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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sunday Morning Come to Jesus Moment on Second Amendment Solutions

I got some fan mail in relation to the previous post on last weekend’s attempted assassination. 

Here’s a sample:

Morning BUTThole!  How’s it feel to be PREDICTABLE BUTThole? LOL! (is your BuTThole chapped yet? ha ha LOL) I knew you would blame Sarah for what is CLEARLY a LEFTY terrorism LOL! You stupid liberals stope to new lows yet again! You LEFTYS just CAN’T be HONEST can you? You can’t pin this one on Sarah even no matter what you try.  This is LIBERALS killing LIBERALS!!!! just like the commune revolution! This is killing because of one thing -- the commune N@@R in the WHITE HOUSE LOL 9better get some rash cream LOL ha ha!) who divides us all. Sarah only says what is in the CONSTITION! “The tree of LIBERTY must be watered with the BLOOD of PATRIOTS” this is why we have 2 AMENTMENTS! (look it up on a REAL dictionary not LIBERAL BIAS WIKIPEDIA!!  Sarah is RIGHT we to put GUNSCOPES on SOCIALIST LEFTYS!!

There’s more, it goes on for another two paragraphs and another half dozen LOLs, but it’s all pretty much like the gibberish above. Blah blah ha ha. Lefty. Blah blah LOL! Asshole. Blah blah. Sarah, she is teh awesome. Blah blah LOL LOL LOL. It’s signed Florida Patriot, only patriot is misspelled “patriote.” 

When this guy first started emailing me a year or so ago, I figured it had to be a Poe.  Had to be.  I mean, come on

Any time I publish something on Palin I get a note from this character.

He’s tried to make a number of comments here on Stonekettle Station (at least I assume it’s him for various reasons) but I routinely delete bat guano like this without comment as is my official policy – well, unless there’s some comedy value to be gleaned by pointing and laughing.  Seriously, when he first showed up I figured it had to be troll bait, it’s just so stereotypical – almost too stereotypical – but then I read the comments under Fox and Yahoo and in the Tea Party forums and I realize that Patriot(e)’s writing style and cognitive ability is a fairly stereotypical example of his kind, and in fact may be more literate and concise than the average. Hell, he writes better than some of the comments I’ve gotten on Facebook from people that I actually know. Certain things (which I may or may not tell you about some day) since he first contacted me have caused me to come to believe that Patriot(e) is, in fact, for real and is probably a pretty fine example of a Tea Party poet laureate. Also, I’m pretty sure his comments and email originate from a server near the nation’s capitol, so I’m not entirely sure about the “Florida” part of his signature – just another mystery to explore in my spare time.

Honestly, I kind of like his letters (yes, yes, I know I run the risk of encouraging him. But, for you, gentle reader, I’m willing to risk it). His letters amuse me. So far he hasn’t threatened to kill me (though he does occasionally suggest that others, you know, might when the revolution comes) so you know that’s something. Plus, I really enjoy it when he calls me an enemy of America.  There are days where I almost think I should thank him because he’s inspired more than one blog post, this one included. Now, I have no idea if my crazy little Tea Party muse has the ability to influence others, or if he emails every writer he doesn’t agree with (I’m fairly sure I’ve spotted his comments on a few of the major news outlets), or if he’s just some trailer-dwelling comb-over sitting in his batman underpants, covered in Pop Tart crumbs and cat hair, dreaming about the day Sarah Palin and the “2 Amentmenters” take back America for people just like him. No, I’m not particularly worried about him, besides, he’s using IE on Windows Vista, how dangerous could he be really?

And the truth of the matter is that he’s only parroting what other far more dangerous and influential extremists have been saying since Saturday.

Take Rush Limbaugh:

Instead of dialing down the hate speech and the partisan rhetoric, instead of showing some class, Rush’s first comment on the attempted assassination of a US Congresswomen, the murder of a Federal Judge, a nine year old girl and half a dozen others, was to say that the Democratic Party “seeks to profit out of murder” and “openly wishes for such a disaster in order to profit from it.” 

Yes, face palm indeed. 

The utter hypocrisy is simply staggering.  He accuses the liberals of seeking to profit from murder, while he profits from murder.  You have to wonder if he isn’t pulling a Poe.

But Rush didn’t stop there, he goes on to say,

“Don't kid yourself. What this was all about is shutting down any and all political opposition and eventually criminalizing it. Criminalizing policy differences, at least when they differ from the Democrat Party agenda. One of the more disturbing things about this incident is that someday the left will finally get their wish. One of these days it's going to happen. This is all setting the table for it.”

And there it is. Nice of Limbaugh to prove me right.

Them. Those people. They’re coming for our freedom! They’re trying to take away our rights! They’re coming for our freedom of speech and our guns and our America! Them. Those people. Those Liberals. Those commies. Those people are stealing America! It’ll be a dictatorship! One day. They’re coming. You’ll see!

They used to talk like this about the Freemasons, coming to take our country. 

They used to talk this way about African Americans, coming to take our land and our women.

See, assault rifles and 30-round magazines, hate speech, assassination, putting crosshairs on politicians you don’t agree with, are policy differences. 

"I wouldn't be surprised if somebody in the Obama administration or some FCC bureaucrat or some Democrat congressman has it already written up, such legislation, sitting in a desk drawer somewhere just waiting for the right event for a clap-down. They have been trying this ever since the Oklahoma City bombing."

See? Liberals, they’re the enemy of America. The Democrats are coming to take your freedom and eat your babies. Why they’ve been planning it all along.

They used to talk this way about the Jews.

Hell, they still do.

Limbaugh then went on to complain about the criticism of Sarah Palin. Criticism like that I leveled against her in yesterday’s post. Limbaugh called that criticism “insane.”  So did Glenn Beck. So did SarahPAC’s spokewomen. So did a lot of people, including my little friend up above. 

On the surface, that criticism appears valid, i.e. attempting to tie Palin et al to this tragic event is crazy. 

Sure it is.

Rush, Beck, Palin’s mouthpiece, they all say the same thing: see, those weren’t crosshairs per se, and even if they were, not that we’re saying that they were because they were really surveyor’s marks from surveying like you know George Washington was a surveyor and all, but even if they were, well only a nut would actually think that we really meant, you know, shooting people for reals. You’d have to be crazy.

