopulation of deer and a bountiful "harvest" for the sport hunters. Keeps the money for all those hunting licenses coming in.

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare organizations have demonstrated that deer populations can be controlled using non-lethal methods. But that would take away all the fun of killing them with high-powered rifles, doesn't it? Not to mention the mega-millions of dollars of profit to the hunting industry.

BGRS wrote: "And guns are not going to go away."

I don't know that that's true, and I see no reason why I should cease doing whatever I can to bring about the day when the prevalance of guns in America is a weird bit of ancient history that children shake their heads in sad disbelief about when they learn of it in history classes.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 17, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Guns do need to be a lot more tightly regulated. Hunting rifles -- ok, but no one but the cops and the military have good reasons for having handguns or assault rifles. Re. the objection that there will still be other ways to kill lots of innocent people: Stefan @ 3:54 and Disputo @ 5:37 have already taken care of that point.

Beyond that, I agree with Blue Girl and Dr. Morpheus: there's some cultural virus contributing to these out-of-the-blue mass murders (killing sprees that aren't part of wars or terrorist campaigns). But it's broader than just American culture.

We've had two of these mass murders at Canadian universities, both in Montreal, and most other mass murders that I've heard of outside North America were in English-speaking countries -- the UK and Australia (the only exception I know of is a mass murder in Erfurt, Germany).

That suggests that there's something in the culture, carried via English-speaking media, that's tipping boderline people over in this terrible way. What, specifically, is it? Violence in the media? Or maybe the amount of malice and hate that our media spew forth in everything from political commentary to comedy? I wish I knew.

For an interesting perspective into the kind of evil that leads to these killings, I recommend a post by Hilzoy @ Obsidian Wings.

Posted by: otherpaul on April 17, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell:

4. If gun laws would have been more or less strict is moot. Such a determined person will follow through with this plan no matter the cost. Stricter gun laws did not save the mayor of Tokyo.

your big difference, of course, is that the Mayor of Nagasaki (who I assume you are referring to here) was assassinated by a member of an organized crime family, not a crazy college student. see the difference?

Posted by: northzax on April 17, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not an idealist. I see GSW's on a regular basis. I abhor gun violence. But realistically, we are not going to be able to get rid of all guns. It's simply folly to think that is an achievable end in a free country. (Or what we attempt to pass off as one these days.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

If the Dems go for Gun Control they will quickly lose the majority.

Posted by: vampire77666 on April 17, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's how the party that gave electricity to the countryside lost the children and grandchildren of the recipients of electricity.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure what to make of this:

Earlier this morning, a single spent rifle shell round was discovered on the sidewalk near the entrance to the house [where the parents of the shooter live]. After the discovery, by news cameramen, police immediately moved reporters back and took the round away for investigation.

So either:

1) some gun nut has already decided to go after the kid's family, or

2) VA luvs demselves guns so much, that you can't walk down a sidewalk without stepping on a spent shell.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK
I'm not an idealist. I see GSW's on a regular basis. I abhor gun violence. But realistically, we are not going to be able to get rid of all guns. It's simply folly to think that is an achievable end in a free country.

That's true, but that doesn't mean there aren't sensible regulatory steps that could be taken that don't undercut basic freedom. OTOH, the kind of things that usually get proposed as kneejerk reactions—or, rather, that are the daily bread-and-butter of extremists on the issue that tragedies get exploited to sell—aren't particularly helpful.

Still, from both a practical and Constitutional standpoint, I'm a lot happier with the federal government have a minimal and secondary role, with states taking the lead role here. The particular balancing of issues is different enough from state to state to warrant different approaches, and the states ought to be free to pursue that.


It's how the party that gave electricity to the countryside lost the children and grandchildren of the recipients of electricity.

Well, I'd say that not effectively responding to exaggerations and outright lies is more important there than substantive policy, both on gun control and whole range of other issues.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 17, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, Chris. There are common sense measures that can be taken that do have an impact.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Forget about the implications of gun control for awhile. Think of this: the worst school *killings* were committed by an guy protesting *taxes* back in 1927. This is something to throw at arrogant righties complaining about Cho's gripes against rich kids, or that if everyone there had a gun they could have stopped him (our local ex-marine talk show host at WNIS 790 pointed out that many could die in a cross fire from untrained kids at that time, and in fights before such a tragedy), or Cho's having an Islamic-themed "Ismael Axe" tattoo on his arm ,etc:

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~bauerle/disaster.htm

On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

The Bath School disaster is the name given to not one but three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, USA, on May 18, 1927, which killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in second to sixth grades attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe, who was upset by a property tax that had been levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm. These events apparently provoked Kehoe to plan his attack.
...

tyrannogenius

Posted by: Neil B. on April 17, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

"What do you say now, Virginia?"
I'll go with "Come down here and say that, cocksucker."
Posted by: Brian on April 17, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Guess what, Brian?

