James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Gun-loving morons rush to buy guns & ammo before dead kids’ funerals

Posted by James McPherson on December 17, 2012

Nothing like the slaughter of twenty children to “fire up” the morons, who think discussion of gun control is anathema. Not that most of them would understand the last word of that sentence. After all, they’re morons.

After every incident of mass violence, gun sales increase,” says a Maine Gun Owners Association spokesman. “It’s a reminder that it’s a rather violent society.” Those impulse buyers need reminders? Oh, yeah; they’re morons.

This tragedy is pushing sales through the roof,” said a dealer in North Carolina. “It’s like putting gasoline on a fire.” Or a funeral pyre.

On one conservative blog, a conservative gunslinger (I won’t bother linking to the post where the comment occurred) listed the 10 most-common murder weapons, suggesting that we might call for bans on all of them.  Of course he ignored the fact that if we added all those nine together, the total is barely over one-third the number killed by firearms. Morons really aren’t all that into math.

Some blogging morons have compared a knife attack in China–in which a man slashed 22 children on the same day as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre–to the Connecticut killings. Predictably, those morons almost always neglect to mention that all 22 of the Chinese children survived, while 26 Newtown residents won’t be there to unwrap their Christmas presents a week from tomorrow.

Sadly some of the gun-loving morons (such as Dick Cheney) would likely favor legalization of armor-piercing bullets, hand grenades, plastic guns that could be carried on planes, land mines, and perhaps chemical and biological weapons before they’d favor any restriction on guns–at a time when it’s already easier to buy an assault rifle than a handgun. Of course, being morons, they also think Obama has been tough on guns, even though as I’ve noted previously, it’s easier to own a gun today and you can carry one in more places than before Obama took office, while conservative “hero” Ronald Reagan actually supported stricter gun laws than we have today, or than have been supported by any so-called liberal president since.

Some buyers say they need more guns–and thousands of rounds of ammunition–before tighter gun restrictions are passed. Like that will ever happen, despite those who now suggest otherwise. But hey, if the morons hurry, they can get those assault rifles under their trees before mourners start shopping again and clogging up store aisles.

Still, if you want to cling to a bit of hope, there is this:

17 Responses to “Gun-loving morons rush to buy guns & ammo before dead kids’ funerals”

  1. Reuel said

    They can pass all the laws they want but the weapons, armor- piercing bullets will be available if wanted. A fine example is the war on drugs, sure didn’t win that one either. James did you run out and burn one when it was legalized? Just kidding. I hate to be the doom and gloomier here but it isn’t going to get any better do to a simple thing called math. As population goes up so does the number of “Morons”. I do hate the name calling but used it this time do to it is a favorite of yours.

    Bottom line is the one Moron that is responsible for this is dead.

  2. Kyle said

    I’m not sure dismissing the pro-gun crowd as “Morons” is going to win us any battles here.

    The fact is, most people who buy (and especially hoard) guns do so out of fear or out of principle. Fear of being a victim of crime, fear of government overreach, fear of it being their last chance before someone outlaws guns. Principles like “self-reliance” and “the second amendment.”

    Now don’t get me wrong – I think most of those reasons are at best misguided and at worst dangerously out of touch and irresponsible. I do think there’s room in a civilized society for firearm ownership (look at Switzerland!), but our model isn’t working.

    Rather than totally polarized vitriol ["Gun owners are morons!" versus "I'll shoot the first UN soldier Obama sends to take my guns!" (yes, that's a real sentiment from a quite misguided friend)], I think it would be a lot more productive to focus the conversation on the continuum we’re really working with here. Clearly (virtually) nobody believes that absolutely unrestricted access to the tools of war should be legal – most people aren’t even willing to go very far down that slippery slope (automatic weapons? tanks? missiles? bombs?). Likewise, basically no liberals have argued for total abolition of the 2nd amendment and mandatory repossession of firearms (despite the NRA’s rhetoric and scaremongering). So where’s the right balance point in between the two? How do we reconcile the left’s concession that there is some right to bear arms with the right’s concession that some types/amounts of munitions are too dangerous to civilian use?

