Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Drew Christie on Guns

Posted by on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 9:08 AM

During a conversation I had with Drew Christie (he is on the 2012 Genius Shortlist for film):

This blew the shit out of my mind. You know how anti-gun control people love westerns. But I recently read that lots of cities back then actually banned guns. They had signs that said: no guns or leave your guns at the sheriff's office. They knew guns are fucking dangerous. You can't have a city with commerce, with governance, and people walking around drunk with guns.

Also, the NRA, the gun-crazy organization, wasn't always so nuts. It actually supported the 1934 legislation that controlled Tommy guns, sawed-off guns, and stuff like that. The NRA was more a sportsman kind of thing. They wanted the right to have guns for hunting. But in 1976, that all changed. There was a coup that replaced the sane leaders with ultra-right gun nuts. They changed the whole organization, made it more political, brought in the lobbyists and funding from the gun industry.

Christie's point? Gun advocates are not restoring an older and more American order of things but mostly inventing shit as they go along. A gun-friendly paradise did not exist in the past; it exists only now. Gun control is not unAmerican; it is simply the sane thing to do. It is insane for any big city not to have this sign: Leave your guns at the sheriff's office.


Comments (28) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
"It is insane for any big city not to have this sign: Turn over your guns at the sheriff's office."

That wouldn't work because the sort of people who might cause problems would simply ignore such a sign. Strict limitations on gun ownership imposed at the local level have proven worse then useless.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 31, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
Time until gun nuts start yelling that Charles "hates freedom"... 5,4,3....
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
"Gun advocates are not restoring an older and more American order of things but mostly inventing shit as they go along"

Great insight that could be applied to just about single issues pushed by the reactionary noise machine.
Posted by anon1256 on May 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
treacle 4
Stop allowing guns into just about anybody's hands.
Evidence doesn't back up the case for personal defense. They will be useless in any serious political revolt in this country. They are fine for hunting and collecting, but that's about it.
It is just the sane thing to do.
FUCK I'm pissed at losing people I know to truly senseless violence. FUCK FUCK FUCK
Posted by treacle on May 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
What #1 said. We already have examples of cities that do this - Chicago, DC, New York (sort of - you can get a permit if your name is Rockefeller, but not for ordinary folk) - and it hasn't stopped violence in them. Fundamentally, the problem with people who say "more laws" is that people who shoot people are already demonstrating a lack of regard for the law. Why would they follow this new one? This would just disarm responsible citizens.
Posted by B^2 on May 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
@4 I'm sorry for your loss, T. Never the less, it kind of sounds like your blaming the government for failing to prevent this tragedy. That seems a bit hypocritical coming from someone fundamentally hostile to the notion of state power, as you seem to be.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 31, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Does the Constitution prohibit banning ammunition?
Posted by DMonaghan on May 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
@5 I think stricter federal gun laws would probably make it harder for bad guys to get their hands of firearms. Most of the illegal weapons that show up in places like New York and DC were purchased legally in other states.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 31, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Why do gun advocates and gun-control advocates seem to constantly ignore the first clause of the 2nd amendment?
Posted by Fairhaven on May 31, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Fnarf 11
In the sixties, during the Black Panther ferment, leading up to the famous incident where they marched into the California State Capitol with rifles on their shoulders and pistols in their belts, the NRA actually sponsored gun control legislation. It was a Republican mainstay to keep guns out of the hands of Dangerous Negroes.
Posted by Fnarf on May 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Teslick 12
A sensible post, Charles. Thank you. The only issue I have with gun control is effectiveness; as we've seen with so many issues, if people want something bad enough, they will ignore the law. I'm willing to try sensible restrictions but we should be asking what the next steps would be if additional measures fail.
Posted by Teslick on May 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
south downtown 13
New Yorker had an excellent piece on the NRA and gun ownership:…
Posted by south downtown on May 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
@10: because the SCOTUS has ruled that a "well-regulated militia" is any male over 18. that's it. that's what constitutes "well-regulation".

i don't know when this was, but surely some firearm fetishist (5280?) knows what year. i've certainly heard about it repeadedly on other forums.
Posted by Max Solomon on May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 15
I'm waiting for the NRA to say that anyone should be able to own a bazooka, tank or nuclear weapon.

The fact is is that not everyone should be able to own certain types of weapons. And mentally deranged people should not be allowed to own any weapons.

Weapons such as M-16s, AK-47s, M-60s etc etc have no place in sane society. You don't need them in order to hunt or in order to protect yourself or your property.
Posted by passionate_jus on May 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 16
That would be Heller v. Washington D.C., Max. 2008, I believe.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on May 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
In the wildest of the "Wild West", Dodge City under the rule of Sheriff Wyatt Earp had strict laws requiring everyone coming into town check their guns with the sheriff or a local business. It didn't necessarily reduce the violence from drunk cowboys and whores, but it sure helped keep the body count down.

Here's a picture --…
Posted by Smartypants on May 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
lark 18
Good Morning Charles,
For the record and again my deepest condolences to all the family and friends of all the vicitms.

I don't own a firearm especially a handgun. I don't intend to ever acquire or purchase one. That said, as @1 & @5 said in major urban cities in America, we already have strict gun control laws. Yet, that hasn't prevented a high occurrence of gun violence from occurring those cities (over the Memorial Day weekend, Chicago had 10 homicides and 40 shootings!). The prior weekend Finland had a mass gun shooting and we all know what happened in gun restrictive Norway last year. Yes, gun violence happens. But, I don't believe the law has been greatly effective in diminishing gun related violence in this country. Yes, that is hotly contested but I simply don't think so.

