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Old 10-03-2017, 11:26 AM   #2206
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Pretty Little Flower View Post
The John Oliver episode after the Orlando shooting argued pretty compellingly that a substantial portion of the NRA's success is not just due to lobbyists, but also an incredibly motivated, active, and disciplined one-issue constituency that can be mobilized at a moment's notice to flood a politician's office with letters and calls, or attend a counter-protest, or whatever. Shame on me for not realizing until that episode that we have had legislation since 1996 that effectively prevents the CDC from even studying the effects of gun violence. And despite efforts as recently as 2015 to repeal the Dickey Amendment, it remains the law of our bloody gun-obsessed land.
I truly don't understand the draw of being a Congressman or Senator. Does the power feel so good that it is just impossible to give up voluntarily? What the fuck is it that keeps people who do not agree with NRA so terrified that they will lose their jobs if they fight for the most common sense, simple reform? How can you watch people get slaughtered and decide that you just really don't want to lose your job by doing something? Someone explain this shit. I want to go to Congress to be the loudest fucking thorn-in-the-side, one-term rep in the history of the institution.

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Old 10-03-2017, 11:27 AM   #2207
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Did you just call me Coltrane? View Post
I'm just going to suggest to my kids that they attend college in a country that doesn't have this dumbfuckery embedded in it, and then maybe they won't ever come back and I can visit them all of the time.
This is a fantastic idea.

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Old 10-03-2017, 11:34 AM   #2208
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Did you just call me Coltrane? View Post
I want this to be true, but I'm not sure it is. Guns can be maintained for a long time - they can be kept in working condition for 100 years. In any event, it'll never happen in our lifetime. I'm just going to suggest to my kids that they attend college in a country that doesn't have this dumbfuckery embedded in it, and then maybe they won't ever come back and I can visit them all of the time.
Guns can be maintained for a long time, but will the people we're concerned about do that?

Regardless, you can actually round up guns if the political will (i.e. Australia) to do so exists. The obstacle in this country is the lack of political will, not the number of guns.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:50 AM   #2209
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I think I agree with the Freakonomics guys: it's too late for gun control - there are already over 300,000,000 guns in this country. If I had a magic wand and could wish them all away forever (and I would), then gun control thereafter would work.
Could we at least impose strict liability on them? Your gun hurts or kills someone, you are responsible. Doesn't matter if your kid shoots his cousin. Doesn't matter if it's stolen. Doesn't matter if you shoot yourself in the leg. Doesn't matter if the dude was disrespecting your property. You're fucking responsible. You bear the costs. The only question for the jury is whether or not you owned the gun. "Self defense" may mitigate, but it does not absolve you of responsibility.

Shoot away, but be prepared to pay.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:55 AM   #2210
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I truly don't understand the draw of being a Congressman or Senator. Does the power feel so good that it is just impossible to give up voluntarily? What the fuck is it that keeps people who do not agree with NRA so terrified that they will lose their jobs if they fight for the most common sense, simple reform? How can you watch people get slaughtered and decide that you just really don't want to lose your job by doing something? Someone explain this shit. I want to go to Congress to be the loudest fucking thorn-in-the-side, one-term rep in the history of the institution.

TM
I worked in politics when young, and understood the draw then, because I felt it. After three years of working in it, I was frightened by what it did to a lot of (but not all) people, and got out (law school! yay!).

Close to thirty years later, I no longer understand the draw.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #2211
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Did you just call me Coltrane? View Post
I want this to be true, but I'm not sure it is. Guns can be maintained for a long time - they can be kept in working condition for 100 years. In any event, it'll never happen in our lifetime. I'm just going to suggest to my kids that they attend college in a country that doesn't have this dumbfuckery embedded in it, and then maybe they won't ever come back and I can visit them all of the time.
Guns are a problem, but just as big a problem is the gun culture. Laws can begin to erode it, but somewhere we need a society that expresses disgust when someone proudly assembles an automatic weapon arsenal and runs around shooting stuff for fun.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #2212
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Could we at least impose strict liability on them? Your gun hurts or kills someone, you are responsible. Doesn't matter if your kid shoots his cousin. Doesn't matter if it's stolen. Doesn't matter if you shoot yourself in the leg. Doesn't matter if the dude was disrespecting your property. You're fucking responsible. You bear the costs. The only question for the jury is whether or not you owned the gun. "Self defense" may mitigate, but it does not absolve you of responsibility.

