The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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April 17, 2013 9:00 am

Skip to about 2:45 to hear some nicely stated thoughts on this matter (from a Republican).  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but when your right to bear arms infringes upon the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of thousands of Americans every year, then I stop caring about the 2nd amendment.  

Moreover, let’s think about the second amendment a little — forming a militia and the right to bear arms made sense when you had a fledgling nation facing an uncertain future.  But guess what, we’ve basically got this whole democracy thing down.  Does anyone really think that the second amendment would allow for some well-meaning defenders of freedom to overthrow a government taken over by zombies or (even worse) Mullahs?  And the idea that some wackadoo with an assault rifle could gun down our most powerful leaders — or voters at the polls, or protestors — poses a greater threat to the stability of our nation than the possibility of some sort of military junta.  

It’s absolutely asinine. 

March 19, 2013 8:57 am
msnbc:

From The Last Word:
Gun violence turned Carolyn McCarthy into a widow after her husband was killed during a 1993 shooting rampage on a commuter rail train. But according to the National Rifle Association, the New York Democratic rep has “no idea what [she’s] talking about” when it comes to understanding firearms and gun violence.

(Photo credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

One of the many ways the NRA continually fucks up: don’t get personal. If you want to have a policy debate, have a policy debate. But you will always always always lose/look like a jerk by attacking sincere and impassioned individuals who lost a family member to gun violence.

msnbc:

From The Last Word:

Gun violence turned Carolyn McCarthy into a widow after her husband was killed during a 1993 shooting rampage on a commuter rail train. But according to the National Rifle Association, the New York Democratic rep has “no idea what [she’s] talking about” when it comes to understanding firearms and gun violence.

(Photo credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

One of the many ways the NRA continually fucks up: don’t get personal. If you want to have a policy debate, have a policy debate. But you will always always always lose/look like a jerk by attacking sincere and impassioned individuals who lost a family member to gun violence.

February 16, 2013 10:48 am
"All I’m saying is, without the guns involved, wouldn’t it have been just a guy who lost a fight."

Bill Maher, regarding George Zimmerman and Treyvon Martin.  
January 31, 2013 10:00 am
"We are Americans,” she said. “We stop being the world’s greatest country when we allow our most vulnerable citizens to be slaughtered because we might offend people by taking away their guns. We stop being something to be proud of when we love our guns more than we love our children."

Susie Ehrens, whose daughter, Emma, escaped from Sandy Hook, appealed to the legislators to act as if it were their own children who did not come home alive that day.

(Source: The New York Times)

January 30, 2013 6:28 pm
"I’ve been shot at dozens of times. I would suspect that not many members of this panel, or even in this room, for that matter, have been in any kind of a firefight. It is — it is chaos. I think there are really some very effective things we can do. And one is, Senator, the background check. Let’s make it difficult for the criminals, the terrorists, and the mentally ill to get a gun."

MARK KELLY, gun owner, ex-Navy captain, former NASA astronaut and husband of Gabby Giffords, testifying before a Senate committee on reducing gun violence.

Gun owner: check.  Shot at: check.  Suggesting rational gun control measures: check.

Probably hated by NRA: check.

(via the New York Times)

This guy.  Holy smokes.

January 22, 2013 1:00 pm
"We’re in the old, fat Elvis phase of our life, as America. We’re crazy and we have guns."

Bill Maher
January 16, 2013 9:34 pm
brooklynmutt:

The President handed out high fives during today’s presser

This guy.  Winning everything, all the time.

brooklynmutt:

The President handed out high fives during today’s presser

This guy.  Winning everything, all the time.

(via brooklynmutt)

January 8, 2013 11:00 am
"Before the slaughter in Aurora, Colo.—and long before Sandy Hook—a survey of gun owners found that nearly 9 out of 10 of us support criminal-background checks of anyone who seeks to buy a gun. (Currently only in-store purchasers are checked; there’s a loophole for gun shows.) Eight in 10 gun owners support background checks for employees of gun sellers, 7 in 10 support banning gun sales to anyone under 21, and more than 6 in 10 would prohibit violent offenders from obtaining a concealed-handgun permit."

Despite what you might hear, most gun owners actually support tougher controls. (via newsweek)

And this is when you realize that NRA doesn’t actually represent ANYONE, just weapons manufacturers.   
December 21, 2012 4:57 pm
"The NRA’s Washington leadership has long been out of step with its members, and never has that been so apparent as this morning. Their press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country. Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe. Leadership is about taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis. Today the NRA’s lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. While they promote armed guards, they continue to oppose the most basic and common sense steps we can take to save lives - not only in schools, but in our movie theaters, malls, and streets. Enough. As a country, we must rise above special interest politics. Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns. That’s why 74 percent of NRA members support common sense restrictions like criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun. It is time for Americans who care about the Second Amendment and reasonable gun restrictions to join together to work with the President and Congress to stop the gun violence in this country. Demand a plan."

