Hoarding guns as the satisfaction of a craving

Shorter Question Everything

No matter how many guns a gun fetishist can accumulate, he’s not going to be able to “take on the US government” or any other fevered fantasy he has cooked up. It’s not based in reality.

It might as well be Twinkies. In fact, of it were Twinkies, or cats, or newspapers or anything else, it would be clear how crazy and delusional this behaviour is.

• The hoarding of ammunition is being done by people stupid enough to think all firearms are going to be banned, but certainly the hoarding of assault weapons and high-capacity clips is like the hoarding of Twinkies — it’s the satisfaction of a craving. Saying that these specific items are being hoarded because people have a fundamental need to protect themselves from crime or from tyranny is like saying that people are hoarding Twinkies because food is necessary for human beings to survive. Folks, other foodstuffs are available. And other firearms are available. But people want those foodstuffs and those firearms and ammo in that form because those things are fun.

• Infowars.com and Prison Planet pundit Alex Jones, host of the Internet-only radio show, “The Alex Jones Show,” went on another unhinged rant while appearing Friday on “HuffPost Live.” He shouted, “You’re in danger! You’re in danger!” at host Alicia Menendez while ranting about fluoride in the nation’s drinking water and, of course, Hitler. “They’ve got poison in the water! Poison in the water!” he bellowed. “This is a normal response to this! This is how they should have responded to Hitler! You’re in danger! You’re in danger! You’re in danger, everybody watching! They control both parties! You’re in danger! Wake up! Get out of your trance! They should have resisted Hitler like this!”

• Listen closely. That sound you hear is the sound of a cultural paranoia by people who have lost their grip on the reins of power, and on reality, and who fear the worst is coming. And they are preparing for it, whatever it may be — a war, a revolution, an apocalypse. These extremists make sensible, reasonable gun control hard to discuss, let alone achieve in this country, because they skew the conversations away from common-sense solutions on which both rational gun owners and non-gun owners can agree. These people, a vocal minority, have extreme fears — gun confiscation, widespread civil instability, a tyrannical government — from which they are preparing to defend themselves with arsenals of weapons and stockpiles of ammunition.

• Isn’t it nice when unhinged white folks can record YouTube videos of themselves threatening to kill people if they don’t get their way, and the only response is that the local Department of Homeland Security revokes their gun permit? If James Yeager had been Jalal al Yeager or Tyrone Yeager, who wants to wager that the response to his roid tantrum this week would have been vastly different? Anyone? Being white must be nice.

The pro-gun lobby has kicked into overdrive to stifle anti-gun violence efforts in the wake of the Newtown school massacre. Gun advocates are cooking up a national Gun Appreciation Day for the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration. Larry Ward, chairman of Gun Appreciation Day, appeared on CNN on Friday to defend his event. When confronted with the fact that Gun Appreciation Day coincides with the celebration of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr, who was assassinated with a gun, Ward insisted that his event “honors the legacy of Dr. King.” Ward didn’t stop there; he argued that if African slaves had been armed, they would have been able to prevent slavery from ever happening. Maria Roach of United for Change USA pointed out that many people were outraged over the attempted co-opting of MLK Day, calling it a “power play.” Martin Luther King, Jr. a strict disciple of peaceful resistance, was shot by an assassin in 1968. The Gun Control Act of 1968, the nation’s first comprehensive federal firearms regulation, was passed in response to King’s assassination, as well as the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X.

In other news

Former dictator Hosni Mubarak has won an appeal against his conviction for killing protesters during the Arab Spring uprising and will face a retrial. A court in Cairo accepted an appeal by the ousted president and his former interior minister, Habib al-Adli, who were sentenced to life in prison last year over the 2011 killings. “The retrial will be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial. No new evidence will be added to the case,” Mohamed Abdel Razek, one of Mubarak’s lawyers, told Reuters.

A battle to retake north Mali: Hundreds of French troops drive back al-Qaida-linked rebels. The battle to retake Mali’s north from the al-Qaida-linked groups controlling it began in earnest Saturday, after hundreds of French forces deployed to the country and began aerial bombardments to drive back the Islamic extremists. At the same time, nations in West Africa authorized the immediate deployment of troops to Mali, fast-forwarding a military intervention that was not due to start until September. The decision to begin the military operation was taken after the fighters, who seized the northern half of Mali nine months ago, decided earlier this week to push even further south to the town of Konna, coming within 50 kilometres (30 miles) of Mopti, the first town held by the government and a major base for the Malian military.

Italian consul in Benghazi escapes shooting unhurt: Guido De Sanctis, the Italian consul in the city, was travelling in his bullet-proof car when unidentified gunmen opened fire. The security of diplomats in Benghazi has caused concern for foreign governments following the death of US ambassador Christopher Stevens.

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