Despite what Marco Rubio and his fellow NRA shills may say, gun bans are both popular and effective

One of the biggest applause lines at last night’s CNN town hall on American gun policy came from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Attempting to make the case that an assault weapon ban wouldn’t be effective, the Senator said “you would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle.” He, of course, thought that members of the audience would recoil at the idea of a broad ban on all semi-automatic rifles, but, to his great surprise, the entire auditorium erupted in applause. Here, if you haven’t seen it, is the video.

After the event, the Senator, who, by the way, is among the Senate’s top 10 beneficiaries of the NRA, said that, just because the line got applause, doesn’t mean that the American people would support a ban on semi-automatic weapons. “Banning all semi-auto weapons may have been popular with the audience at #CNNTownHall,” Rubio said on Twitter, “but it is a position well outside the mainstream.”

[Rubio, as some of you may know, was also instrumental in stopping Obama’s attempt to pass bipartisan universal background check legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook murders – legislation that had the approval of 90% of Americans at the time.]

The thing is, it may not really be so far outside the mainstream. In fact, according to a 2016 poll conducted by Morning Consult and the New York Times, 63% of Americans said that they would support “banning the sale and ownership of all semi-automatic and automatic firearms” to reduce gun homicides. [62% said they would support a ban if it would reduce mass shootings.] And, just this past Tuesday, Quinnipiac released a poll showing that 67% of Americans, including 53% of gun owners, favored a ban on assault weapons. [Assault weapons, it should be noted, are a subset of the semi-automatic/automatic weapons referenced in the Morning Consult and New York Times poll.]

For those of you who might not recall, we had a ten year ban on so-called assault weapons in this country, beginning in 1994, when Bill Clinton signed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban into law, essentially making the ownership of certain semi-automatic weapons, as well as certain high-capacity ammunition magazines, illegal. While the Republicans, who overturned the ban on the behalf of the NRA in 2004, claimed the ban was ineffective, most researchers of gun violence seem to think that it greatly reduced the incidence of mass shootings. The following excerpt comes by way of the Washington Post.

…Critics of bans on assault weapons, however, say they do little to save lives. The NRA correctly points out that assault weapons are used only in a tiny fraction of gun crimes. The gun rights group also notes that a federally funded study of the previous assault weapons ban, which was in place from 1994 to 2004, concluded that “the ban’s impact on gun violence is likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Similar points have been made in arguments against a new ban in publications running the ideological gamut from Breitbart to the New York Times to HuffPost.

But the 1994 assault weapons ban was never intended to be a comprehensive fix for “gun violence” writ large. Its purpose, according to gun violence experts and the lawmakers who wrote the bill, was to reduce the frequency and lethality of mass shootings like the ones in Parkland, Sandy Hook and elsewhere. And on that front, the data shows it had a significant impact…

And here’s the evidence of that impact.

The bottom line is that a ban, whether it be for assault weapons, or all semi-automatic/automatic weapons, is popular in the United States, and gun violence experts are in agreement that it’s one of the most effective things that we can do to prevent mass shootings. [From the Washington Post: “Those experts ranked a ban on semiautomatic guns as one of the most effective tools for mitigating gun violence, putting it well above a more narrow assault weapons ban on that measure. And when it came to preventing mass shootings specifically, both the broad ban on semiautomatic guns and the assault weapons ban fared even better, tied for first place with a high-capacity magazine ban and a ban on all sales to violent criminals.”]

Oh, and I almost left out the best part. According to the federal appeals court, a ban on these weapons would be perfectly permissible under the Second Amendment.

But the question is how do we get past a very powerful gun industry lobby that’s churning out propaganda like the following, and paying off politicians like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who helped make it possible for 18 to 24 year olds, like the young many who kill 17 people last week, to purchase firearms and ammunition in Florida.

[If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to read up on the Australian experience, and how they, after a mass shooting in 1996 that left 35 dead, did the impossible and stopped mass shootings in their country by banning assault weapons and implementing an aggressive buy-back program.]

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  1. John Galt
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Have some decency. One week after an incident like this is no time to discuss gun control. Please show some respect for the dead and remain silent until further notice.

  2. Sad
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Wait, what about DACA?

    I’m getting whipsawed going back and forth from tradegy to injustice. In the Trump era we’re all crisis actors. Without a script. Impov. Sheesh!

  3. Sad
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    One of my (many) guilty pleasures in reading Peggy Noonan.

    Her recent piece compared the right with their automatic and semi-automatic weapons with the left and late term abortion. Neither wants to budge because it’s a slippery slope. Is it?

  4. Eel
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Her grasp of reality is what’s slippery.

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Slippery slopes are a myth. It is a line drawing issue. It doesn’t help that Rubio’s fellow panelist doesn’t do math or that we pretend we should come to conclusions based on surveys hand out surveys that inquire about “semi automatic/automatic”.

  6. Jim Monsoon
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    They are right to say that banning semi-automatic weapons wouldn’t make a big impact on overall gun deaths. Which is why we need to push further – we need to build popular support for repealing and replacing the second amendment. Enough with half measures.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Sad– Screw Peggy Noonan. There are very strict limits of late term abortions almost everywhere.

    Most of us, short Mr Monsoon, would be happy to get comparable restrictions on the sale of semi-automatic weapons.

    False equivalence.

    I know someone who had a late term abortion. The fetus was going to die quickly after birth no matter what, and she was very likely to die if she carried to term. It’s a loss she will mourn forever. Those who vilify families who have to make such choices are inhumane.

    I personally am interested in reducing death and injury by firearms. Moving immediately towards repealing the 2nd amendment, which has extremely limited support, will almost certainly ensure this horror goes on, and more people die unnecessarily.

    PS Trump at CPAC, even in snippets, is making me physically ill this AM.

  8. Rat
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Rubio was to have been the face of the new GOP. Now he’s done.

  9. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “They are right to say that banning semi-automatic weapons wouldn’t make a big impact on overall gun deaths. ”

    Banning assault weapons might have a negligible effects on reducing overall gun deaths. Banning semi automatic weapons would have an effect on reducing overall gun deaths.

    People conflate the two but while most assault weapons are semi-automatic (those that are not fully automatic), not all semi-automatic weapons are assault rifles. Most handguns that people commonly own are semi-automatic.

  10. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Most guns used in suicides are handguns, which these days are almost all semi-automatic.

    Most guns used in suicide, however, were bought for home defense.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The objective should be reducing overall death by firearms, period. There are many avenues to meet the objective.

    I remain very concerned that people on all sides are pointing to banning people in mental health treatment from acquiring firearms, in spite of the reality that they are half as likely as the rest of the population to be violent and 4x as likely to be subject to violence.

    The idea of a registry of the mentally ill is a diabolical pivot away from the critical reforms.

