Please Keep This in Mind… January 9, 2011

Please Keep This in Mind…

As crazy as one deranged young man acted, and as crazy as the response may be from select individuals, lets not forget these are isolated incidents that don’t necessarily represent a larger community.

It also wouldn’t be such a bad thing to wait to get more information before making unfounded accusations.

As I was sitting in a high school yesterday without much Internet access, I made the mistake of reading my Twitter feed several hours after the shooting occurred — in chronological order. It’s amazing how much false information was put out into the ether, only to be corrected or amended a short while later.

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  • AnonymousSM

    How lovely!

  • anon_az

    Thanks for being a voice of reason Hemant. There’s so much hate and violent rhetoric in response to this tragic and violent act. I live in Tucson and I voted for Gifford. She’s one of the few politicians I actually like. I want to see justice done for this act, but it doesn’t help us at all to rush to assumptions and accusations.

  • snail whisperer

    These types of events always lead to the same thing: talking heads on every channel that ever pretended to practice any sort of journalism report a few scant facts (“someone at a political rally shot some people and was captured”), then fill hours with idle speculation because they have nothing else to talk about. I don’t understand why so many people are willing to sit there and listen to it.

  • Danielle

    That guy was a lunatic, judging from the stuff on his youtube page.

    And WBC is even more loony, they are praising a god who killed a nine year old girl who has nothing to do with politics. Alriiiiight…

  • I don’t understand why so many people are willing to sit there and listen to it.

    Maybe because by listening to something, anything, no matter how inane or uninformed it is, it helps to drown out their own inner dialog (which some people, unfortunately, don’t even understand is their own “voice”), which might be telling them things they either don’t like, or don’t understand.

    /pure speculation…

  • Mr Z

    A long time ago there were popular songs on the air – Dirty Laundry, Shock the Monkey, and others. Nothing has changed but the speed with which stupidity can be spread.

    It should be reiterated often that the veracity of Twitter et al is questionable at all times. The veracity of MSM should be doubted until the final word has been pronounced by a court/judge.

    If you believe everything you read, well… uhm, you’d be a Christian, right?

  • Amberbug

    “As crazy as one deranged young man acted…”. Let’s also refrain from dumping this crime at the door of the mentally ill. The mentally ill are LESS violent than the general population, and are in fact its victims way more often. The sane are out there committing horrible acts every day. Don’t rush to judge just because you don’t understand why this happened.

  • Vagabond Prophet

    Thank you for being what seems to be the lone voice of reason in the Atheist Bolgosphere.

    Everyone seems so quick to point fingers before the facts are in. Then they come in, and no one says; “Boo” about the guy being a Left Wing Nut Job as opposed to a Right Wing Nut Job that they all want to smear Palin and the Tea Party without evidence of culpability. Agree with them or not, but blaming everything bad that happens to Democrats on Republicans is no better then Christians blaming Atheists for a “War On Christmas”. Just sayin’

  • Athena Holter-Mehren

    I love those songs.

  • PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher must be bummed. Could you imagine if he were a Christian or Muslim? We’d hear “see see those damn Christians and Muslims”. Since he’s an atheist, we shouldn’t judge every atheist based on this. Its not like atheists judge, ridicule and mock Christians and Muslims based on the minority lunatics of said groups…oh wait to most atheists majority of Christians and Muslims are lunatics.

  • NotYou007

    These nut cases give us law abiding gun owners a bad reputation. I’m sure someone is going to try and ban high capacity magazines now since he used a 30 round magazine.

    For those that are blaming Palin they are also nut cases. I can’t stand that woman but she had nothing to do with it.

  • Zietlos

    NotYou007: There have been a few things that point Palin in the direction of motivation, much as there has been a few things pointing in the direction of the Republican website, which advocated shooting her. Citations at bottom of post.

