Guns Kill (The details)

THEREIN ALL THESES BUT STRICT REGULATION ARE SHOT DOWN:
Since I wrote the original essay on USA Gunning For Guns, things changed. The adversary is mutating, now claiming the gun problem is mostly about mental health. Right, the mental health of an entire civilization, not individuals.

So I decided to separate the more technical part of the previous essay from its main thesis.

My main thesis is that a society where citizens are killing each other is the ideal universe to establish plutocracy, plutocracy being vigilantism writ large. Thus guns are pushed by plutocracy, as they constitute the ideal ecology of it to thrive.

Here I shoot down all the alternatives.
***
MILITIA DESIRED, BUT GUNS KILL:
The question of guns is all about REGULATION, and was framed by the USA Constitution that way, right from the start. Look at the Second Amendment. It starts with: “A well regulated militia”… (1791). At the time the USA had no police, and no standing army (a few years later appeared a very small, but very bold Navy and Marines).
Where is there such a well regulated militia? All over! Not just the French Gendarmerie. The Swiss army is a good example. Switzerland has an extremely high rate of semi-automatic guns, but it’s only a third as deadly as the USA.
However Suisse is thirteen times firearm deadlier as Great Britain, where guns are very regulated. The comparison between Britain and Switzerland makes it clear. So the best regulation is eradication.
Comparing between European countries is instructive, as always. France has millions of (registered) boar hunting rifles (boars are very big, very tough, and very numerous in France, a pretty wild country where they cause quite a bit of destruction). Occasionally such a gun is use for mass murder, but it’s very rare, because boar riffles shoot only twice (typically).
***
ANGRY PEOPLE ARE MAD, THUS MASS DESTRUCTION GUNS, VERY BAD:
I had myself suggest that, the more guns, the more the insane would have a chance to get their hands on them.
All the more as there are no controls on resale, possession, and no license, registration, age control or fee is needed to purchase ammunition (all obvious areas to target for regulation).
However the experts, and, even more, the numbers, disagree:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/health/a-misguided-focus-on-mental-illness-in-gun-control-debate.html?ref=science

The connection between mental illness and guns is weak.
As the author, a MD, expert in this field, has it: “All the focus on the small number of people with mental illness who are violent serves to make us feel safer by displacing and limiting the threat of violence to a small, well-defined group. But the sad and frightening truth is that the vast majority of homicides are carried out by outwardly normal people in the grip of all too ordinary human aggression to whom we provide nearly unfettered access to deadly force.”
In other words, everybody gets mad, sometimes. It’s a mad civilization that overlooks this. On top of this, alcohol and other drugs abuses are generally involved in murder.
There are probably as many crazies in Europe as in the USA, but mass murders are rarer there by an order of magnitude, at least. The maniac in Norway (77 killed) was not much more maniacal than the 900,000 who voluntarily entered the Himmler’s SS. At least that is what experts found in Norway.

Mentally sick ideas are much worse than mentally sick people, because they affect otherwise healthy individuals.

Thinking all and any normal people should have semi-automatic gun in hand, bearing hundreds of rounds, each and any time when they may happen to very angry, is insane. That is, not sane. It’s that idea, fabricated by the NRA and its plutocratic masters that is insane, not so much the trigger men (the Bushmaster 223 used for the school massacre, is made by a company owned by Freedom Group, owned by Cerberus, a conspiracy of billionaires).

The trigger men are, mad, true, but, mostly only momentarily, mad. Guns turn that momentary madness into something eternally evil.
Human anger is cathartic, it helps mental phase changes. It’s a good thing for the evolution of ideas, and the promotion of fairness. But, mass murdering gun in hand, anger makes massacres. And a society continually terrified.
***
MODERN WEAPONS ARE OBVIOUSLY SATANIC: WHY TO EMBRACE THEM?
Well, the answer is obvious, depending upon who is truly organizing society…

Who originated the programming of run of the mill Americans into killer robots? Why so many middle age blonde American women, all over the TV, teaching their (underage!) children to use guns? Are “guns” a new form of racism? Who made it so that the media of the USA is continually telling people that the answer to violence is even greater violence, using brute force instead of solidarity?

