So let me start this whole rant with admitting that “in my youth”, a couple years ago I was actually somewhat of a fan of Michael Moore. His movies / “documentaries” where kinda fun to watch and his books an entertaining read. After all, bashing the Bush administration was an easy target and at least from an European point of view hard to take offense.
But during the recent years even I, once sympathetic to Mr. Moore grew tired of his continuous tirades against capitalism and more recently the once-again warmed up fight for gun control and against civil liberties (at least those who don’t fit his own agenda). Now, since the massacre at Sandy Hook, the political left in the US apparently lost their shit and try to make up for all the lost ground on the monopoly of crazy-talk from the political right…
The stuff once somewhat reputable and sane-looking “liberal” people argue and outright demand is simply insane and downright stupid. Idiotic to a point, where I’m actually bothered to write this blog post to get it off my chest…
So without further ado, let’s dissect today’s newsletter from Michael Moore’s mailing list, from the perspective of a person who occasionally actually knows a little bit about the shit he’s talking about:
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
The year was 1955. Emmett Till was a young African American boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. One day Emmett was seen “flirting” with a white woman in town, and for that he was mutilated and murdered at the age of fourteen. He was found with part of a cotton gin tied around his neck with a string of barbed wire. His killers, two white men, had shot him in the head before they dumped him in the river.
Emmett Till’s body was found and returned to Chicago. To the shock of many, his mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral so that the public could see what happens to a little boy’s body when bigots decide he is less than human. She wanted photographers to take pictures of her mutilated son and freely publish them. More than 10,000 mourners came to the funeral home, and the photo of Emmett Till appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.
Yeah, that’s quite a moving story… But while we’re at it – let’s remember who was oh so vehemently opposed to the NRA in it’s early days. Can you guess it? White men who didn’t want to get bothered while busy killing black citizen? As even gun-control advocates like the UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler points out – gun control is quite popular among racists and in fact, the KKK began as a gun control organization.
In his research for “Gunfight,” Winkler also noted a close intersection between guns and racism. “It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.” he said. “The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South.
Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? But of course that doesn’t bother Mr. Moore as he already made the same mistake back in his movie Bowling for Columbine, if I remember correctly – the famous comic scene… But let’s not get hung up on that too much, there’s much, much more to come.
“I just wanted the world to see,” she said. “I just wanted the world to see.”
The world did see, and nothing was ever the same again for the white supremacists of the United States of America. Because of Emmett Till, because of that shocking photograph of this little dead boy, just a few months later, “the revolt officially began on December 1, 1955” (from Eyes on the Prize) when Rosa Parks decided not to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The historic bus boycott began and, with the images of Emmett Till still fresh in the minds of many Americans, there was no turning back.
In March of 1965, the police of Selma, Alabama, brutally beat, hosed and tear-gassed a group of African Americans for simply trying to cross a bridge during a protest march. The nation was shocked by images of blacks viciously maimed and injured. So, too, was the President. Just one week later, Lyndon Johnson called for a gathering of the U.S. Congress and he went and stood before them in joint session and told them to pass a bill he was introducing that night – the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And, just five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.
In March, 1968, U.S. soldiers massacred 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam. A year and a half later, the world finally saw the photographs – of mounds of dead peasants covered in blood, a terrified toddler seconds before he was gunned down, and a woman with her brains literally blown out of her head. (These photos would join other Vietnam War photos, including a naked girl burned by napalm running down the road, and a South Vietnamese general walking up to a handcuffed suspect, taking out his handgun, and blowing the guy’s brains out on the NBC Nightly News.)
So basically he’s saying that if you can’t win an argument with reason and logic (as it seems it their current “problem” with gun-control), you better appeal to the feelings and emotions of the masses, to create some kind of massive moral panic to get something done… Because educating them and having a rational discussion would be too much work I guess. Go figure…
With this avalanche of horrid images, the American public turned against the Vietnam War. Our realization of what we were capable of rattled us so deeply it became very hard for future presidents (until George W. Bush) to outright invade a sovereign nation and go to war there for a decade.