    It’s not a question that free access to dangerous weapons makes mass murder easier and more frequent. But until the all or nothing rhetoric dies down, we won’t get anywhere.

  3. James McPherson said

    “I’m not sure dismissing the pro-gun crowd as ‘Morons’ is going to win us any battles here.”

    You’re right, Kyle, though I hope it was clear (and my apologies if it wasn’t) that I don’t consider all gun owners to be morons. With the folks I’m talking about here, though, I fear that this is a battle that can’t be won, though.

    “The fact is, most people who buy (and especially hoard) guns do so out of fear or out of principle.”

    I agree with that, too, if we also note that some are simply collectors. What irritates me is how the NRA, some gun dealers, and some right wingers stoke that fear. In fact, I’m often surprised by how fearful supposed Christians–who in theory should have less to fear than most–can be.

    “Principles like ‘self-reliance’ and ‘the second amendment.’”

    I own guns myself, and grew up as a hunter, so I get that, but self-reliance doesn’t require 100-shot magazines or assault-style weapons. And in my view the Second Amendment doesn’t mean that I should be able to own any weapon made.

    “most people aren’t even willing to go very far down that slippery slope (automatic weapons? tanks? missiles? bombs?).”

    Most. But some are, including one I’d been arguing with online yesterday just before writing this–perhaps a friend of your misguided UN-paranoid friend.

    “How do we reconcile the left’s concession that there is some right to bear arms with the right’s concession that some types/amounts of munitions are too dangerous to civilian use?”

    That is indeed the question, and I agree that most of us fall in that negotiable middle. But the ones who think they need to run out and buy more guns when there’s a mass killing aren’t going to get much sympathy. After all, even if they were correct that laws might tighten–and I don’t think they will–it’s not like it will happen overnight.

    And by the way, I’m not one of those who blames it all on guns. The post immediately before this one also notes shortcomings in education and health care, and I agree with the conservatives who voice concerns about desensitization by bloody TV shows, movies and video games.

  4. Kyle said

    I agree 100% that high-capacity magazines and even semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilian hands. I’d without hesitation endorse banning everything but hunting rifles and shotguns and a small category of self defense handguns, and tracking all ammunition and firearm purchases at the federal level. It’s harder (and more expensive!) to procure and discharge a Tazer without a paper trail in this country than a lethal semiautomatic weapon.

    I wonder about the media desensitization question. If that’s a contributing factor, why is gun violence so much lower in countries that do have more severe gun control but don’t have substantially different standards for violence in the media than we do? And why is violence overall trending downward (see Steven Pinker’s excellent “The Better Angels of our Nature”) even while violence in the media appears to be on the upswing?

    I’m not going to stand in staunch defense of violent media, especially video games which amount to little more than jingoist fantasy and murder simulation and sports which are brutalizing our children from terrifyingly young ages, but I haven’t seen very compelling evidence of a causal link from there to sociopathic violence.

  5. Reuel said

    The government tracking anything has never been good or cheap. It usually involves the hiring more useless bureaucrats that are appointed by a friend of a friend for campaign contributions payback and none of them would even know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of. Sorry, but it would not of stopped what happened last week. Then a few elected officials would tack on gifts to friends and supporter usually called pork. I would be in favor of a new law but it seems that they are selectively enforced depending on with party is in power. Washington has tried to be all things to all people and it is time to return some power back to the States and local levels, let Washington worry about the rest of the foreign morons that and the defense of this country at which was it original intent. Then get rid of about half of the members of the House of representatives

