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Monday, January 21, 2013

How Do you Stop Random Shootings Up North?

By overcoming Southern Culture...of course.

REP. RANGEL (D-NY): New York is different and more progressive than a lot of areas in other states, and some of the Southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome.

Hey Chuck...we shoot Ducks, Deer, Turkey and people we know. We are not shooting up your malls, your movie theaters and we sure as hell aren't shooting little kids.

You people are different alright.

One of the very first school shootings, back in the mid-90s, was here in Jackson. It was stopped by an assistant principal with a that he may or my not have been authorized to carry. Around this time, there was another schooting in Arkansas. Since then, in Mississippi and the surounding states there have been zero.

We don't do random killings in The Deep South. There are too many people we know that need killin' to go on targetless shooting sprees.

We don't, as general rule, do serial killers either. We are violent. Our murder rates have always been as relatively high as our suicide rates have been relatively low. We have some horrific killings...a man kidnaps his family and kills them because his wife left him, a man kills his brother's family over property, a black man that has been in the employ of a notorious White Supremacist (transplanted Yankee by the way) burns the whitey's trailer down...with him in it.

We are not innocent people. There's a kind of code that governs most violence. It's been noted. Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals is last piece that comes to my mind. He explained violence in the Black community as an inherited cultural trait picked up from white Southerners...who had brought it with them from Northern England.  To this point, how many black serial killers and spree shooters can you think of.

Then there's just plain crime...we have a lot of that too. We are, generally speaking rowdy, ungovernable, violent people but, when it comes to gunning down little children, we aren't your problem.

I know this has the potential to get as rude as rude talk can be. I have always tried keep this place open for various ideas...if you want to go off on guns GO OFF. The only thing that will cause me to lose my manners is on issues of Southern Culture (sadly we've lost a reader over this...I let down my upbringing and forgot my duties as a host). Having said that, if you want to blame The South...go for it. It'll be a more rowdy conversation than usual but, please feel free to express yourself here.


  1. Interesting. I wonder what exactly he meant by "southern culture"? Perhaps if he explained himself (and was backed up by actual facts), it wouldn't sound so offensive? It's definitely not the way to go to talk about gun control - attacking a culture. It's just gonna make the fight meaner

    1. He's talking about gun control of course but, we don't an elected official from one state talking about over coming a part of the country.

      The implications of what he's saying are disgusting. Of course, Rangle has said a lot of nonsense about The South.

      That's where we are as a country.

  2. I read a pro gun blog post the other week, and as a pasty faced Brit I felt ill equipped to comment, I'm going to make an exception for you, they didn't provide tunes!

    Gun culture is so alien to me. I have never gone hunting, never held a rifle and never lived in a home where guns are present. I never understood the whole guns don't kill people, people kill people. In my simplistic view the guns make it a lot easier. Yet I still get the desire to want to protect your home from an intruder for example.

    Both pro/anti seem so extreme to me, so clearly their beliefs are firmly held.

    I guess I have to read up some more to understand, but I keep thinking that if the answer was easy it would have been solved already, and those 6 year olds in Sandy Nook might have been able to open their Christmas presents

    1. You're among friends here.

      The thing that has to be out front in any discussion about guns and the U.S. is the Second Amendment. It's not the kinda thing that can be put to a popular's a Constitutional issue. That's definitely different than the situation in Britain.

      The perception issue is important though. For me, guns don't provoke any novel response. I've been around guns all my life and everybody I know owns guns. When I think of doesn't register any differently than a hammer or lawnmower.

      Being surrounded by guns it's hard for me to understand how the availability of guns leads to something like the shooting in Connecticut. Then we look at Norway last year, the horrific school shootings in Germany, etc and don't see how gun control will stop what happened to those kids.

      To us it seems like there are two, is a simple need to "do something." That only allows for action against law abiding their nature they follow the law. Chang the law, change behavior...we've "done something." Two, more sinister and disgusting, is it's being used as an opportunity to get closer to disarming the citizenry.

      I don't say any of that to try and change your mind on guns. Britain's business is its own. I'm just letting you in on our perspective.

