A Year After the Newtown Massacre, Gun Nuts are Still Nutty

1499543_10152099937627489_1345964120_nDespite what most conservatives who might read my articles think, I’m actually a pretty sensible person.  I’m much more of a “centrist” than I am a “true liberal.”  I just subscribe to the idea that while some principles shouldn’t be compromised, you have to be honest with yourself about what those should be.

Take for instance human rights — I’m uncompromising.  Yet when it comes to welfare reform, I’m more than willing to admit there is abuse going on in these programs and it needs to be addressed.  Granted I don’t believe blanket cuts to these programs is the answer, but I do believe stricter oversight would actually help curb some of the abuse.

But the one issue that seems to get people riled up the most is guns, and I’ve never really understood why.  I own 2 guns — big deal.  Self defense and sport are their main purposes.  I don’t overly obsess with these guns nor do I “fear” anyone is coming to take them.  Then again, I don’t live with the mindset that my ownership of a gun somehow keeps the “government fearful” of its citizens.

It’s honestly laughable that there are millions of people who believe that gun ownership keeps the government “in check.”  I mean, talk about being delusional.

But in this country you can’t even bring up sensible gun regulations without millions of people losing their minds.  I’m not talking about gun confiscation, or even registration, I’m talking about common sense gun regulations.

You know, like universal background checks.  Will this deter all gun violence?  Of course not, but it won’t hurt either.  Or something like magazine size limits.  I’m sorry, as a shooter, nobody needs more than ten round magazines.  If you can’t hit what you’re trying to hit with ten bullets, you shouldn’t be using a gun.

And no, don’t give me these ridiculous hypotheticals of groups of masked marauders breaking into your home, requiring you to need more than ten bullets.  Yes, I’ve actually had someone come back with that kind of hypothetical situation.  “Well, what if 11 guys break into my house, I’ll need more than 10 bullets then!”

I’ll tell you what, if 11 men are breaking into your home, you’re screwed — period.  You’re not Rambo and despite your delusions to the contrary, you never will be.

The problem is, these people really believe guns have nothing to do with gun violence.  As if guns magically shoot themselves.  Here’s the truth: Guns, by themselves, are harmless.  But when you mix crazy people and an easy access to guns, then you have a problem.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  True.  And people prefer guns, hence the need for regulations to prevent access to those guns.

Which is why regulations are needed that aim to curb the likelihood of crazy people having access to guns that can unload incredible lethal force.   That’s just called common sense.

And no new law on background checks, or even the more unlikely situation of magazine limits, will drastically lower gun violence overnight.  These aren’t “instant” solutions meant to impact gun violence numbers once they’re passed.  They’ll take time.  And again, they won’t prevent everything.

But these rabid gun nuts really believe a citizenry that’s armed like it’s the old west makes more sense than a handful of sensible regulations aimed at preventing some gun violence.

I just can’t grasp the level of paranoia these people live in.  Part of it is based on this idea that their lives are in constant threat, with armies of criminals just waiting to overrun an unarmed society.  The other part is based on this notion that one day we’ll have to violently overthrow our government.

But what these people don’t realize is that they’ve been manipulated by the NRA and other gun manufacturers who profit heavily off their paranoia and fear.  The more afraid these people are, the higher the NRA membership totals grow and the more profits gun manufacturers make.

Though, when all is said and done, the “gun debate” is more or less pointless.  And unfortunately, even with horrific tragedies like Newtown happening far too often, nothing has been accomplished to try to prevent any of them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Pat

    Yup, you got it, Allen Clifton. Zilch, zip, nada, nothing has been done, and that’s a damn shame. I wonder how Gabby Giffords, and the Newtown families, and the Aurora Theater families, etc., etc., etc. feel about that. I am not from any of those families and I am really pissed off, so I can only imagine their frustration and disappointment that here we are, one year later and nothing has changed. What’s it gonna take? First graders had their heads blown off, and still nothing is done. What an utter and absolute disgrace.

