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A Good Guy With A Gun

So a “good guy with a gun” decides to save the day when he witnesses a car jacking. He fired several shots, managing to land only one shot at the victim’s head and missing the carjackers completely.

Our hero then proceeded to collect his shell casings and fled the scene. Police are still looking for our ammosexual hero.

So my question now would be, is he still a “good guy”? How do you tell the difference?

Followers of this blog and of my facebook page know that I’m not a fan of anecdotal evidence because it’s meaningless. So why am I posting this story? Because this anecdotal story lines up perfectly with the data, as well as a couple of experiments done to see how effective armed citizens are at saving the day with their binkies.

Remember when a pro-gun group repeatedly reenacted the Charlie Hebdo shootings with all of the victims armed? SPOILER ALERT: they all died in every reenactment they did. Well, except for the one time one of the armed victims chose to flee instead. That guy survived the reenactment. All of the Rambos died over and over again, but their ammosexual fantasies of being heroes were impervious to the evidence and survived.

Another simulation done by researchers at Mount St Mary’s University produced the same results.

Study after study after study (I can do this all day, but you get the point) show that owning a gun makes you much more likely to be a shooting victim. Or a perpetrator, since you’re more likely to shoot yourself or someone you know with your gun, than you are to stop crime.

The FBI reports an average of about 25o “justifiable homicides” each year. Remember, George Zimmerman was recorded as a “justifiable homicide”, but I’m willing to go with the 250 number. So for 250 instances of people defending themselves, we have the highest homicide rate in the developed world. For 250 instances of people defending themselves,we have about 1,000 children shot every year.

In order to entertain the ammosexual hero fantasies of about 35 million American households, we have a situation where those nutters are feeding the “illegal” gun market. We know that the size of the “legal” gun market and the “illegal” gun market are inextricably intertwined since all guns start out “legal”.

We accept the unacceptable because a minority of us are literally deluding ourselves. I’m sorry to break it to you ammosexual, but you’re not Rambo and you never will be. You’re much more likely to be the sad sack who shoots their toddler in the face. The studies are very clear on this.

Here’s the funny thing. When I was fact checking the story I started this post with, my search came up with another story of another carjacking, also in Houston. This one was only a little over a month before the first story. In this story, the ammosexual was the guy whose car was being jacked. He decided that it would be a good idea to open fire on the carjacker. Wanna know how it ended? With both the carjacker and the ammosexual receiving freedom bullets, and the car wrapped around a cement post. Awesome. Thankfully, no one else was caught in the crossfire.

Does pulling out your binkie and firing off rounds to save your fucking car make you a good guy? It’s a car. You’re shooting at a person, and risking the accidental shooting of other people. For a car.

We don’t have “good guys” with guns. We have delusional “dumb guys” with guns. If they were smart, they would have done unbiased research on whether owning a gun was a good idea before making that choice. The evidence is clear, and you can’t possibly hang your hat on a handful of debunked NRA “studies” because you like what they’re telling you. The ratio of studies telling you that guns are awesome are roughly in the same proportion to legitimate studies, as the “cigarettes are awesome” studies were to those legitimate studies. When the ratio is 10 or 20 studies to 1, telling you that gun ownership is a bad idea, you’re not “responsible” by definition.

That’s how you present an anecdotal story. It has to be accompanied by data, otherwise you’re doing it wrong and you’re deliberately disinformning yourself.

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Background Check Loophole In SC

That’s how the South Carolina shooter was able to obtain his gun. Contrary to the way the story is being reported, the FBI didn’t screw up. The system was set up with a loophole that the shooter was able to exploit.

Here’s what happened. The shooter went to buy the gun on a Saturday (April 11th). According to South Carolina law, if you go to a legal gun dealer and they instigate a background check (as they’re legally required to do), you get a gun in three days unless the FBI comes up with a felony that would prevent you from getting one. Three days. You must get your gun in three days, whether the FBI has released you to get a gun or not. In other words, if they don’t have all of the information they need, and don’t explicitly tell the dealer that the applicant isn’t allowed to purchase a gun, the applicant gets the gun. An incomplete background check means that an applicant gets their gun. The FBI never explicitly told the dealer to release the gun to the shooter, so the dealer was perfectly in his legal (not so much moral) right to make a dollar and sell the gun. The dealer doesn’t have to sell the gun, but can if they want. This gun dealer is a giant piece of ammosexual crap. Big gun dealers like WalMart won’t sell the gun until the background check process is complete.