Yes, see, if you don’t agree with Rush, well, you must be crazy. Right?

Rush Limbaugh again:

“Groups are large. Many people populate groups and within any group of people, a sample is gonna find those who are unstable, deranged, and so forth like this kid [Loughner].”

Yes, every group. Including his own listeners.

Question: Knowing that, knowing there are crazies in your own followers, wouldn’t you want to temper your rhetoric?  Wouldn’t you caution your friends to temper theirs, for their own sake if for nothing else?

No? Of course not. Of course not.

Hey, I’m just asking here is all, don’t get your batman underpants all in a twist.

Here’s the real question, what exactly do these people think “Second  Amendment Solutions” are?

Seriously, when you talk about “taking back America,” when you talk about “taking our guns to Washington,” when you talk about “taking them out,” when you talk about “the blood of Patriots” and civil war what exactly are you talking about? When Chuck Norris talks about a “second Revolution” what exactly is he saying?  When Sharron Angle talks about “Second Amendment remedies” what does she mean?  When Joe Miller talks about the Second Amendment and then hires a security company made up of radical militiamen who talk of taking up arms against the US Government, hell, who have taken up arms against the government, what exactly does he mean? When Glenn Beck stands on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and talks about Second Amendment rights, when he invites the NRA onto his show to explain why Americans, each and every one, need access to fully automatic assault weapons and 30-round magazines, what are they getting at?

I’ll tell you what they mean.

They mean a women, a US Congresswomen, the wife of a US serviceman and astronaut, shot point blank through the head and lying in a puddle of her own blood.

That’s exactly what they mean.

Because that, my friends, is exactly what a “Second Amendment solution” looks like. 

But that’s not all. Not by a long shot.

Let me tell you exactly what the rest of a Second Amendment remedy looks like:

It looks like a judge, John Roll, choking out his life on a sidewalk, leaving his three kids fatherless and his wife a widow.  A fitting end, I suppose, after years of death threats egged on by conservative talk radio for his ruling on civil rights. I guess he had it coming.

It looks like a 30 year old intern, Gabe Zimmerman.  Gone in the first second. At least his fiancĂ© can take comfort in knowing it was a free citizen who answered the Clarion call of Second Amendment solutions that took her husband-to-be from her.  Perhaps that will keep her warm at night. But hell, he was just a liberal, get ‘em before they can breed, right?

It looks like a 79 year old grandmother, Phyllis Schneck, shot dead in cold blood.

It looks like another grandmother, 76 year old Dorothy Morris, a homemaker. Her husband, George, a former Marine, tried to save her by covering her body with his when the shooting started.  He’s still in the hospital, shot twice, life shattered, alone, his love of 50 years nothing but cold rotting meat on a slab in the morgue. They’ll bury her before he leaves the hospital, if he ever does.

It looks like a 76 year old grandfather, Dorwin Stoddard, shot through the stomach while protecting his wife, Mavy, with his own body, whispering his last “I love you” to her, his grade school sweetheart, as his life drained away.  She cradled his head in her old shaking hands and she told him that it was going to be OK, that she loved him – herself bleeding and shot multiple times in the leg – and it took him ten minutes to die there on the dirty tile of that grocery store.

And it looks exactly like a dead nine year old kid, Christina Taylor-Green born on September 11th, 2001 the day terrorists declared war on America, laying with her guts blown out in the middle of a sidewalk. No, don’t look away, don’t you dare.  You look at her, look at her little body curled around the bullet holes, her blood staining the tiles. She made it to the hospital, and she died there. You look into her clouded empty eyes as her body grows cold and stiff. Her hopes, her dreams, her future, her life, lost, gone, destroyed, erased in a spray of blood and violence and extremist hatred and Second Amendment solutions. By your God, you bastards, you look at her.  You look at her family, destroyed, shattered, gutted, empty, forlorn, bereft.  Everything she would be, everything she could have become, gone as if she had never been.  You look at her and you remember.

That, you stupid fuckers, is exactly what a Second Amendment solution looks like.

What the hell did you think it was?

Rush Limbaugh has the gall to call me insane?  Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Chuck Norris, Jan Brewer, Jon Voight, Michelle Bachman, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Wayne Lapeierre of the National Rifle Association, FoxNews, Bill O’Reilly, and every drooling ignorant illiterate rednecked moron who has ever waved a gun over his head at a Tea Party rally, keep calling for Second Amendment solutions? So let us be very, very clear here: what they are calling for is exactly what happened Saturday morning in Arizona to US Congresswomen Gabby Giffords. Exactly.

And Christina Taylor-Green, Gabe Zimmerman, Ron Barber, Pam Simons, John Roll, Dorwin Stoddard, Phyllis Schreck, Dot Murray? What of them? Well, they’re collateral damage. Make no mistake whatsoever, when you talk about Second Amendment solutions, what you’re talking about is taking up arms against the United States of America, you’re talking about shooting down those you don’t agree with, you’re talking about shooting a US Congresswomen right in the head.

You’re talking about refreshing the Tree of Liberty with the blood of a nine-year old girl.

That is exactly what you’re talking about and don’t you dare try to pretend that it’s not.

Here’s the thing so pay attention:  It does not matter whether or not the assassin, Jarad Lee Loughner, was a righty, a lefty, an independent, or just plain batshit bang bang crazy.  It. Does. Not. Matter. Not one iota. Because, see, Jared Lee Loughner’s solution was a Second Amendment solution, and that is exactly what it looks like. It does not matter if Congresswomen Giffords was a Democrat, Conservative, or an Independent. It. Does. Not. Matter. When you talk about Second Amendment solutions, you’re talking about taking up arms against the United States of America, you’re talking about taking up arms against your neighbors, and this is exactly what it looks like.

What’s the logic here?  Some random nut doesn’t agree with the government, so he guns down a Congresswomen like some gunslinger in the old Arizona west?  Well, yeah, that’s bad. But, hey, when we don’t agree with the Administration and we call for Second Amendment solutions, that’s different.

Different how?

How is that different?

How is it different from those Leftwing extremists who took up arms against their fellow citizens during the 60’s? How? Conservatives repeatedly bring up Bill Ayers. They repeatedly condemn his radical extremism, and rightly so. Then they talk about doing the exact same thing, only somehow when Chuck Norris and Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle call for armed action against the government it’s different. How? Because they’re talking about guns instead of car bombs? Because they’re talking about shooting Liberals? Because they’re talking about shooting Progressives? Moderates? Centrists?

