Gabby on Guns: ‘Enough’

Two years ago after being shot in the head by a lunatic would-be assassin, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, both gun owners and supporters of the 2nd Amendment, unveiled an initiative on Tuesday to fight the gun lobby. “Enough,” Giffords told ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Their group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, will engage the public in conversation on gun violence and seek to weaken the NRA’s hold on lawmakers. Here’s some of what they had to say in an op-ed for USA Today..


Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.

As a result, we are more vulnerable to gun violence. Weapons designed for the battlefield have a home in our streets. Criminals and the mentally ill can easily purchase guns by avoiding background checks. Firearm accessories designed for killing at a high rate are legal and widely available. And gun owners are less responsible for the misuse of their weapons than they are for their automobiles.

Forget the boogeyman of big, bad government coming to dispossess you of your firearms. As a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised our Second Amendment rights, we don’t want to take away your guns any more than we want to give up the two guns we have locked in a safe at home. What we do want is what the majority of NRA members and other Americans want: responsible changes in our laws to require responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

203 thoughts on “Gabby on Guns: ‘Enough’”

  1. Unlike some of our lunatic fringe here in AZ, Gabby is an Arizonian I can be proud of, and I am.

  2. Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly: Thank you.
    Question- has anyone heard from Trayvon Martin’s parents lately? It would be a powerful force of good if they got together with Ms. Giffords and Mr. Kelly. No one (unfortunately) has more cred on the subject. Walk a mile in their shoes.

  3. There are approximately 78-80 million adult gun owners in the U.S., and the NRA has a membership of 4.3 million. The NRA isn’t the reason we have guns in this country, the reason we have guns is because Americans love them.

  4. Yep Champ, they represent a power we don’t think we have any other way. And we are living in a time where we feel pretty powerless.

  5. Champ – The NRA provides the money to get people elected to keep themselves and the gun manufacturers ever more profitable. They have absolutely nothing to do with either freedom, safety, or sensible use of firearms.

  6. It’s really all about FEAR! Think about it. We, the people, fear our own government? Isn’t that sad and scary. That’s what many are wanting to protect themselves from. The American people are scared of our government. How did we get to this place?

  7. Just got done reading last night’s comments.I’ve been working the vampire shift(9pm-7am)so get a bit behind.
    Bill,what would I say to the people in Montana? We’re all together in this. Let’s help bring America into the 21st century. Make education our top priority. An educated populace leads to better living conditions, and less crime overall. A domino effect, so to speak, for a better future.

  8. CT,

    Do you read history at all? It is full of examples where a populace is controlled through de-weaponization. We are absolutely jusitifed in fearing gov’t.

    Our country was founded on a basic fear of gov’t and rightfully so. Recent history is full of gov’t extermination of millions of innocent unarmed people.

    You think that can’t happen here????..just read this blog for awhile and see how often someone on here advocates harm to someone they disagree with.

    It’s all too common and you think that type of thinking can’t make its way into gov’t. Youu need to open your eyes….

  9. “Recent history is full of gov’t extermination of millions of innocent unarmed people.”

    Are you talking about the extermination of the Jews? I did hear about that. You think that will happen here?

  10. Jax

    Name one and the Soviet Union doesn’t count as it was never a 200 yr old democracy.

    It has never happened to a democratic society.
    I get really tired of chicken little hysteria and small brain thinking. It is amazing how much of both is drawn to this subject by wingnuts on both sides.


  11. And Jax, I just pointed out what I thought all this gun stuff is all about. Don’t shoot at me. I didn’t say whether is was right or wrong, it was just my observation.

  12. I’m no crazed weapons nut but I do own weapons. I’ve hunted all of my life. Most of my weapons are for hunting but a couple are for defense.

    I’ve taught my wife how to use them and not to fear them. It is my ferevent hope that they never leave the safe except for the occasional afternoon at the range.

    But there is absolutely no way I will accept any gov’t action which I believe will diminish my ability to defend my family, or property from any threat, criminal or otherwise. I’m a retired vet and I’ve been all over the world and have seen populaces where they are subjugated… I never want to be in that place.

  13. Jack,
    I believe that the Nazi party was democratically elected. You may have heard of them?

  14. Jack,
    I think it’s an error to assume that a democratically elected gov’t won’t subjugate it population or a portion of it.

    We’ll see how Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya fare. Even better than that let’s see how several South American democracies work out.


    “The good folks in Montana, who are possibly some of the most law abiding citizens in the US with the highest rate of gun ownership and the lowest rate of gun related crime
    might just feel a tad bit aggrieved at being placed in the same basket as the killers in the school massacres.

    So, what it the plan to accommodate the very real sensibilities of these folk?”

    Bill, When I read your comments, all I can think of is ‘Sense and Sensibilities’.

    Then I find out your an historian, and I understand why.

  16. CT,
    I certainly don’t expect anything even remotely like those examples coming from our gov’t.

    I think that our populace is too informed, and too empowered to ever allow anything like that to happen.

    But it is precisely those reasons that keep us free….not in all cases safe….But Free…

  17. How did the Nazi’s get involved in this conversation??

    We certainly don’t have to go back that far to know this is happening: “Recent history is full of gov’t extermination of…… innocent unarmed people.”

  18. Chloe,
    They were just an example of a Democracy gone bad. I agree…probably not relevant to this discussion.

  19. Jax

    As I thought you can’t name one,

    What you are promoting is an irrational fear. The sad fact is the current policy is more likely to lead to oppression in a democratic society than rational gun regulation. Why? Because as violence and disorder rise people will give up liberty for safety.
    Promotion of law and civilisation is is the best way to keep the tyrants at bay.


  20. I’m not a historian so I’d appreciate if you guys would educate me in what you are referring to. Sorry to say that history was not a big part of my education since grade school and I was daydreaming back then. I’m certainly more interested in it now.

  21. Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed millions in the 70’s. Guess the latest would be the Serbs killing thousands in the 90’s.

    I guess we’ll see with Syria…..who knows??

  22. I agree with the substance of Jax’ demand that we be allowed to maintain arms over our hearths because any and all governments are not worthy of trust; and, given the right circumstances, may bring armed force upon her own citizens.

    One of the incidents that comes to my mind was the tragic reaction to the Bonus Army back in 1933.

    American soldiers attacking American WW-I veterans and their families who were making a nuisance of themselves while peacefully demonstrating for their overseas service bonuses. This was back in 1933.

    Scroll down through the linked wiki, and you’ll find a dozen additional links when military force was applied against our own citizens in our own country.

  23. Jack,
    I just gave the worst one ever. Nazi party in Germany was democratically elected and then decided to exterminate it’s minority population.

    Did you miss the post?

  24. I’ve not heard of anyone wanting to take away our guns that we use for hunting or protection. Like I said before, I have one. I remember Flatus telling me a couple of years ago that it was probably pretty useless as guns go but it does make me feel a tad safer.

  25. I’m personally more afraid of what our government won’t do to help us out in a crisis than what they will do to get us.