  • Cemetery Girl

    I am gun neutral, my husband is former military and an enthusianist (he has 4, is building a rifle, and his dream job is gunsmith.) We have discussed this topic a lot. Thankfully, my husband is a reasonable enthusianist. He sees no problem with a magazine limit (because if you still haven’t hit your target in 10 shots you shouldn’t be shooting, and if you are practiced with your weapon and need to reload, as in the 11 intruder theory, it just doesn’t take that long to do) and he supports stronger background checks, because really there are mentally unstable people that shouldn’t own a gun. Is this unfair? I don’t think so. I’ve known an epileptic that was unable to obtain a drivers license, a heart bi-pass surgery survivor that lost his pilot license, and why? Because their health conditions made those things a threat to public health. Certain mental illness has the potential to do the same with gun ownership. But then again, those that scream persicution when gun regulation is even mentioned praise people like Ted Nuggent, which to many sensible people is the poster child for why better regulations are needed.

    • CrazyWeightOwner

      I am also ex-military and I feel as if I can handle a gun pretty well. I also support 10 round limits, if the 11 come into my house I would just try to hit 2 or 3 of them with the same bullet. A clean head shot will go right though the skull and hit another. Of course, I am not a Clint Eastwood nor a Rambo, but I know my house better than the 11 intruders and I would hide upstairs and use my solid dumbbells as bombs as they attempted to head upstairs to get me. I don’t know, but I would assume not many men could take a 45 lb dumbbell to the head and continue to advance forward. Then I would be able to save my 10
      rounds for the lucky ones that did get past the barrage of dumbbells and free weights.

      • GL

        That would be a really sensible strategy for the “11 intruder” idea. Heck, that would be a sensible strategy for a “1 intruder” scenario.

    • Jim Bean

      If it were only that simple. Get too heavy handed with mental health gun restrictions and people who need mental health treatment will decline it. Its already illegal for felons to get guns but they still get them which proves that new regulations can’t be effectively enforced any better than the existing ones.

      • getoffmylawn

        What a stupid assertion. Felons buy guns in private sales at gun shows and over the internet, unregulated. Screwballs can buy 80% receivers and build an AR-15 from parts acquired unregulated online. Please don’t make the asinine assertion that since gun violence is bad in Chicago that regulations don’t work. Chicago just proves that LOCAL regulation doesn’t work and it needs to be nationalized, since someone from Chicago can drive over to Indiana in about 45 minutes and buy all the guns they want, you have to prevent them from buying guns there also. Additionally, since there are now around 300 million guns in circulation in the US now, we’ve created a monster that will be very tough to kill without a national effort.

      • Jameson

        You too sir, have a stupid assertion (doesn’t feel good does it). You think a federal regulation will make a change. In the 1920’s prohibition worked great didn’t it. There were more alcoholics in the 20’s than any other time period to that point. How is that war on drugs going? Man those federal regulations stick it to those bad guys. Cause when it is local, they don’t care, but when it is federal, you got them boys a shakin in there boots. By the way, I don’t think your assertion is stupid, I just think it is an assertion. I think the only issue I would have on the government regulating a type of weapon or magazine capacity would be that it is one more thing the government would control. At some point you have to ask yourself, do I own myself? We depend to much on our government to solve everything. It is no wonder it gets bigger each year.

      • getoffmylawn

        Jameson, spare me your fake outrage and nonsense. Since when is “regulation” a failure? No one, I mean no one is talking about banning all firearms, but regulating to keep them out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. Even Scalia, your pal on the Supreme Court, said guns can be regulated. Cars are regulated. Voting is regulated. Insurance is regulated. Speech is regulated. Since when are guns suddenly immune? Up until the gun industry took over the NRA, even it supported universal background checks. Prohibition BANNED alcohol sales. The war on drugs criminalized drug sales and use. No one is talking banning all guns, and you know it. You are comparing apples and peanut butter sandwiches. Nice try, but stupid, too.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        more like comparing religion to spirituality. religion is voodoo ( rules; fear ; mantra,,,ETC) spirituality is an individual communion with whoever that individual calls GOD”

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        we are waiting for you to tell us exactly whats WRONg with gun registration for all sales….

