Monday, September 16, 2013

The Second Amendment ~ Part 5: Gory, Gory, Hallelujah!

This morning, at about 8:15 AM Eastern time, a gunman began shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.  CNN reports he was initially armed with an AR-15 rifle and a semi-automatic Glock. When it was over, 13 people were dead, including the shooter. [Updated information: the shooter was not carrying an AR-15. CNN is reporting that a shotgun was recovered and it is believed he brought that into the compound.]

Tonight, there were no cancelled programs. The Million Second Quiz went up on schedule. Some piece of drek called SLEEPY HOLLOW premiered on Fox (about three minutes of listening to Ichabod Crane explain how George Washington called him into his tent to ask him to save the world was definitely more than enough to know this had nothing whatsoever to do with Johnny Depp, much less Washington Irving.) And I had trouble finding a straight line time line of the shooting in the usual news junkie haunts. This was all very bothersome.

Wanna know what I wanna know? I wanna know why there isn’t an ongoing conversation about gun control in this country that doesn’t sound like adversarial harangues. I wanna know why after Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown and that almost-was at McNair Discovery Center in Decatur, Georgia…all of which involved assault weapons, we still cannot find a way to keep them out of our schools, much less make them out and out illegal to own. No one uses them to kill Bambi and to date they seem to be the weapon of choice for mass shooting sprees. I wanna know why after 8,232 shooting deaths since Newtown, our Congress still cannot have a conversation that recognizes gun violence in this country is an issue. And I wanna know how come a gunman can waltz into a military installation like the Navy Yard with a gun even if he as a valid pass. Or did no one notice he was toting a rifle?

With more than 200 mass shootings (4 or more people killed constitutes "mass") in the United States since 2006, I am stunned that there isn’t a single CongressClown in the lot who is willing to stand up and call the rest of them irresponsible loonies for not taking this on. How can it be that after Fort Hood and Newtown this isn’t front and center on the congressional table? And how is that Colorado managed to recall elected officials who were pro gun control without the rest of the state going completely berserk?

And this is all brought to you by the same people who have their bungies in a knot over gassing 1000 people in Syria, but it’s okay to kill 8,232 with guns? Granted both are terrible tragedies, and both, theoretically are preventable, but one of them isn’t being perpetrated by a single, maniacal despot. One of them is being perpetrated all over this country by people who can hop over to the local Wal-Mart to pick up an AR-15 along with their skim milk and toilet paper. How is that okay?

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the tradition of Ushpizin in the sukkah. Well, this year, if I were to list the folks I want to visit my sukkah, it would look more like the Constitutional Convention. I’d ask Benjamin Franklin, John Rutledge, George Mason, and Robert Yates for sure. Add to that George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. I think I’d invite John Adams and John Hancock who weren’t at the convention, but would be good to have at the table.  And the first thing I would ask them to discuss is “what the hell did you mean by “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Founding Fathers weren’t prescient and they weren’t perfect. It becomes the job of subsequent generations to build on the framework they gave us. The lack of gun control in this country is turning us into a nation of victims; no one is safe. And owning a gun does not make one safe; it makes you a bigger victim.

We, the People are rapidly reaching a denouement on the matter of gun laws and gun control. We can continue to allow our CongressClowns to be bought and sold by the gun lobby like so many head of sheep, or we can insist that they stand up for our right to be safe on our streets and in our public spaces.

This is an issue of national importance. We, the People, have choices here. Sitting back and saying, “nothing is going to change this,” should not be one of them.

Wifely Person's Tip O'the Week
Do everyone you know a favor: write to your very own CongressClown;
tell him/her what you really think about gun control.


  1. Interesting note from Dan Primack's daily email Term Sheet (9/17/13):

    *** Words vs. deeds: Tomorrow will mark exactly nine months since Cerberus Capital Management announced its intention to sell Freedom Group, the firearms conglomerate whose products include the AR-15 rifle (used both in Newtown and yesterday's Navy Yard massacre). And more than two months after Cerberus' founder dropped a stalking horse bid due to apparent buyside interest. But still no deal.

    I think Quartz' Tim Fernholz sums up the situation best:

    "The inability to close a deal says a lot about the conflicted state of the US gun control battle. There’s clearly something wrong with owning this company—otherwise, why would Cerberus try to sell it and why would no buyers emerge? But there’s also little apparent public-relations cost (and no litigation cost—gunmakers in the US aren’t liable when their weapons are misused) to owning the firearms giant, at least as long as Cerberus claims not to want to. And meanwhile, the money just keeps rolling in."

  2. The Navy Yard shooter used a shotgun and two pistols taken from downed security personnel, no AR-15 was used at all. As usual the media screwed up the story to push assault weapon ban.

