Tea Party Responds to Sandy Hook Massacre


WTVD: “The Tea Party in Asheville is being criticized for a fundraising raffle for two guns, including one similar to one used in the school shootings in Connecticut.”
“Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper says he’s surprised by the tea party’s timing, when the National Rifle Association took down its Facebook and Twitter accounts after the shooting.

Jane Bilello with the Asheville Tea Party says the fundraiser was planned before the shooting. But she stands by the group’s position that gun control does not work.

The raffle includes an AR15 semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a .22 Magnum pistol.”

Asheville Tea Party and Asheville Tea PAC Board Members’ email addresses:,,,,,,,,


  1. Gordon Smith says:

    Here’s the email I just sent:

    Board Members,

    Thank you for taking the time to read this message. As I was wrapping presents to give during this holiday season and taking a break from the wall-to-wall coverage of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary that took the lives of twenty children, I learned of your group’s plan to go ahead with an event celebrating gun culture and raffling a weapon similar to the one used by the murderer in Connecticut.

    No matter your political position on the massacre, I hope that you’ll please reconsider holding this event while the children’s coffins are still going in the ground, while their parents are living through the nightmare of burying their murdered children.

    Celebrating gun culture at this time is deeply disrespectful to those families and to those of us who value a season of peace.

    I appreciate your willingness to consider cancelling your gun raffle.

    Gordon Smith
    Asheville City Council

  2. Gordon Smith says:

    Jane Bilello at the ATP website:

    The deranged gunman may have shot his way into that Gun Free School Zone, but would not have gotten far if he had been met with equal deadly force. Think about the lives that could have been saved from the time the 911 call was placed and actual police arrival if he had he been met with armed resistance. That scenario can be applied to every massacre we have suffered through. Yes. This is the time for an honest debate. This is the time to shine blistering sunlight on this issue and to throw cold water in the face of those who let ‘no crisis goes to waste.’

  3. shadmarsh says:

    Yes, obviously we should arm not only our teachers, but our children as well, and perhaps our pets. Let’s siphon off what little money we spend on education and pour it into metal detectors, marksmanship training, automatic weapons, security systems, and UAV’s. This is obviously the most logical and efficient solution. My gun ownership is more important than your child. It’s in the Constitution! Guns don’t kill guns, gun kill guns. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…

  4. Gordon Smith says:

    Kindra Phillips said on Facebook:

    We should also contact the pawn shop. They’re providing the weapons. Capitol Pawn, 26 New Leicester Hwy, 828-505-8500

  5. Keith Thomson says:

    Whatever happened to a “well-regulated militia?”

    Gun battles with 30 round clip, semi-automatic weapons in elementary schools, theaters, churches, office buildings, Tea Parties, and everywhere else that are currently “gun-free” will be a nightmare.

    It seems some people have been watching too much of “Doomsday Preppers” and “Red Dawn” for their own mental hygiene. Perhaps custodians and lunch ladies should begin wearing body armor to win the Arms Race and even the “playing field?” Unilateral disarmament would be bad for the manliness of the system, would it not?

    Scary thing is that these are the people who will be running things in Raleigh in January. So we may be looking at their “ideas” being implemented into law. Stranger things have happened.

  6. Gordon Smith says:

    Alan Rosenthal said on Facebook:

    I just got off the phone with Dr. Kathie Lack, DVM from the Tea Party. It was her brother who came up with the ridiculous idea of putting this in the faces of not only the democrats but also the local GOP. The timing had nothing to do with a pre-planned event. Once the tragedy hit the news, they immediately chose to use this as a forum.

    Even with my statement that these children were not all in their graves yet, she said that she backed her brother and would in no way even change the date, as I had asked. They will not be conciliatory. In their minds, this is a fight against the liberal media. I tried again, providing a word picture of the parents seeing this poster (this is being reported all over the country) and that we had grandparents here in Asheville who lost a child in Connecticut who would also see the poster. She indicated no compassion, only a repeat of the conspiracy theories on the liberal media. She was not swayed by my repeating that this local event had nothing to do with the liberal media.

    I explained that even the smallest of gestures would go a long way, such as simply changing the date…which would inure to their benefit with greater raffle ticket sales and would be an incident to point to when they were sensitive to the community. Basically, from a marketing standpoint of message and income, changing the date would be beneficial. Her response was simply no.

