Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Cultural Ptomaine" by AHB

We're a sick people.  I think that's the gist.


So yeah, another lap of tragedies, another call for "real" gun control discussions, another round of dodging the real issue. The real issue is of course, the toxic elements in our culture. Pro-Gun, Anti-gun, undecided, I think we can all agree that guns are just a means to an end, and that people can be killed in large quantities very easily if one wished to do so. Keep the following in mind- if someone is willing to die to do harm to you, or others around you... the only recourse you have is to kill or fatally disable this person before they do whatever it is they set out to do. This goes for a gun, a knife, a sunday new-york times, an olive fork, some asshole with a bomb, whatever.

Let's focus on the mindset of someone who wishes to take a few down with themselves on their way out. Whatever it is that has driven someone to this point is 100% irreconcilable emotionally. This person is willing to destroy themselves to achieve something. No amount of talking, or negotiation, or bribes, or roadblocks that doesn't kill them, will stop them. Something as trivial as stealing a gun is ethical peanuts to pulling the trigger on children, innocents, or loved ones. There are many who claim that guns "make it easy" to kill people, and I agree.

A gun is an excellent machine to hurt people with if that is your intention. So is an atomic bomb. The difference between the gun and the atomic bomb is one is rather simplistic the other is very complicated. Someone going on a murder spree with a gun or guns is not a sophisticated or even rational person.

If the guns were a problem, why haven't I, as a owner of several firearms and access to hundreds, gone on a murderous rampage through the city? I mean, I have guns, and their sole purpose as machines is to spit metal at high velocities, my only motivation for having guns surely must be because I am stockpiling for my rampage.

What separates me from these madmen is not the tools, but the intentions. Power is nothing without the will and perception to use it. I have no intention of killing innocent people for any reason, now I do have an intention of keeping myself protected, and should the need arise that gun is going to give me a fighting chance of fulfilling my intention of staying alive, be that to kill game animals, or bipedal predators. I can assure you however, if I wanted to kill innocent people, the last resort would be my guns.

Now for the part no one wants to discuss: People are the problem. Sick, demented, tortured people are the problem, and our culture is having a nasty tendency of producing these people. You don't have to be out and about in America long to see that there are some stone cold assholes roaming our fair nation. Donald Trump defined Ethics as "what people think they can get away with" and it is true.

If someone wants to get over on you, and they believe they can get away with it, they typically have no second thought as to the right and wrong, they have already decided. Some lunatic who would go in and blow away his mother and little children has already made his decision as well. Take the gun out of the picture, and think of all the other ways, most of them MORE deadly, that he could have accomplished his intentions.

What if the asshole knifed his mother, and then waited for recess or the end of the school day and decided he was going to take a leisurely drive with his car through the sidewalks. What would prevent him from just offing a school bus driver and taking his newfound wards for a swim in the river? What if this guy was a schemer, and he waited until he had a job at the school where he could set up some elaborate plot and set it into motion?

Pointing the finger at the machine, the tool... is pointing the finger at something that has power, but no will or perception to act.


Silverfiddle said...

Another good one.

And here's a question: Why do so many of these shooters pick a shopping mall or school instead of a public firing range or a police station?

Only the law-abiding respect "gun free zones."

Jack Camwell said...

That's a point that AHB and I bring up all the time. They don't target places where they know they'll be instantly met with deadly force.

Now, I don't want things to return to being like the Wild Wild West or anything. Although it would seem logical to have more guns everywhere, given the current temperament of the average American, I don't think that'd be such a good idea.

Perhaps if Americans weren't so god damned flamingly passionate about *everything* then we could make do with people packing heat everywhere they go.

But my guess is that way too often, the common bar brawl would soon give way to the common bar shoot-out.

Jersey McJones said...


Jersey McJones said...

Oh, and notice everyone survived...

But noooooooooo, guns have nooooooothing to do with aaaaaaanything...


Jack Camwell said...

How about that Chinese guy that KILLED 8 people with just a knife?

You conveniently ignored that little factoid when I brought it up last time.

How about that Timothy McVey guy that killed 168 people with a truck, fertilizer, and some gasoline?

Also, when we're talking about gun violence, we're talking about less than 1% of the population.

So you want to make life more difficult for 99.99999% of the gun owner population because what, 2 or 3 out of those millions may go off the deep end?

Here's another interesting fact. Adam Lanza didn't own the guns. They were owned and registered under his mother. See how gun control worked there?

Also, the Oregon shooter STOLE the gun he used. See how gun control worked there?

You have to accept reality, Jersey. The reality is that someone who is determined to break the law and inflict harm on other people will find a way to do it no matter how much regulation you legislate.

