Running out of things to say about mass shootings… well, almost

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I tried to write something last night about the Orlando shooting that just left 50 people dead, but I gave up an hour or so into it. I’d sliced my hand open earlier in the day while working on the renovation of 209 Pearl Street, which made it difficult to type. [My right thumb was wrapped up in a bloody rag.] The bigger issue, however, was that I didn’t have anything even remotely new or insightful to say. Everything I wanted to say, I’d already said before.

Had I been smarter, I would have withheld some of the outrage I expressed in the wake of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings. I should have known that we’d have another, even bigger mass shooting just around the corner. But I gave you everything I had back then. I tore into the right for blaming such acts on the erosion of religion in American life. I railed against the NRA for suggesting that the answer was to put more guns in our schools. And I praised President Obama for his incremental moves to bring sanity back to the conversation by actually talking openly about the societal costs associated with gun violence and suggesting that we do the unthinkable and lift the federal ban on related research. So, when I sat down to write about yesterday morning’s attack on the nightclub in Orlando, our nation’s most deadly mass shooting in 34 years, it just seemed like I was rehashing the same old stuff.

After taking a moment to mourn the dead, I jumped right into my practiced talking points. I started writing about about the need for better mental health care, and how imperative it is that we close loopholes and expand funding so that we can actually enforce the gun-related laws that we already have on the books. Essentially I started repeating the popular liberal position, assuring any Republicans that might be in the audience that we don’t want to take their weapons, and asking respectfully that they engage in common sense reforms intended to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of terrorists, and those who would use them to do harm… But then it dawned on me, as I was sitting there typing, that I really didn’t wan to post yet another article assuring the gun-loving right we’d never dream of coming for their beloved guns. I’m tired of being respectful toward the far right on gun control, I thought, telling them that they don’t have anything to worry about, and that we don’t care how many assault rifles they have, just so long as they allow us to conduct even the most rudimentary background checks, so that we can keep guns from domestic abusers and known criminals. No, it occurred to me, we were probably beyond the point of being deferential.

Speaking of this reasoned approach to gun control, Obama had a masterful response to an older man during a public appearance on PBS a week or so ago who stood up and essentially asked him why he was coming for the guns of law-abiding Americans. Here, in case you missed it, is the President’s response.

First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats, or whoever you want to choose, are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true — and I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I’ve been President than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country. And at no point have I ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true.

What I have said is precisely what you suggested, which is why don’t we treat this like every other thing that we use? We used to have really bad auto fatality rates. The auto fatality rate has actually dropped precipitously, drastically, since I was a kid. Why is that? We decided we had seatbelt laws. We decided to have manufacturers put airbags in place. We decided to crack down on drunk driving and texting. We decided to redesign roads so that they were less likely to have a car bank. We studied what is causing these fatalities using science and data and evidence, and then we slowly treated it like the public health problem it was, and it got reduced.

We are not allowed to do any of that when it comes to guns because people — if you propose anything, it is suggested that we’re trying to wipe away gun rights and impose tyranny and martial law. Do you know that Congress will not allow the Centers for Disease Control to study gun violence? They’re not allowed to study it because the notion is, is that by studying it, the same way we do with traffic accidents, somehow that’s going to lead to everybody’s gun being confiscated.

When we talked about background checks — if you buy a car, if you want to get a license, first of all, you got to get a license. You have to take a test. People have to know that you know how to drive. You don’t have to do any of that with respect to buying a gun. And we talked about doing effective background checks. It was resisted because the notion was we were going to take your guns away.

I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun. This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk into a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing is prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.

So, sir, I just have to say respectfully that there is a way for us to have common-sense gun laws. There is a way for us to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners like yourself are able to use it for sporting, hunting, and protecting yourself. But the only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment. And that’s how the issue too often gets framed…

And, for what it’s worth, Obama was absolutely right in what he said. If we ever want to see reform in this country, this is the way we’re going to get there. It just pisses me off that no one in power can tell the complete truth, which is that there’s no place in civilized society for weapons intended to kill one another, especially ones designed to take the lives of dozens of human beings in quick succession.

