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Arm me with

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, February 23rd, 2018 - 186 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The Florida school massacre has created a groundswell I hope will result in America being a better place.

There is a growing group of politicised young people demanding that things are changed so that they and their friends and other young people in their situation no longer face the prospect of being indiscriminately killed.

Watching from afar it is really impressive. Young people demanding that things should be made better and they should not face the prospect of dying at their schools. Passionate young people saying the system is broken because massacres have happened again and again and we need to do better.

And POTUS decided to enter the debate by proposing that teachers are armed.

His response is so inane, so insensitive, so underwhelming. Imagine proposing the arming of teachers and school employees and thinking this would reduce the incidence of gun killings. Imagine thinking that the secret to less gun killings is more guns.

Elements of the right have been attacking the students. Apparently they are all Democrat operatives.



And the NRA has gone full wingnut. From the Guardian:

The head of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) has broken his silence more than a week after the Florida school shooting with a vituperative attack on gun control advocates, accusing them of exploiting the tragedy to push their agenda.

Wayne LaPierre, whose lobby group faces an unprecedented challenge from the activism of students, including survivors of the massacre, sought to paint his opponents as “elites” and “socialists” hellbent on undermining Americans’ constitutional rights.

“The elites don’t care not one whit about America’s school system and schoolchildren,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor in Maryland. “If they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. For them, it’s not a safety issue, it’s a political issue.

“They care more about control, and more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the second amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all individual freedoms… They hate the NRA, they hate the second amendment, they hate individual freedom.”

Apparently wanting to stop gun violence is Socialist and an attack on the second amendment which apparently was a gift from God.

LaPierre sought to put the warnings in the wider context of a “socialist enemy” within, who he said “oppose our fundamental freedoms enshrined in the bill of rights”. He claimed that the Communist Manifesto and Karl Marx were ascendent on university campuses, describing socialism as “a political disease”.

The NRA chief warned the packed ballroom: “You should be anxious and you should be frightened. If these so-called European socialists take over the House and the Senate and, God forbid, they win the White House again our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever, and the first to go will be the second amendment to the US constitution” – the right to bear arms.

But the groundswell is really uplifting. Like teachers who are advocating that their being armed with things other than guns could actually achieve a lot of good.  The twitter hashtag #armmewith has many, many good examples.

And to all the students all I can say is respect.  Like to Emma Gonzales who gave this outstanding speech at a recent rally.

Hopefully some good will come from this. Like an improved democracy and the reduction of the influence of the NRA in the halls of power.

186 comments on “Arm me with ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    As for the fatuous conceit that an armed population can defend itself against tyranny…

    Don’t have these illusions of standing up to the government, and needing military style rifles for that purpose. You’re not going to stand up to the government with this thing. They’d take you out in about half a second.

    “Fuck you. I like guns!”

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      As for the fatuous conceit that an armed population can defend itself against tyranny…

      First, you have to accept that government tyranny exists, or can exist.

      Which it can, and has done even in recent times.

      • North 1.1.1

        CV @ 1.1 – “First, you have to accept that government tyranny exists, or can exist. Which it can, and has done even in recent times.”

        CV ???. These are the words of the 30% who fancy to understand that Trump and a Trump dominated Congress are NOT “the government”. That a Deep State crypto-government owns the US and Trump is the messianic saviour of the ‘little’ (white) man, uniquely equipped to resist.

        But these words are also yours CV. Wow ! Did estrangement from our domestic Left damage you that badly ?

        I seriously now contemplate the odds of imminent civil-war-like unrest in the US. How would Trump play that ? Like X-Box ?

        • Colonial Viper

          Thanks for your amateur psychotherapy

          As for civil war like unrest in the USA, just look at Occupy or BLM.

          All under Obama.

  2. JohnSelway 2

    Ahhh the noble career of a teacher. The passion to impart wisdom, teach young minds to think critically combined with the skills of military veteran and the fun of stalking a shooter through the halls of a school after watching several of your students be gunned down.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    The names of the students are probably already on a list somewhere in the NSA or elsewhere as potential progressive activists to be kept an eye on.

  4. Michelle 4

    I noticed they said the latest shooter Cruz has a mental illness based on the what I have read he isn’t the only one sick there appears to be some very very sick people in America including those leading the country

    • KJT 4.1

      Funny how mentally ill people in almost every other country, do not kill other people!

      • Visubversa 4.1.1

        And how it is only “mentally ill” men in America who go berserk with guns. Do they have no mentally ill women?

      • Leonhart Hunt 4.1.2

        Well, they do but in the US the mentally ill can buy guns. On more serious note, did you read the statement by the foster family? He went to get counselling, but his insurance wouldn’t cover it, so he couldn’t get help.

        • KJT

          I suggest it wasn’t mental illness that caused the shooting, but bullying, exclusion and the particularly US cultural meme, that shooting people, is the way to solve your problems.

          Mentally ill people have enough problems with prejudice, without the idea of the crazed shooter. Which is a cop out. The mentally ill are statistically less likely to harm others than the general population. Unless you regard an unconcern for other people, in itself, as an illness.

          It absolves society from addressing issues such as, bullying, poverty, racism and prejudice., and in the US, the casual ubiquity of firearms in the community. “Oh, he was just mentally ill!”.

  5. Whispering Kate 5

    Once again there is this passing the buck game going on. Now its the teachers, what the hell are they thinking of, as if teachers are going to get badged and carry guns – an insult and so typical of our world today. First they came for the doctors to be able to legally euthanise people when they are there to care for us and keep us alive, now its the teachers who are trained to impart life skills and academic knowledge expected to do the Government’s dirty work for them. Their Leader needs to be removed, the US gun laws are an embarrassment enough without their leader endorsing teachers to be hired guns in the classroom.

