NC Congressional delegation talks about guns

Or goes out of its way to not talk about guns, I should say:

“It is appropriate that we have a national dialogue about how and why this kind of violence keeps happening,” said Hudson, a lifelong hunter and National Rifle Association member. “This is not an issue that can be solved by a new law. It has to do with culture, with mental health issues, with how we respond to the social isolation this young man evidently felt...

All of a sudden Republicans are concerned about mental health issues. It will be interesting to see if they back that up with funding (don't hold your breath). She probably didn't mean to, but Renee Ellmers came real close to the mark with this comment:

“We are still trying to grapple with the unimaginable horrors that continue to take place at the hands of people who have been isolated from society and live in a world of their own terrible delusions,” said 2nd District Rep. Renee Ellmers

That's a very good description of the Prepper movement, whose ranks have swelled like a bodybuilder on steroids thanks to the constant fear-mongering from right-wing Obama-hating media outlets:

In an interview with local NBC affiliate WHDH 7 in New Hampshire this weekend, Marsha Lanza recalled that the last time she saw her sister Nancy, the conversation turned to disaster preparedness.

“Last time we visited with her in person we talked about prepping and, you know, are you ready for what can happen down the line when the economy collapses.”

Statements aside, preppers undoubtedly attract a fringe element. The APN site talks often and explicitly about “The End of the World As We Know It,” which it refer to as TEOTWAWKI. And judging from the abundance of videos and blogs of self-identified preppers arming themselves while touting conspiracies about government, financial collapse and the apocalypse, it’s clear this isn’t strictly a peaceful movement of people hoarding canned goods.

Preppers don’t just stockpile nonperishables — they collect weapons. Like Nancy Lanza, who owned five guns — three of which were used in the Sandy Hook massacre — preppers believe having weapons is just as important as having enough water.

Homeschooled by a mom steeped in paranoia and anti-government propaganda, and taken to the firing range as a method of "therapy", it's no wonder the boy flipped out.

And you know what? There's probably quite a few kids being nurtured in this fashion right here in North Carolina, right now.


The NRA Presser Today

More of the same from the National Association for the Advancement of Gun Violence. Just doing the math, it will cost at least $8 billion/year to post a single armed guard at every K-12 public school in America in personnel costs.

I guess the one armed guard (School Resource Officer) at Columbine wasn't armed heavily enough?


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Congressman Price responds:

Not that anybody on the cold-dead-hand side would be able to recognize true wisdom if it perched on their shoulders:

Washington, D.C. – Representative David Price (NC-04) released the following statement this afternoon after a National Rifle Association (NRA) press conference during which NRA President Wayne LaPierre sought to deflect attention from the role that access to assault weapons has in mass shootings. LaPierre instead said members of the media, politicians, video games, gun-free school zones, movies and music videos all contribute to enabling mass shootings, such as the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, last Friday.

"I was hopeful that the NRA, like so many Americans, was going through serious soul-searching and would emerge determined to do its part to help our country prevent mass shootings. Unfortunately, today's strange, angry press conference shows that the organization's leadership believes everything under the sun enables mass shootings except for the actual instruments of destruction, and that the answer is an America armed to the teeth. I doubt these views represent the views of most NRA members, or most gun owners. I know for a fact they don't represent the views of most Americans.

"Easy access to weapons of mass killing plays a critical role in these tragedies. Every society has violent and deranged individuals, but without ready access to the instruments of destruction they are not able to translate their plans to harm others into mass murder. The vast majority of Americans favor a common-sense approach to prevention that includes reinstating the assault weapons ban to keep military-style weapons off our streets, closing the 'gun show loophole' so we can do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted criminals, banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, and shoring up mental health outreach and treatment, especially for troubled young people."

Had a conversation at work with a closet Libertarian, and he kept babbling about how violent it was in England. Well, here are some numbers:

In the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 18
2008: 32
2007: 22
2006: 51
2005: 41
2004: 52
2003: 41
2002: 31
2001: 41
1999: 45
1998: 33

In the United States, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 9,146
2008: 9,484
2007: 10,129
2006: 10,225
2005: 10,158
2004: 9,385
2003: 9,659
2002: 9,369
2001: 8,890
1999: 8,259
1998: 9,257

I'm sure they've got us beat in the getting-harassed-by-soccer-hooligans category, but other than that...

Homicides tell only part of the story

I think the annual number of suicides by firearms in this country is in the 18,000 range...and when accidents etc. are added in, as many people die as a result of firearms as die in car crashes. The difference is that we have made significant advances in vehicle safety and changes in traffic laws (in particular for drunk driving), such that the number of vehicle deaths has declined substantially since the early 1970s, from over 50,000/year to about 34,000/year.

It is true that people kill people, but lots of people use guns to kill people, while very few people use other weapons (knives, blunt instruments, poison...) to kill people.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Sword & Dragger Control didn't work For JC?

No doubt the only example of Armed Control was try by Julius Ceasar 2040 years ago and history showed how that work out?

"Liberal self-righteousness"

Ross Douthat's article in the New York Times online points out the divide between what he calls "the self-righteous certainties of the American center-left" and a conservatism "that’s marched into an ideological cul-de-sac and is currently battering its head against the wall." Mr. Douthat pines for some kind of "thoughtful center-right," presumably to counter what he believes to be outrageous proposals such as:

- preventing those on the terror watch list from purchasing or owning firearms;
- limiting the capacity of magazines for semi-automatic weapons;
- requiring universal background checks for ALL firearms purchases;
- implementing and putting teeth in requirements for law enforcement to enter firearms identification data into a national gun crime database;
- requiring reporting of stolen or missing firearms into a national database;
- reversing concealed carry laws and expansion of the so-called "castle doctrine."

Let's put gun dealers who attempt to skirt the law into prison just as we do drug dealers. Let's put an end to the underground gun trade network. Let's reclaim the debate, rejecting the radical agenda of the NRA and its minions.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Republican survey-master,

Republican survey-master, Frank Luntz, says the NRA is not listening to the American public. He validates what I have long seen in other areas of life; no one can protect a child like a parent. If a parent is at school with their child and a firearm, then their child is protected.... if anyone else at that school has a firearm, their child is not protected but is in danger.

No one can accuse Frank Luntz of skewing this poll. Parents do not want any guns at any school at all.

Wak up, NRA. Wake up.