Anybody Who Thinks America’s Attitude Toward Guns Can’t Change Should Revisit Our Attitude Toward Cigarettes


  1. 1

    Theophrastus spews:

    What a curiously optimistic analogy, Goldy. Was the Marlboro-man packing? (gun nuts would assume so) Guns clearly are a major cause of life threatening health issues (especially ‘second-hand’). But are they addictive? Can we establish a 12-step program for guns? One distinction, if photojournalism is any indication, we can be confident that guns don’t keep one slim.

  2. 2


    My point is that it may take a relentless multi-decade-long campaign, but we can change attitudes toward guns the way we changed attitudes toward smoking, seatbelts, and drunk driving. That’s the kind of effort it’s going to take to substantially reduce both gun ownership and gun availability.

  3. 3

    Sugarfoot spews:

    re 1– “…apples to oranges” doesn’t mean that you can only compare a thing to itself. In AZ we used to compare the taste of rattlesnake meat to that of chicken because it didn’t make any sense to the tender-feet to say that it tasted just like rattlesnake meat.

  4. 4

    Calpete spews:

    But Goldy — we’ve been waging a relentless decades-long campaign against guns for nearly as long as I’ve been an adult, starting with the assassination of President Kennedy and moving on through the attempt on Reagan’s life that paralyzed Jim Brady, and on, and on, and on. Sen. Feinstein has been trying to get the anti-assault weapons legislation renewed since it expired in 2004 and still has not succeeded. When is the campaign going to be successful? (Rhetorical — I know you’re not a seer.)

  5. 5

    LeftyCentrist spews:

    “That’s the kind of effort it’s going to take to substantially reduce both gun ownership and gun availability.”

    At least you don’t cloak it in terms of ‘safety’ or ‘prevention’. The majority of gun control supporters never seem able or willing to admit the end game here is no guns.

  6. 6


    @4 We’ve been waging a mostly political campaign against guns, focused on changing the law, rather than a largely PR campaign focused on changing attitudes.

    We want parents to be embarrassed to admit to other parents that they keep a gun in the house, for fear that other parents won’t let their kids come over and play. We want to associate the notion of purchasing a handgun for personal protection with ignorance and weakness.

  7. 8

    Haganah spews:

    @6, Geez you are a real schmuck. So someone who has a gun, properly purchased, and properly stored and locked should be ashamed and embarrassed? A person who lives in a nasty neighborhood and legally carriers a handgun, should be treated as if they are an ignorant, weak, idiot?

    What a truly fucked up attitude.

  8. 9

    Mirror spews:

    “Responsible gun owners” have protected, schilled, and voted for the manufacturers and fetishists’ stooges for so long that you’ve helped transform a huge subset of our society into believing they are especially victimized and that their life problems and society’s problems can somehow be solved by gun ownership. How does it not make sense in light of this that more mentally ill people would believe they can help solve their problems by owning guns and going to the gun range? This is what Fox, the NRA, and “responsible gun owners” have told them is a reasonable thing to do.

  9. 10

    Mirror spews:

    @8 So, do you support regulations requiring registration of all gun purchases or transfers, including a background check, AND requiring verification of a storage locker or box with a lock for ownership within WA municipalities?

  10. 11

    LeftyCentrist spews:


    But that is the message that will lead to no more damn guns. To be honest I think gun control isn’t radical enough.

    “$15 Now” worked, in large part because of how radical it is. They pushed the boundaries, changed the playing field.

    I don’t see why a “Repealthe2nd” movement isn’t underway. Not One More? We can do that. Get rid of the guns. It seems like gun control supporters are afraid to push too hard for some reason, so we’re stuck with a 20 year or 30 year or longer period of social advocacy and small step legislation.

    Repealing or rewriting the 2nd Amendment is the end game of gun control. No more “Well it’s legal” bullshit. The 2nd Amendment was written to support a citizen Military force, armed with muskets. It is no longer applicable to our nation. Lets stop pretending that it is, and lets stop pussyfooting around those who do.

    Seattle freaks out over a few shootings, take a look at Chicago or St. Louis for fucks sake. We have it good here. In Chicago they’re @ 135 people shot and killed so far this year, 770 more people shot and wounded. If that was your city, would you be ready to apply a little social pressure?

  11. 12

    Mirror spews:

    @11 From what I can tell, the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is clearly mostly a political construct and it can just as well be interpreted a different way, allowing all sorts of regulations, varying from the mild to the extremely limiting. I don’t see 2nd amendment being repealed*, but lots of people said they wouldn’t see marriage equality in our lifetimes either. Ha, after a satisfying late lunch I’m ready to join Goldy’s camp of optimism for at least 20 minutes. *I’m not sure I’m even for repeal, but I’d be interested in seeing the “well regulated” clause put into play instead of ignored.

