Silly People, Only Liberals Need To Be Informed!

Lately, a lot of gun nuts and trolls have been trying to derail the topic of gun control by making the claim that gun control advocates know nothing about guns, so they are unqualified to weigh in on the topic.  Even “well meaning liberals” have fallen into the trap of taking their B.S. seriously.  I recently posted about this on my eponymous blog, but didn’t post it here because I didn’t want to “step on” Vixen Strangely’s tribute to Sen. Daniel Inouye.  One benefit of working the graveyard shift is that it allows one to post when decent people are asleep or drunk… so here’s my rant about gun fetishists:

Have you ever read something by an author you generally respect that seems a little bit off?  In a recent column, James Fallows posts a letter from a reader who is a gun enthusiast, and the result is a pissed-off Bastard. 

I’ll post a couple of excerpts from this letter, then go on my tirade. 

Anyway, here are some selected bits from a concerned gun owner:

I have been getting in trouble with many of my friends for asking them to think about what is politically possible, actually effective and might find agreement among reasonable gun owners. Full disclosure - I am a gun owner myself but very much in favor of stricter controls.

It frustrates me to no end that no one on the gun control side of the debate knows anything about firearms, the differences between them, or precise ways to differentiate between them in law (or for that matter, in conversation). So all we hear are knee jerk cries to ‘ban assault weapons’. And to hear that again after a horrible event in which an ‘assault weapon’ wasn’t even used is just inane. It’s like calling for a ban on convertibles after a truck accident.

Here’s my problem with the focus on ‘assault weapons’: what people are really talking about are not weapons that are designed to look like military weapons- that’s merely cosmetic and it always diverts the conversation. What they are really talking about are three features - the fact that these rifles are semi automatic, that they are designed to accept high capacity magazines and that they are often - not always but often - chambered for small, high velocity rounds, rounds designed to break up in the body and cause maximum damage.

Whether they have flash suppressors or a handle on top or look like an AK47 is absolutely irrelevant. There are other rifles that have some or all of the above features and not all weapons styled after ‘assault weapons’ do. It is critically important in this argument to be very precise.

Furthermore, many people still talk as though these weapons are fully automatic, which none of them are, at least legally.

Ya know, to hell with this clown… making a big deal about whether a weapon is fully automatic or semi-automatic is foolish- both types of weapons are meant to shoot large amounts of bullets in a short amount of time.  In most cases, a semi-automatic weapon is even more dangerous than an automatic weapon, which is largely used in a “spray-and pray” fashion (the U.S. Army ditched its fully automatic setting for itsM16s in favor of a “three round burst” setting).  Additionally, certain semi-automatic weapons can be modified to make them fully automatic.  The distinction really isn’t that important.

Anyway, what really chaps my ass is the one-sided insistence that gun control advocates have to be fully informed about the subject of guns when the opposition can engage in ignorant distortions and outright lying.  Here we have Tealiban pastors blaming mass shootings on the teaching of evolution and gay rights initiatives.  A former friggin’ Republican presidential candidate blamed the massacre on contraceptive pills.

How about we make a deal, we liberals will learn about guns, and the conservatives will learn about the Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection, the means by which different birth control methods work (this could save them a lot of embarrassment (and, by the way, George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina is a d-bag), and the facts about gay people and the development of their sexual preferences.  While we’re at it, they should also learn the facts about Anthropogenic Climate Change, basic Economics, and Comparative Religion… need I go on? 

I think Mr Fallows should have told his “concerned gun owner” reader to stuff it.  All ya really gotta know about guns is that the gun shoots death.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 12/20/12 at 06:37 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsNutters

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Yeah, I’m more than a little peeved about the smug, Do Not Challenge Me, You Stupid Peons attitude. I don’t have to know a thing about guns to tell you that we don’t need them. Anything that is designed strictly to kill something else has no value in modern society, so fuck you very much.

I haven’t touched a gun in ten years, but we always had a couple of family “shooting irons” when I was growing up.  Whenever we went to Maine, Dad would get the family single-shot bolt-action .22 rifle from whichever relative had it, and we’d spend a day shooting empty cans in a sand pit.  Dad was adamant about range safety and instilled a healthy respect for guns in us. A few years back, I’d go trap shooting at least once a year.  I don’t even know who’s got the family rifle these days.  The little interest I had in shooting has completely evaporated.