Virginia lost the civil war. Virginia was laid waste, turned into a massive killing ground, and the Confederacy died a horrible death there, bringing shame and horror upon hundreds of thousands who lived there.

Virginia has nothing to be proud of. The sooner Northern Virginia separates itself from the hayseed/redneck mentality you espouse with your weak and ineffectual little "come down here and say that" comment the better.

Brian, you're a gun loving weakling.

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

There are common sense measures that can be taken that do have an impact.

How about preventing people diagnosed with mental disorders from legally purchasing guns? Can we at least agree on that?

I cannot believe that a kid on meds for a mental disorder can legally buy semi-automatic weapons. Do they also sell dynamite to 1st graders?

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Do you need my address? Let me know when you'll be here, I'll have the medics standing by to attend to you.

No homoerotic encounters are really desired, sport.

For someone who is supposed to represent the Old Dominion, you sound like a hothead who is ready to pop off and commit violence. You sound like yet another slackjawed idiot with guns and testosterone and very little ability to think through a situation. And you like to make threats. This makes you a tough dude, fer sure. Or at least you are on a comment thread.

Yeah. You're a Virginian. That's for damned sure. Love how your guns flood NYC and kill people and then-bang! In an instant, the world sees what a shithole your state is for taunting NYC with your Bloomberg gun raffles and shit.

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, put Sebastians rant back up.

He's such a redneck. We should see the redneck in all of his glory, taunting and bullying and mad but unable to think clearly.

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Great. It looks like the mods also deleted my response to the gun nut Sebastian's violent threat.

All I wish to repeat is the catch-22 with guns: the people who love guns the most are precisely the ones who should be prevented from owning guns.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

How about preventing people diagnosed with mental disorders from legally purchasing guns? Can we at least agree on that?

It sounds good, but if you pass lots of laws saying that people diagnosed with mental disorders can't do this or that, one very major effect is that people who need help won't go for fear of becoming a legal pariah not allowed to do the things normal adults do.

If someone signs up for some Paxil or Zoloft from their family practitioner, what rights do you think they should lose? The person in question hadn't actually been committed or declared incompetent.

Posted by: eeyn524 on April 17, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

It sounds good, but if you pass lots of laws saying that people diagnosed with mental disorders can't do this or that, one very major effect is that people who need help won't go for fear of becoming a legal pariah not allowed to do the things normal adults do.

The solution to that is simple. Make it proactive, instead of reactive -- ie, in order to be a licensed gun owner, you have to prove that you are mentally competent by actually undergoing an exam.

That mental competency isn't a baseline requirement for owning firearms is ridiculous.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

This shit is political. It is political as anything else.

When the President reaffirmed the Second Amendment within hours of the shootings, without bothering to tell everyone that it was a wink and a fucking nod to his fucking NRA buddies, it became political.

Let Sebastian explain how Bush and McCain didn't make this political when they REASSURED the NRA and REAFFIRMED the fact that they support the Second Amendment.

Classy move, that was. It said, don't worry rednecks and gun lovers-we still want your campaign $$$

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

The solution to that is simple. Make it proactive, instead of reactive -- ie, in order to be a licensed gun owner, you have to prove that you are mentally competent by actually undergoing an exam.

I think this idea seems good only because deep down you don't want anyone to have a gun anyway. If it was some privilege/right/permit that you personally cared about, I seriously doubt you'd want to have to prove your sanity to some local functionary as a prerequisite.

Posted by: eeyn524 on April 17, 2007 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, that would work for the legal weapons - but we are up to our eyeballs in cheap, throwaway weapons. That hardware ain't going away, so we need to apply some fresh thinking to dealing with the chronic nature of the problems that fuel the pathology on the social level.

