Parkland Shooting Survivors Speak Out On Gun Control, And Some On The Right See A Conspiracy

The students who survived last week's mass shooting in Parkland, Florida are speaking out, and some on the right are responding by engaging in personal attacks and spreading conspiracy theories.

In the wake of last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, many of the students who were targets of the shooter and who have friends who were wounded and died last Wednesday have come forward to speak out on the issue of gun control. Today, in fact, a group of more than 100 of them have been spending the day in Tallahassee meeting with Governor Rick Scott and state legislators about gun control and school safety issues. Others are in Washington, D.C. as part of an event at the White House later today when they will meet with President Trump to discuss gun control issues along with the survivors of other school shootings and the parent of victims of such events such as the 1999 Columbine massacre and the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012. They’ve also gotten a significant amount of coverage from cable news outlets, and many of them will take part in a “town hall” event that will air on CNN tonight that will apparently include some Members of Congress as well as a representative from the National Rifle Association. These students have also inspired a national movement among students that are looking to stage nationwide protests on March 14th, the one-month anniversary of the shooting in Florida.

In response to this rather spontaneous outburst of activism among the students in Florida and the attention it seems to be gaining, some conservative media outlets are turning their attention to attacking the students:

The teenagers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who a week ago lost 17 of their classmates and school staff members in a mass shooting, have emerged as passionate advocates for reform, speaking openly of their anger in the hope of forcing a reckoning on guns.

But in certain right-wing corners of the web — and, increasingly, from more mainstream voices like Rush Limbaugh and a commentator on CNN — the students are being portrayed not as grief-ridden survivors but as pawns and conspiracists intent on exploiting a tragedy to undermine the nation’s laws.

In these baseless accounts, which by Tuesday had spread rapidly on social media, the students are described as “crisis actors,” who travel to the sites of shootings to instigate fury against guns. Or they are called F.B.I. plants, defending the bureau for its failure to catch the shooter. They have been portrayed as puppets being coached and manipulated by the Democratic Party, gun control activists, the so-called antifa movement and the left-wing billionaire George Soros.

The theories are far-fetched. But they are finding a broad and prominent audience online. On Tuesday, the president’s son Donald J. Trump Jr. liked a pair of tweets that accused David Hogg, a 17-year-old who is among the most outspoken of the Parkland students, of criticizing the Trump administration in an effort to protect his father, whom Mr. Hogg has described as a retired F.B.I. agent.

Mr. Hogg, the high school’s student news director, has become a sensation among many liberals for his polished and compelling television interviews, in which he has called on lawmakers to enact tougher restrictions on guns. Just as quickly, Mr. Hogg attracted the disdain of right-wing provocateurs like The Gateway Pundit, a fringe website that gained prominence in 2016 for pushing conspiracies about voter fraud and Hillary Clinton

In written posts and YouTube videos — one of which had more than 100,000 views as of Tuesday night — Gateway Pundit has argued that Mr. Hogg had been coached on what to say during his interviews. The notion that Mr. Hogg is merely protecting his father dovetails with a broader right-wing trope, that liberal forces in the F.B.I. are trying to undermine President Trump and his pro-Second Amendment supporters.

Others offered more sweeping condemnations. Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist behind the site Infowars, suggested that the mass shooting was a “false flag” orchestrated by anti-gun groups. Mr. Limbaugh, on his radio program, said of the student activists on Monday: “Everything they’re doing is right out of the Democrat Party’s various playbooks. It has the same enemies: the N.R.A. and guns.”

By Tuesday, that argument had migrated to CNN. In an on-air appearance, Jack Kingston, a former United States representative from Georgia and a regular CNN commentator, asked, “Do we really think — and I say this sincerely — do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” (He was quickly rebuked by the anchor Alyson Camerota.)

Conspiracies, wild and raw online, are often pasteurized on their way into the mainstream. A subtler version of the theory appeared Tuesday on the website of Bill O’Reilly, the ousted Fox News host. Mr. O’Reilly stopped short of saying the students had been planted by anti-Trump forces. But, he wrote: “The national press believes it is their job to destroy the Trump administration by any means necessary. So if the media has to use kids to do that, they’ll use kids.”

Some of those who have been spreading the conspiracies are facing consequences.

Benjamin Kelly, an aide to a Florida state representative, Shawn Harrison, emailed a Tampa Bay Times reporter on Tuesday accusing Mr. Hogg and a classmate, Emma Gonzalez, of being actors that travel to the sites of crises.

Mr. Kelly was soon fired.

The students also came under attack from Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and filmmaker who, at least nominally remains affiliated with National Review even though he hasn’t had any articles published there in several years now. The attacks consisted of a series of Tweets late yesterday as the Florida House of Representatives voted down a series of resolutions related to a gun control measure while the students watched from the gallery. D’Souza used that as an opportunity to mock the students, suggesting that they ought to be getting summer jobs instead of engaging in political activism, celebrating a defeat of one gun control measure as a victory for “Adults,” and claiming that the students were being manipulated by others in their moment of grief. D’Souza ended up apologizing for this outburst but nonetheless was uninvited from this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which begins later this week at a hotel outside Washington, D.C.

To be fair, these conspiracy theories have largely been pushed by people on the fringes of the conservative movement. The blog Gateway Pundit, for example, has become something of a joke in the eyes of most of the mainstream conservatives that I know personally and through social media, and Alex Jones has always been part of the fringe far-right. Nonetheless, these conspiracy theories have been spreading through social media thanks in no small part to the fact that these students are advocating for gun control measures such as restrictions on so-called “assault weapons” and other measures that have been advanced since the tragedy in Florida, such as raising the age at which someone can buy a weapon to 21 for all weapons. Currently, that is largely an issue of state law and in Florida, that meant that the shooter could purchase the AR-15 he used in the shooting because he was over 18, but could not purchase a pistol or handgun because you have to be 21 in Florida to purchase a weapon like that. (This is a difference that, quite honestly, makes absolutely no sense but that’s a topic for another post). Additionally, there have been many on the right who have at least suggested that the students are being exploited by media outlets with an anti-gun rights agenda.

All of this is, of course, pure nonsense.

There is no evidence that “the media” is using the Parkland shooting survivors for any “agenda,” except in the minds of the same conservatives who have been ranting about “biased media” for years now while claiming that outlets like Fox “News” Channel, which is little more than a propaganda outfit for the Trump Administration at this point, is “fair and balanced.” Nobody has been using these kids. They’re the ones who have been using social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, to voice their opinions. They are the ones who have been staging demonstrations in their hometown outside the site of the shooting. They are the ones who boarded buses yesterday after attending funerals for their classmates and headed up to Tallahassee to talk to state legislators and have their voices heard. They are the ones who have been *choosing* to appear on television to share their frustration at the fact that yet another school shooting has taken place and that the President and the Republican Party that controls the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion in Florida seemingly has nothing of substance to offer on how to combat a mass shooting epidemic that seems to reappear every six months or so like clockwork.