Well, obviously those who live by violence, from violence, in private enclaves, even private cities, guarded by private armies. What’s their name, the name of their class? The sort of people who go to dinner in Sao Paulo by helicopter, because the streets are not safe. (The situation in Mexico and Brazil is similar to that in the USA, sometimes even worse.)

Thus, plutocracy, obviously, profits from violence as it creates a society in its own image. Solving problems by wanting to shoot holes into people, psychologically encourage the mightiest to go further, and shoot holes in the Constitution.

The exact same scheme, making an unsafe society, a dog eat dog society, was used in the Late Roman empire to destroy whatever was left of the republic and civil society, as citizens got increasingly terrified of each other until they ran for lords to protect them.

Trust the 70% who cannot wait to shoot their fellow citizen to understand nothing of this, and just below their rage by repeating word for word the lessons their powerful masters taught them.
***
SHOOTING CHILDREN IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM?
Freedom of madness? Is madness a form of freedom?

Another shooting in a school of the USA. A primary school. Obama was deeply hurt by it. He did not hide his tears. All what these small children were going to be, all these children had the right to be. Right. Notice that word: right. And now, after suffering horror, each shot multiple times like vermin, they were not. Is it because, behind its soothing words and hypocritical mien, the USA is organized by the brutes, for the brutes, and their bestial ways?

The shooter used a semi-automatic rifle similar to those used by the U.S. army in Afghanistan, to shoot Taliban. A powerful gun the lunatic used to shoot down plate glass and get into the school.
The immediate reaction of the gun lobby, all over the media was to say that, if the staff at the school had been armed with an arsenal the shooter could have been killed earlier, and so the anti-gun people caused the massacre. Thus, making guns more readily available in schools is the answer to preventing violence with guns in schools. If we take this further, then giving everyone nuclear weapons will insure peace.

One would also have to walk in 30 pounds of body armor too. All day long, every day.

It was a very good thing, the president showing what the shooting meant, the pain, the cost that American violence extracts from love. The president has to educate and that does not mean just conveying ideas, but also emotions.

What is the madness about? Academic studies have shown that having a gun in a home nearly triples the probability of being shot and killed.

Still idiots keep on repeating the slogan that they have a right to have mass murdering guns, to defend themselves. Assuredly, it’s not to defend themselves against bullets as those are three times more likely to penetrate the gun totters than others. So what is their true reason?

What are they defending against? Well, reason. Reason. Yes, reason and reasoning. Facts and statistics. And anything telling them, the bleating sheep, that they are not gods, the principal compensation in their mediocre existence.

Americans have war guns at home precisely so that they can go on a rampage, and feel like gods for a moment. It’s all in the moment, like buying on credit. The potentiality for (mass) murders is precisely what they are after.

The shooter at the primary school, 20 year old, had been propagandized into guns by his own mother, a gun totting enthusiast, who, small justice, was the first one to be shot. Ms Lanza idiotically thought she needed a vast gun collection to defend herself during what she described as the coming economic collapse of the USA. She lived in a large colonial home. She had been a stockbroker, and her divorced husband is an executive at GE, the tax dodging oldest company in the Dow Jones Industrial average. So, if she was not part of the plutocracy, she had been quite close to it.

The USA has not been more pro-gun than it has been in decades. Guess what? The USA has never been more plutocratic, ever. Are both facts related? Are guns and plutocracy related? I will argue that they are, and in multiple ways.

The gun lobby gives millions to gun advocates in elections, and millions more in indirect campaigns. The media makes a continual campaign for half a dozen false and idiotic ideas about guns. The idiots, all over repeat these stupidities in a sort of collective black mass. It’s hard to reason with ants.
***

THE SECOND AMENDMENT OF THE USA CONSTITUTION SAYS:
“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.”

Notice the phrasing. There is logic in the order in which concepts are presented. The Second Amendment means FIRST that one should have a “well regulated militia”. “Keeping and bearing Arms” is only in the context of a well regulated Militia. It does not mean that a deranged child should bear as many huge guns as he can carry.

At the time, 1791 CE, armies were armed with muskets. If the killer had only a musket, he could not even have got in the school (as he used his rifle to demolish plate glass). If he had, it would have been difficult to kill more than one or two children. (There was a similar attack in China against a primary school, the same week, 22 children got injured by knife, none died.)

