The Public Conversation on Gun Violence

by: Chris Blask

Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 17:14:27 PM EST

As Vice President Biden continues his work in an attempt to move the gun issue forward and the NRA continues its work to arm teachers, the country as a whole is advancing the topic in small and large ways. Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe once again this morning provided, at least to the largely liberal MSNBC audience, an example of a very conservative former politician who understands the realities of the issue in America today.

Meanwhile, Moose Bill McGee (bam) was on the Ed Show on MSNBC representing the position of parents who would rather not have armed teachers in their children's classrooms. Bill does a very Moosely job of respecting the other opinions but nonetheless providing well articulated reasons why armed teachers in classrooms is not a viable solution to gun violence. Bill's interview begins right at the 6-minute mark in the video below.

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This issue is not going away, no matter what the NRA has to say about it. 85% of Americans today want to have universal background checks for gun purchases, 75% want restrictions on the size of magazines. Regardless of the mechanisms agreed to attempt to address the issue it seems apparent that the usual roadblocks to discourse are coming down.

Chris Blask :: The Public Conversation on Gun Violence
What do you think, Moose and lurkers? Is this nothing more than the circular firing squad we are all so familiar with, where pies fly like (well, bullets) in any conversation anyone tries to have?

I don't think so.

Gun debates are something I have long ago chosen not to engage in, other than for sheer entertainment purposes. But this time is different. It isn't just Sandy Hook and Aurora and all the others. It isn't just the NRAs move to move away from its roots as a membership organization to become in recent years the official marketing arm of weapons manufacturers. There is something very different about the debate this time, and in part I think it is related to the fact that today so many hundreds of millions of Americans have access to so much more information and such a different way to share it.

This time I think there will be change, and I think it will come with overwhelming support from not only liberals but from the vast bulk of the middle and a surprising slice of the Right who represent not Doomsday Preppers but hunters and other gun owners.

[Update] Below is a fairly large section of the conversation on Morning Joe this Friday. A very good watch to see the problems the GOP has with this issue. In my opinion, Joe Scarborough's comments forecast the GOP we will see evolve in coming years. You can hold me to that later.

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Not entirely rational, I know... (2.00 / 29)
...but you know what did it for me?

But this time is different.

When the POTUS read the names of those little children, and he said 'Jack'.  Literally knocked the wind out of me.  My Jack is four.


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

It hit home to a very large number of people. (2.00 / 23)
I remember all that day avoiding the news, not being able to know anything about it so I could focus on work. "Another school shooting".

Then I saw the news in the evening. Grim, but used to it.

Until they said the age of the children. It hit me like a wall, broke out crying, turned off the TV.

It's just too much not to do anything about.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
That precious face should never have to show fear in the classroom n/t (2.00 / 20)

[ Parent ]
What a sweet (2.00 / 11)

It is so terrifying to think that someone so innocent would ever have to be put in a situation like those kids were, and even more terrifying that it doesn't make every single person in the United States realize that we have to do something. And by something I don't mean arm the fucking teachers. Grrrr.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Thank you for the clip, Blask.... (2.00 / 24)
another Moose does good! I think Bill did a great job articulating his opinion on the subject (if a teacher has access to a gun...then students have access to a gun).

I commented in another diary recently on the need for (and support of) gun regulation.

Rage had described how he, as a responsible gun owner, is able to see the need for more gun control regulations. He is supportive of national training and more stringent licensing. He is part of the majority (of non-gun owners and gun owners alike).

Here my reply:

The reality is that the VAST majority of gun owners are like you, Rage.

The problem is that it is not REALITY that is controlling this is MONEY.

As long as the NRA is as well-funded as it is (and is thereby able to well-fund politicians to keep them in their pockets)...I just don't see much progress happening.

Sadly, it does not matter what the MAJORITY wants as long as the MONEY wants something else.

I am more confident now than I have been in a very long time that something may actually happen...but, I don't know exactly how confident that is. I see the MONEY fighting tooth and nail in opposition...and I'm not so sure that the MONEY will be defeated.

If something IS done...I hope it is not weak sauce that is touted as being some huge accomplishment (or, from the opposite end, vilified as being some huge attack on the Constitution).

I think that we have the opportunity here to take huge steps in gun control. Background checks for ALL. More licensing. Closing the Gun Show loop holes on a National level. Stronger penalties for lack of responsible gun ownership.

