Thursday, March 05, 2009
Flexing my warm, living fingers
Here's one reason I hold my nose: Gun control.
Proposed federal licensing, tracking, etc., of personal firearms.
No way is this bill passing as written, although it could very well make it through the House Judiciary Committee, and some elements of the bill probably *will* and probably *should* pass.
But, egad! Here's a billion dollars or so raised for the GOP in the 2010 midterm elections.
If we license something as innocuous as a puppy, it seems like licensing something that's specifically designed to kill people would be reasonable. Licensing doesn't limit anyone's ability to own a car or a dog, nor does it limit the availability of either one. Nor has licensing of either one led to the banning of either one.
Because it's none of the federal government's business whether I own a gun or not; licensing and tracking ownership are not necesarrily, but could be a prerequsite for disarming the populace, which might have seemed impossible until the previous president ignored other Constitutional rights; and if society, or even geographical pockets of it here and there, fall into anarchy and it's every man for himself, I want to go well armed.
If it's me and somebody else, I like to think I might be Jesusy about it. If it's my wife or somebody else, I pledge today not to be Jesusy at all in her defense.
Licensing + tracking = disarming? This is the lithe equalization of those who shall not be named.
To oppose Bush by flouting common sense and respect for communal ties is to join with him.
And you might see the sense of my concern -- not paranoia -- if you lived here, and not there. If I were paranoid, I wouldn't have posted this for fear that "they" would see it, find me and come knock down my door.
The last thing, I don't even understand: Do what?
I might her life with one. And, I a pinch - a real, hard pinch, if I had little else to lose and no other way presented itself -- I might damn well try to use a gun to get the medicine she needs.
That and the fact that I hate one-size-fits-all approaches to anything! If urban cores have a gun problem, then deal with that. Suburbs do not, and rural areas do not, as far as I can see.
If Illinois has a gun problem, bring in the Illinois Legislature, recognizing that the U.S. Constitution restricts it somewhat.
You're just begging for thousands of news clips. Myopic would be the word that comes to mind. And contradictory:
"if society, or even geographical pockets of it here and there, fall into anarchy and it's every man for himself, I want to go well armed."
Sounds like Oklahoma may be a chancy place to visit, and shop.
If Bush had suspended civil rights beyond habeas corpus, you are not proposing the right argument against his executive action by hiding your gun and having it loaded. You are simply opposing his public executive force with your private one.
That is akin to militia group ideology.
The State of Oklahoma's homicide rate is something like 6.2. Total violent crime is 500 per 100K.
New York state's homicide rate is 4.2 per 100K. Violent crime rate is 414 per 100K.
BTW, in looking for these numbers, I find that of the approximately 50,000 violent deaths per year in the nation, 55% are suicides and 35% are homicides.
Where is the campaign against suicide?
Far from talking about guns, we can't even talk about depression as a country.
Just what the authors of the second amendment had in mind when they composed it: so ma an pa could fend off the authors themselves and the slaves the authors owned.
There is nothing in any registration law about disarming. You keep saying, ER, that you don't mention it . . . then you do. Licensing and regulating and restricting firearms, it seems to me, is one of the hallmarks of a civilized society. As the law stands now after the Supreme Court's decision last year, there is no logical argument against me going out and purchasing an AR-15, a Chinese-made AK-47, or whatever, with no licensing or restrictions at all.
You fell in to the trap - inadvertently, I assume - of putting up the false trichotomy of urban/suburban/rural as indicating different milieus in which the problems associated with gun ownership would differ substantially. They do, however, the trend has been, since the FBI started keeping stats on gun violence in the late-60's, that states with less gun-ownership regulations, regardless of the urban/suburban/rural make-up of the population, have a higher gun-related crime-and-death rate than states with gun licensing and registration.
In Illinois, one has to register for what is called a Firearms Owner Identification Card, a process that takes about as long as signing up for a driver's license. A quick background check is done, and then you get a little card that resembles a driver's license (they even use the same photo!). I fail to see the obstruction to any constitutional right, real or perceived, in this.
