Comments on: Some people learn nothing, forget everything, and can’t shoot straight http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:32:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Emma http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775981 Tue, 18 Jan 2011 02:01:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775981 “Really it comes down to we need to control the people not the hardware.”

Why is it either/or? And if people can circumvent magazine regulations, why can’t they circumvent waiting periods and licensing requirements? Of course they can. Functionally, what’s the difference between licensing regulations and harware regulations? Nothing. They would work in tandem without either being perfect.

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By: KC http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775916 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 23:16:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775916 I think personally having a president euologize my daughter might be kind of an honor, and the fact that so many people know who she is and know what interested her might be a comfort rather than nobody knowing beyond your family (hence why a lot of people go on to form charitable organizations with the name of their passed child).

Again only speaking for myself, but when I was watching Obama’s speech and they kept cutting away to her parents, I put myself in their shoes, and what I felt (again just what I felt) was that while in some broad sense it would be nice to have a president give a speech in which my daughter was so prominently featured, on the other hand the whole thing would make me want to throw up. I’m just a few days removed from having MY nine-year-old killed for no good reason whatsoever. I think my grief at that moment would be very, very, very private, and I think I would hate having all these people who did NOT know her at all talking about her and trying to draw symbolic meaning from her death.

I’m a parent and there’s nothing worse I can imagine than losing a child, especially like that, so I’m not judging them at all. I’m just saying that watching that, I had a visceral reaction against the way everything was being staged. Yeah, big speech, the 9/11 flag, lots of people coming to her funeral who probably didn’t know her, but at the end of the day she’s gone, she’s not coming back, and Tucson will quickly become just another talking point in a patriotic narrative that really has nothing to do with who she was.

To me, the most effective moments of Obama’s speech were the points where he seemed to momentarily lose his composure talking about the young girl’s death, when his voice cracked just a little bit, which gave an indication that as a father himself he knows that there really are no words to deal with that kind of loss.

To be clear, I thought it was a fine speech. I just had my own reaction to the cut-away shots of the parents in the crowd. I cannot even begin to fathom losing a child and then having a huge memorial service with thousands of people in attendance clapping and whistling and so forth. It’s not that the tone was necessarily wrong, it’s just that they didn’t know who this girl was, just her existence as a baby born on 9/11 caused them to draw certain meanings from her life. Watching that made me uncomfortable.

Maybe I’m not expressing myself well here so I will just stop typing.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775884 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 22:13:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775884 FrauTech–to be clear, KC said “I imagined myself . . .” and didn’t make any assumptions about what this child’s actual parents wanted or felt. I did the same. We were only writing from our perspective, as you are.

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By: FrauTech http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775881 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:48:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775881 I’m not sure you can really imagine how the parents of that nine year old felt. I know it’s easy to say “I wouldn’t have wanted…” but who knows, maybe they were “proud” that she was born on 9-11. You don’t know what meaning that had to them. And I thought a “these are the lessons we learned” is not over the top. I think personally having a president euologize my daughter might be kind of an honor, and the fact that so many people know who she is and know what interested her might be a comfort rather than nobody knowing beyond your family (hence why a lot of people go on to form charitable organizations with the name of their passed child). No where near gettysburg, but I did choke up a few times in the few minutes I overheard while hooking up my iPod or after switching back to radio when turning off my car.

Also magazine limits continue to ignore reality. “Criminals” often find a way to go beyond the legal limits. Obtaining a larger magazine for a gun, even if it’s not legal in your state, is really easy. With 10 bullets he still likely would have killed people. If he’d had several smaller magazines he might have been more focused on the switching magazines and would not have been able to be taken down then. Really it comes down to we need to control the people not the hardware. Not sure if Arizona has a waiting period but that’s probably a good idea. As is more strict examinations. It’s more difficult to get a driver’s license in AZ than it is to get a handgun license.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775850 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 20:05:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775850 KC: my thoughts exactly, on both your comments.

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By: KC http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775847 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:59:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775847 It wouldn’t even be possible to give a speech today that was comparable to the Gettysburg Address. Six dead Americans killed by a madman looking to correct people’s grammar structure is just not on the same level of tragedy as thousands of young Americans slaughtering each other in a long and bitterly divisive Civil War. We live in interesting times, but not that interesting.

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By: KC http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775845 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:55:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775845 I imagined myself as the parent of the 9-year-old girl who died, the one who was born on 9/11/01, and quickly realized I would be really angry at people drawing on the dates of her birth and death as carrying some sort of broader meaning. I would have been mighty pissed also if the people parading the 9/11 flag around the country tried to bring that to her funeral. This was a unique person who died, not some symbol for national unity in times of crisis, that politicians in search of a cliche can draw upon to make an easy rhetorical point in a speech.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775437 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 05:28:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775437 I wouldn’t expect our undergraduates to “remember” something that happened when they were ca. 2-7 years old. I don’t actually “remember” anything of political historical importance from ca. 1971-78. I don’t think I was aware of any national or geopolitical events until the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-81.

I remember vividly the morning they executed Timothy McVeigh, for some reason.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775423 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 03:35:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775423 I think we should give him a third chance. Invite him on the blog here to review her 2001 Journal of American History article that begins with a meditation on sitting in an archive holding onto a lock of Noah Webster’s hair. That’s about as Bailynesque as you can get!

I don’t really remember Clinton on Okie City either, but I’m sure he did fine. One almost longs for the days when Theodore Roosevelt would have told his “handlers” that, no, he was *not* going to spend four nights in a mahogany Pullman Palace railcar to be the voice of the nation at some mine strike disaster in Utah. As I noted upthread, I thought Obama did fine, but the Emo presidency paradigm sometimes gets to be too much with you.

Michael Kazin at Georgetown is quoted in today’s Times as saying that many of his students don’t even remember the Oklahoma City event itself.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/01/16/some-people-learn-nothing-forget-everything-and-cant-shoot-straight/comment-page-1/#comment-775408 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 02:11:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13891#comment-775408 And, Meander: I missed that review, but I’ll have to look it up tonight!

I guess what I find so baffling about the whole thing is that Wood’s angle in the latest review is that Lepore has no sense for the interplay of history and memory, and that she has no respect for memory and thinks only history written by professionals should count. When, of course, she is among the most sophisticated writers on history and memory. Her subject is always epistemology: how do we know what we know, how can we separate facts from cultural memory, and what does it all say about Us as Americans?

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