    I asked if, as a veterinarian requiring much compassion, she felt that she was being compassionate or sensitive to the families whose children’s graves were still soft. She said that was not the issue. Standing against the liberal media is the issue. She stated that this would be conceding and they are always the ones who are asked to concede.

    I asked when the local democrats had ever asked the Tea Party to concede on something. She said never, it is the conservative republicans who have asked them to concede and they will never concede to them. When I illustrated that this had nothing to do with the democrats or the republicans and reminded her that the whole country has made accommodations for this tragedy, she only repeated that they will not concede or be conciliatory in any way.

    Finally, I asked her if she would take my concerns back to her board. Her answer again was no. Similar to the conspiracy theorists on the other side of the political fence, no facts or reason gets in.

    While I am a supporter of gun rights and believe that these gun free zones have been ineffective (criminals don’t follow the rules), what would scare me is being in an altercation with some of these local Tea Party folks. They are incapable of reason.

    I want to add that I have been commenting on this local faction of the Tea Party. It should be understood that the vast majority of those who align themselves with the Tea Party nationally and throughout NC are actually good and reasonable people with a point of view that may or may not be agreed with. Certainly, the Tea Party has brought to light some fiscal issues. All good. I know some very reasonable and intelligent people in the local area who are Tea Party followers. Again, all good. This Asheville Tea Party leadership overseen by Jane Bilello who has been thrown out of other local Tea Partys is the problem, not everyone who has similar views.

  7. Joan Snudden says:

    As a former teacher of young children, I would like to respond to the upcoming gun fundraiser.
    As I watched the Sandy Hook incident unfold I couldn’t help but remember the lock down practices at my school. Even the “training video” was disturbing. Our teachers were ready for a lock down at any time.
    Every person that came to the school had to show an ID through the window of the door. If the person wasn’t recognized as a parent or school personnel then he/she was not allowed access to our school. We did not “buzz in” individuals. A staff member physically went to the door and admitted them.
    I can’t fathom why your organization would choose to raffle off a weapon of mass destruction. Rifles used only in war. Please have some compassion and respect for the victims of Sandy Hook and cancel or postpone the raffle a few months.(if you must)

  8. TJ says:

    How do I get this link to emaik out to multiple folks??

    This is just ridiculous!!

    Whatever friends of mine (and, I know who) who are TP affiliated needs to address this immediately, or, I will sadly have to concede to my “other” friends that I am wasting my time.

    So much for the Southern gentility I’ve found strangely interesting. The TP doesn’t have an ounce of decorum, IME, if they cannot see their way to follow the
    example of fellow gun enthusiasts.

    So much for having a “better way,” as a political faction.


  9. TJ says:

    This will NOT be fun. From the list above, straightaway, I recognize two names, husband and wife. Two of the most compassionate and generous people I have met in a long time. I will be seeing them in the next couple of days. I’ll take them to lunch and commense a discussion on this. I’m curious what their response will be.

    Suddenly, I feel very sad, and, feel a tremendous weight.

  10. TJ says:

    Here is the letter I sent out….Two of the folks are personal friends, and, I will be curious how they might respond…now, or on Saturday, as they attend their Sabbath class. I’m hoping for the best.

    “Hello to y’all,

    I am writing to voice my support for the request to hold off your raffle as families are still grappling with their child being riddled with bullets. I understand at least one of you feels it is your right to continue and not stop your right to bear arms in some form. I am not here to address that issue. There are political, social, and spiritual dimensions to that point, but, this is beyond that.

    I have always been impressed with people in NC, especially, my conservative friends..and, many conservative Christians. For those whom are religious, I would ask you to consider that cliche’d question, “what would Jesus do?” The Jesus I know and love would have compassion for the hurting and broken lives he encountered. It seem like such a gesture of postponing the raffle would be a simple one. We cannot erase those deaths, but, we can share our support, as some of us did…releasing balloons with the peoples’ names on them, a candle lighting service tonight, and, others folks may do to help wrap their mind around this horrendous tragedy.