Gun advocates feign to view every single citizen of the USA as a “well regulated militia”. That’s sheer lunacy. Wait. What? Lunacy? What to do? Outlaw the usage not of guns, but of the concept of lunacy… “the continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the U.S. Code,” legislated the (democratically controlled) Senate of the USA in May 2012. “Pejorative” means: making worse, from Latin peoir, worse. Using guns is viewed as ameliorative.
***

GUNS IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE:
Obama looked at his notes for the longest time, silently, at loss for words, overwhelmed by the inadequacy what he had to say, wanting to say something else, not politically smart. He had to deplore the loss, but he wanted to outlaw the guns. However he does not write the laws, the Tea Party “republican” Congress does. (Something Europeans tend NOT to understand about the presidency of the USA.)

The civil right that Americans, in their confusion, seem the most attached to, at this point, is that of shooting each other. But that right, the right to kill, is a civil right that denies all others. And this, my friends, come to think of it, is exactly what plutocracy wants.
Obama has to pick his fights. So Obama grimly said what he was expected to say.
***

GUNS: NOT JUST A HEALTH ISSUE, BUT A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE:
An approach to guns is to declare them a public health issue. Indeed, at the present rate, over someone’s average lifetime, eight million citizens of the USA will get killed or wounded by guns. And 300 millions, terrorized.

But this approach has not worked, because it has been barred by a wall of money.
This, by the way, proves my thesis: if the plutocratically controlled media is all about the pro-gun slogan, it is precisely because the gun psychosis is crucial to keep enough violence in society to justify a thriving plutocracy: guns are related to the elite not paying taxes… And activities such as the war in Iraq. The demented violence against Iraq was using the same sort of argument that the gun lobby uses all the time, transposed to a foreign country.

As the soft approach did not work, it is time for heavy philosophical gunfire. Firing guns, totting guns, training with guns goes well with fracking and denying that the biosphere will explode from too much heat trapping industrial gases and carbonic acid. It’s the same general idea:”We kill, therefore we are.”
The threat of guns, of being shot, especially with more and more concealed weapons “laws”, has an impact on the mental health of all citizens of the USA. This is a hidden form of abuse, and insanity.
***

GUN TERRORISM AS THE MOST BASIC CIVIL RIGHT VIOLATION:
To want to kill people is very American: extremely violent imagery (“I’m going to kill her/him”, “I am going to fire him/her”) is routinely used. After, all, they killed Indians, did not they? And, it worked well, did not it? Without killing the Indians, what would the alternative have been? No USA? Shooting bad people is the essential American creation saga. The Indians were very bad, but, thanks to the gun and the right of Americans to defend themselves, the Indians are now in the care of the All Almighty, Amen.

Thus, philosophically speaking, using guns (and that means the perspective, training and psychological readiness to fire or purchase guns, and general excitement about guns blatant in gun enthusiasts orgasming when they evoke the shooting of their heavy load) is part of the exploitative and extractive mentality.

The whole idea about killing somebody, is depriving someone else of the most basic human right. Thus the attachment of Americans to that right is an attachment to the greatest tradition of the Anglo-Saxon American colony, namely violating civil and human rights, of everybody who shows up, down the barrel of a gun.

How long will it take for Americans to realize that the Civil Rights movement is not over, as long as there are small children, and they get shot?

But is this Civil Right aspect the whole story? No. There is the overall reason for this entire mess, for this weakness of character, disposition, and intellectual faculties.
***
PLUTOCRACY: OF VIOLENCE, BY VIOLENCE, FOR VIOLENCE:
The propaganda of the NRA is highly reinforcing of plutocracy (NRA = National Rifle Association, aka Nihilistic Rats Atrocity).

According to some, the Plutocrats’ greatest fear must surely be that one day the plebs will wake up to their crimes and rise up against them, so the last thing they would wish is for the plebs to be armed. That’s a crafty anti-idea.
For example that the People needs semi-automatic guns to prevent the (plutocratic or not) government to take over. But that’s as ridiculous as claiming that the sheep will avoid the slaughter by bearing arms. A sheep is a sheep. Sheep is controlled with the mind, not at the point of a gun.

