Sunday, June 14, 2009

WHAT is Going On?

I can't take a vacation these days without everything going to hell. I go out of town for a couple of weeks, and:
  • A whack job with a gun takes out the only 3rd trimester abortion provider in Kansas.
  • Another whack job with a gun goes to the Holocaust Museum and starts shooting, killing a guard who did him no more harm than to open the door for him.
  • Kim Jong Il tests another [deleted expletive] nuclear weapon, and fires off a couple of medium range missiles for good measure.
Listen, people, I want peace and quiet on my vacations! Can't I leave you alone for a minute?

On the murder of Dr. Tiller, I don't really have much to add to what others have said. The revolting hypocrisy of the Operation Rescue position is self-evident. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that they are paying for the defense; just a suggestion for investigating journalists, if there are any left. I'm disturbed but not surprised by Cristina Page's analysis (on HuffPo) suggesting that violence against abortion clinics and providers increases in inverse relationship to the president's position on the subject. No abortion providers were killed during the Bush administration.

On the guy at the Holocaust Museum (I really think it's dignifying these people too much to refer to them by name) - if we're going to allow every idiot to buy a gun, then we have to expect that once in a while, one of the idiots will shoot somebody. Frankly, it's the price of the Second Amendment. All you NRA types, are you happy now? This one was from left field - the perp had no criminal record. He falls in the same class as the jihadi suicide bombers; unstoppable.

And there isn't much you can say about Kim Jong Il.

OK, I'm back home now; you can all stop this. (I wish...)


  1. Welcome home Hedra,

    Not to be nit-picky, but I thought the idiot at the Holocaust Museum has several priors, including trying to kidnap some people from the Federal Reserve Board back in '93.

    Interestingly, to me anyway, in the body of the story there was an add for a new movie which featured someone with a machine gun shooting several people. Maybe there is a connection???

  2. Anonymous10:09 AM

    You are a little retarded in your selective reading. This guy was a convicted felon. It was "illegal" for him to be in possession of a weapon. So umm...yea...those laws did an awful lot to protect those citizens...oh they didnt. Instead, someone met force with force and prevented a major incident from occuring.

  3. You're both right, of course, that I didn't go back and carefully research these stories before ranting. I got home from vacation last Tuesday and have spent the interim doing laundry, paying bills, and doing all the other things you don't do while on vacation. My access to news on vacation was somewhat limited; yes, we got the NY Times in our mid-town hotel, but I rarely had time or energy to read it. I don't follow the news closely while on vacation.

    Since I didn't see the original article on the Holocaust Museum shooter, I'm not sure what you mean, Stephen, by the ad for the new movie in the body of the story. I assume the worst in terms of ad placement, usually.

    Anonymous, all guns do is lie around encouraging people to use them to shoot at each other, usually on the (wrong) assumption that the gun isn't loaded. Their "protective" function is grossly overstated by people who don't feel comfortable unless they're able to kill someone if they feel they need to.

    I except from this rant all genuine hunters who use actual hunting rifles, and all people who take appropriate precautions with their weapons and don't leave them lying around loaded.

  4. The debate over gun possession is always clouded by the gun lobby.

    Hunters don't use handguns. Handguns only are useful at very close range. Humans use handguns to intimidate or kill each other. They have no utility for hunting--NONE!

    In addition, people who want to can obtain repeating (or automatic) weapons, which spew out multiple rounds in short order. Unless you're gearing up for serious guerilla warfare, these kinds of weapons have no utility in a civilized society.

    But try telling that to the gun people.

    As a boy, I took the NRA safety course. My stepdad and I would go out and shoot targets, and, once, we did shoot some ground-hogs, just so I could see what killing an animal felt like and what bullets actually do. Gruesome.

    Handguns need to be outlawed, along with all automatic weapons and custom stuff like sawed-offs.

    As has been reported, since--like--forever, people, more die as a result of accidents and mistakes with handguns "around the house" than ever die as a result of intruders or muggings or attempted rapes. If someone breaks in and wants to steal your computer, for god's sake, let him have it! Is it worth killing him, or having him kill you, just to "protect" your precious material goods?

    And please don't let me hear any more of this "intimidation" crap. How does any burglar "know" that a particular household is "armed" and therefore "safe"?

    5:56 PM

  5. I guess I was thinking of a connection in more of a broad since. That since we have made killing entertainment, almost the default action for someone hacking you off, we shouldn't be surprised when people do it at the drop of a hat.

  6. I'm going to come off all wrong by saying this, but I do believe there is a connection between what the media celebrates and the general behavior of people.

    Garish depictions of sex and violence in the media DO have an effect on people. I know, I know, they will tell you there's no connection between fictional versions of rape and murder and torture, etc., etc.

    But don't tell me that glorifying young minority "gansta" types in films and TV doesn't spawn this same behavior in neighborhoods.

    When I was a kid, I fantasized acting out war scenes and all kinds of violence, as well as sports-hero daydreams. That was what I SAW in the movies and on TV. By the time I was 16, I was able to see through all that killing and hatred. But for poorly educated kids, or kids living in de-facto violent cultures, it's the only model they get.

    I think America's culture of violence is encouraged in our media. It isn't reportage--it's glorification and ghoulish delight.