Yes, I understand that the Constitution says you have a right to be armed as part of a well-regulated militia, but… let’s be honest… the world we live in has changed quite a bit over the past 240-some years. We no longer live in a world where individuals armed with muskets can fight back physically against the government. That horse, as they say, has left the barn. And no matter how may AK47s you might have, you’re not going to fend off a government with surveillance drones, armored assault vehicles, and bombs designed to wipe out hardened subterranean bunkers. If you think I’m wrong, ask the folks in Waco.

I’m not saying that I’d like to eliminate every weapon in America. I just don’t see why it’s not even on the table as an option. It bothers me that it’s just taken for granted that no one in elected office can say, “What if we got rid of every assault rifle in America?” Again, I’m not saying that I’d necessarily suggest this course of action. It just bothers me that, when we’re assessing potential paths forward, it’s not even an option. It’s like if you were a 800-pound man, suffering from diabetes, and approaching certain death, and your doctor couldn’t even say, “Well, you might want to consider giving up pop,” because everyone knows you love the fuck out of your pop, and you’d start screaming your fucking ahead off if anyone even suggested that you cut down to a single six pack a day.

Again, I have no idea what the answer is… I just think that we should try to get beyond politics for a minute and put everything on the table, from arming every kindergartener, to melting down every gun ever made.

One more thing. If I’d written this yesterday, I likely would have mentioned that it had been reported that the killer, Omar Mateen, was a radical Muslim who once flew into a rage having seen two men kissing. Well, according to reports coming out today, Mateen’s feelings concerning homosexuality may have been a bit more complicated. The LA Times is reporting that the 29 year old Mateen was a user the gay chat and dating app Jack’d, and had spent time at this very Orlando LGBT nightclub prior to yesterday’s attack.

One wonders how many men are driven into fundamentalism because they live in cultures where they can’t be themselves. I don’t want to make excuses for Mateen, but it’s not difficult to see how a young gay man growing up in a fundamentalist household might be more inclined to gravitate toward jihad rather than face the reality that he’s gay.

OK, remember how I said that yesterday I didn’t have any new ideas? Well, that was yesterday… And now I’ve got two new thoughts on how we make this planet of ours a better place.

1. We radically change America. We institute a minimum income for everyone, we offer free healthcare, and we get the money out of politics, so that the government actually works for the people. All we ask in return is that you not be a douche, and give up your weapons. And, if you don’t like that, we pay for you to move to a new country that we’ve established in the former state of Texas, which has huge walls all the way around it, and operates under the libertarian principles of Ayn Rand.

2. We create a tropical paradise for anyone who feels like he or she needs to escape fundamentalism and be themselves, and we market the hell out of it globally. We make sure that everyone knows that all they need to do is call a toll-free number anywhere in the world, and we’ll whisk them away in the dead of night and give them an opportunity to start over again. And, yes, I know that all jihadists aren’t closeted gay men who would have jumped at a chance to live on a fabulous island away from their fundamentalist neighbors, but how cool would it be if we could deter 10% of jihadists just by turning GITMO into a giant, sunny “no judgment” zone where people could feel as though their best option on any given day isn’t mass murder to glorify a god they think hates them, but a peach daiquiri and a sunset dolphin watching tour?

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47 Comments

  1. site admin
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Torn from the comments of Facebook:

    JH: Democratic process be damned! The constitution too! Go ahead and make a perfect segregated society. That will work out great. The only problem with America is those guys over there. The problem with America really is its diversity.

    CL: Your comments never fail to leave me baffled, J.

    JH: Good… My point is that segregation is not acceptable because one disagrees politically. In general the left seems increasingly inclined to the autocratic and dictatorial. They never fail to be shocked that much of the rest of America disagrees with them. Segregation begets segregation. It solves nothing. We just have no understanding of one another anymore.

    CL: Have you visited earth? People gravitate toward others who have the same values & systems they do. That’s tribalism. Exists in every corner of the planet, among every species. How you’re reducing that to liberalism is totally wild & incomprehensible.

    JH: Yes. Have you seen the American founding documents? They were meant to counter the effects of tribalism very specifics ally with the idea that that precisely is what creates stable fruitful civilizations with the free exchange of ideas.

    CL: The founding documents were written by the same folks who kept slaves so I’m not sure those are the best proof of how we’re a nation of desegregationists.