Shoot away, but be prepared to pay.
Yes to all of this in a perfect world. But it's not going to happen.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:08 PM   #2213
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Guns are a problem, but just as big a problem is the gun culture. Laws can begin to erode it, but somewhere we need a society that expresses disgust when someone proudly assembles an automatic weapon arsenal and runs around shooting stuff for fun.
That society doesn't exist and won't exist in the USA. I wish it did.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:09 PM   #2214
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

Great comment from a client as we tried to figure out whether it was the client or the attorneys on the other side being jerks: Newton's Fourth Law is that assholes attract.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:15 PM   #2215
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by ThurgreedMarshall View Post
I truly don't understand the draw of being a Congressman or Senator. Does the power feel so good that it is just impossible to give up voluntarily? What the fuck is it that keeps people who do not agree with NRA so terrified that they will lose their jobs if they fight for the most common sense, simple reform? How can you watch people get slaughtered and decide that you just really don't want to lose your job by doing something? Someone explain this shit. I want to go to Congress to be the loudest fucking thorn-in-the-side, one-term rep in the history of the institution.

TM
I have no explanation. I could not even begin to attempt to understand the psyches of some of the people in our government.

Instead, I'm going to talk a little bit about Astral Weeks. Sometimes, when the sky is an expanse of gray, and the rain cannot help but seem like tears, and I feel hopelessness creeping in around the edges, I close my office door and spend the morning listening to this album.

I'm not a big Van Morrison fan. I don't really actually listen to any of his music these days other than Astral Weeks. But I have been listening to Astral Weeks on and off for over thirty years, and it never seems dated or tired or obsolete. It certainly reminds me of certain times and places, but I think I am lucky in that, to the extent it is nostalgic for me, it is not because it is entangled in the emotions of a specific romantic relationship. Instead, the album retains a timeless feel for me, as if it was created outside of any specific cultural or historical context.

The actual context was Van Morrison, in the wake of contractual record label disputes that limited his ability to record, playing loose, freer live shows in clubs around Cambridge, MA. When he settled the contractual disputes, he was free to record the Astral Weeks sessions, which he did in New York City in September 1968. Although the album clearly has folk music as its core, Van Morrison was actually backed by serious jazz musicians, veterans of Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus groups as well as the drummer from the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I always have an emotional reaction to this album, not exactly sadness, but it does capture a sort of otherwordly melancholy. Lester Bangs wrote an incredible essay about the album ten years after its release, the most-quoted part of which I will quote again, because it describes the album far better than I ever could:

"Fact: Van Morrison was twenty-two - or twenty-three - years old when he made this record; there are lifetimes behind it. What Astral Weeks deals in are not facts but truths. Astral Weeks, insofar as it can be pinned down, is a record about people stunned by life, completely overwhelmed, stalled in their skins, their ages and selves, paralyzed by the enormity of what in one moment of vision they can comprehend."

Here is "Cyprus Avenue," not because it is better or more relevant than "Madame George" or "Astral Weeks" but because it is what is playing right now as I finish writing this post:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8jPDdHd9y8
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:46 PM   #2216
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Did you just call me Coltrane? View Post
I think I agree with the Freakonomics guys: it's too late for gun control - there are already over 300,000,000 guns in this country. If I had a magic wand and could wish them all away forever (and I would), then gun control thereafter would work.
Bullet control. Won't happen, but is doable.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #2217
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Guns can be maintained for a long time, but will the people we're concerned about do that?

Regardless, you can actually round up guns if the political will (i.e. Australia) to do so exists. The obstacle in this country is the lack of political will, not the number of guns.
It's not even really political will - if a Republican comes out for gun control his/her political career is over. That political will results in losing the next election.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:23 PM   #2218
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

In anger about one of the earlier mass slaughters, I sat down at a computer and drafted a response to Scalia's butchery of the Second Amendment. I am a litigator, not someone who knows the first thing about legislative draftsmanship. So the following is really just a framework for somebody who actually knows how to draft legislation, that sticks it to the imbeciles who wave the Second Amendment like a rationale for mass murder that can't be helped. It is not well thought out, but you will get the gist. Indeed I may have posted this here before, long ago.