What type of person has to get a gun in three days? The paranoid, or the crazy who intend to kill a lot of people. That’s who. Normal people can wait 30 days.

Because the shooter triggered the background check on a Saturday, the FBI effectively had one business day to determine if he was a felon. The FBI were able to determine, within the three day waiting period, that the shooter had been arrested on a felony drug charge this year but an arrest isn’t enough (under federal gun laws) to prevent someone from getting a gun. The arrest prompted the FBI to reach out to the the county where he was arrested, but didn’t get a reply from that court house before the three days were up. They didn’t get the information that the shooter had plead guilty to felony drug possession in time.

When the law says that “we haven’t completed the background check” means “go ahead and release the gun”, that’s not a bug. That’s a feature. A clean record comes back quickly. “No arrests” can be determined in minutes. So anytime the FBI can’t beat the three day clock, it’s always because there’s something that warrants obtaining further information. And that’s precisely when a rational system of gun laws would slow the process down.

But not in Ammosexamerica. In America, “we can’t give you the thumbs up to sell a gun” means “sell the gun”. That is batshit crazy.

Don’t let anyone tell you that this instance of the South Carolina shooter obtaining a gun was just a fuck up, and that the laws don’t need to be changed. That’s just pure bullshit. But I’m sure that felons all over South Carolina are delighted to hear that some people think the current system is just swell. Do you think some of them don’t now know how to beat the system?

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Child Sacrifices At The Altar Of FREEDOM (yay FREEDOM!)

Followers of my Facebook page are familiar with my "child sacrifices at the altar of FREEDOM" posts. I intermittently post one shooting of a child per day. I do it intermittently because I can’t spend every day looking for a child shooting story. It’s emotionally exhausting. So when I don’t post them, it’s because my heart is tired, not because I can’t find them. I use a very narrow parameter of criteria to choose my child sacrifice stories. I post only stories in which a child shot themselves or someone else "accidentally" with a weapon that their "responsible" gun owning friends or family members didn’t secure. Occasionally, I post a story about a dumbass gun owner who intentionally put a gun in the hands of a child that has no business playing with guns at their age. You know, like the Bullets and Burgers shooting this week when a nine year old killed a firearms instructor because her idiot parents thought that putting an uzi in the hands of a nine year old seemed like a good idea. To be clear, I don’t mourn for the dead firearms instructor. He was as big a dumbass as the dumbass parents. He went along with this insane idea of arming a nine year old with a semi-automatic weapon. I just hope he died before he had a chance to procreate and further this idiot "gun culture" of ours. If he did procreate, and raised a dumbass, I hope that dumbass learned a lesson from daddy’s death. If that sounds harsh to you, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you don’t care more about the kids and our country. Anyone who is actively participating in the furthering of our idiotic gun culture gets no sympathy from me when they fall victim to their own idiocy. Better the death of the gun whackadoodle, than their unsuspecting neighbor or friend who wasn’t a dumbass. Darwinism makes me happy, and the death of a dumbass evokes no feelings of sympathy from me.

Anyway, the point of my posts is bring attention to the number of children who are victimized by the "freedom" loving idiots charged with caring for them, but also to highlight the fact that those idiots seldom face consequences for what they’ve done. My third criteria for my posts is that they’re all incidents where no charges are filed against the dumbass. Why are charges filed in so few cases? Cause the NRA wants it so. So to recap, if your kid gets a hold of your pot and gets a little high, you’re in a world of hurt but if they kill their sibling with your gun, no problemo. Huh. I wonder if this lack of accountability is shaping our culture?     

I capitalize the word FREEDOM every time to illustrate that as a society, we care more about this fetishized bullshit fantasy of freedom than we do about our kids. Without fail, and much to my delight, an ammosexual troll always shows up with an ammosexwellian comment. What’s an ammosexwellian comment? It’s a dystopic, Orwellian style comment constructed to distract you from the gun. It’s always a moronic comment like, "what about cars and swimming pools?". Yeah, cause pointing in another direction is a smart defense of your position. Fucking jackasses.