New York City mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG. (via inothernews)

And with each passing crisis, I love Michael Bloomberg a little bit more. 
December 18, 2012 6:25 pm
"I am concerned that the term “tragedy” used in conjustion with Newtown is not appropriate to signify the gravity of the situation. Tragedy is defined as a disastrous event marked by great loss normally as a result of an unintended action. The sinking of the Titantic or the crashing of an airplane might be considered a tragedy. No, let’s be blunt, what happended last Friday was a MASSACRE…the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty. Perhaps if we use this terminology, then inaction on the part of our elected officials will not be an option. Demand better of America."

A family friend posted this today.  He’s retired military, and absolutely right.
December 17, 2012 12:37 pm
"There are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in private hands in America—many legally owned, many not. Each year, more than 4 million new guns enter the market. This level of gun saturation has occurred not because the anti-gun lobby has been consistently outflanked by its adversaries in the National Rifle Association, though it has been. The NRA is quite obviously a powerful organization, but like many effective pressure groups, it is powerful in good part because so many Americans are predisposed to agree with its basic message."

Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in this month’s Atlantic is both extremely ill-timed and extremely well-timed.  A lot of thoughtful insights in here, valuable because they were not made in hindsight to Friday’s tragedy.   

(Source: The Atlantic)

December 14, 2012 4:23 pm
"Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year olds. President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (via theatlantic)

I am so sick of this shit.   

(via kateoplis)

July 21, 2012 2:45 pm
"What did happen early Friday morning was not an act of God. It was not His will that all those people should die or be injured. Nor was it something the Second Amendment requires, commands or ordains. It was, instead, an act of man, a man, who was allowed by law to arm himself more heavily than the police. Local television is inundated this weekend with stories of the victims, and the survivors, and the community’s pain. But that’s just one part of the tragedy that accompanies this story. The other is the realization that in the day and a half since the Aurora massacre another 100 or so people have been shot to death in America. The land of the free. The home of the brave."

Andrew Cohen, on gun violence in America. (via theatlantic)

A line in this piece struck me as interesting.  “a man, who was allowed by law to arm himself more heavily than the police.”  In my gut, I immediately think, “what a ludicrous idea.  There is no earthly reason why the very people who are supposed to protect civilian life should be over-matched.”  But the thing is, that is explicitly the right granted in the second amendment.  The founding fathers never wanted to allow for the possibility of totalitarian, authoritative despots who could simply threaten people into submission.  But there’s a flaw here.  If the Constitution has been effective in its intent, and absolute power lies in the hands of the people to freely elect their representation, the need to form militias and overthrow a government is nonexistent.  In fact, it poses a greater threat to the idea of a peaceful democracy as it allows radicals with weapons to overturn the will of majority.

Look, I love the founding fathers.  Love them.  America is a beautiful idea, which has been largely realized.  But we need to have the balls, as a nation, to admit that the framers were flawed.  They owned slaves, and thought only white men deserved the ability to vote and own property.  They were wrong about guns.  If you have a freely elected democratic government, militias seem positively third world.  You don’t need to heavily arm yourself against the threat of tyranny when we peacefully overturn the government every two years and the men in suits quietly file in and out of the Capitol. It sounds terribly idealistic, but our votes are our weapons.  And that is more American than shooting a goddamn gun.

(via theatlantic)

April 30, 2012 7:02 am
"In the nineteen-sixties, gun ownership as a constitutional right was less the agenda of the N.R.A. than of black nationalists. In a 1964 speech, Malcolm X said, “Article number two of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun.” Establishing a constitutional right to carry a gun for the purpose of self-defense was part of the mission of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which was founded in 1966."

In the wake of Trayvon Martin, it occurs to me that if you wanted the NRA to get behind gun control laws, we might do well to heavily arm all of the constituencies which oppose them.  There’s a line from a West Wing episode where a congressman says something like, I never understood why gun control supporters don’t all just join the NRA and change the organization from within.  Pie-in-the-sky perhaps, but not without some merit.

(Source: newyorker.com)

January 15, 2012 1:59 pm
"Machine Guns Vegas, a 10,000-square-foot lounge and shooting range, opens this month. It will include 16 shooting lanes and stock weaponry from handguns to machine guns. Two lanes will be part of a V.I.P. area, offering groups the use of a lounge furnished with plush sofas and plasma TVs."

Las Vegas, a paradise, an inferno, America.  Also, I will totally go there.

(Source: The New York Times)