    JH: I’m not just reducing it to liberalism. Liberalism, by its very name, should not be indulging this rhetoric. I hold those who share my viewpoints to a higher standard. I want us to live up to our own principles. What Mark said was understandably out of frustration but it also reflects a current in contemporary progressives. We are not patient enough to make change and spend a lot of time complaining about ‘others’ while claiming we are tolerant.

    JH: Oh Jesus. That again. Grow up.

    CL: Yeah forget slavery. Typical.

    JH: No. Forget it. I don’t have time to get into the problem of ahistorical perspectives.

    JH: We should just abandon our founding documents and start over. No doubt you and mark can come up with something that works better.

    CL: That’s one of the only bits of our founding documents that still holds up. The part where they said that when it no longer serves us they should be revised.

  2. Citywatch
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Pat Robertson and other religious people have said the murders were God’s revenge for the supreme courts passing of gay marriage, even though this didn’t happen in other countries where it is legal. The imam who spoke 10 days earlier in Orlando ( it is on YouTube) said that killing gays was “compassionate”. If what the news is reporting about the shooter being in the club and on gay websites is true and he wasn’t casing the joint and not trolling for victims, I would say that this conflicted, self-hating man was himself a victim of conservative religion. Oh yes, and no civilian needs a Glock pistol or automatic rifle.

  3. maryd
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    So do you suppose our founding fathers meant to include automatic rifles and nuclear weapons in their amendment?

  4. Eel
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The shooter claimed allegiance Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS…. all groups that hate one another. He clearly didn’t care about ideology. This was a sick man who hated himself.

  5. Tim
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when religion demonizes homosexuality. You get gay men going into the priesthood and strapping on suicide vests.

  6. Kat
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    We should all have access to suitcase nukes!

  7. Meta
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    NY Times:

    The mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday was appalling in scale: 49 killed in a single attack. But it’s not unusual for dozens of Americans to be killed by guns in a single day.

    Gun homicides are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes (not counting van, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents). Some cases command our attention more than others, of course. Counting mass shootings that make headlines and the thousands of Americans murdered one or a few at a time, gunshot homicides totaled 8,124 in 2014, according to the F.B.I.

  8. Mr. Y
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Really where has our being deferential about the sanctity of gun rights gotten us? If the NRA won’t act in good faith to find solutions, we should try a new approach.

  9. Trinn Murray
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I much prefer the Trump/Clinton response. Bomb ISIS.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/06/13/hillary-clinton-and-donald-trump-call-for-more-airstrikes-on-isis-after-orlando-massacre-that-isis-didnt-direct/

  10. Lynne
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I honestly think that if we were to implement many of the policies in option 1 (especially the minimum income), we wouldn’t have as great of a need to disarm people. The more I think about it, the more I have come to believe that people are clinging to their guns because they see them in a symbolic way, i.e. the guns are a symbol of their privilege and the more their privilege is taken away, the more they cling to their guns. At first. But as those who have been overly privileged in our society get used to being equal to others, they will feel less of a need to own guns and less of a need to prevent us from taking a responsible public health approach to gun violence. We might be able to have a sane society without taking away all of the guns. E.G. there are lots of guns in Canada (I think around 10 million) but not the same gun culture.

  11. EOS
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    For those who want more gun laws let me remind you that the nightclub was a gun-free zone. Law-abiding citizens waited THREE HOURS for the Swat Team to move on the gunman.

    If you can’t handle freedom – you move.

  12. Eel
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    America: If you can’t handle a firearm, and the freedom of being shot at, move.

  13. David S. Cohen by proxy
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I teach the Constitution for a living. I revere the document when it is used to further social justice and make our country a more inclusive one. I admire the Founders for establishing a representative democracy that has survived for over two centuries.

    But sometimes we just have to acknowledge that the Founders and the Constitution are wrong. This is one of those times. We need to say loud and clear: The Second Amendment must be repealed.

    As much as we have a culture of reverence for the founding generation, it’s important to understand that they got it wrong — and got it wrong often. Unfortunately, in many instances, they enshrined those faults in the Constitution. For instance, most people don’t know it now, but under the original document, Mitt Romney would be serving as President Obama’s vice president right now because he was the runner-up in the last presidential election. That part of the Constitution was fixed by the Twelfth Amendment, which set up the system we currently have of the president and vice president running for office together.