(I was going to give it 72 hours myself before I jumped on the way VA openly mocks the states and cities that attempt to hold VA and their lax gun laws that allow for the unimpeded flow of street guns.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think competency tests would have helped here. They generally check for intellectual capacities (e.g., ability to understand some information about a proposed treatment and to appreciate the foreseeable results of accepting or rejecting the treatment).

They're not so good at checking for disorders in 'affect' such as depression or the apathy, anger, etc. that might go with it. Lots of depressed people meet the legal standards for competency.

Posted by: otherpaul on April 17, 2007 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, eeyn524, I didn't realize that you were a concern troll. I won;t bother you in the future.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

I should have added taht I was going to wait 72 hours and then Bush and McCain both opened their fetid maws.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, that would work for the legal weapons - but we are up to our eyeballs in cheap, throwaway weapons.

Well, you know what? Forcing Cho to overcome the hurdle of finding and acquiring an illegal gun may very well have saved the lives of 32 people yesterday.

I'm sick and tired of the "anyone who really wants a gun will just get one anyway, so we should all just suck our thumbs and do nothing". Do you lock your doors at night? Why, on heaven's earth would you bother -- after all, anyone who really wants to break in will just break down the door.

The issue is not prevention, it is deterrence.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is why I don't blog responsibly anymore.

Posted by: Some perspective for you on April 17, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't say we should "just suck out thumbs and do nothing." I said we have to deal with the reality of the pervasive nature of illegal weapons while we work diligently on the social issues.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, a concern troll would be someone who pretended to agree with you at some level. I don't.

Having the government give ordinary people sanity tests is generally not a good thing. On this thread alone, you've claimed threats that the rest of us can't see; and shown a bit of unwarranted hostility. A sanity tester who wasn't particularly on your side might decide that's evidence enough to turn down your request for, say, permission to adopt children, own a rifle, drive something larger than a pickup truck, etc.

Posted by: eeyn524 on April 17, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

They're not so good at checking for disorders in 'affect' such as depression or the apathy, anger, etc. that might go with it. Lots of depressed people meet the legal standards for competency.

This is out of my area of expertise, but I am under the impression that police officers have to undergo such screenings. If those screenings are not tight enough, then tighten them, and use them to screen gun owners. Simple.

I'm not going to agree to throw in the towel just because we haven't gotten it right yet.

Anyway, I'm going to bed early tonight. I just hope that the violent threats from gun nuts on this thread stop. Then we can figure out what to do outside our little universe.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

eeyn sez in response to my proposal:

It sounds good

then sez:

a concern troll would be someone who pretended to agree with you at some level. I don't.

You're busted dude. Thanks for playing.

Btw, typical for a gun nut to deny that another gun nut would make a violent threat. There are other posters who saw it, if you are interested in confirmation, which you are of course not, since you are a concern troll.

In fact, you sound alot like said gun nut to me.

I ask the moderators to investigate whether they are being played again.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Am I a 'gun nut'? I am a responsible gun owner who wants no part of being charged with responding like Instahack would have it. My guns are legal and registered and maintained, every time they are fired. I have never fired a weapon in anger, or even gone to a range to "blow off steam." I hunt deer. (I usually take one with a bow too.) Am I a gun nut to be feared?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

I won't even fire at paper targets with people on them.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I should have used italics:

It sounds good.

Posted by: eeyn524 on April 17, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

And I don't own any firearms. However, I don't think my friends that do are "nuts".

Posted by: eeyn524 on April 17, 2007 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

I promise this is the last for me tonight, but I wanted to respond quickly to BGRS.

You certainly do not sound like a gun nut to me. I have no problem with responsible people owning firearms. And I have no* problem with hunting.

* Well, some problems, largely dealing with environmental impacts, which are not worth mentioning in this context.

Posted by: Disputo on April 17, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, we're cool. this is an issue where I usually manage to piss off everyone. So I am probably right.:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

The county where I hunt, something like 65% of auto insurance claims involve deer. (I once encountered an entire herd of deer and killed three and nearly me up there...On a Friday the 13th.) We have taken the top predators out of the equation, and hunting is the only balance there is.

Deer are giant, tasty rodents.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 17, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

To my understanding, it's conservatively estimated that there are 200 million privately owned guns in the US. There are, by a considerable margin, more deaths by gunshot per capita in America than anywhere else in the world, including war zones & failed states. Constitutional rights, NRA lobbying & gun nuttery aside, as far as I understand it, most of those 200 million gun owners would be EXTREMELY reluctant to surrender their weapons. Even in the extreme unlikelihood that very restrictive measures were introduced tomorrow limiting the purchase of new weapons, the US would still remain armed to the teeth for the forseeable future.

