Despite the obvious fact that guns have to be activated by people in order to kill other people, it is also true that without a gun, a person cannot kill another person in the most efficient way possible — particularly when that person is running away or cowering in the corner.
Therefore, counter to the assertions of the fun with guns crowd and their trade organization, the National Rifle Association, guns do kill people. More guns kill more people. To believe otherwise you would have to be capable of believing outlandish things like — well, that Mitt Romney also won the election in November; or that the Clintons’ murdered one of their old friends; or that Oliver North is a persecuted hero…..
But why does anyone in the national media take anything the NRA or the gun industry says about the public welfare seriously? For example, you know those children who accidentally kill other children — or themselves — playing with loaded guns they find around the house and in cars? About 500 a year, give or take a dead child? The NRA claims that if only wee folk took their approved gun course, these tragedies would not occur. Turns out — it’s not true! According to momlogic blog, “studies show kids who take [NRA-sponsored gun safety classes for kids] are no less likely to play with guns than kids who don’t attend class.”
And yet, the news from the cube-shaped Bizarro World of right-wing America, where everything is reversed and ugly, and all useful knowledge is produced by biased liberal university researchers, lumbers on. Here are some of the top stories of the week:
When in doubt, blame a college professor. Conservative backers of the odious gun lobby are determined to divert our attention from the 27 dead in Newtown CT using familiar tactics: accuse someone else of wrongdoing! Brilliant. This time the perp in question is an (unarmed) history professor charged with verbally inciting violence against Bizarro NRA prez Wayne LaPierre (who presumably is armed to the teeth.)
Go here for the story of right wing media attacks on Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island history proffie and fellow blogger at Lawyers, Guns and Money, as narrated by the gang at Crooked Timber blog. Loomis’s weapon of choice was his Twitter account, through which he tweeted his desire to have LaPierre’s “head on a stick” after the Newtown school massacre.
As we all know, however, the blog is mightier than the Bushmaster. CT‘s efforts helped to galvanize a letter-writing protest campaign to the URI administration, which was cowering in the corner as the Bizarro gun people demanded that Loomis be disciplined. Prior to the publicity, said administrators had seemed willing to throw Loomis (who, according to this rightwing blogger, tweeted variations of the word “fuck” a lot, but the last time I looked that was also protected speech unless you shout “fuck” in a crowded bed) under the bus.
Go here to see the URI statement reaffirming that the First Amendment matters to a college campus as much as the Second Amendment matters to folks who sell ammo online. Administrators are however, still holding Loomis accountable for not making it clear in the tweet “that the views he expressed were his alone and did not reflect the views of the University of Rhode Island.”
Was anyone confused that Erik Loomis’s tweets represented the views of the URI administration? University employees might want to adjust their Twitter profiles with a disclaimer before the LaPierre Gang and National Review Online comes gunning for them too. I just did.
Further doubts can be settled by continuing to read National Review Online and blaming the liberal media. In other news, the DC police are now investigating TV journalist David Gregory and NBC News for displaying an empty high capacity gun magazine while interviewing the vice president of the NRA last Sunday on “Meet the Press.” Apparently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (which has been effectively gelded by the gun lobby’s political allies over the last decade and without a permanent director for six years) said yes; but District laws say no!
Lesson learned? Blame the liberal media. Always. As the National Review Online’s Mark Steyn sneered, “Laws are for little people,” not famous journalists who are unarmed and covering a national story. (Christ on a cracker, what has happened to The National Review? Sing with me: “Won’t you come home, Bill Buckley, won’t you come home?”)
I want to be perfectly clear: school mistresses don’t kill people, school mistresses with guns kill people. We at Tenured Radical would like to note the passing of Jean Harris, a woman who probably would not have spent a decade and a half behind bars for killing Herman Tarnower, the Scarsdale Diet Doc, had she not had access to a handgun. Harris always claimed that she had intended to kill herself in front of her cheating lover, and that Tarnower was killed as he wrestled her for the gun.
Who knows? Who cares? One dead man, and countless ruined lives later, it remains that a woman with no history of mental illness, no criminal record and no need to defend herself against an invasive federal government obtained a gun that she had no business threatening herself or anyone else with. Would the NRA suggest we do background checks to keep guns out of the hands of Drama Queens and schoolmarms?
Bizarro fact: if Herman Tarnower had had a Bushmaster by the bed he would be alive today. Just kidding! Wayne LaPierre never said this. As gun sales have gone through the roof because of ungrounded fears that the Obama administration might attempt to curb the spread of automatic weapons, it turns out the FBI has focused on defending the nation from unarmed Americans. That’s right: while states like Connecticut have, in the name of gun control, still made it possible for virtually anyone not already in jail to have access to some kind of weapon, the federal government has been infiltrating and surveilling the completely unarmed and nonviolent Occupy movement, and helping to coordinate the arrest and detention of peaceful demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights.
According to heavily redacted documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (which you can look at here) the FBI and its various police liaisons categorized Occupy as a domestic terrorist network, thus expanding the notion of what terrorism means to almost everything except, as a PCJF spokesperson pointed out on the radio yesterday, carrying an assault rifle to events where President Obama is speaking.
At SUNY Oswego, you don’t need a gun: just shake your hockey stick at ‘em. Shout out to the 1960s! In their counterterrorist campaign against unarmed corporate critics, the FBI worked with at least 22 liaisons on college campuses where students were associated with Occupy. One liaison was at SUNY-Oswego, a piece of information that has yet to draw the attention of any New York newspaper, liberal or conservative. It has also failed to generate a response from Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley, best known in First Amendment circles for suspending an Australian exchange student for asking questions about the hockey coach as part of an assignment for his journalism class.