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Two proposals for solving the gun problem

The issue appears to be how do we keep guns out of the hands of psychotic individuals, thus protecting our rights to see silly superhero movies at midnight in our costumes (because there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, Rocky Horror cultists have been doing it for decades without incident), while maintaining conservatives’ rights to arm themselves to the teeth for protection (against what, I don’t know, but they need them their guns).

Here is my first proposal:

1.) Since conservative states are so into profiling people for a.) being here illegally, b.) looking like an islamofascist terrorist or c.) walking and driving while black, they should be onboard with the idea of profiling people who appear to be buying a greater than average number of guns and ammo in a short period of time.  We’ve seen that a lot of these mass murders are committed by males who are relatively young.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of brain development problem that leads to a transient psychotic episode for some individuals.  This episode may be exacerbated by propaganda, stress or isolation.  Someone with a better psych background than I have can jump in here but there does appear to be a pattern.  It seems like it should be possible to identify the parameters that should get our attention and develop a model.  Then, when a person who fits this model tries to buy additional guns, he should be asked to submit to an assessment of mental fitness.  Maybe an MMPI followed by analysis and a meeting with a mental health professional.  If the individual fails the assessment, he should be referred to a treatment center before he can get hold of a killing device.  This is fair to everyone, I think, especially for the person whose mental state is deteriorating.

How could a 2nd amendment fanboy possibly object to this?  Presumably, mass murderers getting their hands on enough artillery to kill a village ruins 2nd amendment rights for everyone.

But assuming there are states that do object, let’s go to proposal 2:

2.) Secede.

No, I’m not kidding.  The grown ups of the United States have been way too permissive about anti-tax freaks, ignorance in the science classroom and a 40 year old attack on reproductive rights.  The probability of more mass murders of innocent adults and children without even a minimum of effort to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people is really the last straw.  What we have are a bunch of southern states that are passive-aggressively still fighting the Civil War and a handful of western states that are full of anti-social rugged individualists who are acting like spoiled adolescents on a power trip.  I don’t think the rest of us should have to put up with this shit, frankly.

Clearly, what we have here is a strangled cry for independence and we need to learn to let go. Give them a time out.  Let them find out what it’s like to be their own country in the world. You know, patrol their own borders, negotiate their own trade deals, maintain their own infrastructure, support their own military, regulate their own economy and create their own justice system. The rest of the country has not given the south and the west an opportunity to grow up and mature.  We would be irresponsible if we didn’t allow them to find their own way in life and develop self-esteem by actually earning it.  They shouldn’t be able to coast in the world by throwing around the word American.  If they can’t be trusted to honor that word, let them find a new one to describe themselves.  Confederate was proposed a century and a half ago.  Ok, go with it but just Go!

We could give the reasonable people who live in these states incentives to relocate and then to the rest, sayonara.  Have a nice life.  Enjoy your unregulated assault weapons to your heart’s content.  The added benefit is that the more populated, modern and progressive states will finally have some input into politics for once.  PLUS, we northern states won’t have to send our hard earned taxes to fund the freeloader southern states’ welfare programs, like roads and bridges and basic government services.

I’m tired of being treated like a sucker by the conservative assholes from both parties who represent these states.  It’s time we got tough with these out of control brats.  Get them out of the union and concentrate the Americans who want to go forward into the future into a new America.  The strength of the social conservative in the this new American will be diluted and they’ll just have to go along for the ride in a country that has a stronger social welfare state, more regulation of banks and businesses and fewer guns in the hands of the disturbed.  It’s going to be tough for them to adjust to a fairer, more egalitarian, safer country but with therapy, provided by their government administered health insurance program, they’ll get over it quickly enough.

Conservatives have gone too far.  It’s time we put our foot down and tell them they can fight us all they want, they will not win.  If they don’t like it, there’s the door.  We are fed up with having to live with their selfish demands and their tantrums.  Let’s separate, file for divorce and get on with our lives.

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66 Responses

  1. I go for secede. I see the Civil War as a mistake, and that Lincoln was not a great president for using a horrible war to keep a union that was fundamentally broken. Slavery would have been rejected in the South of its own accord, and all the problems that it created would have been owned by the South.

