Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Here's another innovation from conservatives. You know how fond they are of guns. I'm pretty soft on gun rights myself, and wouldn't mind beginning a new round of Second Amendment negotiations with the right of Black Panthers to march on the State Capitol with loaded weapons and seeing where it goes from there. Not far, I expect. Anyway, as it happens the latest big gun news has been the Michael Dunn case (angry nut shoots black kid to death for loud music) which has made some folks nervous about firearms. In response comes National Review's David French to defend shootin' ahrns, but with a twist:
The protected class has a different view. The protected class is a dependent class — not economically dependent of course, but dependent on the state in perhaps a more fundamental way (for their very lives) – and like members of other dependent classes, they are terrified of flaws in the state’s protective apparatus. Walled off from gun culture, they read the occasional, aberrant story of (legal) gun-owner stupidity or recklessness and cower in fear of a nonexistent threat.
That's a new one on me: people who don't go around packing are a "protected class" -- that is, they rely for protection on police and armed forces. Apparently French considers such forces a socialist aberration like welfare, and those who rely on them yet another species of moocher. In his ideal world I suppose such things would be privatized, as they were in the days before that dark statist chapter in world history called Civilization.

These people bitch when some gay people want to make them bake their wedding cake, yet when they win a few gun rights court cases their instinct is to try and turn society into some neo-feudal hellscape.


  1. bulletsarepeopletoo11:37 PM

    I can't wait until every single American is armed and openly carrying just like in the western movies I used to watch. We should just make it mandatory that everyone 16 years and older must carry a gun when out in public. I'd love to see how long it will take and what kind of contortions these people will go thru trying to create legislation where only white men can own guns.

  2. pillsy11:39 PM

    To be fair, their first instinct is *always* to try and turn society into some neo-feudal hellscape.

  3. philadelphialawyer11:40 PM

    As if they are not protected as well, and damn well know it, and rely on it, and, indeed, insist on it.
    Sure, they have guns. But a gun can be outgunned, and the notion that any of them would hesitate to call the police, to show their "dependence" in the event of need, is laughable.
    French presents an anecdote, the usual convenient columnist Friedman cab driver type one, in which a liberal anti gun guy buys a gun because one of his kids is being threatened, and he realizes the cops can't be there 24/7 to protect him. "Good for him," says French. OK. Fine. But if French's kid was being threatened, wouldn't he call the cops? Even though he is armed to the teeth. Wouldn't he rely, at least in part, on the forces of the State, as well?
    The truth is we all depend on the police, to some degree, and without some form of policing (however flawed our current police forces are in practice), we would be living under the law of the jungle. And I fail to see why current gun owners would be any better off under such a law than anyone else. Using a gun is not hard, and it is not hard to learn how, either. Guns have been known as the great equalizer. A guy with a gun who wants to take a rich NRO columnists' stuff from him might very well succeed, even if the NRO guy has a gun too.
    Really, in general, the rich benefit more from the minimal, "night watchman," used-to-be-acceptable-even-to-libertarians, law enforcement/property protection only, Manchester school, State than most people do. The rich have more stuff to protect, both in terms of real estate and tangible goods and money, than most people. And, beyond that, the rich are much, much less likely to be unfairly targeted or harassed by the police than anyone else.
    Finally, French mentions that the same anti gun guy liberal friend winced when French showed him his rifle, sensing a "threat." French claims that the appropriate feeling should be "security, " but, leaving that aside, even conceding that security is AN appropriate feeling, still, a rifle IS, at a minimum, also a threat. As far as I know, even gun owners, if they are responsible, acknowledge that fact and act on it. Never point a gun at anyone, even if you are "sure" it is unloaded. Never leave guns around where kids can get at them. And so on. Guns are dangerous, to their owners, and their owners' families, whatever their countervailing utility. They do send off vibes of, as he puts it, "malevolence." Why pretend that is not so?

  4. Derelict11:45 PM

    Law enforcement is now yet another government function that's illegitimate?!?!? WTF?
    Why don't these proud packin' assholes all move to Somalia? It really is their described version of paradise: Guns galore, no government whatever, no taxes, no regulations. Everything they have ever asked for.
    Except all those blah people who already live there.

  5. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:09 AM

    Walled off from gun culture

    We wish.

  6. Spaghetti Lee12:25 AM

    I'd love to see how long it will take and what kind of contortions these
    people will go thru trying to create legislation where only white men
    can own guns.

    And that's the thing, isn't it? Following the more guns = more safety logic, the safest place in the country should be Chicago's South Side, or St. Louis, or Detroit. Of course, conservatives also treat such places like they were Mordor, but why? If you're doing nothing wrong, you don't have to worry about getting shot by some lunatic, right? Gun owners are responsible and don't just wave the gun around recklessly, right?

    Lots of gun nuts are just panicky people who consume too much fear-based media and think the streets are absolutely crawling with potential home invaders, and likely aren't that good with calculating probability to boot. But there's a certain bleeding edge that knows that defending the right of white people to wave their guns around under any circumstances while simultaneously whimpering in fear at the thought of black or hispanic inner-city people owning lots of guns is not merely hypocrisy, but a cornerstone in returning the racial order to where it's supposed to be.

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:31 AM

    In fact, here's a good example from the new favorite wingnut stand-your-ground fuckhead:

    Dunn claimed that he saw Davis with a gun, but no one else did and none was ever found.

    I thought that the official conservative line on the topic was that openly brandishing a gun made you safer, because people knew not to mess with you, but also manlier and more American and all that jazz. The only trustworthy people are your fellow gun owners; everyone else is a bunch of scared sheep, like Mr. French says.

    So obviously (if Davis had a gun; Dunn lying his ass off is obviously not out of the question) there was something about Davis that Dunn could tell, on sight, made him a dangerous gun owner, not a responsible one like him. Hmmm...what could it be? What COULD it be?

    Sarcasm aside, the larger point I'm trying to make is that conservatives wouldn't even register the hypocrisy, no more than they would on taking an umbrella out when it's raining. Of course black guys with guns are assumed to be dangerous and violent. That's why white guys have to carry guns at all times and whip 'em out at the first sign of danger! Because those black guys are so violence-prone!

  8. davdoodles12:36 AM

    I fully support their dream of living in a feudal hellscape. Maybe then America will have a chance of getting back on the road to civilisation.
    Maybe we could even make their open-season wonderland into a pay-per-view.
    Tentative title: "Wet-Lettuce-Wolverine Shootout!"

  9. I guess I've been laboring under the crazy liberal delusion that gun nuts also depend on the protection of the police and armed forces.

    The entire point of a state is to provide at least a minimum level of protection for its members so they don't have to spend every minute scanning for threats (or trying to enforce contracts) and engage in more productive or fulfilling activities. Those that fail in this regard are usually considered failed states. The people French derides as a "protected class" are simply those who acknowledge these facts.

  10. Spaghetti Lee12:46 AM

    Shoutout to that fuckhead Dunn for having the sheer balls to say that he's the real victim here. Not the kid who he shot dead. And note how that dipshit French is saying that shooting an unarmed kid dead, and firing at his friends who were acting aggressive driving away as fast as they could is "stupidity or recklessness." Lighting your farts on fire is stupidity and recklessness. This is criminal negligence at best, and straight-up murder at worst.

    Tell you what, Frenchy. You notice how everyone's comparing this guy to Zimmermann? Because, you see, lots of people think it's kind of significant that a guy basically got away with murder by being the right race and his victim being the wrong one, and basically the entirety of your side of the fence lining up to suck him like a Hoover and turn him into some kind of celebrity folk hero. If you're outside the cult, like I am, it's pretty disgusting. Now it seems to be happening again, same type of killer, same type of victim, same state, and people are wondering if this whole "getting away with murder if you're an old white man shooting a black kid" thing is becoming some kind of trend, because gosh, that would be kind of significant, you know? Of course you, and the Florida Legislature, are actively rooting for that to become the case. Maybe the number one rule of gun ownership was once "a gun is always loaded", but thanks to guys like you it's more like "There's no point in owning a gun that you never get to use."

  11. Jeffrey_Kramer1:08 AM

    They read the occasional, aberrant story of (legal) gun-owner stupidity
    or recklessness and cower in fear of a nonexistent threat.

    (My emphasis.) If bad people with guns committing homicide is a "nonexistent threat," then why are they all collecting their arsenals? It seems all that talk about how the "good man with a gun" is needed to save the rest of us from the "bad man with a gun" must be bullshit, right? That's just "cowering in fear of a nonexistent threat."

    So if self-defense against armed agressors is off the table as a justification for packing, basically the justifications we're left with are 1) sedition and 2) sexual self-gratification.

  12. mortimer20001:13 AM

    I've managed to live almost 60 years in the violent criminal wasteland of New York City without once feeling like I needed my own AR-15 for the sense of security that French gets from his. So I guess I'm just a pussy. I admit to being dependent on rational awareness over his strain of "OMG what if?" paranoia, but I do have a realistic fear of gun nuts.