    1. From CNN - updated at 12:26 EDT today - 17SEP

      "What we know:
      Federal law enforcement sources say authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one -- a shotgun -- that investigators believe he brought in to the compound. The other two weapons -- handguns -- the sources say, may have been taken from guards."

      "What we don't know:
      The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial investigation information that an AR-15 rifle was used may have been incorrect. It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday morning's shootings. Authorities are still investigating precisely how many weapons Alexis had access to and when."

      I would stand by what I said regarding carrying a rifle-type weapon (possibly 12-gauge shotgun) into the compound. That it was not an AR-15 is relatively new information that I did not have when I wrote the column. However, the AR-15 appears to be a favorite amongst mass shooters.

  3. If seems this blog is infected with the left wing loon syndrome of blaming an inanimate object for damage inflicted by a person.

    Mass shootings are declining if you take the time to look at the real stats. Knee jerk gun control always backfires. These mass shootings have occurred in gun free zones. These zones guarantee no one can fight back and stop the perpetrator.

    Man mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens. There are several current articles that substantiate this viewpoint.

    Here is one.

    Stop blaming inanimate objects and blame those responsible; the mentally ill we have failed to take care of. The policy of emptying mental institutions and ignoring the needs of truly mentally ill have blown back on us.

    1. O gawd, does the WP really have to pay attention to this asinine response? Do the rest of us left-wing liberal loons? I come from Maine, where loons are respected & protected.

  4. Mental illness? Absolutely. But the availability of weapons to mentally ill people is clearly a factor.

    For the record, the article mentioned above referenced 9 shootings that were stopped. These are the ones that weren't stopped:

    Date Location State Type # dead
    9/16/13 Washington D.C. Public killing 12
    7/26/13 Hialeah Fla. Public Killing 6
    6/7/13 Santa Monica Calif. Public Killing 5
    3/13/13 Herkimer N.Y. Public Killing 4
    12/14/12 Newtown Conn. Public Killing 27
    9/27/12 Minneapolis Minn. Public Killing 6
    8/5/12 Oak Creek Wis. Public Killing 6
    7/20/12 Aurora Colo. Public Killing 12
    5/20/12 Seattle Wash. Public Killing 5
    4/2/12 Oakland Calif. Public Killing 7
    10/12/11 Seal Beach Calif. Public Killing 8
    9/6/11 Carson City Nev. Public Killing 4
    9/5/11 Morgantown W.Va. Public Killing 5
    1/8/11 Pima Ariz. Public Killing 6
    8/3/10 Manchester Conn. Public Killing 8
    6/6/10 Hialeah Fla. Public Killing 4
    11/29/09 Parkland Wash. Public Killing 4
    11/5/09 Killeen Texas Public Killing 13
    4/3/09 Binghamton N.Y. Public Killing 13
    3/29/09 Carthage N.C. Public Killing 8
    9/2/08 Alger Wash. Public Killing 6
    6/25/08 Henderson Ky. Public Killing 5
    3/18/08 Santa Maria Calif. Public Killing 4
    2/14/08 Dekalb Ill. Public Killing 5
    2/7/08 Kirkwood Mo. Public Killing 6
    12/5/07 Omaha Neb. Public Killing 8
    4/16/07 Blacksburg Va. Public Killing 32
    2/12/07 Salt Lake City Utah Public Killing 5
    10/2/06 Nickel Mines Pa. Public Killing 5
    4/18/06 St. Louis Mo. Public Killing 4
    3/25/06 Seattle Wash. Public Killing 6
    1/30/06 Goleta Calif. Public Killing 7

  5. I appreciate your blog. I will not get into the whole Second Amendment/Gun Rights argument with you. It's obvious you have very strong feelings about this issue. However, I will tell you that in 1988 I turned away a stalker when he realized my .38 caliber snubnose revolver was aimed at his "center mass". That is the short version of the story. If firearms are banned, this misguided enterprise will cause grave harm to women who need them for self-defense and/or defense of their families. I'll only ask you to consider this vital aspect of gun ownership. Pro-gun/pro-self defense is pro-life.

    1. Are you gun educated? Do you have a license to carry, concealed or otherwise? Do you care for your gun and keep it well cleaned and maintained? Di you keep your gun in a place where toddlers can't get at it? If you do, _you_ are not the problem. I have no wish to take away your snubnosed anything.

      I am, however, interested in making sure AK-47's are not sold in the household supplies aisle of the supermarket or bazookas as gun shows. And I am interested in making sure guns are registered and children are kept away from them.

      I do not believe for one New York minute that the Founding Fathers had the NRA in mind when they wrote the militia amendment. They didn't know from automatic weapons, and they didn't know from lunatics marching into a school and gunning down kindergarteners. I'm certain the Second Amendment would read much differently if they had.