People ask me what I’m proudest of and what are my biggest frustrations as President. My biggest frustration is that this society hasn’t been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do damage. We’re the only developed country where this happens. And it happens weekly. Our levels of gun violence are off the charts.
President Obama sharing the difficulties of trying to change a culture in which school shootings are commonplace. (via whitehouse)

Michael Arrington on the David Gregory AR-15 magazine fiasco:

If I was Gregory I would proudly turn myself in to the police and plead guilty to violating the law. It would be a powerful message that he truly believes in the laws he’s supporting and is willing to make a personal sacrifice to make this country safer. The fact that he isn’t doing that shows little more than hypocrisy.

That’s absolutely the right play here. How does Gregory not see that?


I’ve gotten about 50 responses to the gun debate issue tonight. Honestly, I don’t give a shit that you think you have the right to own a gun because someone 200+ years ago said you do to prevent (or allow for) an insurrection or whatever. If this issue is going to be solved, you’re going to have to agree that in the 21st century, maybe your right to own a gun isn’t as important as people — children — living or dying. Just look at the statistics. There is a very serious problem in this country that isn’t a problem in other countries. And there is very clearly one reason for that.

Raymond Hernandez for The New York Times covering NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for President Obama to do something about gun control in this country. Speaking to Peter King, a Republican Representative from New York (and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee):

But Mr. King said he doubted that the shootings in Connecticut would alter the gun debate in Congress, saying that outside the Northeast a gun culture exists that is resistant to any kind of firearms regulation. “I hope I am wrong,” he said, “but I don’t think it will have a major impact on the debate in Congress. We’ve had a number of gun tragedies in recent years without any action being taken.”

A senior aide to a top Democrat in Congress echoed that sentiment, saying he was doubtful that there would be enough votes, even now, for passage of a ban on assault weapons.

Serious question: how many people have to die in the next inevitable tragedy before something actually gets done? Apparently, 27 — including 20 children — isn’t enough. So what will it take? 50? 100?

The pathetic reality is twofold. First, of course, there shouldn’t have to be a number — but at some point, with a high enough number, the political fall-out would be too great if something isn’t done. Second, I’m afraid that number is far higher than even 100 — and make no mistake, we will see a tragedy of that magnitude in our lifetimes. Probably sooner than any of us would like to acknowledge.

If a foreign terrorist killed 26 people in this country, we would invade their country in a heartbeat with few questions asked. When a domestic lunatic kills 26 people with little effort enabled in large part by our own laws dating back 200+ years, we do nothing. And we’ll keep doing nothing.

Anonymous asked:

On your post "Not a single person at the Aurora, Colorado theater shot back...", do you realize that repealing the second amendment would just make it so you and I can't buy guns and ammo? The black market will still sell them and people like this who had ILLEGAL weapons would still be able to obtain them. Think about it.

I absolutely do realize that. And in this case, he bought them LEGALLY, so it would have stopped that. At the very least, it would have severely impeded his insane goal. What good is you and I buying guns and ammo if we didn’t stop this? You and I buying guns and ammo never seems to stop things like this. Strange. (Not really.)

But yes, it would create (extend) a black market. Luckily, guns are not as easy to produce as say, drugs. A focus on the black market in this case would be significantly easier. Over time, that may change, but for now, it would work to great effect, I imagine.

By the way, I don’t think drugs (for the most part) should be illegal. I have no problem if someone wants to hurt themselves. I have a problem with people who want to hurt other people. My right to extend my arm ends at your face.

I just quoted Roger Ebert’s excellent New York Times op-ed about the Aurora shooting, but really, you should read the whole thing. The entire thing is quote-worthy. 

Another key excerpt:

Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder.

That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.

If anyone’s stance is really going to be that citizens need guns to protect themselves, it should be viewed that this idea failed yesterday in a way far worse than if guns were outlawed in this country. Nearly 100 people failed to use their gun rights to protect themselves. And 12 people have died as a result. A complete and utter failure of that right.

Of course, that right is actually preposterous. It’s 2012, not 1712.

I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity.

Roger Ebert on the Aurora shooting.

He’s exactly right. The “Joker” nonsense simply adds to and elevates the publicity angle here — which the killer played perfectly. That’s not a problem with the movies, it’s a problem with the media. Sometimes it’s sad how easily psychopaths can outsmart us.