Second Amendment Supporter Has Second Thoughts


Shit go to an AA meeting sometime. It takes a lot for a big portion of our fellow citizens to realize how fucked up they are.
better late than never
He's probably terrified. He'll find religion again once he calms down.
Being in favor of keeping our second amendment does not preclude being in favor of gun control.
What happened to, "Take yes for an answer?"
It took over 500 getting shot but at least we changed one person's mind.
At least make an effort to understand where Keeter came from.

The 2A crowd holds the enduring cultural belief that the cure for mass shootings is active self-defense -- the old Good Guy With a Gun trope.

Not many people recognize yet what made this particular shooting truly unprecedented. It wasn't the high casualty count -- the casualty count was a consequence, and not the reason, this shooting was different.

What makes this shooting so unprecedented is how conclusively it demonstrates that there are tactical situations where a Good Guy With a Gun can do you about as much good as the Easter bunny. Even an ardent 2A believer who imagines himself the very epitome of that Good Guy With a Gun has to recognize the utter futility of the tactical situation.

Route 91 Harvest was a three-day festival, by the way. The shooter checked in day before it opened, and apparently spent the first two days of the event observing it. He knew where the points of entry and exit from the fairgrounds were. He knew where the choke points were that people would rush to once the chaos started.

And no 2A enthusiast, no matter how ardently they imagine themselves as that Good Guy With a Gun, can escape the futility of a tactical situation where the shooter has days of preparation, a protected, elevated, concealed firing position, a thousand rounds of ammo, high capacity magazines, long guns with effectively full-auto (yeah yeah bump stop I know) capability, and an unobstructed line of sight on ten thousand people in a confined area with no easy escape.
@9 Not all of us buy into your arbitrary, bullshit interpretation of the 2nd amendment. You might as well ask an atheist why she doesn't want to go to heaven.
@9: We can have stricter gun laws and still preserve our "God given liberty" to keep and bear arms.
I think this is exactly why empathy is a really, really bad moral foundation and an ineffective political tool. People fail to extend it where they should and do extend it where they shouldn't. It works well to prevent intra-tribal violence between people in person, which was the evolutionary advantage, and that's it. Liberals and Leftists should abandon appeals to empathy, as both a policy basis and rhetorical strategy, if we want to be more effective.
@9: We threw out the 4th amendment for 3,000 lives that one time, so 5,000 lives every year seems like a reasonable threshold to throw out the 2nd.
@14 succinct and undeniably correct.
"I'm a big proponent of not endlessly lecturing people who've come around on your issues . . ."

. . . but I am going to go ahead and do just that in this SLOG post.

-Dan Savage

@10, @12 -

Maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't say I believe that the answer to mass shootings is active defense. I was explaining why this shooting looks different to the 2A crowd than all the ones that have come before it.

For the record, I believe that yes, we can and should limit access to the type of firepower that was deployed in Las Vegas yesterday.
@17: I think they were taking issue with Ken Mehlman's comment, not yours.

Yours was very well-argued, and provided nuanced points I hadn't seen before. Ken Mehlman's was just bullshit trolling, per usual.
@8 interesting analysis.

I don't think the bulk of anti-gun-control folks are moved by tactical considerations so much as by identity politics, but maybe I'll be wrong.

Considering gun manufacturers are making bank on Wall Street today in anticipation of all the weapons they expect to sell as a result of this massacre, I don't think you're in the least bit wrong.
@8 - Aye, good point about 2A crowd's likely perspective. Thanks.
And yes, @17,18, Mehlman is our resident pseudonym'd Devil's Advocate, representing the conservative point of view. Consider his posts as tools you can use to sharpen your own positions.

So many Republicans and/or cultural conservatives have no moral imagination, no capacity for empathy,
The reason for this is that power cripples empathy:
Becoming Powerful Makes You Less Empathetic,
& Power Causes Brain Damage

So maybe John @13 is right about the ineffectiveness of appeals to empathy, especially to soi-disant "leaders" and rich & powerful people in general. Which is annoying because they use "morality" all the time, and voters vote their morals & values... or at least the one's that are broadcast via candidates' ads... whether they really sync with candidates' voting reality or not.

All of which only reinforces the idea that using "Sortition" -- choosing representatives via lottery from the general population -- might be a better method of governance than this money+elections system we have now.

If you're reading a Dan Savage slog post and hoping to avoid stark political opinion and commentary, you should probably stop doing so, regardless of what he prefaces a statement with.
Yep, classic right wing failure of empathy till it happens to me. His turn around doesn't mean dick because the vast majority of the hims out there will, like him, never change unless it happens to them. And it won't. So it won't.
Also from the guitarist--"Good guys with guns" did not stop the killing:

We actually have members of our crew with [Concealed Handgun Licenses], and legal firearms on the bus,” Keeter wrote. “They were useless.” He continued:

We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.…
I wish to express my deepest sympathies to all the families affected by this act of human cruelty - also a get well soon to those who were injured.