Since I can't enter a crowded theater and shout, "Fire!", why should I enter a crowded theater with an unlicensed firearm, shoot it into the air causing the same type of panic situation, and not face certain legal consequences?
If the Second Amendment is antiquated and dangerous, there is a way to amend the Constitution. It's hard. It's SUPPOSED to be hard.
On the urban-suburban-rural trichotomy: I said, "as far as I can see." Maybe I can't see, or don't look, far enough. I admit it.
If it becomes illegal for me to own my guns -- a rifle, a shotgun and a .38 -- or if the law is made to require me to register them, then I very likely will be an outlaw.
As for "federal" versus "state" - the 14th amendment has long been understood to take the provisions of previous amendments and apply them to the states; indeed much of the consternation in states with gun-control laws has been the implications for those laws due to the 14th Amendment.
THe issue is not making guns illegal, or taking them away, or anything else. Register. License. And, yes, track. The rest is, as Feodor indicates, paranoia.
I'll cop to a touch -- or a tetch, as we sometimes say -- of paranoia.
Not sure how delusional that assessment is, actually.
Not sure how delusional that assessment is, actually.
Not sure how delusional that assessment is, actually.
Not sure how delusional that assessment is, actually.
Not sure how delusional that assessment is, actually.
I am trying to understand if today is just one of those days for you when other things are "low" in addition to your Christology.
Your reasons for not signing a piece of government paper regarding your three firearms (two more than you could effectively use if it came down to barraccading yourself in your suburban OKC home surrounding by Augustine grass) seem to be on a trip of some kind.
At first, it seemed a drastically unreasonable calculation that some kind of anarchy was possible, and not only just possible but would somehow unavoidably turn into the development of a horde (?) with at least one priority being to pretty swiftly come after your wife. Just how do you envision such a moment developing in such complexity and who do you see coming after Dr. ER with such focussed intent during what would be a time unparalleled since Tulsa blacks experienced such a horde coming after them early in the 1900s?
Second, apparently, what, the Patriot Act terrified you? The Patriot Act? What white man does the Patriot Act target? Silly college students reading the Koran and enthralled with nihilism as a way to break with the box of Oklahoma home life?
Third, constitutional law was at issue. So you intend to defend the second amendment by breaking the law? This, of course, would be the source behaviors of anarchy that you palpably feel today(?) Really? Anarchy?
Fourth, now you think it is a Representation issue? You're not protected by urban congress people? Protected from what?
From the cops that patrol your town? From the good ole boys of the OK national guard?
Or do you intend to flesh out the visions that Anonymous sees and tell us that it is the Oklahoma City hood coming after you? The Oklahoma City hood's going to leave their XBox and venture into your suburb looking for Dr. ER when the lights go out? And the white cops of your town are going to be defenseless or suddenly become raving, progressive, guilty liberal white cops and let them all into town in their 1992 rusted Hondas with wired-on side view mirrors, if that?
And with three guns, Dr ER's going to load them and feed them to you while the hood parks outside your front, Augustine laden lawn, so that you can keep shooting like Tyrone Powers facing the Comanche?
Perhaps you should research Robbie Tolan and Bellaire, Texas, if you are afraid of OKC hoods and not the cops of your own, nice town.
Here's the reality: I voted for President Obama, I am a Democrat, I consider myself a liberal generally -- but I'm keeping my guns.
Call me paranoid, call me anti-intellectual on this issue, call me anything you like but a racist (wth?).
Feodor, your accusations and suggestions in that last regard do not deserve a response. Might make perfect sense from where you are, in geography and in life. I'm tied to a different geography and living a different life. You made no case, as far as I can see. You just slung it, seemingly without very much thought. Your knee jerked.
You fail to say who you see coming after your wife in such apocalyptic terms that beg reason and that give reason supporting your refusal to sign a piece of paper.
