Slugger O'Toole

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“Honey, it’s not a Glock. It’s just a shotgun.”

Wed 19 December 2012, 11:25pm

Via Audrey Carville on Twitter, this great blog essay, on guns:

But more importantly, who was going to take this gun? I had to call someone, I couldn’t just keep this gun. That’s how fucked up my thinking was at the time: it was all about the gun.

When the 911 operator picked up, I was downright professional. I stated my name. I stated my location. I stated the nature of what I was calling about.

“You see,” I said, “I had to call — because I don’t know what to do with the gun. Someone has to come take this gun.”

And then, like flipping a light switch, I promptly lost my shit.

I’ve never cried that hard before or since.

But do go and read it all from start to finish

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Comments (25)

  1. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    One day that lady will be sorry for her inaction. Her crazy ex could walk into a work place, and murder man woman and child. Her little bullet reminder might end up in her own head – put there by herself?

    It’s amazing how a small item such as a Kinder Surprise can be deemed harmful to children in the USA, yet a Jericho semi-automatic hand gun is a legitimate birthday present for a 16 year old girl.

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  2. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    You don’t think she isn’t already?

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  3. A powerful piece. I don’t think the USA will do anything more than just wring their hands. So sad.

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  4. USA (profile) says:

    Good article.

    Mr Joe,
    I’m pretty sure we will see some action on the guns issue here in the US.

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  5. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Its a marvellous piece. It lends a credible perspective to idea that there’s a difference between freedom and licence.

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  6. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Of course she is Mick, it’s made clear in her essay. But her inaction could lead to a similar act such as the most recent one. On her head be it, but the regret will be multiplied by her magnanimous inaction towards a potential killer.

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  7. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Isn’t that one of the reasons she’s written the piece? Uncommon honesty.

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  8. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Mick

    “Its a marvellous piece.”

    Well, it’s an emotive piece, certainly.

    It doesn’t, however, engage with the actual arguments around the issue of the second amendment.

    But, hey! Legislate in haste, repent at leisure.

    Which is what Obama, through VP Biden, seems determined to try to do…

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  9. latcheeco (profile) says:

    USA,
    Maybe some action but I’m not sure how much. As I’m sure you know, Christmas gun sales are soaring everywhere because of the fear of the renewal of the assault rifle ban, and assault rifles’s are easily the most popular gun, with over 200,000 AR15′s sold last year alone. That’s a staggeringly huge lobby and a huge industry with mucho dinero.

    Ironically, talk of action on guns may initially have had the opposite effect. They are literally lining up to buy them this week and online selling sites have struggled because of demand. A guy at a local Walmart bought 80,000-yep eighty thousand- rounds of 22 ammo last night as a long line of grumbling impatient punters were waiting for their Fed background checks-delayed nationally by huge demand- to be phoned in at the sports counter. Stores like Walmart can’t keep AR’s on the shelves at the minute and it’s just ordinary people buying them.

    It’s hard to get your head around, especially given the horrendous events in Colorado and Sandy Hook but the armalite making man equal isn’t a slogan on a gable wall here , it’s a core belief and there are literally millions of believers.The cold hard facts of 2nd Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” are deeply cherished, and it doesn’t anywhere mention clay shooting or hunting rifles. That’s the nub of the issue

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  10. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    You could argue that, but a better argument, is that it’s an open letter expressing in undercurrents, the guilt felt by this woman, and perhaps the relief in the knowledge that it wasn’t her ex – just another unstable and trigger-happy Yankee Doodle Dandy.

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  11. latcheeco (profile) says:

    Gallo,
    “Yankee Doodle Dandy” You were doing well until you had to resort to nursery rhymes to support your thesis.

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  12. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    The way to prevent criminals breaking the law is by stricter laws because as we know criminals never break laws.

    Northern Ireland was a gun-control lovers paradise, it had the strictest gun control laws on planet earth. Illegal possession of even a few rounds of ammunition could see you go to jail for years, it was illegal to sell airguns, heck even fireworks were banned. On top of that 12,000 armed soldiers and a similar number of the most heavily armed police officers in the world patrolled the streets in armoured cars backed up by helicopters.

    It was in effect the sort of scenario that according to gun controllers should have meant there was zero gun crime. Almost thirty thousand armed officers of the government and a populace (with the exception of those specially permitted by the state) forbidden to own weapons to defend themselves. So Northern Ireland was completely free of gun crime from 1969 to 1994 was it?