Given the improbability of reducing the number of guns already in the country & the political unwillingness to limit the purchase of new weapons, what about the suggestion to more strictly control the sale of ammunition, particularly for automatic weapons?

I've got no particular dog in this fight - Australia has very strict & effective gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre (1 gunman, 35 dead). I'm glad about that, (the gunlaws I mean -not that our worst gunman killed more than yours) but it seems to me that in the US gun-ownership is already so incredibly widespread that people need to think of other ways of limiting that massive arsenal's danger. Nationally policing the sale of bullets seems like something do-able. Anyway, it's just a suggestion...(don't shoot!)

Regards

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on April 18, 2007 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

...yawn...

I see the moderation is picking up around here. Funny how the keyboard tough guys don't like getting called on their shyte, isn't it? Pretty easy to call someone a "weakling" and a "redneck" from the comfy confines of a keyboard.

I like how somebody said I was from Virginia, a redneck, and represented Virginia. As anyone who's bothered to do the clicking on PGP knows...I'm from Maryland, where the strict gun control laws you guys want have done so much to make MD safe...such that we're the second most violent state in the Union (thanks Louisiana for keeping us out of the cellar year in and year out...you are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to our Baltimore Orioles!).

Meanwhile...hundreds blown up in Iraq. Massacres are the rule, not the exception in many places in the world, and they don't require guns.

So keep beating the gun control drum you maroons...it'll a) do nothing to stop massacres (Tim McVeigh was unavailable for comment, but I think he'd concur) and b) make sure the Repuglicans are back in power soon.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 18, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo wrote: "Make it proactive, instead of reactive -- ie, in order to be a licensed gun owner, you have to prove that you are mentally competent by actually undergoing an exam."

I agree. Anyone who wants to own a gun should have his or her head examined. I think the desire to own a device that has absolutely no other purpose than killing is prima facie evidence of mental illness, so anyone who wants to buy a gun should have the burden of proving that he or she is not insane.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State wrote: "I hunt deer. (I usually take one with a bow too.) Am I a gun nut to be feared?"

Yes, you are, since you openly admit to killing helpless animals for the fun of it. And bow-hunting is even more senselessly cruel than hunting with guns. Anyone who enjoys killing and inflicting cruelty on helpless creatures like that is certainly a "nut" to be "feared".

BGRS wrote: "The county where I hunt, something like 65% of auto insurance claims involve deer ... We have taken the top predators out of the equation, and hunting is the only balance there is."

First of all, the predators have deliberately been "taken out of the equation" over many decades, due to so-called "wildlife management" policies whose purpose is to ensure an "overpopulation" of deer and other desirable "game species" so that there will be a bountiful "harvest" every year for sport hunters to slaughter. This isn't something that just happened by accident. It is a direct result of the policies of state "wildlife management" agencies whose purpose is to promote the multi-billion dollar sport hunting industry -- not to "manage" wildlife populations for the well-being of the animals or for ecological balance, but to "manage" them to ensure the profits of the sport hunting industry.

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare organizations have demonstrated that deer populations can be controlled through non-lethal means, and that sport hunting is an ineffective way of limiting deer populations.

Second, it is interesting that people who offer such statistics about the growing number of collisions between deer and cars always seem to blame it on the deer -- and never on the rapid growth in the number of cars on the road, or the growing human populations who encroach on the long-time habitat of the deer and force them to move into areas inhabited by humans, and their cars.

I suppose that to you, statistics showing an increase in human fatalities from humans being hit by cars would be an argument that we should legalize sport hunting of humans, or perhaps hire sharpshooters, to reduce the excess human population.

BFRS wrote: "Deer are giant, tasty rodents."

Deer are not, in fact, rodents. In fact, humans are more closely related to rodents than are deer. And if you are using "rodent" as a euphemism for "vermin", that's ironic since the human species is behaving a lot more like "vermin" despoiling the Earth than are either deer or rodents. Deer and rodents are not the ones who are driving the exinction of half or more of all species on Earth within the next few decades and destroying the very capacity of the Earth to support life.

