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October 27, 2008

Home of the Brave

By: Bernard Chazelle

As the economic skies darken, and soon so will the skin color in the Oval Office, Americans are doing the only sensible thing. They're rushing to purchase firearms and ammunition: 8 to 10 percent rise in sales this year alone.

"People are preparing for catastrophe right now," said Leyshion, 55, of Nokesville. "It's insurance. With the stock market crash and people out of work, and the illegal aliens in this area, the probability of civil disorder is very high."

Why worry about illegal aliens in our area when you can sing with me the glorious Minutemen Anthem: "Keep killing illegal, unless it's for killing the illegals."

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at October 27, 2008 11:42 AM

lower down the article makes it sound like presidential elections are the gun industry's christmas rush. there might be a hidden dynamic here of background campaign fear-mongering. too bad the article doesn't try to break gun sales out by region.

Posted by: hapa at October 27, 2008 12:52 PM

Could be bankers, brokers, drug dealers, gangs, and other criminals are arming themselves.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 27, 2008 03:54 PM

Nope, just regular folks.
"And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," Obama said.

Posted by: Don Bacon at October 27, 2008 07:38 PM

Welcome to Young Wild West Bernard. Americans love their penises, er guns, and no politician is going to commit political suicide by taking their little pop guns away from them. Though McCain’s campaign tactics have been disgusting lies – Obama is a socialist, Obama is a terrorist, etc. that does not mean that Obama is going to be doing great things or that he will be anything but the next imperial manager spreading death and destruction throughout the world. Obama may be half white but he is white as white can be in his world views even if the ridiculous fringe right does not understand that.

Posted by: Rob Payne at October 27, 2008 07:54 PM

Rob Payne: Yes but he'll only half as much money (adjusted for inflation) to conquer the world with. Failing infrastructure will siphon off much of that.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 27, 2008 08:33 PM

Mike, I hope you are right.

Posted by: Rob Payne at October 27, 2008 08:39 PM

Rupa Shah: NO need to be afraid, buy YOUR OWN firearm.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 27, 2008 10:54 PM

I don't see the problem Bernard. People like that aren't getting any more power or anything. Well unless people like you parrot what they say and give it some legitimacy.

I think the bottom line of racism is fear. People want to attack what they are afraid of. Now don't ask me to exlain the roots of that fear, but that's what it is. Heck the root of it is probably in survival fears, tribe vs tribe. To me there isn't really much excuse for it in our society, but if you wanna be ruled by your fears I'm not gonna stop you.

I finally ate some goat tonight! MMM Goat

Posted by: tim at October 27, 2008 11:51 PM

Goat is just the best roasted.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 28, 2008 12:25 AM

Rupa, I think the problem with your links is that they are ended with slashes. If you mouseover, you see they lead not to

but rather to

for whatever reason.

Posted by: StO at October 28, 2008 02:17 AM

People always say it's fear behind hatred, fear underlying racism. I'm not so sure. Having witnessed a lot of white racist bigotry as a white person in a right-wing family, being privy to what such people say when they're alone with each other, I think it's just straight-up hostility, a knee-jerk negative reaction. In public, they'll act like they're afraid of dark-skinned people, making up stories about the threat they supposedly pose, but among themselves they mock the vulnerability and perceived inferiority of blacks/Arabs/dark-skinned-immigrants/etc and joke about plotting against and harming them.

Posted by: deang at October 28, 2008 11:22 AM

Hey now. I bought a rifle (and am pending on a handgun) myself as a result of "the times". No, no, not the times with the country being "overrun" by illegal brown and non-english speakers. Not the times of rampant crime committed (only) by brown people. Not the time of fear that the commies are taking over the guvment and will force-collectivize us all.

No. I bought mine out of fear of the "Patriot" Act, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the Military Commissions Act, torture as policy, calling those opposed to the silly wars (or the heads of government championing them) "traitors" deserving the punishment traditionally rendered onto those who commit "treason", etc.

MY "buying spree" was driven by uneasiness on the creeping fascism taking over the country. The uneasiness over the full display of Disaster Capitalism being used against us. The uneasiness with the ever-crazier rantings of the Jesus Crazies of the reich wing actively seeking and praying for "Armageddon" and desperately praying for the "End Times" (and more than willing to do their parts to usher them in).

Not all gun buyers are reich wingers, racists, skin heads, toothless moron NASCAR fans, Hamm's drinking dumb fucks, etc. SOME of us who are buying these things are also strongly opposed to the (mostly now defunct) Minutemen and their fellow travelers.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates at October 28, 2008 01:19 PM

Preador Atrebates: EXACTLY!!!THANK GOD for the US CONSTITUTION AND THE 2ND AMENDENT. U know, WE've spread a lot of shit in the world, started a few unnecessary wars, and possibly, as a nation, bilked the world out 55 trillion bucks. WE got an OPENLY criminal administration with Congress as a crimepartner. When REALITY drops in, no matter how much YOU cry "Pacifist", The World will point its finger at YOU&I and say, "AMERICAN"!!! Think about it.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 28, 2008 03:23 PM

Praedor Atrebates:
Mike Meyer:

Being aginst guns and wars is a personal choice. I respect your choice to bear arms. Supreme court gave its verdict but it was limited and very close. However, guns have done more harm and killed ( specially family members by accident ) rather than protected an individual.