Let's hope that the Obama Administration is able to wind its way through the firing squad that is sure to ensue. Let's hope that something substantial makes its way into law...because if it does not happen now, I don't know that it will ever happen (until, god forbid, something WORSE than the mowing down of 20 pre-schoolers happens).

Sorry for the ramble.

Carry on....


Well... the money wanted President Romney (2.00 / 18)
Maybe if enough people stand up, this will be different too. It seems to be building force this time (so far) instead of dying down.

[ Parent ]
The difference here, though... (2.00 / 19)
is that the MONEY is going into the pockets of both Republicans and Democrats.

I don't know of many Dem politicians who wanted Romney (I'm sure they existed, but, surely, they were few and far between).

With the gun control issue we have people like Heidi Heitkamp vocally opposing any worthwhile gun control measures.

I am still hopeful...but, as I have said many a time before...I am no Pollyanna.

Like I said above, if we do not get something substantial done now....god help us. I can't imagine what sort of horrors will have to occur to get meaningful change if the slaughter of pre-school age children can't do it.


[ Parent ]
Interestingly Heitkamp's folks have walked that back. (2.00 / 17)
TPM has the story (in which a gun control group who took out ads against Heitkamp's words takes credit for that walkback).

However, I am only somewhat hopeful that anything gets passed.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
We have four grandchildren...ages 5,6,10 and 11 (2.00 / 23)
The thought of armed teachers in their classrooms is horrifying to me, and would be to their parents as well.

I grew up on a ranch in southern Nevada with a gun rack in nearly every pickup truck. I was always afraid....The only time I ever felt safe around guns was with my grandfather, a wise and cautious man who literally fed his family with his gun and his garden. After his passing his guns went to my brother, also a wise and cautious man. But his troubled stepson stole them and sold who knows where those guns are now. I pray they have caused no harm.

I was at my grand children's school on that horrible day last month, and as I watched them cross the street so carefully, keeping themselves safe just as they have been taught to do, I quietly and privately sobbed with grief...and then I cared for them, trying not share my fear.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

I think that you are not (2.00 / 19)
alone as you
watched them cross the street so carefully, keeping themselves safe just as they have been taught to do, I quietly and privately sobbed with grief...
and it may, in the end, be those quiet sobs that will create a new and better world.

[ Parent ]
We were talking around the dinner table about the Ohio (2.00 / 13)
school district that will be arming their janitors. My daughter, who is in middle-school, looked skeptical and said "Our janitors just know how to clean the school" ... stating the obvious. It is crazy to arm teachers or principals or janitors.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
I landscaped my way through college. (2.00 / 7)
All us maintenance folks worked together.

We were not, I hate to inform everyone, a crack SWAT team.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I just finished my practicum (2.00 / 6)
so, hopefully, in September, I will find a job and be a teacher.

I am the absolute LAST person you'd ever want armed. I'm extremely clumsy. You know the stereotype of the bespectacled nerdy English professor who can quote Shakespeare off the top of his head and loves all his students to distraction but is such a clumsy dunderhead he spills his coffee all over himself? That's me. And you want me to have a gun? Are you KIDDING me? It took me 30 years to become a mediocre guitar player! And a guitar never killed anyone (even with my playing).  

[ Parent ]
And where would you keep it, anyway? (2.00 / 6)
The poor fumbling clod of a gun dealer on the Pierce Morgan show suggested they should be on the teacher at all times. The Alpine School District rep on the Ed Show with Bill said that the teachers should not let anyone know. I'm not an expert on holsters, but I'm guessing they don't always completely hide the weapon under all circumstances.

So, teachers bringing guns to school are not today all wearing holsters. I'd bet my bottom dollar on it. So where are they keeping them?

In purses? Do they ever put the purse down, even for a minute? Maybe leave the room without it?

In their desk drawer? Is it always locked, and if so wtf good is it? And if it is locked and they leave the room, is there another kid in the country like me to whom a crappy drawer lock is nothing but an idle fiddle?

Bill did a good job of being kind about it, and I agree that folks supporting the idea have good intentions.

But we know what is paved with those.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Especially if you hate suit jackets. (2.00 / 4)
I teach in a shirt and tie, but either just that or, if it's cold, a sweater. I loathe suit jackets. So, yeah, hidden holster? No way.

[ Parent ]
Anything that gets done will have to be through President Obama (2.00 / 14)
The Congress certainly isn't going to get anything done. Too many folks in the pockets of the gun lobby- same with a number of other issues.