You fail to put any content to the obscure division between urban and suburban congress representatives that apply to your situation. If urban reps are more concerned with their denser packed communities toting guns, how does that affect your wife's safety, your safety, that of your suburban town, much less your refusal to sign a piece of paper?
You talk about the reasonableness of the second amendment and then obstinately declare that you're fine being an outlaw if it comes to that.
You make bedfellows with Anonymous commenters who glibly talk about fomenting nihilism on the "bad side of town." And I sure we both know what that means.
Your reasoning begs many questions and among those hanging in the air is whom it may be you fear in your dreams rising up in lawlessness to come to your front door looking for your woman.
Southern politeness notwithstanding.
It's simple white psychology. You can deny it. But I can deny that you've provided any rationale that has dismissed this increasing inferential specter in your language.
Until you do, past experience wins out.
Guns and the confederate flag are your irrational buttons?
Yes, I would say your Christology is hanging pretty low today.
They tell it straight out, they don't beat around likes they all guilty and shit.
They know what poverty does, they're not fools. But then they live in Brownwood, East New York, Bed Stuy. They've seen a thing or two, not just reading it in the papers.
But they didn't grow up learning shit about black people that isn't true. They didn't grow up miles from the hood with some psychotic notion about the hood visiting their little bedroom community.
Fuck, ER, these guys dont' even take the train into Manhattan. And the folks I worked with in North Philly had never gone to Center City... two fucking miles away.
They know their place, yes sir.
Who would be coming for you if the lights go out? It ain't them. And if a neighbor has an eye on your wife, you'd better take care of that right now. Don't wait for... anarchy!
I'm soooo glad he's armed! Sounds perfectly safe to me! (sarc)
Just remember the guy who thought he was going to go gun down some chickenshit liberuls a while back. Turns out, an unarmed liberul can take a stupid gun nut with a gun anyday of the week, 'cause the most effective weapon is a brain that works.
Anonymous. You can have all the damned guns you want...you'll never be armed, brother.
There two reason for not doing so.
1. I am just contrary.
2. I am really contrary.
Besides I can't get any ammo for my B.A.R. or grenades for my M-79, so why would they care? Does a B-40 Rocket Launcher qualify as a gun?
Paranoia and bloodthirstiness are symptoms of a malfunctioning mind. As I said before...if your brain isnt functioning, and if you are cowerdly, fearful and reactive and have no ability to properly resond to situations you find yourself in...weapons will not make you safe. All the bullets in the world will not help you.
Each vision is demented, and has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. Registering firearms has nothing to do with making them illegal, or coming and beating down your door and taking them away from you. It has to do with . . . registering your firearms and licensing yourself as a firearm owner.
When I lived in VA, there was serious consideration of a conceal-carry law, that would have allowed people to carry in courthouses and bars, among other places. The police, who understood the implications of both, opposed the c/c bill. At the time, I told someone that (a) it might have been some kind of attempted Darwinian experiment (could you imagine a bar on a Friday night where people are allowed to carry concealed weapons? Think on it for just a moment); (b) most people I know - and I include myself in this, even though I have been licensed to use firearms in the past, and grew up in a house with them, learned proper care, safety, etc., for them - should not be allowed anything more dangerous than plastic silverware, with the vast majority of those people having the knives and forks removed from the packets as well. The human tendency toward violence, and a healthy sense of one's own limits, should be enough to persuade most people that, regardless of a "right" that is poorly defined (unlike the other rights in the first ten amendments to the Constitution) and anachronistic in any case, having a nation as heavily armed as we are is a recipe for near-anarchy as it is. We have enough evidence to support the view that it might not be a bad idea to deal with guns as part of the problem.
It's called having a discussion. You should try it sometime, instead of just stopping by to leave troll droppings.
I think watching courts and constituencies give and take away rights in the context of continuing acts of hate murders, beatings, sociological lampooning and other hate speech can leave individuals with profound subconscious fears and occasional conscious fears for their life, their liberty.
