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December 14, 2012


nick s

In relation to the Small Wars Journal piece linked here when it came out over the summer, I read a piece by Billmon on DKos making the same guesstimate, and settled on "10,000 potential domestic terrorists... heavily concentrated in the reddest of red states."

And many of the conversations going on today have sounded like the scripts of hostage negotiators.


Just remember to say "Humbug" whenever we are told that Europe and North America share a common set of values.


Well, the federal assault weapons ban was, in fact, enforced and did, in fact, reduce gun-nut mass slaughter, and civil war did not, in fact, eventuate. I actually suspect that like the Aussies, they would whine and comply.

Barry Freed

I'm with Alex, not that there might not be a Ruby Ridge or two in the process of enforcing it - along with a whole lot of macho posturing - but that's preferable to a Newton or a Columbine every other month.

I'm sensing that this latest horror might be a turning point in the debate. A whole lot of people who never gave much thought to this before are beginning to wake up to the fact that this is an unacceptable price to pay. It just seems different this time.

nick s

I'm sensing that this latest horror might be a turning point in the debate.

For once, I think so too, because it exposes the current rhetoric of the Gun Pushers' Guild of America (aka the NRA) for MOAR GUNS as an absurdity.

Loaded guns in kindergarten classrooms; teachers forced to undergo range training; little kevlar jackets for the kids? Does not compute. Just fuck off.

chris y

because it exposes the current rhetoric of the Gun Pushers' Guild of America (aka the NRA) for MOAR GUNS as an absurdity

Hasn't stopped them repeating it though, has it?


Alex is right. The assault weapons ban found broad compliance and support. There are probably a thousand nut cases total. They can be dealt with by law enforcement. And probably without any Ruby Ridge or Waco style showdowns. Just stick to routine enforcement.

nick s

Hasn't stopped them repeating it though, has it?

While "pack heat at the cinema so that you can take out a gun crazy in a dark auditorium!" and "pack heat at the shopping mall so you can take out a gun crazy in a busy food court!" are absurd, I think we move into a new level of absurdity with "arm the teachers of five-year-olds and dress the kiddiwinks for battle!"

I'd like to see the NRA office put under an old school siege. Let's see the fuckers fight their way out of it.


the right to bear arms is a way for the most extreme of the people who exercise it to hold democracy hostage

If you're talking about the full-on "tree of liberty" "killing no murder" crowd, that's precisely what they understand it to be and why they value it: it's a point of principle that the people, in arms, should be able to thwart the decisions of an unjust government. (And don't get that crowd started on 'democracy', either.)

But there's a big element of armchair (counter-)revolution in all this. I read up on Ruby Ridge thanks to online conversations with people in this sort of area, and I felt their reactions to it were characterised by outrage of a peculiarly naive kind: not "how dare our government attack us?" (which I can generally sympathise with) but "how dare this illegitimate government whose authority we reject attack us and out-gun us?" A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, no single government agency should be able to deploy more weaponry than J. Random Survivalist has access to, because otherwise, er, that wouldn't be fair.

If push came to shove, I think 90% of the hard core would just realise the dream had died and find another hobby.

Turning point? I have to admit that I personally am finding this story incredibly upsetting - far more so than any comparable story I can remember, even Dunblane. This may be because I've got a cold at the moment, but I think it also seems awfully close to that cinema shooting, and there's a sense of oh fuck, not this shit again... children for fuck's sake....


PS On reflection there is a certain weird coherence to the survivalist how-dare-they - if the "well-regulated militia" clause had actually been intended as a way of building in a self-destruct mechanism, to be used in the event of a future federal government betraying the ideals of the Republic, then fedgov would genuinely not be playing the game by assuring its own survival through superior firepower. But when it comes to the belief that your personal stash of weapons is going to help save the Republic and make Madison proud, I would guess that there's one person who genuinely, sincerely holds it to 99 who secretly think it's a cool game to play.


So that's what happened to Billmon.
I used to enjoy Whisky Bar. He had a frustrating habit of going missing just before elections though. That 10,000 figure is very, very back-of-a-beermat, if you read the post. And I doubt there'll be any significant number of outraged knuckledraggers for the simple reason that nothing meaningful will be done to outrage them.

Phil mentions the cinema shootings. The gun nuts very quickly coalesced around the fantasy that if everyone was allowed to carry concealed weapons the shooter could have been 'taken out'. Obviously, that fantasy plays less well with little kids and primary schoolteachers, but the fact that the shooter here used someone else's guns ought to give them plenty to work with. Obama may have fought his last election, but he still has congressional battles he needs to win. I wouldn't plan on seeing much if any federal level political bravery in response to this.

john malpas

Could the arab spring happen without armed citizens.
Would Britain be the way it is if the general people had firearms
is 'democracy' really safe?
Can despots be disposed of any other way.


We argued this out here; it turns out that Saudi Arabia has more private guns than Egypt, and Tunisia has virtually none.

Barry Freed

Garry Wills is excellent: Our Moloch. Some surreal imagery at the end.


I don't know about despots, but trolls can surely be disposed of without small arms. FFS.


I hope Alex and nick s are right, that this is a turning point.

But it seems the Tea Party hasn't got that particular memo.

The true instrument of destruction was the absence of a moral core within the shooter and the lack of understanding of the sacred right to be alive

It appears the “death culture” is having a profound effect on many. It devalues society to the point where an individual feels no remorse taking the life of another or making a person a target for hatred and punishment. Because of this, the core issue is not a gun, but rather a tainted soul.....The cowardly, irresponsible and deranged acts of one shall not overshadow the tens of millions of responsible and honorable gun owners....freedom demands responsibility, not the removal of rights so that none can be responsible.

Apparently the massacre was caused by a lack of Judeo-Christian values.Aggravated by the closure of discussion by the, er, fascist media.


That's pretty desperate.


Speaking of desperate, this via CT:
And no need to call the licenses given to those who participate in the program “concealed carry” licenses, just in case some parents and others don’t like the concept. Just call them “volunteer security guard” licenses...
It's the argument Nick and I both mentioned upthread. It made so much sense in a darkened cinema. Crazy not to apply it to a preschool.

nick s

At which point you should now feel the confidence tp say "Stop being so fucking stupid. Shut the fuck up until you can suggest something less fucking stupid."

Especially to high-functioning autistic sociopath Eugene Volokh, a glibertarian who supports torture and gruesome executions, and whose other "thought experiments" include this.

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