- Love This
- Yahoo Mail
- Facebook Messenger
- Copy Link
Authors Note: I originally wrote this piece some time ago, for the Nugget Newspaper, in response to a school shooting. I’m posting here because it remains relevant given recent events, and also because I need a placeholder — time — to finish composing a piece on a recent expedition to northern Nevada with photographer Colin Seitz. The inevitable hand-wringing, blame-game, and soundbyte pandering that follows every despicable act of mass violence in the country will do nothing to address the problem. Neither will the fevered rush to disarm law-abiding citizens under the guise of “public safety”. What is needed will not be found in those proposals, and it is only a fool who surrenders his right to be properly-armed in the face of killers.
The common denominator in school killings isn’t what you think it is. It isn’t guns, and it isn’t mental illness. The only common denominator in mass school killings is long-term, dissasociative exposure to violent media.
Whether its violence in films, violent lyrics, violent television shows, violent novels, violence depicted across social media, or the endless flood of violent imagery in first-person shooter video games, those countless hours steeped in images of interpersonal violence are damaging the minds of our nation’s children.
That is particularly true in violent video games, which encourage a child to kill using the same methods employed by the US military to increase lethality on the battlefield.
The military accomplishes this by the intensive and repetitive use of reactive targets, which reward the trainee with little shots of dopamine – nature’s biochemical reward — for success.
So do violent video games.
Dave Grossman, who is among the nation’s foremost experts on school shootings, has written extensively about the role of media violence in creating child predators. He argues effectively that school shooters are only doing what they have trained to do, hour after hour.
“When children play violent video games, they’re drilling, drilling, drilling–not two times a year—(but) every night, to kill every living creature in front of (them), until (they) run out of targets or (they) run out of bullets….So, when these kids start shooting–we’re reasonably confident that in Pearl, Mississippi, and in Paducah, Kentucky, and in Jonesboro, Arkansas, these juvenile, adolescent killers set out to shoot just one person: usually their girlfriend…But, then, they kept on going! And, they gunned down every living creature in front of them, until they ran out of targets or ran out of bullets!”
The natural aproclivities of military trainees against killing human beings are, at least theoretically, already fully formed in the mid-brain and must be overcome by repetitive drilling.
And, perhaps most importantly, professional warriors are taught that killing innocents is antithetical to their role, counterproductive to the mission and the commander’s intent, and punishable by imprisonment or even death. Critically, they are also taught how to turn the safety back to the ON position.
Which is not what is happening in the minds of children steeped in the disassociative violence of first person shooter video games or other media.
As a matter of science, Grossman argues, constant exposure to violent media and violent video games is short-circuiting the crucial functions of the unformed mid-brain in our children, which serves to, among other things, filter violent impulse.
Not every child who plays video games will become a killer. But every school shooter has played violent video games.
But we don’t talk about that much. We don’t mention that 97% of American adolescents, 12–17, play video games, or that the American Psychological Association concluded, over a decade ago, that “the evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior.”
In other words, sociopathology.
Instead, we insist on having the wrong conversation, and then compound that problem – in an embarrassing abdication of adult responsibility – by ushering traumatized children in front of television news cameras in exploitive attempts to have them set the tone and direction of what is already the wrong conversation.
The conversation is wrong because we are attempting to treat the symptoms rather than the cultural disease that is causing the illness.
The questions we should be asking each other aren’t about firearms, which millions of Americans use and enjoy without ever killing anyone or anything, it’s what’s going on in our culture that is creating so many dangerous predators in the first place.
And despite the now familiar, and well-meaning, refrains for stricter gun control after every active killer event, it remains unclear how any gun ban, magazine restriction, bullet-button, confiscation scenario, or buy-back program will negate the sudden appearance of a bloodthirsty predator in a defenseless henhouse.
And as a matter of historical fact, everything from jet-airplanes to poison punch has been used more than once in acts of mass killing.
Because preying on the weak is what predators do.
We are not alone with this problem in the world, if that’s at all comforting, and despite the best efforts of peace-loving gun-banners and other fantasists — who insist on the magic-think scenario that gun bans will stuff the predator genie back into the bottle — the worldwide evidence clearly says otherwise.
A study by the University of Melbourne concluded that despite often being touted as a responsible act of prevention following a mass shooting, the Australian gun buyback had no discernable effect on gun homicides in Australia.
Violent crime across Europe – where Norway holds the world record for a mass-shooting event, and Germany held the world record for students killed in a school-shooting until last week – has spiked over the last fifteen years. In Russia, where private gun ownership is prohibited, the murder rate is four times that of the United States.
Grossman writes: “In just 15 years, according to Interpol data, per-capita violent crime went up almost fivefold in Norway and Greece; nearly fourfold in Australia and New Zealand. There was a clean tripling in per-capita violent crime, in these 15 years, in Sweden. And per-capita violent crime approximately doubled in seven other European nations…
“The question you need to keep asking yourself,” Grossman suggests, “is what is the new variable, what is the new ingredient? And the new ingredient is that we are creating killers, we are creating sociopaths (by way of violent media).”
Gun bans aren’t going to stop the mass-production of predators in our country. Prohibition never works. Not for alcohol, and not for drugs, which kill more Americans every year than guns do by a wide margin. It doesn’t work because prohibition of a thing doesn’t treat the underlying issues that lead to abuse or misuse of the prohibited thing.
We’ve always had guns. What we haven’t always had is a proliferation of lethal sociopaths, and until the parents of America stop allowing their children to train in synthetic violence academies, where they eventually graduate and become tomorrow’s vicious predators, negotiating away the right to effective self-defense is short-sighted, delusional, and foolish.
Steve Jensen says
Well said Craig! Makes a lot of sense. I’ve played a couple of graphic video games years ago and my gut reaction was revulsion at first. I attribute that sense to my childhood upbringing which never included killing people as recreational.
Now you need to discuss a solution. That’s tougher because you immediately encounter 1st amendment/thought control issues.
On a personal selfish note, I’m glad I got to live in the era I did. No computers, no cell phones, little automation and I had to plot all my own graphs by hand. Life was harder in some ways but one got longer time intervals w/o interruption.
Tnx for your service to us!
Craig Rullman says
Thanks, Steve. First, the solution will not be found in less freedom. So, as one person, I will never surrender my right to be well-armed. Ever. For any reason. That’s a sheep mentality and flies in the face of human history. Disarmed people quickly become victims to any host of evils. It’s like refusing to be vaccinated, which is equally stupid. The solution is almost always found in education, which I don’t think our current culture does a very good job at. Our presidential debates allow 45 seconds to discuss policy issues that have taken generations to develop…which doesn’t bode well for our seriousness, and is a perfect example of how our culture views and values education. Many voters have no opinion on these policies outside of what they hear from the candidates, who it seems they choose for emotional rather than rational reasons. There was never any guarantee that the promise of America would go on forever. I doubt it will, the divisiveness is now inveterate, and probably permanent. I’m okay with that, as I see it as the natural evolution of a nation, particularly when that nation intends to govern some 400 million people over millions of square miles, and where one end of the country has interests that wildly diverge from the interests of the other end. There is no one thing that holds us together anymore…not even the flag of the country. When that happens, when there can no longer be a uniting point, the writing is on the wall. My solution is really simple, and borrowed mostly from Camus: present the world with one improved unit.
Saddle Tramp says
Mark Twain viewed satire as a form of arson to burn down the hospitality tents of a self- righteous and self-congratulatory cant. Satire as a crime of arson. A painted fire. Humor on a moral mission. As invective. As burlesque. With laughter to blow away the great humbug of the world. So with that said I bring my own thoughts to this most somber moment and much contentious subject of [guns]. Firstly, with equal respect for victims, family of the victims and to the courageous first responders and all who are dealing with the aftermath of these most recent great wounds to America and humanity. As it were, I recently came upon a timely, but old piece of satire about the gun laws debate. This was in THE REALIST MAGAZINE from 1967 that did not get published until January of 1968. The cover art was titled THE SPIRIT OF 1969. This was the magazine published and edited by recently deceased Paul Krassner, a most controversial but brilliant satirical writer himself. I have an original copy. As it were there was a multi-page piece about the gun laws debate taking place in 1967. Nothing has really changed since then and this piece is just as relevant today, if not more so. Spookily so. Some things just don’t change it seems. Where this current situation leads us I cannot say. I do feel a ground shift though. The cause of so many of our problems comes from several directions and so must the come the solutions and the stemming of the tide. No easy turnaround. No false promises.
The following is what I struggle with in this ever growing crisis and the dilemma of coming to a productive and just approach. Yes, I take it to extremes here, but with the hope of a reasonable middle ground to be found. That is, if reason can be properly applied. Insanity one could say is in the mind of the beholder. We all have our own perspectives, proclivities and all the rest based on too many things to delineate here. I go on quite long enough as is, but here we go anyway…
Here’s my screed (in very general terms mind you).
Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people with nuclear weapons kill people. So, should every private citizen then be allowed to have at least one or even as many [nukes] as they want if they feel threatened enough? More than likely it will instead turn into an endless asymmetrical guerrilla warfare as a more practical choice. I would ask the question, was the Confederacy rightly seceding on a constitutional basis and taking up arms against an overreaching Federal government? I also ask the question was this what the founding fathers intended? Is there anyone today who can seriously claim that to be correct? A few no doubt would still try. Absurd as this may sound to some, it is still a reasonable comparison to any one who is arguing that there is a necessity (and yes a right) for unlimited private ownership of semi-automatic assault style weapons (and beyond) with unlimited caches of ammunition, etc. More irksome then this is the groups that have organizing around that premise and are willing to take self-directed armed action such as what was recently threatened in Oregon over political contentions. Who decides what a reasonable defense is and cause for action? Paramilitary groups? In my opinion this supposed cure is far worse than any of the accused ills. This is not about sport hunting or shooting targets and clay pigeons mind you. This argument is about home defense against the federal government (or state government) or any government, but the Federal government being the main target. Of course personal defense [everywhere] goes without saying. That is not what I would call a “well regulated militia” by any stretch of the imagination. I call that a loose cannon and cannons are what some would want. How many more itchy fingers are waiting. This is building in the opposite direction that’s we need to go in. How about placing our concerns and efforts on health and education and what creates a livable future for the children or are we instead devolving into barbarism when we are surrounded by all the life affirming tools everywhere. How about in particular supporting both the parents and their children for basics instead of filling the vaults of the overly rich at the expense of others. This goes for all of course, but children become the future. For some it is far too late, but if efforts don’t start and bring a return to what values hold us all up we will only perpetuate more and more disasters. Guns are not the answer. The reason people think they are is [the] problem, not the answer. A gun has a single purpose. That purpose is lethality (and the ones in contention here most certainly) to kill human beings quickly and in high numbers. This is unlike the dual nature of most other devices. Bullets travel in one direction. This puts it in a very unique category. I am not so naive, foolish or otherwise unawares to say we can exist in a gun free country. I am afraid not, however without an effort to reverse the current trend we will surely hasten a more horrific world. An eye for an eye and the entire world becomes blind. We must keep our government in check by more sane and productive means. Do I respect the second amendment? Yes, in limited ways but not nearly as much as I regard the other rights and freedoms that in my opinion are a more sacred, functional and productive means of protections and freedom in the now 21st century. Anything else is a tragic last resort and would surely result in much less freedoms if ever unleashed. Do the 3 percenters speak for me? Hell no!! Nor do the Oath Keepers or White Supremacy groups or any other weapons based hate groups (of any origins) that think their rights supersede mine or others with any intentions of ruling over me with irrational interpretations of what freedom means. New master same as the old master, but worse. Yes, in my opinion it is a fascist ideology that just puts us more and more behind in any progress for humanity. I would much rather try to straighten out our flawed system while there still might be a chance then turn it over to those that would create an even worse system of violent enforcement and individuals run amok. I fail to see enlightened men capable of leading us forward from the barrel of an AR-15 rifle back into some kind of feudalism. We definitely need better leadership in our current and existing government and to that there can be no doubt. However, what is the way to a compromise other then a march to a civil war that will no doubt be even more problematic? Have we come to another crossroads in our Republic where no common ground can be agreed on? I fear this is so and I also fear that the elements of hatred in a minority may have its way with the ineffective majority that is so far unwilling to stand up. It is quite enough to battle the other enemies at hand such as environmental degradations and the abuses within and outside our vaunted and contested borders and instead choose to destroy ourselves from within these borders by ignorance and undeserved stubbornness of so called principles. This is reprehensibly insane in my opinion, but insane we appear to be. I really wish we would just return full scale to the good old fashioned irrational fear based days of building bomb shelters (for those so inclined) and give up armed conflict on the surface and just go underground instead of finding excuses for an armed to the teeth citizenry without any checks and balances. I too have a sense of freedom and the American Revolution (and all the myths) is fully ingrained in me, but I have got a little wiser too. I just can’t place my bets on that other team though. Some time the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. Hell, at least with those bomb shelters they could be used as a root cellar in absence of any realized Armageddon. It could also be a final resting place as well because that’s exactly what we are digging for ourselves with all this bitter divisiveness. No way out it seems. Shoveling our way to hell…
“Two hundred million guns are loaded, Satan cries ‘take aim’ …
— CCR (1970)
That number has grown significantly since that song played across the land almost 50 years ago.
Keep on chooglin’ …
— saddle tramp
August 7, 2019
Not quite ready for a Revolution yet.
Craig Rullman says
The answer to predation won’t be found in disarming and hoping for rainbows, incense, and throw pillows. Never has been, never will be. One has to make a fundamental decision: will I allow myself to be herded onto a cattle car by some popular movement? If the answer is no, then remaining armed is probably essential. Arguments about nuclear bombs and militias or which amendments are more important don’t interest me much because they dilute the fundamental issue and decision. I won’t go on the cattle car, and that’s that. I have one life to live, and I will defend it vigorously and without hesitation. I will defend my one and only life by any means necessary, and I no longer care whether or not that puts me at odds with the vagaries of law and policy. If an outlaw you will make me, then an outlaw I will become. There is a universe of difference between that position, and the position of our nations teeming packs of predators who plot daily to take things away from others. They only know how to prey on the weak and take from them. Sometimes that looks like a political party, sometimes it looks like a tweaker with Nazi Lowrider tats casing a gas station. I was a cop far too long to believe in the “fundamental goodness of human beings.” My experience is that human beings are largely predatory liars with outsized brains, and usually can’t be trusted. There are exceptions, but I haven’t found too many outside of my platoon in the Marine Corps, and a core group of Blue Knights I worked the streets with. Grandmothers lie about wearing seatbelts, politicians lie about everything in between. And there is no sunshine daydream. One look in the eyes of the frenetic tourists who visit our town every summer says it all: they are at war. Constantly. With everything. And they want my guns? Not a chance.
Saddle Tramp says
I do not think that anyone here, and that would include myself, would question your exposure and experience with the lesser qualities of humanity. You are not alone on that. You have also outlined a few of those contributing causes leading to your rationales for your more or less as I view it, dogmatic positions on gun procession (yours specifically). First of all let me be more specific on my position. I am not saying now, nor have I ever said that there should be a full and complete banning of all guns by every private citizen. Far from it. I am not now and never have been a dreamy eyed idealist with head in the clouds saying everyone is wonderful and let’s all play nice now. Not at all. My position is that I feel there are abuses of second amendment thinking and that it somehow allows for an unlimited lethality, quantity and unregulated ownership of weapons by private citizens as that of being an untouchable right. No give. Nothing should be banned or even regulated. That kind of thinking is antithetical to sane reasoning in my opinion. You never state any limits to this that you would feel are agreeable. A somewhat sophistic tactic and obfuscation in my observation. Isn’t it enough that the world is full of it [weaponry] as it is? Are you really saying that we should not make any effort to reverse the trend. Only the last one standing with a smoking gun is the winner? So guns (and more guns) and then more powerful guns are the only way to stop the guns is the solution? It makes for a very good gun business no doubt. It’s the sorcerer’s apprentice all over again. There comes a time at least for a moratorium to reconsider some reasonable constraints. I am guessing your fear is once the camel’s nose is in the tent then it’s not long before the whole camel is inside and the herd will be taking all of your gun’s away and if need be even from your dying hands. Fair enough, but that is highly unlikely in my opinion. No doubt some would want that, but that ain’t gonna happen. I’m certain of that. I am referring to [every] gun of course. If it tries to come to that then the whole sh*t and kaboodle is up for grabs and lawlessness and chaos will ensue. All I am asking for is a measure of sanity against the insane path we are presently on. I have been around long enough to know the difference and the necessity for some action and restraint other than the prescribed and unbridled abuse of the second amendment. We must take off the blinkers of immovable and entrenched positions and have a real conversation about it. I say this as no offense Craig, but I do get the sense (and I also share) of your anachronistic dilemma fighting the tide against an encroachment (tourists and the hordes) of values you cannot share. You yourself said if you had your way you would be living off the grid far from the madding crowd. It don’t work out that way for most of us though. Some by choice and others by necessity. At least you have the Figure 8 to hole up in. Looking forward to your upcoming Nevada piece with attendant photography.
Craig Rullman says
My views are in the piece. Ban all the guns you want. You don’t get mine. Simple as that. I really don’t care what anybody else does because I’m not trying to save the world. I’m trying to save me and the people I care about. That’s about as far as my orbit travels. I’ll leave all the big thinking to other people and focus on my dwindling freedoms about which, you are correct, I’m quite dogmatic. Rabid even. Because history proves that once people become sheep, they get preyed on by wolves.
Saddle Tramp says
Sorry I could not resist this last hurrah.
Since you riffed on my pet dogma I will ruff ruff on yours with the following.
A rabid and foaming dogma bites the bullet, thus creating an infected bullet, that if the bullet alone does not do the trick, the rabies will and no one is the wiser. Now that’s effective weaponry.
I must add this to my “It’s a dogma eat dogma world out there, so be careful.” I was cautioning myself with that line many years ago as I jotted it down in my road notes, however I never that it would be foaming. Nice touch.
Post or not at your own discretion.
I have tied you up enough, but such is the price of fame of digital fame.
Saddle Tramp says
… however I never “thought” that it
Saddle Tramp says
so don’t step in the dogma sh*t !!!
J.F. Bell says
I’m intrigued by this ‘unlimited lethality’ concept. Admittedly I don’t get out much, so forgive a luddite his confusion.
This seems a moving target and raises some thorny complications. Living being living and dead being dead, a man shuffled off his mortal coil by a machine gun is approximately as dead as one killed by a bolt action rifle, or a revolver, or a knife, or a baseball bat, or brass knuckles, or a jawbone of an ass, or having his head held underwater by someone larger, stronger, and more motivated than himself.
I own guns. Over a hundred at last count. I have thousands of rounds of ammunition in too many calibers to name (except .30 Remington, the elusive little bastard). I get paid, forty hours a week, to build precision rifles. I got my first gun, a Winchester Model 94, when I was three years old. I’ve been collecting ever since. Surprisingly to some, I have no criminal record. Not an alcoholic. Never smoked dope. Never been arrested. None of the ex-girlfriends consider me worthy to be dragged into court on charges of sexual predation. At one point I held a pilot’s license, since expired. Pretty much everything I’ve done since graduating high school (post 9/11, by the way) has required me to pass a background check.
So far as I know, I’ve never met anybody from this blog (or any other, for that matter). That being said…
I am compelled to wonder at the mindset of any who demand ‘reason’ and ‘sanity’ at my expense (i.e., bans, restrictions, and other fun pastimes). As I see it, there are two underlying rationales that could make this pig fly.
Option A: I am, all past indications to the contrary, a ticking timebomb who is exceptionally fortunate to have ducked the law and checked my demons, but who needs only the barest touch to make the next big headline, or
Option B: I (and those like me) are merely collateral damage in this scheme — acceptable losses of otherwise upstanding, law-abiding citizens — to be thrown on the bonfire of the ‘collective good’.
To believe the former requires one to trust feelings over evidence. For the latter…suffice it say that anybody steering from that quarter would be ill-advised to dress their argument as reason or sanity, either.
But maybe I’m being obtuse. Is there a third option?
Saddle Tramp says
J.F. Bell.… Not obtuse at all and since it is sharply pointed my way, I will respectfully and willingly oblige you with my opinion. A roundabout third option perhaps. A starting point of my curiosity. Maybe you were being somewhat facetious. Maybe not. No, not a Luddite either, but rather perhaps a tad self effacing I would say. Maybe we are on our way to hell in a hand basket and all the conspiracy theories are correct and we are a bunch of blind sheep and are being loaded up on a fast train to dystopia. Also, if one is anti-regulation in every form for everything including bans, restrictions and all other forms of fun and prohibitions of any sort then all bets are off. Total freedom irregardless of consensus to the contrary. If that is true then you can forget everything else I am about to say. There are limits to everything in a functioning society. It’s the price of admission. All I am trying to establish for my own curiosity regarding the issues are what parameters are there? Why should guns (lethality and quantity, etc.) be exempt from the discussion on limitations. A moving target you say. Everything is in my opinion. Of course I know the sacredness of the subject for many, but that does not overarch (for me) the greater issue of a safe society. I know it will be argued on the finer points of it, but I cannot imagine unbridled and unregulated possession of weapons held by private citizens that are clearly designed and sold for military type uses to not require some restrictions, when there are (and should be) restrictions and regulations on practically every other aspect of society. Why should guns have carte blanche regarding type, lethality, quantity and who gets them, etc. It remains a matter of opinion as to what makes who feel safer and and what healthier society might look like. At least give it a running start. I can only feel it is getting worse in that regard. I am not for overreach in any way, only a more sensible approach and not one where our only hope is having a personal arsenal (extreme) or merely holding onto a gun in a last standoff with whoever. What weapons would you prohibit or restrict, if any? That’s my question. Is that going to lead us down a path to total seizure of guns? I would never stand for that myself. I think we are a far cry from that happening in my opinion. Is any measures going to be a complete cure? Of course not, but that goes for anything. Everything is flawed and requires vigilance and education along with adjustments. I only wish we would fight half as much for everything else as is done in the name of this and we might get somewhere and and avoid a helluva lot mores problems. This is only a fraction of the problems, but if this escapes us then it’s all just leading us backwards to a right of lawlessness in the name of an open ended right to bear arms. Hell yes it’s complicated. What isn’t? But, when someone tells me it’s straight out non-negotiable I lose some respect. Everyone has their own reasons for ownership of guns. Is it so damn sacrosanct that it cannot even be discussed as being amenable to any conditions of change? Only stonewalling? Therein lies my frustration. Thanks J.F.
J.F. Bell says
“I know it will be argued on the finer points of it, but I cannot imagine unbridled and unregulated possession of weapons held by private citizens that are clearly designed and sold for military type uses to not require some restrictions, when there are (and should be) restrictions and regulations on practically every other aspect of society.”
Quick question, then — leaving aside the kind of Red Dawn fantasies that populate certain corners of the internet, I’m reading this as saying only the government should have weapons of a certain ‘lethality’.
How much faith do you have in government not to abuse any advantage it may have over its subjects? The nutcase in California threatening Americans with nukes is an extreme example, but the mentality had to be there for him to voice it in the first place. Do you trust any of the clowns presently on our national stage being the only finger on that particular button?
“Why should guns have carte blanche regarding type, lethality, quantity and who gets them, etc.”
There are restrictions on most of these things. In some places, a lot of restrictions. Those places are usually, but not always, free-fire zones because the law-abiding are disarmed and criminals don’t care. And again, ‘lethality’ is an ill-defined metric. A .58-caliber ball fired from a Civil War-era musket vs. something like .32 Auto…where does the line fall here?
“At least give it a running start.”
No. Because every time my people go to the table in good faith, we get reamed.
“Is that going to lead us down a path to total seizure of guns?”
Inquire with Great Britain, where we presently find ownership of pointed kitchen knives to be an arrest-worthy offense. Venezuela may also prove of interest.
“I would never stand for that myself. I think we are a far cry from that happening in my opinion.”
I respect your good intentions. I also recognize that you specifically would have no say in the execution or prosecution of anything that came after this theoretical legislation was enacted. What you stand for now is immaterial once the playing field has shifted so drastically. Disagreeing with no-knock midnight searches to get rid of those evil killing machines might not be to your liking — and innocents might get popped in the process — but what can you personally do to stop that?
“But, when someone tells me it’s straight out non-negotiable I lose some respect. Everyone has their own reasons for ownership of guns. Is it so damn sacrosanct that it cannot even be discussed as being amenable to any conditions of change?”
Not anymore. I want all the gun rights, plus a bunch of other stuff various factions have nibbled away over the years, left and right.
One last question, if I may.
How far are you willing to go? When you ban this stuff on paper and have a compliance rate in the single digits…what then? Do you admit the law has no teeth and prosecute the occasional violator as the law allows? Or do you actively go after those who won’t play ball?
We can discuss this in the abstract. But when you’re the family man hearing a SWAT team break down your front door at 3AM — or the lead officer on that same team — it’s a different matter. And what do you do when there’s a cop pointing a submachine gun at your family and demanding to know where grandpa’s .22 revolver is because the old biddy across the street heard from her nephew that you had one, whether it’s true or not? How do you function day-to-day when you know your uniform and badge put crosshairs on your back?
I don’t have enough faith in humanity to want to test this out. History gives us plenty of examples. Too many end in mass graves. If American society looks Balkanized now, picture the nightmare of turning our present dysfunction into full-on fourth-generation warfare. Midnight raids, car bombs, kidnappings, and mass arrests…
…yeah, you can keep that.
Jim Cornelius says
For a long time, I used what platforms I have to advocate for my fellow armed citizens to come to the table to participate in finding ways to separate the drunks from the car keys. Everything in my nature and temperament pushes me toward such work. HOWEVER.…
When proposed ballot measures and legislation appeared here in Oregon over the past two years, it has been draconian and confiscatory, and would have made me and many of my friends felons overnight, having committed no crime or even an overt act. This was not “common sense gun safety” legislation — it was a a giant hammer clearly aimed at smashing “the gun culture.” Tyranny. Any sense of the possibility of “good faith” is gone. That pains me greatly, actually, but it clarifies things.
Saddle Tramp says
I do appreciate your expansive and passionate response. That goes for Jim
as well. First off, please do not (not accusing anyone of that) view me as anti-gun in any stretch of the imagination. Not at all. Not never. That would not be facing reality, even though I have personally witnessed much of the damages wrought by them. The vast majority of my family and friends are gun owners and obstinately so. I have also studied the issue carefully. Let me boil it down as simple as possible so you really know my position. I will try to apply your same logic and examples of rationales. I am pretty sure everyone here knows why Tommy Guns were prohibited from the hands of every citizen irregardless that you may say that when guns are banned only criminals will have guns. The Tommy Gun most definitely addresses anything else above it in magnitude or lethality that is banned This does not even consider the amount of Tommy Guns that were actually held by non-military and other government agencies at the time. Now if you are going to list the police and everyone else in those capacities as as the enemy and as a overwhelming and existential threat right now you have really kicked it up to a whole other issue. No rules need apply then. I am afraid though that we will be digging ourself into a self fulfilling prophecy. Am I concerned? Hell yes. I could write about it all day. We have to stop it in both directions, civilian and government. We the people. All of us. Back to guns and how this all applies to the gun issues today. Number one. There are far more guns in the hands of citizens then ever before. Lots more. That alone exacerbates the potential problem. More weapons. More ammo. Lack of faith. A bad formula. A sure recipe for failure. If you have given up then that means the strength to correct it has given into to the weakness to surrender to it and then Russia has won as predicted and we will fall from within. That’s taking the lazy way out in my humble opinion. Am I blind? Hell no!!
There was a saying that you don’t want to pile the shit in front of you and spending your time unnecessarily shoveling shit instead of being at work on the real problems at hand.
Now to the real contested gun issue the AR ‑15 and it’s variants. No stranger to the land. It’s been around a long time, however a lot has changed since then. I won’t play the blame game either. For me it’s this simple. The semiautomatic AR-15 and it’s ubiquitous and available nature along with the current atmosphere in the country and the virulent attitudes (in my opinion) are putting us on the wrong course. It ain’t helping the country any. I think we need to put it in check. I don’t think they said: Well, they will find other ways when the Tommy Gun gets prohibited. People will use knives, forks, clubs and even their bare hands. I knew one. Or, did they say ‘next they will be coming for our shotguns, etc., etc.’ I don’t think so and those were harder and less promising days for sure. No, they just banned them. A limit on gun rights. It was common sense. I do not expect anyone here to probably agree with me but it’s just common sense to me. I can smell the truth of it. No we will never get rid of guns. The good book says live by the sword die by the sword. I take that not literally, but that it instructs us that it should not be our goal. That is wisdom religious, irreligious or otherwise. I feel we are dangerously treading over that right now. Choose and decide your own choice of blame or defense. I say we have crossed the line (significantly). Thanks for all the honest and sincere opinions. Respectfully so…
Saddle Tramp says
Since you [seem] to not want to either quantify or qualify specifically (and that was my real question) I will myself reply in a numerical and qualifying equation that I would ascribe more to:
“Whoever has destroyed a single life has destroyed the whole world. Whoever saves a single life has saved the whole world.”
— The Talmud
Thanks for your efforts as they are, which is probably just as revealing. You laid it out for the world to read. I did and I joined in from your premise. No more. No less. Thanks Craig, for allowing my comment and participation in the dialogue …
Outstanding commentary on our violent Society.
craig, I respectfully take exception to you that “blame-game will do nothing to address the problem”. I believe that the el paso shooter had some influence to do what he did from comments made by the country’s draft dodger commander in chief. I believe trump, like others in America, feel fear & anger of the immigrants “of color”. so I, as do others, blame trump for “something to do” with the shooters motivation…….