  13. Jeffrey_Kramer1:15 AM

    "Rational self-defense" is when I get an AR-15 in case Obama turns his black thug army loose to hunt white people. "Paranoia" is when you worry about me and my AR-15.

  14. mortimer20001:15 AM

    Sure, they have guns. But a gun can be outgunned
    Sometimes they're not so much outgunned as underbrained.

  15. AGoodQuestion1:24 AM

    When I brought out my AR-15 (really a civilian version of the M4), I watched him physically wince, as if the thing itself was radiating some kind of malevolent energy.

    Yeah, that was your friend's mistake. He thought the malevolent energy was coming from the gun and not you.

  16. AGoodQuestion1:28 AM

    Dunn lying his ass off is not only not out of the question, it's the most plausible explanation for just about everything. This is a man who claims to have unloaded seven bullets into a teenager out of self defense, but when he got home never thought to report this incident to the police.

    Of course why it bothered him so much that these kids were playing rap music in their car, like he was trying to get his fucking beauty rest in the parking lot - That part I have no idea on.

  17. Wrangler1:37 AM

    Doesn't it follow from this that we need to ban the US military so as to prevent us from being dependent on them for our lives? Then I guess we'd have to force all US citizens to own guns (and probably lots of them) in case we are attacked by a foreign army (ha, pussies!), with the upshot that we'd be like a gigantic version of one of those loosely aggregated bands of people the Romans used to kick the shit out of every couple years or so.

  18. AGoodQuestion1:37 AM

    The Stand Your Ground law has opened up the question of whether it's possible for a white man to murder a young black man. Juries in these last couple of cases seem to be concluding that no, the idea that shooting a young unarmed black man could be considered murder is absurd on the face of it. The assumption that extreme force is justified in the absence of any provocation at all would seem like a pretty serious flaw in the statute.

  19. Tehanu2:11 AM

    I copied the same quote as you: "the occasional, aberrant story of (legal) gun-owner stupidity or recklessness and cower in fear of a nonexistent threat...." What I want to point out is the outright lie of "occasional," unless you construe "occasional" to mean "every fucking time you turn around." There have already been more massacres than you can shake a stick at just since Newtown. I hope there's a hell so these gun-happy morons can spend eternity there.

  20. philadelphialawyer2:19 AM

    I live there now, and have for twenty years, including in some not so hot neighborhoods, and have never needed a gun. I ride the subways, including late at night. I used to work the graveyard shift and rode the subway home in the pre dawn hours, and then had to hoof it for several blocks to my apartment. And have done the same from many an extra inning ballgame, night out, and so on. Never needed a gun. Nor have I ever called a policeman in my life.
    Somehow, folks like us manage to get along without a gun, nor does our "dependency" on the police ever seem to pose a problem either. Yet, somehow, folks like this guy, and other folks who live in suburbia, in gated communities, or in the middle of nowhere, feel a need to own a firearm to "protect" themselves.
    Really, there are folks who will with a straight face claim that they need to have their "piece" on them all the time. And it isn't fair if even private persons and landowners don't permit them to "carry" in their stores and on their property. Or that an exception must be made for their cars, even when parked on private property. Why, if I can't leave my gun in my car in the parking lot at work, at the mall, at the sports arena, and so on, and can't take it inside on my person either, they whine, that means I can't really have it with me at all, all day. Boo freakin' hoo!
    Folks who scoff at emanations and penumbras and unwritten rights, when they don't agree with them in substance, want to turn their recently recognized right to own and carry a gun into a super constitutional, absolute right that not only overrides everything and anything else the government might have in mind, but even trumps property rights that they would normally find sacred. I have seen claims made that it would violate the Second Amendment for a person to, for example, say to his brother in law, you are welcome to come to my house on Sunday for a picnic, but you can't bring your gun onto my property!

  21. philadelphialawyer2:27 AM

    Yeah, but in Newtown the guy who did the shooting did not "legally" own the guns, his mom, whom he lived with, did.
    And that, somehow, makes all the difference. Those guns, doncha know, were "stolen" guns, not "legal" guns. And thieves and criminals will always steal guns, and use them, whatever the law says, so gun control can't work, right? Look, the guy was going to kill his mother and a bunch of innocent school kids in cold blood, so why would he scruple to honor the gun laws!!?!?!?
    The notion that if tougher gun control laws were in effect, maybe his mother would not have had such an arsenal from which to "steal" doesn't seem to occur to them. Nor that, given his psychiatric history, tougher gun laws might have prevented any guns from being placed in a household in which he lived in the first place.

  22. if Davis had a gun

    It would have been found, no?

  23. Also protected, these white gun owners, as members of the race given far more leeway with weapons-related jackassery.

  24. Wrangler3:22 AM

    Maybe people in the burbs and rurality feel a greater need for guns because the diffuse population means that in some ways they feel isolated and to an extent on their own, which can be a little scary. If you're in your urban apartment building you are ensconced in other people, everyone is pretty close together and you can even hear what is going on in other units. That has its drawbacks, but there is something comforting and secure about it as well. Not to mention the superior response times for city law enforcement.

    On the other hand, when you move out in further in the country to "get away" and set up a little manor, yes, you do save yourself from some of what you might call social pollution (loud noise, bright lighting, encroachments on personal space, laggy commutes, etc.), but at the same time you probably feel vulnerable to (admittedly unlikely) attack out there on your little 2 acre island.

  25. ...they read the occasional, aberrant story of (legal) gun-owner stupidity
    or recklessness and cower in fear of a nonexistent threat.

    Are we cowering in fear, French, or are we boiling with outrage? You and your kind are the ones with the damp underwear.

  26. And after these naked displays of coarse racism, their loose acceptance of over-the-top violence and their mendacious pretzel logic defending obvious criminals, French and his cohort still believe they should be the ones making decisions for society.

  27. philadelphialawyer3:43 AM

    OK, but these same folks seem to feel the need to carry their gun with them to work, to the movies, to church (I kid you not!) and so on. Yeah, living out in the boondocks, maybe you do feel that, if something happens, the police are far away, no one else is around to hear, etc. But then why even when they "go into town" do they need their guns with them? It seems more to me like it fulfills some sort of psychological/emotional need rather than provide protection against any real threat of attack.
    When they are alone, they are scared and need their guns. When they are among other people, THAT is what scares them and, of course, they need their guns. In their cars, when they are neither all alone or in tight quarters with other people.....they need their guns.

  28. Warren_Terra3:45 AM

    I'm pretty sure you've missed the dogwhistle with "protected class". I strongly suspect it's a reference to "Dhimmitude" - the concept as evolved by self-reinforcing memes within the wingosphere, of course, not some idea derived from a deep knowledge of Islamic law or Arab societies.

    Consider the Conservapaedia definition of "dhimmi":"Dhimmi" literally means "protection, care, custody, covenant of protection, compact; responsibility, answerableness; financial obligation, liability, debt; inviolability, security of life and property; safeguard, guarantee, security; conscience".I'd be surprised if the echoes here were accidental.

  29. Jay B.3:46 AM

    Serious flaw? Or entirely predictable, predicted and pretty much the entire point?

  30. Jay B.3:53 AM

    Hell, I'm just psyched that, thanks to French's keen assessment of the whole ludicrous notion of "society", I have a potential retirement plan: Developing a life of brigandage against those pathetic pacifists in the no-longer-protected class.

  31. Wrangler4:02 AM

    Well sure. When they're around other people they absolutely need to protect themselves from, "the occasional, aberrant (legal) gun-owner stupidity or recklessness" or insanity or malice and, "cower in fear of a nonexistent threat".

  32. Jay B.4:07 AM

    The Right has finally convinced me of something — I need a gun to protect myself from the freedom-loving, paranoid nutjobs who comment at the flagship conservative publication about how much they love their guns and fear other people. Holy God. You'd be crazy not to carry knowing those cowboys walk around in public.

