Crazy conspiracies appear immediately about Aurora shooting

Oh, man. Crazy, baseless speculation about the Colorado shooting comes from the crazy, baseless, bullshit website Natural News. We don’t link directly to ANY story on Natural News but wanted to give you an idea of the rampant speculation and imaginary things said by Mike Adams. So, I have WebCited the page, archived it in another place so, you can view it without visiting the actual site.

Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged

According to news reports, this sudden violent rampage was completely out of character for James Holmes, who was described as “shy.”

There is already conjecture that James Holmes may have been involved in mind-altering neuroscience research and ended up becoming involved at a depth he never anticipated. His actions clearly show a strange detachment from reality, indicating he was not in his right mind. That can only typically be accomplished through drugs, hypnosis or trauma (and sometimes all three).

[…]this guy was equipped with exotic gear by someone with connections to military equipment. SWAT clothing, explosives, complex booby-traps… c’mon, this isn’t a “lone gunman.” This is somebody who was selected for a mission, given equipment to carry it out, then somehow brainwashed into getting it done.

More claims that he says suggests a less than straightforward explanation for the event:

  • His behavior doesn’t add up.
  • Holmes was clearly provided with exotic gear. (How does an unemployed medical student afford $20,000 in weapons gear?)
  • It was a carefully planned, heavily funded and technically advanced attack. (Hence, the FBI did it.)
  • Mystery man Holmes has no background.
  • Someone else taught this guy these skills and funded the acquisition of the equipment.

In other words, this has all the signs of Fast & Furious, Episode II. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover someone in Washington was behind it all. After all, there’s no quicker way to disarm a nation and take total control over the population than to stage violence, blame it on firearms, then call for leaders to “do something!” Such calls inevitably end up resulting in gun confiscation, and it’s never too long after that before government genocide really kicks in like we saw with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao and other tyrants.

He continues with ranting of how government is out to get us. This garbage is now out there, it can’t be taken back no matter what the preponderance of evidence shows. Mike Adams is a media manipulator, just like hundreds of other bloggers who put their wacked out, unsupported stories out there with little in the way of facts (or distort them to their needs).

I don’t have anything good to say about Mike Adams. So I’ll just stop there.

Tip: r/skeptic

  54 comments for “Crazy conspiracies appear immediately about Aurora shooting

  1. Massachusetts
    July 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    “His actions clearly show a strange detachment from reality, indicating he was not in his right mind. That can only typically be accomplished through drugs, hypnosis or trauma (and sometimes all three).”

    How about garden-variety mental illness? Has Mr. Adams ever heard of schizophrenia, paranoia and such? And is it possible he could actually be on drugs of his own accord? Don’t people take mind-altering drugs and then commit crimes sometimes?

    […]this guy was equipped with exotic gear by someone with connections to military equipment. SWAT clothing, explosives, complex booby-traps…”

    All of this stuff is available for sale on the internet and at gun shows, etc. The whole point of the gun control argument, weather you subscribe to it or not, is to address the well-verified fact that it’s extremely easy in this country to acquire automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

  2. spookyparadigm
    July 21, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    I will again point out how the line between politics and conspiracy theory has been erased on the right. For those of you who have been wondering “why has there been such emphasis on the Fast and Furious investigation?” this is why. As an actual thing, it’s not much at all. But it is being driven by the right-wing because they believe it to be some sort of conspiracy to take away guns, by flooding Mexico with guns, getting agents and others killed, to manufacture an anti-gun panic. This is just a somewhat crazier (though not really, if you think about it) extension of that. Except that it’s on a fringe site, and not in the Congress.

    Though of course, Congressman Louie Gohmert already weighed in about how this was caused by God removing his protective hand because he was ejected from high school celebrations.

  3. Tom B
    July 21, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    In point of fact, it is difficult to legally obtain automatic weapons in the USA. It requires a Federal license, renewed annually, that costs hundreds of dollars & includes a background check. It is possible to obtain semi-auto versions legally, then obtain kits that will convert them. At which point you are no longer talking about legal firearms.