For the most part, these students are being attacked on grounds that have nothing to do with the merits of their argument. Instead, they are being told to shut up because they’re too young to know what they’re talking about. It’s also worth noting that they are being attacked in some cases by the same people who regularly attack millennials for being lazy and addicted to technology. Now, they are being attacked for using that technology to speak out for obvious and completely understandable reasons over the fact that people in positions of power don’t seem to care that yet another seventeen children are dead because of a mass shooting. Even speaking a someone who might disagree with some of the specific ideas that these students are putting forward, this all seems ridiculous. It’s stupid, it’s offensive, and most importantly it makes the people who do it appear as if they are incapable of rebutting the things these kids are advocating on the merits, including ideas such as expanding background checks that seem to me to be reasonable ideas worth discussing, so they just decide to attack the messenger instead.

Greg Sargent argues in The Washington Post,  that conservatives are afraid of these student activists because of what they potentially could portend for 2018 and future elections:

The American right is officially terrified of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Those students, who rapidly turned themselves into activists and organizers after 17 of their fellow students and teachers were murdered at their school, have become the most visible face of this new phase of the gun debate, and conservatives are absolutely livid about it. As a consequence, they’re desperately arguing not just that the students are wrong in their suggestions for how gun policy should be changed, but also that they shouldn’t be speaking at all and ought to be ignored.

There are two critical reasons the right is having this reaction, one more obvious than the other. The plainer reason is that as people who were personally touched by gun violence and as young people — old enough to be informed and articulate but still children — the students make extremely sympathetic advocates, garnering attention and a respectful hearing for their views. The less obvious reason is that because of that status, the students take away the most critical tool conservatives use to win political arguments: the personal vilification of those who disagree with them.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying liberals don’t often vilify their opponents, too. But that technique lies at the absolute core of the right’s rhetoric, and you can tell by how conservatives react when it gets taken away from them.

So right now, conservatives are engaged in a two-pronged attempt to take it back. On the more extreme side, you have the social media trolls, the conspiracy theorists, the more repugnant media figures, who are offering insane claims that the students are paid agents of dark forces, and can therefore be ignored. On the more allegedly mainstream side, you have radio and television hosts who are saying that the students are naive and foolish, and should not by virtue of their victimhood be granted any special status — and can therefore be ignored.

(…)

[The idea behind the various personal attacks] is that if you can find some reason that their words aren’t a pure expression of their feelings without any strategic intent behind it, then their testimony is no longer valid and need not be addressed substantively. So either they’re just emotional and naive and therefore need not be listened to, or they’re too savvy and strategic and therefore need not be listened to.

The truth is that in politics, people on every side try to find sympathetic spokespersons with personal stories that give them authority to speak on particular issues. More than 2000 years ago, Aristotle wrote that there are three modes of persuasion: logos (facts and logic), pathos (emotion) and ethos (the character and credibility of the speaker). While conservatives might complain that the Parkland students are using ethos and pathos to overwhelm logos, in fact it’s their ethos that forces conservatives to argue on the basis of logos.

Once you rule out personal attacks, what’s left is arguing substance. No one is going to criticize Tucker Carlson or anyone else for disagreeing with the students, for saying “Here’s why the ban on AR-15s they’re proposing is a bad idea.” It’s only personal attacks on the students, which we so often accept as just how politics gets done, that come off sounding so despicable.

As I said, these conspiracy theories are not coming from everyone on the right, and many conservatives have condemned and denounced the people and media outlets that have engaged in those attacks and spread those conspiracy theories. That being said, it does appear that the ideas have taken root among at least some segment of the right, and it’s being reflected in the examples that Sargent cites in his column from sources such as former Republican Congressman Jack Kingston and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, both of whom have been engaged in spreading these nonsense theories. As I said, in doing so they just come across as incapable of being able to argue these ideas on the merits, and they just seem to guarantee that they will turn off those members of the public who are starting to notice that some people at least are engaging in “attack the messenger” politics rather than talking about how we can make events like what happened in Parkland, Florida much less common.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Guns and Gun Control, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pete S says:

    Benjamin Kelly, an aide to a Florida state representative, Shawn Harrison, emailed a Tampa Bay Times reporter on Tuesday accusing Mr. Hogg and a classmate, Emma Gonzalez, of being actors that travel to the sites of crises.

    Mr. Kelly was soon fired.

    Of course, he was not fired for making a stupid and outrageous accusation. He was fired for acknowledging that under gun laws favored by his party it would be possible to have a full time acting job going around to the sites of US school shootings pretending to be a survivor.




    18



    1
  2. CSK says:

    Does The Gateway Pundit still have its White House press credential?

    It’s profoundly disturbing that the crackpot right regards The Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Treehouse, Infowars, and Breitbart as the only legitimate news sources.




    14



    1
  3. Kathy says:

    I’m stunned.

    I apologize for my language, but these types of critics are completely f***d up.

    Kids who will get involved with issues that matter to them, with all else they have going on in their regular lives and the addition of the terrible ordeal they’re undergoing, are upstanding citizens of their community.

    Such attacks have no place in a democratic society. Completely f***d up.




    26



    0
  4. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    As of last week, yes.

    Jim Hoft and Lucian Wintrich both have White House press credentials.

    Jim Hoft is known wide and far by the moniker “the dumbest person on the internet.”

    Here is Lucian Wintrich’s wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian_Wintrich

    If you check out the page there is a photo that will make you want to (in the words of Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2) “smack him in his b!tch face.”




    8



    0
  5. de stijl says:

    Doug,

    This was an excellent piece.

    You got a little fired up. I like it!

    Nobody has been using these kids. They’re the ones who have been using social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, to voice their opinions. They are the ones who have been staging demonstrations in their hometown outside the site of the shooting. They are the ones who boarded buses yesterday after attending funerals for their classmates and headed up to Tallahassee to talk to state legislators and have their voices heard. They are the ones who have been *choosing* to appear on television to share their frustration at the fact that yet another school shooting has taken place and that the President and the Republican Party that controls the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion in Florida seemingly has nothing of substance to offer on how to combat a mass shooting epidemic that seems to reappear every six months or so like clockwork.

    I also thought that Sargent’s argument you cited was intriguing: the logos, pathos, ethos modes, and how conservatives are stymied because they’re not able to employ their go-to tactic in a socially acceptable manner.




    14



    0
  6. Mikey says:

    For the most part, these students are being attacked on grounds that have nothing to do with the merits of their argument. Instead, they are being told to shut up because they’re too young to know what they’re talking about.

    Yet many are, or will very soon be, old enough to walk into any gun store in Florida and walk out with an AR-15. Or enlist in the military and learn to use one.

    Felon D’Souza’s disgusting Tweet just made me say “and they (conservatives) wonder why people call them heartless.”




    16



    0
  7. Modulo Myself says:

    There’s zero difference between believing that students are ‘crisis actors’ and believing that a good solution is having teachers carry guns in the classroom. It’s all filth all the way down.




    9



    0
  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    Theses attacks on the credibility of Parkland students is a variation of “shut up and dribble.” Gun rights advocates are beginning to lose the argument. It hasn’t translated to ballots yet, but November should be interesting.




    11



    0
  9. Stormy Dragon says:

    Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs https://t.co/Vg3mXYvb4c— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 20, 2018

    No, I’m pretty sure the “Worst news since…” was when they were told 17 of their classmates were dead.




