Just sayin’

Like pretty much everyone in my family, I’ve been a gun owner since I reached legal age. Coming from Bridgeport, I had kin who worked their whole lives at Remington Arms. Looking around, right now, prolly have 3 or 4 handguns in one drawer or another, + glove compartment in my pickup.

Never a fan of hunting; so, the long gun in the house is a “Defender” badass shotgun I acquired when I lived in a tough urban situation. Never did need it, yet.

My fave is a Ruger .22 bull barrel target pistol. Still a pretty good shot for a righthanded looney with a dominant left eye.

And, YES, I would support the strictest regulations in the world if we could keep down these demented dullards who believe mass shootings are the way to go out in a blaze of glory. They deserve to drown in a barrel of soft wet shit.

‘It’s Easier to Get a Gun Than Baby Formula’

After his team’s loss to the Mavericks in Game 4 on Tuesday, Warriors guard Damion Lee was asked about the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, earlier that day. His answer caught some attention for the comparison he made.

“It’s just sad. Obviously everyone saw Steve’s [Kerr] pregame presser. Those are my exact same sentiments,” he said. “It’s sad the world that we live in. We need to reform that. Guns shouldn’t be as easily accessible … like it’s easier to get a gun than baby formula right now. That’s unbelievable in this country that we live in…”

Golden State coach Steve Kerr used his entire pregame presser Tuesday to address the shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead and pleaded for change. He said there were “50 senators, right now, who refuse to vote on HR8.” The bill would implement background check requirements for firearms, and it was passed by the House in February 2019, per Congress.gov.

“So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you, ‘Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?’ Because that’s what it looks like,” Kerr said.

Say “Amen”, brother!

“Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down” — Malcolm X

I was born and raised in the state of Connecticut. Even if you also were born and raised there, you may not realize Connecticut is the arsenal of America.

I grew up with gunsmiths and guns. Every major industrial city in Connecticut often had historically critical gun manufacturers on the roster of local business. Colt, Remington, Sturm Ruger, Mossberg, Charter Arms, the list goes on and on. At peak, over 20 gun manufacturers toiled in their armories.

My extended family included a few of the real deal. Including one chief gunsmith for a firm rolling out military gear as well as sporting firearms on an international scale. The straight and narrow machinists as well as alley mechanics could have been employed like the folks in this video given similar circumstances.

America’s gun religion

This starts partway through the article. The author takes us from childhood target shooting to military life…to this!

How did we get from a little NRA indoor firing range with .22 target rifles to an entire convention hall filled with weapons of war and nostalgia for America’s enemies from the Civil War and World War II? How did we get from guns as tools to guns as lifestyle? How did we get from guns manufactured specifically for target shooting and hunting to guns manufactured for killing people and styled as “military” and “tactical” and “assault”? How did we get from magazines like Field and Stream, featuring stories about hunting, to Guns and Ammo, featuring stories about the Hecker and Koch HK416A5 with its “slimline telescopic butt stock” and “Non-stop NATO Stanag 4694 top rail” and magazine capability holding up to 100 rounds of military-grade 5.56 X 45mm NATO ammunition?

Three letters: NRA. Beginning in the 1970s, the National Rifle Association transformed itself from a shooting sports organization into a political lobbying arm of the Republican Party. It formed a PAC, the Political Victory Fund, in time for the 1976 elections and started endorsing and funding conservative, mostly Republican, candidates. The NRA invited Ronald Reagan to address its 1983 convention, in advance of his campaign for reelection in 1984, when they endorsed him for a second time…

…Guns went from tools to politics to identity. A gun went from something you use for a sporting purpose, like target shooting or hunting rabbits, to a thing that makes a statement about you. Hollywood went right along with them, from a .44 magnum revolver in “Dirty Harry” that said I’m a tough guy, to fully automatic AR-15 assault rifles with grenade launchers in “Scarface” that said I’m a killing machine and I’ll kill everyone I can see.

Truly worthwhile read. I can sympathize. I grew up in Connecticut when the state was still proud to call itself the arsenal of America. My family lived through the transition Lucian Truscott describes. One time or another, everyone in my father’s generation – in his extended family – worked for a gun manufacturer. One of my uncles spent his life’s work as a lead prototype gunsmith for a gun company. Another was a factory manager.

I was fortunate enough to pre-date the NRA conversion. I was rebel enough to have a gut reaction of disgust and revulsion to the “new” NRA and Reagan politics. I watched Truscott’s worst nightmare as it formed.

RTFA. I hope our benighted land is someday capable of turning this particular aspect of fascist ideology around. And goes on to work on the rest, as well.

What mass shooters have in common

❝ For two years, we’ve been studying the life histories of mass shooters in the United States for a project funded by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. We’ve built a database dating back to 1966 of every mass shooter who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces, and places of worship since 1999. We’ve interviewed incarcerated perpetrators and their families, shooting survivors and first responders. We’ve read media and social media, manifestos, suicide notes, trial transcripts and medical records.

❝ Our goal has been to find new, data-driven pathways for preventing such shootings. Although we haven’t found that mass shooters are all alike, our data do reveal four commonalities among the perpetrators of nearly all the mass shootings we studied…

❝ So what do these commonalities tell us about how to prevent future shootings?

One step needs to be depriving potential shooters of the means to carry out their plans. Potential shooting sites can be made less accessible with visible security measures such as metal detectors and police officers. And weapons need to be better controlled, through age restrictions, permit-to-purchase licensing, universal background checks, safe storage campaigns and red-flag laws — measures that help control firearm access for vulnerable individuals or people in crisis.

I come from a hunting and gun-owning family. The immediate generations before me – in my father’s family alone there were at least 7 who worked for firearms manufacturers. No big deal in industrial Southern New England.

I lived through periods of practically zero gun regulation. I lived through periods nearly equivalent to most of what’s asked for by people of conscience and good sense, nowadays. I’m still a gun owner.

My life and lifestyle wasn’t altered in the least by those regulations. Personally, I support a return to those strictures. Personally, I think those who use fear of regulation as an excuse for lousy politics are intellectually dishonest, deceiving no one other than themselves and their sympathizers.