  12. 13

    Mirror spews:

    @11 Also, I think your analogy to 15now is right on this. All this open minded “reasonable understanding” toward hunters and “responsible gun owners” has left us with a horde of wacked out gun fetishists loaded down with paramilitary gear feeling victimized and angry that they cant bring assault rifles into restaurants and their kids’ classrooms. That old way simply isn’t working. I say go after everything except the hunters. And yes, it is time for parents to ask whether there are guns in the house before they allow their kids to go play someplace. Fetishist gun owners are sticking their guns in our face. It is time to stop acting as if it is a deep personal matter whether someone has weapons in their home whose purpose is to kill people and what they are doing with them.

  13. 15

    tensor spews:

    It’s really about changing the “gunfighter nation” mythology the gun nuts have foisted upon us. We finally recognized smoking as a public-health hazard to non-smokers. It should be really, really, really obvious that widespread ownership of guns, coupled with gun-nut mythology, kills a lot of innocent persons. Let’s make it clear that public health matters much more than paranoid fetishists clutching their penis-substitutes in public.

    @8: I could not possibly care less what you do in the privacy of your own home.

  14. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 If you live in a nasty neighborhood, what you really need is a cellphone and fingers capable of punching “911.”

  15. 17

    correctnotright spews:

    The facts about guns in our society are indisputable.:
    “The United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world, researchers found.

    A study by two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people — more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied.

    Japan, on the other hand, had only .6 guns per 100 people and .06 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, making it the country with both the fewest guns per capita and the fewest gun-related deaths.”

    The facts about tobacco became indisputable in the 1960’s to 1970’s – yet the tobacco companies were called in front of congress and just lied. But those lies ended up embarrassing the tobacco companies and eventually led to more regulations. What we need is the public humiliation of the gun nuts so we can at least get the minimum regulations: universal background checks, required gun safety classes and lock boxes or safety devices and banning assault weapons. No one can make a logical case for needing assault weapons of multi-bullet cartridges.

  16. 18

    Mark spews:

    People will always lean on the second amendment, something cigarettes couldn’t do. I see your point, we have spent billions on anti smoking ads and a tiny fraction of that on anti gun laws (mostly because of cigarette lawsuits requiring the government to spend that, but still…) and the anti smoking ads and harsh anti smoking laws have seemed to work.
    Most countries in the world allow a household to own some sort of firearm so it’s obvious we have a cultural issue however relentless commercials showing gun shot victims I don’t think is the answer. Unlike cigarettes, guns also protect people and outside of cities, are nearly a way of life; a skill to learn like driving and swimming.
    The anti gun attitude could change with the proper focus but first we need comprehensive federal gun laws so Joe Plummer can still by a shotgun but Elliot Rodger can’t buy three semi automatic hand guns with ease.

  17. 19

    farqwad spews:

    You losers have been losing this fight for decades, and you’re going to continue losing it for decades more.

    Every time you make noise, you sell millions of guns to people who otherwise wouldn’t bother, but figure they’d better do it now or never.

    Keep it up.

  18. 20

    phil spews:

    @11 A very good idea. There really hasn’t been a rallying point for gun control. Sadly, mass murders are soon forgot.

    @19 your point is taken, the NRA is just the lobbying group for the small arms industry. Conning suckers into buying ever more guns.

    “Only 34 percent of US households reported owning a gun in 2012, which is a drastic decline from the 50 percent who reported owning one in the 1970s, according to the General Social Survey. The most significant gun ownership declines were reported in the South and Western mountain states, traditionally conservative areas that boast a deep support for Second Amendment rights.” via rt com/usa/gun-ownership-decline-us-111/

  19. 21

    Mirror spews:

    @20 Interestingly, what may have scared the NRA about the open carry in restaurants is that is makes a great rallying point. Outside of hunting season, the overwhelming majority of people everywhere in the US just don’t want to be surrounded by wackos packing high heat when they are just trying to have dinner with friends and family, or trying to buy a cup of coffee. It’s frickin’ scary and it also gets the hackles up because it FEELS like an obvious attempt to bully, because it is.

    @19 Your victim fantasy and self-directed propaganda has been telling you of the heroic battle with the opposition to the expansion of your gun fetish culture the past 30 years, when in fact the Democratic Party, and the GOP, have been in steady retreat from this issue, to the point where there is almost no one sticking up for the norms and values American had on this in all periods before the 1980s. Gun control CAN be argued as a mom and pop American apple pie issue. That is why the NRA doesn’t want you wackos carrying your AR-15s into Chili’s. They know there may be a limit, even now.