  6. Sanctuary 7

    The American paradox: “We have the greatest system of government the world has ever seen and we are the only free people! Also, I need my guns to protect me from that very same system of government, who are a wannabe dictatorship controlled by a global socialist conspiracy”.

  7. One Two 8

    indiscriminately killed

    Globally, by The War Machine…

    Barking up the wrong tree…again…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Please tell us what you think the authors should be writing about.

    • Siobhan 8.2

      And then we have the fact that Trump basically won the US election thanks to all the free coverage he received from the Media (The US Media, not the Russians).
      Sure, it might have been negative, but that ‘negativity’ just served to reinforce his voters, not to mention, the media obsession with Trump and his fellow Republicans totally drowned out Bernie.
      And it continues, compare how much time is spent covering Trump vs any other world leader.
      This issue of political coverage is well documented in America, but its the same story in NZ with our MSM coverage, and even political blogs.
      Imagine a world we we were kept more up to date with progressive policies/protests and individuals in whatever country, than with nutters and their Tweets.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1

        Despite all that media attention. Trump still lost the popular vote by a considerable margin.

        Had Clinton not been a poor candidate from a bought party, I doubt he’d’ve stood a chance. Bernie, although he was a better candidate, would still have been from a bought party.

        The Republicans are demonstrably worse in every respect.

        • Colonial Viper

          Despite all that media attention. Trump still lost the popular vote by a considerable margin.

          But he won the individual states by a considerable margin.

          And Trump won the popular vote in the USA excluding Ca.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Had Clinton not been a poor candidate from a bought party, I doubt he’d’ve stood a chance. Bernie, although he was a better candidate, would still have been from a bought party.

            The Republicans are demonstrably worse in every respect.

          • red-blooded

            CV, it may have escaped your notice that California is part of the US. That’s what the “United” bit means, in the name.

            If your ongoing support for the awful train wreck that is DJT wasn’t so sad it would be comical. Not doing too well in “draining the swamp”, is he? Still, the super rich are having a good time, so that’s something, I suppose…

            • Colonial Viper

              If your ongoing support for the awful train wreck that is DJT wasn’t so sad it would be comical. Not doing too well in “draining the swamp”, is he? Still, the super rich are having a good time, so that’s something, I suppose…

              1) Record lowest black unemployment ever.
              2) Lowest hispanic unemployment for 4 decades.
              3) Record highest small business confidence ever.
              4) Black and hispanic approval ratings of Trump now higher than their 2016 vote for Trump. (Economist/YouGov).


              • red-blooded

                And “draining the swamp” (which is what my comment focused on)..?

                The US, like other places, has been bouncing back from the GEC. While the unemployment rate is higher than pre-crisis, other figures are better than they were These trends don’t just begin with the election of the Donald, though. But then I suspect you know that.

          • North

            The electoral college was down to 88,000 votes in three states. Not linking because the verification is readily available on the search engines. As is the nearly 3 million popular vote majority for the person who is not the president. Spin it how you like Ms Huckabee @

            • Colonial Viper

              Winning the states is the only thing which counts constitutionally if you want the White House.

              Regardless, and although the popular vote is entirely irrelevant, Trump won that too (when excluding Ca.)

        • adam

          How many times do we have to explain on this site, that the USA has a broken electoral college system, which each candidate are aware of before they run.

          The popular vote is utterly irrelevant, and at this point if you don’t get that, somthing is seriously wrong with your understanding of how the USA works.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Way to miss the point.

            Here it is again:

            Sioban: Trump basically won the US election thanks to all the free coverage he received from the Media

            OAB: Despite all that media attention. Trump still lost the popular vote

            The point being that a stronger candidate than Clinton, from a less shit party that the Democrats, would probably have won.

            Do you honestly believe that I don’t know what the electoral college is nor how it works? Why do you suppose I used the phrase “popular vote” in the first place?

            • adam

              No, I think your being dishonest by talking about the popular vote.

              It’s a straw man argument in the context of the USA presidential elections, and now I know, you know it.

              Your making connections where there are not any in Siobhan’s argument, you do that a lot by the way.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                And I think you’re being incapable of grasping the point I made, not for the first time, and projecting your bile onto me. I am not the pain in your mind, Adam.

                • adam

                  And your avoiding any criticism, but that’s OK, I get you have difficulty being called on your shit.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Ok then, I’ll spell it out for you: Clinton was a shit candidate from a shit party, and yet Trump only won via the electoral college, which suggests that he wasn’t a particularly strong candidate either.

                    A better candidate would have beaten him. If you can’t grasp the argument now, that’s on you.

                    • adam

                      Here what Sioban said “then we have the fact that Trump basically won the US election thanks to all the free coverage he received from the Media”

                      Your the one who added h.r.c, and your the one who added the popular vote.

                      I just pointed out in context of your rebuttal the popular vote argument is a strawman. Much like your whole argument, off topic.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      and yet Trump only won via the electoral college

                      uh, that’s the only way to win the White House, constitutionally.

      • red-blooded 8.2.2

        Hell, yes, the media are culpable for their role in giving star power to DJT. That doesn’t preclude Russian interference, though. It doesn’t have to be either/or. Neither you nor I have seen the full evidence yet, but you seem to have made up your mind.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          No-one will ever know if the attempt to influence succeeded. Lots of the evidence that the attempt was made is already out there. As further evidence comes to light, I have every confidence that those who’ve already made up their minds will stick to their guns and concoct increasingly contradictory alternative “explanations”.

        • Siobhan

          If the Russians can swing an election with the fb posts I’ve seen then The Democrats should ask for their money back from whomever was in charge of their online election campaign.