Did you just ignore the whole tank thing I posted? That guy broke SO many laws that day. He went through ridiculous lengths just to do it.

No matter what you do, you CAN'T PREVENT THE MADNESS. Get that through your skull. Or are you too afraid to admit that you truly are helpless?

Jersey McJones said...

We can do something, Jack, and something is better than nothing, which is what you want to do.


Jack Camwell said...

We can do EVERYTHING Jersey. Who said I don't want to do anything at all? I surely didn't say that.

We can do everything in our power. We can ban guns altogether--make it a punishable offense to even LOOK at a gun.

We can round up every single gun in this country and melt it into a big ass pile of scrap metal.

We can send people to jail FOREVER for buying a gun off the books or for circumventing the regulation process.

We can let every single gun control policy put on the table pass legislation and become law. We can do every single bit of it, Jersey.

But it won't work. It won't stop the madness. It won't even slow it down. Refer to the war on drugs if you need data about how prohibition doesn't work at all.

All of this gun control junk only serves 2 purposes. It makes it harder for law abiding citizens, such as myself, to obtain firearms, and it makes you sleep easier at night.

But none of that changes the reality of the fact that no matter what you do, humans will break the laws and murder each other.

Whether they do it with a gun, with a car, with a milk jug full of gasoline, or a truck full of fertilizer, or a knife, poison, a blunt object, or their bare hands. Nothing will stop or curb the violence. The madness simply ebbs and flows regardless of the availability of weapons.

Get rid of every single knife in the country, and you'll still see stabbing deaths. Get rid of every single gun, and you'll still see mass shootings like this one.

It's not defeatism. It's realism. The situation truly is hopeless, but we'll trudge on anyway, trying to make the best out of it all.

Think a little harder next time before you tell me what I want to do.

Jersey McJones said...

Stop pretending that anyone who disagrees with you is on this an idiot, Jack. That would be a good place to start.

The shooter in this case attempted to purchase yet another rifle before the shooting and was turned away because of the waiting period. How many more kids would be dead had CT not had that law?

As well, background checks that include who all lives in a given household could possibly have prevented his irresponsible mother from having those guns in the house.

Guns aside, our deplorably apathetic mental healthcare system in this country could have worked a lot better.

There are plenty of things we could do to at least mitigate this problem a little, and maybe save some real lives, from new sorts of gun regulations and laws, at various levels, to completely different approaches.

But the knee-jerkers like you out there seem to believe that all some people want to do is "ban guns," and that is ridiculous hyperbole and a stupid misrepresentation.


Jack Camwell said...

"The shooter in this case attempted to purchase yet another rifle before the shooting and was turned away because of the waiting period. How many more kids would be dead had CT not had that law?"

Completely irrelevant. The reason he didn't kill anymore kids is because of first-responders. Once they arrived, he killed himself. That law had absolutely ZERO bearing on how many kids he killed. Nice try though.

Do you even know how much time, money, and resources would go into researching not just the background of the person trying to get a gun, but researching the background of each person that may live in the household? Plus, where do we draw the line? What if someone living in the house has schizoeffective disorder, but has never shown any signs of violent behavior? Also, what is to say that the gun owner himself doesn't just snap one day later in life? How do we prevent all that from factoring in?

We don't.

As far as the mental healthcare system, ask yourself this: would YOU be willing to sit with the crazies day in and day out? Treatment plans don't always work out for all mental health patients, and even the ones deeemed not violent or dangerous can still snap, just like anyone else. So what do we do? Lock them away?

Plus, what if someone denies facility based treatment and care of their loved one? Do we FORCE them to commit the person to an institution?

I used banning guns as an example, Jersey. Let me spell it out for you: you can go to the extremest of extremes on this issue in terms of regulation, but it will not stop the madness.

I don't think you're an idiot, I just think you're kidding yourself because you'd rather go to bed at night feeling like there's something you can do about it.

7,000 years of human history is enough to prove that we'll always remain violent, and mitigation is a matter of random ebb and flow, not because of anything anyone did.

Jersey McJones said...

Jack, please top misrepresenting it. It's sleazy and beneath you. No one believes there is some easy panacea to "stop the madness." Human nature being what it is, these things will happen sometimes. But to pretend there's simply nothing we can do about it, or that guns are irrelevant to the matter, is to be an idiot. You're not an idiot, Jack.

And it's especially sleazy and beneath you to claim that this shooter couldn't have killed more kids if he had even more lethal weapons on him. I mean, who the fuck do you think you're fooling?

You're just all ideology zero reality on this issue.


Jack Camwell said...

Jersey, he brought three guns with him, but only used ONE OF THEM to do the killing (although I believe he used a pistol to kill himself).