  4. Richard
    July 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    The “tactical clothing” can be purchased at most surplus
    stores. Semi-automatic weapons are perfectly legal to
    own and purchase, at just about any sporting goods store.
    There are no records, that I have been able to find, of a
    legally owned automatic weapon being used in a crime.

  5. Moose McNuggets
    July 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I’m surprised no one has blamed fluoride yet.

  6. spookyparadigm
    July 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    And I’ve seen no indication that he had automatic weapons. News reports have already detailed specifically the four firearms he owned, a mix including semiautomatic, at least one with an added large capacity magazine, and when and where they were purchased (as they were legal).

  7. Tom B
    July 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Yes, but I was not commenting on this particular incident. I was replying to Massachusetts assertion that “it’s extremely easy in this country to acquire automatic and semi-automatic weapons.” Semi-autos can be easy to get legally, depending on the state, but full automatics are not. Too often discussions on gun laws are disrupted because of the use of incorrect or nonsense terms. Why should someone take a point of view seriously if the person espousing it doesn’t reciprocate.

    I once had a discussion about gun laws with someone that complained how it was stupid that guns couldn’t be banned because the stupid second amendment to the Declaration of Independence. He repeated that twice when I asked him to clarify, at which point I told him to get some education about the subject, then I would talk to him about it again. He never bothered.

    So it is important to know what automatic and semi-automatic weapons are and are not, and to avoid talking about assault weapons as a type of gun. Or even someone that like guns and is sympathetic to the discussion of some type of control will probably not be too open to your POV.

  8. spookyparadigm
    July 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    At the same time, I’m really not sure what the wisdom of talking semantics and technical details about guns(however simple) in a discussion about a massacre is. It makes one look argumentative and more concerned about guns as a thing rather than a policy concern than anything else.

    I’d also make the point that while I suppose this could have been worse had the killer had fully automatic weapons, he shot what, sixty+ people? Got off probably at least that many rounds? The difference in outcome here is relatively minimal except that he might have carried one gun instead of four. Big deal. This lesson has clearly been learned by spree killers as we’ve now seen this time and again in the last few years. All they need to do is a little more shopping, and they’re good to go.

    I’m not trying to be rude, but every single one of these discussions I’ve seen over the last day, inevitably someone starts commenting about specifics or even trivia of guns in a clearly enthusiastic, at times to the point of obsession, manner. You have not substantially done that here, but I don’t see any point in going down that road.

    Especially as how there is a virtually 1:1 correlation between those kinds of posts, and the inevitability of a “well if more people carried guns like Real Americans, someone would have stopped them.” Which in this case is beyond ludicrous, as the killer had body armor, had already deployed tear gas, and was in a darkened theater. I saw on a fb friend’s wall another of his commenters talking about how someone could still have shot him, or taken him out with their katana skills, and then started going into that. To which the only rational response is, please go back to the D&D table, the adults are talking.

  9. July 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    It’s like the world’s conspiratards just sit and wait for tragedy so they can claim it for their own agenda.

  10. kiljoy616
    July 21, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    “shy.” Another word for some form of Mental Disorder.

    As for the Automatic weapons, I am just glad this guy was not a trained soldier oh this would have been much worse. As what I read this guy had plenty of time to kill a lot more people. What is so funny is we are always talking about gun control which really does nothing. This guy took his time and bought everything he needed. But in time we will find out he was a waste case and people knew it but the FCKN TABBOO of mental disorder will again play a part.

  11. Massachusetts
    July 21, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    A valid point technically speaking, but practically speaking it makes little difference for the case at hand, and in general too, in my opinion. The semi-automatic weapons are relatively easy to obtain, and so are the kits. Hence fully automatic weapons are relatively easy to obtain, albeit not legal, which is of little concern to a psychopath, of course.

  12. Massachusetts
    July 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Good point!

  13. LREKing
    July 21, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Lisa: Maybe there is no moral, Mom.
    Homer: Exactly! It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

    Many people have to seek meaning in everything, even when there is none to be found.