Bush was able to pull it off because his handlers, Misters Cheney and Rumsfeld, knew that the most important thing to do from the get-go was to control the images of the war, to guarantee that nothing like a My Lai-style photograph ever appeared in the U.S. press.
And that is why you never see a picture any more of the kind of death and destruction that might make you get up off your couch and run out of the house screaming bloody murder at those responsible for these atrocities.
Fair enough – that’s actually a valid point and I’m all for ending the senseless war(s) on everything the US seems to be enjoying all around the globe. But that has nothing to do with gun control. At least with civilian owned guns. Maybe we better start by getting rid of government controlled arms? How about that Mr. Moore? Once that’s done, there would be way less wars – and if that alone wasn’t good enough, there would be one very valid reason less on why the peoples right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Namely, an armed-to-the-teeth government.
That is why now, after the children’s massacre in Newtown, the absolute last thing the National Rifle Association wants out there in the public domain is ANY images of what happened that tragic day.
Oh come on – as if the NRA had any influence on what images and stories get on the news. Other than the lunatics at FOX, about any media network is on the pro gun control bandwagon and would love nothing more than to do the exact opposite of “what the NRA wants”.
But I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child’s body, that’s the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.
Say what? Every sane American? So the definition of sanity is now that once you see some disturbing images that stir up emotions, you must once and for all forget all logic and throw endless, decade long reasoning by some of the smartest legal minds out of the window… because… somebody please think of the children!!11eleven
Of course, there will be a sanctimonious hue and cry from the pundits who will decry the publication of these gruesome pictures. Those who do publish or post them will be called “shameful” and “disgraceful” and “sick.” How could a media outlet be so insensitive to the families of the dead children! Someone will then start a boycott of the magazine or website that publishes them.
But this will be a false outrage. Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please – DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!
Once again, fair point. But about those beaten and raped women he’s speaking of… Guess who really needs access to a gun to defend oneself from an attacker? Women. Especially in the US, where rape and violence against women is out of control (compared to other industrialized nations).
Speaking as someone who spent many, many hours teaching basic self defense to young women and training with them unarmed hand-to-hand combat, let me get one thing straight: The average college-aged girl is usually neither willing nor physically able to fight off a determined attacker. There’s simply no way a 100 pound girl will get rid of a 200+ pound 6 foot something guy before he can do some serious damage to her. Other than having a firearm or other similar weapon that is. You have to be able to quickly do massive bodily harm or at least threaten to do so in a credible way. And even that won’t work all the time.
Same goes for any other physically inferior person – the handicapped, elderly, heavily overweight, vertically challenged… hell, you could be a martial arts expert who just happens to have a broken limb or simply be sick and not be able to fight. Or face multiple opponents. Get cornered and not being able to run away. Maybe you need to protect a child or two and not just yourself. The possibilities are endless. Or to put it another way: God may have made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal (or as Colt themselves put it: Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.”)
Because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children – I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing – what would be our excuse not to act? Now. Right now. This very instant! How on earth could anyone not spring into action the very next moment after seeing the bullet-riddled bodies of these little boys and girls?
Uhm, no. Just no. He probably just has spent too much time in Hollywood, but really, that’s not how bullets work. You jusdt don’t get “blown apart” by a 2 to 4 gram .223 bullet. Soldiers don’t get blown apart either when they get shot. Actually, there are quite a few videos up on YouTube of american soldiers in Afghanistan getting shot multiple times, still returning fire and running (well, limping) around to get into cover or another firing position.
Granted, those are somewhat larger guys sometimes wearing body armor (though they usually get hit somewhere else, otherwise it really wouldn’t be worth mentioning) and the rounds they get hit by would be mostly .30 caliber FMJ bullets. But still… If you actually look at autopsy pictures of people who got riddled by police carbines (which are usually of the .223 semi- or full-auto kind) – they’re not blown apart either you don’t have to identify them by their dental records. They have holes punched into their body. The exit wound may be somewhat blown out, but that’s about it.
We don’t know exactly what those Newtown photographs show. But I want you – yes, you, the person reading this right now – to think about what we do know:
The six-year and seven-year-old children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School were each hit up to eleven times by a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The muzzle velocity of a rifle like the AR-15 is about three times that of a handgun. And because the kinetic energy of a bullet equals one-half of the bullet’s mass multiplied by its velocity squared, the potential destructive power of a bullet fired from a rifle is about nine times more than that of a similar bullet fired from a handgun.
