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Whatever happened to gold, frankincense, and myrrh?!?
December 25, 2006 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Best wishes for a Christmas of peace and joy and a New Year of triumph over terrorism! from the U.S. Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms, a.k.a. "the Common Sense Gun Lobby".

"If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in His name, He'd never stop throwing up." -- Woody Allen (Hannah And Her Sisters, 1986)
posted by Quiplash (45 comments total)

 
oh, He sees all right, and it's why he came in the first place.
posted by quonsar at 9:03 AM on December 25, 2006 [3 favorites]


I'm in ur place killing yer broodz.
posted by srboisvert at 9:23 AM on December 25, 2006


NRA's Secret Graphic Novel Revealed!
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on December 25, 2006


can't we have both guns and jesus?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 9:44 AM on December 25, 2006



can't we have both guns and jesus?


Well, I live in Midwest America on the cusp of 2007. Move here and have your wish.
posted by sourwookie at 9:50 AM on December 25, 2006


Is that tinky-winky under the tree?
posted by Andrew Brinton at 10:00 AM on December 25, 2006


can't we have both guns and jesus?

Sure. Just get a gun, go back in time to the point right before Jesus' death, and have Pontious Pilate shoot Jesus instead. Then Catholics and the like will all wear glocks instead of crucifixes.

...That would be really cool.
posted by Verdandi at 10:03 AM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Uh, the guns are to protect us from our own government, not imaginary terrorist threats caused by the government we should have already overthrown with those guns.
posted by Eideteker at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


previously
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:28 AM on December 25, 2006


About time. Ethiopia has been rattling sabers on this for some time, and Somalia has been threatening back. Heck, on Dec 12 the ICU told Ethiopia to leave or they would attack. Of course, in part due to the failures of the UN and the US to restore normality to Somalia, Ethiopia entered Somalia back on July 20.
Let's hope they can fix that country, for both of their sakes.
Here's the BBC timeline of Somali-Ethiopian relations.
posted by eparchos at 11:37 AM on December 25, 2006


Oops... wrong thread.
posted by eparchos at 11:39 AM on December 25, 2006


Wait....what do gun rights have to do with terrorism?

Do I shoot the terrorist running around my suburb?
posted by niles at 11:46 AM on December 25, 2006


from the comments under the pic: Looks like every Christmas I've had. Some dude with a bomb. Drunk Santa with a gun. Poor baby Jesus, caught in the middle. Always caught in the middle.
posted by mosk at 12:54 PM on December 25, 2006


Eideteker writes "Uh, the guns are to protect us from our own government, not imaginary terrorist threats caused by the government we should have already overthrown with those guns."

This always cracks me up. Can anyone actually name an instance where the government was thwarted by an individual with a gun collection?

In the end, the US Government will be overthrown with money, not guns.
posted by mullingitover at 3:06 PM on December 25, 2006


This always cracks me up. Can anyone actually name an instance where the government was thwarted by an individual with a gun collection?

The American Revolution provides a splendid example of pretty much that -- volunteer militias armed with their own guns fought throughout the war. Of course, it was more like "the collective action of citizens with gun collections", but still... there's a good reason why guns are a strong part of American culture.
posted by vorfeed at 4:18 PM on December 25, 2006


Since the guy with the bombs strapped around his waist appears to be a suicide bomber, I'm not sure what Father Christmas is trying to achieve by pointing the gun at his abdomen. He should go for a head shot.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:33 PM on December 25, 2006


The U.S. governmenet in its present constitution was created by the Revolutionaries. If this government was overthrown by armed American citizens, i wonder what kind of government would be created? I think that apart from gun ownership rights, most individual liberties would be more restrictive in the new order.
posted by coldhotel at 6:12 PM on December 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


can't we have both guns and jesus?

Yes.
posted by puritycontrol at 6:25 PM on December 25, 2006


The American Revolution provides a splendid example of pretty much that

I think that is a little bit off from reality. The militias weren't using private gun collections, they were often armed with their own guns that they happened to have for use as tools and for protection against attack. It's not like they just had the guns for show.

Very many people in the US today are relying on guns for their source for food (and unable to simply go to the store) and even fewer are afraid that their homestead will be overrun by hostile indians. There may be more that have fears of wild animals attacking them or their farm animals, though.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:44 PM on December 25, 2006


Coldhotel, that's a good point, but I think the Second Amendment is less intended for facilitating total revolt than as a check against unjust exercise of power by the federal government:

"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
---Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

Note that it's pretty clear that it has not worked out this way. I have not seen much in the way of vocal resistance to the Patriot Act from the NRA, and I think that this is evidence of a gradual reinterpretation of the purpose of the Second Amendment, as illustrated by the Christmas card in the FPP.

In a full-scale revolution anywhere, I think the result would probably depend on the class of politicians and intellectuals allied with the revolutionary movement. In the American Revolution, there happened to be a strong undercurrent of Enlightenment (Classical) Liberalism, but Bentham and (later) Mill are not really the essential literature of today's revolutionary, are they?

