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A Tale of Two Guns

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I was raised on a Wisconsin farm tended by the real-life incarnation of Oliver Wendell Douglas in the TV series, Green Acres. My father wasn’t much of a farmer but he was an avid hunter, and a pretty good one, too. As such, I grew up with a fairly impressive collection of firearms which I eventually learned to use well enough, though no one ever called me crack shot.

As a teenager, I might occasionally take the 45-70 off the rack, go to the back yard and pop off as many rounds as I figured my dad wouldn’t notice missing. I was on a farm, after all, and even if a neighbor did hear the gun shots they would have figured, correctly, that the only danger is to a rabbit or a fence post. I have genuinely fond memories of those warm summer afternoons when I defended the house against the hostile advances of bottles, tin cans and the occasional melon.

Let’s be honest here. For their own sake guns can be truly seductive. I marvel at them as pieces of machinery. A fine rifle has the craftsmanship of a Swiss watch with parts that mesh and click with a near poetic beauty. Yet, it retains the utility and ruggedness of a jeep, without the slightest hint of estrogen. What’s not to like? Form, function and beauty; this is a wearable machine with an ergonomic heft that fits into your palm as an extension of your arm. You and the gun become one.

This marriage is consummated when a talented markswoman levels a rifle to her shoulder and sights down the barrel, woman and machine merge to create a powerful experience. She pulls the trigger and a loud crack from the barrel reports the excitement while the recoil resonates through her body. When that bullet hits its mark there is a visceral excitement involving all of her sense, validating that union.

If you think I’m exaggerating, check out R. Lee Ermey (Gunny) gushing like a twelve-year-old when he obliterates commie watermelons with a variety of firearms. In those moments, there is no second amendment or gun control, no property to defend or to take, no God and Country. For now it’s just him, a semi-automatic and a bunch of dead watermelons that makes him squeal with delight.

While you may think I’m picking on Gunny, I’m not, for two very good reasons. First is that even in his late sixties, if he told me to jump, I’d be wise to ask how high on the way up. Secondly, and more on point, I am absolutely no different. There is just no disguising the fact that guns are really, really fun. In one very limited sense, it could be argued that it is the same as a pinball wizard and his machine or an accomplished skier and his equipment.

What is different, of course, is that you can also use the gun to kill people and manage people’s behavior. (At least, in ways that are less practical than with a pinball machine.) If I’m a store clerk with a gun pointed at me, that gun owner is my new manager and I will obligingly empty the till into his sack. I also believe that the vast majority of gun owners have a very sober and mature recognition of this. I know an avid hunter who couldn’t enjoy playing paint ball because pointing a gun at the other players was distressing and went against his natural instincts.

As a rule, however, owners are comfortable with the guns themselves, if not downright fond of them. Most owners believe that they are both safe and facile with their use. The rabid poster child Chuck Norris not withstanding, your average gun owner is also your average citizen, complete with the very natural and human goal of protecting themselves and their family, as well as their property and ideals. How dangerous our world really is can be rather subjective but there are few places left that aren’t touched by violence. With all that in mind, it would be almost crazy for a gun owner to not see that firearm as a friend and ally in defense of the many threats, both real and imagined, that lurk outside his door.

As it happens, my wife stands in exemplary contrast to my personal gun experiences. When I met her, she knew there was a middle America largely because it was a five hour flight from New York to Los Angeles. Her sole experience with guns were nightly reports of drive-bys, hold-ups and the usual urban mayhem. She grew up in a world where the gun had no charm and no ulterior motive. Rather, it had a singular and ugly purpose. Whether for good or ill, it is nothing more than a tool for killing another person. She had no warm summer afternoons of picking off coke cans and the only thing she’s ever hunted was a cab.

Once, when she saw a shotgun on a table with barrel broken and no shells in the chamber (to the uninitiated, read “nonthreatening”), she grew pale and stiffened, as if she had stumbled on a coiled and hissing rattler. I remember her discomfort, many years ago, when there was a gun in our house even though it was unloaded, in a case, safely buried in a closet and no ammunition. Like the viper she spied on the table, it still, somehow, retained the ability to slither in the night and strike us in our sleep.