    One can argue that tragedies happen daily, and this is correct. A friend of mine sat watching her father dying this past week. Am I to tell her it’s no big deal, because we all die? Anyone knowing me could easily tell you I think about life and death issues almost daily. I find myself in tears when moments like this happen. It breaks my heart until I am not sure how it can heal again. My faith in God has shown me that He can…just as when my Jonathan died in the South Tower on 9/11. It worries me that folks seem not to be able to set aside their own agendas when there is such pain, until it hits us personally, then, we grieve and grapple with reasons and resolution.

    I wonder if it is possible to not have the raffle winner chosen until January. It may not seem like much, but, for folks deeply pained, it means much. Even the NRA has showed a gesture of support. I doubt anyone believes this will lead to a nationwide ban on gun ownership. Any thinking person can see that would not happen, for there are so many that support responsible ownership.

    I would hope if your lives were touched by tragedy, those surrounding you would find meaningful ways to be supportive. As for myself, I do not feel I can use my “rights” as a citizen or Christian can be used to overlook others. If I would want others to respect my rights and beliefs, I must offer the same, even if I do not agree with it. It does not mean I am compromising my beliefs, just an acknowledgment that many do not share my beliefs. I can share them without hesitation, but, I am also mindful that God never pushed his way into the “door” of my heart. He loved me and drew me close.

    Let us all draw folks around us near, share that love, and be the light to the nations I think we can be, when we hold each other with the same esteem that God does. I think Jesus would rather us be busy about his business of comforting the hurting, and reaching out to those in need. We are told that a “pure religion” is defined by the service we do and how we reach out with God’s love.

    Please give an example of this love to the nation. I think this will bring more respect from other people for your steadfast values, rather, than saying it is “your right” to not do so. This is correct, but, with those rights, come a great responsibility (no, I’m not talking about Spiderman 😉 ).

    I hope you will respond with a thoughtful answer, and, seek God’s wisdom, rather than political agendas. Even if others do so, please be the leadership material you could be if you set a different standard than “they” do. Let this become a “we” moment, much like after 9/11, and earthquakes I experienced when I lived in Ca.

    Let this not become an “oh, how sad” moment…rather, a place to start meaningful discussions that come from the heart of God, and from the hearts and minds of those who are capable of showing great compassion.

    Thank you in advance for reading this.

    Deep respect,

    TJ Amos, MA

    As a therapist, I have worked with grieving families. My experience showed me that the biggest factor of the healing process was the person having connections with folks they felt could understand their pain. Let us offer this today, and, not walk away, simply because our “neighbor” is in another state.”

    Sent from my iPhone

    “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
    -Albert Einstein

    Wow! I just realized the ad says a “donation” of 10.00 to enter? 10.00 will allow someone to own a gun? And the package value?

    I wonder how that translates into the cost of human lives impacted??


  11. TJ says:

    And, a response:

    “Fremont V. Brown III
    to me

    We are trying to fix the reason these innocents loss their lives so families hopefully in the future will not have to go thru the grief these families are going now. We wish to get rid of the gun free zones for as stated below – The evil minded and the deranged pick easy targets – the disarmed. People must be able to defend themselves and their loved ones. Getting rid of the GFZ’s is a way of hopefully giving some small comfort to the families that this event will not be repeated in the future. And other families will not feel the lost and grief that they are.”

    Wow! :::truly baffled:::

  12. Davyne Dial says:

    ATP’s decision to forge ahead in the wake of Newtown, comes off as extremely cold and woefully calculated to cash in on the fears of the choir. I suspect the decision will do them much more harm than the good of raising a few $$$$$s.

  13. TJ says:

    Davyne, maybe that would be a good thing…the consequence of their decision, that is.

    How can they complain about folks using this for their political agenda, when, they apparently did the same thing?

  14. “The definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    The definition of a gun nut is: Someone whose response to a mass shooting is to say that everybody should be armed at all times.

    “The evil minded and the deranged pick easy targets – the disarmed.”

    The suggestion that “If only old Mrs. Topsy, the algebra teacher, had been packing a 9mm, she might’ve saved all those children”… is so sick and irrational, it’s painful to respond to.

    But lest we forget: the guy who walked onto Fort Hood (“the most populous U.S. military installation in the world”), by definition, One of The Most Heavily Armed Places on the Planet, and in less than 10 minutes managed to shoot 42 people, including the well-armed & highly-trained DoD police officer who tried to stop him.

    Arming teachers? This is the solution put forward by people who simply have an unhealthy love of killing machines, who are desperate to change the subject away from real solutions, like restricting access to killing machines.

