RANGER AGAINST WAR: Son of a Gun, 1 <

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Son of a Gun, 1

Don't take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don't take your guns to town
--Don't Bring Your Guns to Town, 
Jerry Douglas

Walk away from trouble if you can
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man
--Coward of the County,
Kenny Rogers

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
--Get Together,
The Youngbloods

[Note: some excellent related commentary has occurred in the previous RAW posting, It's Only a Game.]

What good are words in the discussion of gun violence and gun control in today's United States?

How can one be heard in a society where attitudes are sclerotic all-round? Events like the recent mass-shooting atrocity in Las Vegas only serve to tighten the cordon.

Ranger is a gunman and will remain so until death. I am not a threat to public safety and welfare. I am not an National Rifle Assocation (NRA) member, nor do I believe the members of that organization to be anything but honorable citizens.

Our society has been suffering a breech reaching back several decades between two sides who feel they are advocating for the same thing, namely: how does gun ownership comport with the safety of U.S. citizens. People draw their lines allying themselves with various movements and organizations, and like most such historical syndicates the high-minded ideology fails, the adherents left wallowing amidst a sea of partisanship. 

The factionalism displaces the urgent questions: "What is happening?", "Is this something new?", and "How can the threat be best removed and the safety of the largest number of potential future innocent victims be reasonably ensured?"

On one side are those who staunchly support the 2nd Amendment gun ownership rights. Theirs has been a love-hate alliance with the government since the nation's founding.

The role of citizens vis-a-vis guns has morphed wildly over the course of our nationhood. In the beginning, the armed citizen was not viewed as an adversary of the national project, but served as its linchpin, or at least, as a staunch pillar thereof.

Until 1840, the smoothbore muskets of the U.S. military were inferior to the rifles of the general public. Today, soldiers and police possess military automatic weapons far outstripping anything permitted to the citizens, weapons of war that they may use for any purpose.  

The Civilian Marksmanship Program brought citizens on-board as members in good-standing of their communities who would learn safe shooting skills. [Few discuss the conversion from gun owners as pillars of society to the suspects that they have often become today due to tragic events like the Las Vegas shooting. Ranger will discuss this in a future post.]

Opposing them are those who call for ever-stricter control over gun ownership rights. Their project, like those of the 2nd Amendment advocates, sees the primary issue of mass violence as the gun itself. For them, it is a simple equation: Limit the sorts of guns available and --voila -- the problem of gun violence goes away.

It is unlikely that these pro-control advocates even know that truly automatic rifles -- to include belt-fed and machine guns -- can be purchased simply by paying the $200 special tax required be the feds to own such a weapon. Do they know that no such weapon has ever been used in a violent crime?

Further, several elected leaders call for bans on M16 Black Rifle clones, mistakenly calling them "weapons of war". They are not, as civilian versions are neither fully automatic nor are they military grade.

Further, what if the citizens were permitted to have automatic rifles? Why may the police have them while the citizens they are sworn to protect may not? Check for yourself the photos of recent national disasters like the flooding in Houston or Puerto Rico: the soldiers passion out water have fully automatic rifles slung on their bodies. 

Why? Do the citizens exist for the safety of the police, or vice versa?

But if we are honest and answer the aforementioned urgent questions, we must define the problem and see what actual solutions are available.

Generally-speaking, the gun control rights activists are liberal West- and East-Coasters. Broad-brushing, they often belong to the middle- and upper social strata, their most privileged members are what might be called the Creative Class (versus the majority of those who inhabit the vast middle swath of the country).

Taking a flight of fancy for a moment, presumably, they believe in the infinite perfectability of the human being. Presumably to that end (or perhaps, to pervert or exploit it), they have created myriad outlets for your viewing pleasure and virtual participation.

A majority of these games, movies and programs involve extreme weapons violence of the most heinous sort. Hollywood and Silicon Valley is only too happy to exploit guns for fun (all virtual, mind you).

Following Hollywood's fashion, music and movie lead, see the omnipresence of violence and death being imprinted even upon the human body -- knives, guns and skull-and-crossbones on clothes and tattoos abound. To paraphrase Snoop Lion-nee-Dog on doggies and their bones, Hip Hop ain't hoppin' without guns, and Hollywood has brilliantly sold that decrepit bill of goods to all youth. (Their cover: they're just following the mode of the streets.)