  26. I know it’s not recent history but the US democratically elected gov’t broke and betrayed every treaty ever signed with every tribe in North America.

    My best friends family (Japanese American)was interned (imprisoned) for years in the 40’s by a democratically elected US gov’t headed by FDR.

    This stuff is all historical record. Not particularly shining moments for our gov’t but good examples of what can happen in trying times.

  27. CT,

    Probably wouldn’t start with confiscation. Probably start with restricting what you can buy.

    The public already is unable to own automatic weapons (hold trigger and it keeps shooting)which are ok for military only.

    They will want to restrict semi-automatic weapons (fires once when you pull the trigger)
    because those are legal now.

  28. Jax, am I understanding that you feel that there should be some policies regarding guns or do you think we should leave it alone?

    I think there should be time for a good discussion of all that is involved and then put it to a vote by everyone. I certainly don’t trust our politicians to make the decision for us.

  29. CT,
    What you need to understand about gov’t help in times of crisis is that it is set up to be the last option.

    All better options are not available or exhausted.

    With that in mind those that prepare and have contigency plans for themselves fare much better than those that rely in any way on gov’t

  30. Carol,
    I believe there are some who would want to take them away. That’s too bad as I will resist government exploring the space beneath my bed.

    In any case, should you need protection, I bet there are enough people that you helped and comforted in your jail infirmary, that all you would need do is put out the word.

    Looking at the thermometer next to my netbook (I’m sitting at the kitchen table in the breakfast room) it’s 70.2degf outside! Wonderful! I’m going to take off the first of many layers! :)

    Oh, once a year check the bullets in your weapon. If they are turning green around the bottom, that’s where the primer is, they need to be replaced. Don’t clean them.

    I would tell Toots to take the weapon and ammo to the gun shop and let them sort things out. It would be a good opportunity to test fire it as well.

  31. To get an idea on what sort of new restrictions can pass muster at the Supreme Court, I’ve been taking a look at Scalia’s stance on gun control. He’s surprisingly open to regulation, even though he wrote this in a decision striking down some DC controls:

    “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.

    It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld. Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” Justice Scalia wrote. Government buildings in general could still ban guns. And the court said it had no quarrel with “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    Justice Scalia added that laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” are “another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms.” He gave an example: “M-16 rifles and the like.”

    When the case was argued in 2008, Justice Scalia suggested that other kinds of weapons and ammunition could be regulated. “I don’t know that a lot of people have machine guns or armor-piercing bullets,” he said. “I think that’s quite unusual.”

    His use of the phrase “dangerous and unusual weapons” is interesting. I could see that emerging as a standard for exceptions to 2d amendment rights, it’s the sort of squish room the Court likes to leave for itself.

    Calling TM Legal Counsel Pogo. Your thoughts?

  32. Personally I think that there should be some form of safety and familiarization training for firearms like we do to drive a car. I think it should be part of public education.

    It’s what they do in Switzerland. The most heavily armed populace in the world.

    I believe that kids should be taught the dangers and effects of firearms in a prudent and controlled setting, not on xbox wargames.

  33. I agree totally Jax. How to accomplish that is something that I’ve pondered for a very long time. It wasn’t until I became a nurse that I was exposed to many who had no contingency plans. My last 11 years working in corrections really opened my eyes. People will get what they need even if they have to take it from the rest of us.

  34. Thanks for proving my point Jax.
    irrational fears.

    Flatus, there is a case to be made that an armed society caused the violent crack down as there was fear of a violent revolution starting in the middle of the depression. Being an armed society didn’t help them much did it?


  35. Craig,
    I agree that most of the legislation will probably move to limit the effectiveness of self defense weapons.

    ie speed of fire and magazine capacity

    There may be some move to restrict overall ownership as well.

    All of laws of course will only effect the Law Abiding.

  36. Jax

    So now you are proposing we have Switzerland style gun regulation?
    I really don’t think the American people are ready for that.


  37. Irrational Fears….perhaps

    But what if they aren’t????

    Trust us we’re from the gov’t

    I’d rather have some insurance all the same…Tks

  38. Jack,
    Doubt the US would go for conscription military service either but I do think that
    some basic firearm education in an armed society is warrante and should be part of public education.

  39. Jack, that’s a real stretch. What really happened is Gen MacArthur, D.C.’s resident patrician, exceeded his orders from Pres Hoover, and the deaths and some 1200 other casualties resulted.

  40. Scalia’s opinions count now more than ever since the SCOTUS is probably the most reactionary court since the Taney Court of the 1850’s. If people insist that they have an unlimited right to 2nd amendment rights, I want to buy an Abrams tank to put on my front lawn. That should send a message to any would-be criminal intend on house invasion. Seriously, the question is always, where do you draw the line? Obviously, no one is going to tolerate my purchase of a tank, so moving on down the chain of violence produced by guns, where should we draw the line?

  41. I really think that most of us are on the same page here if we just quit jumping to inaccurate conclusions. Can you identify an area where we disagree?

    I certainly realize that there are no perfect solutions to this problem. Maybe what is most important is that the solution is reasonable, doesn’t step on any real liberties, and indicates that we all care about our fellow human beings.

  42. CT,

    My main issue with any of this legislation is that it will do absolutely nothing to prevent what happened in Conn. It will only restrict law abiding citizens.

    It didn’t matter what kind of weapon was untilized. the most basic shotgun and pistol would have generated the same results.

    This sad situation is being used to restrict the part of the populace that actually gives credence to law and order. That’s my issue.

  43. I just wanna know, CT, if Jack regards his baseball bat as a 2d Amend weapon. If so, then we are in lock-step.

  44. President considering Executive Action….

    Democracy in action…..Hmmmmm…….

    Why am I worried?????

  45. I think that limiting speed and firepower, if that is the correct way to describe it, will give anyone in a similar situation more time to run like hell. Running is what saved some of those children’s lives. I can’t see that any firepower in the hands of the good guy’s would have been more effective than running.

    I also think that people who were armed when Ms Gifford was shot and at some of the other sites of shootings were probably hauling ass. Unless a person is very well trained and expecting to be involved in that kind of situation, even having a gun wouldn’t help. Police and soldiers are armed and about as well trained as they can be and they still too frequently die in gun battles.

  46. Flatus,

    Difficult at sea as most countries restrict your entry if weapons aboard.

    That’s why it was such a big international deal to arm the vessels in pirate waters.

  47. jaxtrader says: it will do absolutely nothing to prevent what happened in Conn. It will only restrict law abiding citizens.

    I lean disagree jax. Of course we can’t know for sure but my best guess is that had the killer’s mother not been able to legally purchase rapid-fire weapons of war I don’t read her as the type of person to go find them illegally, would have been content with less lethal firearms. In other words he would not have walked into that school with tools designed for mass murder — some would still have died but not nearly as many. None of this is going to save every life from a deranged killer but saving a few is worth the effort.