      Forget the Second Amendment, if they really want to do something about mass shootings...let's alter the 4th, 5th and 6th. If you could seize someone for acting squirrely, force them to incriminate themselves (who "needs" the 5th amendment besides criminals), barring that just lock them up, without a trial, until they're to old to cause trouble, we could eliminate a lot of monkey business.

  3. You lost your manners? But isn't manners what you people are all about? That, smiling, dancing, and grits, or whatever it is you call polenta down there?

    Guns are fine, especially for shooting food, pest deer and cans off fences, but the pro-dialogue around them in the States is corporatist and absurd. Arming everybody doesn't result in a protected society, it results in a civil arms race, sub-Saharan Africa and some really rich manufacturers.

    BTW citing the Norwegian and German massacres isn't germane given both countries have relatively lax gun laws; Germany in particular has a big small arms manufacturing industry, which made the rather weak laws passed post-school shootings there a USA-type struggle with corporate interests. Just because they're European and have subsidized healthcare doesn't make them into perfect wank fantasies for northeast seaboard Democrats.

    Before you decide having automatic weapons readily available might or might not make a difference in terms of people getting indiscriminately slaughtered by automatic weapons, you'd do better to look at mass indiscrimate shootings, or the lack thereof, in places that actually stop them from being readily availabe (Canada, Australia, the UK, etc.)

    1. Actually relative to US law...Norway and Germany are restrictive. Criteria for ownership, statement of purpose, licenses...our rulers would love to take those steps. Again the point is they haven't stopped them.

      I thought it might be rude to bring up Cumbria.

      Automatic weapons are not available...and the control crowd dialogue is mocking and, here we are.

  4. Not rude so much as anecdotal, as far as rhetoric goes. In a population the size of the UK's, two mass killings in two decades is doing pretty well compared to the USA.

    But I suppose if you're looking for a comparable population you could put all of the EU, which I admit does generally have stricter gun laws than the US, and count up all the sprees. Hint: it won't take as long to count them up in Europe.

    Speaking of, for someone who seems to see the USA as an imperialist construct, it's interesting you're willing to use it as a benchmark for the relative strength or laxity of effective gun laws.

    It's also interesting that you're buying into the current craze of tying restrictive gun laws to poor little kids (which your proverbial northeast seaboard Democrat is going nuts with these days) instead of asking whether or not they could also impact black-on-black or domestic murder rates, which snuff out remarkably more lives than the more media-friendly type killings.

    It pisses me off, whoever does that. I get all the frissons a normal parent gets when some evil fuckhead shoots up a school and kills a bunch of kids just a little older than my own. I feel it more personally, I admit that. But in policy terms times like this it gets to feeling like black people living in the wrong neighborhoods or women married to bad men aren't worth a damn in dialogues over public policy compared to little white kids.

    1. You must have spent a lot more time pondering my response than you did my post...because I did the opposite of what you suggest. Of course, the fact remains that Southerners are subject to the protections provided by the Constitution (our problem is we take it seriously).

      I did NOT tie this to those kids...This post was about a Democrat Yankee that is using this incident NOT ONLY for Political gain...but, to take another swipe at The South. This is particularly infuriating...Kids are party calls for positive action...the second party says no...the first party then claims the second party doesn't care about kids. Bull shit.

      I have a four year old that sits in a classroom every day.

      Your reference to black people living in the wrong neighborhood is interesting because both Tom Brokaw and Chris Matthews have claimed the fight against the Second Amendment is just like the fight against Segregation (de jour segregation of course) in The South.

    2. I'm not sure who those people are but they sound like fuckwits.

      And I'm just teasing (patronizing?) . . . Sorta. It is clear from your post you're aware most people who get shot aren't little kids in schools. And what I think is your bigger point about southern people getting blamed for northern massacres somehow is well taken.

      But restraining talk to gun control stopping or not stopping media-friendly crazies from giving the 24 hour news cycle some horrible new fodder is pretty crazy whatever side you come down on because it ends up sounding like there's a big difference in the worth of those sorts of victims and the more typical kinds, who usually really don't "need killing".

      FWIW I find it harder to take from my New York-y friends on the other side of the spectrum from you who sometimes manage to make a serious policy issue like gun control sound like some sort of massacre NIMBYism instead of a complicated social issue.