  14. July 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I’ll let that bit of namecalling go for Mike Adams because he is truly vile. But for a conspiracy theorist EVERYTHING can be fit into their agenda. When you can make up your own ‘facts’, that becomes very easy to see everything fitting together.

  15. spookyparadigm
    July 21, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    As you might imagine, one of your favorite bloggers has been all over this topic (with even a CM post with comments off, in addition to the expected TL blog).

    I have to say, even I am surprised by the large number of people that followed Gohmert’s lead in the “they died because God lifted his protection from liberal America” calls. But once a congressman proudly gets away with it (he posted it on his official government page), that will inspire more to speak out. Again, this is what happens when you erase the boundary between mainstream politics and conspiracy theory.

  16. Massachusetts
    July 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    That’s rather disturbing. It’s such a strange viewpoint. I assume if you ask the congressman to select a time when the nation had the protection of God, he would give a specific answer. Then you could review American History and easily find tragic events, brutality and such, and point it out to him. I wonder what his answer would be? More bizarre rationalizations I suspect.

  17. spookyparadigm
    July 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    The worst school massacre in American history was in 1927. I’m not sure what Gohmert would tag to explain that. Maybe the Scopes trial two years earlier.

    Gohmert gave a sort-of-not-really-apology on his website today, though he left the other one up. Basically he didn’t deny he believes what he said, he just says he shouldn’t have said it.

    Here’s some similar statements (not my blog, but useful for this sort of thing):

    The American Family Association’s director Fred Jackson with co-host Teddy James (earlier in the same program, he said 40 years ago America was ok. Another column on the AFA website dates back to 1963 and the Supreme Court not allowing the 10 Commandments to hang in public schools)

    “Jackson: I think the sources of this is [sic] multifaceted but you can put it all I think under the heading of rebellion to God, a rejection of the God of the Bible. I think along with an education system that has produced our lawyers, our politicians, more teachers, more professors, all of that sort of thing, is our churches, mainline churches. We’ve been dealing Teddy and I know the AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God.

    James: And God will not be silent when he’s mocked, and we need to remember that.

    Jackson: We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.”

  18. Paul V Ruggeri
    July 22, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    Responded to this, over there.

    “His behavior doesn’t add up”.

    CUZ HE WAS NUTS! Heaven forbid that a mentally disturbed person’s behavior doesn’t add up…

  19. Paul V Ruggeri
    July 22, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    Was also called a government spOOk for responding to this:

    “Question: How does an unemployed medical student afford $20,000 in weapons gear?”

    So therefore, the gub’mint. Rigggghhhttt… Credit cards!! That you have no intention of ever having to pay off. Also, 1 ar15, 1 shotgun, and 2 glocks hardly come to $20k, even with ammo.

    I won’t post the vile names I called the person accusing me of such.

    I simply have no more patience left in me for these people. This kind of will-full stupidity and glorification of ignorance has got to be some sort of low water mark not just for the US but for all of human history. It really is mind-numbing to realize how out of touch with reality these folks are, ESPECIALLY people on sites like Natural News. And NN just GLEEFULLY purveying this tripe all to capitalize on this tragedy… this kind of vileness really ought to qualify as some sort of crime against humanity.

    Sigh… ok… done now. Sorry

  20. Massachusetts
    July 22, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Yes! Seriously!

  21. Massachusetts
    July 22, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Is it even verified by more reputable sources that the equipment costed that much? One less zero would make a huge difference. And as for credit cards, didn’t several directors finance their first full-length motion pictures via credit card debt?

  22. dottie
    July 22, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Exactly. This is heartbreaking. And now I am reading commentary suggesting this gunman was a sort of ‘manchurian assassin’.

  23. July 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Because I own guns, and because I don’t hide the fact, I received the above piece in an e-mail twice within a few hours of the shooting. They wanted to show me how “my kind” are totally nuts.

    For some reason liking guns associates me with every crime committed, and with every psychopath who goes on a rampage. “See what happens when you allow guns?” is the usual argument, as if I am to shoulder the blame for the act of a person whose motives no sane person will ever understand.

