This is now the official thread for discussions about Firearm legislation in the United States and elsewhere.
I will be funneling most (if not all) of the posts in other threads debating gun control legislation into this catch-all thread. If ever there is a news item that makes you want to debate firearm legislation I would like everyone to respect victims and not do it in news threads about the incident.
I will be sticking this for now just so people are aware of it.
Thank you for your understanding!
So I stumbled upon a comment on a news page that I felt summed it up well, posted that on FB, then tiraded into my own rant and rave. Perhaps it's better suited over here. I apologize in advance for length. The comment I liked goes:
"Too much of the mainstream media, and ALL of the RWNJ media, and the "Great Drumpf," are all over the Jihadism/ISIL/International Terrorism angle.
The shooter had a serious domestic violence history, couldn't figure out how to live with or love a woman, and was spouting off homophobic thoughts to his father. Add to that that he had no religious history to speak of, and only brought up the subject of Jihad when he was in a violent mood, and had no ties to any organized jihadis, and it's hard to blame this on his religion, or lack thereof. But maybe we could blame this on his closet-case sense of guilt.
What this was was homophobic violence by a self-hating homo with a deathwish who harbored some notion that he could do some form of penance, cleansing his homosexual tendencies from his personal history for the afterlife, by killing as many gay folk as possible on the way out of this one. Only someone with no understanding of his own religion could come up with that one.
Besides, no self-respecting Islamic terrorist would "waste" a terror attack on a marginalized subgroup that the majority population wouldn't closely identify with. The goal of terrorism is to instill fear in the whole population. A football stadium, airport, Times Square, Union Station, World Trade Center, sure. A gay nightclub? Seriously?
This wasn't a Jihadist attack. It was a very troubled, well-armed American struggling with heterosexual domestic life and trying to obliterate the very thing in himself he couldn't figure out how to live with.
Somebody needs to go on TV and make this point."
And then I couldn't help it, I let my mind run wild with how easily this could be spun to never address the real problem. Here's my rant:
The biggest issue I see coming from republicans spinning this as Islamic terrorism, and not a gun control issue, is that I can see the shifting of blame and the mistreatment of Muslims, or indeed any middle eastern looking person, spiraling out of control. (Can it get worse? I think so, though I hope I'm wrong.) As out of control as our gun laws and our mass shootings. How many do we have a year?
This mass murdering closet case was born in the US! He is American! His attack had "I'm not gay" written all over it. I'm not gay, look how tough and masculine I am as a beat my wife. I'm not gay, look how much I hate gay men kissing. I'm not attacking gays because I'm gay, I'm suddenly and conveniently a Jihadist! Even though I have no previous religious history or ties to other terrorists. "I'm not gay!" All the way to his grave.
This isn't foreign terrorism, this is domestic homophobia. 100% made in the USA. It's bad enough that Drumpf and his ilk want to ban Muslims from entering the country, but what if they reopen internment camps within our borders? First he deems an American judge with Mexican ancestry unfit to perform his job, so we know that even without the threat of terrorism he already sees nonwhite Americans as somehow lesser. As if white male judges are suited to handle cases for women and minorities, but they are not suited to give fair trail to a white man in return? If the fearmongering against Islam continues unchecked then to protect themselves, easily led people will arm themselves. Gun sales go up. So do mass shootings. Hmm? Wonder what to do? Make guns harder to get? Ban automatic weapons that can cause 100+ casualties in a night? Nope. Lock up anyone suspicious. Anyone who looks like a terrorist. Nevermind if they are Christian , or atheist. Nevermind if they were born and raised here. We gotta contain them for the safety of the American people! Cut them off from all ties to the middle east or any family, lest they be conspiring against us Americans! You know, the white, straight, Christian conservative ones! The only ones that matter to us! The ones who are threatened by how outnumbered they are becoming and how the world is starting to push back against the bigotry. So they lock up black Americans so they can't vote, deport immigrants or lock them up too, and poison the minds of the free-to-vote white people. Mexicans are rapists, Muslims are terrorists, Black youths are superpredators. This is the reason bigoted white people stay in offices of power. Voter suppression is openly a tactic they use (voter ID cards, closing polling stations in areas of color and opening more in whiter areas). Sadly, I don't think Fox Newsians or our Republican Congress care about saving the lives of Americans. It's easy to see that gun violence is getting ridiculous, and that stricter regulations would save how many people a year at this rate?
Can we protect Americans? Or will Drumpf close our borders and Make America White Again? Will Hillary take us to war with the terrorists even though it's really about oil? If you, your people, and your land have been terrorized by the US for decades, leaving no way for a stable society to emerge. You could look to extremists who have answers. (Isn't that what Drumpf supporters are doing?) Because any answer is more comforting than the uncertainty and limbo state they are in. With American drones flying over their heads, and American soldiers killing their men, and American politicians stealing their wealth. You can't blame the terrorists for filling themselves with hatred for the country that has caused nothing but terror to them. Fear leads to hatred bing bam boom dark side.
I know this rant is all over the place. I had to stop and reread when I caught myself star warsing. But I think I'll keep it.
Tl;dr this attack wasn't Islamic terrorism and we gotta crack down on gun laws so we don't have to have a magazine called Mass Shootings Weekly.
End of rant. I'm going to add, though, that his wife and father claimed he wasn't religious but now the father is found linked to the Afghan Taliban where he wants Pakistan to return part of what once was Afghanistan back to them. Death to Pakistan and all that. So perhaps there is a chance their saying he wasn't religious was a cover and he was indeed some religious nut. Doesn't change the fact that he could legally buy the assault rifle that led to over 100 dead or injured before swat could take him out. It doesn't change the white guy caught on the way to gay pride packing heat. Or the Charleston shooter. It's not the religion or the country of origin that's literally killing a STUPID amount of people. It's guns. Keep your regular rifles and your handguns for hunting and home protection. Really, go nuts, gun nuts. You can still accidentally shoot each other on hunting trips Cheney style, or leave your kids at home to accidentally shoot each other or themselves. I don't propose anyone come and take your guns. But if that assault rifle is for hunting, why does it need to fire so many so quickly? Did you want to skip that whole learning to shoot part or do you just got a freezer big enough for 50 deer and you want to stock up? IT'S BULLSHIT. It's not for hunting deer or fending off a burglar. It's for killing people. Lots of people. Very quickly. It's not your goddamn right as an American to be able to do that. Fuck you.
Ok I guess my addendum was a mini rant too. Whoops.
I'm open to any other takes on this.