Until January of this year, I was unable to find out how many child shootings we have per year. Why? Cause the NRA doesn’t want us to count. They’ve done everything in their power to limit our ability to study the effects of guns and wide spread gun ownership. I promise you that if they believed that gun ownership was so fucking awesome, they would make sure that we study the shit out of them The American Academy Of Pediatrics published a study in January that tallied how many kids are shot every year in America. That study is behind a pay wall now, but I have it if you want to download it from me. They found that about 8,000 kids a year are shot in America. They had to compile the data by getting gun shot records from each hospital. Since being an irresponsible gun owner isn’t a crime, it’s not as simple as going through arrest records.

Well, someone else just used the same method to compile numbers for a ten year period between 2002 and 2012. Brace yourself for enough FREEDOM to make you vomit, cause I’m going to share what they found.

  • For every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan during 11 years of war, at least 13 children were shot and killed in America. Yay FREEDOM!
  • More than 450 kids didn’t make it to kindergarten. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Another 2,700 or more were killed by a firearm before they could sit behind the wheel of a car. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Every day, on average, seven children were shot dead. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Between 2002 and 2012 at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 made up over two-thirds of all youth gun deaths in America. Yay FREEDOM!
  • More than 1,100 children and teens were killed by a gun that accidentally discharged. Yay FREEDOM!

Go to the link to the story. It’s full of facts that I don’t want to lose focus by writing about. This post is about our fucked up culture and how it got so fucked up. It’s not the fucking video games, it’s not just a function of mental illness, it’s not any other ridiculous ammosexwellian excuse you want to make to absolve the volume of guns in this country by blaming goddamned everything else.

It’s the fucking guns. And every time an ammosexual points in another direction, they’re helping to insert another FREEDOM bullet into a child they were supposed to take care of. Oh well. Everyone knows that you have to crack a few kids to make a FREEDOM omelet.

Let the ammosexwellian comments begin!    

   

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Lobbyists.

That’s the Cliff Notes version for those of you who don’t like reading more than just a headline. For everyone else, let me explain what has me bitchy today.

"Stand your ground" in Florida. I know what you’re thinking; Bitchy has been bitchy about "stand your ground" for a long time now. That’s true, but there’s a new development that has significantly elevated my level of bitchiness. About a month and a half ago, the Tampa Bay Times published an article of their analysis of 200 "stand your ground" cases. Here’s a summary of what they found;

  • People who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time
  • People who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time
  • Whites who invoked the law were charged at the same rate as blacks
  • Whites who went to trial were convicted at the same rate as blacks
  • Of the 88 fatal "stand your ground” cases that have been decided, about 1/4 involved defendants and victims of different races including; six cases in which a white killed a black, five cases in which a black killed a white and six in which a Hispanic killed a non-Hispanic
  • No charges were filed in most of those mixed-race cases

Whether you like this data or you don’t like this data, you should like the fact that someone is looking at the data. I do. I like data because unlike anecdotal evidence, it’s empirical. Data objectively lets us know if something is producing positive or negative results. Data helps us to form objective opinions about things, and I believe that more information = better informed opinions. But I don’t want to get into this data, or present to you the other pieces of data I have about "stand your ground"and what a destructive law it is. That’s not what has me bitchy.

The thing that has me at DefCon 5 of bitchiness is a republican Florida house member named Matt Gaetz. Matt Gaetz doesn’t like the data. He doesn’t like some of the alarming things that the data shows. So what do you do when you don’t like the data? Do you address the problem that the data suggests may exist by perhaps asking for more data? Do you maybe take a closer look at the law that created the alarming results that the data shows? Do you rethink your position on something because the data you don’t like is telling you that there’s a problem?

No, silly goose! Matt Gaetz is a republican, and there’s a reason why fewer republicans than ever "believe" in evolution or climate change, than democrats or independents. They just disregard data they don’t like. But Matt Gaetz is going further than simply disregarding the data he doesn’t like. He’s trying to make it impossible to collect this type of data in the future.
 