  20. 23

    farqwad spews:

    @21 So argue it, and lose some more. Who cares?

    We learned our lesson after the Brady Bill and the last “assault weapons” ban. There’s no effort to do anything real about safety. The whole game is pointless, ineffectual harassment, so we’re just going to punch back.

    I hope you do succeed in passing some more pointless, ineffectual bullshit laws. It’s good for business.

  21. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Mass Shooting Of The Day (TM)

    In Las Vegas today, “Two suspects gunned down two police officers in a pizza parlor Sunday, then ran to a nearby Walmart where they killed a third victim before taking their own lives, police said. …

    “Two officers … were eating lunch when a man and woman ‘came in and immediately engaged the officers with gunfire,’ said … a spokeswoman for the department. Witnesses in the restaurant said they heard the suspects say, ‘This is a revolution.’

    “After fatally wounding the officers, the suspects ran to a Walmart kitty-corner to the restaurant. They shot and killed a person near the entrance to the store, than ran inside the Walmart, where they committed suicide.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Two more nutjobs with grudges against society, armed to the death. Three more innocent people, including two cops, dead.

    @19: Go fuck yourself and all your kind. We’re going to get this done, even if it takes a constitutional amendment. Enough is enough. America isn’t a hunting-gathering society anymore, and guns are being misused. It’s time to remove them from our culture.

  22. 25

    farqwad spews:

    @22: Yes, down from last year. That’s why you geniuses should roll out some of the ideas from further up this thread.


  23. 26

    farqwad spews:

    @24: Sounds good. When will you and the People’s Cadre be by for mine? Should I make some sandwiches or something for you guys or do you expect to be in a hurry?

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Let’s recap what Republicans are for and against:

    Republicans are for:

    1. Tax cuts for millionaires
    2. Ending Social Security and Medicare
    3. Defunding Obamacare and food stamps
    4. Obstructing government when they don’t get their way
    5. Lynching an American POW in the media without a trial
    6. Forcing gays to undergo “therapy” to convert them to heterosexuals
    7. Forcing women who want abortions to submit to medical rape

    Republicans are against:

    8. Unions, minimum wage laws, and anything that helps the working class
    9. Any restrictions whatsoever on guns
    10. Any restrictions on anonymous billionaires buying politicians and elections
    11. Debt relief for homeowners and student borrowers
    12. Taxpayer-funded public education run by school boards accountable to voters
    13. Any laws or programs to protect consumers from dishonest and predatory businesses
    14. Peace

    No one in their right mind would vote for these shitheads. Republican voters should be committed to mental institutions, electroshocked, and lobotomized!*

    * Heh! Just kidding! This is a parody of Ann Coulter joke’s about rounding up liberals, putting them in concentration camps, and executing them. Republicans are sick twisted vermin, though, and you shouldn’t go near them without a Hazmat suit.

  25. 28

    farqwad spews:

    @27: Who gives a shit about Republicans? Same establishment, different color uniforms.

  26. 29

    Mirror spews:

    @23 We always know we can count on you to boast about how much easier you and your masters have made it for killers to get guns and how your view of world is inspiring the mentally ill and ignorant to believe that guns are a great way to respond to their insecurities.

  27. 30

    Mirror spews:

    @28 Gun nuts are political shock troops of the GOP and the corporate establishment. From what I’ve seen from afar and in those close to me, gun fetishists will throw anybody and any value under the bus. Their obsessive devotion to their fetish gives an easy on/off switch to those who use them.

  28. 31

    farqwad spews:

    @30: EXACTLY. Which is why I find it odd that you’re in favor of unilateral disarmament by your fellow travelers right now. I think you might be confused as to the order of events when the Great Disarmament goes down. We’re not all going to file quietly into the re-education camps, comrade – you might need some motivational tools.

  29. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 Re-education camps are a conservative idea. See, e.g., the Texas Republican Party. Liberals aren’t for that.

  30. 33

    farqwad spews:

    @32: OK. How about you and your prog buds just disarm yourselves and sit quietly and wait for help when shit goes down? 911 is magic, bitches.

  31. 34

    tensor spews:

    “I hope you do succeed in passing some more pointless, ineffectual bullshit laws. It’s good for business.”

    Which is why we shouldn’t bother. Switzerland has universal gun ownership, but a much lower rate of gunshot deaths than does the US. Smoking used to be glamorous, sophisticated, and macho; now, even James Bond has kicked the habit, since his marketing team doesn’t want him to look like a pitiful, helpless drug addict.

