No true Republican...


You Taxachusetts libruls hate live free or die but it is our Gawd given right to strut around with our pistols. There might be a coydog sneaking around the fahm.

By GraniteTanGuy (not verified) on 14 Aug 2009 #permalink

Wait, no true Republican in this case is a Libertarian.

the burns

From chewing gum and pogo sticks to a goddamned gun? Was there a step missed somewhere there?

It is not wrong to state that actions have consequences and that is essentially what Jefferson and this man's sign do.

Carrying a gun is a violent act?

The irony... indeed it burns.

You know the state motto of New Hampshire: Live Free and Die Stupid.

By Mitch Nauffts (not verified) on 14 Aug 2009 #permalink

I wonder what would have happened if someone brought a loaded weapon into an event where Bush was speaking? My guess is labeled a terrorist and taken to a secret prison somewhere.

I was driving behind a giant pick-up truck today featuring two chilling bumper stickers:
Driver's side: "Obama Hates America"
Passenger's side: (printed next to a large picture of a rifle sight) "This is my peace sign"

Sometimes the gulf just seems unbridgeable.

By Jennifer B. Phillips (not verified) on 15 Aug 2009 #permalink

Jennifer, I agree. I think I generally find myself on the other side of the gulf, but I agree. I can't understand politics the way progressives seem to and I can't understand why having a gun is a bad thing.

I don't see anything wrong with the "This is my peace sign" and I think the "Obama Hates America" sign is wrong, but I understand where some people might get that idea. He did insult a few groups on his way up.

My zip code is semi-rural, but still within the city limits of Shreveport. I hear gunfire occasionally and think nothing of it. Most of this gunfire is to frighten away our 4-legged undomesticated friends from our domesticated ones.

I have a feeling from some of the things I've read (not necessarily your post) that some people would have a heart attack while hitting the deck.

Recently, I posted a photo of a paper target from a first-time shooter who is thinking about buying a gun and wanted to try several out while getting lessons before purchasing one. I posted it as "mulch for the tree of liberty" and found that some thought that was "sick".

I merely see it as a metaphor for whatever action cares for and promotes liberty, with the ultimate meaning that those actions will prevent ever having to water the tree, in this country, again.

To me, this is the same sort of thinking that Craig Fugate is using when he says that the government must enlist the public.


On the other hand, I don't understand the hostility to gay marriage, adoption by gay couples, or the insane repetition that "this is a Christian nation" and the puritan notion that "evil" befalls us because we have "sinned". Actually, that last one I see in thinly disguised forms on the left.

I'm sorry, Donna, but I gotta call bullshit.

Guns per se are not a bad thing. Guns combined with inflammatory rhetoric such as "water the tree of liberty" is advocating violent revolution. To suggest that it's merely "a metaphor for whatever action cares for and promotes liberty" is at best disingenous.

The divide comes from people who can't handle losing. Conservative values took a real beating over the last 8 years, as "real Americans" got a good look at what those values have become. Reasonable people can come to reasonable compromises. When some people start waving their penis substitutes guns and flags around, screaming about the end of the country because they lost? That's insanity. This guy needs therapy.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 15 Aug 2009 #permalink

Lance, I wasn't talking about "that guy" but rather myself and metaphor of "mulch" and not understanding the gulf. So call it bullshit if you want, but there are many many people like me out here who may own guns and see the meaning in the metaphor of mulch that cringe a bit at the watering metaphor.

IOW, do not put words in my mouth.

And second, I am so frickin' non-violent, the only time in my life that I was attacked, I was too stunned to respond. I didn't fight back.

I do not fear anything and despite what you may have concluded about me, do not carry a gun except when I am in the "wild". I honestly do not fear humans, and perhaps stupidly, think I can depend on my wits to defend myself against 99% of them.

The metaphor is one of preparedness and prevention. And no, I don't think it should be carried to extremes as is advocated on some very right wing sites. This is because I basically have very little fear of anything (except heights!)

I think you calling BS on me is indicative of the gulf more than anything else.

Inflammatory rhetoric happens on both sides and the only people who might possibly respond with actual violence are those who have some severe mental problems to begin with.

Could it possibly be one thing we can agree on is that mental health treatment in this country sucks?

On gun ownership in general, I'm pretty neutral. I'm not a hunter myself, but I don't begrudge anyone with a permit from banging away at whatever game they can hit in the nearby woods (I live just inside the city limits, too--and so far my cardiac fitness is no worse for wear). I see far less justification in handgun ownership, as there really doesn't seem to a purpose to them other than shooting another human being (yes, I know the majority of them are used on target ranges and not on other humans. I don't care. Buy some fucking darts). Thus, due to the potential for harm, and because the personal protection justification of gun ownership has been pretty well debunked, I favor tight regulations on gun ownership. I find it disappointing when responsible gun owners grouse about having to jump through the extra hoops that these restrictions require. I would think they'd welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that they appreciate the inherent risks, and their accountability in maintaining community safety associated with exercising this particular right. The nature of their opposition suggests that while they may endorse personal accountability in practice, they object to anyone else forcing them to comply with what they were already doing anyway. Given the level of gun violence in this country, though, the absolutist "I have a constitutional right to own as many damn guns as I want, end of discussion" position seems a bit short sighted and, frankly, selfish.