Craig Rullman says
As I’ve tried to express elsewhere, I’m trying to keep my orbit closer to the earth. The blame game doesn’t seem to be solving any problems, so I no longer concern myself with it. I can only concern myself with presenting the world one improved unit. What Trump says or doesn’t say seems to have too large an effect on the collective psyche. Same with all the rest. The one person responsible for the shooting in El Paso is the shooter in El Paso. Which should not be construed as a defense of Trump, because I don’t care for him. That nuance gets lost because people naturally want their argument to be the final word on a topic. I’m withdrawing from that game, and focusing on what I can do closer to the bone, and what I will not do, which is surrender my right to own an effective firearm in the face of mass produced lunatics.
craig, but I do agree with the main premise of your argument!
Ol' Neighbor Brad says
The submission of this column needs to be reflected in the AP. Consistently being placed under people’s noses at every sneeze! Very, very little is mentioned in the national press as to the possible pointed foundation of this great misery.….…and it’s possible remedy.…. Just as nothing is mentioned by our city counsel members that Sisters’ only traffic problem salvation is to make use of the Brooks-Scanlon logging spur line South out Elm St. as the only very viable remedy to use as a bypass around the hour glass choke hold that’s created between Pine St. and Locust St.. For over 40 years this has been a focused problem of the future that everyone seems to just.….….look the other way. Call the Sisters City Manage and the heads at ODOT in Bend and ask why this avenue isn’t being explored?
Mr. Rullman, As I’ve sated before; Well written piece. Thank you. I would like your opinion on a brief…?? I dunno what to call it, but I wrote it down in one of my moleskins several or more years ago, then it stopped me from continuing reading Dave Grossman’s book; On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace…it goes thus; “ Out of the full spectrum of the human personality one is elected to transcend and one fourth is destructive and defective seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a natural death. Now as we approach the quantum shift from creature human to Co creative human — The human who is inheritor of godlike — the destructive one fourth must be eliminated from the social body, fortunately you ( citizens ) are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of gods selection process for planet earth — He selects. We destroy. We are the riders of the pale horse, Death.” — Psychologist Barbra Marx Hubbard, strategist for Task Force Delta U.S. Army think tank
She just passed away in April this year. Grossman has a lot of quotes from a lot of ancient and not so ancient philosophers and samurai. He has some very interesting ideas ( many don’t hold water well for me ) but I’ll be damned if that quote just didn’t scare the living shit out of me…any ideas why the Hell he’d quote her on that?
Again, much obliged for your time and talent- Sincerely Steve C F
Craig Rullman says
Not entirely certain why he chose that quote in particular, as I don’t think it helps clarify his larger points, which are largely valid and instructional as they address training military personnel to kill. There is some use in recognizing that at least 1/4 of the people around us are pure predators, and that modern medicine and thinking have helped keep them alive when they offer nothing of any use to society, and likely never will. Also, it is always helpful for those in the business of killing humans to dehumanize the enemy, as a psychological barrier. Most of us are not in that business, so it is of limited purpose for the average civilian whose daily business is not slanted in that direction.
A very good piece.
I’ve posted on this topic several times as well, so I’m going to take the liberty of linking those in here rather than trying to repost all I’ve written on it.
My most recent item is this one here, which is also on violent media, inspired by a headline I saw just two days ago: https://lexanteinternet.blogspot.com/2019/08/oh-no-it-cant-be-that.html
That one followed on this, which developed a theme about a societal evolution going on that, in my view, is pretty clearly happening: https://lexanteinternet.blogspot.com/2019/08/disaffection-and-violence.html?spref=bl
My big post on that thesis is here: https://lexanteinternet.blogspot.com/2012/12/peculiarized-violence-and-american.html?spref=bl
My overall view might be summed up by the idea we ripped a lot of walls that kept the marginalized up and in, or some folks on the spectrum, depending upon on how you want to conceive of it, up and in starting in the 1960s and developed technology that dropped them down, out and into their parents basements in the 90s and 00s. Then we developed an ending stream of violent media for the same people to watch in their isolation combined with no social networks for them to rely on at all.
Saddle Tramp says
Some interesting links. The mention of a hammer as a murder weapon struck me and reminded me also of a murder that took place in a Chicago suburb when I was growing up. A doctor who lived just down the street from us was bludgeoned and killed by a hammer.The murderer was never apprehended that I knew about anyway. Another example of duality. My still overall opinion regarding gun legislation or not, is as much about the 360 degree problem of a lack of willingness on all parties to break the gridlock towards a sensible solution. Why do people need the type and amount of guns and all the rest of it? It feeds on itself. We need to solve much more of the overall problems that feed this on both sides. Barricading ourselves does not accomplish this. Rationalizing can only get one so far. Look, I am around a lot of different people. I realize the limitations. To me a gun represents a threat in the way we are talking about it here. A final resort for some, but always a lingering threat whether for defense or offense. I am only talking about human interaction here. Not plinking for fun, or a tactical course challenge or hunting, etc., but purely for intimidation or killing another human being. That is an uncomfortable sense of achieving peace as much as that is unfortunately needed. An ill wind brings no good. Not going to go away. However, a gun carries that aura. Some love it. Some don’t. At any rate that is it’s nature. More of it only represents more ill wind. At least a hammer can build a future for someone. Guns don’t make very good hammers (excluding the obvious) but I’m sure in a pinch they can lay a nail or two down. A gun at best is a warning and at worst is a killer. Not to be taken lightly. Statistics and all the rest no matter how you twist ‘em up cannot change that fact. That to me is the crux of the issue. That is what is lingering above us. We should not make it too easy. Thanks for posting up some interesting links.
J.F. Bell says
“A final resort for some, but always a lingering threat whether for defense or offense. I am only talking about human interaction here. Not plinking for fun, or a tactical course challenge or hunting, etc., but purely for intimidation or killing another human being.”
So…a 90lb woman standing 5′ 2″ is better off facing a 6′3″ 250lb man barehanded and relying on her natural strength to carry the day? You’re damn right intimidation is a factor with guns, but why stop there? How about we acknowledge that society’s predators seldom respond to goodwill, reason, or their intended victim’s concept of right or wrong. There’s no valor in victimhood, regardless what gets bandied around when the legislature is in session — but somehow the woman in question (or the guy in the wheelchair, or the the old man down the street) is better off violated, beaten, or dead?
I’m not buying.
There are two methods of dealing with such an animal: reason and force. Most social interaction runs on reason, as it should be. Most people won’t resort to force unless they’re backed into a corner. There are idiots, yes, but there have always been idiots.
“That is an uncomfortable sense of achieving peace as much as that is unfortunately needed.”
Hence the need for arbitrary and burdensome restrictions, taxes, and maybe eventual confiscations. Or are we back to just military and police being armed?
“At least a hammer can build a future for someone. Guns don’t make very good hammers (excluding the obvious) but I’m sure in a pinch they can lay a nail or two down. A gun at best is a warning and at worst is a killer.”
Hammers can’t do anything. Neither can guns. Both are inanimate objects. Both are tools, and both amplify the force or the power of those who hold them. So do cars, baseball bats, pry bars, screwdrivers, and pocketknives…and like guns and hammers, those too can be misused. Only thing is, nobody tracks the figures on those, and when one is used in a crime nobody whips up a mob and demands we shut down the dealership and the hardware store.
The individual can use a hammer to build a house for your neighbor or you can use it to beat somebody’s head in and take their wallet. Hammers do not swing themselves any more than guns can fire itself.
This line of thought falls flat because not only does it remove the inherit dangers of human nature and behavior, it takes those same attributes being denied (that predatory individuals exist and must sometimes be dealt with harshly) and places those borrowed negative qualities on an object with no will, no motivation, and no means of operating itself.