    It’s a tried and true political strategy– Just find a category of marginalized and underserved people to blame.
    And then make a registry of them to facilitate further exclusion.

    I truly hope those more broadly in support of firearms regulation (most of us) wake up to the nature of this kind of rhetoric. Maybe in doing so, they will wake up to their own fear of mental illness and those who suffer from its burdens.

  12. Jcp2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    When I was a child, my parents got me an evil eye charm to protect against my fears. Maybe guns are the adult version of a childhood talisman. Hard to use a rational argument against a superstition.

  13. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking the Russian bots are infiltrating the Internet with fake news stories about people wanting to ban assault rifles. Sure would make it easier for an invading army. You are not going to stop an invading force with handguns and the millions of weapons in the hands of civilians is an effective deterrent. I can only imagine the response if our government started to confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens.

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    EOS– As far as I understand it, Russian bots do not answer national polls.

    Making assault rifles illegal would not necessarily involve confiscation of guns. It would just make their sale, and hopefully resale, illegal. Some programs have effective and voluntary buy backs. Insurance can be required, and ammo made very expensive. No one is fucking coming to your house to take your guns. Classic that you would bring up that right wing troll paranoia.

    It’s a lot more likely that a semi automatic weapon is used to kill an innocent person than used to defend ourselves against enemy attack. In case you didn’t notice, we have funded the largest military and police force in the world; we don’t need armed militia. Up to now they have only caused great destruction.

    Here is what’s happening to students who take the lead stand up to the NRA– death threats.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    JCP2: EOS clearly is among our contemporary moloch worshippers.
    “Few crimes are more harshly forbidden in the Old Testament than sacrifice to the god Moloch (for which see Leviticus 18.21, 20.1-5). The sacrifice referred to was of living children consumed in the fires of offering to Moloch. Ever since then, worship of Moloch has been the sign of a deeply degraded culture. Ancient Romans justified the destruction of Carthage by noting that children were sacrificed to Moloch there. Milton represented Moloch as the first pagan god who joined Satan’s war on humankind:

    First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
    Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
    Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
    Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire
    To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)

    Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

    The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

    Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

    Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.”

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    To guard against the theat of Russian bots shaping an innaccurate portrait of American sentiments on gun control, we should use the loud cheers of American high schoolers, at town hall meetings, to indicate the proper, and most democratic, course of action….We should just assemble a group of neighborhood preschoolers to redraft the constitution, editing it, as they see fit. What could go wrong?

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    And no, EOS, a fetus is not a child… Just end-running that one.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    FF once again takes a stand against the victims in our Republic taking a stand in their own defense. There is no law (yet) against kids participating in our democratic process in ways other than voting. Why are you engaging in nonsensical hyperbole about kid tyranny, FF? Did some teen make tire tracks on your lawn?

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile Trump once again goes off script to refer to illegal immigrants as snakes:

    What his audience fails to realize is that, in this scenario, Trump is the snake. And they are the foolish woman.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I am not worried about “kid tyranny” actually, I am worried about kid exploitation. I am also worried about the young adult victims, being deprived of their natural greiving processes, as they participate in interviews and as they help organize/ play starring roles in time consuming political happenings—one wonders how they will find the time to process the trauma.

  21. Jcp2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    News flash. Part of “processing trauma” involves constructive action. Would you rather the kerfluffle not disturb your equanimity? I understand. It’s uncomfortable.5

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    FF– If you read up about how best to address trauma, or even just about how grieving works, you will find right after a tragic event is not the best time to ‘process’ the trauma. There are many studies about this post 9-11 when counsellors dove in too deep too fast. On the other hand, throwing oneself into redeeming practical work, whether planning a funeral, cleaning up and offering basic services after a bombing or flood, or protesting the status quo that led to your victimization are actually very healing. And then there’s time, which helps make space for the ‘processing’ eventually for those who choose to go that route.

    If you are concerned about the exploitation of children, then please look to the online trolls attacking these kids.

    It’s not your place to judge how someone should deal with their own traumatic experience. Your concern for the child victims of gun violence is touching…

  23. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Flakes has likely led a fairly peaceful existence.

    Though everyone is different, in general, a good way to deal with traumatic events after they happen is with rage against the source.

  24. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    “We should just assemble a group of neighborhood preschoolers to redraft the constitution, editing it, as they see fit. What could go wrong?”

    Mr. Flakes enjoys defending misogynistic local trolls from “ugliness” but comes out against a bunch of high schoolers getting politically involved on a topic that has just impacted them directly.

    The man’s priorities are very strange.

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why you guys feel the need to question whether or not I am emotionally investmented in this. Or question whether or not I actually have the community of victims best interest at heart. Why is that?

    I have witnessed some of the online attacking of the young victim/ leaders. It is gross obviously and to be expected unfortunately. What is the presence of that garbage an argument for or against, in terms of the possible affect to these young celebrities (for now) long term well being?

  26. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    CNN replaced the words of these teenagers, provided questions for them to use, and demanded they stay on script. A few refused to participate in the charade.

  27. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink


    Please explain to us all how I am guilty of “coming out against high schoolers”?

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t know why you guys feel the need to question whether or not I am emotionally investmented in this.”
    We imply a lack of investment because you demonstrate it.
    I don’t actually care about your intent. One can have great intention and still cause great harm. Your point about how to best grieve and address trauma is both counter to every decent study on the subject (ie wrong) and none of your business (prescriptive, not empathic).

    We all made those points and you ignored them.

    No one is using these students. They chose to harness the media attantion to advocate for change and control their own narrative. And they are doing a better jpb at it than most professional organizers. They are allowing many voices to come forward even while organizing as a collective. Of all the reasons to take the public spotlight, advocating for progressive change seems like a good a worthy one.

    They are heroes (and I don’t use that word lightly). You are a putz.

    EOS– better fact check that… You’re feeding at the trough of lies. Beyond that, you can see plenty of footage of kids speaking extemporaneously to the same points.

    Some kids chose to meet with Trump; some did not. Others chose to participate in the CNN thing, others did not. The kids are not a monolith. They are speaking their minds on many platforms in order to disarm you and your ilk’s will to delegitimize them. You have made clear that you have protested against abortion rights. Do you prevent young people from participating in those events. No. Would you question an uprising of young people against abortion. For sure no. You are so predictable as to be exhausting.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    No Jean.

    The only thing demonstrated was the need, of several posters, including yourself, to make assumptions about how I feel about the tragedy. Why though?

    I just re-read my psych101 textbook’s chapter on greiving. I guess I was wrong. Apparently the best thing for children greiving after loss is to put them on national television as much as possible. Apparently the second best thing is to start a time consuming political campaign (which reflects their journalism teachers politics)and takes them from home for extended periods time immediately after their friends are murdered.