For anyone who lives in the city, the anxiety that guns evoke is not particularly irrational, even if they or their family has never been a victim of gun violence. If you live in Los Angeles, sooner or later you will have to detour home because of the police barricade that is investigating a shooting. I have seen police with weapons drawn just a few times which makes it, relatively, a lot. It is true that some city dwellers are safer than others but the reminders that a city is a dangerous place are constant and real.

John Atterberry, a music executive, was randomly shot and killed by a stranger who apparently was distraught over a recent break-up. This happened at an intersection that I have often walked through with my wife when out for a movie and a drink. Ronni Chasen was shot and killed in her car by a would be robber on a bicycle at a stoplight in an affluent neighborhood. This incident was at a light on a commute route that I used for six years. Too often, in some way, we are able to locate ourselves at the site of a recent tragedy.

If the dangers are so thoroughly understood by the urban denizen, why would they want gun controls rather than carry one themselves. They share the same world with the same dangers and the same fundamental goals as the guy who sleeps with a Glock. They have the “very natural and human goal of protecting themselves and their family, as well as their property and ideals.” And just like the gun owner, they are making largely rational decisions about that cost to benefit of gun ownership and control laws. Their conclusion is that owning a gun will not make them safer than simply having fewer guns on the street.

Realistically, there is little chance that they will be able to draw and use that weapon effectively in an emergency, especially if they remain uncomfortable with it. For most, it isn’t even a viable option. And in their world, there really is a corollary between the number of guns on the street and the rate of gun violence. The idea of more law-abiding citizens carrying as a deterrent to crime just won’t gain traction in those woods. This belief is drawn from a long history of prisons being choked with arrogant, stupid and brazen criminals despite three strikes and the death penalty.

For these gun control advocates, concealed carry and the expansion of gun-ownership rights has the same logic as using more landmines to make the city safer. My wife will never hold a gun much less keep one for personal safety. It just isn’t in her DNA. Whether legal or otherwise, another gun on the streets is just one more opportunity for her or someone else to die a capricious and violent death. No one is made safer.

The gun control debate has evolved into a litmus test of personal character and political values. We have become a divided culture hurling insults more than debating. It is an emotionally charged debate and, even recently I’ve been drawn into this mindset. No longer exchanging ideas, we find ourselves screaming with veins popping, “Why can’t you see what is so painfully obvious to me?” There is nothing particularly wrong with that question, either.

I just think that it is a worthwhile reminder to recognize that most people never say out loud what, in their hearts, is actually driving their beliefs. Nor are those feelings particularly irrational. Rather, it is a conclusion produced by their own survey of the landscape and their own experiences. At the most basic level, choosing to support gun owner rights or support additional gun control laws is a personal calculation of what is deemed best for them and their families. Yet, we have all learned that saying things like, “I just like them” or “they just scare me” doesn’t count in reasoned debate. So we are left with lobbing statistics, anecdotes, nuance arguments and idiotic excuses at each other. And we all know how well that’s been working.

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About Andrew Ratzsch

  • http://www.thegunzone.com Dean Speir

    As a recovering ’60s liberal, although I was raised with exposure to handguns through my Army officer father, I came to firearms on my own in the mid-’70s as a tool of home defense and then as a means of competitive sport.

    My wife, who I have known for more than 30 years, when we first came together romantically ten years ago, had no idea that I even owned a firearm. When she made that discovery, she asked why. I responded with a line I’ve found effective, one borrowed from the actor Donald Pleasance in Halloween II: “It heightens my sense of security.”

    She wasn’t shocked by the presence of the handgun, but she explained that, as an Emergency Room Nurse for almost nine years, her sole frame of reference was “the effects of a handgun,” and that had left her with a negative impression of all firearms.

    We didn’t debate, but a month later she came to me and said that she would like to learn how to shoot a handgun.

    It was my turn to express surprise. “What occasioned this?” I asked.

    She explained that she had recently seen several news reports of a woman, not a police officer or in the military, in a supermarket who had been able to dispatch a would be suicide bomber before he was able to detonate his lethal vest.

    She figured it out from there on her own, and is now a licensed and professionally trained handgun owner.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    She explained that she had recently seen several news reports of a woman, not a police officer or in the military, in a supermarket who had been able to dispatch a would be suicide bomber before he was able to detonate his lethal vest.