And I agree with you about all the things you have described Praedor Atrebates that have happened to our country in the past eight years and not all gun/rifle owners are as you have described them, but I do not believe ( strictly my opinion ) that having firearms will stop the people in power from doing what they have been doing and if they feel threatened about losing that power, police state will be declared and there will be "shoot if they resist" orders. Your weapons will be no match against theirs.

And Mike Meyer, as an American, I do feel responsible for what our country has done to other countries ( though I never supported any action by any administration that harmed anyone) and their people and in my own way, I try to make it right through constitutional rights given to me. However, I do not believe having firearms will give me more power to do it.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at October 28, 2008 04:16 PM

Rupa Shah:UR choice and I respect that.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 28, 2008 05:03 PM

Racism may play a part in fear of unknown. However, more often than not, in real life situations, communities are afraid of people who live in their own communities e.g. gang members carrying guns, drug dealers with guns etc. People can get shot just sitting out on their porch or standing at their window or a kid can get shot walking to school. So, it is not necessarily tribe vs tribe as you put it. Sadly poorer the neighbourhood ( and in turn, more run down and more neglected ), greater the chances of lawlessness and people wanting to protect themselves against it.

Racism plays no part in fear of the unknown. I said that racism is rooted in fear. I see no exceptions. Whether it is that angry white redneck (who I am one and know them well) whose 'superiority' is nothing more than defensive psychological mechanism against feeling inferior. Or angry black people who have historical and likely personal experiences to mak e them fear subjugation. I'll repeat: Racism is regrettable and I do not respect it, but all are entitled to their opinions.

And as for fear itself, well in addition to the old cliche, fear (terror) of one thing is no excuse for subjugation of another.

The bottom line with guns is that they do not create crime and they do not stop crime. However they can be used to do both. Any violence (including that caused by racism) is committed by decisions made by individuals, that is where you can point your opinions and your government. As far as I can see, unless any of you would like to personally come to my home and strip me of my self defense, against the highest law in the land, the issue is not even up for debate.

taking their little pop guns away from them
Rob Payne, you talk of the government monopoly on violence with an alarming flippancy.

Posted by: tim at October 28, 2008 05:55 PM

Education in all forms.

Teach Others and teach yourself. Learning from others. Reading books and writing books. Recommending books.

People on the internet, and off the internet. You know why John McCain is so sure he is gonna win? All those grannys out there with no internet. Word to the wise right there. Might be right too. Guess we'll find out in a week.

Posted by: tim at October 28, 2008 07:01 PM

"Racism may play a part in fear of unknown".
That is what I think. I was not attributing that to you. If you do not agree with that, you have a right to do so.

The bottom line with guns is that they do not create crime
Gun violence is considered one of the major public health problems in the inner city. Having seen it first hand, I can not agree with that.

And I would not dream of depriving anyone of her/his right granted by the constitution.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at October 28, 2008 07:04 PM

The bottom line with guns is that they do not create crime

Gun violence is considered one of the major public health problems in the inner city. Having seen it first hand, I can not agree with that.

I have seen it first hand also, maybe even participated in it a bit. But how can you blame inanimate pieces of metal for the actions of men?

Posted by: tim at October 28, 2008 07:33 PM

I guess, we look at things differently and perceive them differently so I will rest my case now.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at October 28, 2008 08:09 PM

Rupa Shah: I agree guns lead to gun violence, just as cannons lead to cannon violence, B52s lead to B52's violence and a sincere belief in Armagedon. That's why the human race should never have built nuclear devices. Before that it was knives, spears, swords, and arrows. To a hard heart even the very stones are a weapon.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 28, 2008 08:39 PM

Mike Meyer:
I do not get it. Are you saying that stones can be used as weapons? But isn't it true that in the earlier centuries, people were stoned to death? so, I can agree with you. And yes, even Oppenheimer regretted the fact that he had created an atomic device. Oppenheimer famously recalled the Bhagavad Gita: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.""
Yes, nuclear device should never have been built to destroy human life. That is why, total nuclear disarmamament is the ONLY SOLUTION for our planet. But now, I am digressing.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at October 28, 2008 09:04 PM

Rupa Shsh: Since I live next door to about 80 nuclear weapons around my town, and I PRAY they ain't going away anywhere, consequently I keep my hobby in the 50cal and below range.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 28, 2008 09:15 PM