About Guns:


Sure, we’ll be happy to pry your gun from your cold, dead fingers. And don’t forget to try Prickly Ash Bitters!

  • When NRA types say: “Let’s not politicize this tragedy” they are proactively politicizing it.
  • Claiming that talk of gun control or of better access to mental health care is “politicizing” this tragedy is like saying that common sense fire prevention is politicizing arson.
  • How about this? To own a handgun you have to be licensed DMV style and test every few years. To own more than one gun or more assault-style guns you have to be part of an actual “well-regulated militia.” (with no actual police powers) this would be framed as a quasi Switzerland “Homeland defense” style group. In reality, it would probably function as more of a natural disaster response style group but it would give the gun guys a civic investment and a sense of pride while also making sure that some thoughtful eyes are on these weapon owners at regular intervals.
  • I was just watching a Ken Burns documentary on the old west and you know who had really restrictive gun control? Frontier towns — places like Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge.
  • Gun sales have surged following the Sandy Hook massacre. I realize these people don’t wish to emulate the murderer but I’m damned if I can think of much about this more depressing than that it should actually inspire a sales “boom” for gun companies. It means that as a result of the shootings there are people in gun business saying “Wow! This is going great!”
  • All the people who hold up second amendment rights furiously, as if they were sacred, never mention second amendment responsibilities. Let’s get THAT talk going.
  •  The son of the current president of the NRA has served jail time for shooting into the car of another driver during an incident of road rage. This isn’t to call names but it just points out the real nature of the problem: Even the people the NRA sees as “good guys with guns”, the supposed antidote to our dangerous times, are mammals with limited self-control and sanity.

And an Open Secret

I’m pretty liberal but I hate it when people only look for the answers that give them a comfortable feeling. If you bend over backward to avoid offending, you are no longer facing in the correct direction to have an informed opinion. We have an outrageous number of gun deaths yearly in this country, as you know. There were 31,000 in 2005 and also in 2010. Using 2010 stats:
  • 55% (17050) were suicides, guns being a fairly certain means. This is tragic but its relationship with guns is somewhat gray, would they be dead without a gun? It cannot be known. This sad situation might be improved by some form of mental health screening for gun owners but ultimately it is more an issue of depression than guns.
  • 3% were accidental.
  • 2% were considered justifiable or unknown.
  • 40% or 12400 of these were murders

Of these 12400, 8928 or 72% were young African American men mainly killing each other. The remaining 28% was all other races, white, Asian and Latino. African American men were 7 (!) times more likely to be perpetrators in gun murder. We have a class, poverty, race, culture, crime and drugs issue that we have no vision of how to cope with and we are very dishonest about it. There is no doubt that nationwide, police have a PERCENTAGE of monstrously hateful racist officers with no respect for life. The thing we won’t say is that in African American communities there is a percentage of monstrous people with no respect for life EITHER. And that this fractional section of a small minority of Americans commits almost three-quarters of our famously horrific gun murder numbers. We have not figured out how to discuss it, so we just don’t.

The remaining number of gun murders, 3472 is certainly high when compared to countries like England but England is much smaller than us and if their population was increased proportionally to match ours, the number would be much closer to this range. In fact, leaving out African American murders, our gun murders are comparable to many places in western Europe. Leaving out African American crime-related murders may seem racist but this is where the over the top human catastrophe is located! Changing public policy in very restrictive ways that primarily affect the peaceful majority and may bypass the violent minority entirely is preserving the REAL problem and “fixing” one that is relatively minor in its place.

I have no real idea about policy solutions to the very high African American crime statistics. I’m not disinterested or lacking compassion, I just don’t know! And I wish passionately that America would show some common sense with a DMV style registration and testing for gun owners. The only reason we CAN’T have such an approach is the NRA. Under the guise of representing gun owners, this industry lobby has tied America’s hands behind its back. The only way I can think of to defeat them is ANOTHER gun lobby group which steadfastly refuses any connection to arms manufacturers and does such a good job that they could dissolve NRA membership from within, finally weakening their grip on our collective will.