Since you can't legally buy a fully-automatic weapon, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that he could have somehow purchased a deadlier weapon than what he used. Use some logic here. He could have walked into that building with 5 guns and still would have only killed as many people as he did, because HE offed himself once the first responders arrived. His killing was not limited by his weapons. Period. This isn't me just saying random shit to try to throw you off. I'm just using the facts here, based on my limited knowledge of the sequence of events and what I know about guns.

I'm not misinterpreting ANYTHING you're saying. I'm not even applying interpretation to anything you're saying. I'm merely refuting your claim that anything we do is going to make one iota of difference.

You still haven't answered my question from the other day. If the law and a god damned MILITARY INSTALLATION can't stop a guy from stealing a tank, how the hell do you think we're going to be able to keep psychopaths from illegally obtaining firearms?

Stop saying I'm "misinterpreting" you, and don't call me sleazy. Logically refute the things that I have said. I've provided sound refutation for everything you've put up.

And at no point did I say that guns are irrelevant to the matter. I said that your argument about how many guns he brought to the slaughter was irrelevant given the sequence of events. Also, you're going to be hard pressed to find something deadlier than what he used. Perhaps a shotgun would have been more devastating, but we're talking about scared, motionless little children here, not grown adults bent on survival.

If he wanted something more lethal, he would have had to obtain it illegally. No amount of regulation or law is going to stop the sale of illegal weapons.

Anonymous said...

Where does it stop, that's what I want to know.

In 1989 I took my first trip in an airplane, I still remember that day well. I remember the lack of security, it was a metal detector, an x-ray machine over on the right hand side scanning carry-ons, and one armed police officer. There were a ton of people that day, we were running late, but we still got to the gate with time enough to spare for us to stroll through the little mall area.

Fast forward to last year when I went to visit my sister in Phoenix, I got to the check-in at skyharbor with an hour to "spare", I barely had enough time to take a piss before I was called to be boarded.

Why. Because some douchenozzles supposedly crashed planes into the WTC, they don't want planes to crash into anything else. The more complicated you make things, the less it becomes an effective solution.

I want to know when it was ok for 300,000,000 people to pay the freight for the actions of a few dozen, it used to be the other way around, remember? A few dozen casualties a day in the civil war was to be expected.

So answer me this, if you aren't for gun bans, what exactly are you for? Stricter laws? Harsher penalties? Last I checked the law against murder was severely pursued.

A gun is a nasty device, no doubt about it. At the end of the day though, it doesn't just haul off and shoot itself at people. Someone is supplying the willpower to make it deadly.

More laws, that will effect only the people who follow the law and haven't killed any innocent people or who will never in their lifetime kill innocent people. Seems like rubbish to me.

You want a real solution, a real answer? Gun Education. Not quite to the extent say Switzerland does, because lets face it, people are not gonna want to do actual work.

The severity of this situation is magnified and intensified by the media, so you are led to believe scores of people all over the place are getting mowed down just taking out the garbage, when the reality is, there probably is no more or less gun violence than there always has been.

Jersey McJones said...

What I want is a well-regulated militia. That means strong background checks, limits on clip capacity, bans on semi-automatic weapons, bans on particularly lethal ammo, and more oversight and regulation of gun manufacture, sales, and trade.

Most Americans want these things too.


Jack Camwell said...

"Most Americans want these things, too."

Really? How do you know?

First of all, do you know what the hell constitutes a semi-automatic gun?

Probably not. Semi-automatic weapons account for 98% of all small arms. Almost any pistol you see will be semi-automatic unless it is a single-action gun, a single round gun (like a Thompson Contender), or a musket.

In terms of rifles, the only non-semi-auto rifles you will see are bolt action rifles (the choice weapon for guys who like to go on sniper rampages), lever action rifles (like a Winchester Repeater), or muskets.

Saying you want a ban on semi-automatic weapons is just a hair shy of saying you want to ban all guns. Now, you either DO want to ban 98% of all guns, or you have no clue as to what you're talking about.

And really, you want to tell me that a sawed-off shotgun wouldn't have done as much damage as the Bushmaster he used?

As for your "deadlier types of ammo," give me a break. You want to tell me that if Adam Lanza had FMJ rounds instead of hollow point then he would have killed fewer kids?

I'd be okay with everything you said other than this fantastical notion that we should get rid of semi-automatic weapons and limit ammo types. Banning semi-auto weapons gets rid of over 90% of the guns in America, and ammo type has so little to do with "lethality." Did you know that a .22 bullet can actually bounce around in your body and be deadlier than, say, .9mm? And a .22 is considered to be a pea shooter compared to a .9mm.

Jersey McJones said...

I know that because of the polls, Jack. You should know that too. Most Americans want more sensible regulation.