          Jill Stein puts it nicely..


          • Colonial Viper


          • red-blooded

            1) Just what do you imagine the Dems could have done that wouldn’t have been dismissed as election hype, hysteria, an attack on Sanders, trying to provide a distraction from the oh-so-dreadful emails things…whatever? Trump and his robot pals would have had a field day! Sanders doesn’t say – just “should have done more”.
            2) Also note, from your link: all the while saying he was unaware that Russians were boosting his campaign. I note that both of your links come from people who were being boosted in this way. I’m not saying they knew – I doubt they did – but it’s interesting that you’ve shifted from saying that there was no such boosting to saying that there was, but Bernie didn’t know.
            3) But in a series of follow-up statements, Sanders refocused his rhetoric on strongly condemning the Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election and attacked anyone who might try and undermine the special counsel investigation. What would he say about your earlier comment, then, I wonder?

            ps – You’ve gotta worry when all-out Trumpeteer CV gives you a +1!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Strawman argument is a strawman.

          • Bill

            I might just have to keep saying this.

            When US citizens push bullshit click-bait out through social media platforms, it’s for financial gain.

            When Greek citizens push bullshit click-bait out through social media platforms, it’s for financial gain.

            When Chinese citizens push bullshit click-bait out through social media platforms, it’s for financial gain.

            Why then, when it’s Russian citizens pushing bullshit click-bait out through social media platforms are we to suddenly conclude it’s government interference?

            Meanwhile, major political players in the US can command the lead stories in CNN, BBC, ABC….(and front page headlines in) The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde Diplomatique….

            But we’re to believe that a clutch of facebook posts has the potential to counter or outweigh all that shit?! It would be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact so many people believe it to be a reasonable claim.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Why then, when it’s Russian citizens pushing bullshit click-bait out through social media platforms are we to suddenly conclude it’s government interference?

              Who concluded it “suddenly”? Evidence of the nature and purpose of the IRA’s activities has been circulating for years, including, allegedly, in their own words.

              we’re to believe that a clutch of facebook posts has the potential to counter or outweigh all that shit?

              The FBI will try and persuade a court that the attempt was made, not that it was successful.

              There is no known evidence that Russia’s interference operation was successful or changed the election outcome in any way.


              • adam

                So from russian interference, trump broke the law being bed with the russians, – To somthing sort of happened, kinda, maybe, and it was probably not successful. But it was the Russians I tell you, the Russians.

                And you wonder why people think it’s a horse excrement argument.

                Seriously let it go, deal with real stuff, like a massive increase in military spending, and an expansion of the surveillance state.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  from russian interference, trump broke the law being bed with the russians, – To somthing sort of happened, kinda, maybe

                  No, that’s an inaccurate summation. If you can’t articulate the allegations, I don’t think much of your chances of refuting them.

                  let it go, deal with real stuff,

                  If you can’t articulate the allegations, your opinion of what is “real stuff” is questionable.

                  No-one will ever know if the SIS interference in the 2014 NZ election affected the outcome. I don’t recall anyone suggesting we should let that go.

                  No, wait, it was probably BM.

                  • adam

                    “If you can’t articulate the allegations” = If you can’t parrot the party line shut up!!

                    Let me fix that for you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So you can’t articulate my position either.

                      I’d love to hear a coherent set of alternative explanations for the various known facts and allegations that have been levelled.

                      However, the chief suspect/prime victim keeps changing his story.

                      I’m not suggesting you shut up, Adam, but if you’re going to post arguments with massive holes, I’m going to drive trucks through them, which after all, is no more than you are attempting to do.

                    • adam

                      I’m not the one arguing in favour of a conspiracy theory.

                      I’m just one of many who are tired of hearing about it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Go to sleep if you’re tired. You don’t get to tell other people what to discuss.

                    • adam

                      Get some air, you don’t get to tell people what to think.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Good thing I didn’t then.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Don’t worry OAB, it’s built into Adam 8999’s algorithm that he’ll eventually and inevitably call everyone a Nazi, a Stalinist or a girl. I already managed a couple of those quite rapidly.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      he’ll eventually and inevitably call everyone a Nazi, a Stalinist or a girl.

                      projecting much

                    • rhinocrates

                      Not at all. Let’s see, now “projecting” refers to the attribution of one’s own qualities to others. So where have I called people Stalinists, Nazis or girls? “Petal” and “poppet” are his favourite insults, so you’ll have to do better than insinuations. He’s a misogynist, just like you. And it was you, a few bans ago, that said that Hitler made Germany great, so your discrimination might be a bit dubious in that area too.

                      Yes I admit that I have called people Nazis. People who call themselves Nazis. I’m really only being courteous is accepting their self-definition.

                      As for being a girl? I really want to know why that’s contemptible. Care to enlighten me?

                    • adam

                      I don’t think I’ve ever spelt petel right.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Maybe you’re holding your crayon in the wrong hand.

                      Perhaps you can tell me why being a girl is so contemptible and why you so often resort to gendered/homophobic insults?

                      A continuing and serious problem with this site that has been noted by moderators such as Weka is that this is not a woman-friendly space. At the very least, you are not helping.

                    • Bill

                      All of you would be wise to abandon this bullshit exchange. Now.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Bill, you are not the moderator of this thread. Mickey Savage has that privilege. I will defer to him

                      The fact remains, CV has praised Hitler and Adam persistently uses misogynist insults when it has been repeatedly pointed out that The Standard has a serious problem in making a safe space for women.

                      I’ve frankly had enough of Adam’s hatred of women.

                      Call that “bullshit” if you like. In that case, I’ll know where your priorities are.