    But yes, for all we know, the shooter could have seen the message in their alphaghetti, and probably (though not certain) Glenn Beck advocated killing them at some point in time. There are a number of sources, and to blame ONE republican moron would be wrong when SO MANY could be to blame.

    That said, High Capacity Magazines: What in the nine hells are YOU hunting on weekends? The right to a well maintained militia, good sir. That’s your amendment. There is no reason whatsoever you need a high capacity magazine other than to take out large numbers of small targets, like people, without needing the discipline and training of learning how to change a cartridge. Don’t give me home protection crap, you don’t need more than a few bullets to kill any home invader, and if a dozen people try to take over your house, after eight or so are dead the last will probably run. And don’t give me hunting crap, while waiting for a buck you can spend a minute reloading between kills.

    So I would like a reason you think high capacity magazines are necessary for “The Right to a well maintained militia”, and why banning such items in an infringement of that right. Purely curiosity.

    Sources for death-advocates, because citation ALWAYS needed:
    http://www.blogforarizona.com/blog/2010/06/jesse-kelly-event-is-this-wording-intentional.html
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/we_have_our_own_barbarian_subc.php

  • Claudia

    Hemant, I wish you had put a disclaimer before the second link indicating that it was a WBC website link. As a rule, I avoid clicking on anything of theirs because I don’t want to participate in giving the attention whores anything they want.

    As for the shooter, the only thing that seemed vaguely political in his rants were things about gold and silver and currency, which rings libertarian bells. However what it really seems is that this guy was a whole lotta just plain crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if his political “convictions” were a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories and disjointed thoughts with no clear left or right bias. Maybe he was drawn to the violent rhetoric against Rep. Giffords, but more evidence is needed to say so definitively.

  • Claudia

    And WBC is even more loony, they are praising a god who killed a nine year old girl who has nothing to do with politics. Alriiiiight…

    They are attention whores. They keep up with the news and try to see what they can say that will get outrage-seeking media to cover them. Do you remember the horrific schoolhouse murder of little Amish girls? These clowns said that they were going to picket the children’s funerals. They were stopped by a popular conservative radio host who gave them his hour of radio time for a day in exchange for staying away.

  • Actually, I keep hearing most people define this shooter in a similar way – a deranged young man who “lost his way”. I can’t help but think if the kid had been brown skinned and had a foreign sounding name, the main description we would be hearing is “terrorist”.

  • Alex

    I can’t help but think if the kid had been brown skinned and had a foreign sounding name, the main description we would be hearing is “terrorist”.

    In reality, any person or organization that uses fear or intimidation should technically be considered terrorists. That would probably include your street corner fundamentalist churches too.

  • littlejohn

    I just assumed the shooter was a Tea Partier. I’m as guilty as anyone. Keith Olbermann embarrassed himself over this, too. It looks like he (the shooter, not Keith) was just psychotic.

  • Jim H

    @Zeitlos: well done.

    @NotYou007: Lighten up, Francis.

    Hemant, thanks for the sanity.

  • cat

    I actually haven’t seen much false information about the case (though, to be fair, I have not been getting mine via twitter). My first sources said only that she had been shot and that others had died and that there was a history of violent threats and vandalism against her. Still accurate. Though, I have seen more theorizing after the shooter’s name and videos were revealed. I have not seen anyone blame Palin directly, but I have seen discussion about increasing right wing violent rhetoric surrounding politics. And, oh yeah, people who rant about the gold standard or claim to love Mein Kampf are almost without exception right wingers (and the shooter here did both). I am curious that there hasn’t been more discussoin of Loughner’s antisemitism (Jews run the federal reserve and destroy the gold standard, don’t you know?) considering he murdered Arizona’s first Jewish Congressperson.

  • cat

    Sorry to post again so soon, but I went over to feministe and they helpfully linked to this post http://www.slate.com/id/2280619/ which most of you seem in dire need of with the bullshit language and rhetoric about mental illness going on in the comments here.

  • Drew M.