I think that doing what he can- strengthening the mental health connections, etc- will actually help, luckily. I worked with the chairman of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Virginia Tech Massacre task force, and that was probably the key thing- the folks in Fairfax, where Cho was from didn't talk to the folks in Blacksburg, and nobody talked to the mental health facility Cho was committed to at one point.

I say that as a gun owner who would absolutely be against things like restricting or trying to register ammunition and some other proposals I've heard of. I own several weapons, including the civilian version of the M-14 rifle the military still uses. But I bought that for practical reasons- unlike the M-16 knockoffs available, this is a marksmanship rifle you can use for sport shooting and hunting, the ammunition of of a caliber that allows me to do both. I'd be hard pressed to support a whole lot of aggressive actions beyond what the President could do right now.

I've said it before, too, I would not be opposed to a national marksmanship or safety program one would have to undertake, much like getting a driver's license to drive a car, for owning a gun. That would avoid registering guns and such, which would mollify many of my friends' "they're going to take our guns!" moans. I also would be in favor of a law where if your gun isn't properly secured, and is stolen or you loan it to someone and they commit a crime/kill someone with it, you're equally liable for the crime (or it's a felony or some such thing). Darn well would be sure people would take locking up their firearms real serious-like.

You are the example of the majority, which is why I expect progress this time. (2.00 / 12)
"Mandatory gun owner responsibility" is what will happen. It may take a few years, but I predict this with a pretty high level of confidence (70%?).

Loopholes make no sense and fly in the face of existing laws, they will be closed.

Ownership liability law is tried and true, it will become part of gun ownership.

The ship has left the port.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I believe the saying is.... (2.00 / 13)
from your lips to God's ears.


[ Parent ]
One thing to think about (2.00 / 4)
while we decide what we want to push for.

Many countries that have far, far more restrictive gun policies than we do make exceptions for competitive marksmanship. China has very restrictive gun laws, but they clean up in the shooting events at the Olympics. Germany has fairly restrictive gun laws, but they excel at Biathlon.

Shooting (and biathlon) are legitimate sports. I'm in favor of far more stricter gun control than most people, but I'd make huge exceptions for sports marksmanship.

[ Parent ]
This congress couldn't put together (2.00 / 3)
a pizza order

[ Parent ]
:~) (2.00 / 2)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Agree on issues, not on policy (2.00 / 8)
85% of Americans today want to have universal background checks for gun purchases, 75% want restrictions on the size of magazines.

And yet Republicans will win 45%-50% of the vote anyway.

Incidently, i think the direction we're going in is one where parts of the country go one way and other parts go another. New York is likely to pass some, if not all, of Gov. Cuomo's gun reforms, while Ohio puts guns in the hands of school janitors (fucking geniuses).

That's also why I think ultimately the country will begin to break apart as regionalism sets in and in policy, we drift farther apart.

In the meantime, we're likely to continue having discussions like the one I had today;
"No one gets murdered in Switzerland, that's because everyone has a gun"
"They don't in England either, and no one has guns"
"They also don't have the animals we have in America"

whatever the fuck that means.  

I love disagreeing with you. :~) (2.00 / 14)
And yet Republicans will win 45%-50% of the vote anyway.

Because you don't just pack it in and go away. We need a consistent voice of pessimism.

Sometimes you are right, sometimes you have been wrong. On this one I think you are wrong on several points.

The NRA is not going to win this time. Either the President does something or the Congress does. Congress could surprise us if enough Republicans discover it isn't the election issue they thought it was. Tea Party GOP will vote no on everything, of course. And in two years another election wipes out the Tea Party congress once and for all (I'll bet you a beer on that, remember my prediction).

And the country isn't going to break apart, final answer.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
asdf (2.00 / 10)
The NRA is not going to win this time.

i don't think so either.  stuff will get done, I just don't know how much it will help overall.

the country isn't going to break apart


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
For all my faith that something will get done, (2.00 / 8)
I don't know either how much it will help.

At this time I am pretty much settled on my position on what should be done and what is either not going to work or asinine. But it is very hard to know. As unlikely as it is, the whackos could be right on this one in some of their overall positions.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
In the end (2.00 / 3)
what differs from our country vs. all the others. This is something right wingers run away from when I bring it up. They hate comparing America to other countries.

But there is less gun violence in pretty much every other civilized country in the world. They all have violent movies, violent video games, abortion. They're less religious than we are. They DON'T have capital punishment. Many have just as diverse societies and some even have high rates of gun ownership.

Granted the ones with a lot of gun ownership- Canada, Switzerland- have stronger CONTROL and REGULATION over their gun culture.