  48. Craig,
    Absolutely incorrect. I know weapons and a standard shotgun used for hunting is much more effective than a miltary style weapon in a confined space.

    Your description of rapid fire is incorrect as the military style AR-15 used is no more rapid fire than any other semi-automatic rifle or pistol.

    This “Rapid Fire Weapon of War” description is being used as if it is unique to these type of weapons but its not. My semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns have exactly the same speed and capabilities as the AR-15.

    They differ in appearance only. It is precisely this type of thought process that there is some kind of differentiation that will allow the gov’t to restrict the law abiding among us.

  49. ” My semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns have exactly the same speed and capabilities as the AR-15.”

    It’s the combination of rapid fire and capacity to hold lots of rounds. How many people could you kill with your hunting rifles and shotguns before you had to stop to reload either?

  50. CT
    Shotgun is up to 9 rounds with buckshot….this is what the Aurora Theatre shooter used to hit so many.

    Hunting rifle is 10 rounds, much larger caliber (more powerful)than the AR-15.

    Pistols are 15 rounds

    Sandy Hook shooter and Aurora theatre shooter had pistols as well which as I understand weren’t used but basic mags would be for 9-15 shells each

  51. I had three weapons in Vietnam. The one I was issued, an M14 rifle normally semi-automatic but mine was provided with a switch making it fully automatic. It was intended to fulfill the role of the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) of WW-2 fame.

    Everybody in my battalion had M14s. they were 7.62mm vs the 5.56mm of the m16 that were just being introduced. At the time, the M14 was more reliable.

    I also took over .357cal colt python revolver. I sold it when we adopted our kids.

    And a couple of us scrounged .45 cal grease-guns from the SF guys at Kontum. They were heavy has hell, but ideal for carrying and using in a jeep; our M14s were simply to cumbersome.

    Except for the fully automatic switch, the M14 would have made a fine hunting rifle. Nothing fancy; very straight forward.

    The pistol was just a plain ordinary six shooter albeit a powerful one.

    The grease gun is/was illegal as a privately owned weapon in our country. That’s as it should be.

  52. Craig,

    I suppose that the law abiding gun owners argument is that if I’m forced to defend my family or my home I’d like more ammo than the bad guy.

    Is that wrong?

  53. Craig, Stetson trained attorney that you are :) the burden is on you to explain why it should be illegal.

  54. Carol,
    I agree with so many things that you’ve said today, and believe you’ve made the conversation so much more interesting by being here. I have actually become better informed hearing ‘everyone’s’ point of view.

    The only thing I question is this: ” I can’t see that any firepower in the hands of the good guy’s would have been more effective than running.”

    If I remember correctly (and I haven’t looked back to see if I do) the first person who tackled him to try to stop him (tackled him) was the school principal.

    What if she had been licensed/permitted (and of coursed trained) to have a gun in a safe in her office. It wouldn’t have taken much to take one look at him to know there was only one way to stop him.

    One gun in the possession of the first person to come in contact with the shooter (and that person, being the principal who can be considered to have the responsibility for the well being of those students and her staff) could have stopped him dead in his tracks, even if it had to be from behind.

    Instead, the principal died immediately and the rest of the story is so horrible that it’s too painful to think about any more.

    The only alternative I can think of is an armed guard in every school (which Champ has mentioned in the past).

  55. Wow,,,good argument….I see that reason has departed this discussion….I’m off…later all

  56. from the piece cited above:

    “High-capacity magazines — devices that dramatically boost a weapon’s firing power — were prohibited from 1994 until 2004, when the federal assault weapons ban was in place. Since its lapse, high-capacity magazines have become easily accessible, turning up on shelves in gun shops and even some sporting goods stores.

    As a recent investigation revealed, during the last year of the ban in 2004, just 10 percent of the crime-related guns seized by Virginia police were equipped with high-capacity magazines, a 10-year low. By last year, with the ban expired, the percentage had surged to 22 percent.”

  57. Carol,
    You’re right. All of these mass shootings have been by cowards seeking out defenseless settings.

    Is a trained armed at every school that unthinkable? Most high schools and many middle scholls already have them.

  58. I haven’t heard of any assault rifles ever being used in a home invasion, have any of you? And I think if you are in the home and the bad guy is outside, even with just a good pistol, rifle, or shotgun, you have the advantage. And probably a reasonable capacity for ammo would be adequate.

    I sincerely believe that most reasonable people will find that there is more that we agree on that disagree on. I don’t include people like Alex Jones in the category of “reasonable”. Most everyone who I’ve met here definitely qualifies. Most of the real jerks who drop in don’t last long. Our Godfather takes care of that.

  59. Craig,

    So the criminals have high tech weapons.

    Let’s take all of those from the law abiding citizens so only the criminals have them…..


  60. Our country was founded on a basic fear of gov’t and rightfully so*. Recent history is full of gov’t extermination of millions of innocent unarmed people**.

    You think that can’t happen here????***..just read this blog for awhile and see how often someone on here advocates harm to someone they disagree with****. -Jaxtrader @ 11:05am

    *Actually, our nation was founded on hatred of colonialism and royalty.
    **This sounds more like an argument in favor of disarming government that for arming ‘the people’.
    ***Especially with the massacres of Native Americans. So, is yours a plea to arm Native Americans with high capacity, rapid reload weapons, so that they can protect themselves from the likes of joe arpaio and rick perry ?
    ****I don’t remember a single Trail Hand recommending the shooting of a dissenter. I think you are confusing TM with a different blog.

  61. Remember when Police used to revolvers….
    Why did they go to semi-automatics????

    Because law abiding citizens were out-gunning them???

    Why do they carry assault weapons in the trunk now?

    Because Law abiding citizens are out-gunning them????

    No, in each and every case law enforcement has increased its firepower due to weapons advancement by criminals. Assault gun ban or not they still managed to get them.

  62. I’ve previously looked at the help menu, and haven’t seen the instructions for embedding a you tube video. Am I just missing it? Or should I check the net.

  63. nazis didn’t disarm Germans. They only disarmed some Germans, and without much opposition from the people whose guns they confiscated.

    For instance, more than 420,000 Jews fought in the German and Austrian armies in WWI, of which just over 52,000 were killed in action.
    That leaves roughly 368,000 Jews still alive and armed after the war, with no governments to disarm them.

  64. “Is a trained armed at every school that unthinkable? Most high schools and many middle scholls already have them.”

    My problem do you cover all the territory that would need to be covered. Once the enemy knows what’s there, stalks the joint, knows where and when they will be, they will plan accordingly. Schools cover a lot of territory and with the firepower these perps have, they can come in anywhere they want. Most will be wearing armor. I think even if a SWAT team was at every school, it might not be enough.

    You’ll have to add cameras that circle the entire periphery. How about a moat with gators and a draw bridge. That gives me a new business idea. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.

    I do think that having these discussions is important.

  65. Craig, terribly self-serving use of statistical data. Will/cannot pontificate unless year-by-year data for 10-prior years (1994-2003) 2004 (2005-2002) is provided.