Whatever ‘aura’ is attributed to the gun/hammer/pickup is purely on the human side. The gun/hammer/pickup don’t know. The gun/hammer/pickup don’t care.
Saddle Tramp says
Please. I will give you the benefit of a doubt as I think you miss my point entirely. It all comes to me as being given a false choice. It just escalates and escalates ad infinitum. It’s gotta be a measured response or there is no limit to what makes one feel safe over another or it defeats it’s own purpose and the cure becomes the ill. It is my strong sense that is where we are heading today. One’s individual right does not trump another’s. Therein lies the rub. We can argue all day long about tactical approaches and the weaponry involved and all the rest, but that is not the aim of my argument. If this can only be about self and self-interest we have arrived at an impasse. If you think I am naive about the dangers and risks in the world then you are sadly mistaken. I assure you I am not. For me this is beyond common sense and almost comes to a point of filibustering. It is best to call a truce and not bemoan the subject any longer if it no longer serves any further educational benefit. Let’s not either one insult our intelligence. Thanks J.F. for a provocative exchange. Enjoy the weekend…
Saddle Tramp says
Just to put a finer point on the Tommy Gun. In 1934, then president of the NRA, Karl Frederick, testified before Congress saying that he had not given any thought to the question about whether a federal gun control law would violate the Second Amendment. He also stated that protection for firearms does not come from the Second Amendment, it comes just from wise public policy.
This came some time after one five year old was killed by machine gun fire and another wounded while being caught in the crossfire of a gang battle during prohibition in 1931. That still was not enough to bring action at that time. So, why after alcohol prohibition was ended, did they not remove the heavy restrictions, laws and taxes on the Tommy Gun (and others) and even eventually all private ownership being eventually confiscated. They made it prohibitively expensive to own one. But why? After all, alcohol prohibition was the real cause of it. The answer seems quite self evident to me. Millions of machine guns on the loose is just a bad idea. We have enough shit to deal with as it is. Of course today no NRA President would even think about breathing the above words that came from Karl Frederick. It was a more sensible time in that respect. No, I am not advocating draconian measures and this is why we are in gridlock. The first and only way we can even get started is by admitting that the second amendment is open to limitations and regulations and there is a need now that deserves to be looked at and negotiated. If you can’t get past that, then it is futile to even continue the discussion. Realistically, what do you really need? What is a reasonable compromise? What bothers me most about this is the attitudes it creates. The sense of polarization and the willingness to give up, fortify and throw the rest to the wind. I take it very seriously. I also feel that I too am caught in the crossfire…
J.F. Bell says
“That still was not enough to bring action at that time. So, why after alcohol prohibition was ended, did they not remove the heavy restrictions, laws and taxes on the Tommy Gun (and others) and even eventually all private ownership being eventually confiscated.”
Dunno. Why would an expansive government decline to repeal a tax? A sense of responsibility to its subjects — or because taxes are a glorious income stream that are pure across-the-board profit?
Per the NRA…I’m not going to defend them at this point (see their innate ability to give ground for no real gain) but it bears mentioning that in the early and middle parts of the 20th century the organization’s focus was primarily on marksmanship training as opposed to the multi-faceted political monstrosity it’s become today.
You also disavow draconian measures — and in the same breath, push for more restrictions on the people who aren’t the problem. Pick a lane, amigo. While you’re at it, I’d appreciate if you could explain the ‘wisdom’ of ownership (passive) with crime (active). If every gun owner in American stepped out their front door and emptied a mag at anything that pissed them off this country would look like downtown Mogadishu — and yet they don’t. Now and again some lunatic gets through the net. Usually that entails a string of failures — friends and family either ignorant or indifferent to the threat in their midst, of various levels of government not getting records to the database that would kill the sale, local law enforcement that didn’t follow up or let the future perp slide — well outside the control of those you presently target.
As a fun detour, consider the 1932 Bonus Army encampment that ended with the federal government scouring unarmed and peaceful World War I veterans from Anacostia Flats with rifle fire, bayonets, and teargas. If there was ever a ringing endorsement for public ownership of military-grade weaponry, look no further.
Be reasonable in your own definition. Follow your gut as however it may guide you. Pull your own teeth if it helps you sleep at night. If you don’t need it, don’t own it.
But if you want to stick those reasonable fingers into holes in the ground, don’t be surprised when the fox or the badger or the rattlesnake in residence takes exception.
Saddle Tramp says
If I were to pick a lane it would be the middle lane caught between extremes from both federal and state over reach and misplaced civilian responses. There is fair criticisms of both sides. To use Karl Frederick’s own words matches my sentiments today. He too was also caught in the middle. He did not want the gangsters to continue with unchecked brazenness with their weapon of choice, but he also did not want law abiding citizens swept up along with it either. As he put it, he did not want to burn down the entire barn to kill some rats. Read the congressional record for yourself and his testimony. It is lengthy but revealing. He was not a sellout. He was not for suppressing the general populace. Yes, the NRA had an entirely different agenda and purpose at the time no doubt. Just to quickly address the WW I bonus marchers, it was another tragedy of the depression and casualty of capitalism. A young Patton gave the broadside of his sword to our own veterans, but prided himself in never firing a shot in his help with quelling the rebellion. Not a proud moment for our country. Our history is full of other examples of worse. I never overlook that. So am I a pure capitalist or a pure socialist? Neither, but rather a good working combination of both. Too much to go into, but suffice it to say that everything is subject to scrutiny and change. I still believe in the American system even with all of it’s obvious faults and failings of execution. It is still worth the effort to try, You can’t have a working marriage if your all of your efforts are put into tearing it down. If I correctly place your attitude, it veers somewhat that direction. The lane you have chosen. I understand and share much of the same disgust, but like Karl Frederick, I also do not want to burn down the barn to kill a few rats. One bad apple spoils the barrel, just to assign a ratio to it. My great concern though is that we will probably not be able to recover from another Civil War. We are not as isolated from the reach of the world as we were then, both militarily and economically. All of this (total focus) of abandonment of the government will just hasten our end in my opinion. Would having 300 loose machine guns or worse in the hands of private citizens without any constraints or regulations make us a better country. Even though the original concept (questionable in itself) of a well ‑regulated militia against the tyranny of the government has outlived it’s purpose and practicality, how can this be applied today. Who’s running the show. You? Me? Some self appointed patriot? A mob? That’s another entire issue to go into. Yeah, you can protect home and hearth. We are much less a rural society today, like it or not. That changes things. If society completely collapses then all bets are off. I for one do not want to hurry that along. I still feel the majority are basically good people (yes with all the shortcomings) and that it’s still worth working for. More guns does not solve that, nor does unreasonable regulations, restrictions, etc. I just happen to have a different view of reasonableness, that’s all. You say, why then have they not all come out in mass? If I am to take your viewpoint so far, that is one of the purposes in having them, as in keeping our own government in check. What will be a triggering moment or another Timothy McVeigh. Should not then every self-respecting militias have unlimited access to explosives? If not want kind of militia is it? If we are supposed to be today’s equivalent of the second amendments described militia then we are woefully inadequate. No, I don’t pull my teeth out at night. This just happened to resonate with me in a way that deserved more thought considering the seriousness of it all. Like most, I am riding the storm out. We all seek our chosen shelter. I just do not take comfort in unaccountable loose cannons running amok in today’s fraught climate. It’s a much different climate today. Prohibition gangsters were insanely vicious, but were perversely money and power motivated coming from dire straights themselves. They were not ideologues like the one who was gunning for President Roosevelt, and killed the mayor of Chicago in the attempt. Those kind are much less predictable and the variety pak today is far worse. That’s where I’m coming from and I have not even laid out any real proposal. Right now it appears there can not be any consideration for discussion, so why do so. All I am saying is don’t burn the whole barn down to kill a few rats, lest we all perish in the bargain.