Maybe a bible or koran instead?
posted by kid ichorous at 7:10 PM on December 25, 2006


The tactical strength of gun owners in the US is a joke. They do not, nor will they ever, pose a military threat to the government. The only way this could ever happen is if they had a coordinated, all-out surprise attack acting as a single group, and this would be obvious and trivial to disrupt.

They will always have more strength as a voting bloc.
posted by mullingitover at 7:40 PM on December 25, 2006



The tactical strength of gun owners in the US is a joke.


I don't think the 2.6 million servicepeople in the US military would be comfortable going up against 215 million weapons in the hands of at least 59 million US citizens.... After all, they seem to be having enough trouble dealing with small arms in other countries right about now.
posted by eparchos at 8:02 PM on December 25, 2006


Eparchos, remember that state and federal law enforcement would probably be on the side of the military, too.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:10 PM on December 25, 2006


Who says the military would be on the opposing side?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 PM on December 25, 2006


Well, Pollo, on the off chance that the military, law enforcement, and individual gun owners all join forces to do battle with Keanu Reeves and the ghost of Charles Bronson, my money is on Charles.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:22 PM on December 25, 2006


Kid ichorous, it's also impossible to tell how many folks in the military would refuse to fight their own people.
posted by eparchos at 9:24 PM on December 25, 2006


Kid ichorous, it's also impossible to tell how many folks in the military would refuse to fight their own people.

Indeed. When I have heard it explained, it's not so much the fact the we have guns, but rather the threat that gun ownership presents. A "keep everyone in line" sort of thing.
posted by niles at 9:46 PM on December 25, 2006


Eparchos, though I qualified your first statement (2.6 million versus 59 million), I don't think the threat posed by an armed populace is necessarily trivial. But the threat, I think, is significantly weakened by a public reinterpretation of the Second Amendment, in which the right to bear arms ceases to be seen as a check against government injustice, and instead is seen as a check against the criminal activity of one's fellow citizens. This shift in perspective *aligns* the gun owner's interests with those of the state. If the NRA paints illegal immigration, meth labs, and Bin Laden as more compelling reasons for private armament than Big Brother, gun owners are identifying as little more than private police. As I mentioned previously, I haven't heard much fuss from gun owners over the Patriot Act. And if the Second Amendment isn't applied in protecting the remainder of the Bill of Rights, of what use is it really? Hunting?

Pollomacho, were you were hinting at this above? I regret making light of your comment, but it was rather cryptic - what exactly were you implying?
posted by kid ichorous at 10:50 PM on December 25, 2006


Well let's face it, how many gun-toting "liberals" do you know off hand? I'll put myself in that category, but I'm pretty much the only one I know.

The folks in the book club tend to get a little nervous when I flash my piece during a heated discussion of the latest issue of Harpers! Somehow back home in Alabama guns were a little more accepted at gatherings but black lesbians weren't so much.

I'm kidding of course about the flashing the piece (I keep them in a locked box at in an undisclosed location), but seriously the increase in security culture and gun culture seem to go hand in hand despite people's claims to be Libertarians. Additionally, my shooting partners are mostly current or former law enforcement and military, so for them gun ownership and security culture are one and the same.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:07 PM on December 25, 2006


Thanks Pollo, I think we're talking about facets of the same problem. Didn't Hunter Thompson observe this about the "outlaw" Hells Angels - that they threw their support behind the same political machine that would have them rounded up and put in cages?
posted by kid ichorous at 11:30 PM on December 25, 2006


kid ichorous:
Good call on the "alignment of the populace with the government" there.
Pollomacho:
I'm a liberal who believes in gun control, and I own a gun. And I'd be proud to be the first on to put it on the pyre as soon as they make those things illegal.
(BTW, that latest Harper's had a really nice piece about gun culture in it.)
posted by eparchos at 2:03 AM on December 26, 2006


...I don't think the threat posed by an armed populace is necessarily trivial.

Trivial is too strong a word, but when you consider that the likelihood of a significant percentage of the gun-owning populace actually fighting the armed forces is pretty small, and that the military has vastly superior equipment and training, the raw numbers of soldiers becomes less important.


I'm a liberal who believes in gun control, and I own a gun. And I'd be proud to be the first on to put it on the pyre as soon as they make those things illegal.

I don't understand this. Why do you own a gun if you think they should be made illegal?
posted by !Jim at 3:15 AM on December 26, 2006


"I don't understand this. Why do you own a gun if you think they should be made illegal?"

I don't own a gun and I think they should remain legal. I've been told I'm a liberal. I've been told I'm a conservative. I don't know what the hell I am. All I do know is an armed society is a polite society, and a society which may or may not be armed, is a paranoid government.

And I like dat.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:11 AM on December 26, 2006


The folks in the book club tend to get a little nervous when I flash my piece during a heated discussion of the latest issue of Harpers!