    @Zietlos

    That said, High Capacity Magazines: What in the nine hells are YOU hunting on weekends? The right to a well maintained militia, good sir. That’s your amendment.

    This is what makes me ashamed to call myself liberal. For some reason, the side that is correct everywhere else tends to only focus on the first phrase of the sentence.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The right of the People. That’s the operative phrase. It can be argued that, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,” refers to the necessary evil of having a military for our republic. Furthermore, since the Founders just fought a war against a tyrannical military, it can be argued that their intent was to ensure that the People could rise up in rebellion against the military if ever needed again.

    Anyhow, that’s an aside to your question.

    There is no reason whatsoever you need a high capacity magazine other than to take out large numbers of small targets, like people, without needing the discipline and training of learning how to change a cartridge. Don’t give me home protection crap, you don’t need more than a few bullets to kill any home invader, and if a dozen people try to take over your house, after eight or so are dead the last will probably run. And don’t give me hunting crap, while waiting for a buck you can spend a minute reloading between kills.

    Well, for one, they’re a lot of fun. We do shoot at paper and steel targets far more than people, you know. But seriously, the only reason we need is that there is no reason why a law abiding citizen cannot own a high capacity magazine.

    I understand your stance and concern about them, but I feel a ban will do absolutely nothing but punish us law abiding citizens.

    If the shooter here in question was genuinely suffering from mental defect, then it was already illegal for him to own any firearms in Arizona.

    (I’ve been watching The Big Legowski and drinking White Russians along with him, so I apologize if I didn’t make sense.)

  • NotYou007

    Zietlos: People have been shot multiple times and still continued their actions. Stupid statements such as the one you made show your ignorance when it comes to firearms.

    If they go after 30 plus round magazines who says they won’t try and go after my Glock 17 magazines which hold 17 rounds?

    They already did it once before, who says they won’t do it again? The stupid gun laws they pass only hurt law abiding people.

    The bad guys don’t care about the laws but I’m willing to bet some sort of tougher gun legislation will arise from this and it won’t hurt anyone but those that follow the law.

  • Drew M.

    And I probably should’ve read cat’s link before commenting on his mental state.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that it takes responsibility just like every liberty we have. The assumption that high capacity magazines will only be used for evil is pretty sad. It’s every bit as irritating at right wingers who think that the only reason to encrypt your data is to hide kiddie porn.

  • Bob

    Fine, Jared Loughner was an unbalanced young man who acted on his own.

    What does that say, then, about the politicians and media figures who espouse this brand of hateful and inciteful rhetoric, from crosshairs on maps to gun metaphors (‘don’t retreat, reload’)? Are they also disturbed? Should we be concerned because they congregate in groups, rather than off in some obscure little corner?

    We are already seeing politicians trying to distance the shooting from the now-infamous ‘crosshair map’ posted on Sarah Palin’s website. Senators McCain and Alexander have made statements saying there’s absolutely no connection between this kind of talk and Loughner’s actions. (Which is about what I expected – those who benefit from such talk, either by way of hosting a program on television or radio, or who court voters through such language, will never denounce it.)

    Legislation against guns, legislation against inflammatory speech – well, that’s nice, but it doesn’t address the problem, only the symptoms.

    We need to choose rationality and civility over fear and hatred.

  • altar ego

    Thanks cat and amberbug… attributing this violence to the mentally ill is an unfair stereotype.

  • DA

    “If the shooter here in question was genuinely suffering from mental defect, then it was already illegal for him to own any firearms in Arizona.”

    Not true. I’m a former Arizona resident, and there is no direct connection where they somehow assess peoples’ mental fitness to have guns. I owned several and because of my lack of criminal convictions, could buy them usually within a few minutes. At the time I was on anti-depressants and had been seeing a shrink. I knew plenty of unbalanced people who carried guns and even at least two convicted felons who’d managed to get their rights restored and could carry again. Arizona is insane when it comes to guns; even wingnut paradises like Texas look civilized in comparison.