Check out the congressional record if you get the chance. It’s out there as public record. Appreciate your thoughts J.F.
J.F. Bell says
I’ll answer one point. Beyond that, I’ll agree with your earlier statement that we’ve taken this as far as it’s liable to go.
“Right now it appears there can not be any consideration for discussion, so why do so.”
In negotiating a compromise you first must have two parties with differing aims and willingness to bargain. Bargaining is key. As it stands, I see nothing placed on the table from the other side. There comes the demand of “No more!” and “Ban guns!” and the implication that this means giving up something that is both lawfully owned and Constitutionally recognized. That’s our skin in the game. What’s theirs?
What do my people get if we say yes? Per tradition, the oh-so-gracious ‘allowance’ that we get to keep the leftovers of what we already had so in two or three years the ban crowd can come back needling for more and crying for ‘reason’?
We’re promised ‘safety’. Who backs this? The police may or may not, but seeing their response to the last couple of school shootings, that’s a promise printed on toilet paper. Upper-class mothers demanding action from their gated communities? Doubtful. To whom do we send the bill when this ‘safer society’ buckles under the weight of human nature?
So, not today. Too long the People of the Gun tried to be statesmen. They worked with opposing views in good faith. In return they were slandered and painted as lunatics by the hysterics in our lovely modern media. Some had their private information plastered across the internet. Some got death threats, and still do.
Put another way…suppose someone wants to buy a house you don’t want to sell. The rational way to handle this is for both of you to discuss terms. You, of course, being in possession of the property, are under no obligation to sell. There may come a point where the check has enough zeroes to make it worth your trouble, but until the exchange suits you there’s nothing giving them claim to your house. If you hammer out terms amenable to both parties…that’s compromise.
We don’t have that. We have people trying to force us to give up our house. They have the power of the state behind them, so they can do it. A little while later they track us down and want the car we’re living in. Later, they come back for our wallet. They may or may not shoot our dog. In the end, our reasonable comprises have us living under a bridge and picking fleas from our beard — until they come and drive us into the woods so the people living in our old house aren’t bothered by the sight of us when they drive by in our car every morning.
We can’t talk about this because the opposing viewpoint has nothing of consequence to offer in exchange for that we mark as invaluable. There’s nothing staked by the ban crowd. In truth, there’s nothing they have that we want.
We want to be left alone to run our private affairs as we see fit. We’ve taken precautions to see to our own welfare. We know life can be dangerous. We’re on our own hook. We’re okay with that.
The last word is yours if you want it.
Craig Rullman says
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it articulated better. Well done.
Saddle Tramp says
I was not seeking the last word but rather trying to bow out gracefully. Since you offered I will accept and return that courtesy.
“At least give it a running start.”
No. Because every time my people go to the table in good faith, we get reamed.”
That was your response sometime earlier. That is not a starter, but rather a road block. Just my opinion. I only tried to throw some food for thought on the table for that reason. I am not looking to try to force feed anyone or to be force fed by anyone myself at gun point or otherwise.
Beyond this I would only be playing the role of Sisphus. No gain or fun in that…
Thanks J.F. for the allowing me the parting shot.
“We can’t talk about this because the opposing viewpoint has nothing of consequence to offer in exchange for that we mark as invaluable. There’s nothing staked by the ban crowd. In truth, there’s nothing they have that we want.”
Let me to suggest that this might not be the case.
I basically agree with you on all of your points. But here’s the problem.
Most people don’t have familiarity with firearms and therefore sympathize with some type of gun control. Indeed, we’re lucky that the American public basically doesn’t support extensive gun control. The interesting aspect of that is that, if we look at the truth of it, most people most places don’t. While their policies are extremely invasive compared to ours, the ability to own firearms in many places, including much of Europe, is far more extensive than we commonly realize.
Having said that, sooner or later, and I’m pretty convinced it will be sooner, we are going to get some type of gun control beyond what we currently have. People who are knowledgeable on firearms will refuse to participate in it being drafted. But because people who are ignorant of, and afraid of, firearms are not, they will draft the legislation. Right now, of course, we can take a little comfort in the courts, but anyone who is an observer of the law has to be pretty reserved with that comfort.
Given that, whatever passes stands a fair chance of being meaningless, ineffective and maybe even a bit stupid. As that won’t work, it’ll be followed up by more legislation that is meaningless and ignorant.
Look at it this way. I can’t stand stock car racing. I don’t want to ban it, but I think it’s incredibly boring and, while thousands take joy in it, I find it dumb. If I was tasked with drafting laws pertaining to stock car racing, I could come up with some, but they’d be really bad, and moreover, I wouldn’t care, as I don’t like stock car racing in the first place. My bias is purely a personal, and unfounded, one, but very few people regard their biases that way.
And that’s exactly how gun control legislation will be drafted.
So what do they have that we want? Participation in the legislative agenda and drafting, which in the end, may be all that stands between us and pretty draconian provisions. Indeed, I’ll submit that is what will occur if we don’t get our hands in the drafting in some fashion. If we were effective, we might even be able to control that drafting… right now.
What that means, I’m not sure of. I’ve sometimes wondered if simply serial numbering magazines to match the rifles they serve and requiring the same process to buy them that buying a rifle entails might not do something.
Well, I realize that this isn’t going to be a popular view. But as we are the minority, and as law is plastic, I suspect that this is something we need to take into account.
As I also note in the items set out above, I frankly think that in order to really address, or even analyze, this topic requires a lot of societal soul searching that this society simply isn’t going to do.
Saddle Tramp says
“even eventually all”
…even in Canada eventually all will be confiscated.
This is effectively due to their PAL guidelines and restrictions the way I interpret it. The ATF has the existing machinegun requirements so asshole tight that it is effectively constrained as well and more or less a ban on it’s use as a weapon. The point is do we need or should we have an unregulated and unlimited armed private citizenry? Who decides. Is there a top and bottom to it? What defines effective? We seem to be pushing at it. I am not singling this out as necessarily the greatest or only threat to society, but only isolating it for it’s own argument and not to dismiss all other contributing factors. I am just curious how one arrives at their position to help me arrive at a better understanding of the issues and if I am unjustified in my own conclusions. I take it quite seriously as I feel our future is at stake.
Saddle Tramp says
“As I also note in the items set out above, I frankly think that in order to really address, or even analyze, this topic requires a lot of societal soul searching that this society simply isn’t going to do.”
I am afraid you may be right. At least for the political season as it is now and as you say nothing of real significance, especially if one assumes guns are not a problem or to blame or if one thinks guns are the only problem and the blame. A dead end street.