  33. philadelphialawyer4:08 AM

    Actually, protecting a real citizens militia, as opposed to an all powerful standing army, was the real point of the Second Amendment. The amendment was designed to prevent the Federal government from outlawing State militias, and thereby making the States completely subservient to a possibly tyrannical Federal government which had just recently been empowered (under the then new Constitution) to raise standing armies (fear of a standing armies was still strong as this was not long after the Revolutionary War). The entire Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, was meant only to apply to the Fed, not the States (and SCOTUS later backed up that interpretation....it was not until after the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, and its interpretation agreed upon many years after that, that some provisions of the Bill of Rights were applied by SCOTUS to the States). The Fed was the object of fear, and the failure to include a BofR (which most State constitutions had) was a huge negative against it. So the First Congress added the first ten amendments, including the Second.
    Really, the way the Second is written, it makes no sense to talk about it applying to the States, nor to talk about it except in the context of preserving the militias. That preservation is explicitly stated as the very purpose of the amendment, not personal safety, hunting, recreation, etc. And the history mentioned above shows that it was the Fed, and only the Fed, that was being restrained. Of course, some, but not all, States had (and still have) gun provisions in their own constitutions. But most of these also related to militias, and, in any event, State constitutions are much easier to change than the Federal Constitution.
    To me, it is not altogether crazy to think that, even today (today more than ever?) we might be better off with local militias under State control than our massive Federal standing army (and navy, air force, marine corps, etc) and the entire MIC. I for one am not real worried about the Romans or anyone else (the Canadians? the Bahamians?) coming here and kicking our asses!
    Notice too that the way the Amendment is written, the States could limit weaponry, and where and how the militia obtained access to it. The Fed can't stop you from keeping and bearing arms, IF that is what the State (which is ultimately in charge of the well regulated militia, and which has general police powers) says so. But the State could say that militia members (all healthy adult citizens below the age of x) should receive fire arm and other militia training, but that the actual guns should be stored in local or regional arsenals. And a correct interpretation of the Second Amendment would have nothing to say about it.

  34. Spaghetti Lee4:32 AM

    I think, to some extent, that's what these guys want. They feed on fear. If everyone's so afraid of every stranger they meet in public that they all pack heat, the gun-humpers congratulate themselves on a job well done.

    I will admit right up front that this opinion is influenced by me being the race that doesn't get shot in these situations, but: it's important to remember that these guys are fundamentally cowards, and the reason they're begging for an allowance to tote their guns everywhere is because they're such cowards. And there are far fewer of them than their loudness suggests. For every one who acts out their fears there are a thousand who sit around bragging to other shut-ins on the internet about how big their gun collection is and what they'd do to any burglars they caught.

    Obviously this isn't to minimize what happens when one of them does snap. Zimmermann and Dunn should both be sitting in jail with the phrase "convicted murderer" attached to them for life, and the fact that they aren't, and that society at large seems ready to blame their victims for being the wrong color at the wrong time, is a sickening miscarriage of justice. I don't deny any of that. BUT: if liberals start thinking of them as an omnipresent shadowy force that can kill you at a moment's notice, and buy in to their chickenshit belief that the world is so scary that you need to be armed at all times, fight's over. They won. They turned society into the armed nuthouse they always dreamed of.

  35. Spaghetti Lee4:38 AM

    Nancy Lanza lived the right wing credo of "surround yourself with weapons" and still wound up dead. Funny, that. It's enough to make you think that the person most likely to be killed by a gun is its owner, which is, surprise surprise, true!

  36. MikeJ4:49 AM

    Not only do we not have to spend all of time on self defense, we also don't have to make our own shoes or slaughter our own hogs or write our own young adult supernatural romance books. Division of labor works pretty well. Someday a right winger might actually read Wealth of Nations instead of just swinging it around.

  37. philadelphialawyer4:49 AM

    It is clear that you simply don't understand. Let Breitbart explain it to you:

    "All of the guns were lawfully purchased by Lanza's mother, as was all the ammunition. Lanza then bypassed all gun control by stealing the firearms before using them to carry out his heinous crimes.

    "Because the guns were stolen, Senator Joe Manchin's (D-WV) failed gun control bill would have done nothing to prevent the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary."
    See, the problem was the "stolen" nature of the guns. The fact that your psychologically disturbed son, who lived in your house, was the "thief" makes no difference. No, tougher gun control laws would not matter, not even laws that would prevent a huge arsenal such as Ms Lanza had amassed.
    Or laws that required her to keep her arsenal away from her disturbed son, preferably out of their shared house altogether. Because, don't you see, it would totally have been just as easy for her son to steal similar guns elsewhere, and use them on her and the kids. Really, a thief is a thief, and not only will gun control laws not deter him, but neither will the physical fact that it is a helluva lot easier to steal guns from your Mom than it would be from anyone else in the universe.

  38. Spaghetti Lee4:54 AM

    I think the sort of threat he thinks is non-existent is good white Christian Americans killing people. Obviously, those urban types do it non-stop: that's why the GWCAs need the guns doncherknow.

    To be fair, the list of perpetrators is far from lily-white: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data
    and the mental health of some of them is so questionable that it's hard to dig out a political motive. But these two shootings are so tied up in Republican rhetoric on race, guns, conspiracy theories, and societal collapse (basically, two people dumb/scared enough to swallow it all whole and take it out on the first 'threat' they see) that I don't see how anyone can't make the connection.

    Side note: As that's a list of American shootings, Breivik isn't mentioned, and that's the one to me that is clearly and objectively motivated by a specifically right-wing hatred and lunacy and it's really depressing that the right managed to foul the waters of debate at the time. He fucking name-checked Pam Geller as an inspiration, and somehow that's not the first thing someone mentions whenever her horrid mug shows up on TV.

  39. Spaghetti Lee4:59 AM

    Punchline number one, of course, is the studious ignoring of the fact that the guns couldn't have been stolen if she wasn't allowed to own a semi-automatic human-killing machine for no good reason other than to sate her paranoia. No one could have predicted that if the 20-year-old murderer wanted to steal guns from his 50-something mom it wouldn't really fucking matter where she got the guns from.

    Punchline number two is that the NRA has moved on to taking its customary big fat shit on laws that would, say, require the reporting of stolen guns, penalize someone whose guns were stolen and used in a crime, etc. Nothing to do with disallowing ownership, just actually putting some teeth behind that "responsible gun owner" shtick they keep talking about. No, apparently it is the height of liberal fascism to ask self-described responsible gun owners to actually take responsibility for keeping their guns safe, and accept responsibility for what happens if they're stupid enough to let them get stolen. If they were actually liable for that shit it might cut down on the hoarding, and the NRA would see a dip in profits! Can't have that.

  40. Spaghetti Lee5:01 AM

    Obama's boys swooped in and whisked it away. You see, the entire government and judicial apparatus is actually a plot to frame Michael Dunn. It's really a burden, being him.

  41. smut clyde5:48 AM

    The protected class is a dependent class — not economically dependent of
    course, but dependent on the state in perhaps a more fundamental way
    (for their very lives) – and like members of other dependent classes,
    they are terrified of flaws in the state’s protective apparatus.
    Replace "lives" with "property", and French could easily be talking about the moneyed stratum who see the state as as existing only to help them hang onto their possessions.

    French will not be having with Weber's idea that a "monopoly of the use of physical force" is the defining attribute of a legitimate State. Perhaps an oligopoly would be OK.

  42. smut clyde6:14 AM

    (if Davis had a gun; Dunn lying his ass off is obviously not out of the question)

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Dunn's defense initially focus in the opening statements on Davis purportedly brandishing a pocketknife? Which Dunn only upgraded later to a magical disappearing shotgun, during his personal testimony, three or four days later?

    So the Prosecution had made little effort to establish the absence of a shotgun at the crime scene, because until that last minute testimony, no-one had suggested that there had been such a weapon.

  43. this is as American as (exploding) Apple Pie, donchuno.

    Doesn't it extend to our foreign policy? Don't let anyone else have "defensive" weapons 'cause they are Evil and will use them wrong, which is why it is our burden to kill them all before they can do bad things to Good People.

  44. Speaking of which, whatever happened to that Walled City Survivalist Game of Thrones project in Idaho or somewhere that the Buy Gold folks were scamming folks over a year or so ago? did it get funded? Are there a handful of unwashed gun-nuts hunkered in plywood buildings cosplaying Walking Dead and arguing over who has to put on clean clothes and go into town to buy toilet paper?

  45. In Libertaria folks could "opt out" of police protection, but in
    Liberalia we're all forced to take it just we're forced to all take
    decent fucking healthcare.

    You know, most of America is descended
    from folks who couldn't hack it in the civilized eastern cities, but
    were too lazy to make it to the west coast, so it's not surprising they
    have inherited an anti-civilization culture.

  46. Jay B.7:23 AM

    Of course you are right -- they are tiny-dicked cowards -- that said, they are also thin-skinned, fear-soaked, sociopaths. But sure, I'm happy in my seething slice of the urban fabric. I live in a nice suburb just NE of downtown LA, two miles from gang territory, albeit gang territory with outstanding bars which I frequent. I also won't get a gun, because I don't fear my neighbors and I worry about my kid shooting himself in the head. But then I live in a polygot area of differentiated masses and not a monoculture like they've walled themselves into.

  47. Tom M7:28 AM

    french's friend bought that Glock to do what the cops could not do for his son: be there 24/7 to provide an armed guard? So this guy need not sleep or go to work or engage in any activity other than guarding his son.
    Yeah, I'm buying that story. Or did he buy that gun to brandish it at the "threat" because preventing your son from learning to deal with life works really well. Soon, the son will have his own Glock to wave around.