    Data must included production rates of large mags, etc., and number of rounds believed to be in large mags pre and post incident, etc.

    In other words, I need the information any scholar requires to support/rebut a thesis.

  66. CT,

    Thankfully we only have 2 cases to look at but I believe that a trained officer at either Columbine or Sandy Hook would have made a huge difference.

  67. I thought that they did have armed security at Columbine, or was that at Virginia Tech?

  68. A few ideas for Joe Biden regarding guns and public safety —

    1) Increased security by using better locking doors, cameras and alarms in public institutions and businesses. We do not need more guns, but smarter security. This could create jobs.

    2) Better Technology. Some day guns will only be able to be shot by their owner, fingerprint trigger, some future upgrade, etc. Cars always required keys to start at one time, remember?

    3) Denying children to own, carry or shoot guns with punitive fines for their parents. This is very controversial and highly unlikely. Why put a gun in the hands of a child? Most do not have to hunt to eat. For those who do or who sport shoot (Olympic hopefuls), they can be licensed, yearly until they reach an adult age. If this change is not made for young people, control is not possible at any level. This is done with many weapons like cars, alcohol, etc.

    4) Better rehabilitation and mental health parity in health care. The current generation of young people has suffered under the Grand Recession and many are malnourished, abused, neglected due drug addict parents, lack of money, etc. As with returning vets, there is a whole lot of PTSD going on in the US. Keep adding more guns to the mix and it won’t get better.

  69. Va Tech would have campus police but I know Columbine had none….

    Remember the big debate on why the police didn’t charge right in.

    The police at Sandy Hook didn’t hesitate and likely saved a large number of kids as he shot himself when he heard the police close in.

  70. And you still have to consider the malls, churches and theaters. For a while they did search anyone coming into sporting events. Last year, when I went to a pre-season Saints game, they searched my purse and confiscated some candy I had in it. I didn’t even bring it in to eat it there, I was traveling and it was just in there. Dang, it was a full box of whatever it was.

  71. At Sandy Hook, thank God, they had marvelously trained little children, and trained and wonderfully brave teachers.

    Without the training and the bravery and the adherence to duty, it could have been unimaginably worse.

  72. 32% of German Jews and 36% of Austrian Jews escaped before the Holocaust. Even if the escapees were armed with the WWI weapons at a rate twice that of those who remained in the reich, there still should have been at least 123,000 firearms in the hands of the Jews.

    In other words, guns in the hands of the people didn’t count for much.

  73. I hate to be a spoil sport but I sincerely believe that whoever was the first to confront the kind of shooters that these guys were, with their prep and firepower, would most likely just be the first to find himself/herself dead. Might have to consider hiring someone who believes in those 50 or so virgins in the afterlife.

  74. “I was traveling and it was just in there. Dang, it was a full box of whatever it was.” CT@3:11PM

    It’s too late now, but you could have submitted a claim to Sea. 😕

  75. “Last year, when I went to a pre-season Saints game, they searched my purse and confiscated some candy I had in it. I didn’t even bring it in to eat it there”

    LOL, Carol!

    They’d better keep their hands off my candy (there’s always some in my purse, just for emergency – and I often need it). This is not a joke, I never know when I’ll get so stressed, that sugar is the only answer.

  76. Xrep,

    Firearms are just tools… must have the will as well.

    I’m sure at the time they gave up their guns that they didn’t think their gov’t would try to exterminate them.


  77. At the end of WWI at least 12 M!LL!ON russian soldiers trudged home with their weapons in a country without a working government to confiscate them. Yet 15 years later the reds were starving people to death and shooting people to death by the M!LL!ONs without much hindrance from russian gunowners.

  78. Chloe, I think they would have let me keep a gun if I had it in my purse, they just didn’t want to miss out on a candy sale. I did bitch about it but it was either give up the candy or give up the game.

  79. ” I sincerely believe that whoever was the first to confront the kind of shooters that these guys were, with their prep and firepower, would most likely just be the first to find himself/herself dead.”

    The first person dies regardless. At least someone armed, well trained and responsible, has a chance… even if it’s one in a (put your own odds here).

  80. Flatus, if they would have taken some of Sea’s candy that was in my purse, they would have had to chase me. Or I might have reconsidered whether seeing the game was worth it.

  81. Thanks for making my point, Jax.

    You can have all the guns in the world, but without a kamikaze desire to destroy government, guns aren’t worth spit.

  82. IOW, guns don’t provide freedom and safety. People provide freedom and safety.

  83. Movies are just lures to drag you past the popcorn cooker.

    Has anyone else noticed the smell of chocolate around the snack counter? I’m sure it’s aerosol, ‘cuz there sure isn’t any real chocolate in the case.

  84. 150,000 (+/-) US schools X ave 2 entry ways X average 9 guard hours per day X 180 days per year X $7.50 per hour wage = $3B!LL!ON 645 M!LL!ON per year.

    Bill the nra.

  85. 150,000 schools X 2 entryways per X ($500.00 weapon + $800 body armor $20 ammo + 100 certification program) = #426 M!LL!ON start up costs.

    Bill the nra.

  86. Jax,

    I thought you were going to complain about the high labor cost, ‘cuz wayne de la frenchie says we can get all those guards for free.

  87. I suppose that the law abiding gun owners argument is that if I’m forced to defend my family or my home I’d like more ammo than the bad guy.

    Is that wrong?

    I guess you gotta live in my neighborhood to appreciate the comedy in that statement cause Jax that makes you sound like a drug dealer.
    They are the ones that get their door kicked in by heavily armed strangers.

    Yet another irrational fear.


  88. Jax, and Flatus — i appreciate getting the gun owner/enthusiast perspective here, just wanna be clear on that. Here’s the test i’d like to apply as we get specifics on Obama’s proposals — how will they directly affect what you own? Because law-abiding folks like yourselves deserve protection. That’s the balancing act. So please do keep us posted as we learn what might actually be done.

  89. Not sure who that is but I certainly don’t want an armed guard that will work for $7.50/hr….laughs

  90. Jack,

    We have alot of home invasions in Houston but lately quite a few have been coming in on armed homeowners.

    Having said that I’m willing to bet that quite a few of them are drug dealers here as well….laughs

  91. Jax,

    Spare no expense ! If you’d feel more comfortable paying the guard $60/hr, that’s fine.

    Just send that bill to the nra.

  92. Craig,

    We’ll see. I have a couple larger mags for one of my pistols. It might be in the discussion. I don’t have an assault style rifle but I do have hunting rifles that might fall under some of the criteria…..not sure.

    My guess is that whatever federal regs come out Texas will probably opt out of anyway so maybe it’ll have no impact on me at all.

  93. In order to protect us from Big Gummint we all have a right to land mines, hand grenades, incendiary bombs, and anthrax aerosols, right ?

    Wasn’t the Geneva Convention just the first step to take away our anthrax ?