    I am not talking about taking away the voice of the victims so please shut up. ;)

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink


  31. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    FF– those kids are acting of their own free will. You are assuming they don’t have minds of their own or critical thinking capacity. I suggest you spend more time listening to what they have to say and re-think your own assumptions.
    It’s not unusual for people such as yourself to couch judgment of teens in concern. I’m sure you believe you have their best interests at heart. I’m sure these kids have enough independence of mind to see through that and make their own choices.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “Apparently the best thing for children greiving after loss is to put them on national television as much as possible. Apparently the second best thing is to start a time consuming political campaign (which reflects their journalism teachers politics)and takes them from home for extended periods time immediately after their friends are murdered.

    I am not talking about taking away the voice of the victims ”

    No you are not taking away their voice. You don’t have that capacity. But you are trying very hard to judge and de-legimitize those voices. Your own statement contradicts itself.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    No Jean.

    I am not judging the children and young adults. Not one little bit. Who does that leave to judge?

  34. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Colton hasn’t backed down and he showed reporters the written questions that he wanted to ask. CNN’s denial is that they didn’t ask him to write a speech. Snopes has a documented liberal bias and should not be trusted for fact checking. You attack everybody on this blog who doesn’t parrot your point of view. You should stop.

  35. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    If I were a kid and some guy came in and shot up a lot of people at my school, I would be pretty angry about it.

    If CNN or whatever network came along and gave me 15 minutes to scream about fucked up it is in this country that you can go to a WalMart and anyone can go buy a gun and go and kill people any time one likes, I would take that opportunity.

    Just sayin.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    EOS— I take as much pleasure in countering yourvpositions as you do in countering Mark’s. What’s the difference? Oh that my responses rely on more than just one ROTC member’s account and the authority of the Bible.
    Ps when you stop, I stop.

  37. Jcp2
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see Jean as attacking anybody personally as I don’t see any persons to be attacked, only anonymous personas.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m super ok with being attacked on this local blog. Go for it. I have a reasonable tolerance for insult that holds zero threat. I take it seriously when someone makes a good counter point. Most times I appreciate it. Most times it just doesn’t matter.

    Discourse is important. Too important to take personally, but not so important as to take personally. There has never been a time of civilized political discourse. It’s alwaays been pretty much like this where disagreement is allowed. It would truly suck for all of us if we allowed politesse to suppress us. We may need to speak gingerly all day long, at work, around kids. It’s just unnecessary to do so when talking politics online.

    I have friends who don’t like it. But they don’t like politics period. They like other things that don’t interest me. If you don’t like it, don’t engage.

    Those who know me know I’m a kind, generous and mostly warm person IRL. I don’t treat any group of ppl different than any others. If you don’t know me IRL, I don’t care what you think, honestly.

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Not so important as to take seriously**

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    So it turns out 4 of Sheriff Israel’s men also refused to go in to the school building. So much for good guys with guns. And then there’s this:
    “After Columbine over 10,000 school police officers were hired just in case a school shooting happened. Two decades later, they haven’t stopped a *single* school shooting. Instead they’ve arrested over 1 million kids, mostly students of color, for routine behavior violations.”

  41. Meta
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    So sorry to have to tell you this, EOS, but emails appear to show shooting survivor’s father doctored emails to support claim CNN gave “scripted” question.

    CNN released emails from a network producer on Friday that contradict a Florida high school student’s claim that the network scripted a question that he was supposed to ask at a televised town hall event this week.

    Colton Haab, a survivor of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., said Thursday on Fox News that CNN had initially asked him to “write a speech and ask questions” for the event but that a producer ultimately scripted a question for him. CNN has denied that claim.

    According to Business Insider, CNN and Haab agreed on the question that he would ask at the town hall. His father, Glenn Haab, pulled his son out of the event after the network refused to let the student read a lengthy speech.

    The Haabs also appeared to provide doctored emails to media outlets to back up the claim that CNN scripted the questions, Business Insider reported. CNN’s version of the email showed that the producer wrote she wanted the student to stick to a question “that he submitted,” but that phrase was omitted in the version released by the family.

    “It is unfortunate that an effort to discredit CNN and the town hall with doctored emails has taken any attention away from the purpose of the event,” a CNN spokesman said, according to Business Insider.

    “However, when presented with doctored email exchanges, we felt the need to set the record straight.”

    President Trump on Thursday night seized on the claim that CNN rewrote Haab’s question, calling the network “Fake News.”

    “Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse,” Trump tweeted.

    Read more:

  42. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    So to recap: Colton had a question he wanted to ask but CNN wanted him to ask a different question in-line with their scripted program.

    Now re-read EOS’s last post.

  43. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I think the point is that these kids and a lot of other people (such as myself) would like to see a world where kids didn’t get killed because they showed up to school.

    What CNN does is beside the point.

  44. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Regardless, I would not want to be a kid at a school where some teachers are armed.

    There are always a number of teachers on a power trip anyway, and they tend to take it out on kids who are different or black or immigrants or anyone in some cases. Inevitably, those people would be the first to step up to get permission to bring a gun into school and would inevitably use it as another tool to intimidate children who don’t “fit in” so to speak.

    Granted, these kids of reprehensible people are a minority, but arming that minority would be a disaster for the kids who had to put up with it on a daily basis.

    Placing metal detectors and security guards in school already doesn’t prevent shootings and simply makes sure that a lot of black kids get arrested (some as young as 10, even). Giving teachers guns would increase that number.

    Fuck guns.
    Fuck people who defend them.
    Fuck people who defend people who defend guns.

  45. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    A nice set of quotes from teachers on guns.

    But I guess they are all shills for George Soros so we shouldn’t listen to them. Granted, some of our right wing posters will dig and find a quote from a right wing teacher that bringing an assault weapon into the classroom is a great way to inspire kids to read the Bible that supposedly negates the views of teachers opposed.

    And George Soros. And Hillary Clinton.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    That was an excellent rant IL.
    Here, here!
    Also noted, that Marie Claire link— yet another women’s fashion magazine stepping up to the reality that politics matters to women.
    The NRA are going to become an organization non-grata in a big chunk of the world. They’re being dropped all over the place. They showed too much hubris and lost their footing. If kids aren’t afraid of the big bad wolf, then why are politicians? Makes them look like idiots. I’m looking forward to this fall’s elections.