  48. I can't be assed to look up the stats, but aren't the overwhelming number of gun-related deaths "accidental" or domestic uses of firearms (and not murder by strangers)? This alone puts the lie to the "occasional" legal gun-owner stupidity or recklessness claim.

    The only way this is a nonexistent threat to the rest of us is if we are never around a legal gun-owner or we just don't give a shit for the families and friends of said gun-owners.

  49. Susan of Texas7:33 AM

    David French and his wife adopted a little girl from Africa. It does not even occur to him that some day his neighbor could panic when he sees a Black teen in his gated community, or some stranger could shoot her for going to the corner store for a gallon of milk.

    The other kids had parents too.

  50. The crime scene was investigated before dunn turned up--was tracked down--because he fled the scene. Of course we cant have laws requiring people who syg to , you know. Stand their ground and account for their actions.

  51. fraser7:40 AM

    "it's important to remember that these guys are fundamentally cowards,
    and the reason they're begging for an allowance to tote their guns
    everywhere is because they're such cowards."
    Also fantasists. Reading some of their interviews, I don't hear fear so much as the delusion that when the Joker shows up and tries spraying Starbucks full of Joker-venom, they're going to be the goddamn Batman.

  52. I'd bet actual folding money that the NRO staff are, as a whole, not packing heat. They are trying to ape machismo by lauding fake cowboys like Reagan and fake cops like Zimmerman.

  53. Well, that's because you're a cowering dependent of the police state.

    Don't you feel a bit smaller now?

  54. fraser7:43 AM

    If it weren't for the fact we have a police force and a justice system, I think Dunn and Zimmerman would be dead. In lots of times and places, the murders they committed would have justified a vendetta on them and their families. It doesn't happen so much here because we've got a (theoretically) impersonal system that can pronounce an official Not Guilty and the victims' families accept it. If the parents were shooting back, the tone of the discussion would change, fast.

  55. She was just as mentally I'll as her son was, albeit more highly functioning. A screening should have prevented someone as paranoid and delusional as she was from owning guns.

  56. Meanwhile, the gun owner whose toddler shoots his sister with an unsecured gun goes unpunished because he's "suffered enough already". This attitude also betrays a very warped view of the criminal justice system, the purpose of which is not to make perps "suffer".

  57. montag28:04 AM

    Oh, c'mon, haven't you ever been in the situation of coming home, famished, eager to order a pizza, and in the rush of instant gratification, simply forgotten that you emptied a clip into a car full of kids?

    And make no mistake, that gangsta music is like a code among criminals, so they recognize each other and warns us good upstanding armed citizens inclined to public service to be ever vigilant. An imagined gun in the hands of a hardened criminal is just as threatening as a real one. Look it up. It's in the Constitution.

  58. Sorry, Spags. Missed the sarcasm. Guess I wasn't fully awake.

  59. redoubtagain8:41 AM

    (Yet non-white neighborhoods around the country are where authorities always seem to be doing gun buy-backs.)

  60. we also don't have to make our own shoes or slaughter our own hogs or write our own young adult supernatural romance books.

    Wait, we don't? Shit.

    Someday a right winger might actually read

    Full stop.

  61. satch8:46 AM

    "I've managed to live almost 60 years in the violent criminal wasteland
    of New York City without once feeling like I needed my own AR-15 for the
    sense of security that French gets from his."

    The problem here is that carrying a gun makes you feel empowered. Most of us go to a gas station to fill up the tank and get on with our lives, and if the guy in the next car over has his sound system cranked up and blaring rap or country, we figure what the hell, we'll soon have a full tank and be out of there, and we'll probably never see the guy again. But Dunn had a loaded gun with him, and by his own admission "Hated that thug music" and was by God gonna DO something about it. He wasn't looking for courtesy, he was going to settle for nothing less than submission. The perversion of SYG is that some dimwit can actually initiate a confrontation, and then, when it goes bad, escalate it to the point of a shootout. We'll know the day of true equality before the law has arrived the day a black person successfully "stands his ground" against a white assailant.

  62. coozledad8:53 AM

    I've been told by people who worked the Friday night- Saturday shift at Duke hospital's emergency room that as far as they knew, if you're going to die a violent death at the hands of somebody, it will be a relative, friend, or friend of a friend.

    They were also very keen on seatbelts.

  63. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps8:54 AM

    Ugh. Most of my family owns guns and uses them for sport shooting and hunting, so I'm not afraid of guns (though I have a healthy respect for how much damage they can do). What terrifies the piss out of me is the idea of living in a society where every disagreement or misunderstanding has a healthy chance of leaving at least one person on the ground well-ventilated in a pool of blood, and tenfold so if you're black.

  64. Notice too that the way the Amendment is written, the States could
    limit weaponry, and where and how the militia obtained access to it.

    Odd, then, that the "states' rights" shriekers have no problem with incorporation of that particular amendment, isn't it? It's a definite head-scratcher.

    (On balance, I'm glad that the Fourteenth was taken as grounds to incorporate the Bill of Rights, especially since Cruikshank rejected incorporating the First Amendment as well as the Second. But it seems to me that the now-blotted-out first clause of the Second would be obvious grounds for treating its incorporation differently.)

  65. BigHank539:00 AM

    Well, you know, if you've harbored a lifelong fantasy of shooting a bad guy in self-defense...there need to be bad guys. And bad guys armed with guns, too, because how do you feel self-righteous about shooting some poor mook with a knife? This is also one of the subconscious reasons why these guys all decry anti-poverty and prison rehabilitation programs: imagine life in those socialist Scandinavian hellholes, where a white man could spend a lifetime and never have a reason to shoot anyone.

  66. Yeah, I noticed that by exempting economic dependency, French was basically describing "makers" and "job creators," who are presumably too busy moneyin' to act as their own police force. And who apparently live in abject terror of being referred to with insufficient respect in public, let alone of hooligans with firearms.

  67. Jon Hendry9:04 AM

    The best handgun-carrying rationale I've heard was from a woman real estate agent in TN near KY. She's going to be showing empty houses to strangers, possibly in somewhat isolated locations.

  68. BigHank539:07 AM

    they don't have to spend every minute scanning for threats

    Yeah, I'm wondering who watches David French's back as he sleeps. I can't imagine he'd leave something vital like that up to the incompetent tools of the State.

  69. glennisw9:13 AM

    cower in fear of a nonexistent threat.

    Oh, that's a good one! Who's cowering in fear of a non-existent threat? How about the douchebag who's so scared of his fellow man he has to carry a loaded assault rifle into the local Piggly Wiggly? Or the guy who shoots and kills a stranger out of fear because he's turning his car around in the guy's driveway?

  70. glennisw9:15 AM

    Well, Dunn's sitting in jail, that's at least a comfort of a kind.

  71. tigrismus9:40 AM

    Or the guy who still believes Obama's going to take his guns ANY MINUTE NOW.

  72. Helmut Monotreme9:44 AM

    The security blanket of being able to end the life of anyone giving them grief is the only way some of our fellow Americans can get out the front door. Given the only news they read sensationalizes violence committed by anyone darker than a bright summer day in Antarctica, and justifies any violence committed by God fearing white men, gun paranoia is here to stay. It's how even flabby sixty-year-olds and scrawny 18-year-olds can all pretend to be some combination of a knight in armor, Dirty Harry, and every member of Seal team six. Before the invention of the firearm, the 'great equalizer' being a badass was a lifetime task, and out of reach for anyone who couldn't train full time, who wasn't well fed from childhood, and who wasn't naturally big and strong. So, prior to the firearm, fantasies of martial prowess were just fantasies for the large section of humanity toiling away on farms or bent over scrolls or engaged in whatever other pre-industrial occupation they had. As far as I can figure, there's a large fraction of people whose only understanding of power is that which is predicated on the promise of deadly violence. And worse, it's a fraction of the US that's actively encouraged in their dangerous worldview by the marketing departments of gun manufacturers, and the NRA (but I repeat myself), and nearly every form popular entertainment aimed at men over the age of six.

  73. Helmut Monotreme9:46 AM

    See, I don't understand that one. Guns don't stop bullets too. I see all of these firearm enthusiasts spouting off about their arsenal, and I want body armor, and a bullet proof house and car.

  74. brandonrg9:58 AM

    Only certain types of people should be armed, duh. I'll leave it to others to determine what "type" conservatives think should be armed to protect themselves from the dangerous thugs.

  75. coozledad10:17 AM

    I live way out in the country, and way off the road. Most locals I know wouldn't even be able to make the walk to the house in broad daylight before they'd have to call the ambulance to remove a toe or something. It isn't even worthwhile to ideate on that bullshit.

    Most of the very few break-ins around here are for crap like jewelry and guns. It takes a shit for brains to flash that stuff around.

    These people are goddamned toddlers.

  76. susanoftexas10:19 AM

    we also don't have to...write our own young adult supernatural romance books.
    To late!