At the core, it's "why are Americans so violent?" Unregulated proliferation of guns may be part if that.  

[ Parent ]
well, maybe there's something to that (2.00 / 13)
the ayn rand wing of the GOP seems to prefer something akin articles of confederation (w/ x-tra strength jesus) to the constitution.  i'm reading lots of civial war stuff lately, and some of the parallels bewteen those days and these days are striking.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
Sandy kinda opened my eyes (2.00 / 6)
more open than they were. The reaction from people like that Congressman from Mississippi, who begged for federal money after Katrina but was unwilling to do the same for Northeasterners was pretty damning.

But its not just him. The "why are they my problem" contingency was strong, especially when discussing government money.

When you suggest as Americans, you have an obligation to help out other Americans, they get downright mean, nasty and sometimes threaten violence. Poor Americans are "not entitled" to help.

"It's not their money. They're not my problem."

And God forbid you should go the Elizabeth Warren route of pointing out "Hey, didn't you take publicly funded mass transit to work today, or did you drive on the taxpayer funded expressway?"

I also discovered, in principle, I'm completely against states rights. We're either a nation or we're not. Let's make up our minds, really.  

[ Parent ]
I think I am with you on that last point. (2.00 / 5)
I also discovered, in principle, I'm completely against states rights.

State's Rights had not ever really been something I thought too much about until recent years. But every time I hear the phrase it is coming from someone who wants to keep a right that most people would disagree with, like if they could just get into a small enough group it would be OK.

If there had just been one colony instead of 13, would the issue ever have been raised during our founding? Does it add any value other than the ability for someone to say, "yeah, but not for me?"

I agree, we are either a country or we are not. Becoming smaller countries does not solve anything until we break all the way down into countries of no-one but ourselves, and then we are simply anarchists.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I mostly agree with you both... (2.00 / 5)
especially when it comes to gun control laws.

DC has some of the (if not THE) strictest gun laws in the Nation.

You will often hear, though, those opposed to gun control using DC as an example of why they don't work ("look at DC! they have strict gun control laws and they still have one of the highest gun crime rates in the nation!").

This is because, as a Nation of UNITED States...our borders are porous...they are not 'controlled'. We do not have a border patrol between VA and DC. And my silly State of Virginia has some of the most lenient gun control laws in the country. We are one of the states that host the notorious Gun Shows.

So, why do DC's gun laws not work? Perhaps because you can drive 20 mins or so into Virginia and be dealing with a complete different set of laws....a set of laws so lax (imo) that it is near comical. Guns move easily across our border into DC (and from our State, and a few others with equally lax laws, they flood into the rest of the Nation).

It is ridiculous to have separate laws governing lands with open and invisible borders that are supposed to all be 'One Nation'.

I also tend to agree with Blask's assessment of the use of 'States Rights' in the modern era. You hear about 'States Rights' most often from those either wanting to keep a 'right' the majority disagrees with or wanting to keep rights away from a minority group.

(Virginia really embarrasses me sometimes...especially lately. McDonnell and Cucinich are both disgraces to mankind)


[ Parent ]
Except DC's crime rate has dropped of course (2.00 / 3)
whether that's because of gun control or not, who knows.

Nevertheless, its really easy to cross state lines with guns and if you've ever been to Arlington, Virginia, directly across a small river from DC, you'd see how easy it is to buy a gun there.

Versus, say, New York City, where its not very easy to buy firearms nearby, so they must come from states away. Gun crime here is a problem, but not nearly as bad.

[ Parent ]
Same can be said of Chicago. (2.00 / 2)
So, why do DC's gun laws not work? Perhaps because you can drive 20 mins or so into Virginia and be dealing with a complete different set of laws....a set of laws so lax (imo) that it is near comical. Guns move easily across our border into DC (and from our State, and a few others with equally lax laws, they flood into the rest of the Nation).

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
But not really of New York (2.00 / 1)
though most of our illegal guns come from Virginia, it's a longer haul.

And here we are, lowest gun murder rate among major cities.  

[ Parent ]
Morning Joe. (2.00 / 9)

I added an entire 23 minute section of today's Morning Joe to the article above. There are so many pertinent sections to it that I think it is worth listening to in total, and I am likely to post a few subclips in the comments.

Here is Joe Scarborough stating a very responsible Republican position, which I believe will be what the post-Tea Party politicians succeed with.