Bullshit.

Or do they somehow think they’re just going to show their guns to the rest of us, and we’re just going to go meekly off to die in the Canadian wilderness without firing a shot? Is that it?

When the mullahs called for death to America, when the Imams declared Jihad, when Osama Bin Laden called for the Mujahidin to kill the infidels, the murdering bastards didn’t get to look America in the eye and say, hey, we’re not responsible if the crazies chose to fly an airplane into the World Trade Center, we were just speaking metaphorically. It’s insane to hold us accountable.

Now, now that there is blood on the sidewalk, now Rush Limbaugh wants to absolve himself of responsibility? Now Sarah Palin wants to pretend that Second Amendment solutions are something else? Now they want to claim that this isn’t what they were talking about?

What then is the point of bringing their guns to Washington? Why then do they even care about gun control laws, if they have no intention of using those guns in the first place?

They don’t even have the common decency to be ashamed.

No.

Make no mistake, make no mistake whatsoever, Limbaugh and his friends, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, these treasonous traitorous seditious sons of bitches finally got a look at what they’ve been threatening us with for the last two years. And what it looks like is a women shot through the head, what it looks like is a slaughtered nine year old girl, what it looks like is a dead grandmother and a dead grandfather. What it looks like is a bloodbath.

Limbaugh wants to absolve himself of responsibility? He wants to absolve Sarah Palin and the Tea Party?  He wants to absolve Glenn Beck and FoxNews and the Right? He wants to absolve Chuck Norris? He wants to absolve all those who have been calling for Second Amendment solutions?

Fuck him, I don’t think so.

69 comments:

  1. :: stands a salutes to the great white north ::

    Remember, Jim, to the righteous, all they do is righteous.

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  2. Jesus, Jim, this is the best post on this whole mess I've read -- and I'm glad to see I'm not the only sissy you made cry.

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  3. THIS is exactly what I have been saying for the past 3 days. Exactly.

    How can it be that your normal, every-day person can be arrested for threatening to kill the president or inciting a riot, yet these hypocritical, ignorant bastards literally get away with murder every time they open their mouths?

    I think Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck, et al, should have their mouths washed out with soap in front of their god and everyone.

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  4. I often think I have crazy readers. But yours are crazier.

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  5. I remember the event that I think led you to my blog, Megan. Those were some unbalanced folks, if you're who I think you are.

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  6. Applause.

    I have to say that some of your "commenters" make me feel decidedly normal, which is a strange feeling.

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  7. May all the Gods Bless you for your courage and your plain-spoken eloquence.

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  8. You made me cry. Thank you for this post, I'm linking it around.

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  9. Who was it again that lamented, in front of a whole bunch of sycophants, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?"

    I'm fairly sure that he insisted afterwards that he never meant for anyone to get killed either.

    Also, Jim, I found out earlier that Phelps intends to picket Christina's funeral. this explanation for his behavior is starting to make more and more sense.

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    Replies
    1. Rens,
      I know this is long after, but just ran across this in my wandering through older posts.
      "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest" is attributed to King Henry II of England talking about Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered in his cathedral as a result. Henry later allowed himself to be flogged in the cathedral as part of his penance for having inspired, albeit supposedly without meaning to, the murder.
      Old Navy Comm O (and Anglophile and history buff)

      Delete
  10. How is your tone different from what you are blaming on your opponents? You are saying that inflammatory speech can result in violent actions yet you are engaging in some of it yourself. You are claiming that your political opposition consists of revolutionaries and of people who are partially responsible for cold blooded murder.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't see anything in Jim's post that made me believe I should take a guoiand kill anyone who didn't agree with him. He didn't tell me to use second ammendment solutions. What is your point?

      Delete
  11. Jim,

    BZ shipmate. Bravo Zulu.

    I thought if I have to read anymore wingnuttish commentary from Facebook friends who reflexively circle their right wing wagons to protect seditionists and hatemongers like Limbaugh, I might just resort to 2nd Amendment solutions of my own.

    This post, and your undeniable, potent, and truthful imagery puts an end to that way of thinking. You're absolutely right. Righteously right. Let's hope your buddy Patriot(e) [hopefully, not confused with this Patriot!] still comprehends enough language and words to understand what you wrote. Sadly, I think they are beyond the bend at this point. And the crazed language from their "leaders" will not stop, much less walk these people back. Simply put, They.Cannot.Be.Wrong.EVER.

    RP

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  12. I heart you, man.

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  13. I'm not really sure how I originally made my way to your blog, but I'm guessing it was through Janiece, who I found through a blog review site. Your crazies seem far more dedicated; mine are more like drive-by weirdoes.

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  14. I think these people have been yelling Fire and I think it is time something was done about it.

    However I doubt anything will be. Too much money to be made.

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  15. I got this lovely Sarah Palin link from someone on twitter. "Blood libel" - WTF?

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  16. PJ Nagrom,

    the difference should be obvious. Go back and carefully reread what I wrote, nowhere, no where, did I call for violence - or to be more in keeping with Rush's tactics, allude to violence - against those I ideologically oppose. Nowhere did I post a chart of my political opponents designated by gunsights. Nowhere did I call for second amendment solutions because I don't agree with those in power, or on the TV, or on the radio. Nowhere did I, in fact, call for revolution, or mutiny of the armed forces, or for Americans to kill their fucking neighbors.

    Just the opposite in fact, I have repeatedly called for rule of law. I have repeatedly called for the demagogues, the hacks and flacks and pundits and politicians to STOP referring to half of America as "the enemy." I have repeatedly called for tolerance, a end to bigotry, homophobia, racism, anti-Semiticism, and this bullshit about American Exceptionalism which is just another word for extremist nationalism.

    Here's the bottom line, PJ, if these bastards don't want to be called bastards, or treasonous traitorous seditious sons of bitches, well then they shouldn't act like bastards and treasonous traitorous seditious sons of bitches.

    That clear is up for you?

    _____________________

    Megan, yep, that's what I was talking about. That review site also reviewed Nathan's blog, where the so-called "reviewer" and her pals got into a very ugly fight with me and other members of the UCF. Though she did eventually email me to apologize and take down the garbage on her review site. I originally assumed you were part of that site - though based on your comments and your most excellent blog, I realized later that you were not. Apologies for making that assumption, BTW.