    Much more profoundly, the Framers and the Constitution were wildly wrong on race. They enshrined slavery into the Constitution in multiple ways, including taking the extreme step of prohibiting the Constitution from being amended to stop the slave trade in the country’s first 20 years. They also blatantly wrote racism into the Constitution by counting slaves as only 3/5 of a person for purposes of Congressional representation. It took a bloody civil war to fix these constitutional flaws (and then another 150 years, and counting, to try to fix the societal consequences of them).

    There are others flaws that have been fixed (such as about voting and Presidential succession), and still other flaws that have not yet been fixed (such as about equal rights for women and land-based representation in the Senate), but the point is the same — there is absolutely nothing permanently sacrosanct about the Founders and the Constitution. They were deeply flawed people, it was and is a flawed document, and when we think about how to make our country a more perfect union, we must operate with those principles in mind.

    In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth – the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned. We can do that through a Constitutional amendment. It’s been done before (when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition in the Eighteenth), and it must be done now.

    The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no weapons remotely like the AR-15 assault rifle and many of the advances of modern weaponry were long from being invented or popularized.

    Sure, the Founders knew that the world evolved and that technology changed, but the weapons of today that are easily accessible are vastly different than anything that existed in 1791. When the Second Amendment was written, the Founders didn’t have to weigh the risks of one man killing 49 and injuring 53 all by himself. Now we do, and the risk-benefit analysis of 1791 is flatly irrelevant to the risk-benefit analysis of today.

    Gun-rights advocates like to make this all about liberty, insisting that their freedom to bear arms is of utmost importance and that restricting their freedom would be a violation of basic rights.

    But liberty is not a one way street. It also includes the liberty to enjoy a night out with friends, loving who you want to love, dancing how you want to dance, in a club that has historically provided a refuge from the hate and fear that surrounds you. It also includes the liberty to go to and send your kids to kindergarten and first grade so that they can begin to be infused with a love of learning. It includes the liberty to go to a movie, to your religious house of worship, to college, to work, to an abortion clinic, go to a hair salon, to a community center, to the supermarket, to go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned down by someone wielding a weapon that can easily kill you and countless others.

    The liberty of some to own guns cannot take precedence over the liberty of everyone to live their lives free from the risk of being easily murdered. It has for too long, and we must now say no more.

    Finally, if we take the gun-rights lobby at their word, the Second Amendment is a suicide pact. As they say over and over, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In other words, please the gun manufacturers by arming even the vast majority of Americans who do not own a gun.

    Just think of what would have happened in the Orlando night-club Saturday night if there had been many others armed. In a crowded, dark, loud dance club, after the shooter began firing, imagine if others took out their guns and started firing back. Yes, maybe they would have killed the shooter, but how would anyone else have known what exactly was going on? How would it not have devolved into mass confusion and fear followed by a large-scale shootout without anyone knowing who was the good guy with a gun, who was the bad guy with a gun, and who was just caught in the middle? The death toll could have been much higher if more people were armed.

    The gun-rights lobby’s mantra that more people need guns will lead to an obvious result — more people will be killed. We’d be walking down a road in which blood baths are a common occurrence, all because the Second Amendment allows them to be.

    At this point, bickering about the niceties of textual interpretation, whether the history of the amendment supports this view or that, and how legislators can solve this problem within the confines of the constitution is useless drivel that will lead to more of the same. We need a mass movement of those who are fed up with the long-dead Founders’ view of the world ruling current day politics. A mass movement of those who will stand up and say that our founding document was wrong and needs to be changed. A mass movement of those who will thumb their nose at the NRA, an organization that is nothing more than the political wing of the country’s gun manufacturers, and say enough is enough.

    The Second Amendment must be repealed, and it is the essence of American democracy to say so.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-its-time-to-repeal-the-second-

  14. Kim
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Read this article by a woman in Philly who just bought an AR-15.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/helen_ubinas/20160614_Ubinas__I_bought_an_AR-15_semi-automatic_rifle_in_Philly_in_7_minutes.html

    “SEVEN MINUTES. That’s how long it took me to buy an AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.”