    3. I don't mind the teasing or getting prickly.

      The issue of overall gun violence is a serious one but, where have these people been for the last year in regards to Chicago? The place has become a war zone. The problem for the left is that Chicago has strict gun laws and it is a democrat fortress. It's not politically advantages to mention Chicago.

      Of course, our natural response to the issue of general gun violence is to ask why, in such a situation, would you restrain law abiding citizens with tighter gun restrictions. What the hell?

      Matthews is a news reader who is originally from of the most racist cities on earth. He overcompensated for this by making everything about race (and by extension the South). Occasionally he will digress on such subjects as Bill Clitons ability to procreate with aliens. Brokaw is a news reader from North Dakota who has a pathological obsession with the old segregationists in the South...I think he drools a little when he talks about it. You would think he might be more interested in the slaughter of Indians given where he's from.

      I want to be clear, I have no interest in wagging my finger at Britain or Europe...that was just part of a point about how the availability issue is viewed.

      Don't hesitate to get lippy. I don't mind.

    4. I doubt they ignore gun violence and laws in places like Chicago, Detroit, or Baltimore because they'd rather pick on Southerners, rather than because they're bored by black on black violence and because those places illustrate how complex effective gun control laws would need to be. Civic gun control laws aren't much more than a gesture in your national context and the continuing violence in those cities illustrates how significant illegal weapons are in the USA. (That's a nice thing about massacres; so often they're carried out with legal or at least traceable guns; makes the dialogue nice and simple.) The ubiquity of illegal guns there means effective gun control laws needs to start with tightening the screws on the manufacturers and we all know how much appetite your overlords have when it comes to not being corporatist lackeys.

    5. Chicago doesn't have anything to do with this other business like the nonsense from Rangle. There is something to it being black on black ( odd considering our ruler is from chicago)but...the main reason is its an embarrassment to the party that wants tighter gun control. Rham Emmanuel is running the place...they've got every law they wanted.
      And it doesn't look good. But to this point, at least, we have not been brought into the conversation...though I suppose we could. There are more Mississippians, by heritage, on the South Side of Chicago than there are in the whole delta.

    6. There are full and enthusiastic stop-and-search rights on the border between your imperialist construct and Canada, where we have strict-ish gun control laws, but weapons sold and manufactured in your imperialist construct still end up in our country. How do you think Chicago, Baltimore, etc. is controlling the inflow all on their lonesomes?

      It's pretty transparent strict civic gun control laws aren't going to do much besides maybe make city police concentrate more on gun crime and less on drug crime. There's nothing particularly embarassing about that. And in Baltimore, at least, the laws' proponents are arguing they're having a substantial effect on murder rates.

      So nothing embarassing, except if you imagine those sorts of civic laws are a sop being tossed to gun control enthusiasts that does little to nothing to actually control the manufacture and sale of small arms, so keeping good with business.

    7. (Everybody knows both these profiles are me, right?)

    8. Chicago is not an embarrassment but, Baltimore is a shining example of what can be done (because they are "arguing" they're having success?).

      I have a hard time keeping up...the places where laws aren't working aren't evidence that the laws aren't working...they just can't be enforced? That sounds like a philosophical point to me.

      Why hasn't Obama gone to Chicago to address the issue? At least a press conference? Rham has pointed to the gangster's code and reminded the criminals to stop shooting children in the cross fire.

      The "Belize born" rapper Shyne has threatened to go off Kanye style on Obama if he doesn't do something. :)

      Silence...but, I'm sure the silence has nothing to do with Chicago being a city strangled by Democrats (Obama democrats at that), gun laws, and yet, blood and bullets.

      You may be on to something though...legalize up the stupid cops to chase violent criminals.

    9. Don't look to me to defend the efficacy of civic gun laws. I think laws are meant to be laws, not gestures, and the only suite of laws that will cut down on guns in any meaningful way has to start at the corporate level, and has to have a national reach.

      Arguing that civic gun laws not working means gun laws are embarassing and ineffective, though, is ridiculous. Unless you're imagining a country full of walled cities with their own customs checks, which I can actually see appealing to a romantic regionalist like you.