      • Because, in their paranoid little brains, a gun registry will automatically lead to confiscation. Just like when it came out that Ford Pintos were prone to blowing up in accidents and all Pintos registered were taken away.
        Oh, wait….

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        yep,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, “OBAMAS coming 4 ur guns” …I always ask: “WHEN”???

      • Jim Bean

        I’m waiting for you to explain why felons who are prohibited by law from possessing a firearm would participate in the registration process knowing it will land them in jail. (God, I hope you’re not going to say something really stupid like, “It would prevent them from getting a gun.”)

  • Sparklark

    Talking about “Welfare Reform” is infuriating, while corporations get so many freebees, that outnumber the total – any total of the lifetime of “Welfare” any ONE person who lives below the poverty level gets in a LIFETIME!! That includes any food stamps, medical and section-8 totals!!
    When talking about GUN REFORM, which is the initial subject of this article, I basically agree with you.
    Though not everything is fool-proof, stricter guidelines are needed.
    For instance, if you have a history of drinking and hunting, shooting your “friend” in the face (DICK Cheney!) – you might be a nutcase! And should NOT have ANY weapon!! He has lifetime Secret Service, why does he need any weapons (unless the Secret Service get’s sick of him and turns on HIM)?
    Men who abuse women shouldn’t even be on the STREETS!! Let alone have access to firearms!
    Every woman, however, should be armed, trained and allowed to carry! 😛

  • Jim Bean

    Really? (“It’s honestly laughable that there are millions of people who believe that gun ownership keeps the government “in check.”) Haven’t the minimally armed, untrained, and unorganized, Afghanistan resistance fighters succeeded in defeating both of the mightiest military machines in the world (Russia/USA)?

    • getoffmylawn

      You mean those who were kept supplied with weapons from Iran and China (as well as the US)?

      • Jim Bean

        The topic of discussion is, “Is the minimally armed citizen a genuine obstacle to government oppression?” – not, “Who is responsible for supplying the weapons they used to fight off the oppression attempt?”

      • getoffmylawn

        Then why are trying to change the subject to Afghanistan?

      • Jim Bean

        Its not ‘changing the subject’ because Afghanistan is an example that disproves the claim that an armed citizenry in the USA could not defend itself against a hostile take-over of our democracy that employs the US military as a tool to crush opposition by the people – and that IS the subject.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        so– this extrapolates into your “belief” that a bunch of toothless redneck white trash armed ( armed???) with big shotguns and an assortment of bad ass pistols and rifles will succeed against OUR military? OHWAIT!!!!! OUR military will RISE UP AGAINST OUR LEADER(S) AND FUEL THE ”REVOLUTION”!!! is THAT your shitbag argument??? lemme know!!!! is THAT what OUR military will do? disobey a direct order? so U white trash shitbag scum will be happy?? U must NOT know much about military protocol!!! disobey direct order: arrest and prison,,,,disobey in a battle scene and U GET FUCKING SHOT— but of COURSE U known more about the chain of command– these marines and army will NOT care about THEIR careers and their families; they just wanna join the revolutuion with ted nugent and insane crybabies in Mississippi. BRING IT FUCKING ON!!!! see how your shotguns in a swamp hold up to out elite forces. PLEASE bring it on so the shriveled genetics iof U white trash are expunged forever– kill U and your low IQ inbred kin….. (NOTE: Im white)

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        if u are staunch about the f*cking TOPIC,,,,,,,,,,,,, then WHY why WHY did U bring up Afghanistan? U cretin

    • Richard

      If Afghanistan is your model for an American society in the coming years, and an ancient tribal population that has been at war with themselves and the world for centuries is your idea of “untrained” then I feel sorry for you. It’s a blessing you folks are only about 20% of the voting population….supposedly so “patriotic” that our own government scares you to death. There are many of us with guns, lots of them, who love our country and our government and would do anything to protect it….understand?