But what if, instead, you showed them your gun?
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:36 AM on December 26, 2006


the likelihood of a significant percentage of the gun-owning populace actually fighting the armed forces is pretty small

under present circumstances, yes ... future circumstances that would involve armed insurrection would involve a lot of drastic changes whose consequences are unpredictable

and that the military has vastly superior equipment and training,

equipment, yes ... but remember that many civilians are veterans and have been trained

it's not a good argument to argue about relative strength because in a guerrilla war, the insurgents aren't going to attack directly unless circumstances are to their advantage ... also they don't have to use guns to sabotage or steal necessary infrastructure

let's put it this way - if a bunch of indifferently trained and educated iraqis can fight the us army to a draw, i'm sure that u s citizens could
posted by pyramid termite at 6:48 AM on December 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Awesome. I started a derail about the armed overthrow of our government, thus saving an otherwise horribly empty "lol gun luvers n jesus luvers r dum" FPP.
posted by Eideteker at 10:02 AM on December 26, 2006


I don't understand this. Why do you own a gun if you think they should be made illegal?

The short answers:
1. Because I can.
2. Because my girlfriend likes to go target shooting and I like to do things with my girlfriend.

Actually, it's mostly because I'm not one of these people who doesn't question his own highly-regarded beliefs anymore. I've always been for gun control, but it's only recently that I've gone down to the range and chatted with "gun culture" people about guns. I'll tell you what, I learned a whole lot from these guys, mostly that they're not ALL NRA-badge-wearing psychos who want a handgun in every baby's diaper.
Basically, I feel that anything that is polarized by our media in this country (which is pretty much everything) bears personal investigation. I don't like preaching to the choir, because I can't help but feel it's useless. I also don't like repeating the same old talking points that have been done to death by smarter liberals than me, so I go to the "other side" to learn new information and gain new perspectives. I happen to live in a swing state where I have a choice between chatting with liberals almost as lefty as me and with conservatives almost as far right as you can get. Basically, when I want to talk about gun control I can either go up to Santa Fe (if I want mindless yuppies purring at everything I say) or I can go down to the shooting range and maybe actually get involved.
Some of the most fruitful conversations I've had about my two main issues (capitalism and the environment) have been with entrepeneurs and ranchers. Sorry, but people who are divorced from a situation can't really grok the human impact, and I don't want to be one of those people.
I'm also an environmentalist who drives a car, and a marxist who shops at Wal mart. Why? Because I live in America and, at a certain point, survival becomes more important than ideals. Of course, if I lived in a big city I wouldn't have to shop at Wal mart or drive a car, but I don't.
In short: The second guns are made illegal, I'll happily stand arm-in-arm with Carlos the Saddest Elk Hunter in America and pat him on the back as he tosses his precious 30.06 on the pyre next to my .22. And the minute cars are made illegal, I'll ride my bike over to Theodore the Saddest Hummer Owner in America's house and show him how to tune up his new $3000 touring bike. Until then, I guess I'll have to live in a world that doesn't match my dreams.
posted by eparchos at 12:38 PM on December 26, 2006


pallas athena pointed it out up above, but it bears repeating:

This is a double post from a year ago.
posted by koeselitz at 2:08 PM on December 26, 2006


In case you missed it: NRA's wacky graphic novel (UPDATED)
posted by homunculus at 4:20 PM on December 26, 2006


This is a double post from a year ago.

No, no it isn't. jonson's post from last year links to a single .jpg, which does not appear in the lengthy and frightening pdf file referenced in this thread (which has been characterized as a graphic novel or comic, neither of which is correct. It's a series of linked propaganda articles, set off with illustrations, in the vein of a Time magazine special report or something of the kind.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:34 PM on December 26, 2006


stavros: "No, no it isn't. jonson's post from last year links to a single .jpg, which does not appear in the lengthy and frightening pdf file referenced in this thread (which has been characterized as a graphic novel or comic, neither of which is correct. It's a series of linked propaganda articles, set off with illustrations, in the vein of a Time magazine special report or something of the kind.)"

...and this is a link to a single photo on flikr and the web site of the organization which published it. Sounds like a double post to me.

What you're saying, I think, is that homunculus' comment saves it. Maybe it does. Either way, this is still standing. And that pdf is mildly interesting, so maybe it should.
posted by koeselitz at 4:45 PM on December 26, 2006


...erm, or not. I can't find the PDF you're talking about. Maybe I'm just dense. I've derailed enough, though. Sorry...
posted by koeselitz at 4:46 PM on December 26, 2006


I am sorry about the double post. I had done a search on "Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms" and found nothing. In the first post pointed out by Pallas Athena and koeselitz, they are described as "Citizens Committee to Keep & Bear Arms" with an ampersand.

I made baby Jesus cry and I'm on Santa's naughty list now.
posted by Quiplash at 5:53 PM on December 26, 2006


My apologies, koeselitz, you're entirely correct. Because I put up the pdf in question on my own site a couple of days ago, I somehow imaginificated that it was also a part of the original post here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:59 PM on December 26, 2006


"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."

I think security can mean a great deal more than freedom from government tyranny. More specifically, I am of the opinion that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is especially necessary when government proves unable to guarantee such security.
posted by rush at 3:22 PM on December 28, 2006


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