  47. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    FF — do you willfully misinterpret these things? Please review.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Black parents are saying they will pull their kids out of school if teachers are armed. There is ample evidence already that armed guards don’t prevent any mass shootings but harass and arrest Black and Brown students at disproportionate rates. Black Americans have been talking about this concern for years. They have also been advocating for stiffer gun regulation for years. Consider for a moment the disproportionate response to Black people decalring Black Lives Matter and white kids declaring that their lives matter. What seem to upset us most is always the idea that privilege cant insulate us from risk. And yet our risk is minimal in comparison. It takes the shooting of white privileged kids, at either Parkland or Sandy Hook, to enliven the debate about gun control and the NRA (the obvious bad actor in the room; though it was not always a terrible organization). That may simply be the current political reality. I’m thrilled that the Parkland students are using their relative privilege as a tool to create effective change. That change can be more equitable in positive impact if we listen to more marginalized voices on the issue.
    This is one of many pieces out there to address the concern from the perspective of Black and Brown Americans:

  49. EOS
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Homeschooling is a great option. I wouldn’t send my kids to a public school today, where they gather in large numbers and are prohibited from carrying an effective means of defense. The use of technology and Internet based instruction could be implemented for public schools immediately, thereby effectively diminishing the risks to students and vastly improving the quality of their academic instruction. And if you aren’t able to seriously consider this option, then consider that you are more interested in enacting your political agenda than protecting our children.

  50. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    “And if you aren’t able to seriously consider this option, then consider that you are more interested in enacting your political agenda than protecting our children.”


  51. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    EOS– I see you have a solid plan for caring for the millions of extra and unwanted children you would like to bring into the world.

    You are clearly more rational than the rest of us.

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    EOS believes serving the well being of children requires a nation of bunker babies. The positive future she imagines allows us to keep all our weaponry and isolate our children from any risk. Except the risk of being raised by someone like EOS.

    Just FYI EOS, we live in a much safer world for children than has ever existed. This is true in the US and especially world wide. We are not experiencing moral collapse that endangers children. We are experiencing the expansive rise from poverty, good health and longevity that scientific advancement and social progress provides– where it is not stymied by regressive judgmental and fearful asses like you.

    We have a standard and awareness now that sees gun violence at current levels as inhumane and unacceptable, and we simply want to continue to improve our society. And we are not letting the NRA prevent that progress any more.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    EOS clearly could have benefited from more social exposure and conditioning.

  54. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “EOS believes serving the well being of children requires a nation of bunker babies. ”

    Along with much of America, it appears. Confining your children to the home is the only way to keep them safe apparently.

  55. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    EOS is like the education version of the people who hung on to the agrarian fantasy that everyone should (or can or wants to) produce everything they eat.

  56. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes, even though statistically children are much safer out in the world than ever before and still much more at risk in the home (including from gun violence) than anywhere else.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    A perspective worth hearing:

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

  59. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “Yes, even though statistically children are much safer out in the world than ever before and still much more at risk in the home (including from gun violence) than anywhere else.”

    Yes, but there are atheists and dangerous black people outside. Best to keep them inside learning on approved sites off the internet than have them interact with the world.

  60. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    “FF — do you willfully misinterpret these things?”

    Jean—do you innocently employ the “complex question fallacy”?

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I guess I do. I honestly do not understand how you could interpret Meta’s point or the attached link as validating EOS’ perspective. I believe you misread.

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    IL: “Yes, but there are atheists and dangerous black people outside. Best to keep them inside learning on approved sites off the internet than have them interact with the world.”

    –It’s like a recipe for producing the next mass murderer.

  63. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    A noble soul, Mr. Flakes seeks to defend the defenseless, particularly if they hold right wing views.

  64. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    So, having worked in a place with vulnerable people and armed police, the point is this, you have to trust the police.

    Homeschooling works. It is not easy, but schools are not well run, and children suffer for it.

  65. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    who is Frosted Flakes?
    no answer..maybe it is rick snyder

  66. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    “Homeschooling works. It is not easy, but schools are not well run, and children suffer for it.”

    First, who the hell has time for that?

    Second, now right wingers who are advocating for homeschooling are suggesting that private online programs provide education to kids. Do you really think that’s a good idea?

    Third, the quality of homeschooling depends on parent’s commitment to educating their kids.Some will do well. Others…. I suppose if your goal is to teach your kid creationism and give the kid a fucked up religious education, then it could be successful. Christian homeschooling families are no better than the Islamic Madrassas.

  67. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Most public schools are well run. Not all, but most. Relative to the school I attended as a child, I’m thrilled with the education my kids have received in MI. I have neither time nor inclination to educate my own children. What kids get from school is more than an education. Ideally they learn to engage positively with all kinds of people from other backgrounds and belief systems. The social skills developed in school are just as important to their future success and well-being as the education received. My oldest has a tremendous supportive circle of hometown friends whom she has known most of her life. My youngest is well on his way to the same. The value of such bonds should not be underestimated.

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s pretty easy to look at Ann Arbor as homogenous and monolithic. I’ve been amazed at the diversity and lived complexity of my kids’ friends lives. They’re remarkable people. What a deficit it would be had they not had opportunity to get to know them. Honestly, my life is richer for them as well.

  69. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    People have to make the time and and no online education is not a good idea, just one the current government tolerates. And no, most public schools are not well run.

  70. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    The schools get by, they try, but money is tight and there is always more that they need..and that is just how it is.

  71. Lynne
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, the people I know who have home schooled their kids have not had issues with a lack of socialization options. But of course, they werent trying to isolate their children and lived in communities with others who were also homeschooling so they were able to form home schooling groups where they got together for socialization purposes.

    The biggest issue I have with home schooling as a viable alternative to school is the amount of familial resources that are required. It works for those with the resources to have a parent home with the kids all day and not so much for everyone else.

  72. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, so be it.

  73. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I dont know who you are Lynne, perhaps you are school staff in town, but whatever, homeschooling is an option to any child who attends a public school, and that is the bottom line.

  74. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    “homeschooling is an option to any child who attends a public school”

    So what? A school is only as good as the people who run it. While there are people who are committed to educating their children (commendable) there are also religious zealots who either want to keep their kids stupid or want leave education to some unaccountable. private company looking for a profit.

    Honestly, I’d rather send my kid to a terrible school than leave my kids education to some hacks online looking to make a buck.

    I went to terrible schools (rated among the WORST in the country.) Many kids couldn’t read. Some teachers couldn’t read. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

  75. EOS
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Not only for homeschooling, but for a number of reasons, a two parent family with one parent being stay at home, is optimal for raising children. A smaller house and a little less income is a small price to pay for healthy, well adjusted, and well educated children. And don’t kid yourself that homeschooled kids lack social skills. Most have far greater social interactions than a typical public schooled child. Kids don’t thrive with only short intervals of “quality time” with their parents.

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    EOS– Please present evidence for your assertions. These things are widely studied. Everything I’ve seen points to the opposite conclusions. In fact kids who attend daycare and pre-school have better outcomes than kids who stay at home with their parent in the early years. I spend a tremendous amount of time with my kids. The 6 hours they are in school is not a significant amount of time in the day.

  77. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Jean Henry, you are always so unrealistic, I write chidingly..what I am saying, is the board of ed and others can’t say, oh…okay, that kid can homeschool and we won’t give the parents a hard time, and this child here, can not..
    the family decides.
    the others take a back seat on the decision to homeschool.
    and no, the children don’t have to do the online state or school education classes, at all, if the parents don’t want them to.