      • Jim Bean

        What if I had used the colonists and the British Army as the example?

      • Erika Frensley

        Oh, that revolution that would have most definitively failed without the major aid of another European power (France)? That revolution that entailed huge supply lines across an ocean from England? So, keeping in mind that the US (in that fevered fantasy of Second-Rights fanatics) would not have another power working against the US, and would not have a huge supply line issue, exactly how would that revolution scenario work out?

      • Not to mention the fact that very few gun owners would actually rebel (except possibly a few NRA-inspired paranoids). Most responsible gun owners, such as Mark Kelly, respect the need for reasonable restrictions; i.e., expanded background checks, limits on magazines, renewing the so-called “assault weapons” ban, etc. (Notice that was first put in place in 1994 and nothing happened. President Clinton didn’t send the National Guard door to door picking up your guns.) That’s not the same as actually confiscating weapons, and reasonable people know it.

      • Jim Bean

        We’ve drifted. If the presence of a firearm incited the impulse to commit violence with it, the Amish would be the most violent people on the plant. (Because they all have guns.)

      • Erika Frensley

        And your comment exactly what to do has to do with the topic of discussion : “Is the minimally armed citizen a genuine obstacle to government oppression?” (besides being a general logical fallacy?

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      no,,, they didn’t defeat us- in fact we pretty much got them f*cked up so bad they split to Pakistan.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      hey micropenile loser———— U bitched about altering the topic: so WHY U bring up Afghanistan and then cry when ur sub-topic gets shot down?? ( ANSWER: U are a regressive rightwing crybaby)

      • Jim Bean

        mighty tegu, you need to clean up your potty mouth and start conversing like a civilized human being. You’re an embarrassment to progressivism. You also need to get out and look for a job.

      • Jeff Mitcler

        Because all progressives are unemployed, ‘potty mouths’. HAHAHAHAHA !!!! You Nut jobs are funny….funny…..funny !!!

      • Jim Bean

        A stream of vulgarities generally signals the absence of a credible counter-argument.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        funny ( see: ironic) how u still wont answer my inquiry as2 why U broughtup Afghanistan within topic; accused others of CHANGING topic and now pull the usual shitbag crybaby regressive repub ploy of obfuscating and eschewing. Please enjoy my potty mouth– the hot cocoa Im assimilating now demands it!!

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        (A) all the verbosity I used in above post is in any/all English American dictionaries. (B) You– as all white trash regressive crybaby republicans do– avoided the topic as answering it would show U to be related to overweight scum such as rush Limbaugh and glenn beck and mike Huckabee and sean Hannity (C) I need no “job” as I have – since 1989- been a self employed chef in the south florida area making a substantial income ( cash 100%) in an industry which U probably frequent as your social skills mimic that of a coelacanth. (D) any any any time U wish to debate me with lexiphanic vocabulary in an expostulatory venue PLEEEEEEZ let me know. I would destroy you verbally and —I gleefully add- would LUV2 irk U 2 the point of U being “bright” enough to physically threaten me. Inescapably we all know that crybabies of YOUR ilk bravely hide ben=hind your computer and my veritable fantasy stated here will ne’er happen.

      • Jim Bean

        You da man.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        Zimbabwe!!!

      • Martin Bytheway

        Holy shitbags! There’s some seriously bad english.

        If you made an actual point there, it was lost in the overwhelming stream of terrible spelling and punctuation.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        and U genuinely “think” I spell you as “U”? or LOVE as “LUV”?
        my challenge remains my 50K ( cash; can be escrowed) against your( if U have it ) 5K,,,,,
        better yet: send another infantile message.
        ,,,,,,and please enjoy your ostensibly encroaching alopecia
        girls love male pattern baldness

      • Martin Bytheway

        ummmm…. sure. You’ve not elucidated anyone about what this monetary challenge is at all, let alone what the point is you’re trying to make – which may well be valid. Proper English is a great way to convey meaning and be understood.