Gaetz has proposed an amendment to a bill that would expand the scope of "stand your ground" to expunge the court records if the "stand your ground" defense was successful. In other words, we won’t be able to look at the data that might show us if there’s anything nefarious about how the law is being applied. Now, Matt Gaetz is no Rhodes scholar so he didn’t come up with this tactic on his own.

No, this is a tactic that the NRA has found to be tried and true. Back in 1996, the NRA and the legislators they bought successfully blocked funding for the CDC’s research into gun violence. If you clicked on that last link, I’d like to point out that Jay Dickey, who co-wrote that article was one of the cosponsors of the bill to strip the CDC of that research funding. So for 18 years now, we haven’t been able to learn things like, how many kids are accidentally shot by their gun loving parent’s firearm in the house? The data in that last link was compiled by doctors who did the painstaking work of combing through hospital records because there is no other way to find it, since the NRA has also (successfully, in many states) lobbied to make sure that the accidental shooting of a child is not criminal. So there’s no data on criminal charges to be looked at. See what the NRA did there? Data = bad, so we need to block anyone’s ability to ever collect any data that might suggest that having a gun in your home may not be a brilliant idea.

This is a tactic that is also (largely) working for Monsanto, who won’t let us look at the genetic modifications they’re making to our food (proprietary information and other bullshit like that) and they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure these modifications get a blessing from the FDA. They’ve produced mountains of "GMOs are safe" studies by buying scientists to make sure they get the results they want. Have you ever noticed how the "science" in the US regarding GMOs has come to vastly different conclusions than the science in the rest of the world?

We can’t have nice things because our government is bought and paid for. We can’t have nice things because a battalion of lobbyists have been deployed to hide information, fabricate information, and do whatever they can to confuse us into not knowing what "nice things" are. Do you think that fewer parents would have guns in their homes if they knew that 10,000 kids a year were being injured because of unsecured firearms in the house? I don’t know, but I know that the NRA is worried about that information getting out. Do you think that fewer people would eat corn that is genetically modified to be resistant to toxic weed killers if we could get some peer reviewed studies in those modifications? I don’t know, but Monsanto seem to be worried about that data getting out.

Part of why we’re dumb, is because there’s a concerted effort to make us dumb. Because dumb people don’t notice that they’re not getting nice things.

We need to reform our political system before we can have a functional government that serves the people, let alone nice things. We need to get money and corporate personhood out of our political equation. We will never be able to solve our big issues until we get the money out.

So let me continue my broken record impersonation;

www.wolf-pac.com



 

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I Know Rambo, You Would Have Saved The Day

Another day, another mass shooting, another excuse for the gun nutters to flap their useless gums.

The first wave of batshittiness came in the form posting memes about how Bill Clinton passed a law in 1993, disarming military bases. These memes, of course were accompanied by the assertions that if these bases weren’t “gun free” zones, yesterday’s shooting would have been stopped by an armed Rambo. I didn’t comment, because I like to have facts upon which to form my thoughts, but I found it fairly inconceivable that a military base in America would be left sans any protection. Sure enough, we find out that there were an ample number of armed marines guarding the base.

Did that shut the nutbags up? Of course not. Facts never do. The next wave of fact-free douchebaggery asserted that if there were more armed people on that base, the problem would have been solved. Because naturally, the armed guards at the base were overtaken by the shooter because the real Rambos on the base weren’t armed. Okay, well now you’re shitting on our marines and their training in order to maintain your batshit crazy world view, but don’t let that stop you.

So the problem in America is that Rambo is never armed when these shootings happen. Never mind the fact that there were armed armed guards at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, and the shipyard yesterday. The problem is that none of these armed guards are Rambo, the way these nutters are. They would have saved the day with their guns, if only they had been there. Here’s the problem with the Rambos. Despite their mad shooting skills, they seem to lack the ability to show up when it counts. In fact, armed civilian intervention (with a good result) accounts for 1.6% of all mass shootings in the past 30 years. Rambo saving the day is very rare.