The National Well Regulated Militia Act of 2008

Whereas, the Second Amendment to the Constitution states that “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” and

Whereas, Americans justly consider their Second Amendment rights to be essential to the defense of liberty and freedom, and

Whereas, since the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Armed Forces of the United States, having been sorely tested and, despite a valiant effort by our men and women at arms, are in need of relief, and

Whereas, armed individuals, who may or may not be citizens of the United States, have committed acts in this nation which indicate the need for training and discipline in the use of weaponry, and

Whereas, individual legislation by the several states has not been effective to either prevent the illegal use of weaponry or to establish a well regulated militia, nor is it possible for any state to do so, given the ease of travel and transportation between the several states, and

Whereas, the Supreme Court has determined in District of Columbia v. Heller that individuals are permitted to own weapons without regard to local or state law to the contrary,

Now therefore, the following statute shall be enacted by the Congress of the United States.

Section 1. The National Well Regulated Militia Act.

This act shall be known as the National Well Regulated Militia Act.

Section 2. Establishment of the National Militia.

(A) There is hereby created a National Militia.

(B) The National Militia shall report to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of the United States (hereafter, “Chairman”).

(C) The Chairman may, in his discretion assign such other individuals of the Armed Forces of the United States as the Chairman deems necessary to the National Militia to supervise the National Militia .




Section 3. Membership in the National Militia.

(A) All persons within the United States owning or possessing any object falling within the definition of the term “arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution are hereby, without further action on the part of any individual, members of the National Militia.

(B) All members of the National Militia shall, within 90 days of the enactment of this statute, report to the United States Post Office nearest their place of residence to enroll their names in the rolls of the National Militia.

(C) All persons who are not currently members of the National Militia pursuant to subsection (A) of this section, but who become members of the National Militia by virtue of new ownership or possession of “arms” shall report to the Post Office nearest their place of residence and enroll their names in the rolls of the National Militia within 3 days of becoming a member.

(D) Any member of the National Militia who transfers ownership or possession of arms may do so only to a member of the National Militia who has been enrolled pursuant to subsection (B) or (C).

(E) Any member of the National Militia who ceases to be a member by virtue of cessation of ownership or control of “arms” shall immediately inform the Chairman or the Chairman’s designee.

(F) Each member of the National Militia shall report for training, with all “arms” within their ownership or control, to the military facility designated for that member of the National Militia by the Chairman at a time and place determined by the Chairman.

Section 4. Service in the National Militia.

(A) All members of the National Militia shall serve two years active duty service at the discretion of the Chairman.

(B) Members of the National Militia who are concurrently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, although required to register as members of the National Militia, are exempt from the service described in subsection (A) of this section.

(C) Members of the National Militia who have served two years or more on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, although required to register as members of the National Militia, are exempt from the service described in subsection (A) of this section.


(D) All members of the National Militia shall be solely responsible for the “arms” owned or possessed by the respective members. Such arms must be secured, to the satisfaction of the Chairman, so as to absolutely prohibit the use of the arms by any person who has not complied with the provisions of Section 3 of this statute.


Section 5. Penalties.

(A) Failure by any member of the National Militia to comply with any registration or transfer of ownership provisions of Section 3 , or the service provisions of Section 4, shall be cause for immediate confiscation of “arms” in possession of the member, and such member shall be incarcerated for 10 years or until compliance is effected.

(B) Failure by any member of the National Militia to comply with the provisions of section 4(D) concerning securing arms in their ownership or possession shall be incarcerated for 10 years.

(C) Any member of the National Militia who fails to secure arms in their possession pursuant to section 4(D) shall be civilly liable to any person injured by use of the arms. The United States District Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any civil lawsuit initiated pursuant to this subsection.

(D) The Bankruptcy Code is hereby amended to add a new section, to wit Section 523(a)(20) of the Bankruptcy Code, to exclude from discharge “any debt incurred pursuant to a judgment under subsection 5 (C) of the Well Regulated Militia Act.”


Section 6. Authority to Enact Regulations.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution contemplates a “well regulated militia”. The Chairman shall have the power to approve such regulations, consistent with this statute, as shall be appropriate to implement the provisions herein.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:08 PM   #2219
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Did you just call me Coltrane? View Post
It's not even really political will - if a Republican comes out for gun control his/her political career is over. That political will results in losing the next election.
The political will has to come from the people.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:28 PM   #2220
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Originally Posted by Greedy,Greedy,Greedy View Post
Guns are a problem, but just as big a problem is the gun culture. Laws can begin to erode it, but somewhere we need a society that expresses disgust when someone proudly assembles an automatic weapon arsenal and runs around shooting stuff for fun.
We have that already. The problem is, it exists in non-rural areas. It does not exist where it is needed.

John Edwards had the best descriptive: This is two countries. In many more ways than he described.
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