Deer are intelligent, sensitive beings who have every bit as much right to live as you do. Of course, what you have that they don't is high-powered weaponry that allows you to slaughter them for fun. That's why you can sneer at them like that. If they could defend themselves, you might show some more respect. It's always easier to sneer at and insult those who are weaker than you and defenseless against you.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian-PGP: So keep beating the gun control drum you maroons ... make sure the Repuglicans are back in power soon.

That's a non sequitur. Opinion polls conducted by Gallup since 1990 consistently show that the majority of Americans want stricter laws controlling gun purchases. The lowest level of support for stricter gun laws found by Gallup since 1990 was 51 percent. The average is 62 percent favoring stricter laws.

The majority of Americans want stronger gun control. The will of the majority of Americans is thwarted by cynical and/or cowardly politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who are either bought and paid for by, or cower in fear of, the ultra-rich NRA (which does not represent gun owners, but is a lobbying organization for the wealthy and powerful small arms industry).

But just like Bush bootlickers will keep on saying, despite the evidence from numerous opinion polls to the contrary, that Americans support Bush's disastrous, corrupt and incompetent conduct of the war in Iraq and that the Democrats risk political defeat if they stand up to Bush, proponents of a laissez faire approach to guns will keep on pretending that the majority of Americans are opposed to stronger gun control laws and that support for gun control risks political defeat, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

The majority of Americans want politicians to stand up to the fat cats of the NRA and the small arms industry, just as they want Democrats to stand up to Bush.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

For your wingnut-taunting pleasure, a link to
the Regent University campus gun policy

Obviously they're a bunch of gun-grabbing comsymp pinkos. Who knew?

Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on April 18, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Dude - I'm not a fucking idiot. I know they are ruminants. Lighten up.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

And you lost the heartland with that reactionary "you're a nut" rhetoric before. That helped us get to this end, you know.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

By the way - I detest the NRA, they do not speak for me, and I want sensible measures put in place. But everyone needs to realize that guns are a symptom of a larger systemic social ill.

you can twitter on about how things ought to be, or you can deal with reality. I prefer the latter approach myself.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

I confess to throwing that rodent non sequitur in there just to make you jump up and down. I was not disappointed.:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

" Opinion polls conducted by Gallup since 1990 consistently show that the majority of Americans want stricter laws controlling gun purchases. The lowest level of support for stricter gun laws found by Gallup since 1990 was 51 percent. The average is 62 percent favoring stricter laws." - SecularAnimist


You go with that and see how fast the independents stop backing the Dem's slight majority.

If you going to start taking guns away please start with the secret service and capitol police.

Posted by: vampire77666 on April 18, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote: And you lost the heartland with that reactionary "you're a nut" rhetoric before.

I don't know what you are talking about -- "I" lost the "heartland"?

I despise sport hunting. I have nothing but contempt for sport hunting. I'm not some craven politician like John Kerry, posturing and posing with a rifle, trying to get the votes of "red state" NRA-brainwashed Bush supporters by pretending to be "one of them" by shooting at some helpless animals. I'm just a human being and a citizen expressing my opinions. I'm not trying to win anybody's votes. I'm a voter. Politicians who want my vote need to take the positions that I want them to take, with regard to gun control or anything else. I don't need to take the positions that I imagine somebody or other in the "heartland" would vote for.

And, by the way, if the "heartland" means "where most Americans live", then the "heartland" is the cities and suburbs, where substantial majorities don't kill animals for "sport" and do favor stronger gun control laws.

BGRS wrote: "But everyone needs to realize that guns are a symptom of a larger systemic social ill."

The infatuation with guns is itself a systemic social ill that afflicts this country. I'm all for changing that. Guns suck. Spread the word.

BGRS wrote: "you can twitter on about how things ought to be, or you can deal with reality."

When the way things are is not the way things ought to be, the way to deal with that reality is not to accept it, but to change it.

BGRS wrote: "I confess to throwing that rodent non sequitur in there just to make you jump up and down."

I see. You confess to being a troll. Fine. Have fun. Why stop at making me "jump up and down" with speciesist sneers about deer? Think how much fun you could have making lots more people "jump up and down" by writing things like "blacks are lazy" or "Mexicans are thieves" or "women are too weak-minded to vote".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

vampire77666 wrote: "If you going to start taking guns away please start with the secret service and capitol police."

Behold the mighty NRA's brainwashing at work.

I wrote "stricter laws controlling gun purchases".

