Saturday, December 22, 2012

Extremely Well Said

I wish I could write as well as Timothy Egan. (His wife is no slouch, either.) (My wife, no slouch, tells me they're not related.)

On Friday, after a week of hiding, the National Rifle Association will attempt to explain why it has spent more than two decades trying to ensure that weapons of mass murder are accessible to madmen. They will probably make pious remarks about the children slaughtered one week ago, divert attention to the moral rot of Hollywood and secular society, and throw out other distractions as part of their promised “contribution” to solving a uniquely American pathology.
He was exactly right about Wayne LaPierre, of course. And there's lots more worth reading in the piece.

If only the 47% who voted for Mitt Romney could be made to accept responsibility for their actions...

[Image source]


Anonymous said...

"...the recent shooting is a clear cry for any fucking thing at all to please, please be different."

Jacob Horner

AlisonH said...

My takeaway from his speech: guns don't kill people, videogames do.

My reaction to the self-justifying evil of his words was a little more visceral than that, though, I'll admit.

Larry Simoneaux said...


I watched the NRA's presentation with utter awe. Awe at the "tone-deafness" of the speech. Awe at the utter futility of the proposal simply in logistical terms. How big the campus? How many entrances? How many places for security personnel to be - all at once? Awe at the loss of the idea of a "bigger picture" other than "what's mine is mine." In this instance my right to Keep and bear arms", always ends at your right to live in peace and security.

I've been up many nights since the Newtown shootings thinking about it all and have concluded that, for now and until we become a rational species or until we can identify the crazies amongst us before they explode, that only two things will really work to decrease (we'll never stop them) the frequency and lethality of these shootings. Reducing the rate and volume of fire - i.e. fewer rounds available for firing in a magazine, and magazines and firearms that require longer reload times.

Note: Getting 300 million firearms out of circulation simply isn't going to happen. Not in any of our lifetimes. Too, there are legitimate uses for firearms in civilian hands.

In the arena of military look-alike rifles, the idea of simply limiting carrying capacity of a magazine won't work as long as there exists a supply of electrical tape. Limit a magazine to 10 rounds and I can tape 3 together and we're back at square one... in less than 5 seconds.

If we want a place to start (a small step), stop thinking about how a firearm looks (I can make any one of my rifles look positively scary in about an hour with the right parts handy) and start thinking about how to slow it down - since we can't do away with them altogether.

Think non-detachable magazines with a specific load qty of "X" (my preference would be 4 rounds - at most) in that magazine. It could be done by redesigning semi-auto, military look-alike rifles to have non-detachable magazines that have to reloaded through the ejection port - no taping together of magazines for quick reloads and, thus, reducing the number of rounds available to be fired by an order of magnitude.

It simply slows everything down and reduces the amount of ammunition available for firing considerably.

No big fix is going to work - or is even going to be agreed to. It's going to take many small steps all aimed at getting this monster under control. Everything should be on the table right now. Legal accountability for not securing firearms. Background checks on every purchase - no matter where such are made. Training when you purchase a firearm, etc. Then on to movies, video games, mental health issues and crossing them into firearm purchases, and on, and on.

Sadly, there are those on "my side" - including the NRA - who simply refuse to acknowledge or cannot even comprehend that change is needed. And I'm in utter and absolute "awe" of that too.

BTW...for those reading...Life Member NRA, Hunting Safety Instructor, Firearms Safety Instructor, 36 year hunter, Reloader, Former Military, Service Academy grad, married 41 years, parent, grandparent - pretty much your standard gun nut.


Sid Schwab said...

You, Larry, are the furthest thing from a gun nut there is, among gun-lovers.

My column for tomorrow includes several of the same points you've made (along with a deviation into religious nuttery).

Lawrence O'Donnell, of MSNBC, an often self-righteous and angry commentator who loves his rhetoric a little too much (guilty!) had a pretty right-on, if over the top rant about Wayne LaP's speech yesterday.

Cory said...

Thanks for that Larry. I'm former military, a Wyoming boy, love my guns (not one of them an assault weapon, and none with detachable magazines), hunter, reloader, and parent. I ripped up my NRA card and sent it back several years ago. The NRA has turned into a para-military pro militia wanna be support group, and mostly a gun manufacture lobby. The NRA does NOT support the ideals of the majority of it's members. I'm sick of it. Larry- do you have it in you to rip up your card, send back your lifetime membership to the NRA? That might be a really great place to start?

Anonymous said...

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

“I was cleaning it and it went off.” “I didn’t know it was loaded.” “The child found it in the nightstand, even though we trained him not to touch it.” “I dropped it.” “He dropped it.” “It just went off.” “It just fell out of my holster.” “I was practicing my draw.” “I forgot to unload it.” “ We were playing Russian roulette, with a spent cartridge in the chamber.” “I thought it was a deer.” “I didn’t know it was real.” “I wasn’t aiming at anything.” I wasn’t aiming at them.” I didn’t see him.” “I was showing it to a friend, when it went off and killed his daughter in the next room.” “He shot himself in the head.”

“I had to shoot my mom and dad, I had no other choice.” “He shot his wife and family, then killed himself.” “He cut me off at the light.” “I was standing my ground because he shoved me.” “I was standing my ground because they had loud music.” “I was standing my ground because he moved my trash cans.” “I was in fear for my life; so I shot them because they were running away.” “My neighbor wasn’t home and they were breaking into his house.” “He was complaining about poor service.” “He looked suspicious.” “She had it coming.”

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” So one might think that we should structure our laws to insure that guns are unavailable to the mentally unstable, felons, vigilantes, people with ties to subversive ideologies, untrained shooters,

Instead, we make sure that the people who kill people, can buy any kind of, and as many guns as they want!

If “Guns don’t kill people, and only people kill people”, then why are we selling guns to people who kill people.

Answer: Because “Profits.” And, frightened people are much easier to control, so divide the people and make each person believe that it is him , or her, against “Them.”


Larry Simoneaux said...


I won't give them that little pleasure. I'm a writer with a weekly column and I'll use that column, when necessary, to wave the fact that many members completely disagree with the stance being taken in our name. I'll be a small burr in their saddle.


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