Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shots fired on gun appreciation day

On this date in history, angry Second Amendment absolutists organized a collective action to show solidarity for their cause -- Gun Appreciation Day. A day to show the world they are many. They are strong. They are armed with cash and high-caliber firearms. And they are not afraid to use them. Shots were literally fired.

So far we know five people were shot accidentally at three different gun shows today. Three of the gunshot victims were at one show, at a safety checkpoint for private sellers. Sounds like something that might happen at a fly-by-night flea market, not so much like a well regulated marketplace for weapons of human destruction.

But enough about the crass commercialism of the day. On the PR side, they also held protests. Tell me the NRA didn't fund this banner.

[BuzzFeed photo Many more at the link.]

I looked at the photos and saw mostly middle class people who are probably not hoarding guns. They're simply panicked by the false rumors flooding their news streams. Guns make them feel safer and they believe the government is trying to take them away from everyone. They're not a danger to society. The problem is those other faces in the crowd who aren't as competent -- or emotionally stable. Weeding that element out is the only way to make all of us safer -- whether we want to carry a gun, or not.

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Blogger Ryan Glick said...

I was at the Raleigh show when the accidental discharge happened. Using that as a basis for this terrible headline and even worse article is bad journalism and extremely poor taste. It was also not a fly-by-night underground criminal operation and to equate gun owners with such activity is tantamount to public slander.

People died yesterday in car accidents. People were injured in car accidents. Thousands upon thousands of dollars in property damage occurred in car accidents. Accidents happen, usually because someone made a stupid, avoidable mistake. But you made no post about that, nor did you call for more regulation. No, instead, you verbally attacked freedom loving Americans who actually support our constitution, unlike the current powers in the white house.

"High caliber" weapons? The war for independence was sparked over a gun grab by the British army at Lexington and Concord. Those guns were higher caliber then 99% of guns at today's gun shows. And for the record, the beautiful flag in that picture demonstrates a truth no liberal is willing to publicly admit, but all are terrified of. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It talks about the security of a free state. The adversaries of a free country are not 4 legged creatures that we serve with biscuits, mashed potatoes, and gravy. They are no threat to our security. It is referring to our enemies and therefore the arms protected are not hunting guns per say, but military weapons able to be used to combat modern enemies of the public peace and safety.

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

"The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

People can be killed in accidents,and that is a risk that we must take to have freedom, but spinning it as though this is the result of the Gun Appreciation Day and people not being afraid to fire guns is simply false. They were accidents not intentional discharges.

2:45:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Look kid. I'm the only one in my entire family who doesn't own a gun. So maybe my terminology isn't precise. But the news report was clear this accident happened because a private seller was carrying in a loaded firearm. I know enough about guns that the first rule of safety is you check the damn chamber.

A guy carrying a loaded firearm into an arena crowded with people doesn't shout responsible gun owner to me. Which is the damn problem. Irresponsible gun owners. And homicidal maniacs who can get guns way too easily.

As for the rest of your rant, you're reading stuff you wanted to argue against, not reading what I actually said. So this convo is over.

3:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Who accidentally discharged a weapon here? A "gun nut"?

Oh, a police officer...

So I'm guessing your solution is first to disarm the Police?

Hey, I'm on board for that... disarm all the police and lets see if we're safer.

11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

That's IT! Mandatory drug testing gun owners! Once a month! New charges, CWI or SWI, carrying while intoxicated or shooting while intoxicated!

Funny how so many gun enthusiasts support or are apathetic when goverment tramples on the 4th and 5th amendment when it comes to drug testing. Surely they won't mind.

8:15:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Blogs are a bit like square dances -- they attract fringes. I admit I get emotional on the subject these days because there's a lot of hyperbole flying around and people tend to rave about peripheral subjects when anyone starts to talk about weapons, but honestly I don't think Libby is impugning gun owners here. You guys are simply touchy and sitting on some some secret anger like someone with bodies down in the basement.

You don't walk around with a shotgun in that condition. You carry it open and you're responsible for any accident caused by your negligence with any weapon whether you're Dick Cheney or Mary Poppins. There are too many damned fools with guns and that training and education should accompany gun ownership is something I think everyone supports. Hell, that's what the NRA used to be all about before the corporate money and the psychopolitics started.