    Where and when did this attempted suicide bombing take place? I don’t recall anything like this ever happening in the US, or indeed anywhere, nor can I find any reference to such an incident online.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And why was a suicide bomber targeting a supermarket?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Unless it was Israel. All I can tell you is that my bullshit proximity warning light was flashing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    *crickets chirping*

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    re comment #1: Yeah, I think it is exactly these kind of “real life” stories that get in the way of a meaningful debate.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Exactly, Friv D. There’s a perfectly good case to be made in favour of guns without having to lie about it.

    To be frank, the (not just one, but two) rather fantastic evangelical conversions in Dean’s account had me smelling a rat even before the non-existent supermarket bomber was introduced.

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    Dr. D, I used to get an awful lot of those conservative propaganda emails (till they figured out that I was beyond saving) and the one certainty I had learned is that the longer the credentials, the weaker the facts.

  • Cannonshop

    #1: I guess if you’re going to fantasize, fantasize big and shiny. A gun doesn’t come with nifty powers like seeing a concealed suicide vest, nor do terrorists give the neato wild-west warning speech first-they walk into a crowded place, push the button, and Boom-followed by the burning and the bleeding and the screaming.

    a gun is not a magic fetish that grants superpowers-now, if you’re going to peddle bullshit, remember to keep the internal consistency-a gun MIGHT stop another gun-user under certain circumstances, such as averting another Luby’s Cafeteria, Georgia Tech shooting spree, bankrobbery, mugging, or carjacking-that’s at least in the realm of the possible (if not entirely probable-remember, mass-killings happen where there are lots of vulnerable, disarmed, and helpless victims in tight containment, not where people have the ability to flee or fight.) Stopping a bombing requires a level of prior knowledge and/or situational awareness well beyond the grasp of the average gun-owner and/or normal person, and/or Law Enforcement Officer.

    Now, some folks on both sides of the Gun Control issue seem to think that firearms are these neat magical fetishes, that they grant supernatural power or that they are malign, cthulu-like corruptors of innocent minds with a dark will and thirst for blood.

    Firearms are NEITHER magic fetishes that grant superpowers, nor are they independent, malign and demonic entities of evil-they’re objects. “a device for throwing a ball” as one age of reason philosopher put it. Unfortunately, there is at least as much mythical, fetishistic bullshit on the pro-gun side, as there is generated by the anti-gun-ownership-by-civilians side.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    Problem is, guns make it a whole lot easier to take out one’s frustrations – and I don’t remember hearing about any ‘drive-by’ knifings.

    Think about it – let’s say you wanted to kill me. If you knew that I had a gun or lots of guns or that even carried around a fully-auto AK-47 (btw, I own no guns right now), do you really think that would stop you from shooting me dead? Of course not. There’s no way I could stop you, because you’d just wait until such a time and place that I couldn’t shoot back.

    Likewise, if I had a gun and really wanted to kill you, there’s nothing on earth that would stop me. If I wanted to assassinate the president (and I certainly do NOT), nothing – not even the best efforts of the Secret Service – would stop me. And nothing would stop you, either. I think you would agree with me on all the above.

    And all the above shows the grand fallacy of the ‘guns for self-defense’ argument. Yes, guns ARE used in self-defense to save someone’s life almost every day…but in the big picture such are the rare exception to the rule when it comes to the sheer numbers of those who are wrongfully killed by gun-toting idiots.

    We’ll never get rid of guns – that’s just a fantasy. But the notion of “an armed society is a polite society” is every bit as much a fantasy. The only pragmatic and practical answer is (again) the ‘Goldilocks’ approach: gun ownership for all citizens who want them, as long as all guns are registered, all owners pass a background check, all owners receive a proper safety training course, and owners are responsible for what their guns do regardless of who’s holding those guns.

    Do all that, and the gun-violence rate will plummet much further…and the drug wars in Mexico will subside.

  • Cannonshop

    #10 Glenn, the drug-wars in Mexico will subside when we eliminate the conditions that make drug-smuggling a lucrative business, and not before. Linking gun-laws to the disaster that is the Drug War is a false link, and you should ought to know better-though it would be nice if OUR government wouldn’t arm the Cartels in the guise of half-assed ‘sting’ operations that don’t work-and again, shame on you for bringing up that without owning up to the actions of ATFE and DHS agents making a bad situation oh-so-much-worse…likely for political reasons angled at drumming up new support for MORE regulations that they will cheerfully violate next time they get a bug up their ass.