I just love how “they” get oh so hung up on Bushmaster AR-15… as if it matters what rifle a bullet was fired out of. The ballistics of a .223 round mostly depend on the shape of the bullet (jacketed or hollow-point for the most part), the weight of the bullet (36 to 77 gr or so, that is 2 to 5 gram) and the speed of said bullet at impact. The later of course has some relation to the barrel length it was fired out of and the distance to target, but it sure as hell doesn’t matter if the rifle was made by Bushmaster, Colt, Smith & Wesson or any other of the hundreds of AR-style rifle manufacturers.
The muzzle velocity is actually 2-3 times that of a handgun (if you compare say a “slow” 77 gr .223 at about 840 m/s to a rather fast 115 gr 9mm at about 430 m/s or a very fast 36 gr .223 at 1140 m/s to a really, really slow 230 gr .45 ACP at 250 m/s) – then again, that’s the whole point of having a rifle, so you can pack more punch per shot. You really wouldn’t want to go hunting deer with a pistol (although some people like the challenge, it would be very illegal in quite a few places)
Then he goes on to the kinetic energy… which he uses the right formula, but apparently still manages to mess up on the math, when even a quick look at Wikipedia would clear that up: Your usual 55 or 69 grain .223 round has, out of a 24 inch barrel (which hardly any AR-15 has, more like 14 to 18 inch therefore the bullet would be much slower and have much less energy) between 1700 and 1800 Joules. Your average 9×19 mm defensive handgun round has around 600 to 700 J, your average .45 ACP defensive round 500 to 850 J. So… that’s more like one third to half the power of a rifle round. A .223 Remington has not freaking nine times the destructive power of any commonly used defensive handgun round!
Of course Mr. Moore has smart fact-checking lawyers who made him add “… of a similar bullet fired from a handgun.” Which boils down to comparing a .223 Remington 0.224 inch diameter bullet to a 0.222 inch diameter .22lr “handgun bullet” used in rimfire cartridges (fun fact: lr stands for Long Rifle and is actually a rifle caliber that’s also commonly used in handguns because it’s so small and has very little power). A .22lr really has only around 200 to 260 Joules… that’s why it’s usually also used to get little kids get started in shooting, as it can be shot even by a toddler without having to worry about recoil or serious hearing protection like you would with any other serious cartridge.
So… that’s just cheap Mr. Moore. Shame on you.
But let’s take it a notch further… remember when VP Joe Biden recently argued that one should ban all those evil assault weapons, because as everyone knows, having a double barreled shotgun like he and his wife have… that’s much safer!
Apart from obviously being retarded, just how much energy is your average 12 gauge shotgun capable of delivering on target? Let’s take an ordinary deer slug like the Remington Slugger 1 oz rifled deer slug, propelling a 1 ounce “bullet” at 1760 feet/second muzzle velocity… one-half of the bullet’s mass multiplied by its velocity squared, right Mr. Moore? What’s that? 4100 Joules? Two and a half times more than a .223 round fired out of those evil black guns? How about that… And that’s not even the most powerful 12 gauge slug out there, just a common one. You can add another 10% or so if you start shopping around.
In fact, that’s the ballpark all your usual hunting rifles are playing in. A .308 Winchester does 3500-3900, your 30-06 from 3800 to 4000 and let better not think of long-range rounds like the .338 Lapua clocking in at a whooping 6500 to 6800 Joules. That’s why pretty much everyone who really knows a little something about guns and ammo, other than watching movies and spending their career talking about things they know nothing about *cough*politicians*cough*… can only shake their head at all the talk about that unimaginable destructive power wielded by people shooting “assault weapons”, since .223 is pretty much considered a cheap, light pea-shooter mailny used by armies so soldiers can carry more ammo and waste less resources when they constantly miss their targets.