  77. If I recall correctly, Ms Lanza was teaching her son to shoot those guns; I'm pretty sure her son thought those guns were there for him to use. Just like a lot of kids think things in their house are for them to use. Who knows if she expressly forbade him to touch those guns without her permission.

  78. Ellis_Weiner10:21 AM

    A shotgun, no less. Sure, one's tiny Glock 22 gets misplaced, falls under the car seat, gets lost in that little change pocket in one's jeans, etc. It happens. But a shotgun?

    Also too, I'm under the impresh that he fired ten shots and hit with three. At an unarmed kid getting out of a car.

  79. M. Krebs10:24 AM

    Guns don't kill, bullets do.

  80. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I always felt that being paranoid is the pre-condition... if you feel that you're weak, and fear that you'll be victimized by someone stronger than you the moment you leave your house, that's paranoia, and the remedy for feeling weak and powerless is to carry Sam Colt's Equalizer. Both Dunn and Zimmerman expressed their pathological hatred of "black thugs" on numerous occasions, but both felt comfortable initiating confrontations, ie being a dick, because they were armed that they wouldn't have if they had not been armed. Paranoia and being a dick are not mutually exclusive, but are nothing more than an annoyance until you throw guns into the mix.

  81. Well, I'm sure that David French would never shoot anyone who didn't deserve it.

  82. susanoftexas11:08 AM

    It might have been inevitable that this group of people would choose to arm themselves when it became obvious that they were losing the superiority battle for legal superiority.
    Dunn said he was the victim because he was forced to endure the presence of noisy minority teens; others are being oppressed because they are forced to endure the presence of people who were not trying to pass for straight. The hippie overtly rejected their cultural norms, women flaunted their freedom from social control by wearing pants. and so on,
    Public displays of lack of respect for white male superiority and therefore authority are personal assaults.

  83. mortimer200011:17 AM

    And what's awesome, not in a good way, is that at least one juror could not find him guilty despite the invisibility of the shotgun in question to witnesses, and the inability of the police to find one. See, from French's POV, this is why people like Dunn can't depend on the police to protect them.

  84. Reading some of the comments from people who got out of the boat, I have to wonder if his main point was telling all of his "Corner" buddies that he has an AR-15, in order to win some sort of interoffice pissing contest.

  85. StringOnAStick11:31 AM

    That's pretty much the way the Koch's want it, since SYG laws everywhere are an ALEC creation.

  86. StringOnAStick11:39 AM

    The next time any gun rights supporter, fellow traveler, congressperson, etc. is on Press the Meat or any other gasbag show, the first question should be "are you packing?" to be followed by "let's see it". Out on the table guys and gals, are you real or just a big talker for political benefit? I wonder how tolerant David Gregory/media hairdo of choice would be of firearms on the table when it right in front of his/her face.

  87. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps12:11 PM

    The core problem with SYG is that it puts the victim on trial. It completely flips the burden of proof around: instead of the defendant having to prove they had no choice but to kill, the state has to prove the victim didn't actually provoke the shooting, which can be an impossible hurdle to clear.

  88. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:44 PM

    that gangsta music

    Yeah. Hell, it was practically the soundtrack to The Wire...

    You know, I love that show, but I wouldn't doubt it could reinforce a racist gunnie's attitude toward all big city blacks.

  89. philadelphialawyer12:48 PM

    The militias certainly were thought of as protection against slave rebellions. But they were also thought of as protection against not only the British and the Spanish, but Native Americans and the Federal government too. Of course, over time, with the decline and fall of the Spanish empire, the peace between the USA and the British after the War of 1812, the frontier pushing westward, and the Indian "threat" with it, and with fear of the Fed becoming less pervasive, it is absolutely true that the militias became dormant or dead in many States, particularly the non slave holding States. Although they could be powered up again, as they were in the "Western" (ie Midwestern) States during renewed wars against Native Americans, and more generally during the Mexican War and the Civil War.
    My point was not that State militias were always wonderful things (they were used against early labor unions as well), but that the Second Amendment was meant to protect them, not individual gun owners, and that it was directed against Federal action, not State laws.

  90. Ellis_Weiner1:13 PM

    Whereas we DO have to write our own young adult thrillers. As I would know.

  91. El Manquécito1:16 PM

    That would appear to be Mike Chitwood, who played some part in the MOVE bombing in Philly and was later chief in Portland ME where he was seen by the right as a gun control advocate. Always ready for some press coverage that guy.

  92. El Manquécito1:23 PM

    Yeah, I use that little pocket for guitar picks and when I pull out a semi-auto instead it always makes for drama.

  93. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person1:29 PM

    That's a new one on me: people who don't go around packing are a "protected class"

    Dunno if it was original with Heinlein, but that was a feature of the BNW he proposed in Beyond This horizon. If you weren't packing, you wore a "peace brassard", that prohibited all those armed "gentlemen" from filling you full of lead, or high-energy particles, or whatever. If you wore the brassard, though, you weren't allowed to insult any of those "gentlemen". I forget what the penalty was for that...

  94. smut clyde1:34 PM

    write our own young adult supernatural romance books

    How about writing our own yeti porn?

  95. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person1:38 PM

    In truth, both arguments are hard to prove when there's only one side left to tell. Seems to me the whole point of the "duty to withdraw" is to prevent a dead body on the ground to start with, thus allowing a (possible) resolution of whatever the original conflict may have been, if both parties still want to, when they've sobered up...

  96. Gromet1:48 PM

    He sensed a threat. I sensed security.

    Oh David French, you hack. The reason you sense security in your gun is that it is a threat. You might as well wear a sign that says "If you confront or offend me, I might kill you." So don't act like your non-gun-owning friend is some jumpy, panicked lady-man; he is responding appropriately to the message you intended to send. Ugh.

  97. So how can Dunn argue that his case was anything other than the
    unprovoked shooting of another law abiding second amendment fetishist?

    As A.A. Milne might put it, it rhymes with "Tigger."

  98. witlesschum2:02 PM

    Not really. In fact, that's probably happened already. True equality would be that whites and blacks are equally likely to get away with shooting someone by mumbling magic phrases about how they felt threatened.

  99. Gromet2:03 PM

    they read the occasional, aberrant story of (legal) gun-owner stupidity or recklessness and cower in fear of a nonexistent threat.

    I like how the honest mistakes made by legal gun owners that result daily in injury and death are an aberration and don't actually exist, but home-invasion robberies and death threats to children are so much the norm that carrying a gun is necessary and wise.

    Also, as someone who'd just as soon all AR-15s vanish into thin air, I resent being characterized as "cowering in fear." If anything I'm "willing to take my chances, even in the dodgy neighborhood I call home" -- how's that cowering in fear?

  100. Barry_D2:28 PM

    Q. Would Florida prosecutors deliberately botch a SYG shooting?

    A. Rhymes with.............

  101. ... Press the Meat ... "are you packing?" to be followed by "let's see it".

    I don't know, I think that combination could get ugly really fast.

  102. William Miller2:54 PM

    Makes sense. Too bad.

  103. He's have better odds defending himself by throwing the damn pistol at an assailant.

    In fact, if his assailant were Superman, that would be the only way to get him to duck.

  104. William Miller2:59 PM

    Looks like there's white stand your ground and there's black stand your ground. Can't imagine why there'd be a difference.


  105. the state has to prove the victim didn't actually provoke the shooting, which can be an impossible hurdle to clear.

    Alas, it goes further. As the modern version has it, the state has to prove that the shooter didn't feel that the victim provoked the shooting, which is an even more impossible hurdle. It's affirmative defense on steroids.

  106. Mooser3:06 PM

    The reason he feels security is because all the fiction he confuses with fact.

  107. Gromet3:09 PM

    Maybe simply owning makes some people want to carry all the time, in the same way that playing the same lotto numbers every week can give you a low-grade anxiety attack if you forget to play them one time, because wouldn't it figure that'd be the week your numbers get drawn. You leave the gun at home for a trip to IHOP and that'll be the day a crazed pancake-hating gunman shows up.

  108. Mooser3:10 PM

    Why would the water be good in Wyoming? It's got a bunch of mine tailings in it, more'n likely.
    Of course, when I think of the depredation at Wyoming farms due to skunks, raccoons and feral cats, I can see why you need the gun.

  109. Mooser3:12 PM

    "victim didn't actually provoke the shooting, which can be an impossible hurdle to clear."

    And being dead is viewed as just an effort to escape on a technicality.

  110. Mooser3:13 PM

    Dead men tell no tales, and make no defenses.

  111. StringOnAStick3:13 PM

    So it works either way!

  112. Mooser3:15 PM

    Yup. I would gladly allow that comment to stand it's ground. It's outstanding in its field.

  113. MikeJ3:30 PM

    I once got a toy duck and I really wanted to take it to kindergarten with me every day.

    I eventually got over it though. And even before I did I never used it to kill a kid for playing the hokey pokey too loud.