    The guy who walks into a school and pulls the trigger isn’t the only one with mental illness, IMHO.

  15. Linda Asheville, NC says:

    Mr. Smith,
    You should be very cautious who you quote. Mr Rosenthal plays two ends against the middle constantly and thinks nobody notices when on the contrary, his actions are well known and he is just a standing joke. Jane has never been thrown out of a Tea Party. That is simply untrue and I challenge Mr. Rosenthal to bring his “proof” forward. There is not a more dedicated, hard working and principled person than Jane. BTW, she is also a former teacher of young children.
    Hey, if you do not like the raffle you do not have to participate in it; vote with your feet. However I strongly suspect that is not your purpose. Like all good progressives you want to tell others how to live, what to do, where to go , what to eat, what car to drive, etc., etc., etc. In the words of your patron saint, the current Chicago Mayor, “never let a crisis go to waste.” That is your political agenda.

  16. Davyne Dial says:

    Schools with guards toting assault rifles in every corridor…yeah that’s the ticket.

  17. Tom Sullivan says:

    I told some people on Facebook today: I remember getting off the plane at a small airport in Mexico. Standing around were police with submachine guns and soldiers with automatic rifles, and walking the beaches, too. I thought, we’re not in Kansas anymore. I prefer Kansas.

  18. “I suggest putting a teacher in every gun store.” – Jef Johnson”

    I love that.

    Speaking of gun stores, at the one near Fort Hood, when Maj. Nidal Hasan came in & was basically screaming “mass murderer”, they still helped him find the most potent killing machine available.

    “According to pretrial testimony, Hasan entered the Guns Galore store in Killeen on July 31, 2009, and purchased the FN Five-seven semi-automatic pistol that he was to use in the attack at Fort Hood. According to Army Specialist William Gilbert, a regular customer at the store, Hasan entered the store and abruptly asked for “the most technologically advanced weapon on the market and the one with the highest standard magazine capacity.” Hasan was allegedly asked how he intended to use the weapon, but did not give a straight answer, insisting that he simply wanted the most advanced handgun with the largest magazine capacity. The three people with Hasan—Gilbert, the store manager, and an employee—all agreed upon the FN Five-seven pistol. Gilbert, who personally owned one of the pistols, spent nearly an hour describing it to Hasan, explaining that the gun was extremely lightweight and accurate, and telling him that the bullets it fires cause severe damage on impact.”

    “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.”

  19. TJ says:

    Yup. I’ll feel rrreeaaal safe knowing my kids are walking around in armed areas. That will bring me the kind of comfort I never thought possible.

    Friends laughed when I said I could move to Israel and claim citizenship anytime, and, if Romney won, I would consider it. Then, the Mayan calendar, end of the world thing. Now, armed teachers and free range guns?

    So, a political crisis could not get me to move.

    The end of the world? It wouldn’t matter where I lived for that one.

    Guns arming teachers and whoever else? I could move to Israel. But, nobody’s laughing now. After all, we will live in a war zone here in the U.S., so, Israel’s not a huge leap. Of course, we can compare America to other war-torn areas? How does they make sense? Oh. I see. It does, actually, since we want to arm everyone. We’re turning America into a nation terrorized by our own citizens. Other countries should just sit and watch. After all, we are on a path leading to an internal implosion.

    Who needs terrorists?

  20. Of course, the sad, unstated subtext of all of this is: imagine if the political will were mustered, along with the support of the law enforcement community, and bills were passed & signed, which then pass constitutional muster to become the law of the land to finally get assault weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

    Guess what – the NRA and idiots like Gordon (“Head shot, head shot, head shot!”) Liddy have spent decades encouraging these crazies to murder any policeman or sheriffs deputy who comes to their door to confiscate these weapons. And everybody knows this. So nobody wants to talk about rational solutions, because they inevitably lead to innocent cops getting murdered just for doing their jobs.

    So legitimate solutions are held hostage to hordes of Bubbas who just love to blow shit up. There is no real principle here – these idiots just like to pretend that they are warriors. There is no legitimate use for assault weapons, other than to kill a lot of people. It’s just slightly embarrassing when somebody takes the pretend too seriously, and pulls the trigger on Mom’s rifle on a bunch of kids. “But don’t take my assault weapon, you Commie!”