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  17. Phiala, as I said, she doesn't even have the common decency to be ashamed. She is a failure as a human being.

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  18. Nick from the O.C.January 12, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    I don't favor any action that would infringe on freedom of speech--especially for "journalists" such as Rush and Beck. Nor do I favor muzzling the WBC assholes who are expressing (abhorrent) religious views. But for those individuals whose words lead to violence (whether intended or not) I offer this pithy definition I found on the interwebs.

    Manslaughter in the second degree is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being without malice either express or implied, and without intent to kill or to inflict the injury causing death, committed accidentally in the commission of some unlawful act not felonious, or in the improper performance of an act lawful in itself. Manslaughter in the second degree may be committed by the doing of an unlawful act, or the doing of a lawful act in an unlawful manner, although at the time the defendant did not actually know that the act would result in homicide, and this notwithstanding, after the act was done, or while in progress the defendant used ordinary care to prevent the taking of human life; nor is the intention to take life necessary in a prosecution for this offense.

    Where are the ambitious District Attorneys and US Attorneys?

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  19. Well crud,

    Once again I find my own response to last Saturday's tragedy totally lacking. Dammit Jim!

    It's too bad that these words will not bring realization to those who have helped to create, and continue to feed the atmosphere that gave birth to what happened in Tuscon.

    Nicely done.

    Joe

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  20. Yes. Absolutely yes.

    But they don't want to take part in these "Second Ammendment Solutions" themselves. They want poor saps like Jared Loughner to do it for them. They've got mortgages and flat-screen TVs and hey, the Cowboys are on tonight, you see.

    So not only are they traitors, they're fucking cowards too. Quite the combination.

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  21. Thank you for writing these words.

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  22. A friend of mine on Facebook linked your post there. Very well said, sir. I'm glad I found your blog.

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  23. Thanks, Jim.

    BTW, I'm not quite sure why your illiterate anti-fan wastes his time. If he hates your point of view so very much, why does he bother to read what you write, and send you hate-mail? Does he honestly think his stunning rhetoric and well-thought out argument is going to make you see the error of his ways and change your mind?

    The crazies, you have them. Mine are tame marmosets in comparison.

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  24. Thank you. I haven't said a word about Saturday since I didn't know how. I don't write about politics, I don't maintain a real blog presence, but I wish I did for moments like this where I could link back to this post. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to light candles and apologize for the acts of intolerance encouraged and called for by others.

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  25. I was linked from facebook, and have shared the link. And I only pass on things that I think are truly great.

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  26. Thank you, Jim. Thank you for pointing out what "second amendment remedies" really are. You'd think the people who call for them would know already...but they deny it.

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  27. Thanks for the comments all. Please feel free to link and digg and stumble and so on should you feel the urge. Come back and bring your friends ;)

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  28. I am so glad you are out there. I can't even read comments that contain Rush rhetoric or FOX-inspired garbage. I am almost in tears for what has become of our 'national debate'. Thank you so much for staying awake and active. Thank you for staying rational when so many others are losing it or hiding, like me, under the covers.

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  29. Jim, you have been shared and linked and Dugg. Thank you.

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  30. "But they don't want to take part in these "Second Ammendment Solutions" themselves. They want poor saps like Jared Loughner to do it for them. They've got mortgages and flat-screen TVs and hey, the Cowboys are on tonight, you see.

    So not only are they traitors, they're fucking cowards too. Quite the combination."

    So doesn't that make them more or less the equals of Osama Bin Laden? And the poor saps like Jared would be the equivalent of suicide bombers?

    Thanks for the though provoking post. Karin

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  31. If you reread the "combover asshole"s" comments again and then your own, you'll find that you're every bit the lunatic that he is.
    Assumong he exists, which is a bit doubtful, (just way too pat).
    Good luck with your writing career if that's the best BS you can come up with.
    The Tea Party is first and foremost for fiscal responsibility.You have a problem with that philosophy?
    As far as them being bigots, etc, have you noticed that their "Contract From America" says nothing about gay rights, abortions, and/or any other social issues??
    And what is it with guns? "Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O'Donnel fat", I say.
    I guess we'll see if you really like to hear it from all sides now.
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Craig Price

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  32. So doesn't that make them more or less the equals of Osama Bin Laden? And the poor saps like Jared would be the equivalent of suicide bombers?

    I don't know if I'd go quite that far, as there's nothing to think the Rushes and Palins or GOP leadership who traffic in this violent rhetoric are actively recruiting and training. They have too much skin in the game to go too far.

    What they do that's so dangerous is provide mainstream justification for the really dangerous people, the para-military and militia groups, who are recruiting and training and who's beliefs would, in any sane nation, get them ostracized from society at large. But when those beliefs are echoed by talk radio and the biggest network on cable well, then you have a problem.

    So f we continue this analogy, they're not Osama bin Laden, they're the mullahs who set the tone so that bin Laden will be successful.

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  33. Thanks for writing, Craig Price. I have wanted to hear from a real (as opposed the ones I see on TV) Tea Partier. I have some questions that are not meant in an way to be snide or ironic:

    As you said, the Contract From America speaks for the Tea Party.
    Does Sarah Palin speak for your party? Does Glenn Beck? Does Rush Limbaugh? I hear them speak, but I'm not sure who they represent. Do they speak for you?

    And if so, what do you really mean by a Second Amendment Solution? Is that something that is supported by the Tea Party? I know it's not in the Contract From America, but it was something repeated by Tea Party candidates many times during the recent elections. So many times, in fact, that it seems to be something supported by the party. Is that so? What do you mean by that call to action?

    I hope you take these questions as they were intended -- seeking to separate what is broadcast by both liberal and conservative media from what a real grassroots Tea Partier really thinks on the issues mentioned above, beyond the fiscal protest that were the roots of the party.