But you can handle this incessant onslaught of blood and destruction and go back to your loved ones and merely tolerated ones unscathed, yes? And if you can handle technicolor gore, surely if one were a gun owner, one could show good trigger control in the face of a "Falling Down" type of morning, right?

Ah, but if you have the slightest doubt that the pressures of modern society might unhinge a vulnerable person, how could you in good faith partake in the creation and dissemination of said materials? 

And surely a gunman, say, a former military rifleman, might be capable of unleashing an onslaught of carnage with simply a good rifle and sight, no?

We love guns, until reality intervenes.

[To be continued ...]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice observations, Jim.

Most of the shootings occur in the bi-coastal elite cities; that's raw volume and per capita. Of course the death toll in virtual reality-istan is greater than all the wars in history put together. Such a healthy past time. The elites should congratulate themselves for constructing such a wholesome way for the next generation to develop their intellects.

Everyone I know at least has a fire arm for hunting. Many have scary looking mil clones. No one has been shot around here in a long time. Some troubled kid went psycho and stabbed his girlfriend and her swinging dick on the side, to death, in the bed, a couple years ago.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 7:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...


Very interesting and I look forward to part 2.


I was thinking of this piece this morning as I drove by the gun dealer in the next town over proudly advertising that he has AR-15s for sale. Gun restrictions seem to generate nuances and loopholes and legal complexities the likes of which I seldom see anywhere except in insurance. (Sorry, Avedis.)

I won't lie, I am uncomfortable with a growing number of guns in society. If I thought it worked as advertised, and if I thought it was legal, I would be for stricter laws.

I mention the AR-15 dealer because to my knowledge the Canadian gun murder rate is a small fraction of the American rate. Like every other violent crime it's slowly been going down. Banning automatic weapons, which in Canada happened in the 1970s, doesn't seem to have changed that long-term trend line much. Requiring registration of all firearms, an experiment between the 1990s and about 2010 up here, doesn't seem to have changed that much.

I don't know what would happen if you suddenly lifted the restrictions, but obviously the fact that they exist isn't what caused the difference in gun crimes. I wonder whether this occurs to people who want to ban firearms in America simply because they are banned in other countries with lower crime rates.

It's almost as if the reasons people want to own guns and the reasons some people choose to use them doesn't go away just because you pass a law telling them they can't anymore.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 3:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

guns don't kill people.
people kill people.
simple but true.
lets go back to ronnie ray gun.
we as a society prefer to arm the mentally deficient and criminally insane.
this is the problem. also we adore entertainment violence.
lately on tv etc... young honey's with flowing locks and store bought tits throw around auto weapons as if they have actually shot them. women now front the violence it seems.
i mention the little skinny korean on hiwaii 50, the chicks on POI. they are more vicious than the sf character John. this is a real trend. women torture people on tv as they did as contractors at gitmo.
we as a society are scapiing the bottom of the barrel.
if one wants to kill there are a lot of ways to do so w/o a rifle ofr pistol.

it's my opinion that the vegas shooter was ineffective. he used spray and pray which is the tv version of rifle work.he had top level sighting devices but i doubt that he used them on individual targets.
this is said to pull something,anything positive from this sorry event.
lets go back to my old mime-criminals, crusaders and crazies.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 8:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

my bottom line is=if the police can have auto and semi kill your neighbor guns, then too should the citizens should be so armed.
now heres where some bleeding heart says-bullshit about the 2nd, and maybe they're right and maybe they ain't.
what about local police? where does it say that presidents can kill us citizens with drones, without benefit of a trial?
so wtf you say.what does this have to do with vegas.?
well u guys are smart.
figgur it out.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 8:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people have a piss poor understanding of statistics and analysis. They struggle to apply reason to a situation. So if even a weak correlation exists that appears to support their perspective, they seize upon it as "evidence".

Half of the violent crime (including gun homicides) in the USA is committed by 6% of the population (African American males). Overwhelmingly, gun violence occurs in urban centers (as Jim pointed out). The fact is that if you live in white "fly-over" America you truly don't see a problem with guns. Just about everyone you know owns one or more and yet the odds of being murdered are somewhere around the odds of being hit by lightening. So you don't see a problem with a gun ownership. The problem you do see is the imposition of an out of touch government, that works for the bi-coastal elites, on your way of life. Most people I know are aware of these facts. They can even quote them (btw...I live in a rural very white community).