You immediately translate that to "taking guns away".

Are you really that weak-minded and easily manipulated by the gun industry lobby, or are you being deliberately dishonest?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State: Okay, we're cool. this is an issue where I usually manage to piss off everyone. So I am probably right.:)

Joe? Joe Klein? Is that you?

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Law abiding people do not go on rampages.
We already have laws that infringe on the 2nd amendment.
I am smart enough to know that the war on terror has weakened our rights already and you are willing to help destroy the complete bill of rights with a knee jerk reaction.

By the looks of this VA tech mess there were plenty of red flags this guy raised and yet you are ignoring all that and trying to use this tragedy to further your agenda.

Guess what I am not a member of the NRA but you just believe those polls and team up with Schumer for an all out assault on the bill of rights.

Posted by: Vampire77666 on April 18, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'll get you for that Stefan...

And SA - I'll give you "You" didn't lose the heartland, and you admit I didn't personally extinct the top predators so it would be a cakewalk for me to kill Bambi's mom. Aldo Leopold was covering that topic 30 years before I drew my first breath.

As to the heartland - the people here - where rural people own guns responsibly - will have more than their fair share of weight in elections as long as we have an electoral college, and the Senate will always be equal.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, I don't like anyone telling me how to live and passing moral judgments on personal choices, no matter where on the political spectrum they fall. I-know-what's-best-for-you tut-tutting cranks always piss me off, be they righties or lefties.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Gun ownership and having a large standing military embody American attitudes that are similiar. Both attitudes assume that those responsible for these wespons will use them morally and lawfully. Americans have a righteous ability to kill with moral authority, whether it is the individual or the nation actin out the violence. Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) understands this, and is why she thinks it is politically untenable to make electoral issues of either gun control or ending our foreign policy as the world's policeman. She may be correct, but it does not (Pat Alert) bring us closer to the New Jerusalem, which is a metaphor for making the US a better place to live and a better member of the familiy of nations that SecularAnimist, in my opinion, is arguing for. The clash of electoral reality and ideal desire meets here in comments. The mass murder at VT and the daily mass murders in Iraq ought to remind us that our national character needs improving and that we do not have a political ability to make those improvements.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State wrote: "I-know-what's-best-for-you tut-tutting cranks always piss me off, be they righties or lefties."

I agree, people who make "I-know-what's-best-for-you" comments piss me off too. Like for example:

"Everyone needs to accept the fact that we are a gun-saturated society, especially my fellow lefties."

Imagine that, some "tut-tutting crank" lecturing "everyone" (especially "lefties") about what they "need to" accept.

Doesn't that just piss you off?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo wrote that he thinks that BGRS thinks that "... it is politically untenable to make electoral issues of either gun control or ending our foreign policy as the world's policeman."

Whatever. Like I said, I'm not running for office. I'm a voter. Politicians who want my vote would do well to "make electoral issues of" both "gun control" and "ending our foreign policy as the world's policeman" (and a corrupt "policeman" at that).

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Seminal Anal-cyst:

Imagine that, some "tut-tutting crank" lecturing "everyone" (especially "lefties") about what they "need to" accept.

As proven here, you're the fringest of the fringe lefties, falling somewhere farther to the left of Che Guevara and Jane Fonda.

Guns are intrinsic to the American experience. You cannot live in large swaths of the American west without owning a gun with which to protect yourself from bears, cheetahs, wolves and rampaging elk. In the Northeast where I live, there are moose that wander down out of Maine--vicious animals that eat people after they stomp them to death. If you hit a moose with your vehicle, you are all but certainly dead (especially if we all start driving hybrids).

What's more, you're no one to lecture as to who is and who is not a crank. In fact, there are only a handful of liberals who post here that are regularly regurgitating the Communist Party manifesto and the Green Party platform and the Hugo Chavez rules for partying naked with state own property and that would be you, sir.

And finally--try and separate the legitimate control of handguns, which I support fully in urban areas, and the legitimate ownership of properly regulated firearms. Any sensible person knows that, when you arrived in town in the old West, you turned in your handguns, lest you be tempted to shoot the other drunks who made fun of the fact that you had just peed on your best pair of boots while scooting on your butt down an unpaved street. Now, good day, sir.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 18, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there is an exact parallel between pointing out an immutable fact and passing moral judgments on everyone who disagrees with you.