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  34. Hey, Anne, thanks for the questions.
    You are right, i am a grass roots Tea Partier, I guess.
    You do know that there is no actual Tea Party party, right?
    There are , however a bunch of groups trying to be the voice of the nonexistent "Party. It's all just a bunch of people who think the country is going in the wrong direction--Broke, that is--
    And, yes they do believe in America as the greatest experiment in freedom ever. Is this the "American Exceptionalism" that some people seem to think is a bad thing?
    Name a better country-
    We have been "A shining city on the hill" for the rest of the world to look up to, and hopefully to emulate.
    Perfect?, Well, duuuh, no,so again, name a perfect country.
    What I really believe is what Jefferson said, and this isn't exact, but I think it's the gist of it--"I'd rather suffer the ills of too little govt. than the ills of too much".
    He's also the one who said that the "tree of liberty" needs to be refrecshed from time to time with the blood of the patriot.Referring to maybe what some people apparently are calling "the second amendment solution?
    The second Amendment solution, huh?
    I have been to a couple of Tea Party get togethers and have never heard of that term before--this may seem surprising to liberals, but it isn't something that's out there much or I am 100% sure I'd have heard of it.
    Beck, Palin, Rush are all interesting , but are not really conservatives in the real sense--
    Conservative means that you don't want govt involved in very much, and certainly not in your private affairs--
    ALL of the founding fathers would be aghast at anti-abortionism, gay bashing,religious zealotry and even our drug laws, (they were reportedly occasional users, I hear).(Maybe where the "pursuit of happiness" thing came in?)
    Anyhow, I think the Tea Party people are just America lovers.
    Lightening things up a little?--
    Ted Nugent on gun control--" gun control is using both hands".
    Or-- " gun control is 5 shots in the "ten ring" (Bullseye, basically).
    I like to have my guns as I feel it is my personal responsibility to protect my family.
    Cops are fine, but they only clean up the mess after you've been robbed/raped/carjacked, whatever.
    They can't stop many crimes from happening.There is a "concealed carry" permit in Texas which requires 10 hours of classes and a trip to the gun range, etc.-
    Guess what the main topic of discussion is? Why you should never pull your gun unless you have made the conscious decision that "this guy has to be killed to be stopped".
    Statistics show that people with these licenses almost never commit a gun crime-- of course--Makes perfect sense when you think it thru.
    Whew, enough for today, huh?
    Thanks for listening.
    Craig Price

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  35. Mr Wright, or Jim if I may impose familiarity without being a long-time reader,

    I came to your blog post from a link on facebook. I was intrigued by your title, and was prepared to be offended by some "right-wing-nut-job" defending those who have been so vociferously advocating their Second Amendment Solutions. I must admit, I'd have ignored it entirely if there hadn't been the "teaser" quoting your Patriot(e) admirer.

    I am very favorably impressed by your elocution of the reality of the matter, in plain language that any asshat with a third grade education can understand, if they're willing to read it.

    In my opinion, this country needs a whole cadre of Chief Warrant Officers of your abilities, as evidenced in this blog, smacking the population out of it's recliners and back into real participation in the running and realities of this society.

    It's really easy for people to say "yeah, Rush. ditto, somebody should do something" without ever thinking through what will actually happen if somebody does do "something". And it's easy to sit back in horror and say "that nut was on the other side, not one of ours" and decry how it's all the other side's fault for existing, letting the people in the recliners look at it all as the evening's entertainment without realizing the people on TV exist beyond the boxes in their living rooms.

    I've heard some things about the people killed and injured from the mainstream media, but it is so little they might not ever really have existed. Yes, it is awful that the "civil" war of words has become a "hot" war with killings and injuries, and that a US Congresswoman was shot in the head. But I'm betting if Congresswoman Giffords had not been so badly injured, her concern wouldn't be that someone shot her, but that other people were killed and injured by the person who targeted her. I'd also bet you understand that way of thinking, having served our country yourself (thank you, sir) and being dedicated to those you served, and are still serving with this blog.

    My hat is off to you, sir. I hope your blog on this goes viral.

    Adrian

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  36. funny thing, I thought liberals were anti-gun? Jarod had a gun, So logic obnly dictates that he is not a liberal, but a bat guano crazy conservative.

    TimFromLA

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  37. @TimFromLA: Not all liberals are anti-gun. I know a number of liberals who own guns, and I think the gun control battle has done more harm than good.

    Columbines don't happen because Americans own guns. Yes, they are are worse because of the kind of assault weapons available, but they are not the cause and those mass tragedies are a tiny minority in a nation of millions.

    In my not humble opinion, when we spend our energies fighting about gun control, we only feed the fire of division and distract ourselves and our opponents from the real problems that drive young men into terrifying acts of destruction.

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  38. @Craig Price: The problem is that the Sarah Palins and Becks are championing your movement as a viable, cohesive party, and they blather daily about what you represent (which is what they think you should represent). It may have started as a grassroots coming together of like minds focused only on fiscal issues, but Rupert Murdoch has co-opted your movement for his own ends, including big big profits.

    Anyone from Alaska who's seen our Sarah up close knows she doesn't really give two hoots about the Tea Party. She is concerned with only herself and her wallet, which is why she cooled toward our own Tea Party candidate for the senate as soon as he failed to show her the amount of devotion she requires. If she was about principle, she wouldn't be like that, would she? (BTW, he proved to be an alarming embarrassment, and that's despite our state having quite a list of embarrassing elected officials as a matter of course!)

    Palin, Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Coulter, as well as other talking heads and "pundits" are promoting the Tea Party on TV and in print every day, using inflammatory, scathingly vicious, mostly untrue rhetoric directed at anyone who does not fall into line. They label all dissenters "Democrats" and "liberals" even though many outside their camps of admirers do not fall into both or either category. They demonize all of them with one big ugly brush to fear, while talking up the Tea Party.

    I've seen countless images of Tea Party rallies with appallingly offensive, racist, mindless signs. I've heard such people interviewed, and I've not been attracted to a movement that contains those people.

    Now, I'll concede the press probably picks out the biggest whack-a-loons to focus on because in the 1970s and 1980s I attended many a political rally (before we quit taking our children, and then quit going ourselves at some point in the early to mid 1990s because the religious fundamentalists had started talking "crazy" and we didn't want to endanger our family) and only once did I see a flag burner. At a rally in the early 1980s there was one lone flag burner, but all the rest of us were pissed at him for being a stupid ass! Still, he's the guy who ended up on TV and in the newspaper.

    If these public pop figures posing as journalists and pundits do not really represent the Tea Party accurately, then they need to be called on it by people like you. If the whack-a-loons do not represent your views, then that needs to be made more clear to those of us feeling under siege and dismayed at the low levels our public figures are sinking, including elected officials and those running for office.