                      [The first six words are all I need to read. Good-bye. You’ve been around long enough to know how this site works and to know there is no moderator hierarchy and that commenters don’t get to pick and choose who may or may not moderate given comments. Two days (and yes, it should be longer, but I’m feeling magnanimous). Exclusive.] – Bill

              • Bill

                Who concluded it “suddenly”?

                Really OAB?

                So let me reword that sentence for you in a way that the original meaning is retained.

                “Why then, when it’s Russian citizens pushing click-bait out through social media platforms are we to conclude it’s government interference”

                Running an argument off the back of a redundant word in a sentence is a new one!

                However, since you mention it. These “years” you speak of. How many? Two? Three?

                And what “evidence” are you referring to that is different from that which pertains to Greek teens or any other person or persons running click bait through social media platforms for ad revenue?

                I wonder if you’re aware just how much you’re buying into a particular line when you point out that The FBI will try and persuade a court that the attempt was made, not that it was successful. …as though that’s anything other than utterly irrelevant.

                The Guardian. The Washington Post and the New York Times previously published cogent articles explaining absolutely everything that we are now to suspect as being of nefarious “anti-democratic” intent with regards social media platforms and click-bait “because Russia”.

                There was no interference operation.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!

                  Donald J Trump.

                  As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain, whereas in the past it was difficult to attribute…

                  HR McMaster.

                  Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President…

                  Donald J Trump.

                  Your certainty that “There was no interference operation” is yours, Bill. Others do not share it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  PS: before you start accusing me of buying into lines again, I am not certain of anything.

                  • Bill

                    Well, you did base a statement on the acceptance of particular propaganda in your previous comment (hence my remark). But now you’re just being disingenuous.

                    When you used the quote including the term “interference operation” it was in reference to social media click-bait stuff (or at least that was what the rest of your comment was about).

                    So when I wrote that there was no interference operation, I was obviously referring to social media click-bait stuff.

                    As for any government seeking to influence another country’s election, well, as has been said again and again, it’s happening all of the time.

                    But no government has a “cunning ploy” to use a plethora of inconsistent click-bait pieces on facebook to undermine another county’s political process ffs.

                    Donald Trump pieces were popular, not because someone was thinking it might get him into the White House, but because they generated revenue for those doing the seeding.

                    This (though they now seem to be suffering from some form of collective amnesia) has all been previously and quite thoroughly explained by mainstream liberal outlets such as The Guardian, The Washington Post and New York Times as well as other less mainstream or popular media outlets.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      you did base a statement on the acceptance of particular propaganda in your previous comment

                      Not sure I did Bill. Evidence is not proof, and I made no assessment of the FBI’s chances of making their case.

                      I try to be careful not to express certainty in this matter, because I am not certain. You might say I’m 70-90% confident, but that’s overstating it where some of the allegations are concerned.

                      Is it really your position that you are 100% confident that “social media clickbait stuff” cannot influence the outcome of en election*? Or that you are 100% confident that the IRA had no such aim?

                      Or some third thing I haven’t thought of.

                      *and if so, does this certainty extend to our domestic “dirty politics” – Goff, the SIS and all that?

                    • Bill

                      Click bait posts do not and can not influence an election. Think about it. The sentiment or opinion being “played” must already exist (if the post is going to generate traffic and income).

                      Targeted ads probably have a degree of influence (eg – the shenanigans of Cambridge Analytics).

                      The IRA have not been accused of targeting ads. Everything being leveled at the IRA is 100% consistent with a money making venture based on generating click-bait posts.

                      “Dirty politics” and what-not is straying even further from the point, and I struggle to see why those things are even mentioned.

        • Colonial Viper

          Hell, yes, the media are culpable for their role in giving star power to DJT.

          Clinton asked her MSM contacts to elevate Trump as her campaign saw believed that he was the loose cannon which would destroy Republican chances. They did as she asked. She was wrong.

  8. adam 9

    I see the NRA went full Neo-McCarthyism.

    The bit I don’t understand, is the democratic party in the Obama years had control of the house, and the senate – it also had enough numbers to not allow a filibuster. And yet they did not pass any gun control laws.

    Which brings a two fold response from me. One: all the people attacking the democratic party for 2nd amendment stuff are idiots. And two: what is wrong with the democratic party, that they can’t actually get their act together, to act – I’d suggest it’s another sign of corporate money in politics polluting the USA system.

    Well done kids, you exposing the corruption of money in politics. That probably makes you an enemy of the corporate state.

    In the end, expect more Neo-McCarthyism.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      The NRA said Obama was going to hand gun-control over to the UN. So they’ve been “Neo-McCarthyites” for a while now. And also, by your definition, idiots.

      Money and propaganda can be very effective.

      Now ‘the kids’ have received $1M* from Clooney and Oprah, it’ll interesting to see what money and passion can achieve, if anything.

      *small potatoes in the scheme of things, or maybe small acorns 🙂

    • dukeofurl 9.2

      Democrats didnt ‘control the Senate’ after 2008 election

      Lieberman was an independent by that stage and Bernie Sanders , independent of Vermont, was pro gun. They were part of the caucus which decided committee jobs etc but still didnt control individual senators votes for every issue.

      Obamas replacement Senator from Illinois was a republican. Plus when Kennedy died the election was won by Brown a republican ( and current ambassador to NZ)

      There was only a small window ‘in the Obama years’ when the house and Senate had a ‘democratic plus independent’ majority.
      Very small window

      You need to understand the party ‘control’ dosnt exist in US like it does here.
      All candidates have to raise their own funds and have their own election promises. Some candidates are very aligned with nationwide party program others hardly at all.

      • adam 9.2.1

        I understand the system all too well – all the horse trading that goes on. They had a window though no matter how small it is. They did nothing. Didn’t even talk about it.