  15. BrianB
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    For EOS and anyone else who thinks that more guns are the answer, there was an armed security guard inside the door who exchanged fire with him immediately. It didn’t deter him I suppose because he had an assault rifle and blew the guard away. so how exactly does this little cowboy fantasy of good guys with guns standing up to the bad guys play out in your mind? Are people dancing in the club with AR47s strapped to their backs or do they all just have holstered handguns and decide together ahead of time that they’re the good guys who will be surrounding and shooting the bad guys if they show up? Because if everyone has a gun and it’s every man for himself, how do you tell the good guys from the bad guys in the heat of the battle? Is someone automatically a bad guy if they’re using an assault rifle? If so, why can’t we just ban assault rifles?

  16. Taco Farts
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    If ISIS made a chemical that could brainwash a country into thinking they all needed to have assault rifles at all times, knowing that thousands of that country’s citizens a year would use those weapons to perpetrate mass murder and destruction, it would be one of the most dastardly, unbelievable attacks by a terrorist organization on a society in our short history.

    Thus I am not sure why the NRA is not considered a terrorist organization. They have all the same information we do, yet they continue to push guns into the hands of known dangerous individuals. Their argument is “you should be afraid of everyone, so you need a gun.” They use fear to feed fear and murder to create fear. They are terrorists and they are more dangerous to us than any other terrorist organization currently in operation.

  17. Demetrius
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    After Sandy Hook, when 20 six- and seven-year-olds were murdered in an elementary school, there was a lot of hand-wringing, prayer vigils, and somber testimonials about how “we finally have to do something” – but ultimately, we moved on to other events – before being shocked by subsequent (now regular) mass shootings.

    I feel like when that happened we, as a nation, collectively made a kind of tacit, unspoken decision – saying, in effect, that while we didn’t necessarily *agree* with this tragic level of violence and carnage – but we were willing to *accept* it, rather than question gun manufacturer profits, hold America’s political establishment accountable, and fight our country’s leading terrorist organization (the NRA).

    Orlando was terrible, of course, but once the dust settles, it’s hard to imagine that anything substantial is going to result. I expect a couple of weeks of official “mourning” … punctuated by uplifting stories about the victims and their families … before everyone settles in for their 4th of July weekend plans, etc. … and we all forget again – only to be jolted by the next “unforeseen” tragedy.

  18. Demetrius
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    BTW – I support the 2nd Amendment and believe U.S. citizens have a right to own guns for sport, self-protection, etc. But just as with cars and many other things, I think that right is not absolute. (Like most Americans, it turns out) I support proper training, licensing, background checks, waiting periods, etc., and I see absolutely no reason why ordinary citizens need automatic or semi-automatic weapons – the primary use of which is to kill large numbers of people, quickly.

    I’m a passionate supporter of the Constitution and individual rights – but when people are no longer “free” to go into an elementary school, high school, college, theater, workplace, church, or bar without being afraid of being a victim of mass gun violence, we need to recognize that we are ALSO relinquishing important rights. Why are rights espoused by the NRA more important, more worthy, than those of everyone else? We need balance, and common sense … and much, much less anger and violence.

  19. Posted June 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    “I feel like when that happened we, as a nation, collectively made a kind of tacit, unspoken decision – saying, in effect, that while we didn’t necessarily *agree* with this tragic level of violence and carnage – but we were willing to *accept* it, rather than question gun manufacturer profits, hold America’s political establishment accountable, and fight our country’s leading terrorist organization (the NRA).”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, D. That’s what I was thinking when it occurred to me just how angry I was about having to preface every comment about mass murder with “we don’t want to take your guns away, so please listen to the following timid suggestions.” We’ve seen too much. And they’ve had ample opportunity to show themselves to be credible partners in reform. I’d like to see a “Fuck yeah we want your guns” campaign. Maybe then they’ll take reform seriously. [And I’m not saying that I’d be an active participant in the “Fuck yeah we want your guns” campaign, but I’d like for it to exist.]