We are lucky that African Americans are such a theologically forgiving people. We are lucky that women have such a strong relational ethic as part of their moral wiring. We are lucky that Hispanic culture has such a traditional family ethic.
Otherwise our house would have burned down long ago.
We are lucky that the LGBT community tend to be such vociferously tolerant peaceniks.
Pervasive subconscious fear, for so justifiable a set of reasons, can wear down a group and turn them into a violent mob.
I'm not necessarily pro-gun, but I'm not anti-gun either. (I believe the 2nd amendment gives us the right to own weapons - where I'm iffy is how many and what kind.) I'm on board with state licensure, but not federal. I'd probably throw a ring-tailed fit if I were required to get a federal driver's license.
We license drivers by state, as we do dogs and voters. Not federally.
ER - I'm not paranoid and not preparing for anarchy, but I hear ya. And I don't even have any guns.
I'm not patient enough to see how Feodor managed to impart race into the question of gun regulation, but later in his Bill of Rights book Amar traces the strengthening of the individualistic interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Reconstruction Republicans who used the incorporation clause of the 14th amendment to make sure that states did not restrict the ability of black Americans to keep and bear arms for self-protection.
I do recommend Amar's books on the Constitution as thought-provoking, although certainly not divinely inspired. Certainly changed my ideas here and there.
By way of reverse credentialing, I'm not a gun owner. Clumsy, absent-minded, and with poor impulse control, I've taken to heart the second Dirty Harry mantra: "A man's GOT to know his limitations."
ER - One other note: with the usual interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, i don't think there's a legal distinction between state and Federal abilities in regards to civil liberties. I don't think you can argue that the states can require registration and the Feds not.
As evidenced by the way he immediately sexualized my marriage upon learning that it is a mixed race marriage over at DrLBJ's blog.
The man is a cheap ass, prejudiced, uncouth child.
Mebbe. But I can say I'm agin' it.
What is it you do when people talk about your wife?
I've seen your responses.
Here is what the idiot said after I countered his claim that "women of color" is a racist term, one I hear from my wife, African American, in her work in education philanthropy:
"I'm sure you privately congratulate yourself on your openmindedness in marrying a woman of a different race, and perhaps having the sheer sex appeal to attract one. Of course it's not condescending or arrogant to her if you do it in the privacy of your own mid. Oops - no, I see t also credentials you publicly so you can't possibly be saying anything racist."
Sexualized your marriage? Umm, that's interesting phrasing. Anyway, you'll note that none of that quote was about your wife - it was about you and your utterly ridiculous agitprop and attempts to credential yourself by proxy and affinity. You know what an ethos argument is? You know what a bad ethos argument is? Like that.
Really, I don't recommend this to too many people, but you should really just hush up and read what I say and think deeply on it and go look at books I mention. I know there's something to be said on either side about fighting monsters, but no-one of whom I am aware ever advised wasting yoru time with their shadows.
Unfortunately, TStockman is correct, and I fail to see how your personal situation provides any greater moral force to your arguments on race, or the ability to see our own failings in this regard. Since you know only as much about me as I have written on the internet, I fail to see how his sweeping judgments on these matters could possibly have any meaning whatsoever. And, taking a leap similar to those he takes with us, I would add that those who spend so much time lecturing others on their failings, in whatever regard, apparently have more than a few issues with which to deal.
And I would imagine his impulse control is a symptom of something rather still more sinister having to do with ethics.
Look, the stock boy had a problem with my using the phrase, “women of color,” because he remembered something he read in an old paperback of Orwell or Wittgenstein he keeps behind all those science fiction books of his and he said it was racist.
All I indicated was that it’s probably best to let people tell other how they want to be described and that my wife and all her variously colored friends seem very fine with the phrase and use it functionally in their work.
I also suggested to the boy that he Google the phrase, “women of color,” and click on any of the hundreds of association groups that appear, look at the photos of the staff, the board, and the annual parties and tell me who seems comfortable being called “women of color.”
GKS, are you going to let the boy dictate whether the phrase is racist over and against how many millions of women of color? Go ahead, be bold, white boy.
Now, I've got some seriously angry things to say to many of you regarding all this umbrage I've gotten for months from you white men and mom2 and this latest from GKS about my sounding like I’m superior. Let me say this…. it isn’t hard to feel thus.
What evidence do I have from any around here that any of you white men have done hard time wrestling with issues of race, internally? What evidence do we have in our culture that many white men at all have done any real wrestling with issues of race?
I hear hurt feelings from people who are used to a socio-cultural privilege in our nation. I hear huge defensiveness in GKS still nursing wounds from months ago when he couldn’t tell the difference between Howard Thurman and James Weldon Johnson. Of course, that distinction may not mean much to some of you. But how you would feel superior if someone confused Whitman with Frost. White learnin’ is all the learnin’.
You voted for Obama? Is that your hedge against the charge of being soft on race? You voted for Obama. And someone here, a boy, says I'm the one who moves to recruit a moral "shadow"?
TStockboy has it unconsciously right when he appears jealous in his parody of my sexual prowess with the kulahd gals. He hears about a mixed marriage and he instantly objectifies the sexual miscegenation. I think most of you have instinctual responses that are somewhat the same: curiosity, subconscious jealousy, unconscious fear. All you guys are American white men, right? I'm only speaking to you.
I think the boy and GKS feel morally trumped by me because they politicize race in nice white ways and objectify black bodies, among others. I've won the card carrying trifecta.
Whereas I refer to my wife because, as a black woman, she has experiences she has morally reflected upon her whole life. Experiences I can never know first hand. She teaches me things.
GKS, does your wife not teach you the right things? Can she not connect for you your ragged theological life and your own stockboy life?
I’ve been married to this woman for six years. I’ve known her for ten.
But I’ve been superior to you guys on race my whole adult life.
It’s not hard. You guys just have a lot of work to do. And you’re shirking. Just like privileged crackers is all.
As James Cone would say, you guys are white men in white skin. You need to be black men in white skin.
And when you meet one, all that terrible guilt you keep rises up only to have you push it down again in this neurotic defensiveness on exhibit.
But somehow, you fear, you're not smart enough to know how.
Brothers, being smart has nothing to do with it.
cheap-ass punk with a two-bit mind
cheap ass-punk with a two bit-mind
You are one angry son. I think yer taking it out on everyone you come in contact with online, with or without cause -- at least the ones I've seen you in contact with.
LOL! Dude. I'll cop to being a cracker, it being another word for redneck. But, man, yer a proud cracker proud to be married to a black gal, whom you proudly love. And that's about the nut of it, yer theological chops notwithstanding. You really oughta keep the rest of us out of that!
I get it. Yer blacker than I am, "white man." Here's a reality check: I'll bet I'm more Choctaw than you are, for the same reasons, not blood but experience and intimacy. So there. Nyah.
Just so you'll know, you aren't the only one here to have all sorts of cross race relations. My brother's wife is African-American, and a dear woman, fantastic mother to their four children, and perhaps one of the most patient women I could ever meet (one would have to be to be married to my brother). Her race is neither here nor there to me, and I would be far too presumptuous to make any claim to any moral view based upon a personal relationship. All the various and sundry friends I have had who are not white - Africans and African-Americans, Korean, Chinese, Lebanese, Kampuchean - have not penetrated my thick white skull. Elvis invented rock and roll, 20th century American literature is limited to Hemingway and Faulkner, and who was that guy who ran for President in 1988 and won a bunch of southern primaries (and for whom I voted in the NY primary?).
You managed to prove my point in your answer. I am way over being offended by your presumptuous attitude and now, like ER, chuckle at your pretentiousness. Whether it's Mom2 or you, your assumption that you have any insight in to who I am based on whatever reading you have done of what I've written is absurd in the extreme. Just on this thread - in a discussion of the Second Amendment - you have managed to make all sorts of assumptions about the motives of all sorts of people based upon . . . what, exactly?