  114. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:32 PM

    Heh. When Bangnuts™ name-drop, it's not the name of a person they met or talked to, but a weapon they fired or bought...

  115. That's the Citadel (a.k.a. "III Citadel", for some reason), and it has indeed been about a year since there was any news about it. Of course, that might be because the previous news included this kind of thing.

    I don't see any sign of activity on their website, but their blog page is members-only so who knows. More here.

  116. Mooser3:35 PM

    Guns do what the script says! You've never seen anybody shoot a gun out of the bad-guy's hand.
    Thanks to the wonderful NRA, which (yup) outlawed collecting statistics on gun deaths and injuries, what people know about guns is what they see on gun-centered drama. And no gun, no matter how high his caliber ever, ever defies the director. Guns not in show biz are required to follow the dictates of mechanics and ballistics.

  117. Mooser3:42 PM

    "general attitude is "fuck the troops".

    Don't worry, if by "troops" you mean the ranks of the volunteer Army, they are probably getting about as good a screwing as it's possible to get.

  118. Gromet3:44 PM

    That brilliant future is right around the corner. One or two more white guys blowing away a black kid and they're going to start looking like a verified threat. Why, even today I'd cross the street to avoid a middle-aged white guy.

  119. PhoenicianRomans3:45 PM

    Use an automatic instead - it adds a nice percussion effect.

  120. PhoenicianRomans3:48 PM

    Absence of provocation? You yourself said that the shootees were young black men...

  121. liberalrob4:02 PM

    But think of the ratings!

  122. sophronia4:25 PM

    I believe his argument is, "With certain notable exceptions, gun owners have never shot anyone who didn't deserve it. So stop whining, you babies."

    Well, excuse the hell out of me for finding that less than acceptable.

  123. Law of the jungle: I'm safe in my treehouse, you little people shoot it out amongst yourselves.

  124. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:23 PM

    No, that's George of the Jungle...

  125. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:26 PM

    I couldn't help but notice in the previous post about fears of an impending Googlenacht, that nobody used the word, um, Googlenacht. Tsk-tsk. People, people...

  126. Earl of Sandwich5:33 PM

    All I have learned here is that you have no idea what the word "feudal" means.

  127. I agree, it's terrible.

  128. philadelphialawyer6:06 PM

    Yes, the paranoid gun owner radiates malevolence, but, IMHO, so does the gun itself. Guns are dangerous. Very dangerous. Beyond that, they are meant to be dangerous; that is a feature, THE feature, really, not a bug. Chainsaws are dangerous incidentally (except if you are from Texas!), so while they radiate danger, they don't radiate evil.
    But guns are meant to kill or seriously wound people, or, at best, to force them to comply with your will by threatening them with death or serious injury. Thus they reflect a gross power imbalance, one in which the possessor of the gun literally has the arbitrary power of life or death over the other person, by virtue of his possession of a machine that has no other real purpose. Unless one is at the target range or out hunting, what is the purpose of the gun, if not to ensure compliance with the threat of death to back it up?
    I am not a young, male African American. Nor a member of any other group such that I actually, rationally fear an armed policeman when I see one. Nevertheless, and despite the policeman's training and, as I say, probable lack of hostility to me based on my age, race, appearance, etc, I stil sense malevolence coming from that gun on his hip. And this is in public, where he is accountable, at least to some extent.
    How much more so in French's private arsenal room. Who knows what training he has? Who knows what might piss him off enough to want to shoot me? He radiates evil, and so does his gun.

  129. Slow on the uptake, huh?

  130. M. Krebs6:32 PM

    Oh, look. It's a libertarian.

  131. Ken deFarmer6:42 PM

    Actually, our local (eastern WY) ground water is very good. No mine tailings or waste (that's up north in the coal fields), no ag runoff to the aquifer. And for a real plus, recent fracking produced nothing, so the oil boys have decamped for other places (think ND, CO). All the neighbors are republicans, but the old-style non-nuts type. They even keep their religion to themselves, can you believe that?

  132. randomworker6:44 PM

    Who is the protected class? Here's a new bit to add to all our bits regarding just who are the makers and who are the takers around here.


    It's basically the electoral map, with Dallas and Houston thrown in. Or the "welfare state" map. Or the poverty map. Or the worst health outcome map. All of those maps, and this is one more.
    French is wearing the fear goggles just like the rest of them. They are figuring out they are totally superfluous to what's going on here in the 21st Century and they don't like it one bit.

  133. Gabriel Ratchet6:58 PM

    Right. LIbertarians are always banging on about how, for instance, having a Department of Education is unacceptable nanny-state overreach and therefore worse than Hitler, when the only acceptable roles government has is providing a military (for national defense) and police (to ensure individual property rights are properly defended). Now even the people who want the latter are being derided as moochers suckling at the Big Government teat who are unwilling to take responsibility for their own safety.

    It's almost as if these yahoos hate the entire concept of civilization.

    No, wait, it's exactly as if they hate the entire concept of civilization.

  134. I put this up at Lawyer's Guns and Money but I think here is also good: I have a distant cousin, a lovely person who was married with two kids. He was a dentist and one of the things he liked to do was a lot of free dental work for impoverished immigrants and people who otherwise couldn't get dental services. One day one of the guys he'd given free work to had a mental break and followed him home and shot him to death. Totally out of character for the community and the neighborhood, broad daylight, someone my cousin knew from work. Could he have prevented this by being the kind of paranoid lunatic who goes strapped every waking minute? Actually: no. He couldn't have. Lets stipulate that he was so paranoid that he open carried every day of his life and this crazy guy decided to kill him? The crazy guy still gets the drop on him in any number of ways and kills him before he can draw the hypothetical permanent gun on his hip. In addition to still being dead he would have wasted the entirety of his life being hostile, crazed, and paranoid himself.

  135. Well--but there is such a thing as collective guilt and collective punishment. Realistically speaking both the boys, Trayvon and the child shot by Dunn, paid with their lives for being black (collective guilt). Meanwhile it remains to be seen whether Dunn, at least, will suffer retribution for his specific act by some member of the other team who decides to excercise a little collective punishment and get the were-gild or the blood atonement. While I don't look at prisons as a place where extra judicial punishments should be meted out, I won't be sorry in Dunn's case.

  136. Women are actually targeted fairly frequently, individually and as a sex. Realtors are incredibly vulnerable.

  137. Its time to mention Harry Harrisson's DeathWorld again.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deathworld I read these books over and over as a teenager--possibly because they were the only books I had which had an incredibly strong female character and a very strange, funny, non dominant male lead. The gist of deathworld was that our hero, a gambler named Jason DinAlt, comes to a world settled by some (Israeli like) settlers in which everything from the poison tipped grass to the razor beaked birds is out to kill everyone, all the time. Eventually Jason stumbles on original documents from the earliest settlemtn and figures out that the planet and all its flora and fauna are sentient and turned against the humans because the humans were so violent and ecologically destructive. The more the humans try to survive and exploit the planet's resources, the more the planet fights back by evolving new and nastier ways of killing the humans. From the limited perspective of the settlers they are doing the right thing by becoming harder, meaner, less compromising, less able to interact with the world in an open way. But the cycle of destruction begins and ends with them. The angrier and tougher they are, the worse it is for them, but they just can't see it.

    Sure, if you run into a sociopath or a person having a really bad day you can have a bad encounter but most of the time people respond very well to a smile and a kind word and a little respect. These people, like Dunn, are giving off major asshole vibes to everyone around them and so they are confirmed in their conviction that the world is full of jerks and violent people--but its just mirroring their own image back to them.

  138. TGuerrant8:27 PM

    Two Mike Chitwoods - father and son, both ex-Philly cops. The father's about 70, the son about 50.

  139. billcinsd8:47 PM

    I scare myself just looking in the mirror

  140. GlockPalin8:48 PM

    "I sensed security."

    No shit. Holding a gun makes people feel powerful. That's one of the effects that makes guns so dangerous.

  141. JennOfArk8:53 PM

    The answer is dildoguns, not dildos with guns.

  142. El Manquécito9:45 PM

    Thanks T, I didn't dig enough.

  143. Did you ever read anything in the Stainless Steel Rat series? That featured a good female protagonist, if memory serves me correctly.

  144. LittlePig10:21 PM

    Get that patent in on that pink one and you'll be rich beyond your dreams of avarice, I guar-an-tee!

  145. LittlePig10:22 PM

    "We hates the Enlightenment. Hates it we does!"

  146. LittlePig10:23 PM

    Dr. Darwin to the white courtesy phone, Dr. Darwin....

  147. Tehanu10:30 PM

    As I recall, the penalty for just wearing the brassard was that you had to shut up and take whatever the armed folk handed out, and they weren't shy about letting the brassard-wearers know it. Wearing the brassard meant that you were a weaselly coward and so Heinlein made it clear that the social pressure to carry guns instead was so great that only pussies and cowards didn't. Not one of his best-thought-out ideas. (I've always been a Heinlein fan because he was the best snappy-dialogue writer since Preston Sturges -- NOT because I agree (or ever agreed) with any of his libertarian crapola or his "armed = polite" bs.)