    The ‘Framers’ never intended for the Second Amendment to be interpreted as the right for people to arm themselves to the teeth & rebel against legitimate government. The Second Amendment was created for exactly the opposite reason – to allow for an armed citizen militia that could be mobilized when people rebel against legitimate government. The NRA-types know this, but it’s useful to spread a baloney interpretation (“Everybody should own guns. It’s your Right – no no, it’s your Duty to own guns. Tell them Wayne sent you, get 20% off ammo!!”), because there’s political power and big dollars involved.

    Our political process is being poisoned by the most violent-prone and deceitful among us. If & when the American experiment fails, this will be a major factor.

  21. TJ says:

    Well, Barry,

    All I know is the sadness deep within I feel when I picture those families and the community burying at least 3 children in a day.

    All the political and social posturing is ignoring the pain they cannot blow away with a gunshot to anyone’s head.

    Just like Einstein felt when he knew his discovery would lead to destruction, and, everything like this b/c’s a justification to endorse more violence. Violence does not “fix” or heal, it just creates more pain. Of course, any thinking, empathetic person knows this.

    Politics doesn’t seem to leave much room for empathy.

    I stand by the Einstein quote:

    “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

    I will not, and, hope others do not just talk about this, but, take every opportunity to support the end to violence at the hands of “our people.” Tim Peck made a point of Gordon disagreeing with an ideological view (which he called political), and for asking folks to contact them. I, for one, did, and, I have asked folks I know to do the same, including the ones I know from the ATP board. I’ll have time to speak to them tomorrow. Shame on anyone who keeps silent!

    How many more have to die before we say “ENOUGH!?”

    Those promoting violent measures and armed responses bring a whole new meaning to “home-grown terrorists.” I will NEVER teach my kids that violence is an answer to ANYTHING.

  22. It goes without saying that any innocent souls killed or injured by whatever means have our sincere sympathy.

    Please, read the articles posted at:,, and

    Ask yourself why the extreme radical left uses emotion and no logic to push their agenda of gun control and useless gun laws using the shooting in CT. ? Why is it NOT OK for the Asheville Tea Party to use logic that Gun Free Zones Do Not Work and try their best to get rid of the GFZ’s the very thing that resulted in the horrible tragedy in CT.?

    I ask those who have lost loved ones: Did someone telling you that they were sorry for lost of your loved one make you feel any better? Did it lessen the grief you felted? If, your loved one had died in the same type shooting in CT would you not of feel maybe just a little better that someone care enough to try and fix the problem so it hopefully never happen to other families?

    I ask the readers to please, read the webpages above and give it a good think about what I have stated here.


  23. shadmarsh says:

    Did someone telling you that they were sorry for lost of your loved one make you feel any better? Did it lessen the grief you felted? If, your loved one had died in the same type shooting in CT would you not of feel maybe just a little better that someone care enough to try and fix the problem so it hopefully never happen to other families?

    A) I would say the first two sentences are adolescent drivel. There is nothing you can say to someone who has had their child murdered to lessen the grief. Offering thoughts of sympathy is the human thing to do. B)Telling the parents that if everyone was armed it wouldn’t have happened, is an insult to their grief. If you don’t see that, well…that’s also sad.

    I ask the readers to please, read the webpages above and give it a good think about what I have stated here.

    With all due respect, I think you’re nuts.

  24. Tom Buckner says:

    Y’all might think I’m wired wrong, but this whole Sandy Hook business barely moves me… at least, not the way it affects most other people. It might even be a cosmic net benefit, considering the way it is discrediting the gun lobby. It’s just that, in a big-picture sense, it’s a statistical blip, and the perpetrator didn’t get to hang around long. He killed twenty children and seven other adults and then he was done.

    On the other hand I am racked with despair when I watch corporate fascists and anti-environmental extremists at play. Bush and Cheney, with their illegal wars, probably killed more than twenty THOUSAND children. And they still walk free into expensive resorts and restaurants and get their asses kissed by sycophants wherever they go.

    But these murders were done under color of law, through layers of intermediaries, and we don’t have very many names and faces to put to the victims.

    None of which makes these victims any less real.

    The Bush tax cuts surely killed more than twenty children. I can’t give you names and faces, but it surely is true.