I love the Bill of Rights as much as anyone, but why cleave to that particular amendment so vociferously? The right to bear arms seems to have emerged as a symbolic rallying point around which people who generally don't like government regulation in general have coalesced. Consequently, there are a lot of people committed to owning guns simply because they *can*--because to do so is to embody the concept of American Liberty. And this leads to what I find so disturbing about the video clip featured above, and about the juxtaposition of the bumper stickers I mentioned earlier: Indiscriminate gun ownership as an expression of freedom coupled with a specific and often intensely expressed objection to the President of the United States--whether it be the man himself or the policies he advocates. There's more than a whiff of menacing vigilantism there. I do agree with you that most people will not take the next step to physical violence, and I also agree that anyone who would connect these dots and take the next step would undoubtedly have some psychological issues in play, but I can't extend that to bundling every bit of gun violence under the umbrella of 'mental illness'. To do so would require dramatic overhauls of the medical and legal systems to accommodate this reclassification. It's just not tractable.

By Jennifer B. Phillips (not verified) on 16 Aug 2009 #permalink

Jennifer, I'm not a hunter either and when I speak of carrying a gun in the "wild" I'm talking about carrying it for protection. I make several trips a year across TX, NM, and half of AZ alone. And I like driving at night. What I fear is a breakdown in an isolated area and snakes or other wildlife.

That doesn't mean I ignore maintenance and fuel levels or other steps to prevent having to stop on those stretches and I've never needed the gun on any trip.

I'm not aware that the "personal protection justification of gun ownership has been pretty well debunked". Can you provide some details?

The grousing that I've heard from gun owners about "tight gun regulation" is that it only applies to the law-abiding. The criminals still buy illegally or steal guns. The grousing is that enforcement of existing laws on illegal dealers would be a better use of resources.

They also do not like the idea that registration creates a database of legal owners' names and addresses. That's a 1st Amendment issue, not 2nd.

It's not crazy to think there are influential people who want to negate all or part of the Bill of Rights. This is nothing new, it's been going on for a while. Consider this from the editors of The New Republic circa 1920: "what inalienable right has the individual against the community that made him and supports him?"

They weren't talking about just the 2nd Amendment there, but you are correct that it has become a rallying point for some, just as the 1st has become a rallying point for others. I happen to rally around both and am quite fond of the 4th and 5th as well.

I never suggested bundling every bit of violence (whether a gun is used or not) under the "umbrella of mental illness" but was merely suggesting the point you agreed to. Can we agree also that mental health care in this country sucks? That would make the lessen the gulf just a bit.

Yes, I'm begging for points of agreement :-)

I saw the piece on Hardball. It's not a matter of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. You may as well jump to the other side of the Aisle and call him a Democrat. He's neither, as is obvious from the interview. He's a nutter. A Libertarian of some sort, perhaps, but a nut. "We're losing our rights" he says, but when pressed he can name none.

Yes, he voted for Paul, etc, the point being that he is out there with all of the gop-encouraged wingnuts...they are all on the same "side", but if you find a really "crazy" one (and he's not crazy), suddenly no one wants to claim him.

There's a big thread on this over at the Randi forums, mostly between the deliberately obtuse Libertarian kooks and everyone else(including self-described gun nuts).

The consensus on the sane side seems to be, "Yes, he was perfectly within the law and his rights to be doing what he did. However, most people realize that there are times and situations where excercising your rights in a particular manner can make you a douchebag. This is one of those times."

The other side of the argument seems to not understand how something completely legal can still be dickish and/or generally stupid.

@Ranson: However, most people realize that there are times and situations where excercising your rights in a particular manner can make you a douchebag.


I am perfectly within my rights to stand in front of your church with a gun. I can even hold a sign implying that all members of your church should just die. I can even cover myself with fake blood to further illuminate my position. All perfectly legal...

...and I'd be a terrorist asshole.

Can we just admit that carrying a gun for protection is a far cry from carrying a gun at a public protest while carrying a sign implying that it is time to kill the president?

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 17 Aug 2009 #permalink

PalMD : Is the man clinically or legally insane, no.
But he's on the fringe of the political spectrum, and not really wholly rational. While I grant that he's a co-belligerent with the GOP on the health care issue, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. Two years ago, this guy was probably out there protesting George W Bush.

John Lott? Really? The guy who's dog ate his homework? Not that I'm surprised.

By Something Polish (not verified) on 20 Aug 2009 #permalink