Why do people out here own guns? 1. For hunting. I don't hunt, but lots of people do. It's a tradition. 2. Pest and predator control. I have shot wild dogs that prey on live stock and sometimes pose a threat to humans. Lots of people do. I have also shot a horse that broke it leg, a deer that was wounded by someone else and straggled onto my farm and a fox that had it's hind end broken and was suffering. Also have taken out some groundhogs that dig burrows in the pasture that can break live stocks legs. 3. Self defense. You're a few miles out of the village on a farm. Anyone could pull up in the middle of the night and no one would even see them do it. Police response time can be very slow. 4. Call it paranoid, but we worry about murderous hordes coming from the city to prey on us if we were unarmed. This is not as far fetched as your initial reaction might have it. Certain people - let's just call them "Democrats" - do come from the city. They get busted all the time selling heroin (becoming an epidemic down here). They get busted trying to steal major items from our walmart. They even robbed our liquor store a couple years ago. The first robbery of its kind in this county, ever. We think they'd be here more often if we weren't armed. We think they are afraid of us and we like it that way. The more radical groups agitate these "democrats" into anti-white/anti-police protests, the more we want to be able to defend ourselves against them.

I used to live in the SW and I worked, for a period of time before grad school, for that other BLM (Bureau Land Management) right along the mexico border. I think I've mentioned before that I have seen w/ my own eyes the narco-trafficers and other border crossers. The federal govt deemed it necessary for me to carry a gun (I carried a .357 magnum revolver and either an AR15 or a 12 gauge). Why did they think I needed guns like that, but regular civilians in the same territory don't? True, I had arrest powers, but that was limited portion of the job and normally we called someone else to do that work (like BP). The ranchers down there are all armed with semi-autos w/ high cap mags. They need it lest they fall victim to gangs of these illegals. Mexico has very strict gun laws and absolutely prohibits civilians from owning mil spec weapons - this even includes a colt 1911 type .45 pistol. Yet look at the violence down there. The gangs and cartels are armed to the teeth and run roughshod over the rest of the population. I got shot at once by some of these people armed with ak 47s. How could they have possibly obtained those weapons? Is it b/c they're criminal predators that don't give a damn about gun laws?

IMO, A lot of crime that would happen, doesn't, because the would be perpetrators are afraid of the target B/C THE TARGET IS ARMED AT LEAST AS HEAVILY.


Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 9:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to degenerate Hollywood idolizing violence and depicting liberated women as cold blooded killers, the media has demonized swaths of the population to an extent that rivals the anti-Japanese indoc that US troops absorbed during WW2. The good jap is a dead jap. Well, now we have the only good C&W fan is a dead C&W fan. A CBS exec even said so publicly. It's a prevalent attitude. Hear's to the president's head on a stick! etc, etc, etc. Law Enforcement = jackbooted Waffen SS, etc, etc. College profs asserting that white people are evil and they should stop propagating at least; better yet, kill themselves, etc, etc.

It's a low grade civil war that the left has been fomenting for some time. And they want us to surrender our means of self-defense in the midst of it? No thank you.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 9:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Tinky said...

@David –

Using Mexico as an example is disingenuous, and on two counts. First, the U.K. and Germany, which also have strict gun control, have violent gun death rates that are vastly lower than in the U.S.:

U.K. 0.07
Germany 0.12
U.S. 3.85

(2016, number of violent gun deaths per 100k population)

Secondly, a very high percentage of gun deaths in Mexico are, of course, produced by out-of-control drug traffickers who essentially own or intimidate local law enforcement officials. This skews the overall numbers severely.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 9:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...


Not sure whether that point was really responding to me or Avedis but a couple of points in response.

First, the reason behind the rule of law is that you must accept the laws on which the country is governed unless and until you can get enough political will to change them. For now, Jim's reading of the Second Amendment and of weak government is accurate. The central government was supposed to be weak. The militia is needed not just as a counterweight to the FBI but because something like the FBI wasn't supposed to exist. Maybe you think that's a wrongheaded and obsolete idea in the 21st century. Fair enough, but you'd have to persuade him, not me.