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John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

I was listening to a clip of Vice President Biden speaking (2.00 / 12)
on my drive home tonight. He talked about how the automobile industry, back when he first went into Congress, were much like the gun industry now: heavily lobbied up and not even letting the government collect data on car accidents and what caused people to die in crashes. When Congress finally passed laws to enable the NTSB to collect statistics they found that most deaths were from steering wheels crushing people's chests. So they implemented safety regulations which included collapsible steering columns and saved lives.

Right now the NRA is not allowing the CDC to collect even the most basic data about gun deaths. There may be things that can be done to make firearms safer and the NRA will not even let the government collect information. I believe that is one of the areas that President Obama is talking about might be included in an executive order.

So far what I hear makes me hopeful. To me it boils down to one thing: will the NRA membership, responsible gun owners, tell the NRA that they do not speak for them when they are against sensible policies. We already know that the people funding the NRA doesn't want them to back down.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

Sometimes I wonder (2.00 / 5)
if they are suggesting all kinds of batshit crazy stuff, so the status quo will revert back to being acceptable.  

It's good to see the beginnings of some productive and calm discussion happening though. I hope you are right.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Such a rough one (2.00 / 7)
Earlier this evening, while browsing my FB, I saw with my own eyes the sexualization of guns in the form of a brilliant, talented, gorgeous, beautiful former student of mine now in grad school and bragging about her guns while multiple male posters lay in wait for her to finally dump that boyfriend of hers and run off with them.

Such a talented, beautiful girl, and so, so smart, a young Native girl with so much promise, but so many issues with addiction and with coming to terms with her own beauty.

I read her postings and found myself thinking that her gun-talk was a way of grabbing at externalized power instead of sitting down and doing the hard work of coming to terms with just how brilliant and beautiful and powerful she is in and of herself, and completely lacking the need for externalized power of any sort.

I grew up with guns. The household I was raised in hunted regularly, and I'll happily admit I benefited in many ways from that. While everyone else was eating macaroni and cheese, we were feasting on venison chili and prairie chickens, and it was a good way to eat.

I've never shot a gun, however, and have been witness to the abuse of guns on personal, professional and general levels.

I have extremely mixed feelings on the subject, iow. I would be more open to gun ownership, I suppose, if I didn't see instances of guns used as a source of power in cases when the gun-owner was unable to own their own power, as is the case with my former student.

Yes. This is a conversation we need to have. I can't say much more right now, however, because my own feelings are a convoluted mess of much too strong and much too mixed.

this comment resonates w/ me. (2.00 / 5)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
I don't get it. Any of it. (2.00 / 7)
Maybe it's because I'm Canadian. Maybe it's because I'm a urbanite. Maybe it's because I'm a pacifist or because I'm sane. Why would anyone other than law enforcement need a gun? (Other than hunting rifles)

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

There is, of course, a picture circulating on FB of POTUS and Mrs. (2.00 / 5)
POTUS on Inaugural Day 2009 when they got out of the limo to walk surrounded by USSS.  Some industrious soul marked all the guns in the picture and claimed that this made him safe.  The photo above gives lie to that.

We don't "need" guns, we want them for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Great visual. (2.00 / 3)

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Okay here's my take. (2.00 / 1)
Guess what, I don't preface it with this nonsense about the 2nd etc. The only thing I even relate to in the least is the hunting part, which I consider a revolting atavism, a sign of mental disorder in itself even though in the distorted reality in which I find myself I let people hunt on my land. I have to, since the predators have been extinguished.

Guns have no more place in our world than buggy whips or whalebone corset stays. My starting position, from which we can possibly compromise, is seize them all and melt them all down. Fuck a bunch of second amendment reasonable discussion blah blah blah.

We certainly live in a complex world. (2.00 / 1)
I let people hunt on my land. I have to, since the predators have been extinguished.

In my life I have moved from a childhood desire to grow up and buy some land just to bury the deed on it and "give it back to Mother Earth", to my current position which flies in the face of that, and in the face of many environmental activists. It is the kind of thing that I can get flamed for, which is OK because complexity does not lend itself to soundbites.

I will provide that view here in brief.

Humankind needs to take full ownership of and responsibility for the biosphere.

- As the only cognizance on Earth we have been given the responsibility for making Life exist beyond otherwise natural circumstances. In less time than life has existed in the past it is likely to be impossible to exist on this planet in the future. We have a duty to still be here to remedy that (move the planet, take life with us elsewhere...), or all life here (and as far as we know yet, in the Universe) will die with us.