  148. KatWillow10:42 PM

    Conservatives and our news media have been longing for and working to create race-riots (See response to Katrina, Zimmerman, and a hundred other similar stories). They want all white people to fear and loathe minorities as much as they do, and black Americans to attack non-racist white Americans over the actions of the Kock Bros., the Bush Admin. people, and of course Fox news.

    I see them salivating with joy every time a middle aged white guy get away with murdering a young black American.

    THEY WANT WAR. I don't think they'll succeed with the "stand yer ground!" laws this time around, but they'll keep coming up with new (and old) horrible injustices to inflict upon black Americans, always praying that black Americans will behave as violently as conservative racist goons.

  149. KatWillow10:49 PM

    The TV and movie "Wild West" days never existed. The reality is that more settlers -often accidentally- shot themselves and their companions than any Native Americans ever did.

    Guns are deadly.

  150. Susan of Texas10:57 PM

    He thinks he's a hero.

  151. You've never seen anybody shoot a gun out of the bad-guy's hand.

    Well, not in person.

  152. Does Yukon Cornelius/Abominable Snowmonster slash count? AFAF

  153. DocAmazing12:15 AM

    The authorities aren't stupid. The non-white folks see an opportunity to dispose of a crap firearm, or to make sure Uncle Ted doesn't have a piece handy next time he's on a drunken toot, and make a couple bucks in the exchange. The white folks are likely to threaten not only the people organizing the exchange, but those who betray the cause by participating in it.

  154. DocAmazing12:16 AM

    Most accidents occur in the home, so I'm planning to move.

  155. montag21:14 AM

    You'd think that having more blah targets would be the deal clincher. Guess that "no government" (and, therefore, no restrictions on reprisals and retribution by said blahs) thing isn't quite so attractive, except in the abstract.

  156. Guest1:20 AM

    At this point, so many of them are so hysterically convinced that their guns will be taken away, and so unable to listen to reason, that there really isn't much percentage in letting them keep them. No matter how lax the gun laws are, they will continue to screech about the government coming to take their boomsticks away. They will never vote for anyone to the left of Ted Nugent.

    So, since they're such a lost cause, we may as well go ahead and take their guns. What are they going to do? Shriek and clamor about tyranny? Already doing it. Call our elected leaders fascists? Already doing that too. Stockpile illegal weapons? Already happening. Shoot people at will and get away with it? Check. Really, at this point, it's the only endgame, and it seems like nothing would make them happier than actual grist for their persecution-complex mills.

    Sure, a few might try that armed resistance they're always banging on about, but shutting off electricity and water service to their bunkers will either flush them out to surrender their shooting irons or send them into full lockdown. Either way, no longer a problem.

  157. montag22:21 AM

    There's a lot of truth in this. Jim Crow laws, in practice, reinforced subservience in minority populations. If white people perceived a lack of subservience, they were implicitly allowed to enforce the prevailing norms by whatever means they felt were suitable. That could be anything from a peremptory lecture on "knowing one's place" to lynching. Importantly, enforcement could be capricious and individual, according to that person's interpretation of prevailing norms. The standard was simply that a white person had been personally offended.

    That seems to be the core of Dunn's defense. He was personally offended by the kids' failure to be subservient to him and his demands.

  158. montag23:15 AM

    Umm, in a small way, that's already happened, hasn't it? Someone brought in an example of an extended-capacity magazine (with ammunition), and there were lots of comments to the effect that the show had broken D.C. law by doing so.

    Beyond that, on such shows, it is not about personal "my dick extension is bigger than yours" displays, but about subtly ratcheting up the fear levels, and words work just fine for that task. When there are unprompted "let me show you mah shootin' arn" incidents designed to intimidate the opposition, like that of French thinking that showing off his AR-15 proves his point, it only proves the prevailing view--that he's more likely got a problem with self-esteem, and that's a meme that the conservatives do not want to spread.

    For that reason, I would guess that the canny gun nuts wouldn't be baited into a public display on the Sunday talk shows, even if they were carrying. Their object is to sell more guns, and the more they suggest to the public that gun nuts are, well, nuts, the more they undercut their message that self-defense is necessary for all. It's one thing to defend no background checks and stand-your-ground laws in the abstract, and quite another thing to do the same with a loaded gun in your hand....

  159. Jeffrey_Kramer6:51 AM

    Monty Python's "Secret Welsh Art of Self-Defense": the best method of defense is attack; the best method of attack is surprise; therefore, the best way to defend yourself is to attack your opponent, not only before he has attacked you, but before the thought has even entered his mind!

  160. montag27:08 AM

    I.e., a royalist in revolutionary's clothing.

  161. David Sagneri7:23 AM

    I know the wife of a guy that did just that; he's not that bright. Was talking about selling them but since he bought them during a gun run he won't get anywhere near the value. And yet he seemed completely clueless that he had actually been manipulated by the industry. It boggles the mind.

  162. Yeah, no shootouts took place on the main street at high noon, a lot of them did happen in saloons where the lighting wasn't very good, and the participants were usually drinking/drunk so their accuracy wasn't very good as a result also.

  163. Halloween_Jack9:36 AM

    Would that be a sort of Very Special Bayonet Substitute?

  164. Halloween_Jack9:38 AM

    i.e. "coastal elites", for very generous values of "coastal."

  165. Halloween_Jack9:39 AM

    "I've got mine, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack."

  166. Halloween_Jack9:42 AM

    One of the best explanations for Heinlein's worldview that I've read has to do with his being an engineer, a profession that tends to skew conservative.

  167. Halloween_Jack9:48 AM

    For a great number of these people, the gun is a magic wand* that will make them safe and/or keep others from bothering them, and the larger and more powerful it is, the safer it must make them, rather than being more dangerous and difficult to control; cf. Dirty Harry, who, unlike real cops (well, maybe real cops before the last ten years), didn't care that using a magnum pistol in a crowded urban setting wasn't a really good idea.

    *Compare with the Harry Potter books; giving a powerful weapon to eleven-year-olds might not seem like a brilliant idea, but they're given seven years of training in its use.

  168. Halloween_Jack9:51 AM

    Very good catch. These people are also very tuned in to "Islam" meaning "submission", of course; their whole shtick connects back to their identity being wrapped up in power and mastery.

  169. Halloween_Jack9:59 AM

    Wow, why am I not surprised? I'm reminded of Robert McCammon's Swan Song, an uneven but still decent rewrite of Stephen King's The Stand (nuclear war instead of the flu), that featured a survivalist bunker in the mountains somewhere in the West that was ultimately useless due to the corruption of its creators.

  170. Halloween_Jack10:03 AM

    Well, what wouldn't, though? Your racist gunny would separate out the gangsters from things like the innate decency of cops such as Greggs or Freamon vs. Herc or Valchek, which they'd write off as David Simon's liberal propaganda. If the conservative movement can assert that Bruce Springsteen is an inherently conservative rocker, they can believe any bullshit.

  171. redoubtagain10:44 AM


  172. StringOnAStick12:14 PM

    And that's exactly why the media gasbags will never call them out on it. Well that, and personal cowardice.

  173. StringOnAStick12:24 PM

    Such a sad story; so sorry for the loss of your cousin.

  174. StringOnAStick12:34 PM

    "Submission" is bad when it comes up as a tenant of Islam, but A-OK when Christianity talks about submission to God's will.
    Hmm, I may have just found reason #34,597 why winger Christians don't read the bible, they just whack people with it.

  175. Really, that's all you've learned? Wow, you might want to work on your analytical skills, then, because "neo-feudal" appears only once in the blogpost, at the very end. There are a great many comments, too, only a handful of which actually use "feudal" ... including yours.

    Also, what does the word "feudal" mean, Your Lordship? Since a minimal state existing primarily to codify the property rights of well-armed thugs apparently isn't it, I mean? Would you prefer "neo-manorialism"?

    Also, also, unless you are actually John Edward Hollister Montagu, or an authorized representative of his restaurant chain, what are you doing appropriating a title to which you have no legal right? A coat-of-armed society is supposed to be a polite society.

  176. Thank you Stringonastick. I think one of the biggest chasms between right and left is the chasm over what counts as an "accident" and what can be prevented. I was recently reading about how heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country, but all the hysteria and money and focus goes to breast cancer. The author advanced the idea that we actually know a lot about heart disease and how to prevent it, leading to an enormous burden being placed on the individual woman to "prevent" her own illness and death by making many changes in lifestyle while we don't experience ourselves as having any control at all over cancer so people are free to obsess about it without actually doing anything to prevent it and thus without restructuring their lives. The argument was, I suppose, that the more we can affect things, and the more work, the more we resist accepting accountability by denying the problem. And the more unlikely the fear and the less we can actually do the more we are willing to worry about it.