    I’m tired of it. I’m tired of explaining why I own and carry a gun, and especially to being compared to murderous thugs or madmen.

    As a non-drinker, perhaps I should point my own finger at every drinker out there and yell “For Shame!!” for the 40+ people who die EVERY DAY in alcohol-related automotive accidents.

    I don’t because I recognize the responsibility of the actions rests not with everyone who drinks, but with the individual responsible. It certainly does not rest with the alcohol itself.

    Gun owners, and guns, apparently merit special treatment.

    Sure, there are idiots with this and that agenda, but they do not speak for all, or even the majority of gun owners.

    My take on this latest conspiracy theory is the person pushing it is of diminished reasoning capacity.

    But by the same token, I will be charging the same to all the politicians (and individuals) who took the time to crawl out of their sewers so they can use this tragedy to further their own agenda.

  24. Massachusetts
    July 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    We might not know this from watching Fox News, but the shocking truth is that not everyone who advocates for sensible gun control laws lives in a sewer. I know it’s hard to believe, but many live in houses with yards, white picket fences, and even American Flags flying high and fluttering in the breeze. Some of these people, even though they disagree on key points with many gun enthusiasts and organizations like the NRA, actually have the best interests of the nation and its people at heart. It may seem absolutely incredible, but disagreeing with the NRA isn’t necessarily a sign of diminished mental capacity, criminality, or moral degeneration.

  25. July 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Never said I agree with the NRA, and they do not speak for me. I certainly don’t watch Fox news.

    The sewer comment refers to people who will leverage this tragedy not to initiate discussions, but rather stoke still-raw emotions to serve their world-view. (tell me that is not happening)

    Sensible gun control? This is not the place to discuss it, but to people who are not gun owners, who do not see any need for guns of any kind, gun control means abolition. Most people who do not own or have an interest in guns do not see the need for anyone to own them. Not propaganda, personal experience.

    Admit it . . . reading I own and carry a gun gave you a mental image of the sum total of me. Without knowing anything else, you assumed NRA member, Fox News watcher, and FSM knows what else.

    I personally don’t see the need for consumable alcohol, recreational drugs, religion, Las Vegas, and many other things. It would not phase me in the least if they all disappeared tomorrow, but I allow the notion others might find them to their liking regardless of the associated harm.

    I would express my profound distaste for anyone who wants to paint me as insensitive to the tragedy, irresponsible, and most of all, a watcher of Fox News, but will give them the benefit of doubt, and assume they just did not know any better.

  26. Massachusetts
    July 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    I apologize for implying that you belong to a certain sociological stereotype. I agree that this isn’t the place for a gun control argument, which I wasn’t trying to initiate. It did seem to me, though, that you were skirting around the edges of that notion and impugning those who are brining it up as a discussion point with your “sewer” comment, which seemed rather harsh and unfair to me.

    I’m happy you don’t embrace Fox News and I also apologize for making that connection.

  27. Massachusetts
    July 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    One thing to consider from this and other related tragedies: mental health care. Significantly better access, screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up may not prevent every mass murder, but I think it will help a lot.

  28. July 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    No apology needed. It’s still too soon to discuss these things without some measure of frustration and anger showing through.

    The point I was trying to make, and not try to get into the specifics of the gun argument, was that to my old eyes many of the people who comment on the tragedy give a perfunctory nod to the victims, and then launch directly into the gun-control issue.

    “Strike while the iron is hot” comes to mind, and to me it seems disrespectful and almost dismissive of the victims, and worse yet as if they are being used. Hence my sewer comment. I suppose I too am guilty of pre-judgment of people who immediately call for laws to be enacted in response to any tragedy.

    And yes, I admit to being sensitive to the issue, but I long ago stopped trying for reasoned discussion (same for religion and most woo). I’m content to say my piece on my blog, and let it go at that.

    Except, in these kinds of instances there is an implied, and sometime outright accusation, that “my kind” is partially responsible for the tragedy.