There was one case in our data set in which an armed civilian played a role. Back in 1982, a man opened fire at a welding shop in Miami, killing eight and wounding three others before fleeing on a bicycle. A civilian who worked nearby pursued the assailant in a car, shooting and killing him a few blocks away (in addition to ramming him with the car). Florida authorities, led by then-state attorney Janet Reno, concluded that the vigilante had used force justifiably, and speculated that he may have prevented additional killings.

But there are also these stories;

In 2005, as a rampage unfolded inside a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington, a civilian named Brendan McKown confronted the assailant with a licensed handgun he was carrying. The assailant pumped several bullets into McKown and wounded six people before eventually surrendering to police after a hostage standoff. (A comatose McKown eventually recovered after weeks in the hospital.)

In Tyler, Texas, that same year, a civilian named Mark Wilson fired his licensed handgun at a man on a rampage at the county courthouse. Wilson—who was a firearms instructor—was shot dead by the body-armored assailant, who wielded an AK-47.

So the Rambo factor can go either way. Sometimes, more people get killed because a Rambo managed to work out that timing thing, and ended up at the right place at the right time.

But these fucking nutbags cling onto their fantasies of being Rambo and someday saving the day. Never mind that your fellow Rambos seldom seem to get it right. You’re special, and someday your day in the sun will come.

I have a message for the Rambos of the world. Until you personally have stopped a mass shooting, or any shooting for that matter, you need to shut the fuck up. You have neither statistics nor anecdotal evidence to support your lunatic fantasies or your childish claims. That’s what you are; a fucking child with childlike fantasies. Do us all a favor and engage yourself on a more productive fantasy, like becoming an astronaut, or a fireman. Your Rambo fantasies are comical.


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The NRA Is About To Become Your Friend

I’m more surprised than you are, but it’s true that the NRA is inadvertently going to help Americans for a change.

I know that you’re thinking, “how the fuck is this going to happen, Bitchy?” Good question. I’m sure you are all aware that the NRA stopped representing gun owners years ago, and have become the lobbying arm for gun manufacturers. They don’t give a shit about the safety of gun owners any more than they care about the victims of gun crime. They care about one thing; selling a shit ton of guns to whoever has the money to buy them. The NRA has always mounted a strong attack on anything that hurts gun sales, and they always will.

You wanna know what hurts gun sales? Being able to print guns at home from schematics that you illegally downloaded from The Pirate Bay. This is not something the NRA will stand for. Trust me, the NRA is going to do everything they can to shut this down. My prediction is that Cody Wilson (the shitbag who started Defense Distributed), whose mission is to open source gun manufacturing, is about to feel weight of Wayne LaPierre’s boot on his throat.

So stop freaking out over 3D gun printing. In the short term, this problem will be solved by our new ally, the NRA. I think that in the long term, we’ll see a technology solution to this technology problem. There are a myriad of different ways to approach this. The one I can think of right off the bat, is to make make sure that 3D printers don’t work unless they’re connected to the internet. At that point, the giant data collection apparatus the NSA has set up can track every gun that is printed. But there are a ton of different ways to deal with this.

And we may just all end up with a net win from this whole situation. If the NRA does what I think they’re going to do, they’re going to have to expose themselves for what they are; lobbyists for gun manufacturers and gun smugglers. And when people like little Cody Wilson feel the wrath of the NRA, we may see some gun nut on gun nut violence (I’m speaking metaphorically, of course).

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Accidental Homicide, My Ass

I’m sure that by now, you’ve heard about two year old Caroline Sparks, who was accidentally shot and killed by her five year old brother Kristian. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s what happened. Kristian was playing with the rifle that he got for his fifth birthday. He was playing with it, because his genius parents kept it in the corner of the trailer they live in. In keeping with the stellar parenting skills that determined that a five year old should have a gun, they didn’t bother to unload the one and only bullet that this rifle holds. When Kentucky’s mother of the year stepped out into the porch, leaving her kids unsupervised, she heard a gunshot. Kristian had accidentally shot and killed his sister.