  6. Reuel said

    Debt is going to tank us and most don’t care or even know how much it is. They just added about 4 trillion dollars more with HR-08. The thought that the people that make over 400,000 dollars a year bringing 6.4 billion more every year in revenue is what stopped us from going over the cliff is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. FYI don’t get sick this year, medical cost will be passed on to your insurance company for the new required medical equipment tax required by the Not Affordable Heath Scare Law. I know you did support this guy (James), but how can any logical thinking person not see that the Obama doctrine is not going to work. So with the current rate of borrowing and the new law which I really doubt will bring in any extra revenue, we are looking a about 22 to 23 trillion dollars of debt by 2016. Then a some point when inflation kicks in the usual answer to that is to raise interest rates, oops that raises the interest on the debt too. I think Secretary Turbo Tax Geitner is head of the hills the end of this month, becuase he knows it is about to come home to roost. Well the only positive thing is that all the people getting entitlements are about to get a huge awaking. No Social security and Medicare are not the ones I am referring to. I am now thinking the only way out of this is to let the Federal debt bubble pop and pick up the pieces that are left.

  7. Reuel said

    Gun control by Executive order? Why do we even have a congress? Seem King Obama likes to operate everything from Executive order, Departmental Regulation changes and last but not least we now know why he and Harry don’t want to pass a budget. Because they took advantage of the 2009 budget that they blamed on President Bush, tacked a stimulus on to it, then go around saying that they have only raised spending by 1.4 percent. You must look closely at where that set the posts to come up with their 1.4 percent. Back to the original intent of this thread “Guns”, but we can not just look at the one issue to understand the “Obama Doctrine”. The logical approach will not be followed, and he will put on his campaign clothes, demonize the Republicans and do it by “Executive Order”. Sometime I wander if his followers ever really research the subject matter, or just blindly except his words as would be done in a cult. I just wander if anyone can follow this act? Soon we will hear the chanting for 4 more years for their dear leader.

    Yes I do understand that something has to be done to protect our citizens from these senseless killings, but the new “Obama Doctrine” is a little disconcerting.

  8. James McPherson said

    “Why do we even have a congress?”

    Good question, considering the most recent one was the most ineffective in history and is now ranked lower in popularity than lice (perhaps because unlike members of Congress, we can get rid of lice). :-)

    In truth, I do get you point and largely agree with it. As you know, I’ve long complained about Obama’s style of governing, in which he emulated and then expanded on Bush policies (remember all the Bush signing statements–he couldn’t even “agree” with the things he signed that were passed by his one party). Every president seemingly wants to be a king.

    Thanks, and Happy New Year.

  9. Reuel said

    What is amazing is the Democrats seem to think that the low approval rating on congress is not them and only the Republicans. To also be honest I was one that wanted the current Speaker of the House to be replaced along with Harry and Nancy. To much bad blood and to little working with the other half that were sent to Washington by their districts to represent them. It is a pretty evenly divided country that is in need of a third party that can take the best from both parties and unite this country instead of dividing.

  10. James McPherson said

    Yeah, I’d like to see a third party–but we won’t, unless the Tea Party Republicans decide to split from the mainstream group, or vice versa. And they’d have to be willing to face a few election cycles of losses for a long-term good, and I doubt any politicians would do that.

    Here’s a video that describes pretty well some of the biggest problems with getting anything done: http://www.upworthy.com/shocking-what-does-congress-actually-do-all-day?c=ufb1

  11. Reuel said

    Well we got 23 more things that can be deleted in 2016, a photo op and not a single thing that is going to stop criminals from killing people. I have just come to the realization that President Obama is just about the most brilliant politician in history. His following is almost cult like and most of them are just about the lowest on the level of reality. That whole dog a pony show with one white girl, one white boy, a black boy and a Hispanic girl. Then he read one of these future cult members papers about that they understood that congress may be the problem with stopping the killing of children, or something like that. In no way did any of those children write that. It was the most UN -presidential moment in his whole 4 years. For nothing. What the heck was that? Is what I thought to myself.

    Side note; The Libya hit and run is still being paid for as it spreads across northern Africa. No I have not forgot about Libya, but it will not matter, his cult sees him a perfect and never making a mistake. I will go as far as saying I will bet he will get his own mountain to be carved into because he is going to go down as greater than all that are on MT Rushmore.