    My point for comparing to alcohol was to point out the bias people have depending on what they themselves use and like, and the hypocrisy of people willing to excuse themselves for one kind of tragedy, and blame others for another.

  29. July 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Maybe . . . but unless a person asks for help, there is no mechanism to ferret out such individuals unless someone reports them, or if they show a pattern of increasingly anti-social and dangerous behavior.

    Even then, we give a lot of leeway for people to be on the fringes of what most of us would consider normal (the problem being, of course, defining what is normal).

    One can hope friends and family to be proactive in that regard, but people without a strong social safety net go unnoticed until something happens.

    Certainly it did not appear as if the people who knew him had an inkling of what he was ultimately capable of. And as far as I have read, there was no gradual escalation leading up to this (although hindsight often points to “signs”).

    I don’t know we’ll ever truly understand the why, even if he explains it. In fact, I hope it is outside the understanding of the majority how someone could shoot complete strangers, and kids, without any apparent anger, and subsequently show no remorse.

  30. KingMengi
    July 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    I know Kevin Smith did.

  31. LovleAnjel
    July 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    “Question: How does an unemployed medical student afford $20,000 in weapons gear?”

    The same way I accumulated two walk-in closets worth of clothing, shoes and jewelry as an unemployed grad student. Little by little, over time, keeping an eye out for cheap stuff, sales, and occasionally buying suspect items from street sellers.

  32. Massachusetts
    July 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    My my, aren’t we the smart shopper! Sounds like you have the beginnings of a great ebay business with your hobby! 🙂

    And yes, good point about accumulating stuff slowly and cheaply.

  33. Massachusetts
    July 23, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Yes there are a lot of hurtles to treatment in our society. I hope we can whittle those down as much as possible. Better access to affordable treatment will help but of course you are right, not everyone will agree to go. But my hope is someone like this shooter might have gotten treatment much earlier, before the crisis that lead to the violence. Sometimes it may not matter, I suppose, but I can’t help but suspect that their will be times when it will help a lot.

  34. Massachusetts
    July 23, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    You definitely have a point with the alcohol observation. We don’t say alcohol was the culprit in a drunk driving case, we blame the driver or we blame the disease of alcoholism, and we point out that prohibition caused more harm than good. That’s food for thought.

  35. LREKing
    July 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    My take on the issue of pro/anti gun people (and, for that matter, pro/anti religionists and many other things):

    Generally, the extremists and crazies get the most press (because they are more “interesting”). It therefore may seem that all those who disagree with us are extremists. Clearly this is not true, but it is an easy trap to fall into, especially regarding emotionally charged issues.

    Even among those of us who pride ourselves on our rationality.

  36. LREKing
    July 23, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    “Sure, there are idiots with this and that agenda, but they do not speak for all, or even the majority of gun owners.”

    If you let such people be perceived as speaking for you, then is it surprising that you are lumped in with them?

    Unfair, to be sure. But not surprising.

  37. LREKing
    July 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    The psychology of alcoholism and the psychology of gun ownership are miles apart. It is a mistake to equate them, even to keep the peace.

  38. Tom B
    July 23, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    And when you speak out, people don’t listen to what you say, they jump to conclusions because they already know what you will say. In most places, they don’t want reasoned discussion, they want their POV validated and encouraged, ignoring anything that doesn’t fit their preconceived ideas. Ask any skeptic that has talked to a creationist.

  39. July 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Interesting . . . I presume you are referring to the psychology of the perpetrator, not of the victims or their families.

    If not, then I don’t see them as being miles apart. It can be argued the drunk driver did not intend to go out and kill someone, but that is little consolation for the families of victims, and absolutely irrelevant to the victims themselves.

  40. July 23, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    I don’t “let” the crazies speak for me.

    People they speak to like to assume they do . . . a subtle but important difference.

    You point out the “crazies get all the press” . . . some conspiracy nuts might even hint to a deliberate effort on the part of the press to only show certain stories, and not others, especially when it comes to guns.

    I know . . . crazy talk!