    In fact the entire conservative economic agenda is intended to increase economic inequality, which is known to cause more violence in a society:

    Economic inequality is positively and significantly related to rates of homicide despite an extensive list of conceptually relevant controls. The fact that this relationship is found with the most recent data and using a different measure of economic inequality from previous research, suggests that the finding is very robust.

    In the most unequal nations, life is cheap. The far right always seeks greater inequality. QED.

    And Jesus H. Christ don’t even get me started on how these same lovers of wealth and bullets are also the ones who don’t give a flying shit about the environment. If you want to know how many children, yet unborn, who may never be born because we killed the planet… the simple answer is that this number is not knowable. But it is vast.

  25. Davyne Dial says:

    “I ask those who have lost loved ones: Did someone telling you that they were sorry for lost of your loved one make you feel any better? Did it lessen the grief you felted?”

    I seriously doubt that a words of sympathy is meant to make one “feel better.” It’s just humane. “Did it lesson grief”…no, and it’s probably not meant to. As most who’ve been through a senseless loss know, only time and tremendous effort will do so.

  26. Tom Sullivan says:

    As LaPierre said, “If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy.”

    As Digby said, When you’ve lost the NY Post

  27. TJ says:

    From my inbox this morning. Must not have gone to church to ask forgiveness for being so insensitive. My heart is really heavy again:

    Update on Gun Raffle
    We were oversold as of 7 pm on Thursday, 12/20, about 72 hours after we publcized. However, after checking on the addresses of some of the donors, we realized we had some donors from out of state, as far away as WA state. They missed the notice on the flier that North Carolina residency is required to even begin going through the legal process to take possession of the guns. We have 4 tickets left on the AR15 ($20) and 15 on the Magnum ($10). Please go to site. Click on the DONATE buttom on the upper right. Click on the category you wish and completely fill out the form. The winners’ names will be kept confidential to protect their privacy.

    The response has been overwhelming. Thank you for your support. Please see our statement to the right regarding the reason for going forward with the raffle. The flier is below.

    4 – left: Gun #1 – DPMS Panther Oracle AR15 223/5.56 Carbine made in USA with a Fostech “Bumpski” stock made in USA. ATF approved Bumpski stock (see video). Includes 2 x 30 round clips and a carrying case. Retail value of the prize package is over $1500. $20 donation is required to enter. Only 200 entries will be allowed.

    15 left: Gun #2 – Keltec PMR-30 .22 Magnum pistol with a 30 round clip. This weapon is the hard to find military green version. Retail is $415 but try to find one. There is a waiting list for it. $10 donation is required to enter. Only 200 entries will be allowed.

    Donations for tickets can be made online at:
    All information must be filled out on the form.

    And, this:

    “This Christmas season is a sad one. Please keep the victims of Sandy Hook in your thoughts and prayers as you meet with family and friends. We have an obligation to assure that we do everything we can to make sure this never happens again.
    From Asheville Tea PAC, Jane Bilello, Chair Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Obliged to return violence for violence 🙁

    :::sigh::: some merry Christmas, this is.

  28. TJ says:

    Actually, Fremont, it did. When Jonathan died in the South Tower on 9/11, it was devastating. What was even more devastating was when my (our) grief was used to justify another war. Americans were angry when foreign news showed people cheering over the collapse. Later, Americans were filmed in Times Square cheering and celebrating that Bin Laden was killed.

    Do I feel sorry for him? No. However, I find no pleasure in ANYONE’S death, friend or enemy. That humans can divide their minds and hearts in that way, deeply saddens me.

    I would like his death to prompt us valuing each other more, to be wise in how we spend our time with relationships in our lives, and, to encourage a peaceful way to co-exist in the world.

    Do I imagine there will be truly world peace? Some day, yes. But, mostly, it’s an ongoing issue. One more death will not “fix” that.

    If that is how you or others “feel better,” I must admit that frightens me more than wondering if a lone gunman is going to pop up again. They will. I don’t have to. If I take the life of another, I have become the very thing I fear.

    Meanwhile, since gun owners are registered, supposedly. and, if it is just fine to own a gun, why make the winner of those raffle weapons anonymous? I would think they should just as proudly be photographed and televised as the winners, much like the lottery. Or, is there some paranoid idea going around that liberal folks might attack them, if they are known? So far, the ones supporting violent responses are the TP folks, themselves.

    Come out of the shadows with your brand new weapons, and let us all see whom we need to fear as the owner of such fine weapons. After all, the point is to let the “crazies” know they better not bother you, right?

    I have to stop, I just can’t wrap mind around this sort of irrationality, even with my Masters degree in psychology. It reminds me of the psychological effect when an abused child internalizes the abuser, then abuses others.

    For those Christian TP folks, who are YOU internalizing? Not fear of God, surely, perhaps, fear OVER God.

  29. TJ says:

    “If, your loved one had died in the same type shooting in CT would you not of feel maybe just a little better that someone care enough to try and fix the problem so it hopefully never happen to other families?”

    “feel just a little better” : no deaths would make the loss of a loved one “feel just a little better.” Anothers’ death will not resurrect the other. Add onto grief, the compounded feelings such thoughts bring to the survivors. As justified as that hate or anger may feel, folks who are normally caring, sensitive people, will have their grief compounded by a slew of other feelings. Saw it all the time with parents of molested children. Murder, I cannot imagine, would be any better.

    “try and fix the problem” :

    Let’s stop using euphemisms here. Plain and simple… REVENGE. That is not justice, nor, does it enhance our world in any way. The satisfaction felt is temporary, at best. So, you shoot another person. Somehow, that will wipe out evil and death? If so, gang deaths would have ended long ago. After all, they are armed to the teeth.

    Can you not see that when you suggest such things, you are revealing the darkness in your own heart? That you would consider the death of another preferable, as if your loved ones’ life is more important than the other. True, your loved one has not murdered someone, in this scenario, however, you are advocating that SOMEONE else dies on behalf of preventing another death. Wow, this actually makes my mind spin! It’s almost a tongue-twister of the psyche.

    This is truly baffling to me. I would be curious how many of the folks who do thumbs down would consider themselves loving, and/or, Christian. Really. Because the Jesus I know would be telling us all “put away your swords.” Somehow, I don’t think He made us exempt from what He expected from His disciples. “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword,” as He healed the severed ear of a soldier whom Peter had lunged for to “protect” Jesus. I wonder why Jesus did not praise him for that? It was, after all, in defense of the most righteous person in this story. If He was unwilling to have Peter act that way on His behalf, what makes us so special? Now, I know not everyone in the TP are Christians, and, that is what I am addressing here. I do so, because I have had this discussion with more than a handful of friends who ARE Christians. It has left me feeling saddened, and, almost like leaving “humanity” behind, and finding a place – well, I don’t know – just away.

    If we, humanity, are to survive, we have to see past our anger and hate. Anger is not necessarily bad. That is also shown in stories of Jesus. However, revenge is always frowned upon by Him.

    Why so much focus on Christians? Well, for one thing, of all the folks I know, the idea is that Christians have “the way” and want to offer that to people around them. A “light to the nations,” and all such things. If those who have the “answer” cannot figure this out in a way that is literally spelled out for them, then, I wonder what hope there is for the rest of humanity. That is, unless, those who are not believers are actually more capable of holding a space for hope and truth and REAL justice, not, revenge.

    If all folks want out of this are ways to blame everyone else; push through their own agenda, regardless of how the families feel; encourage people to prepare for an apocolyptic ending, and “it’s me and my family” mentality; defend against violence with more violence, and, on and on and on, ad nauseum, then, I guess I am not fit for this discussion. It just hurts too deeply, and I find myself tied up in knots internally, just knowing that people I care about deeply, are so blinded that they REALLY believe that violence is a solution…that somehow, brandishing a weapon will support an end to violence.

    And, Tom B., if there IS a ‘cosmic justice,” I would hope it shows itself soon. My angst is not just over this incident, but, it is a vehicle by which folks continue to perpetuate this kind of thinking. Meanwhile, as you say, even bigger issues are at hand, and, those guys hope we are too busy with this to notice them. They all basically fall under the same category of societal ills, just expressed in another way.

    Merry Christmas.

    Peace on Earth.

    Good Will to Man(and woman).

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.”

    For all the atheists, my deep, humble apologies. For the agnostics, the same. For other folks of other beliefs, the same. I hope anyone here whom knows me, knows I don’t usually get preachy (even if a bit long-winded). This just happens to be the center of the rationales I have heard from people this past week. It sickens me to have anyone claim to have a belief system, then, so blatantly misrepresent it or disregard it out of their own emotions they are too afraid to admit having.