I kinda feel terrible about something. I feel terrible because when I found out the victims were attending a gigantic country music festival and saw that many of the audience members looked - well - stereotypical, I thought how many of those people voted for Trump (nearly all of them) because they thought Trump would make them free again and would support gonzo gun rights. I wonder how many of them now, at home or back in their hotel rooms changing their Pampers, are rethinking the 2nd Amendment.

Like I said, I feel terrible, and I'm sorry.
So Dan (rightfully) criticizes the right for its lack of empathy, but then he can't empathize with this guy's change of heart?

I love Dan Savage, and I hate the second amendment, but this post is complete and utter bullshit.

He's on our side now. Maybe let's welcome him with open arms, and not act like a bunch of stereotypical liberals that can't leave well enough alone. And even if there's a part of you that's seething because he didn't have a turn around when it was kids, gays, brown skins, etc.; Let's try and see the forest through the trees and think of the long game.

He's a white/male/(presumably) Christian/ country singer. Do you know what a fucking powerful tool that is in this debate? Again, I love Dan Savage...but if we're being honest, more often than not he's preaching to the choir when it comes to gun control. We need strong voices in the red states, in the Wal-Mart's, in the county fairs.

So I say let's roll out the red carpet for this dude. We need allies like him...even if means having to swallow a little bile.
I guarantee you this guy will change his mind again. Just wait.

Simply because he’s not arriving at either position based on facts or logic. No gun nuts and 2A fetishisists arrive at their positions rationally. It’s either just a cultural habit or an appealing hero fantasy paranoia.

@9- Your Fourth Amendment analogy and your all/nothing characterization is bullshit. There are plenty of exceptions to the Fourth Amendment protections. Police can enter if they see/hear that a crime is being committed, they can search your car if it is taken into custody after you are arrested, they can stop you on the street if there is articulable suspicion that would lead a reasonable person to believe you are committing a crime, etc. There are also exceptions to the First Amendment (can't yell"Fire" in a crowded theater, can't defame people, can't release classified information etc.) Please explain to me why you 2A fanatics believe that the Second Amendment is the ONLY one where there should be no restrictions or exceptions.
@25 I feel terrible because when I see all those photos of bloody cowboy boots and hats I don't feel despair but hope — could this finally be the victim demographic that will be a catalyst for change?
@26: You're right of course, but ask the Dixie Chicks how well it goes, trying to advocate for reason to the Wal-Mart crowd. It's career suicide.
These mass shootings aren't going away because you make a law. They won't go away until people value human life and as long as this society can't get enough war, be it invading Iraq, bombing Libya or Syria or hopping at the chance to slaughter millions of North Koreans, I think we're stuck with mass slayings.
This POS and every other POS that only cares about anything when it personally affects them does not actually care about whatever the problem is (in this case gun violence) they are ONLY THINKING ABOUT THEMSELVES. It's called narcissism.

"Maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't say I believe that the answer to mass shootings is active defense. I was explaining why this shooting looks different to the 2A crowd than all the ones that have come before it."

Only because there's absolutely no way any kind of magical thinking can overcome the reality of the situation.

Consider the Colorado movie theatre shooting. Really, truly, in any sane situation, will a Good Guy With a Gun (TM) be able to spot an active shooter when (a) it's dark, (b) full of panicking people, (c) likely smoke or something else that obscures visibility, and (d) you're backlit by the screen so you pulling out your piece marks you as a target? Will you, in that moment of shock and surprise and adrenaline, be able to fire your weapon with pinpoint precision so that you don't hit one of the 10-year-olds shrieking in terror and fleeing? Are you sure?

It's magical thinking at its finest to think that I, as a barely-trained civilian (or even some of the people I know who are really good shots) would be THAT good under that level of stress and that level of obstacles to get the shooter and not the terrified 10-year-olds.

(It's kind of the same argument that I don't need to shell out $300 for an Epi Pen when I can get a $10 pack of syringes and a $25 bottle of epinepherine....and be able to find my syringe and the vial, get it open, draw a dose, tap out the bubbles, and inject myself in the leg in the middle of anaphylactic shock. In theory, practice, there's a REASON that Epi Pens exist.)

Or the shooting at Fort Hood by the army officer a few years back. Say that every soldier on base was carrying. One opens fire. Somebody fires back (our Good Guy With a Gun (TM)). Everybody looks the same. How do you know who is the Good Guy With a Gun (TM) when everybody is wearing a uniform? Do you plow down a whole platoon?

If it breaks the fever of the magical thinking, I'm all for it, but let's not pretend that the vast majority of other mass shootings were somewhere that a Good Guy With A Gun (TM) had any kind of realistic chance to stop it, at all.