Monday, April 14, 2014

God, Guns and Hitler

I have certain misgivings about hate crime laws, but we're reminded this morning -- the eve of Pesach or The Passover, and a week before Hitler's birthday, that people who belong to hate-based organizations and creeds, who post virulent hate messages and calls for extermination on-line, need their constitutional right to keep and bear arms infringed.

I feel quite protective of our guaranteed right to free speech and our right to think what we think, but speech that incites to violence, that creates a mortal danger to the public, is something else and that's been established for a long time. Frazier Glenn Miller is a founding member of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.  That's not a crime, more's the pity, nor is shouting "Heil Hitler" from the back of a police car, but perhaps we ought to consider making it a felony to belong to groups who advocate murder because as far as I know, it's illegal for felons to own firearms.

I know -- penalties and restrictions don't prevent criminals and especially psychopathic criminals from committing crimes, but there's something wrong with Mr. Miller or Mr. Cross as he often calls himself, to own weapons.  There's something wrong if  the targets of hate groups need to arm themselves or to hire armed guards or to go about in fear because we elevate and protect a right to be armed above the right to remain alive.  We shouldn't have to wait for people like that to run amok before we do anything. Threatening violence against groups or individuals should be sufficient to disarm someone. 

Lest one think that being a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant is protection and a reason not to worry, Methodists were shot in this tragedy as well.


  1. Threatening the President's life will get you a visit by the Secret Service. Why shouldn't that happen to people like Miller and others who threaten whole groups of people?

    Cross-posted at Progressive Eruptions.

  2. Because the DamnRepublicans start howling about freedom of speech when it's suggested?

  3. Last night, I was sickened by first accounts of the shooting - knowing instinctively that this was a hate crime while the authorities were still withholding motive and judgment.

    Only in America do we place the precious right of free speech so high on a pedestal that we tolerate this crap. Most countries in Europe outlawed this stuff after WWII, outlawed anti-Semitism, outlawed Holocaust denial, outlawed violent fringe groups, outlawed racist hate speech.

    In contrast, America is still the Wild West because the lunatic fringe covets their lunacy as much as they covet their guns. When we write and comment about such lunacy in our online forums, we receive the opprobrium of right-wingers who accuse us of “political correctness” - of acting as the “thought police.” Well, goddamnit, sometimes you need political correctness to condemn the madness within our midst.

    Here is a word to some of our conservative so-called friends. The next time anyone calls me a “libtard” for my beliefs or my words or my partisan affiliation, and accuses me of political correctness, be forewarned: I no longer need a fucking dictionary to stand my ground!

  4. Is anyone more guilty of measuring the correctness of everything against some theory? Making terroristic threats against any group or individual should be enough of a crime to forbid anyone from owning firearms. We don't have to call it anything ambiguous like "hate speech" which includes what I'm writing now because I hate the Klan and similar groups with a passion. If someone says "Baptists should be rounded up and shot" Let's declare them felons, terrorists, anything else that can allow us to disarm them.

    Appears that this miscreant bought his guns from a private party, perhaps illegally, but without any background checks. Maybe we should pay attention to this, stop worrying bout our usual shibboleths and close this loophole?

    I don't know how much time law enforcement spends monitoring such people, their groups and their publications. Southern Poverty Law and probably other private institutions certainly do, but we need to spend as much time on internal hate groups as we do spying on Muslims if not more.

    There were several incidents in my former home area near Chicago in the 1990's. One rampage shooter called himself a "pastor" and talked about Jesus. They get attention but fade away soon and we pretend that they are lone wolves not members of a widespread family of hate mongers with a large network of support. Sometimes there are really conspiracies and this is one of them.

  5. An hour ago, I left this comment at RN's place but thought it might also be appropriate to share it here:


    Will: “these folks are the bottom of the barrel.”

    Just because Will says it, does this mean his ad hominem characterizations are true? This is how Will treats all folks who hold an opinion different than his:

    “leftist morons”
    “you uneducated buffoon”
    “ignoramus leftist stooge”
    “bottom of the barrel”

    See, here is a problem with blanket stereotypes: Just because it may apply to one or a handful of people, are these characterizations true of every member of the same group?

    Another term is “unintended by-catch,” a term used among fisherman who cast an overly wide net and catch air-breathing marine mammals in addition to edible fish. Are all liberals, or all conservatives, “bottom of the barrel? Or only liberals just because they hold a different opinion?

    In my neighborhood, there are people of all persuasions. There are liberals and conservatives, alike, who pay their taxes, pay their bills, do their civic duty, and help their neighbors – regardless of political persuasion and with no preconditions.

    Speaking for myself, I raised one daughter who chose a career in the U.S. Army. A Lieutenant Colonel to be exact, a recipient of TWO Bronze Stars and SEVEN distinguished Service Citations who deploys next week to Afghanistan. Like me, she is liberal and progressive and votes accordingly. Does this mean Lieutenant Colonel Daughter is “bottom of the barrel,” according to Will-the-Shrill who takes no prisoners and tolerates no opinion other than his own?

    You see, Will, there really are racists and anti-Semites in this world. Yesterday, for instance, THIS MAN thought he was targeting Jews but killed two Methodists instead.

    Oops. Unintended by-catch!

  6. As I always say: all sweeping generalizations are wrong -- but of course that is a sweeping generalization. I'm tempted to believe that everything humans say is a deception dressed up to look true. George Will is a perfect example of factual Gerrymandering; of selecting a few factual items and assembling a coherent, but misleading story in which contradictory evidence is absent in order to assert his tribal leanings.

    And are these groups really groups at all -- or artificial assemblages intended to deceive; intended to distract from the agenda of the accuser? Much of that which Liberals are supposed to support isn't liberal at all and we're so trained, so programmed not to question terminology and to accept tendentious definitions we buy into it ourselves. "I'm a liberal so I support more restriction" Huh?

  7. To the anonymous commenter who stalks one of our readers across Cyberspace (accusing him of anti-Semitism):

    You provided none of the following:

    A live link
    A citation
    Any form of evidence

    And even if you had done your homework, there are other things I don’t appreciate from malicious trolls like you:

    Defaming people in Kangaroo Court
    Defaming people based on hearsay
    Defaming people anonymously (you coward!)
    Harassing this community
    Predatory and unethical behavior

    Your malicious comments will never be posted here. Now get lost


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