    And on to the broader point; is it possible this guy just had a random screw loose? Sure. Is it definite that one side of the political debate has been, for the past several years, constantly engaged in violent rhetoric, demogoguery, and mob incitement? Is anyone actually going to claim that both sides have been using gun and war metaphors equally often? Is it crazy to think that when a pol who’s been harassed and threatened by right wing nutcases gets shot, it might just be more than a tragic accident?

    We were told the plane-into-building guy was a lone nut too. Despite his final farewell which sounded like something from a Tea Party website. We were told McVeigh was an (almost) lone nut despite his long time involvement in several right wing scenes, some of them pretty mainstream. Now everyone’s in a rush to say the same thing here; maybe they’re right, but I’m going to hang onto my suspicions for the time being, thanks.

    Of course, we have the media false-equivalency machine full tilt too. “Wow, we need to reexamine the hateful rhetoric coming from both sides”. There’s one side whose mainstream spokesmen are talking about death panels, socialism, a secret Muslim in the white house, and watering the tree of liberty with blood. It’s also the side where they defend the right of any asshole to own a panzerfaust.

  • DA
  • sarah

    Well it’s like this…you take a young, impressionable yet intelligent man – mix some paranoid and antisocial personality traits…and fuel him with some good old conspiracy theories..and whammo….you’ve got the makings of a perfect terrorist.

  • cat

    @Drew M, I tend to be in the middle about gun issues, but this “Furthermore, since the Founders just fought a war against a tyrannical military, it can be argued that their intent was to ensure that the People could rise up in rebellion against the military if ever needed again.” argument is a rather poor one, considering that armed insurrection counts as treason “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort (article 3 section 3), that Congress is given the sole authority “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions” (Article 1 section 8), that the states may note make war or keep troops without congressional permission (article 1 section 10), and Congress is “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress” (article 1 section 8), and the federal government is commanded to protect states against “domestic violence” (article 4 section 4). In addition,Shays Rebellion is one of the key factors in causing the constitution to be put in place in the first place. IF the reason you give is the correct one, it is certainly indicitive of severe cognitive dissonance (quite possible) or intense political disagreements on the issue. Which hardly gives you the cut and dry interpretation you want. In addition, while I agree with you that the use of the term people should definitely be evaluated (though maybe not with your conclusion), the wording of the constitution was considered of great importance(see, for example, the huge debates about the wording of the first amendment), so the part about militias cannot be ignored, especially considering how the Constitution explicitly outlines the division of powers between states and federal government in regards to militias earlier in the document.

  • mike dave

    to NotYou007
    “The stupid gun laws they pass only hurt law abiding people”

    Tell it to the family of the dead 7 year old

  • Drew M.

    @cat

    I actually find it to be an interesting argume3nt, but I’;m a bit too inebriated to defend it right now. (Don’t weorry, the guns are3 safely locked in a big honking Natuional Security safe). I admit it’s not the best argument, but I still find it interesting. It came up as an alte3rnative to tghe whole “Well organized militia” thing.

    It’s all academic anyhow. The SCOTUS ruled (last year, I think) that the militia is a subset of The People. As such, it’s a right guaranteed to the individual (just like the rest of the Bill of Rights).

    @DA: I’ll try to get to you tomorrow.

    @mike dave: I lost a dear friend to a drunk driver and I can tell you it would make fuck-all’s difference if he was killed in a shooting. Both occur when victims are in the wrong place at the wrong time and both occur when the perpetrator BREAKS THE FUCKING LAW.

    If you’re going to get all sanctimonious and shit, at least be creative.

  • NotYou007

    She died at the age of 9, not 7.