    You know, I sat through a Mormon Tabernacle Choir event at the temple in Salt Lake City once and Sen. Orrin Hatch was there, which really put a damper on my good mood because I detest the man. Although merely looking at him agitated me because I had so many things I would have loved to say to him, it never once occurred to me to be uncivil, rude, or disrespectful in any way to the man or his community. He was an elected official in his church, and then outside his church chatting. Civility and good manners matter in a civil society.

    Like Palin, none of the other hysteria-whipper-uppers really give a rat's ass about the Tea Party or its members. They just want those millions of dollars for their bank accounts. As long as they can get their admiring fans to tune in and show up, they will keep getting those contracts for those big paychecks.

    I wouldn't want them speaking for me or claiming to be in my corner.

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  39. Jim, Bless your heart.


    Okay, now comments on the heads of the beast:

    Sarah Palin: You already know. No need to beat a dead horse.

    Hannity: An especial scumbag. I have no doubt whatsoever, not even a little bit, that Mr. Hannity lives exactly the opposite "moral" lifestyle than he claims and praises his viewers and throngs of fans for. I knew enough men like him back in the day, that I knows 'em when I sees 'em.

    Did you ever watch This Divided State? If not, do! It's fascinating.

    One interesting part, out of an entire documentary and added extras that were all interesting, is when Sean Hannity speaks at this Mormon college two weeks before Michael Moore is scheduled to be there. Watch him perform. Watch him swagger and smirk. Watch his disrespectful arrogance and how the youngsters who invited him did not think he was a nice man (they thought Michael Moore was very nice). You will know what I mean. That man has no respect for his own audiences and they are just too dim to get it, even as he has them hissing and turning on their own in the auditorium.

    O'Reilly: Just another snake oil salesman who doesn't believe his own garbage. He just shows up to do the job for the bucks and the attention feeding his ego. I don't think he even likes doing his regular TV gig. He'd rather be somewhere else.

    Beck: The same snake oil sales conman, except he wanted to be an actor but wasn't cool enough to be a character actor or handsome and macho enough to be a leading man, so he ended up doing what he does. At least he gets to be on TV and have fans. He wasn't doing that great until he found his niche as a rightwing fear and righteous-rage monger. He does it so well. He can even cry on cue. He has secrets, and not the kind of he-man, disdain for his women in every port, who can he pick from the audience, secrets like Hannity. They might involve women, but I'd bet my last dime they're career killing if certain things got out.

    Limbaugh: An especially especial scumbag. A conman like the others, but he is especially brazenly hypocritical as he spouts about what should happen to drug users and criminals, even as he was an illegal drug user and criminal who never paid a consequence, let alone one as severe as those he promotes for other people's children. And he deserves a special place in hell for mocking Michael J. Fox, mimicking his Parkinson's shaking, while claiming disdainfully that Fox is faking as part of some leftwing, liberal agenda that just wants to kill more babies. Frankly, any of his fans who were not so repulsed by the spectacle that they abandoned him, deserve to share that special hot spot with him.

    Anne Coulter: I've always suspected she hit on Bill Clinton and he turned her down. She probably felt like the only brassy-blond in town he didn't want to bag (not enough meat on her bones so not his type) so she made her career persecuting him. However, a few years after he was out of office she just couldn't milk that gravy train anymore so she went rightwing ballistic in an effort to stay relevant. She made it to the TV circuit only because she was a leggy blond that made anti-woman statements, which the media really goes for like they like black people who say bad things about black people. The media will interview her and have her on for pretend discussion/debate for her anti-woman, rightwing, pithy, controversial utterances and writings. Should she ever decide to say anything of actual substance, she'll be out of work. She's probably really needy and overbearing in her personal life too.

    So, who's Babylon?

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  40. Sorry for being a chatty Kathy tonight. I have insomnia, but I am starting to wind down, now that it's after 3:00am.

    Another commenter said something about freedom of the press or freedom of speech for the press (sorry, too sleepy to go back and re-read) but these people are not members of the press. They are not journalists.

    They get away with slander by calling it opinion. However,they justify and support their opinions with slanderous declarative statements as though the statements are fact. They are never required to actually provide supporting evidence to back up their claims.

    I could do that for a living, couldn't you? Just show up to talk about a topic and then say any old thing that comes into my head, and never have to talk to anyone who disagrees with me? I could do that for hours without missing a beat. (But given we actually read and learn something at least once a week, we'd probably be able to offer something that was true!)

    Writing books without providing supporting documentation and sources isn't journalism either.

    These people are not practicing journalism and they are not news people, but their audiences believe they are and that is what they want them to believe. On TV and radio, it is an unethical, destructive misuse of our public airwaves.

    That's why I don't think they should be allowed to use (exploit) our public airwaves the way they are. (And why should doing so, for free!, be adding to Robert Murdoch's wealth?) If they can provide actual evidence for their claims, then I want to know what they have to say. If they can't, then they should not be allowed to use the public airwaves to spread misinformation.

    Intentional misinformation has destroyed other nations. It certainly worked for Hitler so he managed to use the fledging democracy to dismantle and destroy it right away. Most recently, controlling media outlets to disseminate misinformation pretty much brought Italy's democracy to a halt and they haven't been able to keep their top thug out of office since.

    Thanks for the great post. Passing it on.

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  41. Well Jim, thanks to Mrs. B I have found your blog. Very very fine article on our crazy fellow citizens.
    As I have said in other places,
    these people are homicidal maniacs (we have all seen the lists of hate speech induced violence from the personal responsibility crowd...) they are ALWAYS angry, win loose or draw...
    They seem to want an America that NEVER was and NEVER should be
    The strangest part of all these folks who suddenly NOW believe that speech has NO consequences...is that they are always right (in this context i mean correct) and they fear and hate
    1) facts (including, but not limited to the scientific method)
    2) folks who VOTE differently from them
    3) folks who LOOK differently from them
    thanks again to Mrs. B.

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  42. Took me a while to digest it all, but rightwing nutjob or just a nutjob... this is exactly what "second amendment remedies" look like. Crazy as Laughner's writings are they seem a lot saner than Becks little chalkboard charts.