    20



    0
  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    It’s also kind of ironic for Dinesh D’Souza to be criticizing kids for getting political given he himself looks like he’s still 14.




    6



    0
  11. MarkedMan says:

    It’s hard to believe that the Republicans once had decent officials but it is true. Not for a while though. Although I’ll give Rubio credit for saying that the people spreading these stories are idiots. The Republicans are experiencing a vicious cycle. Because they have these kinds of people, they attract them and people with a sense of decency. Which just raises the percentage of vile and starts the cycle over again.




    3



    0
  12. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Thank you; I read the Wikipedia page. I wonder how Trump feels about being supported by a group that calls itself “Twinks4Trump’?




    7



    0
  13. James Pearce says:

    I feel so bad for these kids, for two reasons. Reason #1 – There will be no serious effort to pass stricter gun control laws. The task is too daunting and the left is too lazy.

    Reason #2 – The effort is going to literally be up to these kids, and it’s probably going to take 15-20 years of failure and hard work to make it happen. Do they have it in them?

    Life is long and hard and you get used to things.

    Like school shootings.




    4



    21
  14. Jake says:
  15. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jake:

    You deserve some sort of participation trophy for listening to that pipsqueak and his chipmunk voice go on like that for 11 minutes.




    12



    0
  16. Jake says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Must be nice in your echo chamber.




    0



    17
  17. drj says:

    Anyone still remember Graeme Frost?

    Kids (and their families) who dare to speak against Republican orthodoxy will always be smeared and mercilessly attacked.

    (Back then, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and even Mitch McConnell were leading the pack.)

    Apart from the fact that the craziness has been turned up a notch or two, nothing much has changed. It’s standard operating procedure.




    10



    0
  18. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    No, I’m pretty sure the “Worst news since…” was when they were told 17 of their classmates were dead.

    Well said!




    4



    0
  19. gVOR08 says:

    Name anything that has happened and

    Some On The Right See A Conspiracy

    One of the classics is that seeing a dozen or more people got shot and wanting to prevent it in future couldn’t possibly be the motivation of those libturds, it only makes sense as a dastardly socialist plot to take my guns.

    Given their level of detachment from reality, how else can they deal with the resulting cognitive dissonance?




    8



    0
  20. de stijl says:

    Here is my question:

    Does this student-led movement have legs?

    Trump is already offering up concessions on background checks, minimum purchase age, and bump stocks.

    NRA funded Rs (which, face it, is all of them) will be looking to offer the absolute minimum concession to make this go away.

    – “Thoughts and prayers” was the opening gambit as always, which, while often working in the past was immediately and almost preemptively shot down as insulting and unacceptable.

    – Trump’s trial balloon is the wild-card gambit (possibly, more on this later.)*

    – The second gambit will be something around a mental health “study” which will not actually force them into amending / rescinding the Dickey Amendment (which functionally prohibits the CDC from studying firearm violence). But it will be framed in the context of “unless one simple, easy, “commonsense” measure can be taken that will eliminate all mass shootings then nothing should be done becuse it’s complicated. The study recommendation which will certainly be that teachers will be mandated to / allowed to pack heat on school grounds (they are married to that “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” framing. The concession will be to offer up federal funds to reimburse teachers for the cost.

    – Improved background checks will be the next offer from Rs not named Trump. It has polled at 85 to 90% for the last several years. It could be a gimme. And might actually happen this time.

    Back to this:

    Trump’s trial balloon is the wild-card gambit (possibly, more on this later.)*

    This may well be the time when Trump’s very late in life conversion from a nominal D into a R hurts the NRA. Trump’s first instinct is to aggrandize himself, and he has not internalized the NRA mantras because that would require curiosity, reading, studying, and memorization. He could be, in his mind, the Man Who Solved School Shootings with these concessions.

    I’ve sidetracked myself and I’m rambling.

    Back to the original question:

    Does this student-led movement have legs? Where does it lead? How does it play out?

    Is this time different?




    4



    1
  21. al-Ameda says:

    somewhat off topic, not by much though:
    Trump said today,

    “A gun-free zone to a maniac, because they’re all cowards, a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us,'” Trump said. “If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.”

    and …

    “I really believe that if these cowards knew the school was well guarded by professionals with great training, I don’t think they’d go into the school to start off with,” he continued.

    There you go, NRA Talking Points.




    11



    1
  22. de stijl says:

    @James Pearce:

    What, in your mind, is the percentage of the comments that you post here that amount to “Ur doing it wrong!”?




    9



    1
  23. Scott says:

    I suspect the mental health angle will be going nowhere. Just think about it. Was Cruz mentally ill? Supposedly he was depressed. He was anti social. There may have been other indications of being outside the norm. However, apparently he wasn’t delusional. There may or may not have been an organic, medically caused mental illness. The question then becomes: Does the state then interfere with people who are outside the norm? I can see that causing much more harm than good.

    Of course, nobody is discussing money.

    No, the real issue is the weapons and the mass destruction they can cause regardless of whose hands they are in.




    4



    0
  24. Bob@Youngstown says:

    NRA 2/21/18 : “Federal law prohibits adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer. Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them for purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection.”

    Does that suggest that persons UNDER the age of 18 have NO right to self-protection?

    This is so F***ed up !




    3



    0
  25. Scott says:

    @al-Ameda:

    they could very well end the attack very quickly.

    I don’t think they’d go into the school to start off with

    Of course, Trump is just talking out his butt. He knows nothing.




    4



    1
  26. Jen says:

    These kids are making a difference in the discussion. The classmates of Sandy Hook victims were too young. This crew is incredibly media-savvy, and are responding with incredible creativity, discipline, and passion.

    They will lose a number of battles, but I think this has–eventual–ramifications. There’s a study floating around–I couldn’t find it in a quick search but will if I do later–that shows that events that happen when you are in your late teens can set your politics for life.

    If kids across the country see lawmakers voting against ANY legislation to curb this horrible violence, it’s essentially creating Democrats.

    There is plenty that could be done that would look like activity even if it isn’t. The NRA is resisting even those measures. Their overall numbers are declining as is the number of homes with a gun–yes, there are many guns, but the absolute number of gun-owning households has been on a steady decline for decades. Most of these kids don’t live in a home with a gun and they see no reason to–and this incident will just solidify their opinions that guns are tools best left to the military and police, with a handful of asterisks for hunting and handguns for protection.

    No one *needs* to own an AR-15, and the NRA is drawing lines in the sand that might seem logical now, but will hurt them in the long run.

    This is a PR war, and the kids are winning.




    16



    1
  27. michael reynolds says:

    There is a simple solution: vote out every Republican at every level of government.




    25



    1
  28. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Does this student-led movement have legs?

    We’ll have to wait and see. but it might help to express and garner support for them.




    5



    0
  29. James Pearce says:

    @Jake: Children are already in charge of gun policy. Maybe the teenagers will be better at it.




    24



    0
  30. James Pearce says:

    @de stijl: I care about that as much as Pelosi and Schumer care about gun control, that is to say, not enough to do anything about it.

    I know, I know. Dems don’t really get cooking until the 3rd decade in office.