Look, I understand there are sportsmen out there who require more sophisticated weapons than your average fellow, but we can have more careful permitting and registration so as to prevent those more powerful weapons from becoming available to your average loony bird.

There are actual, non-slippery-slope, realistic, adult regulations we could put in place here. There are holes - like the holes that led to 9/11 in the air traffic business - that we can fill. We may not like it, but we really, really, really don't like children being massacred by loonies with assault weapons.


Anonymous said...

Jersey, it might surprise you to know I agree with a couple of those.

Limiting clip (Magazine?) capacity won't do a whole lot I'm afraid. I get the idea behind it, it's just not very practical. People who want to get a drum mag, will get a drum mag (or make one). They import them constantly. Very hard to implement for a limited result.

Bans on semi-autos... well that is any modern revolver or mag fed pistol of any ilk. Rifles, eh... yeah basically what Jackie said, bolt action and blackpowder.

Now-- Bans on lethal ammo. When it comes to the really nasty characters, there already is a ban on them. The bad thing though, is you can always handload. Arguably the handloaded or improvised rounds are worse than anything from the factory.

Background checks, take it one step further and you have a winner in my estimation, background TESTS. Make people actually learn proper skills, proper safety, proper handling as a pre-requisite to even owning a LBR, however once you get that test over with, that permit/license is good for a long time. After it expires you have to re-test to obtain more firearms.

Trade, this is a tough one. I will agree that in certain umm, circles, that it is a bit out of control. However, the reason it is out of control is because there is no way to legally obtain any pre-86 auto. If they eased up the restrictions on Sear guns you would see a lot of this underground shit fade away. For instance, to legally obtain a class III HK MP5, even a clone, you must get a registered Sear. Last I checked the cheapest mp5 sear was around 19,000. For a hunk of steel no bigger than your thumbnail. I dunno about you, but laying 25k down for a basic clone is not as appealing as a genuine AK with modified sear and receiver for 1k.

Jack Camwell said...

My argument is that the holes cannot be filled, no matter how hard we try.

Banning all semi-automatic weapons is not even close to being "sensible."

If "most Americans" want to ban semi-automatic weapons, then "most Americans" are fools who clearly do not know ANYTHING about guns. Imagine that, "most Americans" talking out of their asses about things they don't even understand.

And lets say semi-automatic weapons ARE banned. What are you going to do? Have the government go door-to-door and confiscate 98% of the guns that exist in this country?

Sure, lets make stricter regulations. Let's do all that type of crap. But when you talk about actually BANNING guns, you better have all your ducks in a row.

Tell me you want the police to go confiscate a little .22 pistol from some random person. Or tell me you want to drive out to the country and take my aunt's .357 from her.

And remember, YOU used the word "ban" this time. Not me.

Anonymous said...

Hold the phone Jersey,

The kid didn't have an assault weapon, he had a standard semi-auto civilian model .223.

I don't know if you just never have been around guns, or you are trolling us at this point. HUGE difference between a real assault rifle and what this kid rolled with. Now if he would have went berserk with a M249 SAW, yes, that is most definitely an assault rifle. Coincidentally they use almost identical ammunition.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to get laid more often, that's all.

Dick Wilde

Jersey McJones said...

I've fucking been around guns.

So put that aside.

This is about the trying, just a little, to reduce the chances of murders. That's all. It really isn't asking all that much.


Anonymous said...

Yes, as a gun enthusiast I would be in favor of actual weapon permits, or mandatory training akin to a CCW class.

I would gladly trade a day of my time for 4 years of hassle free gun purchasing.

Anything that reduces ignorance is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm frustrated about lots of things regarding this whole sittuation.

I feel it is inapropriate to be turning this national tragety into a gun control talking point. This was brought up within HOURS of the shooting, when we had TERRIBLE and inacurate information.

Now we have people taking very stong points about gun control when frankly i dont think that is the actual issue.

Jersy, Jack, i have been following your arguments.

Jersy, i think that what is frustrating Jack, at least i know it frustrates me, is that "gun control" has become the talking point... and i think thats a misdirection of blame. its a convenient target. People tend to want "one thing" to blame. I think ALL of us at some level are guilty of this when looking at how to fix a problem.

Its a complex issue.

The bottom line is that crazy people WILL DO crazy things. the extent of the people they can harm is proportional to wwhat they have access to. Please reference the anarchists cookbook. back in "the day" it was widely distributed on the net. it has recipies for some very harmful things made with everyday items.

So, much like the sept11th bombings in america completely changing the way you fly, or the patriot act giving rediculous amounts of power in exchange for "saftey"... Are the actions of a group of peole that represent such a small percentage of the population something that we should make sweeping changes, that i dont think address the issue, to make us feel better?