        So big thanks for backing the point that the democratic party can’t get it’s act together. Many because of money, corporate money.

        • rhinocrates

          A notable diversion from the fact that Sanders has been pro-gun, pro-NRA in his voting record. If he was such an independent thinker, why was he so pro-gun, pro-NRA? Was it money, or is he damn stupid and callous?

          • adam

            So not supporting the doing over of small business in now pro gun. You know he got a “d-” from the NRA – so your assertion is a bit off the mark. I know not perfect, but hey, not wanting people to lose their livelihoods, or be prosecuted from a law that would have hurt small business people. Not the people who produce the guns and or ammo. I think taking the time and reading the whole bill, and seeing bad outcomes, is somthing we want more in our politicians, not less.

            But let’s put that aside – because let’s face it, Sanders is far from perfect. He supported h.r.c. rather than the better candidate, Jill Stein. That is a personal opinion.

            • KJT

              Vermont is a huntin, shootin, fishing State.

              I suspect Saunders is representative of his constituents, not the six gun totin Texans.

    • Nic the NZer 9.3

      Actually improving things for constituents has a mostly short term payoff in politics. If your fortunate it pays off and you get votes for the thing you did for a while. There is a long term payoff to being the only reasonable advocate on the political spectrum for their interests, while drawing the work on those issue out over a longer time-frame.

  9. Jess NZ 10

    The best defense is not a better offense, but this is the foundation of the USA and its military industrial economy. Too many in the US believe it deeply and personally, regardless of contrary historical evidence. So escalation is the only conceivable solution, for them.

    Until that changes, nothing significant will change for them or the rest of the world.

  10. jcuknz 11

    The sad point is that the Dems are more to the right than our National Party and you cannot support them because you are left wing by NZ standards.

    I don’t think changing laws will help much .. somehow the culture needs to change.
    Trump may be good at business but he’s not at changing the gun culture that is USA yet across the border in Canada it is absent. I think Hollywood in reflecting the ‘wild west’ gun culture is a serious part of the problem which is liable to infect the rest of the world

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      liable to infect the rest of the world

      The USA has been exporting arms in epic quantities since at least the 1960s. The rest of the world persistently refuses to join them in mass shooting statistics.

      In the USA, the Right says Hollywood is wall-to-wall Commies. Here, we claim Hollywood is wall-to-wall Neoliberals.

  11. Bill 12

    What I “love” about Trump is that he’s just constantly laying the somewhat stupid and somewhat sick, dominant strain of the US psyche out there for all to see.

    Not for him, the “decency” of being circumspect.

  12. Johnr 13

    If, as the NRA suggests, arming citizens for their own protection is the answer, why isn’t America the safest place on earth.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      The former is a micro-scale, personal response to trying to live day to day in a dangerous environment.

      The latter confirms your understanding that many areas in the USA represent a dangerous environment.

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    Hardening of civilian targets, eg armed guards at the egress/ingress points of schools eg like with US bank branches, and “School Marshals” on the grounds (similar to the “Air Marshall” system on planes) will be an immediate and effective response to both reducing future school shootings, and if they occur, minimising the damage caused by restricting attacker activity allowing SWAT to respond.

    in conjunction with far better reporting and follow up of potential problem students and ex-students, this an immediate solution, imperfect as it is.

    • red-blooded 14.1

      CV, you seem to have become an enthusiastic member of the Mad Hater’s Tea Party!

      The more people carry guns, the more opportunities there are for mass shootings. Do you imagine that there’ll never be a school guard with mental health issues? (After all, what an awful, soul destroying job that would be!) And do you really want US schoolkids to have to live with the feeling of a police state and constant reminder of violence and gun thuggery that armed guards would create? See the link the further mental health problems on the way? No, I guess you don’t.

      Arming people in schools is nothing like an “immediate solution” – it would further cement the insanity of believing that the only way to deal with the threat of guns is through more guns. That approach hasn’t worked out too well for the US so far, has it? It’s time they tried something else. Obama was keen to try but blocked by Republican control of the Senate (and then House as well). Your guy Mr T repealed the only control he got over the line pretty much as soon as he took office. Trump could, if he wanted to, step up and make changes. He won’t, unless absolutely forced into it by public opprobrium, and even then it’s likely to be weak stuff. But the movement against the NRA and their dreadful, deranged enablers has to continue and gain more force. Whoever replaces Trump has to feel that pressure and hopefully be enabled to act.

      It won’t be a quick fix – it’s likely to be many small increments, but it’s got to be better than putting armed people in school doors and hallways!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        One gun to rule them all,
        and in the darkness bind them.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        I understand your ideological objections, and every solution comes with its own set of risks and drawbacks I agree.

        But target hardening combined with improved information reporting and law enforcement is the only practical, immediate way ahead.

        The more people carry guns, the more opportunities there are for mass shootings.

        This might be true if unstable, disgruntled and resentful kids are the only people with guns in schools.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The cop at the scene didn’t even go into the school. So much for target hardening.

          Sending cops with side arms up against a kid with an AR15. Nek minnit, Trump proposes Apache helicopters in schools.

          • Colonial Viper

            The FBI didn’t even bother to check up on the kid after being given detailed and direct tip-offs.

            Law enforcement was a joke in this case.

            Your comment reinforces that.

            This is the same law enforcement that people now want to use to try and confiscate 10 million AR-15s.

          • Colonial Viper

            The local sherriff’s office also received multiple calls concerned about Cruz’ behaviour over an extended period of time.

            Including two calls containing specific, actionable information.

            Nothing appears to have been done.

            This is the law enforcement that people now want to go around confiscating 10 million AR-15s.