  94. Xrep,
    Every secondary school in our district already has armed police officers. Only the elementary schools have none. I suspect its that way in a large majority of the school districts so much of that money is already being spent.

  95. I’m just a dumb lawyer, and I do own (although don’t possess) a small arsenal of firearms. I do believe the 2nd amendment bestows a right of arms keepship and bearship – and I take that to mean ownership whether I’m part a a militia or not. SCOTUS tells me it does, and agree or not, I have to accept its judgment on that issue. But all rights are limited, and I don’t know what the limits are. I believe that all firearms in the hands of bad guys started out as legally manufactured pieces through an initial legal sale, but got lost in the shuffle after they entered the stream of commerce. Placing reasonable limits on what can be manufactured ans sold will IMHO reduce the availability of high cap stuff in the hands of bad guys as well. I don’t see this as much different from fighting malaria – you inoculate against it and try to control the source. How you control the source is a policy issue. What say we just issue an AR15 to everyone at birth. Parity of force – think that will keep bad guys from shooting anyone? I doubt it.

  96. Pogo,

    Illegal arms sales are big business in most of the world. Not too big in the US because the country already so well armed.

    Doubt it will eclipse drug smuggling but I could see gun running again becoming lucrative in the US if new laws become significantly restrictive.

  97. I think that what is often forgotten is the common burglar doesn’t want anybody at home. If you make a little noise he is gone. For almost anything else a good dog is better and less likely to kill you than a gun.
    Now if you are dealing drugs and doing so on someone else’s turf than maybe you need to be armed.


  98. The only way I can see to defeat gunnuttery is to invoke and take ownership of the 2d Amendment, from which gunnut arguments derive.

    Therefore, mandate 50 state militias, to hold and manage the weaponry,and stand vigilantly against an invasion or the rise of a dictator. States can determine how they want to organize their militia units – by county, municipality, ward, or precinct. However, each state must have stringent guidelines for the safe handling of the ammo and weapons under their charge.

  99. Folks, just up here in Oz and have ploughed through the 123 comments regarding the gun debate. Here is my conclusion as a non-US citizen, an outsider looking in if you will.


    You folks are some of the most rational thinkers I have had the pleasure of meeting so I know this is not your regular daily fare. But folks this “debate” is more like the gates have been left open and the inmates are out.

    Now I understand why nothing gets done. Sad to say, nothing will get done again if this above series of shouts is what passes as the gun debate in the US.

    Here’s some of the starting propositions.

    1. You can’t ever trust any government. Anyone who comes up with this insane proposition basically is saying they can’t trust their next door neighbour because that is who the government is. Not only that but these proponents only talk about the vague “them” rather than cite real examples of injuries and oppression personally experienced and catalogued by them as proven and then sent it to the UN as a complaint against their personal Human Rights. To this the answer is none. It is a pure nonsense designed by idiots to create a strawman and so divert a serious discussion between adults.

    2. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia slaughtered their own people after disarming them. Those who raise this tripe up should be forced to read up on Godwin’s law and then take a course in the difference between relevant and irrelevant propositions. This is the most irrelevant and fatuous strawman dreamed up by some insane adolescent who never had the opportunity for adult conversation.

    3. Ban all guns. The other extreme. Again irrelevant and based upon an adolescent fairy tale that if a law is passed then everyone will follow it. If the Volstead could not enforce the 18th Amendment, then pray tell how banning guns will occur regarding the 2nd? It is a fantasy position.

    4. The 2nd Amendment and Constitution is inviolable. There is nothing sacred about a constitution as it is a living document changed and twisted to suit the needs of the time. One of the finest pieces of Constitutional manipulation in the history of the US is Rowe v Wade. Another Constitutional rectification was the removal of the 18th Amendment. A constitution is a statement of aspirations in behaviour and not a concrete block. Aspirations change and so does a constitution.

    5. Guns mean power to the powerless. This puts the concept of gun ownership into the hands of the psychiatrists with a gestalt proposition. Unless each and every person who owns a gun has a recorded session with a qualified member of the American Psychiatric Association and admits under these conditions that they feel powerless and the ownership of a gun restores that power, then it is a non starter and another strawman argument cloaked under the guise of psychobable.

    That doesn’t mean that sensible conversation lies underneath all this commentary. It does. It is just difficult to find underneath the layers of strawman arguments.

    Flatus 01/09/2013 at 2:15 PM gave a good account of his experience with gun handling. Not one part of his commentary indicated that he had used these gun to perpetrate any crime or cause his fellow citizens any injury. If you are advocating gun control, you need to be able to explain to Flatus in usable terms why his access to these weapons should be curtailed. And at the same time Flatus needs to explain why he believes that any restrictions placed upon these weapons will lead to his personal oppression a la the Bonus Army cited by him. See Point #1.

    And folks, make no mistake about it. In the end, your conversation is with Flatus and millions like him to get any meaningful reform. In addition, it is for Flatus and his kindred spirits to make the case for retention that is rooted in common sense. If you cannot get Flatus on side here with propositions, you won’t get middle America on side and nothing will change.

    That’s my 2 bobs worth here.



  100. xrep,
    Militias were made up of volunteer individuals armed and independent of centralized gov’t. it’s why state reps had to go request militia involvement on many military campaigns.

    Militias were merely organized elements of armed citizenry. The right to bear arms is an individual right which then allows for the formation of armed local militias.

    This is why the individual state national guards are no longer considered militia as they are actually controlled by the federal gov’t.

  101. Bill,

    I read your somewhat verbose critique of the lively little debate and after finishing realized that I am absolutely no more informed than when I started….and no opinion to draw from to boot…

    I understand that you aren’t from the US and may not understand our somewhat unique stance on guns especially for a civilzed society.

    I guess the only real way to put this is that many in the US athough law abiding still object to the even the most absurd possibility of being RULED.

    Most Europeans and colonial countries are quite comfortable being ruled as their history is one of being subjects to a higher power. Ours is one of throwing off the yoke of rule through force.

    Guns and the right to bear them are still central to many here as they (however tenuously) demonstrate our freedom from being RULED.

  102. You folks are some of the most rational thinkers I have had the pleasure of meeting so I know this is not your regular daily fare. But folks this “debate” is more like the gates have been left open and the inmates are out.

    Bill…. thank you!

  103. Illegal gun sales occur – as does theft of legally acquired guns. And some of the sales are are probably arms brought illegally into the US. So if bad (or good) guys can get guns illegally we should not see how to regulate the supply of guns? Sorry, I don’t buy that as a reasonable position.

    I suspect that most arms sold illegally were legally manufactured and sold legally in the first instance. Whether bad guys get guns legally or illegally doesn’t matter. Copious legal gun sales increase the number of guns available in the stream of commerce – whether subsequent sales are legal or illegal. My point is that restricting the number of guns available overall through whatever means restricts the number of guns available to acquire by whatever means. One of the guns I own most likely left the ownership of the legal owner illegally – but the police never got a report of it having been stolen.