Nine times more. I spoke to Dr. Victor Weedn, chairman of the Department of Forensic Sciences at George Washington University, who told me that chest x-rays of a person shot with a rifle will often look like a “snowstorm” because their bones will have been shattered into fragments. This happens not just because of the bullet’s direct impact, but because each bullet sends a shock wave through the body’s soft organs – one so powerful it can break bones even when the bullet didn’t hit them. A video here shows what the shock wave looks like in the “ballistic gelatin” used by experts to simulate human tissue. (Would Gabby Giffords have survived if shot by a rifle rather than a Glock pistol? Probably not, says Dr. Weedn; the shock wave would have damaged the most critical parts of her brain.)
Another really stupid argument. In fact, so stupid I don’t even know where to begin with…
Getting shot by a pistol can kill you just as fast as getting shot by a rifle. Then again you can just as well survive getting shot by a rifle as countless soldiers can tell you from first hand experience. It’s all about shot placement. If you’re unlucky, you drop dead the second a measly .22lr hit you in the right spot. If you’re one tough son of a bitch (or high on drugs) and very lucky, you can get hit by dozens of specialized “man-stopping” rounds out of a police carbine without dying for quite some time, as this FBI analysis of a police shootout shows quite elaborately. (Warning: not for the squeamish)
The guy in the report got hit by 16 times by 55gr and 72gr Hornady TAP hollow-points fired out of an M-4 carbine. So that’s basically the same rifle and round used in Sandy Hook elementary, for those wondering. That is AFTER getting hit SIX times by 180gr .40 caliber hollow-point rounds fired by the police, which apparently didn’t bother him too much. Oh, and another round into his throat for good measure.
So let’s add this up… 7 handgun rounds didn’t do it, so the police grabbed their rifles and hit him another 16 times before he finally went down. That’s 23 hits at close distance, way more than any of those poor little kids in Sandy Hook received. In case you’re wondering how “exploded” he looks after getting shot up like this… the report has pictures. Quite a few of them. And actuall x-rays, so you can take a look at the “snowstorm” of bone fragments that are said to be floating around after a rifle round hits a bone… Not quite what Mr. Moore or (allegedly, as I can hardly believe a forensic expert would actually say stuff like this) Dr. Weedn would like you to believe.
And the whole matter of Hydrostatic shock – I won’t even get into that. That’s a whole different matter and not quite as straightforward either. But hey, let’s not get facts get into the way of our story Mr. Moore, right?
As horrifying as this is, there’s more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:
The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child’s head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face…actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.
Once again, quite graphic… But really, what the hell else would you expect from getting shot in the face? The whole point of shooting at someone or something is to inflict damage. Usually as much as needed to reliably kill your target. If you don’t do that much damage, you should have shot a larger caliber. And if you shoot someone in the head multiple times, of course identifying them would get correspondingly harder. Doesn’t matter if it’s a handgun, a rifle or a shotgun. And really, it also doesn’t matter to the victim how hard it is to identify him or her… That might sound harsh, but once you get shot in the head, it usually is pretty much game over – any further hits most likely won’t matter to you anymore.
We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:
In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.
Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. “I needed it to be real to him,” she said. The Governor wept.
Same as above. Who in the right mind cares about how it looks? The problem is that someone killed your child. Or would a clean cut across the throat be better? A bashed in head maybe? How about just a small point where a lethal needle went in? Does that make the killing better? No? Then why the hell even talk about cosmetic tissue damage…
The pictures showing all this exist right now, somewhere in the police and medical examiner’s files in Connecticut. And as of right now, we’ve somehow all decided together that we don’t need to look, that in some way we’re okay with what’s in those pictures (after all, over 2,600 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown) – just as long as we don’t have to look at the pictures ourselves.
Those numbers actually include quite a few suicides, which I would argue are a human right (an the Swiss high-court actually agrees with me on that, so that’s that) and not that much of a problem – otherwise those people might just as well have killed them another way. Then there are quite a few people shot by the police. Lots and lots of criminals and gang members shooting each other, who by definition don’t really care about gun laws one way or another. And then there are of course legitimate uses of force in self-defense. But cutting all of them out wouldn’t get you such a nice number, right? So let’s throw all gun-related death into on big pot and pretend gun control will magically get rid of all of them.