  20. Jcp2
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The defense of the 2nd amendment to avoid government tyranny is a sham. It’s really to protect white people from non-whites. The proliferation of firearms really took off when Obama was elected. Until the legacy of slavery and racism is openly acknowledged and addressed explicitly, gun ownership will be part of the Anerican white story. Successful gun control laws in other countries work, not because the laws are in place, but because the social norm does not include the apocryphal story of a master overrun by his servants. We can look at other modern Western nations and marvel that they don’t have gun issues like us, but we have to remember while we were fighting a bloody civil war over slaves, those other nations just cut off their slave colonies to fend for themselves.

  21. Westside
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Good one Mr. Jcp2! Don’t stop there. Finally a bit of truth has emerged from the gruel.

  22. Posted June 14, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    This country runs on fear.

  23. Posted June 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Fearconomy

  24. EOS
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Except most guns in America today are used by Blacks to kill other Blacks.

  25. EOS
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    @ Demetrius
    “but when people are no longer “free” to go into an elementary school, high school, college, theater, workplace, church, or bar without being afraid of being a victim of mass gun violence”.

    Did you happen to notice that every place you listed is a place where guns are not allowed by law? People are fearful in places where they have been made vulnerable.

  26. Westside
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again. Westside out! Bam!

  27. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    America should just ban mental illness.

  28. Demetrius
    Posted June 15, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    This notion that the answer to escalating instances of mass shootings is to arm everyone and hope that a “good guy with a gun” is on hand (and courageous enough) to respond is simply depraved – and mostly propaganda that serves the interests and the bottom line of the gun industry.

    For generations, people who visited schools, colleges, movie theaters, bars, etc., never dreamed they had to consider how they would protect themselves against an active shooting situation … so what has changed? Is the answer to arm everyone and hope for the best (simply taking for granted that everyone will have to be on guard all the time, everywhere) – or instead, do we need to question the rising levels of anger, violence, and mental illness in our society – coupled with the massive proliferation and relatively easy access to high-powered weaponry?

  29. EOS
    Posted June 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    In no way do I want to arm everyone. I just don’t want everyone to take away my right to arm myself. I want to retain the ability to defend my life and my family. I’ve never had the need to use a weapon against another human, but if the need ever arose, I would prefer to have the option and not to be a sitting duck or helpless victim. If you are fearful of weapons and if you have never been trained in their proper use, then you shouldn’t carry.

    What has changed? We have gone from a country where more than 99% professed faith in God, to one where God is mocked. It will get worse.

  30. Eel
    Posted June 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Most mass killings are done by religious fanatics, not atheists, EOS. Maybe more people should mock god.

  31. EOS
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    @ Eel,

    Nice try. Most mass killings in the United States have been committed by white males between the ages of 16-25 who were taking certain types of antidepressant drugs. Read the black box warnings.

  32. Lynne
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I think that since economics infringe people’s rights to own guns more than the government, we should interpret the second amendment to mean that the government is required to provide guns to anyone who cannot afford to buy one themselves.

    j/k I dont really think that but the reactions of many who champion the second amendment to that suggestion is very telling to me. They actually don’t want everyone to have a gun most times and they especially dont like the idea of arming poor people of color.

  33. Lynne
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    EOS, yes. That is important to note. Maleness is the single common denominator in almost all of these mass killings. why? I mean, women are much more likely to be on anti-depressants but are still much less likely to commit this kind of violence so I am not sure we can blame mental illness as much as we can blame maleness and the way our culture treats masculinity.

  34. EOS
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    @Lynne,

    Or perhaps the medication is interacting with a gene product that is transcribed from the Y chromosome. I’m not blaming an illness. I’m blaming a medication that interacts negatively with a subset of individuals. If they knew exactly what defines that subset, they could stop prescribing for them. The medication does help the majority who take it.

  35. EOS
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The stories are coming out that the gunman at the gay club was posting on Facebook, Twitter, talking to 911 and different news agencies. 3 hours and no one tried to rush him, or disarm him, or stop him in any way, even though he was distracted. Today there are a lot of news stories describing how the gay community is arming themselves and supporting the second amendment. There are photos of rainbow flags with the words “Shoot back”.

  36. Meta
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    According to John McCain, the Orlando shooting was Obama’s fault.

    Washington Post:

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the elder Republican statesman, said President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando due to his failure to combat the rise of the Islamic State terror group.