  78. Jcp2
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I work in healthcare. In my department, women make up over 85% of the workforce,ranging from entry level positions all the way up to managers and the department director. My department chairperson is a woman, as is the executive VP, and the COO who they report to, is also a woman. I just can’t really imagine that the majority, or even significant minority , of these womens’ husbands, partners, boyfriends, significant others, etc. are going to be content to be staying at home and “raising the family”. Nor can I see these husbands, partners, boyfriends etc. able to step in to do these womens’ jobs even if the opportunity presented itself. I’m sure there are many other areas where this is the case.

  79. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Maria– In all honesty, I do not understand your meaning 75% of the time. I don’t understand why supporting public schools v pushing homeschooling for all makes me ‘unrealistic.’ I don’t
    t care who home schools. I understand all families have that option, if they have time and resources. I questioned the idea of homeschooling SUPERIORITY. You responded as though I was saying it is not permisable or shouldn’t be. I never, ever said that.

    EOS supported the idea that specifically online homeschooling is a viable alternative to a functional public school system. I was responding to her points, not yours. I rarely understand your points well enough to reply.

    Speaking personally, as a single parent, my children would have starved and become homeless had I homeschooled, so there’s that. I have friends who stay at home and some of those who homeschool. That’s great for them. They ALL have considerable privilege and security. It would not work for many other families. Not all parents thrive staying at home. Some of us are better parents for having time away from that role. I’m all for freedom of choice about this things. I can imagine nothing worse than moral or government imperative telling parents specifically how they must raise and educate their children. Maybe we can agree on that.

  80. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Ms. Henry… first thing, you will never, ever get reliable research from a person who posts as EOS. never gonna happen, because that person or them, won’t use their real name. so never ask that person or people again for research data…they won’t stand behind or in front or along side what they state, since they wont’ even state their name(s)..
    second…is that the public schools truly stink. they have been turned into money making ventures for adults…not teaching facilities with teachers,who facilitate teaching..
    and it is possible to home school as a single parent, though it is likely far more difficult to do so than as a married couple…but the point, is the parent decides when that happens. Not the sheriff, not the board of ed, not a teacher, not a principal..the parents decide.

  81. Maria Huffman
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The plans of action to get through tough times, has been, and maybe will continue to be, the strong cover the weak…and I think that is okay in theory, but in practice, it breaks down…
    because of how schools are funded…pensions get paid first..and then the money goes to the schools etc…people ought to get their pensions, kids ought to get educated when they show up to schools and teachers should get paid reliably and well…
    school of choice exists and the entire school debate exists because traditional schools have overreached in their authority, and underperformed as teaching institutions. People are trying to fix this.. and not everyone agrees how it shall be done. It is okay to remove children from such a stressful environment, if the parents chose to. That is what I am saying.

  82. EOS
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink


    I work with many of these highly capable women also. They miss a lot of work due to issues with their kids. And their kids miss a lot of parental involvement due to their work responsibilities. And a significant portion of them end up getting divorced and take on all the childcare responsibilities on a daily basis. These women have two full time jobs and a great deal of self-imposed stress. Most men “help” but their “help” is no way 50% of the childcare and home responsibilities. It’s a flawed system that harms our children. Take a look at these mass shooters life histories and you’ll find homes without a father figure. All I am saying is that staying home to raise your children during their formative years is far better than a little extra income after paying for all the childcare.

  83. John Galt
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I agree with EOS that women shouldn’t work. Furthermore, they should wear burkas when in public. And they should always be accompanied by a male family member.

  84. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    EOS is right. Those women would be better able to focus on their careers if their husbands were to stay home with the kids. Unfortunately, not all families have that option really. But more would if we had a universal basic income.

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    When men stay home with kids and assume half the other domestic responsibilities, then EOS’ point becomes valid. Each parent working half time and sharing home and child responsibilities equally sounds really ideal. And if possible at all would work if married or separated. But currently, even when men are primary child care providers, their female partners do the majority of domestic chores. We are far from a point of equity. I can’t imagine anything better for children’s well being than gender parity.

  86. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Aside from the issues of an idealized reality.

    My step father was a piece of human waste. I would have been better off if he hadn’t been in the house at all. He died soon after I left the house. I was just sad he didn’t die earlier. Obviously, misery loves company, but the vast majority of people I know have one or more useless parents. Another chunk of them cover up how rotten their families are because they feel guilty about it all (Stockholm syndrome anyone?)

    I mean, we can hope for the best, but in the end no child chooses their parents and most parents are only half committed to doing the job right.

  87. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Notably, the reason my parents stuck together was because of the church.

    Christianity is the great enabler of domestic abuse.

  88. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, familial dysfunction is yet another reason why home schooling isn’t a realistic option for many families.

  89. Iron lung
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Families arent a realistic option for most humans. No idea why right wingers insist on imposing their worldview of “family values” when they happily vote in Donald Trump.

  90. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    What’s even more astounding is that right wingers think that they have the right prescription to fix black America through requiring that families follow a white, nuclear model from the 1950s, after centuries of breaking families up through slavery, through Jim Crow and forced migrations, and then through their fucked up policies of incarceration of black and poor people.

    Kinda hard to have a family when you enslave them, keep dudes from being able to make a living or put them in jail for even the most minor of offenses through laws that disproportionately impact black people.

  91. Jcp2
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost as if busting up someone else’s stuff and then telling them how to fix it make you feel better about having your own stuff.

  92. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that right wing America has a real grasp on history.

  93. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    “It’s almost as if busting up someone else’s stuff and then telling them how to fix it make you feel better about having your own stuff.”
    Yep. Along this line– ‘Family values’ conservatives via ICE are aggressively splitting of African, Latinx and Middle Eastern families, regardless of criminality or asylum petition, in order to dissuade immigration. It’s working.
    The inclination to close the gate behind oneself is not exclusive to the right. The willingness to actively break up families seems to be however. Noted that Obama pursued this strategy in a much more limited way, but the idea was to crack down on immigrants with felony charges to gain enough legitimacy to rework the immigration system in the legislature. Didn’t work. It only created appetite for more.

  94. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Emma Gonzales is a remarkable force: “We are children who are being expected to act like adults, while the adults are proving themselves to behave like children.” It’s a sad state of affairs when children take on the responsibilities of the parents. This is a classic sign of child neglect and familial dysfunction. And yet children are remarkably resillient and rise to this challenge regularly. Our children our now rising to the challenge of Trump’s toddler like behavior. We are placing our hope in them to save us. Just as we, as a nation, regularly place our hope in Black voters to save us from our worst self. This in spite of the stark reality that, if any group is justified in disaffection from voting, because the system does not work for them, it’s Black voters. I don’t know what it takes for Americans to grow up and be less reactive and more committed to progress for all. Maybe we will learn from our children.