    3



    10
  31. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    This is a PR war, and the kids are winning.

    @Kathy:

    We’ll have to wait and see

    This time seems different to me. That could be wishful thinking.

    But the standard call-and-response in the aftermath of these mass shootings has been short-circuited, and I believe permanently so.

    “thoughts and prayers” will no longer be an acceptable response unless it is followed immediately by “and this is what, I , congresscritter X, plan to do to prevent such an event from ever occurring again…”

    “this is not the time” will never pass muster again.

    This feels like a turning point.




    7



    0
  32. de stijl says:

    @Jake:

    Your really a sad little old man.

    And “your” / you’re really bad at English grammar.




    9



    0
  33. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    These kids are making a difference in the discussion. The classmates of Sandy Hook victims were too young. This crew is incredibly media-savvy, and are responding with incredible creativity, discipline, and passion.

    Gen Z kicks butt. I cannot praise Gen Z enough. (I’m gen X 50-something.)

    As a cohort, they are really great kids / young adults. By every public health statistical measure, they rock: drinking, smoking, drug use, violence, sexual activity, social engagement.

    What is really profound though, is that they, as a group, abhor and reject bullying. (I’m outside looking in and really old to them, but that seems to me to be their defining trait.) Bullying behavior is unacceptable and has severe consequences.

    They feel they are being bullied with this conservative backlash now, and they will not accept it. And will damn you for trying to pull that sh!t, and will do their very best to destroy you with your words if you even go there.

    I have no fear for our future. These people make me very proud.

    Not only are “the kids are alright”, but these kids kick ass in a distinctly modern way, and better than we did.




    12



    0
  34. Gustopher says:

    This is beginning to feel like the moment right before the Confederate Battle Flag went from being “acceptable, but with some unfortunate associations” to “just plain racist, and everyone knows it.” The bad faith statements about thoughts and prayers and how this is just a mental health issue (that we will do nothing about) are being called out as the bad faith statements that they are, and they are ringing hollow.

    I suspect that after the next shooting — and we all know that there will be a next shooting — that the major fault lines will start showing, even on the right. They like their Gods, Guns and their Tax Cuts, but Guns aren’t the big thing to a lot of them.




    8



    0
  35. Gustopher says:

    @Jake: When even people who eat Tide Pods can see through your sad old bullshit, you need new better bullshit.




    15



    1
  36. Jake says:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/ann-coulter-amazing-new-breakthrough-to-reduce-mass-shootings-stop-importing-mass-murdering-immigrants?content=of%20the%20country.

    Thanks to our Second Amendment, the United States has fewer mass shootings per capita than many other developed countries, including Norway, France, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. (And 98 percent of our mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones.“)




    1



    23
  37. Mikey says:

    @Jake: Vdare is a white supremacist website. They won’t be getting any pageviews from me, although I’m not the least bit surprised you go there.




    23



    0
  38. Jake says:

    @Mikey:

    Facts don’t care about your feelings.




    0



    22
  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Jake:
    Yeah? I haven’t spent my day sliming traumatized children like your ilk have.




    16



    0
  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Mikey:
    I’m only surprised Jake is a scientific’ racist. I assumed he was just the usual cousin-fwcking, gun-stroking, hillbilly racist.




    13



    0
  41. Jake says:

    You’ve got it all figured out, only read articles that agree with you . Good luck with that.

    Anyone who disagrees’s with me is a ? great premise.




    0



    19
  42. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Why can’t it be both? Because it probably is.




    3



    0
  43. Mikey says:

    @Jake: I’ve read plenty of stuff that challenges my views.

    I draw the line at overtly racist, pseudoscientific bullshit, though.




    13



    0
  44. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Back to Lucian Wintrich, guy from Gateway Pundit who inexplicably has White House press credentials.

    Is there such a thing as name-determinism?

    Does one’s name have a determining factor in your life and how others perceive you, and does the realization that you are being judged by your name alter your thoughts and behavior?

    Does naming someone “Lucian” make it more likely that the resulting adult will be a smarmy, self-entitled, condescending, intolerant d-bag? Why not just go for it, and name the kid “Damien?” (h/t The Omen)

    The following is all anecdata:

    I knew a guy who was from coastal Carolina with one of those names. His first name was a traditionally girl’s name. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Not a unisex name, but a girls’s name. (Like of all the n million people who have this first name, there are thirteen people in the entire US who are male who have this first name unusual.) His middle name was a geographic feature on maps. His last name was just your standard last name, but with a “IV” afterwards. He was the fourth son in a row to be saddled with such.

    And when he met anyone, he would pull out the full GD name:

    “Nice to meet you, too. I’m [Caroline] [Plateau] Lastname the 4th.”

    After he’d interacted with you for several months and deemed you worthy, he just interject randomly with “Call me Platty.”

    (His real name is way funnier than Caroline Plateau Lastname IV. Obviously I can’t share it here, but it’s waaay better.)

    I had to interact with the guy several times a week for several years. Call it ~200 hours per year. He was an appalling human. His name suggested inherited wealth and stature, but that had been untrue for several generations. He was a suck up / punch down person to the extreme. He was fairly intelligent, had been schooled decently, but reflexively racist and sexist and classist. (Actually in retrospect not just sexist, but actively misogynistic, and the reflexive racism was there, but sort of perfunctory: he was a new Southern (white) Man.)

    How much of [Caroline]’s personalty or mental framework was determined his family’s pretensions and nostalgia, and how much was it determined by his ludicrous name which he fetishized?

    Was young Lucian given a fighting chance to be a semi-decent human being as he grew into himself?

    Had young Lucian instead been named John Gregory Wintrich would he be a different person?




    4



    0
  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    Yea, our friend Jake has a history of sourcing material from white supremacist websites. For some odd reason, he hasn’t grasped that he’s already been written off by the audience he’s evidently trying to annoy.




    17



    0
  46. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    VDare, for those you who are unacquainted with it, is named so after Virginia Dare, the first white child born in what became America. Emphasis on white.

    It’s like super-blatant Nazi white ethno-nationalist sites like Storm Front or The Daily Stormer, only with “respectable” writers like Steve Sailer and Charles Murray. VDare is only semi-blatant white ethno-nationialist. It’s the thinking man’s neo-Nazi web portal.




    13



    0
  47. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Maybe these things will galvanize them and they’ll grow up to be better than we are.

    from more mainstream voices like Rush Limbaugh

    This is the NYT? WTF??? This CERTAINLY isn’t the “leftist rag” I grew up reading. Sheesh!




    0



    0
  48. JKB says:

    If only Obama, Pelosi and Reed had gotten a constitutional amendment repealing the 2nd amendment through Congress in 2008-2010 when they held all the needed bodies. And they were riding the Obamacare high. Then, now, there would be legislation ready to go to use this school shooting to bum rush it through at least a few state houses. But no, no amendment is out there. Just a lot of hot air calling for someone to do something, even though what needs to be done is clear.

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant. Saw where someone claims he was a classmate in CA, who graduated in 2015 and included a yearbook picture. CNN, the gun grabbers, whoever is paying them, they’ll be damaged for years. But, only time will tell.




    0



    26
  49. de stijl says:

    @JKB:

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant.

    Dude, do you realize that everything you said in your last paragraph is eminently disprovable and has already been disproved repeatedly?

    You can’t “plant” a high-school senior into a school for n years in the hope that his school is shot up by a rando. Unless, you also presume that the Parkland massacre was pre-planned.

    He has been there for years. He has friends and neighbors and teachers that have known him for years.

    You cannot possibly be that stupid.

    I am gob-smacked you actually wrote that, and I already have an extraordinary low opinion of your intellect and writing skills.

    I’m not exactly sure who is stupider: you may, in fact, be stupider than Donald Trump, Jr.

    That’s my passer-by opinion of your written commentary – not only today or this month, but over the course of your miserable existence here…

    But you just said it was a possibility that Hogg as a “plant”, which can only in this case mean so-called “crisis actor” so you are actually that stupid.

    Challenge to you, JKB. Provide one bit of verifiable evidence that David Hogg is not who he says he is.




    22



    0
  50. de stijl says:

    @JKB:

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant.

    You’re trying to slide by with “some people say…” BS when you’re actually inserting the false narrative that David Hogg is a “plant.”

    That statement will haunt you here.

    You either have to put up or shut up, and since you cannot possibly put up, so every time you comment on random topic here someone will pop up to mock you, and to ask you where the evidence for your claim is, and to shame you, if you are even capable of feeling shame.




    11



    0
  51. EddieInCA says:

    I’m in my mid-50’s. This time it’s different.

    I heard this on the radio earlier today, and it struck a chord based on real life conversations I’ve had the last two days with my 17 yr old nephew.

    I’m paraphrasing…

    This kids. This generation that’s protesting. Those kids 14-18 from this high school have grown up in a different America that most of us. This is the beginning of the first kids born after 9/11 to graduate high school. The America they know…
    1. …has been at war forever.
    2. …has had TSA at airports forever.
    3. …has had mass shootings and school shootings in the news regularly. Their entire lives.
    4. …has always had “Active Shooter” drills in Elementary, Junior High School and High School.
    (sort of the like the “under the desk” drills most of us had to do as kids)
    5. …has always had “If you see something, SAY something” as a motto.

    6. …has had a black president for most of their lives.
    7. …has had a woman running for President or Vice President most elections.

    In other words… They have gone to school, almost everyday, preparing for this eventuality due to terrorism and mass school shootings. And they’re pissed. They see adults, playing games – political games, while their friends and teachers are being slaughtered on an ever-increasing regularity of mass school shootings.

    Back to my nephew… He lives in Boise, ID. A Red state. He’s a good kid. Dad is a Trumpkin. Mom is a Bernie-ite. He’s moderate. But on the issues of guns, despite his dad being a gun guy, and him being surrounded by many adult hunters, his anecdotal evidence is that most of his generation, even in Red state Idaho, think there needs to be a serious change in gun laws.

    This time it different.

    And it’s because of the kids. All of those kids have parents, and they have to be so freaking proud right now. I saw one of the kids on CNN last night with his father, a former FBI Agent. This kid, at 17, was better spoken, and more poised than his FBI agent father. During the interview, the father said “Look at him. He’s better at this than me. By alot.”

    One last thought… “The Children in congress can’t seem to do anything about this. Let’s give the teenagers in Florida the chance.” – Author unknown (but sure as hell not me)

    This time it’s different.




    17



    0
  52. EddieInCA says:

    Although I don’t post nearly as much as I used to, I still visit the site every day. I enjoy the banter – for the most part. Which leads to the point of this particular post….

    DON’T.
    FEED.
    THE.
    TROLLS.

    Please. There are some really good thinkers on this site. And I love when James, Steven, Doug, Robert, et. al, get involved in the discussions.

    But the trolls are killing us. Let’s stop it by ignoring it. I am trying to recruit some solid center right, and right-wing friends to start posting here to see if we can build up the debate level a notch or two. Heck, maybe I’ll play the rightwinger for a while – sanely – to sharpen my own skills.

    Thanks. And remember…

    DON’T. FEED. THE. TROLLS




    11



    0
  53. michilines says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Or the shut up and sing that we saw just a few days ago on this sight.

    Some people just don’t get the Bill of Rights. They probably never will.




    1



    0
  54. michilines says:

    @EddieInCA: Your comment made me think of all the conservative child wonder-kids that the GOP promoted and now we shouldn’t listen to “the kids.”

    There is nothing consistent about their message.

    However, because the Democrats can’t change the world in a day, people like James Pearce continue to tear them down. Oh, I forgot, James Pearce is to steps ahead of me.




    9



    0
  55. Jake says:

    I argue for a living. I often deal with hacks, liars, and agenda-driven fanatics. But never in a quarter century of being in court rooms have I faced such a blizzard of constitutional illiteracy, technical ignorance, flabby reasoning, and outright lies as I have dealing with people who think our Second Amendment rights are up for debate.

    Our rights are not up for debate. But, as a courtesy, because talking is the way a free people should endeavor to solve problems, we should debate them anyway. Rational discussion beats the alternative – many of us are vets who saw the alternative overseas – even if the other side prefers emotional blackmail using articulate infants to bum rush their anti-civil rights policies. So, here are seven (it could have been 50) of the most annoying – and dishonest – arguments you will hear, and how you can fight them.

    https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/02/22/7-terrible-liberal-gun-control-arguments–and-how-to-beat-them-n2451718




    1



    22
  56. de stijl says:

    @Jake:

    I argue for a living.

    You do it poorly. You cannot marshal a cogent argument bolstered by evidence.

    You always cite opinion pieces as evidence.

    Perhaps you might be able to obtain legal recourse against whatever institution ” educated” and “trained” you.




    23



    0
  57. de stijl says:

    @Jake:

    I just clicked on your link to Townhall.

    The text of your comment was not *your* take on the matter.

    The two paragraphs of text you just posted as your comment were the first two paragraphs of the article you linked to pasted verbatim.

    Unless you are actually Kurt Schlichter commenting under a pseudonym, you are a liar.




    15



    0
  58. de stijl says:

    @Jake:

    You just cribbed your entire comment from the very link you posted. You didn’t even recast it in your own pungent prose style.

    You be more stupid than JKB. And that’s something!




    8



    0
  59. JKB says:

    @de stijl:

    Lighten up, Francis. The truth about the kid will be known in a day or two. Seems unlikely to me that something so easy to check would be attempted, but these days, who knows.

    If the kids want to radically change the gun laws, then they need to start paying attention in civics class as to how to amend the Constitution. Even then, it is unlikely any gun confiscation could succeed without serious violence. Perhaps they can do an Australia and just keep those who don’t yet own a gun from every getting one.




    0



    20
  60. Franklin says:

    Of course this is all nutty. Basically every commentator on the right aspires to be Alex Jones now for some reason.

    But as a side note, I’m curious why anybody cares what Dinesh D’Souza says. Why won’t disgraced scandal-ridden losers like him just go away and stay away? Even in his heyday, did he ever produce one original thought?




    12



    0
  61. de stijl says:

    @JKB:

    The truth about the kid will be known in a day or two.