    We HAVE sufficient laws in this country, both at Federal and State levels-sufficient to barely scrape by the 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment, and 5th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment, we don’t NEED new laws, we need agencies that enforce the laws already on the books in a legal and just manner.

    which, sadly, we do not have.

    We ALSO need fewer laws, that are more enforceable, without resorting to no-charge imprisonment, no-trial imprisonment, and without violating Posse Comitatus, the 5th Amendment, the 4th Amendment, and the 1st Amendment, and without suspending the Habeas Corpus requirement.

    For all the admiration you Libs have for European “solutions”, I don’t see y’all rushing to emigrate BACK to Europe, and sorry to point this out to y’all, but there is a reason why our ancestors LEFT.

  • Zingzing

    I wouldn’t mind living in Europe… And gun laws have nothing to do with why people left. People left Europe because of religious wars and starvation, among other reasons… But not gun laws…

    Actually, my parents are thinking about moving to Austria at the moment. Some place in the foothills near the Hungarian border. Not my scene, but I’d love to visit them if they did.

  • Cannonshop

    #12 it’s not guns, Zing, it’s culture-the culture of government, the social environment, etc. etc.

    Gun laws are the least part of it, but they’re on that short list of things Gun Control advocates always bring up Europe as an example to emulate.

    right there with crime statistics. (often in the same breath.)

    The PROBLEM isn’t guns, it’s people, we’re not like Europe as much as we like to pretend we are. A simplistic way to look at it, is that in THIS country, the Left wants to be more like Europe in every way they can-and the right does not. It is, I suspect, closer to the real root of our politics than anyone is willing to admit.

  • Igor

    Andrew, a 45-70? During my hunting years the only rifle known to me that threw that slug was an old buffalo gun.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Austria, zing? Oh boy.

    By all accounts, Austria has the highest concentration of hillbillies east of the Atlantic seaboard…

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    Igor, yup! And it kicked like a buffalo, too. I always shot left-handed because I sighted better with my left eye. My dad gave me that rifle for deer hunting because it was the only one he had with a center-line safety. The rifle was an old Winchester lever-action and that model most certainly would have been used for buffalo hunting. I was told that it was developed to “Win the West” for the Indian Wars in the mid-1880s (best guess).

    It’s lack of range relative the 30-06, for instance, wasn’t much of a handicap because anything outside of a hundred yards or so was, ahem, already pretty safe from me.

  • Zingzing

    #13–you’re right cannonshop, that is simplistic, almost meaningless.

    #15–they live on the eastern seaboard… So will that make it an improvement? It’s wine country. I was there 10 years ago… Very beautiful, but very small town.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    #10 Glenn, the drug-wars in Mexico will subside when we eliminate the conditions that make drug-smuggling a lucrative business, and not before. Linking gun-laws to the disaster that is the Drug War is a false link, and you should ought to know better

    A “false link”? I don’t think so, not when TWO THIRDS of the guns found in Mexico’s drug war come from America. If we (1) required registration of all firearms, and (2) required that owners are responsible for what happens with their firearms (including when a firearm is sold or stolen), this would NOT be the case.

    -though it would be nice if OUR government wouldn’t arm the Cartels in the guise of half-assed ‘sting’ operations that don’t work-and again, shame on you for bringing up that without owning up to the actions of ATFE and DHS agents making a bad situation oh-so-much-worse

    And shame on YOU for blowing stuff out of proportion, because while “Fast and Furious” (a Bush-era operation, mind you) went wildly wrong and resulted in 1300 (out of 2000) guns not being recovered (see here), my first reference above shows that two-thirds of almost thirty-thousand guns were traced to America. You’re worried about the 1300…but I’m worried about the 20,000.

    Almost twenty thousand guns, Cannonshop. WHEN are you going to get a clue that the reason why the gun manufacturers and the NRA wax SO patriotic has absolutely squat to do with the Second Amendment and a whole lot more to do with money? Hm?

    …likely for political reasons angled at drumming up new support for MORE regulations that they will cheerfully violate next time they get a bug up their ass.