      Also, for what it's worth I think the South does more than smile, make grits and inspire massacres. There's also "Gone With the Wind" and that movie about Kevin Spacey shooting Jude Law and having a moustache and a really nice graveyard, right? And Clint Eastwood's daughter banging John Cusack?

      Seriously, you know my regionalist, if pinko, sympathies are with you.

    10. Which would make it a great opportunity for those, like his highness, that want federal gun laws.

      Setting aside for a moment the very important issue of Rights (why can't we have a discussion about changing the 4th amendment?)...and just looking at the situation as it is, none of these laws are going to do much as a practical matter. How are they going to be enforced.

      Right now, we have a delicious possibility on the horizon, Please God please..let it happen...Texas and others including, I think, Mississippi have told the Feds that if they try to enforce Federal gun laws on intrastate (we all know that they can do whatever they like in regards to anything they deem to be interstate commerce) gun trade, the State will arrest those Federal agents. Please, please, please let it happen.

      Yeah...Hollywood is great for making movies about The South without a single Southerner in sight. At least you get Savannah in some of them.

      Except for Bernie...see Bernie.

      If Spliff be for me...who can stand against me. She has a Godzilla.

  5. Nah e.f. not 'a lost reader'. I'm just reading but keeping my big mouth shut... given it got me into so much bother.
    I figure - if I go too far with my brand of patronising liberalism I might attract a bullet... ;-)

    1. AH. Joy.

      You can go patronizing liberal all you like...Spliff does. :)

      Knock yourself out.

    2. I'm serious Y....I'm so glad to see you and you are always free to speak.

      As you know, some things will get me worked up...others don't.

      Guns don't. Blaming Southern culture for shootings in Connecticut and Colorado will..or claiming that something could be done about it if it wren't for us.

      The straight issue of guns...won't get my back up.

    3. Guns.
      It's a complex issue e.f. that I've not properly thought through. Despite having the highest (and oh my god is it HIGH at 88 guns per 100 people)gun ownership rates in the world, the US (apologies - I can't break the figures down at the moment to individual states because I haven't done the right googling...) does NOT have the highest homicide by firearm rates.
      In fact the US ranks about 28th in the world - behind places like Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Columbia, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Venezuela...
      In fact the US ties for 28th with Gaza and the West Bank...

      So, what does all that tell us?
      Without comparative analysis of the political institutions and the social traditions or assessment of the existence (or absence) of gun control laws,
      I haven't a clue.
      Or I haven't decided yet...
      Lawlessness? A mass breach in the social fabric, the culture which generally manages to hold us together and safe? Lawless states where state sponsored and supported violence against citizens is alive and well and role-modelling for the generations? Poverty, deprivation, degradation, lack of education, political disenfranchisement and a general corruption in public bodies?
      Guatemala for instance introduced gun control in 1964 - but guns are commonplace in a society where the military are the dominant social force.
      England and Wales - they record about 0.25 deaths per 100000.
      Scotland doesn't record even a 0.00000001.
      But then our choice of weapon is a blade. A knife. A wee stabber.

      There's a reasonable website which appears legit (well... the Guardian used it...) for the stats.

      But we all know that there's lies, damn lies and statistics... and that my stats will always back what I want to hear.

      I don't like guns e.f. I despise the manufacturers.

      But plenty folk own guns and don't shoot their fellow citizens.

      It takes a whole messy cocktail of the personal and the public to produce a shooter.

    4. That's mighty fine company the US is in. Ha. We don't have problems producing shooters...somebody gives me a reason everyday almost without fail. Mass shooter no...but, needin' to shoot somebody...the opportunities are easy and near endless. :)

      Like I was explaining to Sharron...everybody owns guns where I live. While need is not an issue where Rights are's not wise, for instance, to fish on many banks down here without a gun. Hunting is almost as deeply rooted in Southern culture as Religion (maybe more so to some). As a rule, we don't believe that we can, or importantly that we should, rely on the authorities for protection (in fact I'm not certain but I believe the Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no legal obligation to protect citizens). Guns are just part of who we are.

      Like you pointed to...gun violence is not the only violence there is. There's plenty of violent crime without guns. I don't know if that can ever be fixed and what would the price be for fixing it anyway...could be worse. We could really get to the bottom of a lot of things by doing away with the 4th, 5th, and 6ht amendments.