    2016 Debt update; 28 Trillion by 2016. My Liberal friends just keep saying that is not important and is only a distraction. Yes I have Liberal friends, some for decades. Oh well thanks for the space to vent. I feel better now. :-)

  12. Sheesh! I thought I was lazy when it comes to posting. Not feeling inspired? You know, SBJ, I come over here and now Reuel has me thinkin on Mt. Obama. I’m getting the heebie-geebies! Thanks, boys!

  13. James McPherson said

    No, Kells, not feeling very inspired to write, other than the occasional Facebook update and a few things that may end up in my next book. Besides, I’ve been very busy–spending time with family over the holidays, then most of January in New York (where I am now) and Washington, D.C. My wife and I bring a dozen college students to the East Coast every other year, taking them to about 20 media-related sites; this year those include C-SPAN and PBS (we’ll meet with the presidents of each), the New York Times graphics department, Human Events magazine, Regnery Press, the Pew Center, the Newseum, a couple of PR firms, and Bloomberg News, among several others.

    We’ll also be in D.C. during the Inauguration, as we were four years ago. I expect it will be slightly warmer and less crowed this time around. You can see the class blog here: http://usmediaimpact.wordpress.com/

    @ Reuel: “Well we got 23 more things that can be deleted in 2016, a photo op and not a single thing that is going to stop criminals from killing people.”

    I agree that these executive orders won’t do much, but I am curious–which of them do you object to, and why? They seem pretty innocuous to me. And I don’t think Obama will end up with a mountain–maybe a molehill. And feel free to come vent, any time. :-)

    Frankly, I doubt that anything meaningful will happen with guns, and I’m more concerned about the fact that Republicans claimed the House despite the fact that more Americans voted for Democrats, and that some Republicans now have a plan to distort the Electoral College in the same way–meaning, for example, that though Obama won well over 50 percent of the vote, Romney would have been the electoral college victor. I assume that those Republicans who care about democratic ideals will protest such a plan. Yeah, sure they will. ;-) http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/16/1451351/pennsylvania-house-republicans-introduce-bill-to-rig-the-2016-presidential-election/

    Maybe when I have more time, I’ll blog about that.

  14. Very cool field trip. Bet y’all had to have a lot of car washes for that. Hopefully, you’ll catch a show. I’m dying to see The Book of Mormon…..

  15. James McPherson said

    No car washes–it’s actually a class. My university is big on off-campus study (though mostly abroad: http://news.whitworth.edu/2013/01/whitworth-named-no-1-school-in-pacific.html). We also have an odd “Jan Term” in which students take one class and faculty members teach one class, so that’s when I lead this class.

    Students do pay for the travel costs (and there are scholarships available for those who can’t), but we stay in hostels and go as cheaply as we can. My wife pays the student rate, and we consider it to be our big vacation for the year. We have taken in Broadway and off-Broadway shows on previous trips, but not this time–she was a bit under the weather. Ate a lot of good food, though, including Chinese, Italian and Ghanaian (goat with spicy rice). We took the train down from NY to DC today, and will be here for a week.

  16. Reuel said

    They were Executive Memorandums and instead of just sitting down with the house and the senate, he just puts them out there. The problem I have with them are they a useless except for the face time he used to promote his over-sized ego. I heard someone say just this weekend that President Obama was more comfortable with issuing Executive Orders, Memos, actions (or what ever his staff call them today) then legislating. Lets look at the reality of the situation, all of his budget plans in the last three years were rejected by the Senate and the house by both parties. The Senate has 20 Democrats up for re-election next year in states that would destroy them on gun control of any kind. He a loner and he likes that status. That is what bothers me. Enjoy your trip, I always love visiting Washington DC. My daughter’s and my favorite town next to Seattle.

  17. […] classic, goes “School’s been blown to pieces.” That might be more troubling today than in 1972 (though the worst American school massacre actually came via a bombing in 1927, […]

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