Politicians and Pundits Demanded an Armed Revolution, So the Millers Attempted to Deliver One

Following every mass shooting in recent memory, the gun lobby has struggled to deflect blame onto to everything except the availability of firearms, not to mention the U.S. gun culture the NRA helped to manifest. After Sandy Hook it was video games. After Aurora it was mental health. After Virginia Tech it was a movie. But today, we’re told by the same pro-gun people that pointing out Alex Jones’ influence on Jared and Amanda Miller is just crazy talk.

Strange how that works. I suppose we could just default back to the availability of guns or the unwillingness of Congress to act upon the will of 75-90 percent of voters who want stricter gun laws, but that’s out of the question, too.

In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, you’d have to be utterly blind to not see the influence of Alex Jones lurking transparently beneath the surface, immediately below the shooters themselves and their firearms. The Millers were deeply ensconced in the anti-government conspiracy subculture where Jones is the kingpin — the pied piper for millions of paranoiacs who are each convinced through systematic indoctrination that a revolution is coming.

Sorry, but rap lyrics or a Japanese horror movie don’t exist anywhere near the same marketplace, nor are they operating in the arena of serious political discourse, telling us that our constitutional rights shall not be infringed, or else. It’s about your rights and your liberty, they say. A talk radio host, presenting what he claims are legitimate documents and expert testimony regarding how our government, by means of the NSA or juice boxes or so-called chemtrails in the sky, is seeking to control every aspect of our lives is so vastly different than the rather trivial nature of a fictitious shoot-em-up video game. But I get it, there are some people who have trouble discerning fantasy from reality, but Alex Jones and his copycats don’t deal in fantasy. They have all the evidence. They know. This is really, really happening in the dark corridors of power in Washington. So get ready!

Did they really believe they could talk like this for so long and at such an urgent fever-pitch, encouraging armed revolution and Second Amendment solutions, and believe that no one would act upon the nonstop join-or-die hype? It’s not just Alex Jones, either. We’re also told by our elected leaders — those we’ve tasked with passing laws and safeguarding our liberty — that we should take up arms against domestic enemies.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us having a revolution every now and then is a good thing. And the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.”

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS):

“We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.”

Chief of staff to former Rep. Allen West (R-FL):

“I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

Former Senate candidate Sharon Angle:

“People are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you, the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

Senate candidate Joni Ernst:

Former congressional candidate Rick Barber:

Congressional candidate Brad Goehring:

“If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to ‘thin’ the herd.”

Congressional candidate Robert Lowry:

Lowry…held an event at a Broward County gun range during which he fired at a series of symbolic political targets, including a silhouette with his opponent Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s initials on it.

Erick Erickson:

“Were I in Washington State, I’d be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation.”

Dick Morris:

“Those crazies in Montana who say, ‘We’re going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.’s going to take over’ — well, they’re beginning to have a case.”

Radio host Pete Santilli:

“I’m not calling for — well, yes I’m calling for the military to restore our Republic. Is it a military coup? I would say that it’s probably the most orderly fashion to do this.”

Congressional candidate John Stone:

“My forefathers used a cannon like this to fight the British in Savannah and win us a constitution. As the only licensed firearms dealer in America running for Congress, I’m willing to do the same if we have to.”

And finally, Alex Jones with his best known pro-gun, pro-revolution rant (timecode 2:34):

Are we really supposed to believe they’re all just kidding or speaking metaphorically about, you know, using bullets instead of ballots? Do any of the above quotes sound like jokes to you?

And out of the entire rogues gallery of irresponsible characters, Alex Jones has spent years at the vanguard of the armed revolution movement, most recently during the Bundy Ranch standoff when he used public airwaves to frantically cheerlead the Bundy throngs who indeed marched toward BLM officials in a traditional Napoleonic line of battle while a militia sniper infamously took aim at government employees from a nearby perch.

These militiamen and gun hoarders don’t require much of an excuse to start shooting, and when politicians and the far-right media routinely legitimizes the use of firearms as a means of resolving conflict, we can’t be expected to believe that it was something else that motivated the Millers to take up arms and act upon the urging of everyone from Michele Bachmann to Alex Jones to soon-to-be U.S. senator and pig-castration expert Joni Ernst.

So stop insulting our intelligence by telling us that the Miller-declared “revolution” in Las Vegas was neither about firearms nor the very serious leaders who have been preaching the use of firearms in a revolution context. The evidence is irrefutable: there are too many politicians and talkers who are complicit for what happened in Las Vegas.

  • jebediahspringfield

    So you’ve quoted several people inciting violence – but don’t dare say they are inciting violence! Conservatives inciting violence is Free Speech! and Patriotism!
    But pointing it out is very, very uncivil. Tone is very, very important. Unless you are a conservative saying you wish somebody would get shot.