    I don’t think we’ll solve this problem here, and certainly not today. So I’m leaving. Bye.

  104. I lived in WHITE exurbia for a decade and had a break-in almost every year. One time, they burglars stole a rifle that I kept to shoot burglars.

    Since we moved to this mixed neighborhood in the middle of town 29 years ago, I’ve had only 2 burglary attempts. I was home both times and scared the pee out of them – once with my 12 gauge, and once with a blast of my stentorian voice.

    For the last decade, whenever we’ve left for an extended period, we’ve put a mannikin by a front window to guard. The mannikin plays music just loud enough that people standing by the front, back, or carriage doors can hear it. Since instituting this system, the burglars stopped coming around.

  105. I still want my tank on the lawn; ok, maybe just behind the 12 foot gate in the side yard!

  106. Jax,
    “Militias were made up of volunteer individuals armed and independent of centralized gov’t.”

    Right. That was then, this is now. The Feds can mandate militias, set guidelines, inspect, and otherwise leave them to state or local control.

  107. eprof.

    I could loan you one of my big forklifts….it drives like a tank…. 😉

  108. And no, the right to bear arms is predicated upon the needs of a “well-constituted militia”. No well-constituted militia = no right to keep and bear arms. Sorry.

    Now,the only reason for setting up militias is to prevent the Feds from rounding up weapons.

    Btw, some people may not wish to be ruled, but rule is exactly what the Constitution does. Most of us like the rule and the Constitution. Most of us object to attempts to eliminate law and order.

  109. Jax – “I am absolutely no more informed than when I started

    Mate, apart from the ad homs and patronising xenophobia dripping from your post, it is this phrase which sums up your position.

    Nothing will inform you. Your mind was made up before posting and nothing, not even common sense, will open your mind. It is this mindset that has led to all the massacres in the US.

    In Oz we call this mindset: “F@#K YOU JACK, I’M ALRIGHT.”

    It’s not rational, it’s not community building, but it is based upon the divine right of the individual to screw anyone and everyone without retribution.


    But then the whole gun debate is based upon fantasy.

  110. Bill,

    Figured I could scare an opinion out of you.

    and didn’t have to wade through the verbosity…now isn’t that easier…..laughs

  111. Per exemplum, Tombstone, AZ was terrorized by armed and dangerous cowboys who didn’t want to be ruled, and who shot people for kicks. Tombstone finally brought in the Earps to establish law and order. The cowboys didn’t like it when Big Government shot back at them and took their guns away.

  112. I’d like to see wayne la pierre, charlton heston, and tom selleck stand up to Delta Force. The idea that fat old drunks in Tennessee could overthrow a dictator is stupid.

    It’s stupid.

  113. xrep,

    I don’t know. Did you see any video of the idiots that overthrew Gadafy.

    I’ll bet the majority died by friendly fire.

  114. If they want to own and play with high capacity, fast reload, guns let them do so, but as part of a militia. And, make sure they train hard and go on weekend maneuvers and weeklong bivouacs, to keep them in shape in case they ever have to overthrow a dictator.

  115. Those Libyans had shoulder-fired missiles, grenade launchers, and mortars, besides their AK-47s.

  116. xrep,
    Just so you’re up on the terminology. High capacity mags hold alot of bullets so you don’t have to reload.

    Fast reload is just the changeout of the mag.
    All mags change out at the same speed.

    The difference would a 30 shot mag- no change-out

    10 shot mag – 2 changeouts

    Just so you don’t sound like a noob on the next discussion with another gun owner.

  117. xrep,
    yeah, and they all ran around with them like they just got to celebrate christmas….

    they shot all there ammo in the air every time
    they shot up a yugo.

  118. Yes, Jax, the Arab tradition of wasting tons of ammo in random firing to celebrate victory certainly keeps the population from exploding. I’m glad I wasn’t there to share their joy.

  119. Jax,

    We’re using the same diction. A few thoughts before I have to fire up the broiler:

    30 rounds is a lot of ammo. 30 round mags ducktaped end to end – pull out, reverse, shove back in, and shoot – give you a quick 60 rounds. With one in the chamber, a 30 round mag in the weapon, and a dozen 30 round mags clipped to a bandolier (gravity pulls the loaded mags down, so your ammo cycles around your shoulder and chest like a Gatling gun) firing 391 rounds is quick and fairly easy. 391 rounds is formidable fire suppression – or a formidable massacre. The main problem, as WhskyJack has said, is the capacity to fire many rounds. 30 round clips give you that capacity. Some time is lost in switching mags, and in the heat of the moment, you can fumble them. But having 30 rounds in a mag to begin with makes it easier for the perp than having to juggle 30 rounds in 6 seperate clips.

  120. Here’s a few numbers.

    December 14,2012 Newtown,Connecticut:

    Charlotte Bacon, 6
    Daniel Barden, 7
    Rachel Davino, 29
    Olivia Engel, 6
    Josephine Gay, 7
    Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
    Dylan Hockley, 6
    Dawn Hochsprung, 47
    Madeleine Hsu, 6
    Catherine Hubbard, 6
    Chase Kowalski, 7
    Jesse Lewis, 6
    James Mattioli, 6
    Grace McDonnell, 7
    Anne Marie Murphy, 52
    Emilie Parker, 6
    Jack Pinto, 6
    Noah Pozner, 6
    Caroline Previdi, 6
    Jessica Rekos, 6
    Avielle Richman, 6
    Lauren Rousseau, 30
    Mary Sherlach, 56
    Victoria Soto, 27

    December 24,2012 Webster, New York:

    Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43
    Tomasz Kaczowka, 19

  121. Jax, thanks for that.

    To add some more humour, this is how I see the gun debate in the US. The quality of argument is very similar to this wonderful scene. Just substitute Dianne Feinstein or Gabrielle Giffords for the witch and everything else falls into place. :roll:


  122. Although I had a cross on my helmet, I did get to fire, strip, and clean M-16s in the ’60s. I don’t think I rate as a noob, exactly.

    Also, in the old days, I bought and sold antique and used weapons, including semi-automatic weapons, and weapons that could easily convert to full auto. Conversion kits were available at gun shops and through mail order. There were also little automatictrigger pullers that could turn an AR-15 into a slow automatic – maybe 200 – 250 rounds per minute. Just a guess on the RoF.

    There was also the M-3 in Viet Nam. Neat, but at .45 caliber and little mass, they’d really hurt a shooter’s body.

  123. Craig, I agree. Doozy is a bit tame, though. My advice: Don’t wear your good shoes.

  124. I don’t want to take people’s guns or ammo, but I want to keep the high capacity equipment out of the hands of mass murderers. Therefore, I propose the institution of state or local militias operating under Federal rules.

    An unfunded mandate,to boot !