Citizens of the USA have been brainwashed into believing that the key to their safety resides not in firing bankers and plutocrats, but in shooting each other. This they do with great enthusiasm: 100,000 get killed or wounded by gunfire, each year. The USA is in a chronic civil war (which kills nearly as much as the one in Syria! In absolute numbers, except, it never ends…).
I have had “friends” who stridently defended their right to have the trunk of their cars full of war weapons. I put “friend” in quotation, because how can I be friend with the deeply deranged?
Talking to them I was exposed to non sensical arguments about how well defended their arsenal made them. Never mind that most gun deaths are from a gun in the home!

They just faithfully repeated the inanities of the extreme right-wing media.
I know differently. I came within millimeters of violent death a few times, and, each time, surprise was the main enabling factor in my near demise. All military treaties, Chinese or Western, say the same: surprise enables aggression as much as all other factors combined. Thus, to prevent aggression, of individuals or civilization, one has to reduce the surprise factor. Having weapons of mass destruction around is one such risk. And certainly a modern military gun is such a weapon.
***

THOSE WHO THINK GOOD GUYS SHOOT FIRST ARE IDIOTS:
The bad guys know that the first thing to do is to shoot first. A Congress Representative, who was shot through the brain, and a judge who was killed in the same shooting, both loud gun advocates, had claimed, loud and clear, throughout the media, that they were excellent shooters. They trained at the same gun club. With gun in hand, they could protect all and any. They both owned Glocks, and, in a form of justice the great god has at the ready, they were both shot by a Glock.
Unsurprisingly, when the time came, those two fools were surprised, and before they could draw like at OK Corral, their topology got irreversibly modified. Maybe thankfully, otherwise probably more would have died in the crossfire.
The bad ones know the most basic thing about war: that the first thing to do is to shoot first.
Glocks’ magazines for sale in the USA can carry up to 33 bullets. In the rest of the world, only police and the military use such weapons (and rarely!). But, in the USA, the 70% who love guns are apparently police or military at heart.
***

GUNS MAKE PEOPLE AS STUPID:
The deepest aspect of it all is that citizens of the USA have been brainwashed into violating common sense. And it goes further than that: as they live in a society where they get increasingly violated, they displace their self esteem into believing that they can take others out, and that they are omnipotent that way.

What to do when the leading nation is losing its mind because it is goose stepping behind the corporations that have seized control of its common sense?

Not much. This is no accident. The masters of the USA have persuaded common people that they, the common people, are the problem, and it would just be solved if they all could shoot those among them who are bad.

Plutocracy is intrinsically not compatible with a civil society. So plutocracy taught citizens of the USA to shoot each other, to be sure that there would be no civil society. And that’s something they do very well, as the eager servants of their masters. If one wants plutocracy, one needs to insure that society is not civil. Shooting each other, and expecting to be shot is a good first step that way. Bad health care, bad justice, expensive education are complementary ways to achieve an uncivil society.

Plutocracy is not just about wealth, it’s not just about the Dark Side, it’s also about hell. Not just about living through hell, organizing hell, but also about having a taste for it. Taxing the rich, not carbon burning the planet anymore, removing the guns from holier-than-thou mental retards are various aspects of the same problem. Fighting plutocracy encroaching upon civilization.
***

SOLUTION?
What could the president do practically? Exposing the mechanism above is difficult. It basically boils down to telling gun fanatics that they are deluded, hateful sheep living in a fantasy world, due to their lack of cognitive and logical abilities. Moreover that mood they enjoy to wallop in contributes to making the USA far short of its human, educative and economic potential, and it hurts the entire planet, when they insist to burn, or sell, ever more carbon to consume.

However, a well chosen gun task force, similar to the one Ronald Reagan has called after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, but with more and quicker powers, could make the necessary educational work, pointing out, for example, that guns nearly triple the probability of homicide inside a home (and certainly 10 times more in a societal context: the USA has 50 times more firearms murders as Great Britain, per 100,000 people!).

Unfortunately, Richard Feynman is dead, but a number of smart scientist, psychologists, philosophers, etc could certainly be put together, to arrive to the obvious conclusions anybody really smart would arrive at. After all, emperor Justinian instituted something similar for law, 15 centuries ago, when he set up a commission headed by an esteemed atheist (!) law professor. Now Justinian reigned 40 years, and Obama does not have that sort of time. So things have to move fast.