I’m going to pause at this point in the story to review everything that is wrong with this picture. Let’s start with the rifle; it’s made for kids. Let’s watch one of their charming commercials: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de_gJqkbPt4[/youtube]

Fucking awesome, right? Now let’s take a look at the parents who, for some reason, the media doesn’t want to indict. Fortunately, I’m not shy so let’s skip indictment and go straight to conviction. Did you catch the part where I told you that the family lives in a trailer? Yeah, this family’s home has wheels and yet, someone shelled out $120 for a rifle for a five year old kid. These assholes couldn’t scrape together $129 to get a cabinet to lock their weapons in, but instead prioritized getting their five year old his first fucking gun. And what the fuck, if you’re not going to lock up the goddamned gun, why bother unloading it before you toss it in the corner.

I brought up the trailer because the right wing, who love crowing on about the outrage of welfare recipients who have cell phones, have said nothing about this. No one is outraged when the parents of two kids prioritize owning guns over giving their children a home? Hey assholes, a better way to protect your kids than with guns is with walls that are stronger than fucking reynold’s wrap.

I’m already fuming at what I’m reading about this incident, not realizing that I was about to get a shit tone more bitchy. The part that really pissed me off, was the reaction of the locals. Cumberland County Judge Executive John Phelps explained how things are in those parts, “It’s a normal way of life, and it’s not just rural Kentucky, it’s rural America — hunting and shooting and sport fishing. It starts at an early age,” And then, he added (about the shooting), “This was a total shock. This was totally unexpected.” Really, asshole? Because if you’d told me that your assbackward town routinely gives guns to kids, I totally would have fucking expected this.

But the most disgusting reaction to this tragic incident came from Caroline’s batshit crazy grandmother, Linda Riddle who said, “”It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess…” No you stupid bitch, you’re confusing God’s will with some seriously shitty parenting, which is apparently a tradition in your fucked up family.

And the really bitchy inducing part of this story is that I haven’t heard the words “investigation” or “negligent homicide” yet. Do I think these parents deserve to go to prison? You bet your ass I do. I’ll go further than that; I believe they need to go to prison in order to save the rest of us. For me, sending them to prison isn’t so much about causing them more pain, as it is setting a precedent in this country. I believe that anytime a minor puts a bullet into another human, we need to throw mom and dad in prison for putting a weapon into the hands of a minor who isn’t legally allowed to buy said weapon. This is what I like to refer to as “taking responsibility” and “dragging yourself around by your own bootstraps”. If your kid damages my property, you are going to be liable to pay for that damage. Why the fuck are we so nonchalant when a kid puts a bullet into someone?

In my opinion, there is no such thing as an “accidental homicide” when a minor does the shooting. Someone should be going to prison every time. I understand that in some parts of the country, putting guns in the hands of minors is a totally normal part “of the culture”. Guess what? Your culture is idiotic, and I don’t have to respect it anymore than I have to respect the traditions of some, to stone a woman to death for committing adultery. It’s time to change the culture by holding people accountable for their actions. Taking responsibility is the republican mantra, right?

As a society, we’ve decided that I can’t have a giant pile of heroin because this is bad for all of us. I would argue that my having a giant pile of heroin is less detrimental to “us” as it is to “me”. Nonetheless, I don’t have a giant pile of heroin because I don’t want to end up in prison. It’s time to up the ante on this “kids with guns” stupidity. And maybe, if we send enough of these dumbfuck parents to Oz to be Beechered for three to five years, their neighbors will think twice before buying their five year old their own rifle.

You change a culture by changing it. It’s time we stop deferring to the judgment of the dumbest among us, and start proactively changing the culture. You can put a gun in the hands of your kids, but just know that if they shoot someone, there will be jail time, and you’re the one that’s going to be doing it.

 

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Why Are These Gun Owners’ Panties In A Bunch?

I was flummoxed by this story on cnn.com this morning. Apparently, a bunch of gun owners in Westchester and Rockland Counties have their panties in a bunch because a local newspaper (The Journal News) published an interactive map that contained the names and addresses of all gun owners in the area. One commenter actually wrote, 

“So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??”

Whoa! Let’s back up for a second. Nazi references are completely uncalled for, unless we’re talking about a situation where there is a mass genocide of a race or culture, so shut the fuck up with the hyperbole already. Sheesh!