    I guess it’s fitting that our holidays be troubled, to some degree, anyway. After all, families are not having a joyous time, and, their are people out here trying to exploit that fear and anger.

    Peace on earth. Good will. Loving spirit. Holiday greetings.

    Joyeux Noel.

    It is for such a time as this.

    :::okay, my energy is spent:::

    Hope all you hooligans enjoy your families, your time alone, your time away, and whatever this time of year means for you. For those with less than stellar experiences of the holidays, I steal the quote from “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” when the father yells for him to have a good day at school, and the mother says it is too much pressure:

    “Have the day you have!”

    See y’all on the other side, after all wrapping paper is in the recycling bag, a new critter my kids know nothing about is dropped on their face Christmas morning (Shad, you won’t be the only one with kitty pictures to show off 😉 ), and whatever is left of our tree after the critter knocks a few needles and ornaments off, and, whatever sort of mayhem is over.

    Peace, y’all!!


  30. Tom Sullivan says:

    “So the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of kindergarteners, mall shoppers and moviegoers? Is that freedom?” — Shannyn Moore

  31. Tom Buckner says:

    Well spoken, TJ but you misunderstand me: “cosmic net benefit” means that the political harm to reactionaries resulting from this tragedy might improve the chances of human survival by .000001%.

    “Cosmic justice,” on the other hand, is a concept based on the concept of “justice,” which exists because it improves social cooperation between the crested apes of Earth, third planet in the Solar System, on the Orion spur of the Sagittarius arm 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way galaxy, in the Local Group of galaxies of the Virgo supercluster, one of millions of superclusters (at least 176 billion galaxies) in the visible universe. Nobody knows how many universes there are.

    The cosmos doesn’t seem to care what the crested apes do, but maybe it would if they colonized it instead of wiping each other out where they are. To do that, the crested apes need cooperation, and for cooperation they need justice.

  32. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants.”

    We’ve all seen that quote many times over the last few years. I wonder how many Teabaggers know that Jeffersons quote was actually: “…the blood of patriots and tyrants.”, but deliberately leave those inconvenient words out?

    They have the “fantasy patriot” game running in their heads, but they know that actually trading lead with the actual tyrants will mean they’ll die bloody real fast, so…

    It’s my opinion that gun nuts have rationalized the occasional massacre of innocent children as sad, but unavoidable ‘collateral damage’ in the ongoing need they have to pretend that America is still a place that can be ruled by a handful of Sons of Liberty and their muskets.

    “Can’t get them out of the hands of psychopaths while I’m playing patriot. Sorry.”

    So, yes, in their warped view of America, “the blood of kindergarteners” must sometimes be spilled. And so long as it’s somebody elses children, that’s easier than rolling up your sleeves & participating in the American experiment. It’s so much more fun to listen to Mr. Smith & Wesson, Mr. FOX News, and Mr. Pabst Blue Ribbon…

  33. TJ says:

    Thanks, Tom, for clarifying. Still working on my political sauve wings.

    Barry, unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to crack that defensive barrier they have. So invested, are they, that to admit theirs might be a flawed premise seems a sacrilege. Times like this, I just wonder how folks can seem so callous, yet, they are convinced they are loving, and are doing this “for our own good.”

  34. Tom Sullivan says:

    “… the NRA has become a neo-Confederate movement that sees Federals as foes, and that stokes the paranoia of its followers by claiming, as LaPierre did this year, that Obama’s re-election marks “the end of our freedom forever.” That’s more or less what Fire-Eaters said about Lincoln in 1860.”

  35. TJ says:

    Older thread, I guess, but, found this.

    Barry, here is another 911 recording TP folks should have to listen to, going into the New Year:

    How is it that Canada, along with other countries with high gun ownership numbers, have so few gun murders than the US? Seems like our “leaders” have a bit more to learn about responsible ownership b/f they try to call us a leading nation of anything, really.

    If guns make us safer, why do we have such an overwhelming culture of fear? Thanks, media and country leaders, for pumping our brains full of all sorts of fears, real and imagined.


  36. Pete Kaliner says:

    What are the specific proposals?