I am pleased to report did this right after the first version of this essay came out.
The first thing to do is to try to renew the ban on assault rifles, which expired in 2004, under the mandate of the invader and torturer of Iraq, G.W. Bush (not a coincidence). Executive orders could be used. Even they fail, they will have the advantage of exposing those who offer children in sacrifice to Pluto, as the Carthaginians did to Moloch.
In the USA, a child is 13 times more likely to be shot by a firearm than in any other country in the world. Public opinion, and the NRA may be somewhat surprised by the primary school massacre. They are surprised, so they have to be attacked vigorously, now. Assaulting with the right ideas in the name of justice is how goodness imposes itself.
Of course the plutocrats and the darkest mood they foster are mighty. It makes fighting them all the more interesting.
The most sold brand of Assault Rifle in the USA, Bushmaster Firearms International, is part of the Freedom Group, owned by Cerberus Capital Management, itself the property of a number of billionaires, some of them gun fanatics. Cerberus is the triple headed dog guarding Hades, and it apparently thrives in Manhattan nowadays. (Thanks to Allexi Helligar for reminding me of this.)

Time to throw the gauntlet to the partisans of brute violence, the fanatics of shooting and murder as freedom. If nobody will throw the gaunlet to infamy, how is infamy going to feel bad about itself? Time to persuade swing states voters that they were morally decrepit all along, and their redemption lays into turning to other ideas, instead of pushing that trigger spastically, again and again and again, because they know of nothing better to do with their brains.
***
Patrice Ayme
***
Note 1: Tale of two constitutions: The obsession with France, is obvious in the outlawing of French cheeses. One is forced to have when studying the subject, because the constitutional debates in France and the USA have always been entangled. That comes from the entangled Franco-American Revolutions, culminating with those diverging, but related, constitutions the two countries ratified within a few weeks in 1789. One constitution choose human rights, the other, mild plutocracy and implicit slavery; Lincoln and Martin Luther King found very costly to rectify the constitution from 1789; but not all that ought to be clarified has been clarified yet, such as the 2nd Amendment from 1791.

Note 2: The usual well paid idiots came up with the argument that if the courageous principal had been armed, she would have killed the murderer, and protect the children. And true, the principal gave her life, without a weapon, to protect the children. However the killings had apparently already started (remember the surprise effect). In the general case, the logic is flawed. The density of lunatics is whatever it is, and the mass killings occur when a lunatic and a mass destruction weapon find themselves in the same neighborhood. This is proportional to the product of the density of lunatics by the density of weapons. Only the later can be controlled, and be brought down to zero.

Note 3: The last of five massacres in 12 years, killed 35 people in Tasmania. The Australian government instituted a buy-back program of 600,000 semi-automatic guns (which fired every time the trigger is pulled). Regulations brought the murders down by 60%.

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28 Responses to “Guns Kill (The details)”

  1. Hazxan Says:

    I’m glad you rewrote the article, Patrice, the original seemed to be attracting comments guilty of lazy thinking by using the “mental health” excuse. And I know you are not a lazy thinker and I agree with you that it is disturbing (although sadly inevitable) that the media is going down that route.

    The link between mental ill health and shooting frenzies is tenuous, at best. There are so many issues, where to start? Firstly, so what is causing the increase in mental health problems in the Western world in general? “Mental Illness” is such a catch-all, it is the non-thinking excuse. Most of those are not people who will hurt others, but a huge increase in depression and stress related illness, people more likely to hurt themselves. Those on the autistic spectrum in particular, are *less* likely to have criminal records than the “normal” population! The mentally ill were institutionalised more to protect them from the intolerance of “normal” people, than to protect the mass of society. The real problem is that these people are not “economically efficient units of production”. People on the autistic spectrum are the least likely to “follow the crowd”, to join a gang, to fit in with the herd. This could also be threatening to those who desire to control masses of people.