More importantly, I don’t see the problem here. Your address is easily found on the internet, complete with pictures of your house, so the only information being disclosed by this map, is the fact that you own a gun. Shouldn’t this make the gun owner happy, since it amplifies that whole “self defense” purpose? Isn’t someone less likely to break into your house if they know that you’re packing? Don’t you want the robbers to be deterred by the knowledge that you’re a gun toting badass that shouldn’t be messed with, and that they should instead break into your pacifist neighbor’s house? Don’t these people want to head off potential shooting situations off before any shooting has to happen? 

Also, if I were a parent in the neighborhood, I would want to know if you have a gun in the house before I decide if I want my kid hanging out at your house. I don’t mean that in a punitive way. I mean that I would want to make an informed decision on whether I feel comfortable with my child being in your house with a gun. Statistically speaking, if you own a gun, members of your household are 4.5 times more likely to get shot. I would want to know if my child is 4.5 more times likely to get shot, while in your house. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s math.  I wouldn’t want this, this, thisthis, this, thisthis, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this,or this happening to my kid. By the way, did you happen to notice how many of these accidental shootings happened in the homes of police officers?

I’m sorry gun owners, but you’re not the only ones with rights in this country. I should have the right to all of the information I need before deciding if it’s safe for me or any member of my household to enter your home. I have no desire to stop you from having your (okay, certain types) gun, but I have the fucking right to my information.

And if you don’t like being known as a gun owner, maybe you should rethink the gun. You don’t get to hide by denying me information that I feel I need. And the fact that you want to hide makes me suspicious of you. You get to protect yourself your way, but I get to protect myself my way too. If you don’t like that, you can suck it.

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A Culture Of Violence

We (Americans) live in a culture of violence. This is the last argument from gun nuts that don’t want to pass any legislation to stop the killing fields that our country has become. The first argument is (of course) that banning certain types of weapons won’t do any good, since criminals will always be able to get them. This argument is easily debunked by looking at Australia, Japan, and a number of countries that have managed to bring down their death tolls by tightening legislation around fire arms.

Once all of the empirical facts are presented, the gun nut invariable changes their tactic to make hypothetical arguments that are less easy to disprove. Arguments like, “we are a much more violent culture so you can’t compare us to other countries”. To this, I say bullshit! The idea that other countries don’t play violent video games, or watch violent movies is absurd. I’ve got some news for you, Rockstar Games has enjoyed huge sales numbers all around the world for Manhunt, which consistently tops the list of most violent games. And if you don’t think that the Japanese (one of the most technocentric cultures in the world) aren’t playing Mortal Kombat en masse, you’re not paying attention. They’re building and embracing companion robots, for god’s sake! I promise you, that Django Unchained is going to be the #1 box office blockbuster in every country that plays it. You’re batshit crazy, not to mention intellectually lazy, if you think that we’re just inherently more violent than the rest of the world.

But I do agree that we have a cultural problem. We used to be a culture that believed we could do anything. We used to be a culture that saw our bankers robbing the country so blind that they caused the great depression. We believed we could stop it, and we did. We passed legislation that worked very well for 45 years before those laws started to be systematically  repealed by both democratic and republican legislatures.

We used to be a country that decided that having parents working side by side with their kids for twelve hours a day, six days a week was wrong, and that we could change it. And guess what? We changed it by passing legislation. In fact, we changed it so effectively that it was possible for a family to thrive on a single income. That changed when we slowly let our wages flatten or decline, and accepted that two incomes were necessary to feed, clothe, and house a family.

We used to be a country that cheered when the president said that we will put a man on the moon within 10 years. We’ve become a country that would laugh with cynicism at such a statement today.

We used to be the country that cured polio and small pox. Now we’re a country that accepts a lifetime of “treating” illness with pharmaceuticals.

We used to believe that we could accomplish anything we decided to accomplish. We, as a society, don’t believe that anymore. We don’t believe that government can accomplish anything good. Worse than that, we don’t believe that we can push our government into doing anything good.

I will admit that I am among those who don’t believe that our current system of governance can’t produce good results for its people. It doesn’t much matter if you’re on team democrat or team republican. Neither work for you. They work for the corporations and billionaires that feed the system with their money. The only difference between the two parties, is the speed with which they will get us to the inevitable endgame. Republicans want to put the pedal to the metal and turn us into wage slaves as soon as possible, so that their corporate benefactors can exploit our labor. Democrats are okay with this plan, they just want to go slower and throw us a few crumbs along the way so that we go along willingly.