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  43. I have said, and still say, that treason as defined by the United states Constitution has been committed by several of these modern-day Nazis. Enough of the "First Amendment" and "Second Amendment" noise they put out to cover their treason. I am for a CONSTITUTIONAL solution to their bullshit.

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  44. Whew, Jim. This one was a rough read for me. But you spoke the truth, and I shared the link for this (and your Jan 12 & 14 posts also) with some of my friends.

    Please keep posting your thoughts & opinions. Many of us are listening and agree wholeheartedly with you.

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  45. "Jared Lee Loughner’s solution was a Second Amendment solution, and that is exactly what it looks like"
    His solution was also the actions of a lunatic - this is what that looks like. His solution was also a terrorist solution, and that is exactly what it looks like. His solution was also a communist solution, a Nazi solution, a Wild West solution. If you don't need any evidence to make the connection then what the hell, you can pick whatever you like.

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  46. Well then, PJ, I guess those the folks who advocate Second Amendment remedies are in good company.

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  47. Sorry, just not seeing it. Days go by, and Loughner can't be tied to Palin, Limbaugh or Beck. And his reading list included Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

    Isn't it kind of obvious that you want some right-wingers to be behind this?

    Sorry to disappoint you.

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  48. I've not heard or read anyone saying rightwingers or a specific public personality were directly "behind" the attack. That's not been the point.

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  49. Don't feed the trolls, Beemodern. He's either deliberately trying to bait me, or he's too stupid to understand the actual point of the post, either way I'd rather he go back to his little monkey house and fling shit there instead of here.

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. Well said, Jon, and I agree. Thanks

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  52. The people of this country need to learn the difference between individualism, collective individualism, individual collectivism, and socialism.

    The people of the world need to learn that there is only one classification for race, and the "X" goes into the box marked for human.

    Until that time, there will always be an "us" v. "them" mentality.
    There will always be those who crave the use of force to make their point. Whether it be political, religious, social, or what have you.

    That is why I will retain my rifles and my pistols. With their high capacity magazines. They will be taken to the field of battle only when the field is spread before my doorstep, and not before. If and when the fight seeks me, I will be prepared. If that day never comes, I will rejoice in my silver days.

    When peace comes voluntarily and without coercion, then I will gladly lay my arms aside never to be retrieved.

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  53. My previous comment is in reply to Jon's. He removed his first comment and reposted to correct some errors.

    Again, Jon, thanks for posting.

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  54. Greetings, young man.

    I've gotten into quite a routine here. Up at 5 a.m., get that first cup of coffee, explore Stonekettle Station for half an hour or so. I expect that will change a little as I make my way to the end of your current work, but for now it's an interesting way to watch the sun come up - reading, thinking, drinking my morning cup.

    This post took me by surprise, though it probably should not have, given what I've read of your work so far. I'll admit to weeping as I read the descriptions of those who were shot. It seems I'm in good company there, though, so I don't mind so much.

    You put a face and heart and soul into words as you described each person and their situation. I think that's what more people need - especially those who already lack a certain amount of empathy and truly do buy into somebody doing their second amendment solution dirty work for them.

    Thank you for painting this picture with your words. You retrieved the reality, the humanity of the unfortunate victims of this shooting and shared it with all of us.

    Keep writing, young man. You're helping me to be hopeful about a country I love, which in these times has been rather difficult (I am a teacher, you see, and lately we seem to be the nation's scapegoat).

    See you tomorrow.

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  55. Excellent. You've had me laughing ("some trailer-dwelling comb-over sitting in his batman underpants, covered in Pop Tart crumbs and cat hair"), crying at the truth and nodding my head in agreement with the majority of the comments.

    I couldn't agree more with you, Sundene, rest assured there are more of us who respect teachers than those who don't. Unfortunately, "those who don't" are making a lot of noise. We're trying to stand up for you and other public employees in Ohio. Keep the faith!

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  56. Jim, I just discovered your blog through Mudflats. It is like you are in my brain and able to put my thoughts down into words. It is so refreshing to read your articles and go "yeah, that is what I mean!". Is there any way you could go national and become a regular on Huff Post or something? Your writing takes my breath away and needs to be seen on a broader scale. It is very powerful. Thank you so much!

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  57. Wow Jim, I passed English 101 on my way to an engineering degree but somehow I think your toolbox is better stocked than mine! We have a lot in common, Navy background included, opinions apparently as well. I have no illusions that I can write nearly as well as you do, so I hope you don't mind if I just occasionally link your blog to my FB page. Thanks for sharing a sane view.

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  58. I just discovered your blog yesterday and I have been reading voraciously since. I agree with everything you say.

    As to the current topic: What can we do about this? We are all outraged. We all agree it's shameful, but how do we change it? Part of the problem is that people love conflict and drama. If these personalities didn't get ratings and revenues, they would not be on the air. To simply not watch would leave us ignorant.

    I welcome civil and rational discourse. I am open to being educated and exposed to viewpoints that are different than my own.

    Yeah, but neither civil or rational gets the big money.

    On an unrelated note (though maybe not if you think about it) thank you again, for creating this place. Most of the people I associate with do not share my beliefs. It's nice to go somewhere I am not accused by my very existence and belief system of actively trying to destroy this country. It's nice to know that I too am an American. Even if I disagree on what makes America a great place to live.