            • Muttonbird

              Those are both instances of a culture tolerant of weapons in the hands of anyone and everyone rather than a specific failure of law enforcement.

              • Colonial Viper

                -FBI failed to act on multiple tip offs.
                -Local sherriffs office failed to act on multiple tip offs.
                -Local sherriff’s deputy failed to intervene in shooting even though he was armed, in uniform and on the school campus.

                With this kind of performance I understand why some Americans don’t want to rely on law enforcement authorities for their protection.

                • Muttonbird

                  Meh. A cultural structure which sees nothing wrong with every single citizen carrying concealed and unconcealed weapons is not going to have law enforcement agencies willing or capable of responding to tip offs and direct threats.

                  • One Two


                    You have not given a valid response…your position is incorrect…

                    Excuses excuses…

                    Self preservation…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    is not going to have law enforcement agencies willing or capable of responding to tip offs and direct threats.

                    Thanks for confirming the view that these agences are sometimes worse than useless at protecting life.

                    • Muttonbird

                      It’s amazing how difficult it is to protect life with so many weapons in circulation and zero regard to who gets access to them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You had an armed sherriff’s deputy in exactly the right spot at the right time, in uniform and on duty. Assuming a semi-automatic handgun with ~16 rounds in the clip – it’s not exactly nothing especially indoors at ranges of less than 10m.

                      Did nothing. Didn’t even try. Total fail.

                      No wonder some choose to protect themselves instead of relying on the authorities.

                    • Muttonbird

                      You are deliberately ignoring the escalatory effect. What use a ‘mall cop’ when the perpetrators have increasingly superior weapons and increasingly complicated and dangerous psychoses?

                      That’s indicative of the Trump supporter though, cognitive failure replaced by blind and angry reverence.

                • red-blooded

                  There are mentally unwell, and even dangerous people in every society, CV. There are failures of law enforcement and of mental health agencies everywhere. And yet in the US there are regular outbreaks of mass shootings that don’t occur elsewhere. Golly, I wonder what the difference might be..?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    They don’t post enough armed “jokes” at the door.

                    • McFlock

                      Cops with guns failed. Teachers with guns will help. Sounds legit, lol

                      Not to mention that at school I saw more than one teacher spit the dummy. Sure, arm the people who have to deal with snotty teens all day, that can’t possibly go wrong. lol

                    • weka

                      “Not to mention that at school I saw more than one teacher spit the dummy. Sure, arm the people who have to deal with snotty teens all day, that can’t possibly go wrong”


                    • Antoine

                      Obviously, the solution is to arm students so they can defend themselves from the teachers. Duh


            • red-blooded

              Ideally, law enforcement folk would get it right every time. We all know that this is unrealistic, though – there are going to be misjudgements and errors. In a country in which anyone and everyone can access semi-automatic weapons and there’s a casual acceptance of carrying of military-style arms (or guns of any kind) these errors are far more likely to contribute to large scale, tragic outcomes.

              • Muttonbird

                No. CV now wants razor wire and body scanners at every school in every town in the entire US.

                • McFlock

                  But he calls it “target hardening” because that’s what Alex Jones called it lol

                  • Muttonbird

                    Yep. A rank euphemism. And he accused me of trying to disguise.

                    It’s pretty corrupt of that commenter but then that’s their stock in trade.

                • Colonial Viper

                  No. CV now wants razor wire and body scanners at every school in every town in the entire US.

                  Thanks for your delusional fill-in.

                  Never said such a thing.

                  Guess you can’t beat my arguments so you have to make some up.

                  • Muttonbird

                    You have no arguments, just platitudes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1) Civilian target hardening is a pratical and immediate solution, albeit imperfect.

                      2) Law enforcement authorities have proven time and time and time again to be too incompetent/useless/negligent to be relied upon.

                      3) There is no prospect of banning the ownership of some 10 million AR-15s in the populace.

                      4) Many gun control measures need to be implemented and tightened up eg. background check loopholes, clip size limitations, etc.

                      5) Bipartisan measures with the support of the NRA and the White House are the most likely to pass legislative hurdles and become actual law.


                    • Muttonbird


                      1) Razor wire everything in sight.

                      2) They’re probably fine but have 10 fucking million AR-15s to watch.

                      3) Existing automatics are fine and lets sell more.

                      4) Tinkering. Surprising when you call for massive reform in other areas of social policy.

                      5) Delusional. I don’t think you believe it yourself.


                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you want to argue against your own fake rhetorical positions, do feel free.

                      Oh you are.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Yeah, I’ll just keep going until your next ban.


              • Colonial Viper

                red-blooded said:

                Ideally, law enforcement folk would get it right every time

                Law enforcement (both local and federal) had about 40 chances to get it right with Cruz. Including on the day itself. How many more chances did you want to give them?

                • Muttonbird

                  Legislators on gun control had several hundred chances to get it right with Cruz.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You can bitch about the last 8 years of Obama all you want, but this is indeed one of his biggest failures.

                    Especially since the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate during his first term.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Thanks Obama. Labour did it too. Helen Clark. Monica Lewinsky.

                      Did I miss anything, nutter?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Democrats had control of both Congress, Senate and the White House only a few years ago.

                      Plenty of major educational shootings occurred during Obama’s time.

                      Yet Obama and the Democrats passed negligible gun control. Beyond irrelevant minor virtue signalling of course.

    • Ross 14.2


      Your comment about air marshalls is misplaced. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters, not guns. If kids turned up at school with only a box cutter, this issue wouldnt exist.

      You are dreaming if you think arming teachers will help. In fact it might result in more students being killed. A teacher with mental health issues? Lets give them a gun and show them how to use it! Just what a school needs…

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        Your comment about air marshalls is misplaced. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters, not guns.