    The truth about David Hogg is known now. Do you doubt any of the reporting on his veracity?Why are you equivocating? This is not an unknowable matter. It is a matter of public record.

    He was and is a student at Parkland and has been for years.

    Seems unlikely to me that something so easy to check would be attempted, but these days, who knows.

    Weasel.

    You injected this into the conversation:

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant. Saw where someone claims he was a classmate in CA, who graduated in 2015 and included a yearbook picture. CNN, the gun grabbers, whoever is paying them, they’ll be damaged for years. But, only time will tell.

    and again this time with:

    Seems unlikely to me that something so easy to check would be attempted, but these days, who knows.

    So check it the mother-effing out instead of trying to weasel (that’s a verb now) this crap into the conversation.

    Do you have one whit of verifiable evidence that David Hogg is not who he says he is?

    If so, please provide it.

    If not, you are unredeemable for weaseling (again, my friends, this is a perfectly cromulent verb form I’m using here) this spurious demonstrably provably untrue crap into the discourse.

    Lighten up, Francis.

    Let’s play with this, shall we?:

    There are credible reports that Russian troll factories routinely buy bots and verified / legitimate commenters to further discord and chaos in the US political system.

    It will be interesting if this JKB schlub does turn out to be a plant.

    Can you offer proof that you are not a Russian paid fifth-columnist commenting here to provoke discord amongst the populace?

    Explain this:

    CNN, the gun grabbers, whoever is paying them, they’ll be damaged for years. But, only time will tell.

    Would that not be exactly what a Russian handler would tell you to / pay you to peddle?

    Again, it will be interesting to see if you turn out to be a Russian asset.




    27



    0
  62. Franklin says:

    @de stijl: JKB is posting at 3am EST, he could very well be a Russian posting after his morning porridge and vodka.

    /my excuse is insomnia




    8



    0
  63. de stijl says:

    @Franklin:

    But as a side note, I’m curious why anybody cares what Dinesh D’Souza says. Why won’t disgraced scandal-ridden losers like him just go away and stay away? Even in his heyday, did he ever produce one original thought?

    D’Souza was / is a big deal.

    He was a headliner speaker at CPAC repeatedly.

    Did he produce an original thought? No.

    (Well, possibly yes, but it was really stupid thought i.e., the How Obama Thinks anti-colonial hegemonist craze that gripped the Right for a year or so.

    Was he influential? Yes.

    He wrote in Forbes in September 2010:

    |[T]rapped in his father’s time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.

    That was the thesis. Direct quote. Honest, It’s astonishing that it got published, but it did and it was very influential at th time.

    Also, can you imagine how badly you have to eff up to get dis-invited from CPAC? In CPAC history, he joins Milo Yiannopoulos as the other person dis-invited from speaking, and that was only after very damning audio emerged.

    To us, D’Souza is a nobody has-been / never-was. To them he was a stout conservative stalwart. (Until Monday afternoon, then he suddenly became a weird foreign-born expendable nobody coffee-boy like George Papadopoulos.)




    6



    0
  64. de stijl says:

    @Franklin:

    /my excuse is insomnia

    I’m curious about other’s sleep habits because mine are so random.

    Do you have a set get up / go to sleep time established? Do you actually abide by your established hours?

    I’m at a point in my life where it doesn’t matter, nor do I care. When I’m up, I’m awake, and when I’m tired, I sleep, basically.

    I’m a natural night-owl, which was a burden when I had to abide by conventional working hour standards. My brain and my willpower gets fully engaged at dusk and diminishes towards dawn. Daytime is for sleeping, generally. For 25 years I had to fight that core instinct.

    Even then, I was always the last one in, but I was also the last one out. I’d send the e-mail to the boss lady / man. “Hey! I fixed that sticky problem at 3 AM. Since I worked so late it’s okay if tomorrow I show up around noonish, right?”




    1



    0
  65. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jake: Claiming something is true because Anne Coulter says so means you’re outsourcing your thinking to someone else. If you want to be that rugged individualist, spend your evenings learning the methodologies of how mass shootings are classified internationally and compare the statistics. It isn’t worth letting Coulter dig her nails into your brain.




    12



    0
  66. Jen says:

    @Jake:

    Our rights are not up for debate.

    There are limitations on rights. Even a marginally competent lawyer knows this. Some you might have heard of:

    You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.
    You can’t partake in human sacrifice as part of your religion.
    You can’t reveal classified information and call it free speech.
    The second amendment doesn’t allow for you to own any weapon you want–there are already limitations.

    And on and on. Our rights ARE up for debate, every day–especially when individual rights conflict. I’ll point here to the example of Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. One person’s right to free practice of religion vs. the right to be free of discrimination in a commercial setting. Does religious freedom take precedence over an individual’s right to equal protection under the law?

    The fact that you don’t appear to know this is frankly a bit astonishing.




    21



    0
  67. de stijl says:

    In the context of Doug’s original post, both JKB and Jake are doing everything within their skill set to delegitimize and silence the Parkland kids. Obviously, they’re failing in that endeavor here at OTB, but, by God, they’re giving it their best effort.

    From Doug’s OP:

    In these baseless accounts, which by Tuesday had spread rapidly on social media, the students are described as “crisis actors,” who travel to the sites of shootings to instigate fury against guns. Or they are called F.B.I. plants, defending the bureau for its failure to catch the shooter. They have been portrayed as puppets being coached and manipulated by the Democratic Party, gun control activists, the so-called antifa movement and the left-wing billionaire George Soros.

    The theories are far-fetched. But they are finding a broad and prominent audience online. On Tuesday, the president’s son Donald J. Trump Jr. liked a pair of tweets that accused David Hogg, a 17-year-old who is among the most outspoken of the Parkland students, of criticizing the Trump administration in an effort to protect his father, whom Mr. Hogg has described as a retired F.B.I. agent.

    Consider this spurious allegation from JKB:

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant (empahasis is mine). Saw where someone claims he was a classmate in CA, who graduated in 2015 and included a yearbook picture. CNN, the gun grabbers, whoever is paying them, they’ll be damaged for years. But, only time will tell.

    And later also from JKB:

    Lighten up, Francis. The truth about the kid will be known in a day or two (emphasis mine again). Seems unlikely to me that something so easy to check would be attempted, but these days, who knows.

    As noted previously, the truth about David Hogg is both known now, but has also been known for days. There is no doubt that he is exactly who he seems to be – a high school senior at Parkland. JKB is intentionally ignoring proven, factual, and easily verifiable evidence.

    Why is JKB doing this? Doug already provided the answer in his original post: to delegitimize the message by delegitimizing the Parkland kids. To prevent and to subvert action via disinformation Oh, yes, he’s trying to be coy and clever with the “if”‘s and the conditional tense, but it is a tissue paper-thin mask.

    Jake, on the other hand couldn’t be coy and clever if he had a gun to the face, so we get the decidedly unclever:

    I argue for a living…

    two pargraphs that he plagarized.

    JKB is a cleverish fool. Jake is a moron who blatantly plagiarizes sketchy right-wing rhetoric to falsely enhance his authority cred. As if!