  • cat

    @Drew M, I am aware where the current jurisprudence stands, but that does not mean I have to agree with it. The mere fact that a case was decided does not make it rightly decided, though it obviously does make it current law, just as Plessy v Ferguson was in its day. There are cases that still officially stand that I consider outright atrocities, such as Buck v Bell or Korematsu v US. The fact that the Supreme Court disagrees with me is unlikely to change my opinion. Shoot, even if I thought the Constitution disagreed, that would not by itself be enough to change my opinion on a matter either. I would just think the Constitution needed amended. I certainly do not think that the opinions of a few rich white slave owners in the 1700s are likely to be the ideal ones. I do not debate history because I am an originalist, I do it because I am a huge nerd. I actually do think that your theory played a part and anti-federalist paranoia about a powerful federal government did play a role, however I think that suppressing rebellion was a bigger reason for the second amendment than protecting it. When the Constitution was ratified, militias were used heavily in crushing Native American resistence, in putting down slave rebellions, and in discouraging organizing amoung the poor. The second in particular was vital here. Anti-federalists were more common in the south than the north and the north’s larger population as well as the fact that black people did not count fully in population tallies (and some areas of the south had slaves outnumbering whites 9 to 1) meant that the north had more sway in the federal government than the south (<-the reason more southerners were anti-federalists). Southern slave owners were afraid that the northern dominated federal government would disarm southern militias and then refuse to put down slave rebellions. The state which held the federal capital, Pennsylvania, had passed a law gradually banning slavery in 1780 and Philidelphia was considered by many to be a hotbed of abolitionist sentiment. The second amendment was one of the many compromises in north-south relations regarding slavery and federal representation that ultimately culminated in the Civil War. Laws regarding gun ownership for black people and native americans have traditionally been extremely strict. "The right to bear arms", like other legal rights of the time, applied only to rich white men.

    I'm not saying I do not find the question of weapons control and armed resistence in general to be an uninteresting or not complex (I must admit my secret love for the good old fashioned west coast Black Panther Party for Self Defense), I just find the notion that it was the argument and reasoning behind the second amendment rather unconvincing.

  • mike dave

    “She died at the age of 9, not 7” I guess thats all right then

  • Daniel

    Our gun laws are a mess.

    I say this as a hunter, veteran with a marksmanship medal, and gun owner. I’ve lived in a small mountain town that would often get deer and mountain lions in residential districts in the winter. I currently teach in America’s fifth most dangerous city – one of the first to have a school shooting.

    Guns, like cars, are useful but dangerous objects. We track car ownership, which helps us immensely when they are used in a crime, and if a person is no longer able to operate a car safely for a variety of reasons, we restrict their ability to drive, either partially or completely.

    That a similar system doesn’t exist for guns is simply absurd.

  • infinite monkey

    I have been ranting about this at work all day to anyone who will listen. And I always preface it with the fact that defending SP will leave a bad taste in my mouth, but I’m interested in the facts.

    And the facts don’t point to him knowing, or caring, what SP has to say. All the facts point to him being totally disconnected from reality.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09shooter.html

    The list of stuff he believed in sounds like a list of Skeptoid episodes, from 2012 to the Amero. This is a prime example of conspiracy theorists gone wild. While blaming Palin (which is what SP stands for, sorry for not clarifying) is quick, easy, and sexy, it’s not necessarily correct. As far as I’m concerned, I have no reason this guy didn’t believe that she was just another Reptoid. And I see skeptics everywhere jumping on the Blame Palin
    bandwagon. There’s nothing to link the two, but time.

  • Jeanette

    Thank you. The Sarah Palin thing has been pissing me off too. Seriously, I know it looks bad that she used crosshairs in that picture, but pinning this on her seems really unfair, especially since it appears this guy wasn’t politically motivated. Yay skepticism!