- Executing on that responsibility requires tough choices, many of which may well be contrary to the positions of many environmental activist positions. It requires us to accept the responsibility for changing ecosystems intentionally, and some of those changes will be very hard choices. It may well (inevitably, imho) require us to reach decisions such as, "this species will have to be allowed to go extinct". We can moderate those decisions by maintaining genetic and other data so such species could exist again in the future, but the practical trade offs in executing responsibility for managing the bioshpere will make the trade offs of politics (which are equally necessary) often seem simple by comparison.

- It will mean dealing with the moral issue of killing living beings will never be as simple as the PETA view (at least as it is stereotyped) would have it.

Your example is typical. We choose not to have predators at "natural" levels in populated areas, so we have to put processes in place to balance for that. A counter example is where we lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where we had much fewer than the natural number of mountain lions, and no deer hunting whatsoever, so we had emaciated herds of deer stripping the landscape.

While maintaining some mountain lions is imho a good idea, maintaining enough that they present a higher risk to my childrens' lives than automobiles would not be my vote. As human population continues to increase we more and more have to face those practical realities, and neither fall back on old ways (insert "conservative views" here) or fool ourselves into believing we can or will tolerate large meat eaters preying on small humans.


While I do not expect UFOs to come teach us what we need to do (that would be nice, but too easy to cop our responsibility by counting on), this is certainly a period of Childhood's End that we live in. Neither in finding comfort in "it has always been thus", nor in the intellectual walled-fortress of ideology, are we going to find relief from the responsibilities we bear.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I see nothing in the least objectionable your view. (2.00 / 2)
It is simply rational and clear (maybe that's the problem).

I learned it forty years ago, from  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

[ Parent ]
Well, that there is the problem. (2.00 / 2)
It is simply rational and clear

I think we really are moving towards a mature approach to the topic, but as with all others it is beset on all sides by vocal enthusiastic views.

"We should just leave Mother Gaea alone!" /stoppickingonbrittany

"Mankind cannot ever impact the environment!" /hannitybutthead

"Dude, man fucks up everything, dude." /santacruzhipster

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Epic quote, btw. (2.00 / 1)
Little Prince, indeed.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Sadly, most of the discussion on gun control is useless (2.00 / 1)
Most is useless, because, ultimately, the discussion is not about guns, but rather is about crime. And in fairness, the discussion needs to be about crime. Violent crime. The difficulty is that the debate is framed around the tools, and that is where a serious discussion about the word of the nation get sort of derailed. They get derailed into a discussion not about the real issue--which is crime and safety--but into a discussion that spends a lot of time collating statistics and figures that are ultimately useless.

Crime in Britain is not crime in the US. Or Sweden. Or Japan. In part because there are other issues at work. Health care, social safety net, demographics, social justice issues, economic mobility--all of these factor in beyond the tools. That, in fairness, is more the metric we need to be focusing on. Why folks turn to violent crime. What factors drive folks. These are far harder questions, with less than easy solutions, and certainly without easy catch phrases, and far harder to get folks fired up by.

Both sides in most gun control debates are really talking about crime. And let themselves get derailed from substantively discussing the issue, by folks who want easy solutions. That is the myth at the heart of the gun control debate: that there is some sort of easy fix. And it's systemic at this point, and exploited by various factions on both sides of the aisle that really would rather have a discussion on tools, than the harder discussion about fairness in our economy, drug and justice policy, mental and physical health care, because the real discussion is a LOT harder, and would derive far less in donations than a hot button discussion to drive campaigns.

We need to, as a nation, frame this discussion better. Not simply a matter of guns, but why folks turn to crime, about mental health, about safety and simple licensing to insure that responsible folks have access to legal arms, and that folks with mental illness or felony records are kept from arms. We need to stop hot button "assault weapons" discussions that poorly define arms. We need to stop feeding the fantasy life of "patriots" who define their patriotism by their willingness to clutch arms, and instead focus efforts on real issues to reduce crime: education, social justice, economic mobility, and ending drug policy that fuels a prison industry that drains Federal and state coffers.

Until we can better frame the debate, it only serves to distract from the real difficulties. It's not about guns alone: it is a matter of crime, and allowing lobbyists to frame the debate is keeping us from having a real discussion--and instead only serves to distract and extract cash from pockets on both sides of the issue--and making it a issue of polarity as opposed to the complex issue it actually is.

Hubie! (0.00 / 0)
What are you doing, lurking out here!!

Come join the conversation. Miss you, man!

yes, yes, all those things. So join a more current conversation and bring the noise!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

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