    The effects of sociopaths on society is an interesting angle. Research is increasingly showing that sociopathy is much more common than we realise and that in fact, sociopaths can thrive in our culture! Witness higher rates than normal of sociopathic traits amongst executives and those in positions of power. Have you ever seen the documentary film “The Corporation“? A reasonable argument that the corporation is fundamentally a sociopathic entity. Anyway, there is evidence that sociopaths (unlike the depressed and autistic) *do* commit far more crimes, including violent crime, than the ‘normal’ population. Yet it’s virtually impossible at the moment to “screen” for them in advance. Because the sociopaths can be charismatic and know how to regurgitate the ideals of their culture when required. Given the damage they cause, it is surprising how they slip by – almost as if those in power like it that way and prefer to divert attention elsewhere.

    Only a sick society could have an entertainment industry is based around violence. And a sick society produces sick people and that is what we are seeing. I am not optimistic of any solution, because at the moment our society has a completely entrenched power elite. Every problem has an unspoken adjoinder e.g. “How do we solve without changing existing power structures?”. Of course that makes effective change impossible. You see it with the environment, the economy and with mental health too. It is all linked, to look at these issues separately is to miss the point. How to define sanity in a country founded on genocide and slavery? Even worse when that country lives a delusion to hide the nasty truth, rather than acknowledge it. I think the US is an extreme form of what we see all over the western world.

    I fear than any change will consist of yet more suffering for the least powerful, as usual in contemporary items. The elite would approve of change that makes it easier to lock away yet more people who do not conform to the role expected of them. Those who can’t see The Emporers marvelous new clothes, for example. Of course the really dangerous ones will know to talk long and knowingly of the glory of the Emperors’ clothes. The lunatics are running far too much of the asylum.

  2. Hazxan Says:

    PS Sorry for the essay and all the typos – I really should get my own blog!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Haxxan: Your comment was interesting (pretty similar to my point of view, my definition of interesting) and I corrected your typos (the obvious ones). Two days ago, some holier than thou guy censored a comment of mine for mentioning the gun situation in the USA (and told me that!), and I viewed that as an abuse of editorial powers. So to compensate, I used my editorial powers for good (the only time I censored comments was to protect some commenters’ reputation from their own stupid violence showing up in print…).
      PA

  3. Poor Kmart Says:

    Tyranosopher:
    Dec 21st Rifles existed during the Revolutionary War, and were privately owned. Handguns are subjected to backround checks and waiting periods. Anyone pretending that ‘well regulated militia’ at any point meant people were required to be in a formal militia or a government controlled and armed organization is either willfully or ignorantly ignoring history.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Poor Kmart, indeed: The invention of the minie balls in the 1840s solved the slow loading problem of rifles. Until that time, muskets, although less precise, were quicker loading. Learn before coming out with red herrings.

      Waiting for a handgun can be an enormous second, as it goes from one hand, to the other. And the only check needed is a bank check. I guess you never bought a gun, or don’t live in the USA!
      The rest of your statement seems closer to insulting and ill informed itself as “well regulated” implies (local) government. “Well regulated militia” are not the nuts at gun clubs, gun shows, and 20 year old maniac, or the 11 year old who went to primary school with a loaded gun, to “protect” himself.etc…

      Well regulated thinking comes before well regulating the militia. Knowingly deforming reality is even worse than ignorantly doing so.
      PA

  4. Andy Outis Says:

    Andy Outis If these massacres are the cost of loosely regulated gun ownership, the cost is too high.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I put an extensive comment on Kristof’s blog. It will be censored, as usual. Guns are not just about shooting people, and love, but also killing reason. It’s about making violence the great god, in other words, Pluto. Guns are part of a mood conducive to Americans not holding hands.

      I wrote the comment yesterday, but no outfit censors more than the NYT…It’s a very strange thing that the New York Times would censor so much… They censor more than 95% of the comments i send, even when they publish completely false numbers, in contradiction with the published numbers of the IMF! Do they think they are Pravda?
      PA

  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Now this, that no outfit censors more than the New York Times, I agree with.
    I’ll see if I can have my moles get to the bottom of this.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The New York Times’ censorship, and the fact they give priority, a quasi exclusivity, to a very small number of commenters, always the same, who are obviously paid outfits, always with the same moronic logic and stale knee jerking, is starting to grate on my nerves. I am obviously on some sort of black list. So if I say: according to the IMF, the USA has a debt to GDP of 110% (2012), on Krugman’s blog, they censor that, because they decided it’s only 67%!
      Not only that, but then they steal ideas and phrases in comments they censor! (Intellectual property theft!) I find myself reading the paper ever less. Should that not be remedied, I may well cancell my subscription.
      Maybe I subscribe to New York Magazine instead!
      PA

  6. Martin Lack Says:

    [Deleted by Martin Lack’s request.]