  • DA

    Nobody is saying Sarah Palin ordered a hit or anything. We’re saying holy shit, Palin and other stoked flames of paranoia and spoke more or less overtly about violence, and now that there’s violence, suddenly there must be no connection? I think Palin and her supporters know it too; the sudden website scrubbings and ridiculous excuses about “Oh, those aren’t crosshairs, they’re surveying syumbols!” are not the marks of people unaware of potential connections. Also, nobody is saying that the shooter wasn’t nuts; but it’s nutcases who are most susceptible to insane demagogues, and it’s people on the far right whose gun fetishism has made it possible for anyone, essentially no matter how crazy, to get their hands on weapons that have only one purpose, killing multiple human beings.

  • Drew M.

    @DA

    Not true. I’m a former Arizona resident, and there is no direct connection where they somehow assess peoples’ mental fitness to have guns.

    Yes and no. The law is on the books, but I misunderstood that a court order was required to have the prohibition to take effect. It’s even a question on the BATF over-the-counter sales form (PDF), which i didn’t realize ’til this morning. It wasn’t there the last time I bought a gun several years ago. Regardless, in the case of this shooter, it’s meaningless.

    I don’t have any arguments to make against what you said. Honestly, your last statement is pretty hilarious and sobering:

    There’s one side whose mainstream spokesmen are talking about death panels, socialism, a secret Muslim in the white house, and watering the tree of liberty with blood. It’s also the side where they defend the right of any asshole to own a panzerfaust.

    @cat:

    [kirk]I would not presume to debate you.[/kirk]

    @mike dave:

    Now that I’m sober, you still look like an idiot.

    @Daniel:

    The standard argument is that unlike keeping and bearing arms, driving is a privilege, not a right. I do think it’s a bit disingenuous though, so I never use it seriously.

    When the Constitution was drafted, everyone owned a rifle because it was a tool that could mean the difference between life and death. While we don’t require them as we used to, I will always own one as long as the Amendment remains in effect. I feel it’s an honor to exercise my Constitutional rights even if I don’t “need” to.

    I’m on the fence about registration. They are dangerous, just like cars, and it makes sense that they should be tracked. However, as long as there is a non-zero chance that a registry would somehow, even decades down the road, lead to a confiscation list, I will be against it. But, if a registry became law, I would grudgingly follow it. I realize that it makes me seem like a paranoid fool, but I can live with that.

    It’s so funny being a staunch pro-gunner who is liberal at heart. I don’t fit in anywhere: On one side I’m a “Gun Loving Nutjob” and on the other I’m a “Queer Loving Commie.”

  • Drew M.

    Hmm. Actually it looks like I have “gun fetishism.” That sounds more kinky. I like it.

  • DA

    Drew
    I’ve been a gun owner most of my adult life, so I sympathize. I also get called a conservative by my lefty friends and a lefty by my conservative friends. I’m not against sane gun ownership, I’m against the gun fetish the modern right has where guns are essentially worshipped and we just constantly point at the second amendment and talk about the potential need to ‘fight tyranny’ rather than pragmatic policies and social realities. Realities like the one that handguns and SMGs are designed soloely to kill other human beings. Realities like the one that we HAVEN’T overthrown any tyrannies, but a lot of good people are dead because of gun violence. Realities about how scaring people about mythical gun confiscations create even more craziness. The reality that ultimately the NRA has some very definite political connections that go beyond gun policy. And guns differ from cars in one very important respect; cars serve a purpose OTHER than killing. Guns are a tool designed for nothing else. Most people don’t know I’m a gun owner because I don’t flaunt it; in Arizona, I’ve several times seen people just walking around doing open carry, which does nothing but create tension and fear, or pose for pictures holding their guns proudly (not just ‘rednecks’ or righties, a couple “cowboy liberal” types and plenty of chulos, skinheads, and bikers have the same thing going on), or throw pro-gun bumper stickers on every conceivable vehicle (seeing a pro-gun sticker on a Vespa is really bizarre, let me tell you). I can’t think of an expression other than “fetishism”, and it overlaps significantly with a group of people who hold a lot of paranoid fantasies about government and society as well as some very open totalitarian tendencies of their own. Believe me, if the people at “Loose Change” screenings had been packing and mobbing gun shows with the enthusiastic support of Nancy Pelosi and Rachel Maddow, I would have been just as concerned.