    Changing the image of gun-toting guys from Maco Paragons of Individual American virtue to cowardly, chronically-insecure power fetishists with massive manhood insecurities will take some time, but we will do it.

    For the gun-fetishist, the future is a gorgeous young lady, pointing and laughing in his face — forever.

  32. 35

    farqwad spews:

    @34: Maco Paragon shall henceforth be my Call of Duty handle. That is fucking music, friend.

  33. 36

    tensor spews:

    “@34: Maco Paragon shall henceforth be my Call of Duty handle. That is fucking music, friend.”

    I am utterly gobsmacked to learn your main combat experience is a video game. Could not possibly have seen that coming, no sir.

  34. 37

    sally spews:

    Whoever said the reasonable-argument ploy isn’t working is right. That’s usually why Democrats, who like to reason together, lose to Republicans, who like inflammatory talk. We wouldn’t be any less likely to win over the gun nuts if we just flat-out said we want to ban guns. That’s what they believe anyway, and what they charge us with. Just say it. Don’t worry about whether it’s possible or reasonable or anything else, because THEY don’t worry about that. We’ve been reasonable too long.

  35. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 He’s probably one of those who would run the other way upon hearing “shots fired!” A real soldier rides toward the sound of the guns.

  36. 39

    tensor spews:

    “How about you and your prog buds just disarm yourselves and sit quietly and wait for help when shit goes down?”

    How many firearms did the SPU students use to stop the shooter on their campus? Or is the scene of students in Seattle overcoming an armed attacker with nothing other than pepper spray, training, and physical courage just too frightening for you even to admit?

  37. 40

    Better spews:

    Regulating Smoking vs Regulating Guns.
    They are not a good analogy.
    Second hand smoked bothered most people. It made their clothes and their house and their car smell bad. An person who did not smoke was made miserable every time they were exposed to smoke. There was the lingering feeling of looming cancer.

    People feel they need guns because they are afraid. They need it to protect themselves from the scary “other” people coming to take their stuff, hurt their families, or kill them. Look at the example that the conservatives post. It doesn’t matter if gun homicides are stupidly high, they need gun in case some one steals their stuff. Apparently hand bags are more important than other people’s life.
    Until people are not constantly terrified that someone is going to do something to them and they won ‘t be able to protect themselves, nothing will change.

    The open carry fools are actually helping the gun regulation cause, scaring the shit out of families at Taco bell. Open Carry is like second hand smoke exposure.

  38. 41

    Sloppy Travis Bickle spews:

    @ 22

    The world according to Roger Rabbit:

    @19 Gun sales are dropping, in case you haven’t noticed.


    The number of annual background checks run in the U.S. began to jump in 2006 after plateauing at around 8.5 million in the early 2000s. There were 16.4 million checks in 2011 and nearly 19.6 million last year.

    Those checks could hit a record in 2013, judging from the more than 11.4 million that were run in the first six months alone.

    Smith & Wesson, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, reported record sales of $588 million for the fiscal year that ended April 30, up 43 percent over 2012. Shares reached $14.99 on Jan. 10, the highest close since 2007. According to the ATF data, the company produced more than 1.1 million firearms in 2012, a 32 percent increase over 2011.

    Sturm Ruger, the largest publicly traded gun maker, reported net sales of $506.4 million during the first nine months of 2013, a 45 percent jump from the same period in 2012. The company, based in Southport, Connecticut, said its profit was up 67 percent. It manufactured more than 1.6 million guns in 2012, nearly a 50 percent increase over 2011, according to ATF data.

    Smith & Wesson (SWHC)’s handgun sales jumped by nearly a third at the end of last year, and Colt Manufacturing sold twelve times as many handguns early this year as it did in 2013.

    And now Colt is moving to boost its handgun production by 50%.

    That last one was CNN, six days ago. The piece title? Handgun sales are hot

    Jesus, RR. You post each and every shooting news item that pops up. And yet you can be that wrong about firearm purchases? There might be a slight dip compared with the immediate post-Newtown period but everything else points to a sustained increase in the sales of firearms. Each and every time some liberal starts some effort to curtail weapons sales, there’s a backlash that counteracts that effort.

    Ah, but what do I know? I never served in the military and I’m not an ‘expert':

  39. 42

    Better spews:

    Until we get them to ratchet down the fear, nothing change.

    There is nothing more true in our nation’s political life. The sad thing in this era of American politics is that the modern conservative movement has gone so deeply off the rails, has taken positions so strongly opposed to most Americans’ views on most issues, that fear is the main tactic they have left — fear of blacks, fear of same-sex relationships, fear of terrorists, fear of communists, fear of immigrants. They sow fear because they have nothing else to plant, certainly nothing that might produce anything healthy or beautiful.