  7. Martin Lack Says:

    Very well said that expert (and you):
    ‘…”But the sad and frightening truth is that the vast majority of homicides are carried out by outwardly normal people in the grip of all too ordinary human aggression to whom we provide nearly unfettered access to deadly force.” In other words, everybody gets mad, sometimes. It’s a mad civilization that overlooks this…’

    Furthermore, given your comment that:
    “The immediate reaction of the gun lobby… was to say that, if the staff at the school had been armed with an arsenal, the shooter could have been killed earlier, and so the anti-gun people caused the massacre… If we take this further, then giving everyone nuclear weapons will insure peace.”
    I feel compelled make this link explicit – Our civilisation has been on a mad trajectory for over 60 years: MAD = Mutually Assured Destruction.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, Martin, the gun lobby, on behalf of plutocracy, persists and signs. They made an hallucinatory conference, proposing to root out the mad. There is no evidence the two boys who introduced guns in elementary school were mentally ill! So they propose more people armed, armor everywhere, more metal detectors, etc. make any public place into an airport, and Americans will spend their time body searching each other, the only way they can reach satisfaction, when not preparing to make holes into each other, as more natural acts are apparently taboo…
      PA

    • Hazxan Says:

      Not so sure about this ‘ordinary aggression + weaponry” idea. Mass shootings are still very much a minority. And the pattern seems to be that they are planned and carefully prepared months, years in advance. That does not fit the idea of “ordinary aggresion” that boils rapidly to a rage then simmers down,
      However, that does explain many of the other several thousand gun deaths each year!

      These mass shootings appear to be people with an ideology carefully developed over time, more like suicide bombers. People who feel (and actually are?) rejected by ‘normal’ culture.
      And that is one of many reasons why the NRA are idiots to (predictably) want armed guards in every school. The people who want to do a mass shooting will just plan, prepare and arm themselves even more.

      Armed guards didn’t do much for JFK, Reagan and the many other assassination victims over the years.

      The answer is to build a society that doesn’t contain totally alienated individuals. It’s not impossible and such societies have existed, until ours wipes them out as punishment for their “primitivism”

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Hazxan: Just paying for one arm guard per public school in the USA would cost at least ten billion a year, and would probably be completely ineffective. There was another mass shooting yesterday, at least four dead, in Pennsylviana, Friday, and I noticed a black-out about it in most of the USA media. They talked more about it overseas! Why? Because the media owners would be really sorry to see the guns go, it allows them, plutocrats, to transform the news into crime reports.

        If mass shooting were a majority, since there are more than 100,000 shootings a year in the USA with intent to kill, we would be talking about a million dead. The fact is that the firearms homicide rate in the USA (not counting suicides) is about 50 times what it is in Europe.

        The guns-for-doing-justice-by-oneself obsession has the consequence to divide the society between “good guys” and “bad guys”, as the NRA president said. And to install the worship of the good guy, armed to the hilt, shooting from the hip.

        The guns-for-doing-justice-by-oneself obsession is also the exact opposite of the Res-Publica. The Re[ublic went down in Rome with the rise of armed groups, NRA style.

        The answer is not to build a society of perfectly behaved sheep. Give guns to sheep, with lots of ammo, and the massacre will start.
        PA

  8. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The National Rifle Association, in its first public remarks since the Connecticut school shooting, proposed putting armed police officers in “every school in this nation.” NRA CEO and Vice President Wayne LaPierre said gun-free school zones tell killers that schools are places to inflict maximum pain at minimum risk, saying “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He blamed the media and entertainment industries for treating violence as a “joke.” Two middle aged protesters holding signs holding anti-NRA signs protested the speech and were dragged out.
    PA

  9. Poor Kmart Says:

    Poor Kmart
    in reply to Tyranosopher
    It is not a red herring. Rifles had a longer range and far greater accuracy then what commonly issued to any standing military at the time. In other words, private citizens could be bettered armed than what the government would provide to any militia or army it could form.