    Have you noticed how these shooting always occur in places where the population is disarmed? Schools, universities, post offices even in Fort Hood amazingly the soldiers were not allowed to carry firearms. If too much gun-ownership leads to these mass shootings how is it they only occur in disarmed “safe” environments and never at gun fairs or NRA meetings where logically the danger should be highest?

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  13. latcheeco (profile) says:

    Evening Flashman,
    And it’s arguable that pogroms would not have excited anywhere near as much enthusiasm if every citizen/subject of good character without a criminal record had the right to bear arms to defend themselves and their property.

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  14. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    “And it’s arguable that pogroms would not have excited anywhere near as much enthusiasm if every citizen/subject of good character without a criminal record had the right to bear arms to defend themselves and their property.”

    If every able-bodied homeowner, with no psychiatric illness, a clean criminal record and aged over 25 had been allowed to own a personal firearm the Northern Ireland Troubles would never have been as bloody as they were.

    A mob trying to burn down Bombay Street would soon have been sent scarpering with their tails between their legs and the householders’ homes and possessions intact.

    It wouldn’t have been as much fun walking into lonely churches or corner pubs with murderous intent if you knew half a dozen of the occupants could give as good as they got.

    A dozen workmen would never have been passively lined up against their mini-bus if those demanding they do so had been on the receiving end of their combined firepower.

    The history of Northern Ireland would have been a lot better if the corpses leaking their lives’ blood into the gutters of Derry’s Rossville Street had belonged to the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment on January 30 1972 than to unarmed civilians, five thousand armed Bogsiders could soon have but manners on the Paras.

    Of course there would have been no demonstration in Derry that day at all if hundreds of Catholic householders had made clear in no uncertain terms what they thought of their government’s idea of jailing them without trial and torturing them.

    Why people believe that the state and criminal gangs having a monopoly of gun ownership while law-abiding voters are left unarmed and defenceless is somehow a liberal idea is beyond me.

    Ask Hitler’s victims or those of Stalin, Mau or Pol Pot what they think of how it is right that only criminals and state officials (often one and the same) should be armed, oh wait you can’t, they’re all dead.

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  15. Harry,

    I know we had a discussion/argument about this a couple of years ago and think you got the best of it. You might well be right.

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  16. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    Kind of you to say so Joe, I have to say if I got the better of you in an argument it would have been a rare enough occasion indeed.

    All the best and if we don’t cross paths before the day itself I hope you and yours have a very happy Christmas.

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  17. Same to you and yours, Harry.

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  18. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    I think the effort to shape our gun laws around an event like Newtown is most unwise for a variety of reasons. But I will say that a pump action shotgun is my preferred home defense weapon. Just the signature sound of a round being chambered is enough to ward off all but the most determined intruder.

    I do own and shoot other guns. But for home protection, I don’t need anything more than my 12 gauge.

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  19. Kev,

    That was the thought of the woman who wrote the blog that is quoted.
    The thing that brought me around to Harry’s thinking was asking myself a question, “If I go to live in the USA, will I buy a legal gun?” The honest answer I gave myself was “Yes”. I don’t own one because the culture (and danger) is different here in Canada although young thugs in our bigger cities think they need a gun to show their manhood. Those guns are, of course, illegal.

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  20. Greenflag (profile) says:

    The USA ‘Gun Lobby”s suggestion is to have armed guards on duty at schools . That would make the USA the only country in the world where schoolchildren have to have full time armed security guards .

    Some 40% of all gun sales in the USA are executed without any background check on the purchaser. So if somebody is mentally unstable or has a history of violent behaviour there’s no problem in going to a Guns & Ammo sale every other week or so and stocking up on enough weaponry to carry out a coup ‘d’etat in a small African or South American country . And then there’s the huge number of illegal weapons held by criminals and these weapons are the reason why some 50,000 people have been shot dead in Northern Mexico in the Mexican drug lord wars over the past couple of years .

    Mention of the ‘drug lord wars ‘ and their billions should remind us of HSBC the British bank’s 2 billion dollar fine for ‘laundering drug ‘ money and they were not alone . The only money circulating for ‘failing banks ‘ to get their hands on in Wall St during the 2008 ‘meltdown’ before the taxpayer’s bailed the criminals out was -Mexican drug lord money .