I could not directly reply on top of your comment so I placed it here in general population. Since you chose to bravely come forward and step into the breach again and have reopened the discussion, I feel compelled to respond to it. As you rightly stated (as of for now anyway) the chances of any real progress and a willingness for meaningful discussions are apparently nil. Irregardless of technical acumen (lack of or not), statistical cat and mouse (both sides) and as long as there is what I describe as a fundamentalist entrenchment it will make it nearly impossible for most to consider anything but an escalation of resistance. No retreat. No give. Absolutely resolute. They want to repeal and take back rather then give away [anything] and others want to take away everything. I respect principle. I also respect freedom and rights and as Thomas Paine said if you want the blessings of it you must be willing to undergo the fatigues of supporting it. However our history is fraught with misguided interpretations of what freedom is and how it is applied. This is the crux of the problem. I have my own personal concerns about it and they are not arrived at without a serious weighing of the issues. I do that from technical viewpoints, including the letter of the law, nomenclature of guns and their purpose, capability and use, but most importantly what really serves humanity best. That’s my goal. That’s my personal effort to inform myself. I have tried to flesh out the reasons on both sides of the issue. I understand the many rationales. Some I agree with. Some I do not. How much life? How much death? Who wins? Who loses? That is the end result in this contested issue. The fear of the unknown. Will it be forced upon us by circumstance or other means if we keep trying to avoid it. If we end up continuing to put so much dogmatic faith in guns, then I do [fear] reason will only become useless and helpless worshiping before such an abject faith. Not our only problem, by any stretch. Far from it. Just one ancient problem among many. Determining the blame is problematic. Admitting to a problem is energizing possible solutions. We are at loggerheads on that right now I am afraid.
Here’s a poem from Carl Sandburg discovered not that long ago at the rare book and manuscript library at the University Of Illinois-Champaign. Just one man’s point of view.
by Carl Sandburg
Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme
court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of ex-
ecution come in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the
old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the
Ugly Hombre says
I am a old man, in my generation- it was understood in our Republic- that it was no ones GD business.
1. How many or what weapons you owned. The 2nd Amendment was respected.
2. How much money you got or don’t got.
3.) Who or what you do.
You also had freedom of speech and the 1st Amendment was respected. If your opinion pissed off someone so what? Its a free country. You would get a punch in the nose at the least if- you went out of bounds.
You were taught ethics and morality as a kid, in church, in the Boy Scouts, in school, at home, in the media. TV and movies for the most part were morality plays that taught moral choices. Mass shootings were almost unheard of.
That’s near gone now. Instead of “The Rifleman” you have nerds prancing around and telling poop jokes…And movies are constant relative morality and America is bad bull chit. In school you are taught the founding Fathers were racist and evil.
Now it seems every one wants the Guvment to regulate, tax, and control every damn thing. Trump does and says some wacky stuff but compared to flat out evil Harpy Hillary — I am damn glad Trump got in. Had she won- your guns would be gone. And we would be well on out way to a socialist government.
The millennial’s have a problem, they are accelerating the carnage from both sides of the poles.
Gilroy- 19 YO
El Paso- 21 YO
Ohio- 24 YO
It indicates a serious mental health problem in the youth of modern society. Drugs legal and illegal are a common factor here.
New laws and regulations on arms, will do nothing, its a false flag by the New Democrat Bolsheviks, they have proven over and over again that they do not give a damn about public saftey- They only care about control. Period, and they have said over and over again that they want to surpress the right to keep and bear arms. Confiscate and disarm and “buy back” legally owned guns etc.
I got news for you “Shotgun Joe”- even though you are a multi- millionaire jive @ss.
You and your gang, don’t got enough money to buy my Grandad’s Colt.
The “Red Flag” laws will be used against the lefts, political rivals Just like in Russia- 1917. Calling someone Mentally Ill and jailing them and or disarming them is a age old Socialist/ Communist tactic. It already has gotten a innocent, law abiding Black American citizen killed.
Eventually they the new left will win total political control and attempt to size all fire arms.
Like we said before-then you and only then will decide what to do.
If won’t happen for a while but sooner or later it will.
I was at the local Coffee shop reading my book “Gun Notches” when a local Cop, I know came in. Good guy.
We started jawing about the current dismal state of the criminal state.
I asked him.
“How’s come I can call right now and get a giant bag of “Maui Wowie” delivered to my hovel just like a pizza- but if I want to buy a box of .22’s to hunt rabbits, I gotta have somebody call J. Edgar Hoover? Makes no damn sense to me.”
“I’m retiring soon moving to Arizona”
lol but sad…
Saddle Tramp says
What we largely have going on today is a bad case of myopia combined with an improvident education. That deadly combination creates the potential for a real calamity. I see it coming from both directions. Obviously you cannot convince those who choose not to see. To resurrect and paraphrase Julius Caesar, men will believe what they want to be true. They willingly believe what they wish. Whether that belief always remains true can only be determined by time and circumstance. After all it was none other than Albert Einstein who said that the measure of intelligence is the ability to change. I think Big Al knew a thing or two about that subject and he still remains a favorite of mine. To change on a whim is not what I would ever advise such as being so open-minded that your brain falls right out in your lap. No, not at all. I am talking about thinking outside the box and over the edge, even if still tethered to your safety rope of old beliefs. You just might just discover a different view.
Arizona is alright with me…
“What we largely have going on today is a bad case of myopia combined with an improvident education.”
That’s true, but it’s also very much the product of urbanization and the advance of technology as well.
Through urbanization we’ve reduced the causal familiarity of all types of weapons on the part of common people. By and large, these sorts of things come out of urbanized people, often in urban areas. Rural people rarely think of firearms in terms of their use against people, urban people seem to think of them that way by default.
Additionally, urbanization has built a phony world that frankly we just don’t like. Adoption of a fairly unrestrained view of corporate capitalism has lead us to believe that the economy must work this way and therefore we’re now into a 125 year process of yanking people out of natural settings and putting them in unnatural ones, even if we have the DNA of a creature that was entirely evolved for the natural world. Weird violence, weird beliefs (veganism, etc.), weird personal conduct, are all part of that.
And then finally we’ve introduced technology to the point where those with marginal personalities, who at one time could at least find work that gave their life some meaning, no longer can. So instead of having them being able to do something, they sit in their basements watching violent movies, violent games, and pornography.
And then we’re somehow surprised.
ugly hombre, curious to know what is your “granddad’s colt”, and curious to know what appeals to you to retire to sunny Arizona (where I have lived all my life)? p.s. I inherited a family colt, from a paternal uncle…….
FWIW, some time ago I set out a history on concealed carry in the US (and elsewhere) that touched on the history of the 2nd Amendment. Like a lot of my posts, its overlong and probably dull, but here it is: https://lexanteinternet.blogspot.com/2016/07/packing-heat.html?spref=bl
Ugly Hombre says
Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. Sounds like the coda of the modern lefts push for Socialist government and disarming the American people.
I stand with the Founding Fathers of our Republic- on the issue of arms- and the preserving American freedom.
That’s my safety net of old belief.
Saddle Tramp says
Well, I will give you my own personal quote for the situation at hand since I have wandered in the jungle of quotes for some time now:
“No one quote matches every situation. They are often misapplied. If the quote fits, wear it.”
Another one from Big Al for those so inclined:
“ Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.”
I would never put words in someone else’s mouth, nor would I question what others may hunger for. I also realize full well that you cannot hasten another’s own enlightenment. If you do not already know the answer you are not ready for it. So yes, there’s a right time for everything and as the other saying goes you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Now we are back to dogma, dogma piles and all the rest. No leashes required. Thanks for the opinions. Now we have returned back to the inclined land of Sisphus…
Ugly Hombre says
Tom, its a Official Police 6 inch .38 special not a valuable piece dollars wise but memory wise- you know the story since you have a Colt from your uncle.
It was my Officer friend who said he was moving to Arizona- after I brought up the legal dope delivery service operating in California, he was referencing the wacky stuff going on here in California and damn sure won’t stay here after he retires. I had told him “Damn your job must be tough as hell those days” When I ran into him- it took off from there.
But I will leave too, right now I am stuck here- various reasons. Arizona is a great state and I hope it stays free. Always joke with my Texas and Arizona friends that they should have a entry test for folks from blue states that want to move in- make sure they don’t bring any Bolshevik baloney with them.
“What end of the tube does the round come out of” etc lol