  • Drew M.

    DA,

    Hey! Watch out what you say about us chulos! 😉 When I was in college, my friends and I used to open carry on our way to the range. We don’t do that anymore.

    First of all, yes, some cars do serve a legitimate purpose in society. However, if we’re going to validate them on their usefulness alone, then I propose a ban on all vehicles with more than 100 HP and with EPA Highway mileage less than 36 MPG. Furthermore, I suggest a $10,000 tax per vehicle, per year on all owners who live in metropolitan areas with adequate public transportation. After all, AGW is poised to do far more damage to us then all the firearms in all of history.

    Okay. Stop rolling your eyes. I am only trying to point out that we don’t “need” a lot of the things we love. There is no “legitimate” need for a 2-seater sports car with 300 HP.

    Anyhow, I want to discuss things a bit with you because I don’t draw a line between rifles/shotguns and handguns and am genuinely curious. (I won’t touch on SMGs because they’re already regulated and the price is so high that I’d bet my life legitimate purchasers wouldn’t use them in a crime).

    I won’t argue that handguns and most handgun calibers were designed specifically for killing other humans. People who deny that are not being honest with themselves. But as a law abiding citizen who hopes he is never in a situation where he has to draw a gun on another human, is there any reason for me not to have a handgun?

    Here’s the thing: I really enjoy shooting and I prefer handguns. The idea of using them in self-defense is secondary because it frightens the hell out of me. However, shooting a few boxes of ammo and getting them all within the X at 20 yards is just plain fun and rewarding. I enjoy rifles too, but not nearly as much because they’re less of a challenge. Pistol shooting is a legitimate hobby and I don’t like people trying to make it illegal when it will do absolutely nothing to stop criminals in the first place.

    I don’t think anything will ever convince me that long guns are okay but handguns are not, but I would really like to hear more of your views on it.

  • Nordog

    I don’t think anything will ever convince me that long guns are okay but handguns are not, but I would really like to hear more of your views on it.

    Well, maybe long guns are better; you don’t have to be as close to that which you shoot.

  • DA

    Drew, believe me, I’d be happy as a pig in shit if people stopped buying pointless pretsige vehicles. I’ll get back to you on rifles and handguns later (have a meeting in a few minutes).

  • DA

    Anyway, back on that. I also enjoy target shooting. I like to go with my mom especially, who’s a dead shot. And of course, yeah, we use handguns. Everyone in my immediate family owns a gun (except me as I’m currently living in China). So I’m not against handgun ownership, I’m just against all the obfuscation that the subject brings. Most gun owners (in my experience)are irresponsable and have this tough guy complex where they really HOPE they’ll have a chance to heroicly draw their gun someday. I actually DID have to draw on a couple guys once and though I thankfully didn’t have to fire, it freaked me out for about a week. I’ve been shot at once and had a cop point a gun at me on another occasion, and found these experiences really sobering. Most people I know who keep handguns generally seem to live in an alternate world than mine, to be honest. They are convinced that someday they’re going to be Matt Dillion (from Gunsmoke, I mean, not the guy from The Outsiders)when statistically they’re more likely to gun down someone they know either accidentally or in a 20 second argument. The more right leaning ones have some vague idea about the revolution or whatever. Meanwhile, people I know who keep rifles are sometimes this way, but not as often, and since they don’t walk around with them constantly seem to consider them less part of their space. Yeah, all of this is anecdotal, and just me calling it as I see it. Another fun anecdote; I took my best friend, an anti-gun Jewish liberal, to a gun show one time. He was so appalled by all the right wing crazies, gang bangers, outlaw bikers, and other nutcases their buying conversion sets and spending three minutes for a background check to pick up assult rifle kits that he ended up buying a Mossberg 88 while we were there. His basic idea was that if these people were going to be armed, he wanted to be as well.