Second, this is what I mean by getting to why people own guns. Britain, Germany, even Canada are poor comparisons because in those countries there is no history of such large mistrust of government being baked into the gun laws from the beginning. Mexico is a poor comparison for the opposite reason: it is a failed state where the people with the means to get guns have taken their security into their own hands.

That leaves America somewhere in the middle.

Meanwhile public policy gets shaped and misshaped by public ignorance, so there's no help there. Want to ban bump stocks now? Apparently most Americans now do, including I would imagine a fair number who had never heard of the devices a couple month ago. Fair enough. However, only a tiny fraction of the people killed by guns in America are killed by guns equipped with such devices.

Plenty of people say they want better gun control but what they seem to actually want is better massacre control.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Tinky said...

Sorry David – it was indeed Avedis' comment to which I was responding.

I don't harbor any optimism that a narrow ban on certain types of weapons will have a great impact on mass shootings, but there is no doubt that America's liberal gun ownership laws contribute to the dissonant statistics when compared with virtually all other developed countries around the world.

Now, if you want to argue that increased fatalities are a sort of "cost of doing business", as the importance of gun ownership is to great (re: armed militias) to restrict, that would be a different discussion.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed one of points; which is that most of the crime in the US that involves guns originates with a small minority of citizens - specifically inner city African Americans. This is the day to day killing that doesn't make the headlines like the LV shooting, yet is what drives US homicide rates. Remove that group, and American begins to look more like Europe's rates. Germany, etc don't have that kind of minority crime issue....or at least they used to not. Now, with the Muslim community, violent crime is on the increase. Let's look at France. Strict gun control and yet mass shootings with automatic weapons. We know who is doing it. That's the giant elephant in the room. It is minority groups of non-western origin that are driving the rates and can't seem to behave with guns. I repeat that where I live - a very white area - everyone has guns and no one shoots anyone. The only murders around here in the past decade have been with knives. So I really don't know what you are talking about comparing the US to Germany, etc


Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 12:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more point, Tinky. The US has liberal gun laws, but it also has liberal laws generally. Check out the Bill of Rights some time. Criminals use these liberal laws against law enforcement. They play the system. Our inner cities - where the bulk of the gun crime happens - are failed states just like Mexico, with narco gangs running rampant. That is what drives the gun deaths in the USA. Therefore, the comparison to Mexico is appropriate.


Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 2:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...


It's not me who makes that argument. It's the people who wrote the second amendment. Granted I can't rule out some of them might feel differently if they were alive today, but there you have it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 2:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to all,
i think about the vegas shoot and keep coming up with old thoughts recycled for today.
most shooters are ok with close quarter killing ONLY if they have hatred.
they want it personal. that's why groups cut off heads and pop folks kneeling in submission before them.
i hypothesize that the vegas shooter didn't have hatred. he just wanted to kill folks.
nothing personal. that's why he was 400 yds away. the people weren't people -they were simply targets.
thats also how we train soldiers.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 3:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you say is true enough, but there may be an exception. The Sheriff indicates that when LEOs showed up right in front of the casino and immediately below the shooter, the shooter directed his fire right on top of the LEOs. Maybe the whole thing (fuel tanks, etc) was designed to draw LEOs to the scene so they could be targeted.


Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 5:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

yes it could have been a ruse,BUT why would he not shoot it up with them?
if he wanted he could have killed or wounded a few.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 2:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi avedis, et al.,

Just wanted to check in and say "thanks" for the kind words on my last post on the footballers. I've been scarce lately far as commenting lately as my time online is limited due to a severe bout of sciatica.

Looking forward to a definitive answer for me this week. I'm getting quite bored with the situation :(.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
Sorry to hear about the sciatica. A little advice, if I may,do not get spinal surgery unless the pain is chronic and unbearable and all other options are exhausted. I have done several studies of spinal surgeries - laminectomies would typically be the relevant one for sciatica - and unless all pre-conditions are met, the surgery can do a lot more harm than good. This is even true if all the pre-conditions are present. Doctors are not always honest about this b/c they, of course, make their living by doing surgeries.

Best of luck and sincerely hope you feel better soon.


Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 6:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, Good point. Dunno.


Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 6:21:00 PM GMT-5  

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