      Even then we'd still have bad actors.

    5. Also..don't ever forget that Southerners are people who were kidnapped from Africa or too poor and unruly to live in N. England, Ireland and Scotland.

      The only wonder is that there are any of us left.

    6. I've just re-read the shit that I wrote - sometimes not a good idea... But realise (doh) that what it does tell us e.f. is that, of course, Americans (even Southerners ;-j) use their guns responsibly...
      You pointed out as much to Sharron above.
      Law and Order - despite the hysteria that can be whipped up - is alive and kicking. You're all managing wonderfully well to suppress that occasional and understandable desire to blow your fellow citizens' brains out.
      Violent crime needs little more than a fist or an aggressive push. People have been killed by a stray punch or by a bang on an egg shell skull as they fell.
      Bullets just make it that bit easier for the perpetrator to detach from the victim.

      The 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments? Aren't they protective? About Due Process etc? The rule against double jeopardy; the right to remain silent; the right to be heard before a jury of peers?

      But there are always going to be some people who break the rules. The Bad actors. The best that can be hoped for in an imperfect world is that you minimise their numbers. No?

    7. I thought what you wrote was good.

      As I explained in the post...we aren't always responsible users..and we are violent. There's just normally some kind of reason...however dubious it may be.

      4th is against unlawful search and seizure
      5th is against self-incrimination
      6th is a speedy trial

      These of course, protect the individual...not "society". Criminals are released everyday because of due process issues.

      If we could seize someone for acting weird (make up a profile)...force them to incriminate themselves...or just lock 'em up indefinitely...we could cut out a whole lot of nonsense.

      Of course, most of us view the 2nd amendment as protective as well. Some measure of protection against a Gov. that claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

      If the government (here as with guns we are going to find widely different perceptions of gov and it's role) can be trusted with all the guns...why shouldn't it be trusted with limitless police powers?

      You might lower the numbers but...the cost has to be considered. I don't know.

    8. I think it's probably all about acting within the bounds of the law and of settled socially agreed parameters of 'fairness' - for the rest it's about checks and balances making sure no one gets too big for their boots.

      Trust no one - not even 'thy brethren or the house of your father' and all that...

      Big powers have to be constrained. Whether that's Government ones or personal powers to carry a gun. Because we all can't be trusted...

      I've used so many procedural errors as a get out of jail card that I've lost count. But those rules are there to protect against power being used in an arbitrary and unjust way or resulting in failures of due process or prejudicial conduct. I reason there is no excuse that the authorities who control us can give that permits big procedural failures. They follow the rules we've all agreed on - then all is well.

      But I've been too legal for too long.

    9. I'm with you...I cherish everyone of those rights (the first ten)...equally.

      I don't see how you can diminish one without them all suffering.

      Much better to have criminals out on technicality than a gov with absolute police power.

  6. Listen you clowns...don't think I haven't noticed that when I demonstrate how certain groups in The Imperial Construct of America want to eradicate Southern culture...I get crickets but, if I through a gun in the mix...

    It's an explosion of commentary...about guns.

    It's good to know y'all have my back!

    Flippin' Pinkos.

  7. Hi, Mr. B - thought you might enjoy this quote from Jim Goad writing in Taki's Magazine:

    "With the interminable recent voodoo jibber-jabber about gun rights, gun violence, saving the children, saving the children from guns, helping us save the children from guns by voluntarily turning in all our guns, snitching on other gun owners who aren’t willing to help the children by surrendering their guns, and the inevitable and final “empowerment” of the “people” as their last gun is taken away from their hands and placed in the warm bosom of the federal government, the blowtorch of media outrage seems selectively focused at the NRA types, who are presumably rural crackers, which means it’s OK to hate and mock them without feeling guilty."

    1. That's us baby. Hahaha

      There's an awful lot of Truth in that. We are the all purpose Boogey Man.

      Which on sober reflection should lead to the obvious conclusion that we are just a different people. The yankee Chuck Thomas comes to this conclusion in Better Off Without Em...and argues that the U.S. could be exactly what they want it to be, a ruder, louder, version of Canada without The South.