    Please also note the last line. The NRA’s power comes not so much in their money but in their capacity to drive their people to the polls. Only an alternative committed force for gun regulation can disable their power. Third party advocates can fuck off right now. We all need to vote responsibly and encourage others to do the same, because, damn right, the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

  95. Ghost of Ronald Reagan
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “An AK47, or a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon.”

  96. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of this pope or any other, but for those who think the religious cant or wont get it:

    I’d still prefer he be less of an inspirational leader–see cult of personality–and more an actual Catholic church reformer, but I’ll take it.

  97. EOS
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    You can ban assault rifles and they’ll bring shotguns. Shotguns are probably even better at killing people who are huddled in a corner waiting for the non-existent Sheriff to show up. So what difference will it have made?

  98. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    “You can ban assault rifles and they’ll bring shotguns.”

    So what? You can make laws against a lot of things, but determined people will find some other way. That doesn’t detract from the need to have laws against things that present a danger to society.

    NOONE ever said “well, we don’t need drunk driving laws because people will do it anyway.”

    Truly, no one has ever said that.

    Clearly, though EOS has fired neither an assault rifle or a shotgun is she doesn’t know the difference. I have fired both, I can tell you that they are very different.

  99. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    It is incredible that, for a nation where guns are so ubiquitous, that Americans are mostly ignorant of guns, the different types of guns, what each is designed for and what each can do.

    I can only speak for myself, but I have fired all kinds of weapons. I have also seen people get shot (all semi-automatic hand guns.)

    We need to ban not only assault rifles, but all semi-automatic weapons. They are superfluous for leisure, hunting and home defense, but very effective for offensively killing large numbers of people at once.

  100. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    A shotgun has enough power to kill at close range, but it has a hell of a kick, is much slower to reload, has less ammo capacity and is not lethal once the intended target gets beyond 25 yards or so because the shot spray widens and becomes ineffective. The reload on a shotgun also takes long enough that a shooter can be disarmed. Under proposed changes to the law, automatic shotguns would be illegal. So yes, while in the circumstance of children huddled in a corner (lovely thought) pretty much any gun will do, under any other circumstance an automatic rifle is going to kill a lot more people. EOS, as always is full of shit.

    Here she uses her standard ploy of taking one circumstance, the Parkland massacre, and applying to it one ill-informed false equivalence, in order to call into question the efficacy of any sensible gun regulation to the epidemic of overall gun violence in America. There is plenty of counter evidence that gun regulations can work. There would be more if we allowed the CDC to actually study how to reduce gun violence rather than just keep track of incidence.

  101. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    IL: Gun advocates use that ignorance constantly against those in support of gun regulation. They nitpick language to end run the conversation. EOS is parroting their rhetoric but with no knowledge. If we care about this issue and how to effectively address it, we need to educate ourselves on it. Not just on the guns and modifications themselves but on policy proposals and implementation methods that are effective and not. While Americans love their emotional arguments and outrage, they rarely love complexity or paradox. There’s plenty of complexity and paradox in gun safety. Those who truly care will dive in.

    PS I’m truly sorry you’ve witnessed so much violence, IL.

  102. EOS
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I qualified as a sharpshooter with an M16. And I’ve used shotguns to shoot skeet. Walking down a school hallway, you can get a spray pattern with a shotgun to take out a group of people with a single shot. It takes a few seconds to load a couple of shells into a double barrel. You can saw off the barrel to make it easier to conceal. You don’t even have to aim, just point the barrel in the general location of what you intend to hit.

    An assault rifle will engage a single target, unless the bullet passes through a person to another. Assault rifles are the weapon of choice for all military operations because you can engage the enemy from a long distance while you remain concealed. Some snipers hit their targets from as far away as two miles. They are bulky and hard to conceal. Semi-automatic means you have to pull the trigger each time you shoot a bullet.

  103. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Reposting this because it’s useful:
    “In order to make educated arguments for gun control, it’s important to actually know what you’re proposing and use the right language. Otherwise, you’ll just get completely shut down as “not knowing anything about guns” to people you’re trying to convince. And if you don’t know anything about guns, you can’t really advocate for responsible gun policy.

    AR15s are not the problem alone. Yes, it’s the most popular military-style rifle, and it is designed to kill people effectively. But banning one model of weapon will just make people switch to other, equally effective killing machines. If you banned the Toyota Camry, would people stop buying midsize sedans? No, you’d just end up with more Honda Accords on the road. If you want to fix the problem, you have to ban all semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic means the weapon is loaded with a magazine (or belt in some cases) with multiple rounds; and for every trigger squeeze, one bullet is discharged. There is no real need for these weapons in civilian use. They aren’t necessary for hunting, where the point is to kill the animal with one shot. It is only useful for killing a lot of things in a short amount of time or having fun at a gun range. I think our children’s lives are more important than a fraction of the population’s fun shooting a bunch of rounds quickly at a range. They’ll cope.

    Handguns are far more responsible for gun deaths in America than semi-auto rifles. You mentioned the kid who brought a gun to school as only having a “handgun, not a semi-automatic.” Well, almost all handguns are semi-automatic. They have magazines and one bullet per trigger squeeze. Though most handgun rounds aren’t as deadly as rifle rounds, it’s inconsequential at short range. And handguns are far easier to conceal than a rifle. With the exception of maybe revolvers (which have 5-6 round max before reloading), I believe handguns should be outlawed. The Virginia Tech massacre, the most deadly school shooting in American history, was accomplished with handguns only. Don’t underestimate their lethality. I think military style rifles only account for about 2% of gun deaths each year. If you want to solve the problem, semi-auto handguns have to go, as well.

    If we really want to make a difference in gun deaths, we need to do WAY more than universal background checks and better mental health screening. Banning all semi-automatic weapons would make that difference. Keeping shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles legal accomplish all the typical, common uses of guns. (Bolt-action rifles are typical hunting rifles that you have to reload between shots.) With these types of firearms legal, you can still hunt, defend your home, and compete in sport shooting.