    I feel that way when I talk to gun people online. They are not at all worried-they don't even acknowledge the data--on accidental and negligent injuries and deaths caused by gun ownership even though they could substantially lower their own risk by either refusing to own guns or by properly storing their guns or by locking guns up around a vulnerable population such as teens, children, and the elderly. Meanwhile they obsess about the liklihood that someone from outside of the family might attack them and they might just be able to fight them off with the gun even though, statistically, that is highly unlikely to occur, or to work out the way they imagine.

    But one scenario: the first one, puts the onus on the gun owner to prevent violence and accident and requires a lot of daily thought and care. While the second, the "I protect my family model" makes the gun owner the permananent hero in his own mind, takes money but no care/thought/preparation and staves of feelings of imagined future guilt because a gun could have prevented the imagined future harm.

  177. Not cool to respond to oneself but 2/3rds of all suicides are suicides by gun, for example. For a liberal "suicide prevention" ranks pretty high on the list of things that are good and if I owned a gun I would be very concnered that no one get ahold of that gun and kill themselves. That is a wholly preventable death--a death that would never happen but for the availability of that gun at the psychologically worst moment for someone. Yet suicide prevention is not at the top of anything the NRA puts out. Suicide is something that people do which is seen as totally accidental and unavoidable, like rain or clouds. Of course maybe I'm influenced by having been weaned on Durkheim.

  178. I have not read enough Stephen King. You are reminding me that I really mean to.

  179. Absolutely, KatWilow. Profoundly true.

  180. I want to point out that the earliest militias in the pre-revolutionary and immiediatly post revolutionary period were a form of tax or corvee levied on able bodied men who were expected to show up to defend their settlements against slave revolt or indian attack. Towns had to be able to force people to come to each other's aid and repel attack. But the idea that the state can compel the individual to fight for other households/families is, of course, anathema to modern 2nd amendment fetishists.

  181. The history of this "save the orphans from africa" thing is pretty hair raising--as is the history of (well intentioned) white people adopting cross ethnically/racially and then discovering the world their kids are living in is substantially different from their own. We had friends who adopted a South Asian girl in the 70's and rather naively thought that she would fit right into their upper class white academic world. She wound up falling between racial categories in her public school and choosing to identify as African American because there was in reality no category "South Asian adopted by British Intellectuals." At least around here.

  182. Halloween_Jack2:13 PM

    It holds up pretty well, I think. It features yet another Magical Negro (not King's first, nor his last), and the uncut version (about a third of the book was cut for the first publication) has a pretty triggery scene, and lots of other works of fiction (most recently The Walking Dead have taken their turns depicting how truly awful people can be to one another when the shit really comes down, but there are quite a few striking scenes in it that are worth the effort. One of the early ones, in which a band member for a minor-league rock star tells him just how the short, undistinguished trajectory of his career will go, is among the best things that King has ever written.

  183. I understand the derision levelled at "magical negro" characters, like that aimed at "tragic mulattos." But I have a sneaking fondness for the ones in the literature I read as a teen because, damn it, no one was going to include any other kind of black person.

  184. I think I'm reading a written version of this right now. I stumbled on the paranormal romance section at my local used bookstore.

  185. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:51 PM

    Maybe when Vol 2 of the bio comes out this summer there'll be more info. By the end of Vol 1 he was still a Liberal, and may have still thought of himself as a a Socialist. I've heard speculation that it was his 3rd wife who pulled him to the right.

  186. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:09 PM

    Just started DW2 a couple weeks ago! Laumer wrote a lot of my favorite stuff BITD. The Retief series, the Deathworlds, the BOLO books. The names Uk Ruppa Tooty and Ai Poppy Googy are forever etched in my brain cells, for good or ill.
    The casual sexism in some of his books makes re-reading 50 years later a bit of a chore, but it's still doable, unlike, say, van Vogt...

  187. philadelphialawyer9:10 PM

    You are absolutely right that militia participation was not voluntary. I would hesitate to analogize it to a "corvee," though, as that smacks of servile labor, and, unlike the militia requirement, only applied to men of certain classes (the lower ones, naturally). Also, while service in the militia was obligatory, it was also a right. Sort of like jury service, in that sense. And the militias in most places were run pretty democratically, in that the officers were often elected. Naturally, as in colonial America generally, there was a high degree of deference, and the usual suspects (ie the rich and influential) were most often chosen as officers, particularly the higher ones. Still, the militia was seen, and was, more of a participatory, "horizontal" organization than a top down run, hierarchical one. Militia men were notorious, much to the chagrin of many a general, including George Washington, for insisting that the rules governing their training and use, their pay, their periods and conditions of service, and the location of their deployment be honored.
    You are also correct that the militia stands for the idea that the individual can be compelled to help protect the commonwealth, and that is all about collective defense (again, not only against rebellious slaves and Native Americans, but also the French or Spanish and eventually the British and their "Tory" sympathizers too). And that today's alleged Second Amendment types totally don't get it.
    I repeat, I wonder if we would not be better off now with a militia system, and neither a standing army nor individual gun ownership. Switzerland relies mostly on a militia, and every young man receives fire arms training as part of his militia training. And, the way the system has evolved, the rifles and ammunition can now be stored in armories, rather than in the home. Indeed, if a militiaman keeps his rifle and ammunition at home, he actually has to account for the ammunition.

  188. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:34 PM

    Makes 'em feel like Olympic marksmen, too. And you end up with New York's Finest putting 9 bystanders in the hospital trying to shoot one suspect, because, like, they fucking ain't. They did manage to put 19 slugs in Amadou Diallo, though. Well, out of 41...

  189. ken_lov11:05 PM

    I'm sure if the black kids in the car had pulled out their trusty .45s and filled Michael Dunn full of lead when they saw him with his gun, French would be acclaiming their fair use of the right to bear arms.

  190. Christopher Hazell5:09 AM

    So, Michael Dunn, George Zimmerman, Curtis Reeves, Theodore Wafer... All high profile cases of men with the "protector" mentality hurting innocent people, mostly children, and French is just going to gloss over them.

    No, those of us who read about those stories aren't afraid of getting shot, or of our children getting shot, we're just unmanly and we feel insecure. Not like the protector types, those incredibly secure people who shoot unarmed children.

    Look, if you want to argue that these kinds of shooting are so rare that they aren't statistically important, then make the argument. Don't just accuse your opponents of being pussies.

  191. realinterrobang9:45 AM

    There actually was a case in England where a man murdered a female estate agent who was showing him a vacant house. As far as I know, they never caught the guy, either. I'm not in favour of carrying guns, but I do understand this particular case as a legitimate fear.

  192. realinterrobang9:50 AM

    I went to high school with a guy adopted from Thailand (in the late 70s or early 80s) who identified as black as a teenager because "very dark-skinned South Asian" just wasn't a thing there. I think his parents were missionaries or something weird like that, but the point stands.

  193. realinterrobang9:56 AM

    If you read nothing else ever by King, read Joyland.

    I'm personally of the opinion that the Magical Negro trope is just an updating of the ancient Greek blind seer/crippled prophet trope, myself, but I am probably biased along those lines, being handicapped and having a degree and a half in lit'rature...

  194. realinterrobang10:01 AM

    When the IDF stopped letting its (usually teenaged) members take their guns home on weekends, they reported 40% fewer weekend suicides. That's not just significant, it's huge. (I'm still trying to wrap my head around the implications of suicide vis-a-vis Israeli culture, but the Israeli suicide rate in general is fairly low.)

  195. Yes, I agree. But the racism lies in the viewer/reader/writer who doesn't inquire into how and why the character is stripped of agency/sexuality and granted mystical power to serve as a guide and muse to the more important white hero or heroine. You get the same thing with lower class characters who are often represented as 1) filled with hidden, raw, untutored wisdom and 2) without ambition to replace the main protagonist as the hero of the story and even 3) willing to die for the protagonist or to prefer the protagonist's happiness and success to his own.

  196. Aren't teenagers as a class more prone to suicide than other aged groups--although it might start to climb again when people get very old and ill? And I'd figure anyone who is trapped both in the half world beween child/adult and also trapped in a highly militarized society in which one can't get out of serving would be an absolute hot house for suicides.

  197. I wanted to add to Cole's point that I would, for once, break my vow not to watch any reality TV if they would turn Walled City Survivalist Hoarders Game of Thrones Duck Dynasty into a reality tv show.

  198. realinterrobang1:29 PM

    Psst, the word is "tenet." Islam doesn't have rental properties, but he does make a really good felafel. ;)

  199. StringOnAStick9:53 PM

    Crap. I always mix those two up....

  200. Jon Hendry8:58 PM

    Yeah, I figured as much. The use of realtor headshots in advertising certainly doesn't help.