        Your logic doesn’t follow. Would armed air marshalls not have stopped 9/11?

        You do understand that the planes were the weapons on 9/11, not the box cutters?

        If kids turned up at school with only a box cutter, this issue wouldnt exist.

        They don’t and so it does.

        You are dreaming if you think arming teachers will help. In fact it might result in more students being killed.

        Not sure who you are referring to, but I am not advocating for this.

        • red-blooded

          Well, your best bud Trump is not only advocating for arming teachers, he’s planning to pay armed teachers a bonus. Announced today.


          • Colonial Viper

            Trump’s nascent idea doesn’t fit into the (impossible) lefty goal of confiscating 10 million AR-15s so of course you’d consider it appalling.

            • red-blooded

              I’m a high school teacher. My colleagues in the US shouldn’t be expected to put themselves into the frontline against an armed person intent on committing mass murder. Nor should they have to live with the dreadfulness of having shot a mentally ill person (who may well be known to them) and very possibly injured and/or killed others in the mayhem of this kind of attack. They shouldn’t have their relationships with their students fundamentally distorted by the shared knowledge that they’re carrying a deadly weapon.

              And arming teachers is unlikely to be effective, anyway. Most people who conduct mass murder through shooting in crowds are fully intent on committing suicide and do so – either by shooting themselves or by involving themselves in a shootout with law enforcement. This latest shooting was unusual in having a perpetrator who walked away. Arming teachers is hardly going to stop such people, who intend ending their own lives and want to take as many people as possible with them.

              Plus, this is yet another step towards normalising the brutality that lies at the heart of gun culture. That’s the culture that has to be confronted and chipped away at, not enabled and further embedded.

              • Colonial Viper

                Once you’re done with your ideological and philosophical self-debating, come join us in the real world to work on some practical solutions. Ta.

                • Muttonbird

                  Like you live in the real world!

                  You’re an anarchist and a loner, angry with having been booted from the South Dunedin branch of the Labour party for being a dick and, if you don’t mind me saying, a real candidate for one of these incidents should you ever get your hands on the hardware.

    • joe90 14.3

      eg armed guards at the egress/ingress points of schools

      So, there are around 100,000 public schools in the US and the plan is to have x number of people in every school who can pass a background check and be willing to stand around all day every day just being there. Arm, equip and train them, and like all fire arms training it will be ongoing, to at the very least expert level marksmanship and pay them what – $30/40K with benefits?.

      The majority object to financing health care through taxation so I doubt they’ll willingly cough up for this particular fantasy.

      btw, shit like this, too


      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3.1

        Perhaps local white supremacist militia will offer their services for welfare cheques.

        • joe90


          if you wanna know what kind of personalities are disproportionately gonna sign up for getting to play self-deputized sheriff of their old high school all day every day: pic.twitter.com/HO80e0mZAZ— Zeddy (@Zeddary) February 21, 2018

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Failed basic training?
            Failed Police College?
            Failed to get a job as a security guard?
            Failed to find work as a parking warden?

            Never fear!

            • Colonial Viper

              No wonder so many Americans are not willing to leave their safety in the hands of law enforcement authorities.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I read that the first time you posted it. It’s very clever. Bravo.

              • Muttonbird

                Encouraging vigilantism. Wonder where that’ll end up?

                • Colonial Viper

                  When your life and your loved ones might be over in seconds, the police are waiting outside for minutes.

                  • Muttonbird

                    You expect one poorly trained school cop with a hand gun to take down a psycho with an automatic weapon?

                    Here’s a thought – don’t let the psycho get the gun.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Huh? Who had the automatic weapon?

                      Why is it so many on the left cry about gun control yet know nothing about guns?

                    • Muttonbird

                      You’re splitting hairs.

                      Other than that, I guess it’s because so many on the left aren’t gun crazy, unstable, spreaders of hate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re splitting hairs.

                      If you want to call the difference between firing one round per depression of the trigger (semi-auto), and firing 600-800 rounds per minute (full auto) as “splitting hairs” just to disguise your ignorance, please go ahead.

                      Oh you already have.

                    • Muttonbird

                      17 dead not enough for you? You’re focusing on the the difference between two very deadly styles of guns in order to distract from your very poor Trumpian argument.

                      I’d love to see you carry 800 rounds on a belt in that situation, btw.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Quite the contrary, 17 dead school kids is far more than acceptable. Hence my support for the immediate target hardening of every school in the USA, in whatever ways are deemed effective, appropriate and necessary.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I never occurs to you people that target hardening as you call it is red rag to a bull for the types who are driven to and capable of such crimes.

                      It never occurs to you people that access to the weapons enables those types to carry out these crimes.

                      I can’t quite understand how you accept that a prison-like security system and scanners at every entrance of every school in the country is going to help develop a bright future for the children of America.

                      And let’s face it, it’s only Trumps America we are talking about here because it is very, very rare elsewhere.

      • Colonial Viper 14.3.2

        The majority object to financing health care through taxation so I doubt they’ll willingly cough up for this particular fantasy.

        I can’t judge whether or not this is more or less fantastic than the idea of confiscating 10 million AR-15s from a resistant public.

        • adam

          Not when 75% of NRA members support gun control.

          Or the example of Australia, where by the most rabid gun supporter gave up their assault type weapons, when asked too nicely.

          Look the second amendment has this bit to it which most people forget, or want to ignore.

          “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.”

          Being a member of a well regulated militia will mean you can keep you guns. It is when you are not a member, I think they have no legs to stand on. To have and to own assault rifles like the AR-15 means you are not a supporter of the second amendment, but some sort of, well I don’t know what sort of muppet that is, as we don’t have a name for it in NZ.