    • The south will never give up on slavery. If it’s not african americans, it will be poorer, politically disconnected people of all ethnicities. We should give these people an opportunity to relocate before we cut the south loose.
      But clearly, living together like two nations forced together with handcuffs is not working. They’re going to keep acting like assholes, jerks, mean-spirited bible thumpers and smart people determined to be ignorant until we call their bluff.
      So, let’s call it.

    • The Civil War never really accomplished what Lincoln envisioned. The militarism and racism in the south has held back the rest of the country from social progress. Someone wrote that it was a ” plantation mentality ” that existed among southerners. I think it was Sara Robinson. This is not to fault southerners in general, they;re good people but cultural recidivism dies hard. Breaking the country into alternatives would expose the flaws in the south’s societal arrangement.

      Great post, RD.

      • {{takes a modest bow}}
        I must be off to the airport to retrieve my intrepid Brook.

      • I have no clue what Lincoln envisioned after that horrific war. Maybe some phony idealic peace. People don’t just put away their animosity because someone wins and throws about nice words. It would have taken an economic Marshall Plan for 50 years to help the slaves, to bring them to equality. That wouldn’t have happened under Lincoln or as we know with what followed. After the Civil Rights was passed in the 60s, things changed slowly on the surface, but not on the deeper level. The whites never took responsibility for economic despair the blacks live in. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t absolve the blacks who seem lost as to how to best compete for jobs in our culture, but it’s understandable that a people coming out of centuries (1650 – 1860) slavery, in a culture that provided the basic necessities of life, even if those needs were minimal, created the conditions for a people that though wanting freedom, could not advance without help to change their perceptions. White Americans don’t want to understand how a culture works and what’s needed to change it.

        The white South decided that the blacks were the reason for their situation, and devised the “separate but equal doctrine” to humiliate a group of people that had already suffered enough. Moreover, the South sees the federal government as the oppressor, and have fought that government since the Civil War.

        I still think that the Civil War was a mistake. Lincoln was a bad politician without the necessary skills and experience to take the country during those difficult years.

        • One more thing: if racism was the culprit, then the Jews, Hispanic, Irish, and other immigrants would not rise above it.

        • Lincoln was a great politician who would have led the country through a very different Reconstruction than the one we had.

          But he was SHOT TO DEATH.

      • I’ve seen a few obots who want to believe that Obama is a reincarnation of Lincoln, and methinks, yeah, a talker and a divider.

      • One wonders what would have happened if John Wilkes Booth had missed or if his gun had misfired. Did Lincoln have a plan to break up the plantations and divide up all that land among the poor white and poor black Southerners? Thereby preventively foreclosing any opportunity for “carpetbaggers” to even be able to come South to begin with? Did he have a plan to drive large parts of the plantationary upper class into prison or into exile and break that whole class system up? We will never know.

        His surviving Vice President Johnson was very pro Plantationist and let huge numbers of them “re-pledge their loyalty” to the Union . . . “cross their heart and hope to die”. The rest, as they say, is history.

        Or is my memory wrong on all that?

    • A frequently overlooked reason for secession and the Civil War is that the corrupt, amoral misruling class of the South owed huge amounts of money to the corrupt, amoral misruling class of the North. Secession would allow the cotton barons to stiff their creditors. Their creditors weren’t going to let that happen, and in 1861 as now, Presidents have to do what the bankers say.

      Of course, neither misruling class cared how many of their respective commoners had to die for the misrulers to get their way. Misrulers never do.

      Likewise, the creditors never gave Shit One about the plight of the slaves, as demonstrated by how their party, the Republicans, cut the “corrupt bargain” with Southern Democrats in 1876 to end Reconstruction, throwing the freed blacks to their Jim Crow fate, in exchange for Southern Dems’ accepting Hayes as winner of the Presidential election.

      • I read an interesting theory recently that the rise of the Republican Party in Wisconsin and then other Midwestern States ( which were the “Western” states in those days) was the start of a kind of “uprising” against the NorthSouth and its Northern Debt for Southern Production co-dependency system which the New Westerners supposedly felt was strangling their emerging Real Economies from emerging. I think I read that theory referred to in one of The Archdruid’s recent articles. I wonder whether that theory offers enough merit to bear thinking about.