  125. Wow! This thread had a certain..,’take no prisoners’ feel to it.

    What a read. 😉

  126. Dear Chicken-Littles:
    You have guns and assault weapons to defend yourself from a “Tyrannical government.” Hate to break it to you, but they have tanks, cannons, planes, ships, missiles, drones, and troops. The government also has the wherewithal to use it on those that do not fall in place. Please spare everyone your “defense from a tyrannical government” pabulum. What this government wants, it usually gets, up to and including YOUR GUNS! Also, please spare us the “Hitler” BS. You cheapen and demean the 20 million who died, and this country is nowhere near the state Germany was in during that time.

  127. I don’t know about anyone else but I was pleased to see that we could have this discussion without anyone getting seriously wounded. I also think we agree on more than we disagree on.

  128. Hi all,
    Enjoyed the gun debate.. Me personally, i hate guns.. Maybe having had to fight my distraught father to get the revolver out of his mouth caused that?? Umm, seems he didn’t want to live anymore once my Mom was dying, yep i hate guns, no apologies..

    Your over the top and really talk down to people, not nice..

    You make the most sense to me on the subject and i thank you very much for your well thought out posts!

  129. The real problem as I see it, is most folks are talking the same old talk about gun control, and that pisses gun nuts off.

    However, if we adopt the language of the nra and use it against them, they’ll be helpless to resist. Honor the nra and put them to work helping to organize militias, and the victory over school and theater massacres is in hand.

  130. The nra is presently the creature of and astroturf spokesorg for the manufacturers. Using nra language to co-opt them into helping organize militias takes the megaphone away from the industry.

  131. The Left cannot win this one talking like lefties. The Left has to use rightwingnutbag language to defeat the rightwingnutbags. Force the righties to live their words (and to rough it for a week or two outside every winter up north, and every summer from Nevada to Florida). Give ’em the he-man experience. Make them carry all that deadly gear they love for 50 miles on a forced march through the blazing dust or chilly bogs – for AMERICA and for FREEDOM !

    When Lefties talk like the righties, the rightwingnuts are boxed in tight.

    This is what Sun Tzu would call striking into emptiness. Or in this case, striking into empty headedness.

  132. The words speak for themselves:

    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.

    I’m just not at all sure what can be done to stop random big-shoot violence, and I don’t expect any laws to come from anything I think and probably not from what anyone else here thinks, but the words “well regulated militia” are hard to get around.

  133. And if the weaponry are to protect you from the tyrannical government, I hope your fort is stronger than that plywood palace in Waco.

    Or those of the Confederacy, for that matter.

  134. Everyone agrees crazy people should not have guns.

    They should start with the guy who was on Pierce Morgan’s show.

    Since we have shown ourselves to be incompetent in keeping crazy people from having guns — we must do everything we can to mitigate the problem.

    Mr. Cracker thinks perhaps the NRA ..needs a new cause that would still allow them to be the NRA — he is suggesting that National Rumba Association

  135. Fuck the NRA in plain English. All they are worried about is collecting their sheeps’ dues.

  136. Book of the Month: THE RUNAWAY JURY, by Grisham. Standard Grisham fare except for the fact that it very explicitly points out how Big Tobacco fights lawsuits brought against them. Mind boggling tactics and all the money in the world. I would imagine Big NRA engages in much the same tactics in different areas.

  137. i’m all for respecting the perspective of legitimate, law-abiding gun owners and protecting their 2d Amendment rights. But the NRA has forfeited it’s role in this debate as nothing but a cynical and fraudulent lobbyist for the gun industry. Even a majority of their own members want something done.

  138. Gun and ammo stockpilers aren’t really worried about the tyrannical US government. They’re worried about when the gov’t falls apart, completely goes under, and there is no law west of the Atlantic. In such a scenario, the guns would come in handy.

  139. Tony, thanks. I understand completely where you are coming from. Her indoors mother regularly played chicken with drugs and alcohol until one day her mother lost. At 11 she became an adult dealing with police, the coroner, a grieving sister and a funeral, all the while trying to absorb the loss. It leaves an indelible memory that time never erases.

  140. Craig, “But the NRA has forfeited it’s role in this debate as nothing but a cynical and fraudulent lobbyist for the gun industry.” Regardless of what you say about the NRA, your conclusion can only be true when their membership and constituency deserts them. Until then they will remain a serious negotiating partner in any legislative deal, given their current membership and clout. Even if they are not invited to any meetings with the law makers, their presence will be like Banquo’s ghost.

  141. Sturge

    Is that the same group that were buying solar powered cell phone chargers so their cell phones would work when things went to hell.
    I think they may be a little short on concept there.


  142. And by the way, we need chuck hagel and that torture enthusiast john brennan like we need another bush white house.

    I understand that making hagel the SoD will help bust up the puguglican party, and while I think that is a sufficient reason to consider him, he brings no management history or diplomatic skills to a post that requires management and diplomacy. Bull In China Shop Alert. We need someone who can tame the DoD, not someone who antagonizes people.

    brennan ? Make him scrub floors in the torture chambers of abu ghraib. Dirty bastard.

  143. Let the NRA keep talking. With any luck they are so lost in their echo chamber that they will out perform Tod Akins here in Missouri. A year ago there was no way Claire McCaskill was going to be reelected.


  144. Disagree, Bill. NRA “clout” is a myth. They lose most contested races where they spend real money. The last few years they’ve spent most of their campaign dollars for friendly incumbents who were going to win anyway, thus boosting their effectiveness rates. Operatives in both parties have come to realize they are a paper tiger. Even their membership stats are phony. Just try asking to see their proof. Doesn’t happen. Many haven’t paid dues for years. (Which, btw, is not unusual for a lot of DC’s bogus “grass-roots” organizations which are really fronts for industry groups. Some count anyone who looks at their website a “member.”) These guys are finished. Completely unmasked.

  145. Most people when they talk about using a gun for self defense think of Jack Reacher, when what they really get is Barney Fife


  146. You can’t be both pro-gun and pro-life at the same time.

    This concept is another tool for pealing people away from the nra. And it splits the gunuglican party along pro-gun and pro-life lines. That’s good for the gun argument & the women’s rights argument.

  147. Craig, mate, if all you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt your well rounded knowledge, then it follows that the gun control debate is done and dusted because the key protagonist (antagonist perhaps) is out of the game. But it is far from a done deal. The noise generated on this page, which is reflective of that going on throughout middle America, indicates that the residual influence is still powerful. It may well be Banquo’s ghost but the impact is none the less real.

  148. This poll shows a very different attitude among gun owners toward restrictions than the NRA spinners would have us believe. Washington is suddenly beginning to realize the NRA doesn’t so speak for gun owners as much as it does for gun makers, its real constituency. Wouldn’t surprise me if the gun barons give Wayne LaPierre the boot before this is over with, they need a new front man for their crap.

    1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 87 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter.

    2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns. Support ranges from 80 percent among non-NRA gun-owners to 71 percent among NRA members.

    3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen. 71 percent non-NRA gun-owners support this measure, as do 64 percent of NRA members.