    Combine the following with the semi-auto ban.
    Government buy-back program of all semi-automatic weapons. Once a grace period for turn-ins ends, possession will be a felony without a special (and rare) license for Federally approved dealers and collectors.
    Gun licenses for all who want to continue to own approved firearms. Licenses will be granted by completing a comprehensive background check, psych evaluation, safety training, marksmanship training, and meeting strict storage requirements. Storage requirements would include safes, weapons unloaded, with ammo stored separately. Licenses expire after a certain number of years and all the requirements must be completed again for license renewal.
    Registration of all firearms.
    Insurance for all firearms. If your gun is used in a crime or if there’s a accident with your gun, your insurance company is liable for damages. Let the insurance market set rates based on their analysis of risk. Then, people can decide if it’s financially worth it to own a gun.
    Finally, here’s your counterarguments for the most common pro-gun arguments:
    Pro-gun argument – assault weapons aren’t an actual thing. Banning them won’t make a difference.
    Counterargument – none. This is true. Classifying a gun as an “assault weapon” is something people who know nothing about guns do. Having a bayonet stud (a place to mount a bayonet) used to be one way to classify a gun as an assault weapon. Last I checked, we don’t have a bayonet problem in this country. Talk about banning semi-auto guns instead of made-up things like “assault weapons.”
    Pro-gun argument – 2nd Amendment guarantees my right to bear arms!
    Counterargument – sure, it does, but there can be limitations. And in case anyone needs a history lesson, the individual right to bear arms has only existed since 2008. From the adoption of the Constitution until the DC v. Heller decision in 2008, the 2nd Amendment had never been interpreted to mean private citizens have a right to own guns. (Thanks, Scalia.) But that decision is now the law of the land and precedent for future court decisions. Nevertheless, even in Scalia’s majority opinion, he asserts that there are limitations to the 2nd Amendment. Weapons allowed should be those in common use at the time. And limitations should be made on “dangerous and unusual” weapons, per previous precedent in United States v. Miller. I argue that semi-auto firearms should now be considered “dangerous and unusual,” given their lethality.
    Pro-gun argument – if law-abiding citizens get rid of their guns, criminals won’t follow the law, and we’ll be in more danger.
    Counterargument – this is an argument against having laws. Since criminals don’t follow the law, there should be no limits on anything. Also, when we do outlaw things, it can work. Purchases of large quantities of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was restricted after the Oklahoma City bombing, and there hasn’t been a similar bombing since. We outlawed fully automatic weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. in the 20th century, and what has happened? We don’t see violence with those types of weapons. Most weapons used to commit crimes are purchased lawfully. If we change the laws, it will work to reduce gun deaths.
    Pro-gun argument – if we ban guns, people will just use knives or baseball bats
    Counterargument – there are plenty of incidents around the world of mass stabbings or clubbings, etc. Show me one that is as lethal as a mass shooting.
    Pro-gun argument – we need armed security guards in every school
    Counterargument – do you trust the security guard won’t become a mass shooter? The Texas church shooter was an Air Force veteran. The Pulse nightclub shooter was a security guard. Further, it’s relatively easy to get the drop on a security guard. Shoot him first when he’s not expecting, then keep going. That’s what the Pulse nightclub shooter did. It’s not difficult if you draw first. Columbine had armed security, too. Adding more guns to schools adds more risk, it doesn’t reduce it.
    Pro-gun argument – it’s a mental health issue, not a gun issue *or* guns don’t kill people, people kill people
    Counterargument – The United States has the same rates of mental illness as other developed Western countries, but we’re the only ones with this type of violence. The mentally ill are actually less likely to commit crime than those who aren’t mentally ill, which many find surprising. Also, those who are mentally ill are more likely to become the victim of a crime than those who don’t have mental illness. It’s a common refrain to hear “anyone who would do that must be crazy.” That’s not true. Being a murderer doesn’t actually mean you are mentally ill, which is why you hardly ever see successful insanity defenses in trials. And if “people kill people,” then we really should stop giving all these people guns, right? We don’t allow private F-22s or nuclear weapons, do we? Why? Because people would use them to kill other people. People use people-killing machines to kill people. Go figure.
    Pro-gun argument – We, as a society, have turned our backs on God. This is why crime is getting worse. We need God/Jesus to heal people’s hearts, not get rid of law-abiding citizens’ guns.
    Counterargument – Crime has actually decreased overall in recent decades. Things are getting better, not worse. Murder rates and violent crime overall have trended down as we’ve advanced as a society. Mass shootings have remained steady, though, because angry people have easy access to guns.
    Pro-gun argument – we need guns to fight against the government in case it becomes tyrannical.
    Counterargument – I doubt semi-automatic weapons will defeat a tyrannical government with fighter jets, bombers, tanks, artillery, drones, advanced cyber capabilities, and nuclear weapons.
    Pro-gun argument – gun registrations will make it easier for the government to disarm us
    Counterargument – The registration is necessary to keep track of deadly weapons in case they are used in a crime, or in case a law-abiding citizen commits a crime that revokes their right to guns. There’s over 300 million privately owned guns in America. If the government wanted to take everyone’s guns, they’d do it the same way they would if there wasn’t a registry: by going door to door and searching everyone.
    I truly believe we need to do far more than anything advocated by most mainstream gun control organizations like Everytown and Moms Demand Action. We need to follow the lead of countries like the UK, Australia, and Canada. They’ve figured it out. Why can’t we?”

  104. EOS
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. Why doesn’t the Democratic Party make banning all semi-automatic weapons a party of their national party platform? That would just about put the nail in the coffin and usher in multiple parties to result in a long term Republican dominance.

  105. Jcp2
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Pro gun argument: It is my destiny to be a citizen of this chosen nation so that I can exercise my god given right to defend myself any which way I chose, including having an arsenal of semi-automatic firearms. In fact, this is not up for debate, especially by heretics. It is a statement of the truth.
    Counterargument: …

  106. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    A simple revolver or any standard hunting rifle of any kind is sufficient to defend one’s home against threats both animal and human.

    If someone breaks into your home, the level of artillery in that small of a space with that few people involved will make no difference for either party.

    People like EOS haven’t seen people get shot and have no substantive experience with firearms.

    Yahoos want to feel tough will want semi-automatic pistols and the like, and there’s no doubting that they are good weapons and fun to shoot, but clearly tens of thousands of guns injuries and deaths a year call for immediate action.

    Banning the sale and even the possession of semi-automatic weapons won’t bring the number to zero, but it may save some lives at no cost to society. People will still be able to hunt, shoot for fun and defend themselves.

    It will just be harder for them to kill lots of people in a short amount of time.

  107. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    The post above was written by a vet who served as a sniper in Iraq, EOS. Meanwhile a Dem platform supporting sensible gun regulation is becoming more and more likely as the tide of public opinion changes.

  108. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile in Florida… because Florida:

    Assault weapons ban: no
    10 armed teachers in every school: yes.

    Oh Florida…

  109. EOS
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    IL –
    “A simple revolver or any standard hunting rifle of any kind is sufficient to defend one’s home against threats both animal and human. ”

    Both of your examples are semi-automatic. Doh!

  110. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    They dont have to be, EOS.
    It’s entirely possible to ban semi automatic weapons for civilians. It may take a while and need to be done it stages, but it’s what a sane country would do.
    Your strategy of finding one bit wrong (often inaccurate) with a statement does not invalidate the larger point. It just makes for diversion. It’s tiresome.

  111. EOS
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    He said a standard hunting rifle, not a muzzle loader. You’re insane if you think people will agree to discard the second amendment. I don’t find one bit wrong – I’m rejecting the whole idea.