        Certainly Lincoln was a Mystical Nationalist rather than a banker’s servant in his sympathies. I believe there are even quotes attributed to him about how “when the war is won” that America would face a deadlier danger from its banks and its emerging Bussiness Corporations.

    • Oh ha, ha! I can just imagine what the border between two countries like these would be like. Mexico wouldn’t be happy either.

  2. My family is pretty conservative so I grew up with a lot of these misconceptions. I’m definitely the odd ball at the holiday dinner table. The argument that having a gun protects you from the incursion of the state is just silly. A gun won’t do very much against coordinated, high technology military operations. Holding one will just make you a target. And how many people actually use a weapon to defend their property nowadays? This isn’t the frontier old west.

    I’ve always thought that the so-called red base was full of shit in their hatred of ” socialism. ” The GOP backed off its Social Security assault in 2005 in part because their base opposed it. Consider the secession idea a real world experiment. Have dual societies existing adjacent to each other and then see where people would prefer to live. I have a hunch that the social conservatives would flock to the more equal society despite the gun control laws, legalized abortion and decriminalization of drug use.

    • I’ve always thought that the so-called red base was full of shit in their hatred of ” socialism. ”

      I agree with you. It’s a canard to fight the federal government, especially if it’s something that helps blacks.

    • A gun won’t do very much against coordinated, high technology military operations.

      The Taliban beg to differ. ;-)

  3. It’s such a tempting idea but Lincoln and statesmen before him believed that such a division would end in a permanent state of war.
    And “they” have all the big weapons.
    I can’t believe that Brook is back, already. I thought she was there for the entire summer.

    • She’s been gone for four weeks.
      It looks like she’ll be the last one thru customs again.

  4. It’s such a tempting idea but Lincoln and statesmen before him believed that such a division would end in a permanent state of war.

    Other statesmen understood how divisive the situation was, but Lincoln was too inexperienced to see it. The country has been fundamentally broken since the 1850s when the Missouri Compromise failed, and the Civil War made it impossible for the South to accept the dictates of the federal government when it dictates to states regarding social issues.

  5. I vote for secession. Gun and God nuts will never change.

  6. We’ve tried counseling, group therapy, avoidance techniques, even giving in — nothing has worked so I say, “Divorce, splitsville, they just aren’t into us.”

    When it comes to the property settlement — we come out way ahead — the vast majority of these states are federal debtor states meaning they get more than they pay in taxes. It’s a win – win — they get their guns and we don’t have to pay their healthcare costs. Which way to the courthouse?

    • Before we split, we’ve got to remove all of our military bases and figure out how to water southern California. Then, Splitsville.

      • Canada can southern California us what they have the most: water.

        Northern California will allow, at a price of course, for that water to flow from Canada to LA.

      • We have a saying out here in Flyover Country:

        Whiskey’s for drinkin’. Water’s for fightin’ over

        ;-)

    • When it comes to the property settlement — we come out way ahead

      Assuming you’re talking about the West, and not the South, you’re going to have to give up a lot of Federally-owned land:

      We’ll keep the oil shale, coal, etc.

      We’ll let you keep the investment bankers and hedge fund managers, though. It’ll save us the trouble of hanging them.

  7. And what, pray tell, does this anti-Southern screed have to do with Colorado – which by most orthodox measures isn’t a “conservative” state (liberal Democratic governor, two Democratic Senators, etc, etc.) and certainly isn’t a southern state? I realize you folks back east are a little shaky on geography but transplanting the Rockies to the Mississippi Delta is pretty bad even for a Jersey Girl (yes, I know you’re originally from Pennsylvania).

    Let’s consider a few reasons why Colorado might be a just a wee bit different from New Jersey, and why regulations that are perfectly reasonable in New Jersey (note that I managed to successfully resist the urge to say “an overpopulated, corrupt hell-hole”, well maybe not) might not apply out here (yes, I live in Colorado). Let’s look at population density for starters:

    New Jersey: 1189/sq.mi.
    Colorado: 49/sq.mi.