    McCain’s statement goes beyond the criticism of Obama that has been leveled by his Republican colleagues in the Senate, and it follows remarks made this week by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who seemed to connect Obama to the attack in a Monday interview and on Wednesday tweeted an article claiming that Obama “actively supported” the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.

    McCain made his remarks in a Senate hallway to a small group of reporters, responding to a question about the gun-control debate that has flared on Capitol Hill since the Sunday-morning shooting that left 49 clubgoers and the gunman dead. Obama on Thursday traveled to Orlando with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to pay his respects to victims’ families.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/16/john-mccain-obama-is-directly-responsible-for-orlando-attack/

  37. stupid hick
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    EOS, more like the problem is we have become a country where 99% of the people who profess faith in God mock Him. And John McCain, wtf? Obama is “directly responsible” for Orlando?? Is there no Republican left who has any integrity?

  38. EOS
    Posted June 17, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Stupid Hick,
    You may be right. Obama is not responsible, but he hasn’t done jack to stop it either. I think McCain was lashing back at all the pundits who claimed it was Gun ownership, Christians or Conservatives to blame. The attacker was a Muslim supporter of the Islamic caliphate which is an ideology shared by at least 20% of the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. It’s an ideology clearly laid out in the Koran through multiple passages.

    The real question: Is there any politician left who has any integrity?

  39. stupid hick
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    EOS, I refuse to watch Fox News any more. If you do, I urge you to be skeptical of the drivel they peddle. I have no idea what you’re saying about pundits trying to blame Christians and Conservatives for Orlando, but in the same interview McCain said Obama “actively supports” ISIL. I’m mortified to see him sink to the level of charlatans like Trump or Cruz.

  40. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    http://controversialtimes.com/issues/constitutional-rights/12-times-mass-shootings-were-stopped-by-good-guys-with-guns/

  41. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/57768-aclu-says-christians-to-blame-for-orlando-attack

  42. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436670/orlando-shooting-jihadist-terror-liberals-blame-christians

  43. wobblie
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    what a complete bogus and inaccurate headline “aclu says christians to blame for orlando attack”, once you read the article you realize it is one staff attorney for one ACLU field office venting about the homophobic attitudes that Christians support that he believes creates the atmosphere for attacking gays. The “christian” media outlet that used this headline clearly has morality and integrity of a ???
    EOS what do you think of misleading headlines?

  44. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I just picked one of the first stories after a google search. Go ahead and google “Christians to blame for Orlando” and you can pick from 20 or more headlines, most not Christian.

  45. stupid hick
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Who cares what a conservative pundit says about what a liberal pundit said, and vice versa?John McCain is a respected US Senator and a former Republican pick to be President. He should NOT be wading into their cesspool of hyperbole and agitprop. Obama “actively supports” ISIS? Obama “directly responsible” for Orlando? Think about it: who does McCain think he’s talking to and what does it serve? Who exactly is he trying to appeal to with that demented nonsense?

  46. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    McCain is a loser. By giving so many Syrian refugees green cards, Obama will certainly have a chance to get blamed for the next terrorist act.

  47. Meta
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    The Senate just voted down 4 gun control proposals

    After the worst mass shooting in modern American history, a 15-hour Senate Democratic filibuster led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) shamed Republicans into scheduling votes for Monday.

    But Monday night, the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold for cloture on any of four separate measures: Republican and Democratic versions of a bill addressing background checks failed to reach the 60-vote threshhold for cloture; so did the Republican and Democratic versions of a bill restricting “suspected terrorists” from being able to buy guns.

    The proposals were offered as amendments to an appropriations bill covering the departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as science and other agencies.

    But the most interesting thing for the long-term prospects of gun control is that the votes happened at all.

    Since the filibuster last week, Democrats have marched in lockstep to portray Republicans as too dogmatic on gun control to tackle a national security crisis. As a result, they’ve put Republicans on defense, forcing them to come up with objections to Democratic proposals and alternatives of their own, and putting former supporters of gun control in tough races (like Sen. Pat Toomey) in an especially tricky position.

    When it came time to vote, Republicans mostly closed ranks — with one notable exception. But the debate around the issue indicates that Democrats are still united, and Republicans are struggling to play defense.

    Read more:
    http://www.vox.com/2016/6/20/11976884/gun-bill-new

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