Look, by & large I've no problem with American citizens owning weaponry of all sorts (for collectors, hunters, target shooters etc.). However, I believe possession of firearms should be regulated in some capacity. I find it unbelievable that Stawicki was able to get a firearm. Just wacky. How???

On the other hand, many firearm deaths are done by hotheads. For some (many?) of these men (and yes, it is overwhelmingly men that do the killing), they obtained a "weapon for protection". That attitude needs to change more than the law. The simple fact is obtaining a weapon (firearm or handgun) for "protection" automatically puts one at risk for being shot and shooting someone else including oneself. I'm not going to site the data but I do genuinely believe that.
Posted by lark on May 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 19
@10, @14

I was in a well regulated militia and my girlfriend is now. It's called the National Guard.

@5, @12

What Bullshit!! So, because some people disobey laws we shouldn't have them to begin with? That's like saying we shouldn't have DUI laws since drunks will drive anyway!

The gun control issue is the only issue where people say we shouldn't have laws because some people will ignore them. The US is the only country which doesn't even try keep guns out of the wrong people's hands. Madness. Sheer madness.

The NRA is full of shit. Fuck them.
Posted by passionate_jus on May 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
"I was in a well regulated militia and my girlfriend is now. It's called the National Guard."

That would meet the definition of "a well regulated militia".
But that does not exclude others.

"The gun control issue is the only issue where people say we shouldn't have laws because some people will ignore them."

Lots of people say that Prohibition was a bad idea because some people ignored the laws.
Lots of people say that our current drug laws are a bad idea because some people ignore them.

The first question you should ask yourself is what, exactly, will change with a new law.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 21
The funny thing about the 2nd amendment is that it was written so that private citizens could defend themselves from government, as it ensured that the citizen would have access to the same weaponry the government had access to. Let us also keep in mind that it is speaking of state-run militias, not the standing federal army the National Guard would be a part of.

So the closest interpretation as to what the framers intended would dictate that the private citizen have access to tanks, rocket launchers, .50 caliber machine guns, nuclear weapons, etc. After all, if we can not protect ourselves from the government, the amendment is largely useless for its intended purpose.

Obviously I am glad this is not how it is interpreted now, but it is a bit silly to speak of its original purpose and applying it to our society. There is a reason the constitution was intended to be rewritten as society needed.

Of course, the framers would be appalled at the strength of our centralized two-party government and military, so it is not like we truly believe in their vision for America at this point anyway.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Boos 22
@13 beat me to it. That article is a great read.
Posted by Boos on May 31, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
The Militia Act and subsequent amendments pretty well spells out the definition, purpose and composition of the Militia.

The 2nd Amendment allows one to keep and bear arms, however is "keeping" and owning the same thing? The amendment clearly states, keeping and bearing arms is in support of maintaining a militia. Someone, please show me where in the Constitution that keeping and bearing arms is allowed and a requirement for personal protection.

Lastly, the "framers" wanted a "well regulated" militia as opposed to a large, standing army. Based on the European experience at the time, they perceived the dangers that such entities were capable of producing. The constituion of militia in place of large, standing armies were thought to be a check against those dangers.
Posted by Fairhaven on May 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
venomlash 25
Don't take your guns to town, son, leave your guns at home.
Posted by venomlash on May 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
balderdash 26
@1 et al., you say that, but do you have the statistics to back it up? I don't think you can universally dismiss the idea without some clear evidence that a strong gun-exclusion policy that covers a reasonable area for a significant length of time actually doesn't reduce gun violence.

Anyway, yeah. Handguns in cities are just madness. I don't think we need to stop people having home-defense shotguns or hunting rifles, because those aren't the guns that are used in urban gun crimes. It's handguns. There's no place for them in a densely-populated environment.
Posted by balderdash on May 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Double-plus-one on the New Yorker piece.
Posted by Mrs. Silence Dogood on May 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
bearseatbeats 28
Highest per capita gun ownership, highest per capita gun violence. I think there could be a correlation there.……
Posted by bearseatbeats on May 31, 2012 at 5:46 PM · Report this
@18, as a previous person pointed out, local gun laws are far less effective because people can just drive 30 minutes to buy a gun. When we talk about criminals getting guns, those are often stolen from people who bought them legally or else someone legally buys them and sells them to the criminals.

As for Finland and Norway, you can't compare one terrible incident in each of those countries to the tens of thousands of gun tragedies in the USA. You'll never find any country able to eliminate all weapons and all gun violence. However, you can certainly reduce it. I think you'll find that those countries have a tiny fraction of the gun violence per capita that the USA has.
Posted by Root on June 1, 2012 at 7:08 AM · Report this
lark 30
We're not too far apart. My point is restrictive handgun laws in major US cities don't make too much of a difference "to the tens of thousands of gun tragedies in the USA". Criminals do somehow find a way to obtain them. I'm for curbing that in any lawful rational way.

Also, my intention wasn't to compare Finland, Norway and the rest of Europe for that matter with the USA vis-a-vis gun violence. My points were gun violence happens anywhere and that an "attitude" needs to be changed here in the USA in order for those tragedies to be reduced. I remain dubious the law makes much of a difference.
Posted by lark on June 1, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy