I showed up just after the shooting started. I was maybe five minutes behind the gunman at Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. I was on my way to Vegas for an early birthday celebration for my brother when, according to the authorities, a 23-year-old named Paul Anthony Ciancia decided to work out a lunatic grudge against the Transportation Security Administration with an assault rifle. One TSA employee, Gerardo Hernandez, was killed, and at least three other people were wounded.
The dust was everywhere. It nestled into crevices of wood and fabric, into the plush fur of bears and tigers and dogs and rabbits and indeterminate species of stuffed toys. It settled over dried flowers: Red roses burnt black, white carnations leavened into dusky repose. Candles, curved faces flush with saints and saviors, towered in ashy, extinct clusters. Gusts coughed up low, dirty clouds through which visitors shuffled, trance-like. A town of prairie dogs peeked up and around from their burrows of the stuff, surveying the shrines and memorials, eye-level with the human feet and ankles and shoes and sandals and boots. Buses, climbing an adjacent grade, wheezed into chalky [...]
"Believe it or not, what's missing from the current shout-fest over guns and gun control is the voice of gun owners." —Dan Baum, author of Gun Guys.
"The dark haired one looks like my bitch ex-wife, who I HATE! I can't wait to shoot her face off for taking my shit." —John Davis, gun guy and fan of the "Bleeding 'The Ex' Zombie Life-Sized Tactical Mannequin Target."
Does the modest increase in gun regulation proposed by the White House today seem too crazy to comprehend? Here is how quickly big things can change: In the not so long ago era of Bill Clinton's second term and "Friends," when the Drudge Report was what the old people already had as their home page, you could still smoke almost anywhere in California. Restaurants, bars, concert venues, the beach, outside elementary schools. And then the No Smoking laws came to pass, and despite threats of violence by rednecks, within a few months it was all over. Short-lived protests like the "private clubs" that some Central Valley truck stops [...]
"Calling the shooting a 'watershed event' in the national debate on gun control, Cerberus Capital, a New York-based firm that manages over $20 billion, said in a statement Tuesday it planned to sell off its investment in the Freedom Group. Freedom Group bills itself as a 'family' of more than a dozen firearm companies including Bushmaster Firearms." —Looks like a certain New York bunch of urban elitists are getting their man cards revoked.
Three years ago, I set out to write a novel about Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre. Since Columbine, I have held an unhealthy interest in the way the media, and by extension, the greater moralizing population, processes mass killings. Cho was a Korean-American from the South who had entered college with dreams, however mangled and bizarre, of becoming a writer. That same sentence could have been written about me. As the evidence of Cho’s derangement began to surface in the videos, short stories and plays he left behind, it became clear that Cho had been trying to tell a righteous story, where the “rich kids” and [...]
"It is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law." —Florida governor Rick Scott, explains his decision to refuse Tampa mayor Bob Bruckhorn's request that he sign an executive order to ban the carrying of concealed weapons at the GOP convention which will be held in the city in August. Here's a scenario: One of those who would flout the law pulls out a plastic toy gun in a crowd. Then, 200 law-abiding citizens pull out their real guns and start firing in a legal act of self-defense. But they all have bad [...]
"If there’s a gun in your house, you’re more likely to be racist, a new study suggests."
"In the hands of its 25-year-old creator, Texas University law student Cody Wilson, the gun looks like an absurdly large Lego piece. Called the liberator, it is very real, very deadly, and very important: It is the first gun printed entirely with 3-D-printed parts (except for a single common nail that can be bought at any hardware store) and it is not hyperbole to call its firing a historical event." —MAN: Remember the historic moment when that guy fired the first 3-D-printed pistol? [Sound of gunfire.] WOMAN: [Dies.] MAN: Oh, sorry, I keep forgetting that I need to be more quiet now that everyone has their own little [...]
Do you have or know small children who go to a school for small people? Then you may know about the latest fad for the littlest consumers: terrifying campus lockdowns. Because our Constitution requires all citizens to keep enough guns and ammo to wipe out everyone in their zip code, it takes nothing more than a threatening phone call or some gibberish on Facebook to turn your neighborhood school into a potential site of mass murder.
My oldest child, a second grader, spent the latter part of his Tuesday class time huddled in fear underneath a desk, which is what they were all trained to do after Newtown. In every [...]
This morning, the NRA demanded that Congress place "armed police officers in every school," to create a "shield emergency response" around schools. "If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sport stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible," NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre said, in a very long and strange speech. (A PDF of the prepared remarks is here.) The NRA's solution? "Properly trained armed good guys."
Gun bans "perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban—or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people—will protect us where 20,000 others have failed," LaPierre said. This is [...]
- A 42-year-old destitute maniac fired 50 rounds at the Fashion Island luxury mall in Newport Beach, California, on Saturday evening. No one was injured.
- A nut shot an employee at the Excalibur hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Friday night, and then shot himself to death.
- A man opened fire on people in a restaurant and then a movie theater parking lot in San Antonio on Sunday night, injuring one person before being shot by an off-duty sheriff's deputy working as a security guard.
- In Mississippi, one man is dead and two are injured (including the dead man's father) "after an argument over a man 'doing [...]
Terrific news! Florida is about to be the first state in the US of A to hit a million residents with concealed carry permits. (Fun fact: "the majority, 243,505, are between the ages of 51 and 65." And 80% are male.) Now, Florida, the fourth most populous state, has 19 million people. So it's not like EVERY dude has a gun. Just the ones who'll get out of their car all mad after they rear-end you.
Want to add a couple of inches? Pack heat. "[A]ccording to a new study by a team of UCLA researchers… a person holding a gun seems taller and more muscular in the viewer's mind than a person holding a tool or other object."
The NRA has responded to the Mike Bloomberg-backed Mayors Against Illegal Guns by casting doubts on whether or not the "curious" man in the group's latest pro-background checks ad is who he says he is—or AN ACTOR. Despite MAIG's insistence that he's a real West Virginia gun owner, one blog has offered $500 for anyone who can prove he is (or isn't).
One of the NRA's key questions is how a real gun owner would have such terrible "trigger discipline," meaning, placing a finger on the trigger at any time before the exact second a shot is to be taken. "The NRA recommends Mayor Bloomberg use some [...]
Is this 39-year-old momma bear who has successfully evaded two generations of drunken Minnesota hunters the oldest bear in the world? Sure, why the hell not.
"The firearms business is coming under mounting market pressure as calls for new restrictions on gun ownership following last week’s school slaughter drove down shares of two major players and led some retailers to begin pulling specific products from shelves." —Capitalism may need some couples therapy to help repair its relationship with the murder-weapon industry.
Photo by Pop Culture Geek.
It's all but forgotten now, but six weeks ago the biggest news on Earth was that geriatric movie actor Clint Eastwood brought an empty chair to accompany his improv at the Republican National Convention. Millions of people laughed and said, "What even was that?" And then they went back to their lives: thinking about tomorrow's lunch, ordering the new iPhone, forgetting to give the dog its heartworm medicine, etc.
But there are parts of the country where bizarre right-wing political-media stunts outlive the churn of the news cycle by weeks, sometimes even months. These parts of the country are called "rural and exurban areas." And they are everywhere, basically [...]