    Yes, it’s SO sensible and reasonable for any felon to be able to walk up and buy whatever he wants at a gun show, right?

    We HAVE sufficient laws in this country, both at Federal and State levels-sufficient to barely scrape by the 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment, and 5th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment, we don’t NEED new laws, we need agencies that enforce the laws already on the books in a legal and just manner.

    When those convicted of violent crimes are no longer able to legally buy guns, and guns are registered and tracked well enough to stop the gun-smuggling not only to Mexico but also to our own streets, and gun owners are held responsible for what is done with their guns, THEN you can say we’ve enough laws. But as long as you’re going to allow violent felons to be able to legally buy guns, and as long as you’re going to protect the gun-smugglers by not allowing passage of laws that stop them from putting more guns in the hands in the hands of felons, then NO, we the people have not done enough.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Cannonshop –

    The PROBLEM isn’t guns, it’s people, we’re not like Europe as much as we like to pretend we are. A simplistic way to look at it, is that in THIS country, the Left wants to be more like Europe in every way they can-and the right does not. It is, I suspect, closer to the real root of our politics than anyone is willing to admit.

    Wrong. Why? Because Americans and Europeans have something in common – we’re all PEOPLE. A better definition of the root of the problem is that the Right is unwilling (and unable, apparently) to learn lessons from anyone other than themselves.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh yeah – I forgot! In the eyes of the Right, only America is free and none of the rest of the First World have a clue as to what freedom is….

  • Igor

    Friv, I think the 45-70 made a comeback in the 80’s for elk hunting in Colorado. Big slug with flat trajectory for a close-in shot, 50 yards or so. At least that was the rationalization given me by Dr. D, but then he changed guns faster than he did wives and had his gunsmith on retainer.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Eh?

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    Igor, I’m sure it was just a rationalization. They probably just liked the way the rifle looked with the Rockies in the background. Claiming no expertise on the subject, I have a hunch the aught-six will hold pretty flat for the first 50 yards.

    Dr. D should become a Mormon so he can keep his wives and his guns.

  • Igor

    Indeed, the 06 will have a flat trajectory for more than 50 yards, but the Doc was after stopping power from a big slug. But then he was always fooling with his guns, barrels, chambers, loads, etc. A real nut. He kept his gunsmith on a monthly retainer.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Eh?

  • Clavos

    I don’t think so, not when TWO THIRDS of the guns found in Mexico’s drug war come from America.

    Many of ‘em from our government, in fact — the one presided over by your president, Barry the almighty.

  • Igor

    But wasn’t that program created in the Bush era?

    Maybe that program was just another one of the programs that Obama inherited and supported (just to promote presidential continuity) whether he liked it or not.

    In any case, your personal bitterness toward Obama seems unjustified. Most likely, that program was created by some professional policeman who thought he had a great idea for tracing gun traffic and identifying kingpins. Maybe it was sincere, though misguided.

  • Cannonshop

    #27 Igor, just ’cause it was a bad idea when a Republican was doing it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea when it’s being expanded by Democrats-a bad idea’s a bad idea, regardless of Partisan feelings.

    Fact is, Igor, you have two Federal agencies, tasked with law enforcement tasks, short-circuiting Federal Laws to arm criminals in violation OF those same laws they are tasked to uphold and enforce-regardless of which party holds the White House, the continuation of, and defense of, this activity is wrong, can you grasp that concept?

  • Cannonshop

    It occurs to me, that I left something out…

    Igor, Gunwalker was a criminal operation carried out by law enforcement officials, now, adding the Bush administration era people just adds names to the suspect/perpetrator list, it doesn’t delete Democratic appointees who continued the operation, understand that?

    Something else you are probably blissfully unaware of, is that in the firearms community (FFL holders and small operators) it’s well understood that regardless of which party holds the White House, the ATF (BATF, BATFE, Whatever they call themselves this year) is a partisan entity strongly favouring both Gun Control schemes, and the Democratic Party…

    REGARDLESS of who’s appointed at the top to run it, the culture is decidedly opposed to civil liberties in that agency as a default condition. Harassment doesn’t stop just because a Republican’s in the white house, and the ethics of the agency only slightly improve for short periods after it’s been caught violating one or more laws, major policies, or publicly bungling in a manner that paints the Federal Government in a bad light.