    4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older. 84 percent of non-NRA and 74 percent of NRA member gun-owners support the safety training restriction, and the numbers are 74 percent and 63 percent for the age restriction.

    5. Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence. The NRA/non-NRA gun-owner split on these issues is 81 percent and 75 percent in favor of the violent misdemeanors provision and 78 percent/68 percent in favor of the domestic violence restriction.

  149. I’d be interested in knowing more about the new mystery man José Galloza. Care to share?

  150. A word about PBS …

    Last week they began a new series called “Life on Fire”. Tonight’s episode was called “Volcano Doctors”.
    A quote from that show :
    Old Columbian Shaman –
    ” The volcano is angry, because the old ways are dying………. And when she dies, her daughters will wake up. “

  151. I wrote a rather great line today –

    Anything to avoid the 2 trillion ton elephant in the room.

  152. And for a little lighter subject, but still related to guys and their guns, sorta, did anything think it was sooo bad that the ESPN sports announcer commented about how attractive Alabama’s QB’s girlfriend was? I didn’t think it was so inappropriate but I think he got a lot of flack for doing it.

  153. In 2009 Australia suffered a series of firestorms, much worse than normal. In early February (summer), the news media reported more than 200 deaths and more than 750 homes destroyed by the most prolific bushfires ever documented on the Australian continent. This year’s firestorms are much worse, with daytime ambient temperatures setting all-time records.

    The last 4 months have the driest Spring and Summer in Australian records. Except near Perth, some spots near there set all time 24 hour rainfall records.

  154. Now in Australia, drought condition conducive to widespread outbreaks of wildfire extends out of the desert, semi-desert and Mediterranean dry summer climates and into the Humid Subtropical and even Marine climates. One of the most damaging fires this week occurred in Tasmania.

    If Australia’s ongoing disaster is any indication of what’s to come for the continent, residents must develop planning strategies to adapt even more to future disasters from increasingly hotter and dryer conditions.

  155. “I’d be interested in knowing more about the new mystery man José Galloza. Care to share?

    I found it interesting too, and wish he would expound on what he said some more.

    I’d prefer he didn’t call us “Chicken-Littles” , although I am interested in the substance of his thoughts, and wonder where they’d lead.

    For instance, referring to: ‘What this government wants, it usually gets’. Is he talking about the last several administrations, or is he talking about the Obama Administration.

    Like Carol said: care to share? I, for one, will listen with an open mind.

  156. The price of wheat :

    USDA declares drought disaster in much of Wheat Belt,0,5429058.story
    The price of hard red winter wheat FOB New Orleans was up over 22% in 2012.

    The price of moving wheat …….

    Barge operators on the Mississippi River say the worst drought in 80 years may put at risk gains from emergency dredging and rock removal aimed at keeping the nation’s busiest waterway open at least for this month.
    “The only way that we could maintain a navigable channel would be releases from the Missouri River system” if Mississippi conditions worsen, Scott Noble, a senior vice president for Ingram Barge Co., said yesterday at a meeting in southern Illinois. That option is “probably not very likely,” he said later in an interview.

  157. The price of moving wheat …….

    “Oh we’ll just put it in trucks and rail cars.”

    This assumes there are lots of spare rail cars, and truck trailers in the system.

    One 15-Barge Tow Equals 216 Rail Cars or 1,050 Trucks

    Ingram Barge Co.

  158. Craig:

    Just saying the gun industry/aka NRA have lost control of the debate.

    Not so sure this is a good thing. I understand the concept of divide and conquer but if the influence of the NRA is such that it forms only a peripheral part of the debate then the US is in territory that appears to be volatile. Reminds me of the PLO in Palestine. They lost their authority and now it is impossible to craft a peace agreement. Similarly with gun control. You need city bosses who can influence and control their people and so guarantee a certain level of compliance. Without that, any legislation is a shot in the dark with no direction in terms of compliance. At the end of the day, voluntary compliance to law is the aim and hence the negotiations with credible representatives of all views is crucial. It is through mutual agreements brought about by convergences of interests that coalitions are forged and law can be enacted that has a hope of being obeyed on a voluntary basis. The items you mention appear to be a given. I hope that is the way the debate goes.

  159. CBob, thanks for your interest mate. We are right smack in the centre of the catastrophic fire area. We may have dodged the bullet on Monday but summer is not over and we have a long ways to go until we get some rain.

    Moving wheat is always a problem. Rail is the only way we can move it in Oz. Our rivers are not big enough to cope with the traffic. So our rail capacity is excellent for moving grain.

    In an earlier life, I spent a decade defending wheat and barley farmers from the deprivations of the banks. They were good people who were sucked into loans that were in the end toxic. They ended up losing their farms. I worked at giving them a couple seasons with which to build up sufficient funds so they could survive the loss of their livelihood. The banks used to groan when I walked through their doors to state my case. :smile: I had a lot of good judges who absolutely hated what the banks were doing and did everything to facilitate my actions. We couldn’t stop the loss of the farms but we sure as hell could frustrate the banks for a few years.

  160. Bill, my point is that many legitimate gun owners swear no allegiance to the NRA and understand the need for reasonable constitutional measures to keep weapons away from criminals. Every family member and friend I know with guns, and there are a bunch, aren’t even members. I’ve asked them. An uncle who joined once — basically by accident when it was slipped into his purchase papers — ultimately canceled because he was sick of their junk mail hating on Bill Clinton. An appeal to gun owners along the lines you describe can be made without buying into the NRA’s self-anointed role as their sole representative. (By the way, I have similar issues with the AARP, which is basically a giant insurance company pretending to represent all retirees.) If the NRA wants to finally fess up as the gun industry association, and have a seat at the table in that role, then fine.

  161. I’m an official marksman on the M-14 rifle set on semiautomatic and a qualified expert on the M-16 automatic rifle and I had insignias proving so until I left them at The Wall in Washington in 1985.

    I have limited opinions on gun laws and reform because I think the Second Amendment’s purpose has been twisted and corrupted by wackos like Wayne LaPierre , and talk and monologues do no good in stopping the killing.
    My viewpoint is so simple it is always laughed at and dismissed, so I usually stay out of discussions with Americans, but I believe this: less guns less killings. I think Piers Morgan said only 35 people were murdered by gunshot in Great Britain in 2012. Chicago will have that many before the first day of spring, 2013. Make it hard to get guns, less killings result.
    Simplicity isn’t only for morons.

  162. Last night’s NBC Nightly News didn’t lead off with guns, but the flu. This flu of 2013 is killing people in scores now. Boston is in full flu emergency.
    I call on the spirit of Chief Dan George to cast a spell of protection over all Trail Mixer households to keep the flu away.

  163. Jaxtrader, In case no one else has commented, I don’t think nazi’s were elected democratically. They got popular
    but the idea of a democracy in that
    environment is problematic.

  164. bethyboo, yes, Hitler was democratically elected. In the last elections of the period, the Nazis won the popular vote which brought Hitler into the Chancellery as the Prime Minister overseeing a coalition government.

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