    You can call my opinion ill-informed all you wish, but you don’t provide anything to back up your assumption that a ‘well regulated militia’ in the Second Amendment requires membership of any kind to provide what the next part plainly states as ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.’

    You also lose credibility by calling my comment insulting, but following it by calling a broad swath of the population ‘nuts.’

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    –Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

    “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”
    –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

    “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements).”
    –Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution with (his note added), 1776. Papers, 1:353

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Poor Kmart: Rifles were better for hunting, because of precision, as you said. However their slow reloading rate and abundance of smoke made the military, in the USA or Europe, use muskets for another 50 years after 1791 (date of Second Amendment).

      The statements of slave owner and treacherous pedophile Jefferson were correct then, with the weapons of the time. But I have to excuse myself. I guess it’s time for me to go back to my basement to stay on top of things by building a thermonuclear device for “defense” against all the other Americans out there: the bad guys are arming all over! I need a semi-automatic weapon commensurate to my goodness! Since I am colossally good, I need a colossal weapon, as envisioned by the Second Amendment, and I will give a call to Darth Vader (he did not die), for his latest Death Star!
      PA

  10. Martin Lack Says:

    With all due respect to you, Patrice, I think you could have saved us all a lot of trouble by just referring all readers to the country-by-country statistics for gun-related deaths per 100k of population.

    This is the answer to NRA claims that what the USA needs is more guns… Violence begats violence. End of story.

  11. Dominique Deux Says:

    Americans have to come to grips with the obvious fact that they love their guns better than they love their children. Then, and only then, they can start fielding rational arguments, such as guns don’t talk back, don’t raid the fridge, don’t get pregnant, don’t do drugs, and give their concealed carriers that wonderfully manly swaggering gait, instead of routinely embarrassing them in public.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dominique: I lost the quote, but basically Obama said that at some point. He also said: “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true… But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this… Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
      But loving the guns more than children, and even more than reason, that is what has to be changed. Same debate as the Iraq invasion.
      PA

  12. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Chris Snuggs An armed guard would have almost certainly have prevented these murders …. hysteria does not make this statement any less true …

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      As it turns out, I know a large private school, with lots of security. Next to it is a sort of bank. Once an armored truck came, to the bank, and there was a shoot out. Several of the guards decked in body armor, were hurt, and one was actually killed. One armed guard per public school would cost ten billion dollar a year, minimum, just in salary, a year. BTW there was another mass shooting yesterday, four dead, several police officers hurt. The murder rate by firearm in the USA is 50 times that of France or Great Britain, or Germany. You obviously should come to the USA, to enjoy TERROR LAND!
      Hysteria is sometimes justified!
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Chris: Don’t forget armed guard for firefighters too… Actually maybe tourists ought to use them too…
      PA

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  14. MerrillCh Says:

    It’s so tragic how “American” western culture has continued to contaminate civil discourse. When the answer to interpersonal violence in a culture is to arm the entire culture!!?? It’s elementary school childish logic to “stand your ground” with your own gun, thinking that this will make “You” safer.

    I think amongst many other things, the idea that collective problem solving is now equated with “big government”, and “interference with my freedoms” is a huge problem. The useful parts of the “rugged individual” philosophy, have been completely overshadowed by paranoia and selfishness. We’re all at risk if we don’t stick together and collectively work toward a more peaceful society. Carrying a Glock, isn’t part of the collective answer.

    I consider myself a somewhat rugged individualist, but I value collective problem solving and the power of the social contract to provide a safe environment for creativity and productivity. Living in fear and arming the general public is destructive to both values.

    Merrill

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Merrill: You are rugged, Merrill: you can go through the mountains, at high altitude, in complete autonomy, for days, horizon to horizon, many times. These people, the gun obsessed, are not rugged at all. If they were, they would not need guns to protect themselves. They would do like me and kill with eyes and tongue. In truth, they are so weak, they are afraid all the times, and they are so resentful, they relish the putative power that they have to kill others, as all they understand is the fear, & pain they feel, deep inside.

      You be surprised how many people i know, some even posing as “liberals”, pro-Obama, are fanatically pro-gun. Some got quite ruffled when I exposed the connection between plutocracy and the gun ideology. After they read my preceding essay on this.
      PA

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