  • Erick E.

    I wouldn’t bet next month’s pay that Ernst is going to be a Senator.

  • Lex

    so kooks like dressing up like batman villains

  • nathkatun7

    Thanks, Bob, for speaking TRUTH!

  • Ashes Defacto

    Just remember one important thing about all of this. It’s been obvious since the Oklahoma City bombing turned out to be inspired by talk radio and crappy fiction. In spite of the constant egging on of what will eventually lead to violence by right wing pundits nothing that happens is ever their fault.

    • FDRliberal

      Especially ironic is the repellent Alex Jones making up yet another a conspiracy theory about this very terrorist attack. This is the same type of anti-govt paranoid garbage that inspired Infowars visitor Jared Miller.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Paranoid delusions of persecution and personal heroism are nothing new. What’s new, at least since 2009, is that we have actual elected officeholders and candidates for office, not to mention attractive and articulate improvisational-theatre actors performing “news” shows on a cable channel that labels itself “News,” actively encouraging, validating and enabling paranoid delusions of persecution and personal heroism.

    It’s the most irresponsible collective act in history.

    The question is, what now? Has it just started? Have the words of Republican officeholders, candidates, and media enablers only begun to bear the fruit of action? Or are we going to come to our senses and nip this in the bud before it gets worse?

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Bob, apologies if someone has already pointed this out, but you need to make a correction pronto: Allen West did not say “If ballots don’t work, bullets will.” It was his campaign chief of staff and right-wing radio host, Joyce Kaufman.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Corrected. Thanks.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Just didn’t want the trolls to start frothing at the mouth. I had thought of this today when I wrote my latest DK Diary.

        • David L.

          Excellent diary, Graf. You hit the nail on the head. Self-congratulation + resentment = main conservative driving forces.

  • Badgerite

    It is time for the NRA to quit pretending that they are about the right for ordinary citizens to defend themselves from criminals. The NRA are the ones arming the criminals and insisting that they get to carry guns into restaurants. The simple fact is, if I see someone with a gun in a Walmart, I’m leaving. And so would any other rational person.

  • condew

    You make a very solid, very damning case that conservative rhetoric has, for years, been calling for violence, particularly violence against government representatives like cops and elected officials they don’t agree with, like Gabby Giffords.

  • Kennet

    This article could also be called 13 times politicians and personalities killed police officers.

  • nerdnam

    Here’s my question: supposedly we live in a country where every citizen is under surveillance by the NSA. Yet this joker, with a felony conviction, went to the Bundy ranch where he paraded around with a long gun in implicit threat to Federal law enforcement officials, was interviewed by reporters, openly showing his face and perhaps even revealing his name. Why was he not picked up by LEO after he left the ranch? Why was he still allowed to possess his guns?
    It looks to me like LEO and the FBI is really dropping the ball on the Bundy ranch case. I can understand a tactical retreat from confrontation with the Bundy militia, but just letting these fuckers just walk away to do whatever they please after interfering with legitimate law enforcement? That’s just not right and I’m shocked that appears to be the case.

    • don

      Good point.

    • That River Gal

      I’ve seen versions of this comment on several articles about these shooters, so it’s becoming a talking point, for sure.

      The point is, not every citizen is under the watchful eye of the feds. Not every convicted felon pot head is being monitored by the FBI.

      This is a deflection.

      • nerdnam

        Every militia nut at the Bundy ranch SHOULD be under the watchful eye of the FBI. Don’t you agree?
        This is not a deflection from anything.

        • condew

          No, in the United States we don’t have a secret police to “monitor dissidents”, free speech, particularly political speech, is protected.

          I would say though, that maybe it’s time to start naming those who call for violence as co-conspirators and co-defendants when the violence they instigated gets somebody hurt. Alex Jones should be charged. Calling for political change is OK, calling for murder is not.

          • nerdnam

            The FBI is not ‘secret police’ and threatening and/or impeding law enforcement is not ‘protected speech.’
            Don’t agree that Alex Jones should be charged. Shamed, shunned, abjured, but not charged. What basis would you have for that?

          • condew

            He asks for violence and he gets it, would that be conspiracy?

            Certainly if someone put out an open call for a paid assassin, that would be a crime. There was a story just last night where a guy was arrested for trying to pay an undercover policeman $1000 to kill his 4th wife so he could marry his fifth.

            So, if Alex Jones is asking for murder, how far along the continuum from idle chatter to hiring a killer does he need to go? Does he cross the line when he offers to pay?

          • nerdnam

            He would have to say very specific things before he could be charged with any crime. Shoot this Federal officer or attack this FBI station or blow up these buildings, that sort of thing. Free speech is protected.
            OTOH, known militia members actually carrying guns and impeding actual law enforcement can and should be charged with crimes or at least investigated to see if they are dangerous in other ways as well. Why that’s controversial to you, I don’t understand.

          • condew

            While I agree free speech is protected, I’m not sure inciting violence is. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, and telling people to go out and kill some government reps seems considerably more malevolent.

          • nerdnam

            He doesn’t tell people to go out and kill government reps, which would be illegal. He tells people government reps are coming to get you and so you better be armed to defend yourself. That’s not specific and it’s not illegal, if not right.
            Jones knows where the lines are and he doesn’t cross them. Which tells you what a dishonest grafter he is.

          • Kataphractos

            So, “coming to get you” includes being a cop, sitting in a restaurant eating lunch? I bet that those two LV cops were part of the evil government that is oppressing liberty minded citizens on a daily basis, so much so that the Millers couldn’t take the pressure of being so horribly hounded and persecuted, You could say that the Millers were under “attack” by the government thugs, that they had to “strike back” at any representative of said evil government. Therefore, in self defense, they only killed those cops in self defense!, or if you don’t buy that, they were both secretly leftist liberals! and besides, the so called “attacks” and “murders” never really happened, and are just a false flag plot against Alex Jones and his followers! See, totally justified! Because!

      • Badgerite

        Absolutely.

  • mrbrink

    I can’t stress this enough– American democracy must hold the line against these fucking nutjobs. They aren’t confined to the fringe anymore. They’ve long since gone mainstream with their maniacal beliefs. They’ve been beating this country into submission– physically and psychologically– for decades– coming to a head since we had the temerity to elect someone other than the domestic terrorists of their choosing in 2008 and 2012 after 8 years of torment, institutional neglect, and diseased government. This is blood on their hands. Movement conservatives built this monster together while the rest of the country sleeps off their poverty and 80 hour work weeks.

    We’ve been tormented, bullied, threatened, and subjected to the constant door-busting demands of right wing terrorists with their deadly government gridlock, happy-faced bigotry and racism in promoting their overt anti-government/anti-Obama propaganda and intellectual violence that is breeding this specific hate and these gun-toting paranoid schizophrenics– and they are all directly responsible for inciting this violent behavior.

    They asked for it, demanded it, and now they’ve got it.

    They tell us that it will all go away if we only elect them– the real Americans and patriots. And if we don’t, they’ll take it by force. They’ll close the polls, shutter the government, and overthrow democracy to get it.

    Do not let them. You have to stare these crazy fucking inbreeders in the face and tell them all to go fuck themselves with their Gadsden-waving flagpoles.

    • Christopher Foxx

      They’ve been beating this country into submission– physically and psychologically– for decades

      Somewhat simplistically described view, only partly because nailing down anything societal to a specific starting point is rarely accurate, but… I’m thinking it started toward what we see today with the resignation of Nixon.

      The Republicans were out, and out in a big way. Reagan comes in an permits Republicans to feel good about themselves. Reagan’s generally “gov’t is bad, do what you want” approach tells folks their selfishness is OK and they won’t be held responsible for their misdeeds. So when Clinton comes in we get no-holds-barred insanity (“Hillary executed Vince Foster!”) which the incompetence and excesses of Bush II has fueled.

      Add, of course, the misogyny towards Clinton having a capable and accomplished wife and Obama having a black father and here we are today. A Republican party almost entirely made up of entitled folks with no sense of decency or reason.

      • mrbrink

        And, of course, as we all know, Nixon was subsequently pardoned by Ford for his crimes. And when Reagan swept into office with that ‘happy-faced racism and bigotry’ I referred to, they called it a “revolution”– “The Reagan revolution,” to be more precise. Such revolutionaries. Fascist coups are more like it, considering how both men took power by way of fraud and treason, using their back-door crimes to smear their opponents as weak and ineffectual, Republicans, again, by way of George H.W. Bush– pardoned themselves and then smeared their opponents as weak and ineffectual when they were voted out. See a theme, here? There is no modern historical precedent for Democrats doing this because wingnuts know that if you let them, they’ll just take power by threat of force and criminality and if they smile big enough and say ‘freedom and liberty’ enough, people will let them just to make the psychological torture stop. They are at once the disease and snake-oil cure. You give the GOP enough rope, and they hang democrats with it. We see this now with the GOP-controlled congress and filibuster abuse in the senate.

        I’m merely calling for some courage and resiliency in the face of this decades-long abuse.

        • drspittle

          I always appreciate your ability to provide historical context. It is very important to be able to see and understand patterns.

        • Aaron Litz

          Wow. That was spectacular. (Not to mention Amazing, Web of, and Friendly Neighborhood… !)

          • Daigoro Ogami

            You forgot Sensational and, more recenly, Superior. ;)

          • Aaron Litz

            Damn, I knew I was missing something! ;)

        • don

          I think the video and your comments a right on (no pun intended). But, be careful, you might just be accused of being a Conspiracy Theorist ;).

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I’m thinking it started toward what we see today with the resignation of Nixon.

        I think you’re spot-on right about that. The Archie Bunkers of America loved Nixon — and he was forced to resign in disgrace when everything the Meatheads of America said about him turned out to be right. So, the former cohort came up with the phrase “liberal media” to convince themselves that they had actually been right about Nixon — but were the only ones who knew it.

        Fast-forward 40 years after Watergate and what do we see? A Republican Party still bent on revenge for Nixon’s forced resignation, and still making a lot of the same arguments about how they’re right about everything but no one knows it because everyone but them has been brainwashed by the “liberal media.” Never forget that the last — and only — American President to resign and leave office in disgrace was a Republican, and the last incumbent President to not win a second term was a Republican. The GOP can’t have either one and will fight every day to reverse both of those facts.

        • Christopher Foxx

          and will fight every day to reverse deny both of those facts.

          FTFY. Because to reverse them means having to acknowledge they’re there in the first place. And Republicans will never do that.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            No, they know. They know that Nixon was the last and only POTUS to resign in disgrace, and they know that GHWB was the last POTUS to lose a re-election bid. They want to pin those scarlet letters on Democrats.

    • bphoon

      And if we don’t, they’ll take it by force. They’ll close the polls, shutter the government, and overthrow democracy to get it.

      I personally know some folks who fully believe a revolution is coming and are ready to join in when it happens. Self-styled patriots who are so patriotic they’ll overthrow the government to get their way.

      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. –US Constitution, Article III, Section 3.

      I don’t think they’ve read that part lately.

      • mrbrink

        Good to see you, bphoon. Been a while.

        • bphoon

          Thanks. It’s good to be back.

  • don

    You can’t be “partly complicit” Bob. That’s like being “partly pregnant”. We live in a culture of extremes fed by diversity, amplified by technology, and enabled by the blessings of having the World’s Reserve currency. You don’t have to listen to Alex Jones nor even be a Republican target of ad campaigns to see the carnival that is America. But, you can’t systematically lie as a government (even for the “greater good”) and expect people to trust you. Laying down a weapon is an act of trust. As for the police, if you want to be trusted, you don’t shoot homeless people trying to camp. This video happened just a few miles from my house:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8aa_1395460451#t07fumtssXgKutyD.01

    You want to know why they shot him? Because the can’t have homeless people trying to live where soccer moms and the local “community” likes to hike and enjoy nature. Why would anybody TRUST that kind of logic? Should I tell my sons to TRUST the police after that? And, is this one incident? No. So let’s talk about “partly complicit”, as you like to put it Bob. What inspired the Santa Barbara shooter Bob? How about Sandy Hook? What great political theory can we develop out of that one? The Vegas crazies were dressed up like the Batman Joker … should we throw cartoons in with Alex Jones Bob? So, we come to guns. That’s easy. But its not. Like I said in any environment, if you want people to lay down their weapons, you have to develop trust. I don’t see that as a main theme anywhere Bob. It’s sad.

    • beulahmo

      WTF? This isn’t a call for people to “lay down arms”. This is a call for politicians and pundits to behave responsibly, for Gods’ sake, and to quit insinuating that citizens must use violent means to effect political change.

      • don

        I think expecting pundits and politicians to behave responsibility is ripe with a beautiful, but, absurd, expectation about how the world works. And, I think most of the “rural conservative” crowd would argue they are not trying to effect political change but defend a way of life they feel is under attack. But, returning to the Vegas killers, I think they were motivated by being just f-ing crazy.

        • nerdnam

          They’re only ‘crazy’ by this logic:
          If a killer is black, he’s a thug.
          If a killer is Muslim, he’s a terrorist.
          If a killer is white, he’s crazy.
          The fact is these people behaved like terrorists, pure and simple.

          • don

            I think you make an excellent point. Did they kill randomly to effect an agenda or was the agenda just a sort of motif for the killings?

          • condew

            Not really. It’s an almost poetic hate-filled rant, but if I get robbed in a parking lot, the guy’s a thug regardless of his skin tone. A terrorist is Muslim if he yells “Ali Akbar” as he begins to murder, but he could be Christian, or Hindu, or Buddhist depending on the crime and stated motivation. You could say anybody who thinks murder is OK and commits it is crazy, light skin is not a prerequisite; but if you’re looking for an insanity defense, the bar is a bit higher and has been met by people of many races.

          • nerdnam

            It’s not MY logic.

          • condew

            And yet you feel it is worth repeating, more than once.

          • Renee

            Nerdnam is spot on. All you have to do is pay attention to the media pundits who say this same thing to realize that’s the current mantra. While *you* may think that a person who robs you is a thug regardless of skin tone, that is NOT what the media say. The media always, without exception, use the logic nerdnam spells out. If you haven’t seen/heard this time and again, then you aren’t paying attention.

        • Badgerite

          No. They had been promised a ‘revolution’. In fact, ‘The Revolution’.
          So many times now, I have lost count. They did what they had been itching to do and egged on to do for months. Go shoot them some government officials. The fact that the ‘government officials’ were just local cops, didn’t matter. Wasn’t it Cliven Bundy who wanted people to assault park rangers?
          This is the NRA version of a suicide bomber. Our very own Taliban.

          • condew

            So that makes Alex Jones the equivalent to an evil cleric.

            Evil cleric turns a young person into a murderer by arguing that murdering the unrighteous is the soul of Islam, or that murdering an abortion doctor is the soul of Christianity.

            Alex Jones turns ordinary people into murderers by arguing that winning by intimidation and murdering those who disagree with you, and murdering peace officers is the soul of democracy.

            Yup, pretty much the same.

        • GrafZeppelin127

          They only “feel” that “a way of life” is “under attack” because that’s what the pundits and politicians on the TV and radio are telling them. No one would “feel” that way if there was no TV or radio, and they never heard a politician speak.

          I used to be amused by these people who told me they were just “tired of the spending.” How can you be “tired of” something you can neither see nor hear nor feel nor detect in your everyday life moment-to-moment, that you wouldn’t even know existed if there weren’t people on the TV and radio telling you so? What, do you wake up in the morning, get dressed, have your coffee, and feel “the spending”? No, of course not.

          It is grotesquely irresponsible for improv-actors on a cable channel masquerading as “news,” let alone actual elected officeholders and candidates for public office, to tell people that their “way of life” or their “freedom” is “under attack” when it isn’t, when it is completely unreasonable for anyone to to believe any such thing.

    • Barbara Striden

      You’re being obtuse. Cesca’s post is about right-wing appeals to violence as a response to settled, widely-accepted laws, the results of our electoral processes and the mere existence of what was previously referred to as “the loyal opposition”.

      • don

        I am not being Obtuse. And the article comes out and say that Alex Jones and all the gun metaphor in these adds was complicit in the Vegas shootings. I rejected that argument because world events supported comparatively equal generalities that nullified the main thesis.

        • Badgerite

          “I rejected that argument because world events supported comparatively equal generalities that nullified the main thesis.”
          WHAT?
          Here’s what happened. These idiots, whose lives, apparently weren’t very full, didn’t get the excitement of ‘THE REVOLUTION’ that they had been promised. So they decided to do an NRA version of the suicide bomber.
          Of course those people are complicit in the Vegas shootings. Just as
          they were in the shooting in Tucson that took several lives and nearly killed Gabby Giffords. So is Cliven Bundy.

    • Christopher Foxx

      So the answer is to arm the public, rather than hold the police accountable and make sure they behave responsibly?

      • don

        I am not suggesting an “answer”. I am challenging the premise that calling on people to implicitly trust a government that does not appear to be sincere in establishing and preserving trust is realistic. As we are finding out in my city “holding” the local police is a difficult task even with the support of federal justice department.

        • GrafZeppelin127

          “…a government that does not appear to be sincere in establishing and preserving trust…”

          Just bear in mind that practically all people are not direct first-hand observers of “government.” What “appears” to them is only what the media outlets they’ve chosen to trust, choose to show them. They see only what the media outlets they’ve chosen to trust want and allow them to see; they know only what the media outlets they’ve chosen to trust want and allow them to know.

          • don

            Self selecting narrative reinforcement is an issue. Perhaps the primary one. But, it’s across the board. Everybody is vulnerable unless actively seeking out several sources.

        • beulahmo

          Who is basing their replies to you on “the premise…[of]…calling on people to implicitly trust a government”?? Where do you see a person on this thread making the case that we should implicitly trust a government? Show it to me.

          “As we are finding out in my city ‘holding’ the local police is a difficult task…”
          I don’t think anybody here is trying to make the case that holding our government accountable, through legitimate and legal processes, is easy. It’s not easy. But it’s what responsible self-governance requires.

          • don

            Gun control arguments require an IMPLICIT trust in the Government. Most(if not all) of the people criticized in the Bob’s article think that the 2nd Amendment is the final check of the people on government power or government failure. To them people who argue gun control are arguing that some or all people cannot be trusted to own weapons without government sanction. Implicit in the Gun Control argument either weak or strong is that people who interpret the 2nd Amendment as the final check on government power to TRUST the government not to abuse that power. How else could it possibly work? BY-the-way … any rhetoric that defends the 2nd Amendment is vulnerable to Bob’s central charge of inciting revolution. Hell, Bob and others, seem to think that making an argument makes you responsible for someone else’s actions. A very dangerous precedent indeed.

            As for self governance being difficult. It is. But, that is an academic argument when government is failing around you. I am not blaming the police or most people in government. I think we are going through tremendous changes and facing enormous intrinsic challenges that make governance very difficult. While some people may think we all need to lay down our weapons some do not think so. Both are vulnerable to the accusation of their position being a fatal mistake.

          • beulahmo

            I’m going to forthrightly tell you that it really pisses me off that you often toss out insulting accusations about peoples’ beliefs and motives because you use bizarre and unsupported assumptions as a basis to do so. Your comment demonstrates that the assumptions you use are not based on anything rational – they’re just assumptions you’ve pulled out of your ass.

            1. Advocating for government regulation of private ownership and use of firearms does not necessitate implicit trust in government. That’s fucking stupid. Look up the word implicit and make sure you really understand the meaning of the word. It’s an American tradition to not implicitly trust government — it’s a trait written into our DNA. We constantly evaluate and criticize our government with an eye toward changing it. That’s why we’re considered a self-governing polity. Which brings me to my second point…

            2. We self-govern by virtue of being able to vote for the people who represent us in legislative and executive (and in many states, judicial) bodies. We’re aided in our self-governance by having the right to petition our elected officials, along with an historically unprecedented degree of freedom of expression. Despite this, you unfailingly characterize government as an entity that primarily oppresses, seemingly unfettered by the citizens’ role and responsibility for exercising their political power to effect good and legitimate governance. You cannot presume that everyone else operates on the same basis of reasoning — that government is self-evidently an oppressive entity against which we are mostly helpless. As for myself, I explicitly reject any suggestion you might make that our (citizens’ or voters’) political power is so insignificant that our best recourse might involve efforts to rebel, rather than reform. I simply do not accept that — ever. Which brings me to my next point…

            3. You say that gun control is a response that counters people who interpret the second amendment as the “final check” on government’s abuse of power; that gun control advocates therefore believe we should implicitly trust government (i.e., the uncontrollable, oppressive creature you conceptualize). No. No. F*ck No! First, some of us think the notion of having a legitimized option of violent resistance to law and law enforcement that is built right the hell into the document that established the design of said law-making, law-enforcing government — establishing it as a self-governing organism — is unbelievably absurd. The U.S. Constitution was carefully designed to prevent the necessity of violent overthrows of government. Though this does not mean that the U.S. Constitution absolutely ensures against a potential need for revolution, it sure as hell does not mean that violent revolution would be considered legal by virtue of an interpretation of the second amendment. Good God, that’s idiotic. If Americans ever have to resort to violent revolution, it’s going to be done by breaking laws, but with the aim of winning and by having the popular support necessary to give legitimacy to the effort.

            4. “BY-the-way … any rhetoric that defends the 2nd Amendment is vulnerable to Bob’s central charge of inciting revolution.. Hell, Bob and others, seem to think that making an argument makes you responsible for someone else’s actions..”

            Utter bullshit. You’ve no rational foundation for this charge — you’re pulling it out of your ass.

          • don

            Insulting accusations? (Actual insults in yours.) Ass origin arguments? Re-read the last two posts. Obvious in your post. None in mine. Though you buried some interesting points in your last post/rage why would I respond further?

          • beulahmo

            Yes. Insulting accusations. You’ve established a pattern of making them. On a recent thread you accused Bob of wanting government to have the ability to control, incarcerate, and even kill people before they commit a crime. I found that unbelievably offensive. You’re characterizing another person as a monster, and you’re using ridiculous, false reasoning processes to do so. That’s a really crappy way to treat people.

          • don

            I think you are projecting. Let’s get the quote correct of mine:

            “The great Cesca Approach. Let’s call it Datatopia. IF there was only a database of bad guys, bad behavior, and bad tools we would know who to control, imprison, and kill before anything bad actually happens. What could possibly go wrong with that idea? Is the next step to blame Greenwald and Snowden directly for mass shootings Bob?”

            No insult there. No actual characterization. Certainly sarcasm. Perhaps a little satire. Certainly none that Bob himself wouldn’t dole out. Interesting that Cesca is now blaming Jones for these shootings ;).

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Seems to me this is exactly what beulahmo described:

            …you accused Bob of wanting government to have the ability to control, incarcerate, and even kill people before they commit a crime. … You’re characterizing another person as a monster, and you’re using ridiculous, false reasoning processes to do so.

            That’s not projection; it’s a fair characterization of what you wrote, and quoted here.