        I have no idea if your imagined perception of hair loss is supposed to be an insult, but it is certainly off topic completely and points more to your personality than any reality.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        the point/ money? state registered and certified IQ test. Highest score wins— no terms
        lemme know

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        lost only to low IQ inbred rightwing trash who cry
        im sorry U cannot understand more than a singular-syllabic word

  • Jim Bean

    As I Nam vet, I would note that back then, Liberals regarded the draft dodgers as the true heros and those that served as the scum of the earth. Its pretty shameless of them to now disparage Nugent for ducking out.

    • getoffmylawn

      People disparage Nugent for being a hypocrite and a jerk. I could care less about Nugent draft dodging, but I certainly believe he should be prosecuted for threatening to kill the President and other politicians with whom he happens to disagree. He’s an ass.

      • Jim Bean

        See the picture. Read the inscriptions.

      • Pat

        He’s an ass alright. This talentless, gun-toting, hate-spewing POS makes me want to kick his ugly teeth in to get him to shut his big piehole.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      trust me,,we aren’t JUST disparaging NUGENT for ducking nam,,,,, hes proven to be a loose cannon

  • Richard

    First….I have guns…both rifles, pistols, and a shotgun. I own a ranch in New Mexico and to me they’re just like my other tools. I have buddies who love their guns…and that’s my point. Play with your guns, talk with them, collect them, shoot them and pet them…..hell, you can even marry them for all I care. But don’t tell me you buy and collect guns because you feel like maybe one day you’ll have to fight your own government. It’s MY government too and I think it’s the best one in the world. A guy gets elected President, twice, who has an abundance of melanin and a funny name and 25% of this country goes absolutely ape-poop….and starts talking 2nd Amendment, Tyranny, Secession, Birther, Truther, Oath-Keeper, and laughably….”revolution”. And if you think a bunch of morbidly obese good ol’ boys in designer camouflage and a couple of thousand dollars worth of tactical gear, shades, tactical “bladed weapons” and AR rifles so loaded down with optics and P-rail goodies they’re worthless, are seriously going to go up against a trained and fit military? Seriously? Last time I checked, armed insurrection involves a lot of sprinting, crawling, and heavy lifting….and going hungry and thirsty…and more sprinting….and for many, their only military experience is reading “Soldier of Fortune” Magazine. Stop with the Second Amendment crap….it’s just pathetic, just as pathetic as Ted Nugent. Grow the eff up.

  • Martin Bytheway

    Case study: Australia, 1996. The shootings at Port Arthur caused nationwide outrage, similar to that of Columbine High school, three years later. Sweeping gun law reform was brought in by the Howard government, abolishing self-loading rifles (amongst others) and more than 600,000 were destroyed in a buy-back scheme. Since then there has been ZERO mass killings with guns. These are cold hard facts that you cannot dispute. 100% effective to date, so tell me why America needs to defend it’s right to have a stage set for mass murder to be a very easy possibility.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      completely agree with ya’ here
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sadly: NRA now wants you and I dead

  • Lisa L. Rose-Hawkins

    England has a no gun policy and you can damn well believe that it has NOT impacted their murder rate. Being beaten, kicked, stabbed, clubbed to death doesn’t change the fact that you’re still dead. Me personally, is rather be shot. Don’t screw with my 2nd amendment rights and I won’t demand your right to run your mouth is challenged! Tampering with constitutional rights goes BOTH ways, when you narrow ONE, they ALL become indangered.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      does that include the regressive white trash crying about the 14th amendment as well as ROE v WADE and the ACA>?

  • ghostplant8

    I’m surrounded by Redneck inbred s’ living in bunker jesus churchees ‘ toting rifles cozies’ hand guns and hand grenades;’ wearing the cleanest white sheets ya ever did see’ probably’ eating their extra children’ right next to Yosemite National park; Tell Ted’ to turn the gun himself; and shove his’ shitty music playin guitar up his crack’ All you Redneck troglodytes do come visit the park! Thanx Yawl; now brush yer teeth; and SPIT!