Comments on: Yet another mass murder in Colorado History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: Gender and the law : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 22 Jul 2012 21:40:23 +0000 [...] fair to see the guns primarily, if not exclusively, as a men’s rights issue.  Commenter Mary Catherine and I had an exchange about this the other day, [...]

By: Sensible Sun, 22 Jul 2012 17:57:33 +0000 I’m a bit late to comment on this thread, but I wanted to pick up on the Bloomberg sub-topic: Yes, it’s very commendable that he’s called for gun control, and part of his ability politically to do so rests on his position as an Independent. But I think it’s also important that he’s advocating gun control in NY *City* (= “urban” = black and, increasingly, brown). However nuanced and laudable his position on gun control may be, I think his political capital also depends on racist imaginings of “the city” and his reputation as “tough on crime”. In this context, gun control is translated as “taking guns away from *those* people. Both these attributes shield him from the masculinity-assault that the right and NRA generally level when public figures support gun control.

By: cgeye Sun, 22 Jul 2012 05:28:01 +0000 And, I knew I remembered this on the telly, but I thought it came from Rachel Maddow, another Obama apologist — from Gopnik’s article:

“On the last episode of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” Jeff Daniels’s character, in a scene set shortly before the Gabrielle Giffords gun massacre, was thought to display political courage by showing, accurately enough, that it’s a lie to say that Barack Obama is in any way in favor of gun control. This was said *in Obama’s defense*.”

By: cgeye Sun, 22 Jul 2012 05:22:44 +0000 I think it’s far less ‘who owns the guns?’ than it is ‘who owns the *men* who own the guns?’ If you have guards with enough ammo to buy you time for your escape, wouldn’t arming and shooting at your enemies be a waste of time?

Much easier to back the gun-nuts rhetoric that every citizen has the right to need automatic weapons, because under the guise of defending their right to carry those advocates won’t examine why guns at a mass-murder level need to be untraceable and fast-moving.

It, like every other fucking macho issue, also is related to Vietnam. Those who fought tooth and nail not to serve, and retained their privilege, use the protective coloration of backing mass murderers, either active in practice or theoretical through proactive war and gun decontrol.

By: Sweet Sue Sat, 21 Jul 2012 17:28:41 +0000 It feels like tragedy to those who live through an empire’s end as we are doing now.
I want to know when did we elect Wayne LaPierre president of the United States?

By: Historiann Sat, 21 Jul 2012 16:35:20 +0000 I think your analysis is right on. It’s very much a class thing too, and I think you’re exactly right about the compensation. Guns are some of what gets thrown by the one percenters to the rubes for their votes. (The other two things are God and white privilege.)

By: Mary Catherine Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:38:44 +0000 Re: male privilege. Yes, the issue is highly gendered: male patriots versus the feminized nanny state. But who owns the guns? Not the bankers and the one-percenters, I’m pretty sure. Not men of the professional/technocratic elite class, either. The more privilege (wealth, status, etc.) a man has in America, the less likely he is to own a gun. I wonder if there’s some kind of weird “compensation” going on with the gun fetishists, which has to do with a perceived loss of male privilege? Which isn’t to disagree with you, but just to suggest that it’s not a straightforward male versus female thing.

By: Historiann Sat, 21 Jul 2012 13:03:31 +0000 Heh. I also saw that Gopnik piece. Sounds like he took it a little personally, as apparently he had a teenager at a midnight showing of the movie too.

I thought this sentence sums it all up: “How does one argue with someone convinced that the routine massacre of our children is the price we must pay for our freedom to have guns, or rather to have guns that make us feel free?”

I think this is exactly right. Most people don’t own guns. Most gun owners own one, and it’s either a handgun or a shotgun. Why don’t people see that they’re being fooled into putting a theoretical right above public safety and common sense?

I know I sound like a Joanie One Note on this, but I think it all gets back to male privilege and the gendering of gun ownership going back at least 400+ years. Legislatures are eager to pass laws about women’s access to birth control, abortion, etc., but try to take away a right associated overwhelmingly with men, and you’ll get nowhere in this country.

By: Mary Catherine Sat, 21 Jul 2012 05:23:34 +0000 I also don’t like “tragedy.”

Adam Gopnik: “The murders-it dignifies them to call them a ‘tragedy’-have hit us all hard, though the grief of the friends and families of the victims is unimaginable.”

A tragic (as in, involving death and destruction and much pain and great sorrow) loss for the family and friends of the victims, of course, but as applied to the event itself, the term “tragedy” seems to elevate a disgustingly stupid and squalid episode into something grand and exemplary.

Ugh. I begin to be wary of “senseless” tragedy, also.

Yes, it is “senseless,” of course it is: it is crazy and irrational, and in defiance of the usual rules and norms and expectations by which we make sense of the world (you go to the movies; you buy a popcorn and a soda; you watch the film; and then you go home). But “senseless” now seems to lend support to the “whattayagonna do? Sometimes people get shot up” perspective on the issue. Issue? What issue?! There’s no issue here, or if there is, it has nothing to with guns, and access to guns…

We can make sense of the senselessnees, but this is to “politicize” the problem, apparently, since it inevitably leads to thoughts of regulation and of gun control.

And how did “A well regulated militia…” become the absolute and never-to-be-challenged right of any individual who has not yet been taken into state custody to keep a damn arsenal of assault weapons? A militia is to the individual as the People is to a guy eating cheetos in his parents’ basement and plotting his revenge? Well, sweet Mother of the Christ, but that’s just all kinds of nuttiness.

My thing is: if we’re going to get all fetishistic about the late eighteenth-century debate over militias versus standing armies, let’s agree, for the sake of argument, that any and all citizens can own a late-eighteenth-century-style musket (to be all originalist about the second amendment, I mean): heavy to carry, and late {more than 30 seconds) to load, and very, very noisy too. You couldn’t carry out a senseless massacre in a crowded movie theatre with late 18th-century weaponry, and that’s exactly where I’m willing to draw the line, for the sake of compromise with the 2nd-amendment absolutist nutjobs.

By: koshembos Sat, 21 Jul 2012 02:48:25 +0000 Crummy summer? Sure!

We are a failed state.