When he was in the Army, Dad qualified as a marksman… the riflery instructor took one look at vowel at the end of his last name and saw he was from the Bronx, and asked him, “How’d you get so good using zip guns?”

One myth the gunhuggers seem to love is that the rifle is their personal line of defense against government intrusion. Sure. Ask the folks at Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc. Ask the folks of MOVE. The Constitution is that line of defense (and wither personal rights under the drug war, etc?).  The ACLU would do’em more good than the NRA.

My dad is a genuine gun nut with a huge arsenal. I remember studying the large revolver he had slung across the headboard in a holster when I was a toddler taking my afternoon nap in my parents’ bed.

It’s a wonder none of us accidentally blew our heads off, though I did swallow a bullet once when I was three and had to be taken to the hospital and x-rayed. Then I had to poop in a bucket for a few days until my poor mom could confirm that I passed it. I was exempted from spanking while carrying the ordnance, so it was all good.

My dad did teach us to shoot when we were children. I don’t think it made us “respect” guns any more than anyone else. Luckily none of us ever went off our nut and decided to settle scores with a gun—we would have had a huge selection to choose from.

When my own kid was born, I informed my dad that she would never spend a night under his roof without my constant supervision unless he got a gun safe and locked all the guns up, at least when she was visiting. He did!

All we need to know about guns is that - single shot, semi and fully automatic, assault or otherwise—is that sane, responsible parents don’t want them anywhere near our children.

And our children are everywhere, so you can draw your own conclusions.  Find some new toys, people.  Your misconstrued right to “bear arms” does not trump my right to safety and the pursuit of happiness.

Sweet Small-Bore Jesus on a ramrod, Betty! I’m sweating bullets just reading about it!

Your dad really should have been the one panning for lead, but there’s little justice in the world.

I don’t care at all about types of weapons—I want full liability for gun owners and assoicated family members when a gun is present in the household. Any injury or death caused by the gun should result in a death sentence for the owner—regardless of the circumstances of the shooting.  So that guy who let his three year old nephew shoot himself in the head? Death penalty. Some guy who forgets where he left his gun, or lets it get stolen out of his car, or drops it in his kid’s school auditorium? (that last one actually happened here). Full liability. And full liability insurance—if you can get it.

The problem we are having is not just too many guns, and not just guns in the hands of lunatics, it is the fact that gun owners as a whole have zero liability for what goes wrong when they lose control of their own faculties, or lose control of their guns.  The party of personal responsibility my ass. This is all about the total lack of responsibility that gun owners assume for their compatriots in the land of the paranoid lunatic.


I would commute the death sentence to life imprisonment (in a cell wallpapered with photographs of the victims), but aside from that one adjustment, I’m with you 100%, Aimai.

Actually, the insurance angle might be an excellent solution to this entire fucking mess, since an insurance requirement wouldn’t seem like an outright ban but could have the same effect. Plus, such a requirement could actually get legs since you’d have a corporate sector that could profit from it, an advantage straight-up good governance measures don’t always have.

Anyone with a gun should be required to carry full liability insurance, and the rates should reflect the actuarial risks involved, i.e., parents would pay a helluva lot more, etc.

The insurance idea is one of the best. We wouldn’t have to get regulations passed through Congress because the insurance companies would lay down the rules.

I think that you should have insurance for each weapon in your possession along with a permit.  It is just like registering your car.  In my state, you can’t register a car without proof of insurance.  No insurance, no permit, no gun.

Tax ammunition - a lot.  Otherwise im with aimai on the liability insurance. No home safe for the collection, no insurance.

My childhood WRT guns is a cross between B4’s and Betty’s (my dad’s still a crazy(ier) winger, but at least he’s not a gun collector), and like B4 I shot plenty as a kid but lost interest as an adult.  As a kid, the main interest in the damned things was the aura of danger around them; I suspect that adult fetishists transmute that into an aura of power

Whatever the source of interest/desire, there is no reason in the world for a private citizen to own an assault weapon.  I suspect the best chance for getting to that point involves the liability insurance angle; I have it for my profession, and I see no reason why my handful of dental instruments requires it but walking around with a weapon that can kill dozens in mere minutes doesn’t.

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