    Even that’s a little misleading, since the Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo metro areas really skew that number. We have several counties with fewer than 1 person/sq.mi.

    The largest county in this state is over half the size of New Jersey.

    Gun laws that are perfectly reasonable in a densely populated, compact state with (I hope) relatively fast emergency service response times make absolutely no sense whatsoever in a sparsely populated area where *the* law enforcement officer (and there may, in fact, be only one on duty at a given time) may be an hour or more away.

    An hour is an awfully long time when a miscreant/bear/mountain lion is breaking into your house. So, while I personally choose not to own a firearm, I don’t really have a quarrel with people (particularly in rural areas) who might have come to a different conclusion.

    So, here’s a question: in addition to two handguns, this guy apparently had an AR-15 (a .223 semi-automatic rifle based on the M-16) and a 12-guage shotgun. Neither of these is an easily-concealable weapon. It should have been obvious that these were not toys, since they lacked the blaze orange tip required on all toy guns sold in the US since the 1980s.

    Why didn’t anyone call the cops? Wouldn’t you find it a bit suspicious?

    • I don’t believe that fight is about gun control. The fight is about the federal government dictating to the states about social issues. Gun control is only an excuse.

      • If we’re not talking about gun control, then why the remark about “2nd amendment fanboys”?

    • I am with you, Propertius, on the differences between Colorado and (1) the South and (2) NJ. In addition to mountain lions, bears and miscreants, please add coyotes, which can jump a 6 foot fence. They are not shy (like mountain lions) and have attacked people and killed pets, even in the Denver suburbs.

      But, Propertius, from what I understand, the gunman left the guns outside the theater exit door. He bought a ticket, went to the theater, and propped the exit door open from the inside, so he could retrieve the guns, etc., which he had left right outside the door. So there was no opportunity to identify him as a gunman before the shooting started.

      In addition, Riverdaughter, the gunman was from San Diego, California. Not a hot bed of Southern culture. But the similarities you point out between this gunman and the one in Norway are chilling. I kind of like your first alternative.

      djmm

      • I hadn’t read about the exit door. That all makes much more sense now. I couldn’t figure out how he brought two long guns into a theater without anyone noticing.

        And yes, I should have mentioned coyotes – and feral dog packs.

        • Coyotes are everywhere now. They have coyotes in Cape Cod. And we certainly have coyotes here in Michigan. And bald eagles too. And wolves (but only in the far northern part). And wandering lone adolescent male mountain lions are beginning to sneak around the state as well. Their presence can no longer be denied.

    • Did you even read what I wrote? One gun or even two if you’re a hunter, seems reasonable. I have a problem with people suddenly developing an interest in creating they’re own arsenal. There’s something wrong when that happens. I think we need to slow that process down until we can assess whether the purchaser has a particular project in mind.
      And if you re-read, I don’t single out southern states.
      As for the population density, we sure have a lot of voters in NJ who are fed up with being ignored when it comes to how this country operates.
      You are right that no one got suspicious. I’m a strong proponent of having a national database of gun purchases. The right wing can throw a tantrum if they want but we have a right to know when someone who might be going off the deep end starts buying several guns and a shitload of ammo in a sixty day time frame.
      This is the dilemma that is now before the right wing: do they have the right to have a hissy fit about registering gun purchases at the expense of the rest of us. Not one child should be afraid to go to a superhero movie in his costume. No. We don’t want to be inconvenienced any more just so hardcore gun owners get to do whatever they want without interference.
      People have a right to live their lives without worrying about being shot. Hunters have nothing to worry about. Potential maniacs are a different story.

      • I agree that slowing individual purchases is a good idea, but in this particular case it might have only delayed him.

        So here’s my question: he had in excess of 6000 rounds of ammunition delivered in multiple shipments. Didn’t this raise any eyebrows at the shipping companies? Ammo’s a hazardous material and has to be declared. DHS tracks purchases of H2O2 at beauty supply stores, but they don’t get notified when someone gets thousands of rounds of ammo shipped to his home?

