‘This is my rifle, this is my gun — one is for fighting, the other for fun’

July 23, 2012

Culture and guns and life:

“Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
Its all about fast cars and passing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
and that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
and its not my fault its how I’m program to function
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner
Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner
I don’t know whats right and whats real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
Cause I’m being taken over by fear
— Lily Allen, The Fear

Along with stupid, fear is a prime explosive package in the US nowadays. and the horrific shooting Friday in Colorado is one terrible case in point.
Despite the carnage, the hired guns babbling over the weekend carried the same noxious refrain that ‘guns don’t kill people, people do‘ — it’s a constitutional right to have a high-powered, military  rifle with a 30-round clip to go hunting for squirrel.

As this country faces an insurmountable perfect storm involving a multitude of problems, we’re trapped in a nasty grip of a pathological, dangerous and delusional mindset.
In Pinball’s relatable words: ‘We be fucked.’

(Illustration above found here — Batman illustration out-front found here).

President Obama journeyed to Aurora, Colorado, yesterday to offer condolences to families of the 12 people murdered in the shooting spree, and told reporters that “…words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations..,” but the exact locution can’t also explain away the freak suspect, James Holmes, and at such a youthful age could put together an arsenal worthy of Neo’s admiration.
Via CNN:

The man accused of opening fire inside the theater left a trail of evidence that the police say suggests the shooting was part of a calculated plan that included killing anyone who tried to learn more about him in the aftermath of the attack.
The authorities have said little about what they believe was the motive of the accused shooter, though investigators say there is evidence planning was under way for months.
Holmes received a high volume of deliveries over the past four months to both his home and work addresses, which the police believe begins to explain how he got his hands on some of the materials used in the attack and those found at his apartment, said Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates.
“What we’re seeing here is evidence of, I think, some calculation and deliberation,” Oates said.

Rank what Chief Oates said with what Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper blubbered: “This is a deeply troubled, twisted, delusional person,” he said.
This the same clown who again blubbered on ABC‘s ‘This Week‘ that he refused to call for stronger gun-control laws because Holmes “was diabolical” and would have found other forms of destruction — He would have found explosives, he would have found something else, some sort of poisonous gas, something to create this horror.
Hickenlooper is a Democrat, and so what?

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is also a Democrat and yesterday on NBC‘s ‘Meet the Gregory,’ oops, sorry, ‘Meet the Press‘ she told truth to assholes.
Via Think Progress: I always look at it this way, no one from the NRA is ever going to vote for me. They’re just not. They might even come after me on other issues. But the thing of it is, as a politician, a lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have the spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money.

Yes, Indeed.

If Democrats are spineless, chickenshits, Republicans are completely cruel, nasty insane.
Former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, one crazed nut, used Sarah Palin’s favorite form of communication and took to Facebook yesterday to blast the victims — they were to blame for not taking care of the shooter.
Via TPM and this gut message: Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this “bad” man from most of this tragedy.
Right — fire away in a dark, chaotic movie theater.
Of course, like a lot of other big-mouth assholes, Pearce tried to walk back this shit with another post to counter the first one: “All I did was lament that so many people should be left disarmed and vulnerable by anti-gun rules that try to create a sense of safety by posting a sign that says ‘No Guns’, when the only real effect is to disarm everyone who could have saved lives,” he wrote.
TPM also noted both posts have since been pulled off Facebook.

Due to the current gun laws, all this killing was just a click away.
From the New York Times:

With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun == an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police.
It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.
He also bought bulletproof vests and other tactical gear, and a high-capacity “drum magazine” large enough to hold 100 rounds and capable of firing 50 or 60 rounds per minute — a purchase that would have been restricted under proposed legislation that has been stalled in Washington for more than a year.

And don’t expect anything great from Obama either.
He’s just another spineless Democrat: “As you know, there’s been opposition to that since it expired within Congress,” Carney (White House press secretary Jay Carney) said. “The president is focused on doing the things that we can do that protect Second Amendment rights which he thinks is important but also make it harder for individuals who should not under existing law have weapons to obtain them.”

Existing laws apparently don’t work, but the biggest problem is the NRA.

Some background on the ‘gun problem’ and the NRA US can be found at Live Science in a piece looking at the history of firearms within this country’s history.
One point — the NRA used to be cool.
Particulars:

In the United States’ early years, gun control had strong support, said Mark Tushnet, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University.
Within decades of the adoption of the Bill of Rights — the document whose Second Amendment confers the “right to bear arms” as part of the people’s right to form well-regulated militias — laws banning concealed weapons were passed in many states (especially in the South, where more people owned guns).
When these laws were challenged, courts upheld the bans as constitutional.
The NRA, founded in 1871 as a sporting and hunting association, supported most gun control regulation for its first 100 years.
Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, “the increasing urbanization of the country made gun possession a matter of concern for a lot of people in the cities,” whereas previously it was of concern primarily in rural areas where people hunted, Tushnet told LiveScience.

But in 1970, a Democratic senator who had introduced that year’s Firearms Registration and Licensing Act lost his re-election bid in Maryland, largely because many country folks saw the bill as an infringement on their rights, according to an account of the incident in The New Yorker.
Historians view this as a critical moment: Conservative members of the NRA’s leadership saw that gun rights could win elections, and they orchestrated a shift in the organization’s stance.
“There was a bureaucratic coup d’etat within the NRA,” Tushnet explained.
“Washington insiders took the organization over from the more established gun enthusiasts who ran it, and converted it from an organization that was involved in supporting gun-related sporting activities into a Washington lobbying organization.”
They changed the motto from “Firearms Safety Education, Marksmanship Training, Shooting for Recreation,” to “The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.”
Ever since, the NRA has argued that the Second Amendment concerns individual gun ownership, rather than people’s right to form armed militias for their common defense, as constitutional law scholars believe the Second Amendment intended.
The political maneuver worked because it occurred during what Tushnet calls the “rights revolution” of the middle 20th century.
“The NRA was able to take advantage of the ‘rights revolution,’ which had made thinking about things that people cared about in terms of constitutionally protected rights much more prominent in our culture,” he said.
The NRA began backing candidates who opposed gun regulations, always in the name of the Second Amendment, and gun control became a partisan issue.

I grew up in the Deep South where guns and hunting are more important than shoes.
My dad gave me an old .20-gauge shotgun when I was about 12 or so, and I hunted with it until age 17 when an expedition into the backwoods of Alabama changed the way I felt about firearms.
After walking around for what seemed like hours without any sign of an animal, I finally spied a squirrel sitting on a stump about four-five feet away.
We looked at each other for a few seconds — the squirrel had something in his little hands, maybe a nut — I took aim and blew the guy to bits.
There was nothing left but little shards of skin and fur.
The incident made me near-sick and I put down the .20-gauge for good.
Guns are horrible and this country is in a gosh-awful mess with everybody armed and dangerous.

I moved onto my gun and way-more thrilling fun.

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