          • Colonial Viper

            Not when 75% of NRA members support gun control.

            Now that might be the case, and I would have hoped that the number was higher, but I think you’ll find that fewer than one in ten of those support the banning of AR-15s from private ownership.

            “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.”
            Being a member of a well regulated militia will mean you can keep you guns.

            There have been debates around this ad nauseaum but your interpretation is but one.

            Another is – the ordinary populace shall always have the right to bear arms, so if a well regulated militia need be formed by this populace in the future, it can be.

  14. Pete 15

    Trump reckoned the issue was one of mental health.

    I heard Wayne LaPierre talking and thought maybe Trump was right. What he really was saying though was “You’d have to be fucken insane to believe this shit.”

  15. People would do well to remember that the Democrats have a shit record on gun control as well as the Republicans….


  16. ianmac 17

    The scaling down of gun ownership cannot really happen. Imagine the reality of asking/telling gun owners to hand in their weapons? They would find ways to continue and even if a Law was passed tomorrow it would take generations to become effective.
    It is a matter of changing attitudes like drink/driving but what a long time to do so.

    • Roflcopter 17.1

      Let people own as many weapons as they want…. ban/regulate ammunition instead.

      • Stuart Munro 17.1.1

        It’s a possible workaround. Still lets people collect and manufacturers sell their product. Doesn’t clash with the 2nd amendment per se.

        • Colonial Viper

          And/or regulate clip sizes for semi-automatic weapons.

          And eliminate the “gun fair loop hole” for background checks, while making the checks actually mean something in terms of information covered.

    • McFlock 17.2

      true, but you have to start somewhere.

      Besides, any country where the state legislature refuses to discuss gun control after a school massacre but then classes pornography as a health hazard needs generational change started as soon as possible.

  17. Andre 18

    Some of the comments above may be heading in the direction ‘follow up more on the mentally ill to identify and stop them before they commit the mass murder’. The problem with that is it will be overwhelmed with false positives. As explained here:


    Note that it’s a different argument than wanting more support for mental health so fewer people become sufficiently mentally ill to commit mass murder.

    • McFlock 18.1

      That’s the problem in a nutshell.

      FBI get a report that someone said something threatening on social media. If they spent five hours doing background checks and interviewing the folks (after having FB or whomever mandatorily deliver them the backend user information on the pretext of “someone said something that worried someone else”), that’s 15 million hours of work and they’d still not be able to figure out who actually is going to do something horrible.

  18. Whispering Kate 19

    Give the US enough rope and they will self annihiliate themselves over time by natural attrition, no country can survive with such a prolification of arms such as the business end the military would use. It beggars belief that a citizenry can be so tolerant of such laws. I have loved ones who live there and the fear is ever present they could be harmed. Why does the rest of the world even deal with them anymore. They need to be isolated to sort out their own mess they are in.

    I thought the world had progressed somewhat, it seems I am just disillusioned after all.

  19. solkta 20

    All they need to do is clone Clint Eastwood and have a Dirty Harry in every school. Bigger guns are the answer to guns.

  20. patricia bremner 21

    Those teachers were calling for resources to help the children in their schools.

    Guns are NOT resources. Books computers and teacher aides could make a difference.

    The gun culture is over ruling sense and costing lives. Change begins with the youth?

    This reminds me of Caligula and Rome. An out of control “autocracy”pretending to be a democracy.

  21. Cemetery Jones 22

    “Imagine thinking that the secret to less gun killings is more guns.”

    Imagine learning that Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed more people than Stephen Paddock.

    • patricia bremner 22.1

      So what has that to do with assisting children with mental and learning issues?

      Until it is illegal to sell weapons of war anywhere this situation won’t change.

      Until people do not buy guns things won’t change.

      Muslims did not form America’s gun laws.

      • Puckish Rogue 22.1.1

        So how you explain the relatively small gun deaths in NZ?

        • Andre

          New Zealand’s number of gun deaths is somewhat higher than the median for developed countries. There’s a chart about halfway down this article showing that.


          • Cemetery Jones

            Thanks for that link, Andre. If you dig into that chart and the numbers behind it, the researcher, Joshua Tewksbury, gives this as his data source: https://web.archive.org/web/20170207131949/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

            So while VOX start out using the metric which matters here (gun related homicide) in the graphic titled ‘Homicides by Firearm per 1 Million People’, Tewksbury’s chart correlates ‘Guns per 100 people’ and ‘Gun related deaths per 100,000 people’. And we can see from the data source that the definitions for ‘gun related deaths’ break down by homicides, suicides, unintentional, and undetermined. Tragically, there are no prizes for guessing which metric the bulk of those NZ numbers come from.

            So the VOX graphic which puts our ‘Homicides by Firearm per 1 Million People’ is clearly the more credible for assessing NZ’s situation (it puts us at 1.6 homicides by firearm per million people).

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          We have solid gun control in NZ – far, far stronger than the US. Personally I think we have the balance about right here, while the USA situation is plain and simple nuts.

          One of the biggest differences is that wanting a firearm for self defence is not a legitimate reason for firearm ownership in NZ, and evidence you want one for that purpose will preclude you from getting a firearms licence.

  22. Andre 24

    How do ordinary people do when given a bit of gun training and a gun deal with it when they have an active shooter situation on their hands? Worse than useless. People need very intensive stress-situation training with frequent refreshers to have a chance of being useful in responding.


  23. JohnSelway 25

    Simple way to do this – put on each presidential ballot a gun-control rider and see what the people decide

  24. Tom Barker 26

    The NRA’s advice to members on dealing with house fires:
    “Light another, better, stronger fire and use that to overcome the first fire.”

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  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
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