      • Of course we read what you wrote. Then we read the comments – all of which (at that time) did indeed single out the southern states ( a very peculiar thing to find in a post originally dealing with a Colorado tragedy).

  8. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of brain development problem that leads to a transient psychotic episode for some individuals.

    Or non-transient.

    I thought pretty much everyone knew that:

    1) Schizophrenia typically manifests during late adolescence or early adulthood (peak onset for men is ages 20-28), and

    2) Schizophrenia is much (40%) more common in males than females

    Yes, we’ll have to wait for a formal diagnosis.

    • Which is exactly my point. There needs to be a model and a flag raised when someone fits it.
      God knows, the government has data in everything else about us. Why should gun ownership be any different?

      OR we could make every gun owner purchase a private insurance policy. The premium on the policy would increase exponentially with the purchase of each gun. If you’re a hunter or rural homeowner, no biggie. If you’re wealthy and you like to collect, you’re probably not going to go on a killing spree but pony up anyway in case someone breaks into your house when you’re not around. Or when your 23 year old son goes on a rampage.
      If you’re not in either category, why do you need do many guns all at once? And if you can’t afford tge policy, you don’t get the gun. Pay your insurance for the year in advance at the time of purchase or the seller disables the gun before he turns it over.
      There are a million ways to do this without interfering with people who insist that they absolutely can not live without their guns.
      But I think we’ve all had enough of disturbed psychotics being able to murder a lot of people because a minority of Americans insist on being special.

  9. Will you put all this up to a popular vote? What if the majority doesn’t agree with you? While you’re at it, are there any other laws you would like to impose on people?

    As for the military you’ll be facing the same problem that Lincoln faced – his best military leaders joined the Confederacy. Southerners and conservatives are heavily overrepresented in the military.

    Since when is asserting your rights and advocating for your point of view considered “throwing a tantrum?”

    BTW – if you boot out all the red states how are you going to hang on to the west coast? The flyover states are all red.

    • This is pretty ditzy even for you..The three problem states as you see it are Montana, north Dakota and Idaho. Montana voted R in the presidential election but has a democratic governor and two democratic senators. The at large rep might also be D. In north Dakota, the governorship has had both Dems and Reoubs in recent years. It also has a D senator and while it eans R, it’s also 48th in population density and still depopulating. Idaho could be a problem but with two.democratic states flanking it it may have a change of heart. And then there,s always eminent domain.
      Idaho and north Dakota will have to decide which country has more to offer.
      I’m sure the battle of Boise will be historic but we will prevail.
      It’s always amusing when your readers protest too much. They either can’t take a joke or they feel like I’m talking to them personally. What evil lurks in the heart of the crawdad hole?? Bwahahahahaaaaahh!

      • There’s a lot of complaining about people myiq used to blog with.

        • I just think it’s hilarious that he became such a conservative whip kisser after he left here. It’s so unlike the part time mortician I once knew.

      • No, North Dakota has become the 2nd biggest oil producer behind Texas, recently booming with Marcellus Shale type wells. Nothing changes like change. As for the gun control, how will you deal with those who possess guns and ammo illegally? They’ll steer clear of the states where folks are armed. States whose citizens are playing by the rules will be easy marks.

        • Aw, Jeez, you’ve really got me there. I’m just a scientist, Jim, all I care about is data.
          Wait! How many mass murders by assault rifle do we have in Japan?? Or Australia? Or Argentina? Are they just lucky or do they have some kind of mind control device that keeps lunatics from purchasing guns? Inquiring minds want to know.

          You know, the new America will probably want to avoid shale oil. If I were ND, I’d be a little concerned about being landlocked. You never know who will want to join the new Union.

  10. […] Riverdaughter: Two proposals for solving the gun problem […]

  11. I have noticed that people who bring up the Civil War are mostly from the Northeast. They seem to date everything from that time in the past. In Texas we date our state history from the Texas Revolution. We don’t ignore the Civil War but it is just a four period out of the last one hundred and seventy six years of Texas existence.
    I know, I know, you have always heard a different story. Yankees get over it. You won.
    You do know that the Civil War had nothing to do with the Colorado shootings. I am a liberal and an FDR Democrat, but I am pretty sure conservatives had nothing to do with the shootings and neither did Southerners or Texans. And no, Texans and Southerners are not the same.