    If JKB shows up again in these parts, please consider asking him if he has any evidence at all that David Hogg is not the person he claims to be.

    If Jake shows up again in these parts, please consider asking him if he is still an unrepentant blatant plagiarist.

    Oh, and JKB, about that “Lighten up, Francis” quip. Well, friendo, you can bleep my bleepin’ floor-dragging bleeps, you bleeping bleep-hole!




    13



    0
  68. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    If JKB shows up again in these parts, please consider asking him if he has any evidence at all that David Hogg is not the person he claims to be.

    If Jake shows up again in these parts, please consider asking him if he is still an unrepentant blatant plagiarist.

    BTW I know that JKB and Jake will comment again here today or tomorrow on another thread with no acknowledgement nor any contrition or shame. Please do me a solid and try anyway.

    I was being aggro – getting JKB to acknowledge shame would be a “stretch” goal for my 2018. Unlikely to happen, but satisfying to contemplate.

    (Never mind Jake – Jake and his acknowledgment of shame are way beyond any attainable “stretch” goal; that’s flat out undoable!)




    4



    0
  69. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jake: The 2nd Amendment is a human construct. It can be changed or abolished by humans. It’s highly unlikely, but doing it won’t bring down divine retribution.




    7



    0
  70. rachel says:

    @drj: I remember that John Cole of Balloon Juice was so disgusted by that that he didn’t just quit the Republican Party (as he’d originally intended), he joined the Democrats.




    6



    0
  71. Mikey says:

    @de stijl:

    VDare is only semi-blatant white ethno-nationialist. It’s the thinking man’s neo-Nazi web portal.

    I wouldn’t go that far. It’s nothing more than stupid racists’ idea of “smart” racism.




    6



    0
  72. miichael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    The truth is known right now you piece of human garbage.

    Doug and James: I’m not one to ask for people to be banned. But I think Jake and JKB have crossed the line. They are using your site to slime traumatized children.




    13



    0
  73. Franklin says:

    @de stijl: Your sleep habits are a bit more unusual than mine. I typically require a midday nap to fully operate (and seriously, it’s often 90 minutes or more). But I guess if I get a bit too much, then I find myself waking up at 2am and ready to go for the day. And I know if my body is ready – I’m slightly sweaty which indicates I won’t be falling asleep again no matter how hard I try for at least three hours.

    I knew a fellow more like you who apparently had a disconnect in his body clock where he was on like a 26-hour cycle that wasn’t controlled by daylight patterns like most people’s are. He would just continuously cycle, you’d see him at work for several days in a row, arriving later each day, and then a couple weeks of apparent absence, although he’d actually be coming in in the evening or the middle of the night. Doctors couldn’t figure out what to do with him.




    1



    0
  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jake: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….
    Jeebus, could you be any more of an idiot? The US averages 6 mass shootings per week.




    4



    0
  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: IOKIYAR




    3



    0
  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen:

    The fact that you don’t appear to know this is frankly a bit astonishing.

    Ummmm…. actually no, it is not.




    2



    0
  77. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jake:

    Thanks to our Second Amendment, the United States has fewer mass shootings per capita than many other developed countries

    Like everything you type…that is wrong. You have all these strongly held opinions that are based upon complete nonsense. Hence…your opinions are complete nonsense.




    4



    0
  78. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    It will be interesting if the Hogg kid does turn out to be a plant.

    I guess we shouldn’t expect much more than that from a guy that supports sexual assault, child molestation, and the attack on the US by Russia.




    6



    0
  79. PJ says:

    @Jake:

    So, Vice got a list of mass shootings in Europe in 2016.
    It also got a list of mass shootings in the US in 2016.

    Compare the lists. You really don’t need to count, you can just compare the lengths…
    Then consider that in 2016, the population of Europe was 741 million and the population of the United States was 323 million…

    Fool.




    7



    0
  80. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, but if you count all the honor-killings and mob violence in all those no-go areas in Europe you’ll see what a dangerous, failing civilization it is. You believe that doncha?




    1



    0
  81. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Jake: @de stijl:

    Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) was personally recruited to write conservative commentary by Andrew Breitbart. He is a successful Los Angeles trial lawyer, a veteran with a masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a former stand-up comic.[emphasis added]

    How can you argue with someone with credentials like these? Personally recruited by Breitbart. Stand up comic. Clearly has lived in LA too long. Hard to find sources this good.




    4



    0
  82. PJ says:

    @Jake:

    United States: 392 dead, 1,502 injured.
    Europe: 53 dead, 169 injured.

    Idiot.

    Mass shootings in the US: there have been 1,624 in 1,870 days
    No other developed nation comes close to the rate of US gun violence. Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult.

    Data from the Gun Violence Archive reveals there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – nine out of every 10 days on average.

    Nincompoop.




    6



    0
  83. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Touche. 🙂 Point taken.

    However, if one is going to blather on about “constitutional illiteracy,” one should certainly know and understand the limits of constitutional rights, yes?




    0



    0
  84. PJ says:

    I seem to have a comment in moderation. To paraphrase Moses, let my comment be free!




    0



    0
  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: This is the internet. One doesn’t have to actually have pertinent knowledge or logic to comment on a topic. In fact, those things tend to hinder so one is better off without them.




    2



    1
  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: Yes, and their universal healthcare is killing people at an unprecedented rate.




    2



    0
  87. Franklin says:

    Just for fun, could any historical buff with weapons knowledge tell me how fast one could kill people with a musket? (Note: I am not planning a spree.)




    0



    0
  88. PJ says:

    @Franklin:

    Just for fun, could any historical buff with weapons knowledge tell me how fast one could kill people with a musket? (Note: I am not planning a spree.)

    Not a history buff, but from a quick search, it seems like you might be able to reload and fire a long musket two or three times in minute.
    Plenty of time for people to charge the assailant.

    Probably not the best choice for any wannabe spree killer.




    2



    0
  89. bookdragon says:

    @PJ: Wow. Not even close. I scrolled thru and counted.

    population of Europe (including Russia): 741 million
    total mass shootings (4 or more injured or killed) in 2016: 22
    53 dead, 169 injured

    population of the United States: 323 million
    total mass shootings (4 or more injured or killed) in 2016: 395
    392 dead, 1,502 injured

    About the only ray of sunshine is that the European kill rate is twice ours, so at least our mass shooters are lousy shots…




    5



    0
  90. PJ says:

    @bookdragon:
    Regarding Russia, comparing all of Europe with the US is a bit weird, either one would compare Europe with North America, or one would compare the US with the EU. So, remove any mass shootings in Russia, Ukraine, etc.

    In 2016, the EU, population 511 million, had 21 deaths and 86 injured in 14 mass shootings.




    0



    0
  91. gVOR08 says:

    @Franklin: Best I found quickly is this. It lays out the steps for loading a Civil War era British Enfield.
    https://www.nps.gov/vick/planyourvisit/firing-black-powder-rifles.htm
    Concludes 3-4 rounds per minute on a drill field, not being shot at. This is with paper cartridges and percussion caps. A flintlock and powder horn would be slower.
    This claims 3 per minute for a Revolutionary War Brown Bess musket, with a paper cartridge.
    http://www.revolutionarywarjournal.com/brown-bess/ And the Brown Bess wasn’t accurate enough to hit a man beyond a hundred yards, which even I can dash in the time required to reload.