After all it worked oh so well in Chicago who practically declared the whole city a gun free zone and… wait, what? There’s no place in the US with more gun crime than Chi City? Hundred of school children get shot every year there? But how? After all, guns are banned… </sarcasm>
But I am telling you now, that moment will come with the Newtown photos – and you will have to look. You will have to look at who and what we are, and what we’ve allowed to happen. At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower ordered that thousands of German civilians be forced to march through the concentration camps so they could witness what was happening just down the road from them during the years that they turned their gaze away, or didn’t ask, or didn’t do anything to stop the murder of millions.
Really? REALLY? You compare a constitutionally guaranteed (dare I say, human-) right and a terrible crime committed by abusing said right, with the Holocaust? One of the most horrible crimes against humanity… ever! That’s so low, I now lost every last bit of respect for all the good things Mr. Moore has done during his lifetime. And I’m not even Jewish. If I was and lost members of my family in one of the concentration camps, boy would I be pissed.
We’ve done nothing since Columbine – nothing – and as a result there have been over 30 other mass shootings since then. Our inaction means that we are all, on some level, responsible – and therefore, because of our burying our heads in the sand, we must be forced to look at the 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Sure “we” have. May restrictions on owning and carrying a gun were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the US, there are more guns than ever before in the US, every day more people decide to carry concealed or even open… And crime rates are on a steady decline ever since. The murder rate is lower than in decades and still dropping and if America finally got rid of their idiotic war on drugs and with that their drug and gang problem, gun-related crime would be a almost a non-issue in the US.
Massacres like Sandy Hook are, while tragic and horrible, statistically pretty much non relevant. Most of all, killings with so called assault weapons (by the way, no such thing – click the link) are even now a non-issue. Most people who get shot, get shot by a handgun… most notably a .38 revolver or other cheap gun. People getting killed by rifle each year? 200 or so, including all type of rifles and all circumstances – ranging from a hunting accident to getting shot by police SWAT team in a drug bust.
The people we’ve voted for since Columbine – with the exception of Michael Bloomberg – almost none of them, Democrat or Republican, dared to speak out against the NRA before Newtown – and yet we, the people, continued to vote for them. And for that we are responsible, and that is why we must look at the 20 dead children.
Most of us continue to say we “support the Second Amendment” as if it were written by God (or we’re just afraid of being seen as anti-American). But this amendment was written by the same white men who thought a Negro was only 3/5 human. We’ve done nothing to revise or repeal this – and that makes us responsible, and that is why we must look at the pictures of the 20 dead children laying with what’s left of their bodies on the classroom floor in Newtown, Connecticut.
So. Fucking. Stupid.
I won’t even bother – I’ve written enough already. By now you probably already realized yourself at least one of the various flaws in this argument.
And while you’re looking at the heinous photographs, try saying those words out loud: “I support the Second Amendment!” Something, I’m guessing, won’t feel right.
Yes, someday a Sandy Hook mother – or a Columbine mother, or an Aurora mother, or a mother from massacres yet to come – will say, like the mother of Emmett Till, “I just want the world to see.” And then nothing about guns in this country will ever be the same again.
Pack your bags, NRA – you’re about to be shown the door. Because we refuse to let another child die in this manner. Got it? I hope so.
All you can do now is hope no one releases those photos.
Because once again: If you can’t win your argument with reason and logic, let’s resort to getting blinded by emotion and basing laws on feelings. Yeah… what could possibly go wrong with that?
How the fuck can otherwise seemingly intelligent people get so blinded by their agenda, that they willingly make a fool out of themselves by ignoring facts and bending the truth to a point where it’s getting ridiculous? Michael Moore might be the blatant example of the day, but the same goes for people like Stephen Colbert and Jon Steward, Bill Maher, not to mention left-wing figureheads like Rachel Maddow and the like… It’s a sad they for all of us, when the right wing nut-jobs and guys like Ted Nugent start making more sense.
Or as my favorite black guy (no, not Nobel Price winning, drone killing Obama) Mr. Colion Noir recently so eloquently put it:
Make sure check out his YouTube channel for lots and lots of really, really, REALLY well put arguments for the right of the people to keep and bear arms.