Yes, I think the gun show "loophole" is overplayed and I haven't seen evidence that weapons bought at shows have played a significant part in any crime and certainly not in one of these psychotic episodes. I think it's important to note that gun crime has been declining sharply since around 1980 and what's got the banshees howling of late is a different kind of misuse that needs to be treated differently.

And speaking of fringes -- although I own quite a few guns and I support the 2nd amendment and I'm a frequent shooter at the local ranges, I don't think quoting 18th century sources other than the law itself really explain that law and I don't think that plotting to overthrow the elected government of the United States by force of arms is sufficiently different from treason to be looked down on, or the product of an ordered and entirely rational mind. "well regulated" means something and I think it means well regulated by the legitimate government not by some self-appointed street guerilla who's scared to death of the bogeyman.

9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks Fogg. You always say what I mean so eloquently. I'm certainly not advocating taking guns from responsible owners. Hell that would make half the people I know and love (and completely trust with a gun) very unhappy.

9:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Precisely - what we need are reasonable regulations to help ensure that anyone owning a firearm has had basic safety training, and good enough background checks so that things like the following don't happen:

The Minnesota Star Tribune reports: "Even though Oberender killed his mother with a firearm, even though he was committed to the state hospital in St. Peter as mentally ill and dangerous more than a decade ago, he was able to obtain a permit to purchase firearms last May. That piece of paper gave Oberender, now 32, the ability to walk into any licensed Minnesota retailer and buy any assault weapon or pistol on the rack. (Source:

11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Raefn said...

Mr. Glick compares the danger of guns to the danger of cars. I've been supporting the notion of regulating guns as much as we regulate cars, by writing to my congress critters about them. Register guns. Insure guns. Make the registered owners of guns legally and financially liable for any harm done with the gun, just like cars. If a gun is stolen, they have to report it. Insurance rates depend on type and usage of the gun. Just like cars.

12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Yacolt Chuck said...

The part of the current debate that really should be taken seriously is universal background checks. The gun show loophole is nuts. The rest will just irritate the gun folks and further drive them from the Democratic party.

The "Patriots" who argue that the second amendment was to keep a tyrannical government from usurping our freedom is bogus. The founding fathers had just fought the Revolutionary war and had "outside nations" on their minds. The current fascination, or fantasy, regarding preventing our current government from getting out of control by hiding in a compound with a bunch of AR15's modified to full automatic is just that, a fantasy. If the government does get that out of control those weapons won't help against tanks, Apache helicopters with Hellfire missiles and tactical nuclear weapons. It's just a pipe dream of a bunch of arrested-developmentals who aren't getting what they want through the ballot box, if they even bother to vote.

Trying to reason with gun-nuts is like trying to convert religious fundamentalists to atheism. By the way I have CCW permits in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and Florida so don't toss me into the anti-gun group. I'm just not caught-up in the same nonsense as they are.

1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Happy to see some people who understand where I'm coming from. Banning guns won't work, but better regulating purchases and establishing more meaningful penalites for negligence use of firearms could make a dent in the death rate by careless possession and use.

6:14:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...


" It's just a pipe dream of a bunch of arrested-developmentals who aren't getting what they want through the ballot box, if they even bother to vote."

Don't give them ideas! Protect your guns! Stay home on election day!


I really think the idea of having proof of financial responsibility for gun owners might have merit. That would allow private insurers to investigate in ways that the government cannot: interviewing neighbors and they already have access to medical records.

I'd like the GOP to have to argue against privatization!

9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...


"So I'm guessing your solution is first to disarm the Police? "

Nice to hear you argue something you invented for purposes of argument. "I suppose" "I guess" Very cute, but of course all that's being proposed is to assign responsibility for what comes out the muzzle to the man at the trigger -- on purpose or by accident. So sure, go ahead in invent arguments you can win, but keep them to yourself.

You got something against personal responsibility? A cop sure as hell should know how to handle a weapon safely and a badge doesn't excuse an accidental discharge. If you shoot somebody in the face, you're responsible even if you're the Vice President and every responsible gun owner, like me, agrees.

10:05:00 AM  

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