            The great Cesca Approach [is that if] there was only a database of bad guys, bad behavior, and bad tools we would know who to control, imprison, and kill before anything bad actually happens. What could possibly go wrong with that idea? Is the next step to blame Greenwald and Snowden directly for mass shootings Bob?

            That is an actual characterization of Mr. Cesca, and an insulting one. Sarcasm? Maybe, but only in tone, not substance. Certainly not satire; not even remotely. More like passive-aggressive self-indulgence.

          • don

            Give me a break. The quote is right there in front of you and you still miss-quote it in Italics and a Bar! Again …

            “The great Cesca Approach. Let’s call it Datatopia. IF there was only a database of bad guys, bad behavior, and bad tools we would know who to control, imprison, and kill before anything bad actually happens. What could possibly go wrong with that idea? Is the next step to blame Greenwald and Snowden directly for mass shootings Bob?”

            Perhaps some English Lit classes to go with your Psychology Classes. Throw in a Journalistic Ethics and cut and paste class while you are at it. Maybe also “google” dictionary.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            You can be as hostile as you like; it doesn’t change what you wrote, which is precisely as I and beulahmo described. If it pleases you to believe otherwise, do so. But note that hostility does not equal credibility. The former tends to undermine the latter.

            Were I so inclined, I might ask you to explain the difference in meaning between:

            “The great Cesca Approach. Let’s call it Datatopia. IF there was only a database of bad guys…

            and

            “The great Cesca Approach [is that if] there was only a database of bad guys…”

            …and how the latter therefore constitutes a “miss-quote” [sic] of the former instead of a mere abbreviation/clarification thereof (and change in text format), but I doubt it would do either of us any good. Neither would it be of any use to ask what other differences there are between the text you wrote and the text as quoted by me.

            Have a pleasant day.

          • don

            When you pull the critical words that make it an abstraction and also a conditional then yes you have gone too far. And, you are right that hostility doesn’t equal credibility. Nor, does outrage correlate with being correct

            Enjoy your day as well. :)

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Your intention was clearly to impute that “abstraction” to Mr. Cesca. The intermediary phrase naming/labeling the “abstraction” does not nullify that. To wit, and by way of analogy:

            The great Buddy Ryan Approach. Let’s call it the “46 Defense.” If we use a unique defensive front and dramatically shift the defensive line to the weak side, we can confuse and put pressure on the opposing offense, especially their quarterback.

            This string of sentences, analogous in structure and syntax to the ones you wrote, clearly intends to impute the “abstraction” described in the third sentence to the person named in the first sentence. The second sentence merely gives the ideas in the third sentence a name or a label; it does not nullify the attribution. The speaker/writer clearly intends to state that Buddy Ryan believes that a unique defensive front will confuse opposing offenses. There is no other reasonable way to read this.

  • beulahmo

    You got it just right, Bob. Great job.
    You made the charge and presented conspicuous behavior of pundits and politicians to support it. And for good measure, you contrasted your charge against the “very serious” yet weak-by-comparison scapegoats always used to explain this kind of violence. The influences at work here are definitely, unambiguously more discernible.

  • Draxiar

    The first person to raise a fist is the one who has run out of ideas.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.

      • Draxiar

        Asimov…well done.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Well, I wasn’t actually quoting Asimov accurately (which is why I didn’t put it in quotes, but I still should have noted the attribution).

          Asimov called it the last refuge, but in my experience they don’t usually try other things first. Violence is their plan A more far often than not.

      • Aaron Litz

        Excellent quote, one of my favorites.

  • Dizivi

    Start pinning the blame on pundits and watch them use the ‘It’s just an opinion’ excuse. They’ll feign ignorance most of the time because you can’t blame people who don’t know any better, right?

    • beulahmo

      In a court of law that might help them, but in the court of public opinion it won’t. They can feign ignorance and pretend to not see all they want; it won’t stop the rest of the American public from seeing what’s obvious.

      • Christopher Foxx

        it won’t stop the rest of the American public from seeing what’s obvious.

        Now, the rest of the American public actually doing something about it? Well, that’s a different thing.

      • Dizivi

        Only when someone gets around to calling out their bullshit. Publicly, like twitter. All those pundits got a twitter account (it’s a running trend) and when everyone dog piles on them, it really can’t be ignored.

        See if they want to publicize the fight for everyone to read.

        • beulahmo

          Well, what I had in mind was that they would be called out by their peers (i.e., high-profile politicians and media personalities — Bruce Bartlett is one notable, lone example). Republicans have yet to “police their own” in a meaningful way, and that’s truly disheartening. I sincerely mean that. There have been so many unused opportunities for high-profile Republicans to decisively distance themselves from the right wingers who use not-so-subtly coded racism and violent hyperbole in their rhetoric. Their silence has been deafening.

