In December of 2012, I said it was the guns. It’s still the guns. All the guns. The easy availability of guns. It’s the goddamned guns.
Do hate and bigotry and prejudice play a part? Sure. It doesn’t help that we have a president who feeds into the hate and bigotry and prejudice. Inadequate mental health care? Yeah, sure, that’s part of it. The entire for-profit health care system in the US is fucked up, and the mental health system is more fucked up than the rest. Economic tension, free-floating anxiety, inchoate rage, fear of change? Sure, all that figures into it.
But basically, it’s the guns. It’s obviously the guns. Other nations have all the social problems that trouble the United States, but they suffer only a small fraction of the mass killings. Because it’s the guns. Guns make all the difference. Guns and high capacity magazines. They make killing easier, they make body counts higher. THIS IS WHAT GUNS ARE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO DO: KILL THINGS.
Who would this guy in Dayton be without his AR15? Who would Patrick Crusius be without access to an AK-47? He’d be just another angry young white guy with a dodgy understanding of history and the influence of social forces. Just another inadequate
person man who wanted so very desperately to believe he had an important part to play in some imaginary racist redemptive narrative.
Who would Stephen Paddock be? Who would Devin Kelley or James Holmes be? Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, Omar Mateen, Robert Bowers — who would these guys be without easy access to guns and high capacity magazines? Without the guns, they’d be…insignificant. These guys think the guns might make them matter.
Sadly, they’re right. It’s the guns.
You want to tell me guns don’t kill people — people kill people? Fuck you. Jumping off buildings doesn’t kill people — deceleration trauma kills people. You want to tell me the majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens and shouldn’t be punished because some asshole misuses a firearm? Fuck you in the neck, life doesn’t work that way. I’m not going to cook meth, but I still can’t buy Sudafed without a huge amount of fuss because some asshole misuses it. You want to tell me you can also kill people with a knife or a baseball bat? Fuck you, you half-witted ballbag. That’s so damned stupid it doesn’t deserve a response. You want to tell me the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun? Fuck you, fuck your whole family, fuck everybody you know. Texas is jammed with ‘good guys with a gun.’ But Crusius was still able to waltz through the aisles of Walmart shooting folks IN TEXAS, walk out unmolested, get in his car, and start to drive away before police officers stopped him. And this asshole in Dayton managed to kill nine and wound a couple dozen more in about 2-3 minutes before he was shot.
I’m going to say it again. It’s the guns. The guns and high capacity magazines and lax gun laws. Patrick Crusius and the Dayton shooter (who hasn’t been publicly identified yet) were both law-abiding citizens until they opened fire. It’s legal in both Ohio and Texas to openly carry long guns. Seriously, you can walk down the street in Dayton or El Paso with an AK or an AR slung over your shoulder, wearing camouflage and tactical gloves, with a pouch containing a few high capacity magazines and it’s absolutely legal (although it wouldn’t be wise to do that if you’re not white).
I’m going to say it one more time. It’s the guns. Guns, high capacity magazines, and lax firearm laws. You get yourself a semi-automatic rifle and a few 30-round magazines, and you can rack up a high body count in a very short time. Doesn’t even have to be an assault-style rifle, though the military design of those weapons makes them more attractive to would-be mass killers. Any semi-auto rifle would do the job, so long as you’ve stocked up on hi-cap magazines. Gear up, take a walk, and until you open fire, you’re probably acting within the law.
Basically, it’s the guns. It’s the easy access to guns. It’s always been the guns. It’ll be the guns again tomorrow. It’s the goddamned guns.
So much this: “imaginary racist redemptive narrative.”
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And Trump tweets updates with an exclamation mark. Your country is fucked…
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From where we stand in the Antipodes, yes, it is quite clearly the guns. But when no-one did anything about the guns after Sandy Hook, we knew you were totally screwed. If shooting children doesn’t tip the scales, nothing will.
It’s truly appalling, isn’t it. Kids. Six and seven years old. And we did nothing.
White people need to stop scapegoating the guns. It’s not the guns. It’s the people.
Yeah, no…it’s the guns. And angry white folks, mostly…but essentially, it’s the guns. Without the guns, the butcher’s bill wouldn’t be nearly so high. It’s absolutely the guns.
It’s typical for Americans to look for easy answers. “It’s the guns” is the easy answer. It’s the hate and bigotry that’s the cause. Period.
I won’t argue with you about hate and bigotry and rage being the cause but it’s the guns that rack up the body count. There’s hate and rage and bigotry in every other nation of the world, but only the US has this many mass shooting and this much general gun violence.
Remove the guns from the equation, and people will continue to hate — but they won’t be able to kill as many people because of it.
I’m not an advocate of ‘taking all the guns’ by the way. I rather like guns. But they ought to be much harder to get, and there’s no civilian need for high capacity magazines.
“Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun”
Medical ERRORS — not willful massacres of others.
Flu — a virus doesn’t doesn’t make choices or decisions; it just wants to reproduce.
Suicide — aside from certain political/religious cases, suicides don’t deliberately kill other folks.
Car ACCIDENTS — as opposed to vehicle mass murders.
Homicide by handgun — could it be the guns? Yeah, I think so.
The problem is NDT is looking at data, not the motivating factors behind the deaths. He’s right that emotions respond to spectacle, but he’s wrong not to see the distinction in the forces behind the data.
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I have thoughts about this, as you probably expect. I’ll try to find some time this week to respond.
Sounds great Greg. I look forward to it. Thanks.
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