But I differ from the defeatists in that, I believe we can change the system. I don’t believe that we’re doomed to live with this corrupt government whose only objective is to serve it’s multinational corporate masters, at the expense of is country. I understand that we’re pretty screwed right now, but I don’t believe that we’re completely fucked. We do have one (and I mean only one) option available to us.

I’m going to go more into what I think we can do in the next blog post (and most of the blog posts next year). For now, you can check out Wolf Pac for a preview.

This post is about identifying where we’re going wrong in our thinking. We have a cultural problem, but not the one that most people think we have. We’re not more violent than anyone else. We just have a defeatist attitude that is fucking crippling. It’s crippling us from stopping the killing epidemic, and it’s stopping us from having the equality of opportunity that we once had. It’s time to stop defeating ourselves. We need to see where our country has been, and we need to realize that we can do good things.

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Gun Uncontrol

I’ve seen a lot of “debate”about gun control since Friday, and I must say that my usual state of bitchiness has been elevated to level of pure rage. I put debate in quotes because we’re not actually having a debate. Comments I’ve read from pro gun nuts do not constitute serious discussion. The discussions being had are not two sides of a coin, much like the evolution vs creation discussion are not two sides of a coin. One side of that debate is based on science and discovery like archeology and carbon dating, while the other side consists simply of blind faith.

I’ve seen the same dichotomy in discussions about what to do about the gun violence in America. One side (my side) offers several solutions to the mass shooting epidemic in America. solutions like;

  • More thorough background checks. TSA applicants must fill out a 17 page background check form called the SF – 86 in order to apply. I want gun buyers to go through the same process, including fingerprinting. If you can’t wait a month for your background check to clear, I don’t want you to have a gun.
  • No more semiautomatic or automatic weapons. There’s no reason on the fucking planet for anyone to be able to fire rapid rounds, other than to kill lots of people quickly. This is not an unreasonable restriction on the second amendment, so shut the fuck up about your constitutional rights. The more you want an automatic weapon, the more evident it is that you shouldn’t have one.
  • No more clips that hold more than six bullets. If you need more than six bullets before having to reload, you’re either doing something very bad, or you’re an extremely shitty shot. Either way, I don’t want for you to be able to fire more than six shots before reloading.
  • I want you to attend annual, mandatory training classes if you own a gun. If I have to renew my driver’s license every few years, you should have to demonstrate that you can responsibly handle a firearm every year.
  • I want you to apply for a permit in order to be able to carry a concealed weapon. I want a record kept of who you are, and which gun you’re carrying. If you’re not planning on doing anything wrong, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
  • I don’t want you to have a gun if you have one iota of violent behavior, or mental isstability on your criminal record.

I don’t feel that any of these requirements are unreasonable. I also don’t feel that any of these requirements infringe on your right to own a gun. And guess who agrees with me? The vast majority of NRA members. 

So that’s my side. What is the other side saying? Well, they’re mostly mischaracterizing my side with hyperbole about taking away everyone’s guns. The fact of the matter is that no one has talked about taking away everyone’s guns in decades. That’s a fact. And I defy anyone to come up with any evidence of single legislator putting forward any bills to take away people’s guns. I defy anyone to come up with a single example of a political analyst or reporter in any main stream media outlet that has espoused taking away everyone’s guns. That’s just not happening in America. And yet, if you listen to Wayne LaPierre, you would think that there was a widespread movement to everyone’s guns away. There isn’t even a movement to limit the number of guns that a person can own.

To the extent that the pro gun nuts have a solution to the problem, it’s this; arm more people. To be clear, this “solution” is to stop a maniac after they’ve got a gun in their hands and have begun shooting. I’m sorry but if your “solution” doesn’t start before the shooting does, then you don’t give two shits about the victims present or future. You care more about whatever crazy ass John Wayne fantasy than you do about saving lives. And you should go fuck yourself. I’m not going to take you seriously because you’re not serious about solving the problem.

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