Look, the whole point and nothing but the point is that your moral posturing vis-a-vis race assumes far too much on far too little acquaintance. You base your entire position on the fact that you live in a mixed race household and community, and thus have been thrust in to the cauldron of race relations in a way none of the rest of us can understand. I would submit that is true to an extent, but also caution that the same is true in reverse. You cannot understand our lives - whether ERs as a Confederate-sympathizing former fundie conservative Democrat, or Alan as a married gay man, or my own as a clergy spouse and father of two - based on this little sketch.
I would put my ethics up against any one's, but what possible point would there be in such a pissing contest? The chip on your shoulder - on matters intellectual, theological, and racial - have created a burden you seem to feel necessary to unload on anyone unwary enough to not acknowledge the strides you have made. Well, I acknowledge them.
Now, tell me - how has this helped you in doing ministry to young people in Bedford-Stuyvesant? Not the silly inner-city patois monologue you presented earlier, but how has it helped you? How has this empowered you to offer the Good News to them?
In all honesty, I don't care about your personal life, or whatever it is you seem to think you have gained through it. However, as a minister of the gospel, I very much care that you are serving your community not so much with intellectual finesse and integrity, but faithful love and in a spirit of humble service.
a license for a gun? egads batman! oh wait.. he didn't have a gun... egads superman! dammit.. again.. wolverine? nope..
which of my heros carried a gun?
To put it in his language, you don't need to fuck an ethnic group to have know what's going on... or have your brother do so.
Unfortunately, Tboy does'nt have the courage of his vision to do the internal work.
Book: "Saving Jesus from the Church: ... " by the pastor my church. I'm over the shock now. Agreement is not the basis of our fellowship.
"Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus," by Robin R. Meyers
I bring up my wife in order to broaden discussion. Just like you do yours. The fact that it is her racial experience in America that broadens the discussion is seen as my instrumentalizing her in order to sound superior. (This despite the fact that I had no problem sounding superior before bringing her up.)
But my point is that TStockmann and GKS see it as instrumentalizing because they are threatened by it. They see instrumentalization because it is a natural habit of white men when talking about race. They think they see "instrumentalization" because it is the lens through which our vision of race is formed from our birth.
And for the record, as I have seen you say many a time, the personal starts with them.
And TStockmann has other issues.
You may be right that this is huffing, puffing angry enlightened white guy.
But it seems to me that the inference is -- given past evidence -- that DR ER deserves huffing and puffing and Ms. Feodor does not.
The description seemed to tell me some things that could be expected from it.
I am shocked -- shocked! (not) -- that saw my Choctaw and raised me a Cherokee!
You're insistence that everything be a contest -- academic achievement, service, blackness -- is making me tired.
So, carry on: AND I ASK THAT THE REST OF Y'ALL JOIN ME IN JUST LETTING HIM GO ON, letting this bullshit burn itself out, die down or whatever.
The stage is all yours, Feodor. Please, get it all out of your system.
It seems that over time the average years between an individuals birth and their first child's birth is 25 years for Western European stock. Using that as a generation and going back just 25 generations say to around the late 1500s, that means each of us has 65,000,000 progenitors. Even counting in incest and third cousins that is a lot of coital heritage.
As for Dr. ER, she has done more to rescue, elevate, save, and educate more children of color and poverty, including our poor whites than 99.99999% of the people in America. In one year alone, I can testify under whatever oath you want, that she help bring in over $45 million dollars do the above in Oklahoma. Unlike the brokers on Wall Street she didn't get a one percent or even a one thousandth of one percent bonus to do so.
So let us just declare a moratorium on wives and family as subjects. Believe me you don't want me pissed and digging into...anything having to do ...well you just don't want that. Don't think of that as a threat, just as ...an ...alert, please.