  112. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    No one here is suggesting throwing away the 2nd amendment. We’re suggesting the need to push back on the post 2008 DC v Heller decision interpretation.
    The muzzle loader comment is more willful exacerbation. Any statute would define semi-automatic very very clearly. A six chamber revolver and standard two shot hunting rifle would be legal. They are adequate to the tasks of home and personal defense and hunting.

  113. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Exaggeration * typing on phone on dark. Guess I should get up

  114. EOS
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Banning all semi-automatic weapons is the irrational over reaction here. Isn’t going to happen but I do hope the Democratic Party embraces and promotes this idea.

  115. Jcp2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink


    For a person who is intimately familiar with firearms, I thought you would know the distinction between a (semi)automatic firearm and a revolver/pump/lever action firearm. The distinction is largely what causes the next round to come into firing position. If YOU have to supply the mechanical energy, it’s not (semi)automatic. If some of the explosion of the previous bullet has been directed to bring the next round into play, the weapon is (semi)automatic. The whole point of the design is to enable easy rapid firing by reducing the effort to chamber another round.

  116. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks JCP.
    EOS we do agree on something. A semi-auto forearm ban would be great on the Dem platform. What’s on the platform is aspirational. Just like the GOP anti-abortion component of its platform, it’s a statement of intent. It could only come about if the majority of citizens back it up. I’d be willing to bet that a pro gun regulation stance is the winning long term policy strategy over anti-abortion. It’s all there in the numbers, EOS. Your side was righteously energized to vote. That was the only advantage. Now we’re equally energized. The legacy of Trump will be that he managed to unify the left, assuming he doesn’t blow up North Korea or Iran… It could be SCOTUS, but History tells us that SCOTUS follows the society on accepting progressive ideas, not visa versa. You picked a losing side. I’m sure that satisfies your righteousness so I don’t feel at all bad for you.

  117. Sad
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Jcp2 -I just googled standard hunting rifle semi automatic and found a slew of them. Stick to tales of the Canadian oil fields.

    I want to repeal the 2nd amendment.

    Does anyone know how long HW will be blocked?

  118. Jcp2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Of course there are semi automatic hunting rifles. I would expect that most of them are. I was just refuting EOS’s view that the definition of a semi automatic included revolvers and other firearms that fired a round per trigger pull on a repeated basis. It’s sad that you can’t follow the conversation.

  119. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I feel certain HW has not been blocked, but gave up. I sign of some sense on his part.

    As for your critique of JCP’s point, you misunderstood. Yes semi auto handguns and rifles and shotguns exist. They predominate actually. But if semi-auto firearms were not allowed to the average citizen, those citizens would still have access to rifles, shotguns and handguns with adequate firepower to protect oneself, one’s home and hunt. Hunting would be more challenging but that’s what ethical hunting sportsman have always advocated for anyway.

    I’m not sure why you feel such a need to defend the indefensible, but your narrative bent that way is well demonstrated by your inaccuracies in doing so, SAD. It seems you think you are being equinanimous, but, as I have said before, your equanimity relies on a false equivalence. You can’t claim moral superiority in the current political climate by trying to mediate between the humannposition and the inhumane one. The current political circumstance requires active ongoing resistance to minimize damage. It’s unique.

  120. Sad
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Your group should be proud! You defeated a Warlord with nothing but words! Congrats.

    Now you just have the church lady. Is she really a lady though or is that some weird gender insult?

    It would be sadder if I could follow the conversation.

    All positions are relative, even mine, that McDonalds is a good place to get a filling cheap lunch.

    I just enjoy the back and forth.

  121. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Sad–Your detachment is a position offered by your social privilege. I don’t car what political position you assume, even that of provocateur, so long as you can acknowledge that your position is inherently one of not giving a shit. And that not giving a shit is a luxury. I’m not denying my own privilege here; it’s considerable. I choose to use it as a tool, rather than leaning back on it and scoffing at the efforts of others, some of whom do not have the choice.

  122. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    PS: Relativism has its limits. Humanism does not.

  123. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “McDonalds is a good place to get a filling cheap lunch.”

    I agree.

  124. Lynne
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think it is very realistic at this point when people say that they want to repeal the second amendment but I am not against it. And you know, I can remember thinking that gay people were never going to get full marriage rights and therefore should settle for civil unions and I was BIG TIME wrong about that position. Anything can happen and I would be overjoyed if the second amendment would be repealed even if only to stomp down a little bit of the privileged entitlement people feel about their guns.

  125. Jcp2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the goal is repeal of the second amendment, but rather an alteration in the interpretation of the wording that allows some reasonable restrictions on registration and ownership more so than is the case now. Perhaps what might happen is a state by state change in interpretation. You know, states rights and all that jazz.

  126. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Both left and right are fond of believing that laws and regulations that they oppose, but which followed the legislative process, have been imposed upon them.

  127. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    A well loved teacher in Georgia fired shots in his classroom today. Must be the deep state. Watching the kids run got to me. We’re scaring the shit out of our children.–law/breaking-teacher-custody-after-shot-fired-school/Yszy9v7Z9Vy86bTp9ygdWJ/

  128. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Trump in a televised meeting with members of Congress to talk about gun reform spoke of red flagging people known to be violent and seizing their guns (good idea) ‘without waiting for the courts which take too long.’ ‘I like taking the guns early’ ‘Just seize the guns and then deal with the courts.’ So much for due process. And proof that Trump’s totalitarian impulses are applied equally. He’s proposing ‘coming for their guns.’ I’ll be interested to see what happens to his poll numbers.

    The Brady act allows police to seize guns on the person of people who they deem to be a risk to themselves and others or who possess them illegally. That’s very different than allowing any citizen to red flag another person and trigger an illegal search and seizure.

    I don’t expect his gate keepers will be allowing another one of these televised open meetings.

  129. Sad
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It’s the marketplace of ideas. It’s nice to have a little variety rather than the same voices all the time. I don’t really see HW as a threat. Did you ever read what he wrote?

  130. Jcp2
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I went to McDonald’s and ordered a chalupa.

  131. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I not only read what he wrote but I looked up where he was getting his theories and bad information and paranoia from. HW alone is not a threat, except in sowing paranoia and spreading misinformation, which we now know matters a great deal in politics. HW’s sources are the real threat. Beyond that, SAD, you seem immune to understanding the problems with his distortion, grandiosity, bravado and vitriol. You seemed to find it amusing. These are signs of serious mental instability, especially around anger management . I’m not sure you are capable of registering the threat HW might pose. How nice for you.

  132. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Also SAD, more people commented here when HW was not around.
    The threads get a lot longer whenever HW shows up but most of that is bad information and personal attack and counter and ridiculous diversions off point. These factors make it hard and unappealing for other people to just jump in.

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