    • Once again, we have an example of someone who got to the word “south”, became enraged and decided to read no further.
      Go back and read it all the way thru and if the shoe still fits, deal with it.
      Btw, my dad was in the military. I moved all around the country before I left high school. I might live in NJ but I’m not from here.

  12. Any society that allows SWAT/ assault type weapons to fall into the hands of madmen-over and over- is a broken society.

  13. I’m from Seattle and I love the idea of seceding from the union. The east coast is so backward concerning women and yet they think they are the most progressive people around. It seems like there is a critical mass where countries work well, too small and they don’t work, too big and they don’t work. The United States has grown too big and our Government is corrupt and no longer works for The People. I can’t even relate to DC or New York and yet all of politics and media originate from there. We are stuck with a Federal Government full of east coast elitists who don’t understand or care about the issues in the west.

    • Funny you mention that. As I understand it, Washington state has the highest percent of secularists in the nation. You are surrounded by atheists and freethinkers. Maybe you’re cool with that. I know that many new jerseyans would fit right in.
      be afraid, Constance, be very afraid.

  14. RD,
    Sorry for being completely off-topic, but what do you think of this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/21/chemputer-that-prints-out-drugs

  15. If you Google “What if the South won the Civil War” you find a myriad of suppositions. From the simplest, the Union forming an inverted U over the Confederacy to several nation states similar to the European continent. There is possibility that Mexico would have retaken Texas and California and the UK some of the South. The outcome of the first world war would have been different and Hitler would have never come to power in a financially devastated Germany. Russia would still own Alaska so no Sarah Palin inflicted on politics.

    Had the South survived intact policies would probably emulated South Africa’s Apartheid laws to this day.

    The flaw in the Constitution is the theory of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority by giving two Senators to every state despite population. This allows a small pocket(s) of loons impeding the social progress of the sane states.

    • Two things, Hitler came to power *because* of the economic problems in post WW1 Germany, not in spite of them.
      And your note about apartheid in the new Confederate states makes me smile at the thought that the new America would be the first to impose sanctions on it.
      Oh, it wouldn’t look *exactly* like the days of Jim Crow but it would definitely be a step back for anyone who wanted to work there. No labor protections, no unions and probably truncated voting rights. The South would revert back to plantation mentality while its allies in the west would patrol the perimeter of their vast tracts of land with automatic weapons. They’ll have to bus in their temporary migrant workers under armed guard and then quickly hustle them out when the harvest is over.

  16. OK, I. wonder how many Auroran wi show up:

    Feel like shooting a machine gun?
    Now is your chance!!!
    …these are “Machine Guns” you can shoot at the Family Shooting Center! 
    …one can achieve rates of fire of about 350 rounds per minute…

    Next Scheduled Shoot Date: 
    Sunday, July 29th

    http://www.familyshootingcenter.com/machine_guns/machine_guns.html

    Address:
    Family Shooting Center
    4201 South Parker Road
    Aurora, CO 80014

  17. Pardon the bad typing .

  18. Theoretical talk of secession one way or the other is fun to be sure, but if the US actually started approaching such an endpoint, it would be more in the nature of a Soviet Collapse into quite a few different countries. It would take tremendous discipline on all sides to keep such multiple divorces “velvet”. (That’s a referrence to The Velvet Divorce between Czechia and Slovakia). And if the country is going to delaminate into several or many smaller countries, the planes of cleavage will probably be regional in some cases. Northern Ohio and Northern Indiana might become part of Great Lakestan whereas Southern Ohio and Southern Indian might become part of The Ohio River Republic . . . for example.

    I have spent years wondering what would happen if West Virginia were to change its name to Appalachia and invite Appalachian counties from neighboring states to separate from the states they are in and join the new and growing State of Appalachia. The State of Appalachia could eventually extend from the Hill and Mountain Counties of Alabama all the way to the Hill and Mountain Counties of Pennsylvania or even New York (which has some counties officially recognized as being part of the Appalachian Region).

    Welcome to Appalachia, America’s Tibet.

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