    It’s just the culture of the agency as a whole, not something that can be changed by a new administration’s appointments. It was that way back in the nineties, it’s still that way today. It will be that way to-morrow and twenty years from now.

  • Igor

    Of course the policy was wrong, no matter who pursued it. I was just pointing out that it was bi-partisan and specific antagonism toward just Obama was unjustified.

    But I think @26 Clavos’ comment demonstrates he has a hatred for Obama that transcends mere policy, especially when he ornaments his comment with a customary derogation.

    So, if Clavos’ comment is caused by his hatred of Obama (rather than his analysis of the policy) why would I, or any serious person, take Clavos’ seriously?

  • Clavos

    So, if Clavos’ comment is caused by his hatred of Obama (rather than his analysis of the policy) why would I, or any serious person, take Clavos’ seriously?

    Well, you’d be really stupid if you did.

  • Clavos

    …But of course, it’s a fact that the Obama government was supplying guns to to the Mexican drug gangs…

    And, somehow, pointing out that fact, “demonstrates [my] ‘hatred’ for Obama.” What you don’t realize, Igor, is I “hate” nothing and no one. I AM indifferent to practically everyone and everything, but hatred? Most people don’t merit being hated and Obama’s no exception.

    I won’t (and didn’t) vote for him, but I don’t hate him.

  • Igor

    Clavos: your own words betray your feelings:

    “Many of ‘em from our government, in fact — the one presided over by your president, Barry the almighty.”

    A double ad hominem: one against me (that Obama is MY favorite, which is not in evidence and is not true), and the other against Obama (with your slighting tone).

    Two invalid expressions in one syllogism, whoopee.

  • Cannonshop

    Igor, why does what Clavos feels matter more to you than whether the man is correct in his statement?

    Fact: regardless of who started it, the Obama administration continued to arm mexican cartels with american guns. It’s no different than trying to excuse one embezzler because his predecessor was also an embezzler. In this case, I don’t think Barack H. Obama had any real input into the operation, But I suspect his Attorney General and/or head of DHS, and/or Treasury secretary HAD to have maintained authorization.

    Notably, DOJ lawyers were engaged in resisting congressional efforts to examine this case-which leads me to conclude that Holder, at minimum, knew what was going on and approved of it. Given that we’re talking about some prime Lawyering folk here, and a visible, obvious violation of Federal Laws, and not the administrtion of the cokeheaded alcoholic fratboy from Texas…
    The claim of “amatuer mistakes” just doesn’t fly, Igor-so it leaves a definite impression of malice and ulterior motives in the Gunwalker scandal-at least the part going on during the Obama administration.

  • Clavos

    A double ad hominem: one against me (that Obama is MY favorite, which is not in evidence and is not true)

    Didn’t say he’s your “favorite.” Said he’s “your president;” which does assume, I admit, that you’re an American, but nothing more; the president (whomever he may be) is president of all Americans.

    …the other against Obama (with your slighting tone).

    I can remember American presidents from Eisenhower forward. This one is, in my opinion, the most inept, bar none, including Richard Milhous Nixon and the “cokeheaded alcoholic fratboy from Texas” (nice turn of a phrase, there, Cannon!). And the arming of Mexican criminals, while admittedly not being carried out personally by him, is his responsibility. The buck stops on his desk.

  • Cannonshop

    #35 Thank you, Clavos. I try not to let the ‘legends’, whether left or right, define my perceptions of politicians, but Bush was, honestly, too easy. Esp. coming as he did after Clinton. Obama’s tougher, not because he’s essentially tougher, but because it’s really hard to say anything about the man that you could say about someone else, without being accused of racism. It is VERY difficult to insult him as a result, unlike the comfortable ease of Bush, Clinton, Bush SR. or their predecessors all the way back to Washington-all of whom could be, and were, insulted, mocked and satirized with a fair degree of accuracy by their opponents.

    But, especially in this country, in today’s culture, it’s very difficult to find something to call Obama that isn’t going to cross uncrossable lines.

    Even relatively benign things draw disproportional response. Makes for a rather one-sided situation…

  • Zingzing

    So that’s why there’s nothing but love for Obama out there… Was wondering why he was getting such an overwhelming free pass… What world is this? Is it possible to count to potato here?