          • FDRliberal

            Quite true. And that is often due to the fact that Republican primaries are owned by the most extreme elements in an already extreme Republican primary. The few rational Republicans left don’t have the guts to speak out, for fear of losing their jobs. The result is that the crackpots’ views are legitimized due to the silence.

          • beulahmo

            Exactly. And that’s why this craziness has moved from the fringes into the mainstream in the paltry space of a few years. I keep seeing this stuff being characterized as fringe, extreme rhetoric. But the alarming thing is how increasingly “normal” this has become for Republicans. It’s a mistake to characterize it as “fringe” rhetoric.

          • FDRliberal

            After this killing was confirmed to be the work of a right-wing extremist, I immediately thought of Nevada Senator candidate and Tea Party favorite, Sharron Angle, who spoke about taking “Second Amendment remedies” if need be. This type of talk is all too common in today’s radicalized Republican party.

    • bphoon

      One of the foundational facets of right wing punditry is to never–ever–take responsibility for having said something. And to never–ever–admit a mistake.

      They’re craven, spineless creatures.

  • Razor

    Even if they’re not directly inciting violence, they’re at least playing footsies with the idea.

    • condew

      A single statement is “playing footsies”, but it is part of their regular talking points. repeated constantly; it’s inciting violence.

  • D_C_Wilson

    “I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

    What West is saying here is that he should have the right to take up arms against an elected government, not because of anything specific the government has done, but just because he doesn’t like the result of the last election. That is the most anti-democratic thing imaginable.

    • Christopher Foxx

      This is the question that a responsible press would ask right in the face of West and his ilk: “If an election is held and you don’t like the results, is it OK to use guns to overthrow the will of the people?”

      Don’t mince words, don’t let them back track. Challenge them on the spot and in their face to say exactly what they really mean. Every time they do it.

      • bphoon

        Problem: 90% of the political media in this country is so frightened of having access denied them that they’ve surrendered their right to ask tough, responsible questions like that. Call someone out to his/her face? Make them immediately justify their overblown rhetoric? Most lack the balls for that sort of thing any more.

        • mnashp

          exactly. Cowards use bullets in place of balls. It takes real courage to speak truth to power. And clarity too. That helps.

          it’s sad that so many people are so scared. Scared people do really dumb things. Like get armed to the teeth and hook up with cultists. And people who foment the fear-gospel are simply a cult without a religion. They prey on the psychological distress of the weakest citizens, whip them to a frenzy and let their bullets do the talking. Meta-cowards who stand behind the infantry they’ve set loose. Having them do the dirty-work while they schmooze with important people, get filthy-rich and deny any personal culpability.

          i like the point in the article that these people present themselves as KNOWING FACT. That in my book, if they believe themselves, qualifies as delusional. And if they don’t? Well, then it’s criminal.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      West didn’t say that; his campaign chief-of-staff, a right-wing radio talker named Joyce Kaufman, did.

      The rest of this is right. :)

      • D_C_Wilson

        Corrected.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Ditto.

  • trgahan

    I love the positive feedback loop at play here:

    They need guns because the founding fathers “intended” the 2nd Amendment to be an electoral sour grapes clause, but they also need guns in case any of THOSE people decide to interpret the 2nd Amendment the same way.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Looking for logic, or even just consistency, from these folks is a pointless task. Or, in terms they’d undertand, a snipe hunt.

      • trgahan

        Oh…there is a logic there…they just can’t acknowledge it by name in polite company. Their hero Mr. Bundy found that out first hand.

        All these argumentitive acrobatics is just so they can say what the mean without meaning what they say…

        • Christopher Foxx

          You’re right. There is consistency. It’s “Things have to happen the way I want. I get to do whatever I want. Fuck You.”

          It’s the main motivation of all spoiled, selfish three-year-olds.

  • ranger11

    I really don’t think Ernst is going to win. She’s probably going to Sharron Angle or Todd Akin it sometime in October. Not really a good candidate and Iowa is a swing state. Still, have all Republican women become Palinized?

    • beulahmo

      You could be right. And since she’s running for a state-wide seat, her craziness won’t be protected by a “safe-Republican” electorate.

  • CL Nicholson

    The fingerprints of the Far Right fringe’s carnival barking is all over this tragedy. But no one in mainstream media will hold the Radio Rwanda styled pundits accountable. Better to pretend that GTA5 turned these people insane.

    • beulahmo

      I don’t have much hope, but at some point, that’s got to change. Letting this kind of thing go on without public rebuke is just unimaginable. The question is: how bad will it have to get before the public says “No more!” ?

    • Badgerite

      Radio Rwanda. That’s about right.

    • nnyl

      Radio Rwanda is exactly how I see it. It is so easy to whip people into a frenzy. These calls to kill those who don’t share your political views are dangerous.