    Not ‘Guns Germs & Steel as Jared Diamond’s book title goes but

    Guns , Drugs & Banks . the modern architects of ‘creative destruction ‘ of people’s lives not excluding elementary school children .
    Since the Newtown slaughter some 500 more people in the USA have lost their lives due to the ‘gun’ .
    Caring for the ‘mentally ill’ in the USA is probably the worst in the western world , assuming they even get any !

    Not to worry various states around the country are now looking to reduce the number of teachers in schools but not to worry -’new jobs ‘ will be created in those schools by replacing ‘teachers’ with armed guards ?

    There’s something more than rotten in the State of Denmark -sorry USA :(

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  21. The lack of checks is worrisome. Also, if you noticed, in his argument, Harry stipulated “no psychiatric illness”.
    I don’t think the armed guard idea is anything other than a red herring of the NRA. It seems that the people who do these types of mass killings are quite intelligent and plan their actions so likely the first victim in another incident would be the guard.

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  22. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    The widespread availability of firearms presents us with all sorts of problems when trying to disarm criminals and lunatics. Hundreds of millions of firearms held privately in both urban and rural communities make the thought of putting the genie back in the bottle a pipe dream, in my opinion.

    I would favor severe penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime, upwards of 25 years would be helpful.

    As for the dangerously insane, we haven’t dealt with that problem in any wholesome way since Reagan opened the doors of the asylums 30 years ago. That debate will come into play during the coming fights over public healthcare.

    In regards to Newtown, Mrs. Lanza clearly ignored her responsibility to safeguard her firearms and it cost her dearly. The community isn’t even referring to her as a victim as a result (many references to the 26 victims).

    As for the gun shows, I’d just as soon shut those down. I’ve been to a couple of them over the years. Most of the folks there, I think are loonies that I wouldn’t buy a pocketknife from.

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  23. latcheeco (profile) says:

    Greenflag,
    40% is an interesting figure. It no doubt includes private individuals selling a gun to their cousin, brother, friend, neighbor etc. Enforcing the registration of these might be an idea but there is such a visceral contempt for govt. control here that it might never happen. And what would that stop if it did? No mass shooter or thug in a driveby was ever worried if their gun was registered or not were they?

    The gun show loophole is over exaggerated anyway. Most of the tables at gun shows are licensed gun dealers and brokers who are mandated to log what they sell and they are scrupulous about doings checks because those licenses from the ATF are very tough to get and easy to lose.

    Kev,
    The problem is a pump action can be just as devastating as an AR and might equally be banned if the next spoiled moron raised on Call of Duty and pediatric sedatives decides to use one of those.

    It’s not clear how the problem is solved but it’s wise to be wary of kneejerk reactions and politicians with neat soundbites. The last gun ban made as near as no difference.

    But putting an armed cop in an elementary school is a sad indictment of where we are.

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  24. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    I agree with basically everything you said in the above post, latch. I would add that those 20 shot and killed schoolkids while an absolute horror don’t represent the biggest problems with firearms in this country.

    The last gun show I went to was back in the seventies, so my opinion is not based on anything recent.

    People who don’t know any better are talking about the 2nd Amendment like it protects your right to hunt etc. The Supreme Court laid it out years ago that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to own weapons useful to a militia, thus a sawed-off shotgun was not protected.

    You know, before the St. Valentine’s Massacre in Chicago, it wasn’t all that difficult to arm yourself with a Thompson Sub-Machinegun. Most people eventually got used to the idea that the public was better off making such weapons difficult to obtain. Then only gangsters and law enforcement had submachine guns.

    The real problem is that bad, unsympathetic outlaws have no difficulty finding and buying fully automatic arms. These are the very people who don’t have any problem using them to murder people. I believe when such folks are found in possession of such weapons, they should go to prison for a very, very long time.

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  25. pauluk (profile) says:

    The thing that gets me is that liberal hypocrites like Michael Moore make millions as anti-gun advocates, yet they themselves own guns and have armed bodyguards.

    They want to deny protection for school children, but use guns to protect themselves. The same goes for Obama who never goes anywhere without dozens, probably hundreds of his armed guards.

    With the present proliferation of guns in the US – by some counts over a quarter of a million – this is the most lucid thing I have read in relation to protecting children in American schools.

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