*Whatever*

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there is an exact parallel between pointing out an immutable fact and passing moral judgments on everyone who disagrees with you.

Sir, that's just her hormones talking. When she actually starts passing judgement, the paint will blister and fall from the walls behind you. I've been on the receiving end of it, and that's why I step gingerly around the Hormonal Citizen. Word has it, she gets miffed from time to time.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 18, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I vote in a similar way SecularAnimist, for the candidate that best represents my views. Despite whatever accusations DLC enforcers attempt to insult me with.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Peace people

We love you

Posted by: HelloWorld on April 18, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote: "... passing moral judgments on everyone who disagrees with you."

I never pass "moral judgment" on anyone. I don't even know what a "moral judgment" is.

I despise "sport hunting" and hold it in contempt. It is nothing but cruelty to animals for fun -- and this is especially true of bow hunting.

There are a very few human beings who feel absolutely no compassion or empathy towards their fellow human beings. Other human beings are just objects to them. They are incapable of putting themselves in the place of another person, of imaginging what it feels like to experience what another person is experiencing. Some of these people go on to become mass murderers or serial killers. They are often called "sociopaths" but I understand that the correct technical term is "psychopath".

This attitude towards other human beings is, fortunately, rare. Unfortunately, such a "sociopathic" attitude towards non-human animals -- a complete absence of empathy, a complete inability to recognize that animals are sentient beings who have the capacity to suffer, a feeling that they are merely objects to be killed or abused for amusement -- is all too common.

That's my opinion. I said nothing about any "moral judgment", whatever that means.

And as to "immutable facts", something that is "immutable" is something that cannot be changed. You say that we live in a "gun-saturated society". I agree that is a fact. I don't agree that it is "immutable" -- unchangeable. I believe that it can be changed, and eventually will be changed -- that the uniquely American mental illness of gun worship, which was founded in the use of guns by European invaders to commit genocide against the
indigenous people of the Americas, will eventually wither and die.

Perhaps you don't believe it can ever be changed. Perhaps you would prefer that it never be changed. If that's the case, then say so.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

SA--

Eleanor Roosevelt packed heat. Was she insane?

Nothing particularly liberal or progressive about looking at 80mil plus law abiding Americans (a group that includes progressives like me) and making a mass, sweeping, bigoted, and faux-psychiatric hate-filled generalization like "you're all insane."

In any event, Gallup polls don't make laws and policies. Of the people who favor more gun control laws, a significant majority don't make gun control their number one priority or really even have it cracking their top ten. Sure, they'll answer a poll the way you want them to but they're not going to decide their vote over it.

On the other hand, people who take the RKBA seriously generally consider it a dispositive issue and frequently their only issue. So you have about half the country thinking we already have enough or too much gun control, and believe that's the number one issue that decides their vote, and on the hand half the people who think sure, have more gun control...but don't make it a priority the way we "gun nuts" do. It's 90% of one half versus 10% of the other half.

Even Bill Clinton said the AWB was his biggest legislative regret; nobody really thinks gun control is anything but a liability for Dems who studies the issue for even a moment.

Look at the freshman Senators who helped the Dems retake the Senate this past election...Tester, Casey, Webb.

I had the pleasure of attending a Sarah Brady press conference last fall in the election season. The only people who showed up were me and the NRA News reporter Ginny Simone. It was funny...and sad. But at least I'm on a first name basis with her press director guy Peter Hamm. He's a swell dude (and he certainly doesn't think all gun owners are insane, btw--he'd side with me in that regard).

Gun control kills Dems. Saying otherwise is arguing that the sky is red. Period.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 18, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Very nice comment Sabastian-PGP. I understand your points and are similar to why I did not let Dean's gun control policies bother me. Please forgive my snark.

Guns kill people. Saying otherwise is arguing that shooting victims' blood does not run red.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Uhm...what? Did you have a point? Post again when sober.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 18, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently you did not understand I was agreeing with your point of view that Democrats do not need the gun control plank in their platform and pointed out Dean's campaign was gun owner friendly yet still considered liberal and progressive. Still, guns are made for killing, my point about the blood. We have no use for them if we are going to live together. There are more important issues in politics right now. I also think Amreica has too many gun owners to ban guns. The problem needs to be reframed to reducing gun violence, because guns are going to be part of our landscape for a very long time.

Posted by: Brojo on April 19, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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