    So yes, interpreting the Second as allowing only 1791 technology would still allow sport shooting, much more sporting, but make mass shooting nearly impossible.

    There was a PBS series Sharpe about a British regiment with muzzle loading rifles in the Napoleonic Wars. The rifle had a slower reload than a musket as the bullet was a tight fit to engage the rifling and had to be hammered down the bore. There is a scene in which a lone rifleman is facing a French officer and two cavalrymen. The officer explains that the rifleman can’t reload in the time it would take the cavalrymen to ride him down, so he can shoot one, but the survivor can easily kill him, and the officer will pay the survivor a pile of money. So fifty-fifty, death or wealth. The rifleman shortcuts the reload by shooting the second guy with his ramrod.




    7



    0
  92. Blue Galangal says:

    @drj: Sandra Fluke. I’m not suprised at all. This is who the Republicans are now. And hopefully they’ve lost everyone under 25 for a couple of generations.




    5



    0
  93. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Not a bad idea, but I suspect the D’s aren’t going to change this either. At least they’ve shown little interest in doing so in the past, even in times when they controlled the presidency and both houses.




    0



    0
  94. KM says:

    Question for the lawyers among us: can the Parkland kids sue those making defamatory conspiracy claims? After all, they are minors so isn’t there something that protects them from having their images used against their will? What are the relevant laws that would apply here?




    1



    0
  95. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    The fact that you don’t appear to know this is frankly a bit astonishing.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ummmm…. actually no, it is not.

    Hey now, don’t begrudge someone who finishes off their argument with a good zinger. It can’t be all logos; you need some well-turned phrase – a jigger of pathos to add the right amount of rhetorical punch.

    Of course, Jen wasn’t actually surprised that Jake was unable to comprehend the concept, but pretending as if she were adds to right amount of rhetorical closure. It’s like a postprandial treat – that dessert or coffee or cigarette or digestif after a good meal.

    Besides, Jake may not have actually been perplexed by the matter, but since he plagiarizes his comments he has to decide what he believes and feels on the issue, then go research the topic, and then steal that person’s text and pass it off as his own original thought and content.

    That’s a lot of work!

    Put yourself in Jake’s shoes for a minute. You have to conjure up the rough outline of what you think a good comment should be for the particular issue at hand, and then you have to Google like mad to find just the just-so bit of text that you can steal and then pass off as your own.

    It’s exhausting!

    Sometimes you get so tuckered out from all that mad Googling, that you just blatantly copy / paste from the article you found because it would take minutes from your busy plagiarist life to rewrite the text into something your slow and poorly educated brain could conceivably produce and present as your own original content.

    Let Jen have her rhetorical digestif.

    And have a bit of empathy for poor Jake.

    The plagiarist’s life is a hard row to hoe.




    6



    0
  96. de stijl says:

    @Franklin:

    Just for fun, could any historical buff with weapons knowledge tell me how fast one could kill people with a musket? (Note: I am not planning a spree.)

    Just a bit of friendly feedback:

    Consider, instead of “(Note: I am not planning a spree.)”

    go with:

    “(I’m asking for a friend.)”

    Take that one around the block and kick the tires – see if it works out for you.

    Steal if you want to. If I give you permission, it’s not plagiarism. Besides, I stole it myself.




    1



    1
  97. the Q says:

    Some say that Jake and JKB swallow their own cum, screw monkeys and molest dead corpses. In fact, I just read that on a website posting. It will be interesting if those two do turn out to be plants Saw where someone claims he was a fellow cum sucker with these two in CA




    0



    6
  98. Franklin says:

    @de stijl: Thanks for the pro tip. I actually briefly considered that phrase but felt somebody might take it seriously. Not sure if my change made any difference to that concern.




    1



    0
  99. KM says:

    I’ve just realized why this one feels different – we’re witnessing a new class of single-issue voters coalesce in front of our eyes. That’s why “thoughts and prayers” isn’t working, that’s why the tone is more strident and refuses to just go away like the other mass shootings did. These kids are deciding this is their one issue – not just because it affected them directly but the sober knowledge that in perhaps a decade or less, they will had a small child in pre-K that will be learning active shooter drills just like Mommy and Daddy did.

    The Vegas victims just wanted it over with and seem to have accepted that this is reality now, there’s little they can do. No protests, no rallies, just…. move on and heal. It’s not like it will happen again to you, right? These kids are looking at some 7 or 8 decades with future children and grandchildren on the line and went Oh Hell No. The NRA better be VERY careful here or else gun control will be the new litmus test for potential Republicans instead of abortion once enough of these kids age into the voting bloc.




    8



    0
  100. de stijl says:

    @Franklin:

    Not sure if my change made any difference to that concern.

    Well, if the FBI is monitoring us here, they have obviously concluded that we are the most ineffectual political change wankers on the face of Mother Earth.

    So, if in future you think about using the “I’m asking for a friend” thingie, just go for it. No futher harm can come from it.

    OT – I was talking with a friend of mine recently and she noticed that there were the little rice grain sized nodules in her feces before she flushed. Under closer inspection, I she noticed that there were tiny little worms inside. Should she consult a physician? (Asking for a friend)




    0



    0
  101. Tyrell says:

    Confirmed: “CNN pushes its agenda, censors and edits town meeting participant’s questions.”




    0



    5
  102. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @the Q:
    Moderators please note.




    0



    1
  103. paul says:

    Conspiracy? No. The students planted? No. Being coached what to say/reading from pre-prepared talking points/script, Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. Why is it the same 4 kids are on every show? Out of 3000 students, and all the reporters at the scene, the same 4 students are doing all the interviews? You guys can’t be that gullable can you??? And that town hall was completely scripted and controlled by CNN, everyone knows that. Now I can tell you I’m an independent voter and have watched how the Democrats have behaved like communists and anti american and have watched their supporters act like mentally ill children that have escaped from a pysh ward and now they are pushing the removal of the 2nd amendment??? Pushing civil unrest, pushing racism, pushing flat out lies about Russian collusion, and on and on with no message except they care more about illegal criminal tresspassers and islamist refugees and transgender whack jobs! Not the citizens who were born here and pay their salaries. There is no way I could ever vote for any Democrat for anything! Not even dog catcher! And how stupid do you have to be to start demonizing gun owners or blaming them for the failure, and the evidence is there, it’s not even a debate,of the FBI and the Broward Sherrifs Department for not doing there job?? And they were warned about The Orlando Shooter and the Islamic couple in California! And what about The Vegas shooter, heard ANYTHING ABOUT THAT?? No video, no information, just crickets! But yeah let’s get rid of that pesky 2nd amendment, yeah that will work like it has in The UK and France and Germany. When are you people going to learn that bad people do bad things because they can!!! So go ahead push your campaign to take away citizens their civil rights, push your race war, go ahead because you will lose! One of the great things about Trump being elected was all of you pieces of sh#t are out out in the open!!! You people are some of the dumbest creatures that stand up right!!!




    0



    0