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  59. Jim,
    this post is so far down, I doubt you'll see it, or know I am here, days after the fact of you writing it.
    Thank you. Profoundly. From the bottom of my heart. I have been wandering around your blog, quietly, hoping to learn the lay of the land and fit in with this community. Yes, I got suckered into Stonekettle Station by THAT post - you know - the one about America that went through every blog, Facebook and website in America in about 48 hours flat. I was intrigued and fascinated and impressed. So I came over to your blog, carefully read your rules for posting (which I love) and began wandering around your posts. And then I hit this one. This one. Oh Jim.
    Thank you for blowing the whistle and going to the heart of the matter! Thank you for expressing, profoundly and eloquently the agony in my own heart the day of the shooting. My father, bless him is a man of 83, who served his country in Germany and Korea. He is currently a soft spoken gentle man who is thrilled his Wisteria bushes are blooming, and caring for my wheelchair and walker bound mother like a saint, with grace and humor and a life time of love. He is my hero. And politically he is a rabid conspiracy theorist, who spouts the "Blood of patriots" line every chance he gets. The dichotomy between the gentle tender man and the hateful political ranter is enough to make your head spin. I don't argue politics with him...he has earned my respect with a life time of love and strength, he has earned my respect with his service to his country. And I promised my mom not to bait him or get into political discussions with him, because *I* can hang up the phone - she has to listen to him boiling over afterwards. You keep your promises to your mom, ya know?
    But oh, how I wish I could give him your words. I wish he could read them. I wish, the next time he was off about marching on Washington, and the blood of Patriots, and Thomas Jefferson being the greatest Christian that every lived (he's in a world all his own, folks.) that I could say to him these words...THIS is what your second amendment solution looks like. Frankly, if I thought I had a chance of truly convincing him, that your words or my paraphrase would change his perceptions, make a difference, I believe I would send him the blog url and ask my mom's forgiveness later. However, it won't. He is an elderly man, frightened by the changes of the world since his childhood, a childhood and an era that he remembers, not how it was, but how he thinks it was, through rose colored glasses of time and distance. All it would do is make him angry, and harden his self righteous belief. I love him, and all I could think, as I read this blog, was that here, this - THIS - is what he cannot see. That this bloody horror is the end of the road down the Second Amendment Solution.
    Thank you. This has been a grieving knot in my heart and my gut...your words have given my inarticulate anguish voice and release.
    I will remember these words.
    And...Chief Warrant Officer, thank you for your service for your country and for me and mine. It is deeply appreciated.

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  60. I saw it, Cameron. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts with us all. Welcome aboard

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  61. Jim, new to your blog as well via Mudflats. Great piece, like your style. Very powerful. Your writing is like a refreshing pool of cool, clear sanity.

    BTW, your woodwork is exquisite.

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  62. I refer you to Cameron's comment above, as he has saved me a ton of typing. Very similar situation and beliefs. My father is a retired Army warrant officer; I grew up as a military brat, loving every minute of it. I even get homesick when I step foot in a military installation. He served two tours in Vietnam, went to Korea and Japan. I have great admiration for him, even though our political ideals are polar opposites. My daughter and I moved in with him after the death of my son and subsequently, my mother, and I have to admire his restraint in allowing us to put Obama signs in the yard during the election period. He won't say much, but I suspect he's a closet racist. But he's 80 now, and old school, and like Cameron said, you can't change that, and really at that age, what's the point?

    I have no idea how I found your blog, as I'm an incurable news hog and I am reading constantly, so somewhere, I ran across your link. I have to say, I love it, I'm still reading, and I'm so grateful also to find a place with like-thinkers. It's akin to not having anyone to talk to for years, and suddenly finding a friend you *can* talk to! Most everyone I know personally seems to range from Republican to downright Tea Partiers, so I keep politics completely off my own facebook page in order to just keep it a family page where we can share life and photos and stories.

    Your post on the Arizona shootings was nothing short of phenomenal. Thank you.

    For now, I'll be a lurker, while I finish reading. I haven't laughed so much in years...your writing style is just too precious!

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  63. This post, this one right here, now I know, I like your writing!!
    I live in Tucson. I have had a hard time being here the last 2 years. I work for a defense contractor, surrounded by retired military. I get frowned upon at work because I didnt retire, I left the Navy after 9 years,to pursue something different. I am frowned upon because I believe in personal freedoms, opinions and choices. I love nature and advocate for environmental protections, animal shelters and god forbid, yes, same sex marriage!! I love the fact that my home state, Vermont, passed that law allowing it.
    I carry a 9mm with me to work, I work in remote regions close to the border here, it is not the safest place I have been, and being authorized to protect my self, I do. I have never picked up my hand gun for any other reason than for target practice, ensure its safe and to clean it. It kills me when AZ passed their new gun law to allow CC without any training. Goodness, I remember gun quals with people who had years of training, and I was still scared to be next to them while they held a loaded fire arm. Great, so now I can go to the grocery store and for all I know, everyone in the store has a gun.
    This shooting killed me. One, because it happened only miles from my home, and two, because never in a million years would I ever think that taking a fire arm to a public place to shoot a politician would be a resolution to anything.
    Yes, I hate hearing the garbage that comes out of Sarah Palin's mouth, and Glenn Beck, but it means I one, stop reading, two turn the channel, or three ( and this happens alot) laugh and shake my head.
    The second thing that absolutely destroyed me over this entire tragic even that happened here, is coming to work that Monday, and to hear my co-worker, a retired E-8 from the AirFOrce, make the comment "thats what she gets for being a liberal"
    Are you fucking kidding me???? A man who served 25 years in our military, sworn to support and defend our Constitution and this country, and that's what you have to say about a Congresswomen being shot in the head?? So what about the other deaths?? Oh, they were "tragic bystanders, but they were there to support her". I lost so much respect right there for a few co-workers, vets of this country, but people so blinded by the media and press and so brain washed with the nothing that you can not be a true American if you don't believe in the Republican party!Fuck off!!

    Our youth are bombarded by hate, the internet has only amplified it. We sputter words of hate, and our "2nd Amendment Solutions". I believe everyone has the right to bear arms, yes. Doesn't mean everyone has the brain to handle that. And this tragic even just goes to show that.
    And no matter what they all say, for every one that has said to the public "take up arms against our government", "take America back" ect ect ect, uttered any words of violence and uprising, and doesn't think those words were not taken literally by this young man that day, get a fucking reality check!!

    I love this post! Because it is the down and dirty of what our country is going through right now.

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  64. very well said..pure common sense ..at the end of the day people are dead people are hurt and all because some wacko (insert whatever political affiliation) killed them and was ready to reload and start over
    second amendment solutions are not the answer

    found your blog via a friend posting the constitution blog..loved it its not surprising it has gone viral..its true hahaha....god guns and glory
    love your sense of humor

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  65. Much time has elapsed since this was originally posted. I still had tears welling up reading through the stories of the casualties from this event. I am glad Rep. Giffords has recovered and was able to be up on a rooftop watching the Endeavor fly towards its new home in LA. Time goes by.

    But my heart still breaks for those we all lost and their families. I still occasionally get crazy garbage forwarded to me from retired military friends whose politics long since diverged from mine. For others of more sensible persuasion, I forward links to your site, Jim.

    Thank you for all your writing. This was especially poignant and I am glad to find it in the greatest hits section. Keep up the good fight.

    Old Navy Comm O

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