  41. Massachusetts
    July 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM
  42. July 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    The claims of $20k that I have seen elsewhere relied heavily on that he bought ~6000 rounds of ammo. Ammo can be obtained cheaper in bulk quantities. Probably the real numbers were closer to $8k or so. Easily doable with credit cards.

  43. July 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    We might not know this from listening to NPR, but the shocking truth is that not everyone who disagrees with gun control laws lives in a sewer. I know it’s hard to believe, but many live in houses with yards, white picket fences, and even American Flags flying high and fluttering in the breeze. Some of these people, even though they disagree on key points with many people who call for gun control laws, actually have the best interests of the nation and its people at heart. It may seem absolutely incredible, but agreeing with the NRA and thinking that private gun-ownership is a good and even necessary thing isn’t a sign of diminished mental capacity, criminality, or moral degeneration.

  44. LREKing
    July 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    What are you doing, then, to counter the perception that the NRA represents you?

  45. July 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    The usual reaction . . .

    The vast majority will not carry through with concealed carry permits, and of those who do few will actually carry (it’s not a convenient thing to do).

    Interesting to me was the picture of the shooter at the araingment; very different from the first photos available.

  46. LREKing
    July 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I’ve been thinking about this since I posted it. On a very basic level, of course, the ONLY reason anyone does ANYTHING is to make themselves “feel” better. From that perspective, they are quite similar — but then, so is eating a nice meal or putting on a pair of socks warm from the dryer.

    It seems to me that guns excite because of their potential for affecting change at a distance. In some cases, that is a physical change (shooting a target or killing an animal), but in person-to-person cases it involves controling another (“Do what I say or I’ll shoot you” or its flip-side, “Leave me alone or I’ll shoot you).

    Not all alcoholics are drunk drivers (or vice-versa), just as not all gun owners are mass murderers. But a person who gets drunk and drives is almost certainly not looking to kill anyone. A gun owner who sneaks multiple weapons into a crowded theater almost certainly is.

  47. July 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Lots of organizations do not speak for me. Damn near all of them, in fact.

    Did not know I was supposed to point that out to anyone.

    I figure it’s the responsibility of the person making the assumption to ensure they are not talking out of their rear orifice . . . and it helps me assess the person when they don’t.

    A win-win all around.

  48. LREKing
    July 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I know it’s strictly up to the mods, and it’s certainly OT, but I think this would be an excellent forum to discuss gun control. We here consider ourselves to be generally civil, reasonable, and rational. Where on the Internet would be a better forum for calm and intelligent exchange of ideas?

    Or, if there already is such a place, could someone kindly direct me to it?

  49. LREKing
    July 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    The NRA (merely as an example, since we are speaking of guns) clearly intends to be seen as speaking for all gun owners. Because of that, people will assume they speak for you as well. If you don’t want to be stereotyped, then it’s really up to YOU to do something about it.

    Expecting everyone else to function the way you do (or claim to) sounds like wishful thinking to me. To overcome a bad meme, you need a stronger good meme. Obviously, these are hard to come by. But what is the alternative?

  50. July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Basically what I said above . . . but I still don’t see the difference to the victims of their families.

    To clarify, I was not equating alcohol to guns. But I am equating the damage that results from abusing either of them. The same arguments that are used to promote anti-gun sentiments can be made about alcohol.

    For instance . . . is you legal right to buy and have a drink worth the price of even one life that is lost, let alone thousands?

    Where are the memorials for all the people lost to drunk drivers daily? Where is the national outrage? When was the last time the President spoke to reach out to the victims of drunk drivers (yes, I understand it would occupy all his time – just saying it to make a point).

    Please note I am not saying this tragedy is acceptable because we accept other tragedies (as some might be prone to do).

    Neither is acceptable, but I do question why they are treated differently.

  51. July 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I don’t know what answer you want to hear, but . . .

    1) Typically, I don’t care what “they” assume unless they accuse me directly of something, in which case I then let them know that is not the case. However, experience taught me most people believe what they will regardless of what you tell them.

    2) If “they” make assumptions about me, I then know “they” are people I do not care to know because they obviously made no effort to figure out anything about me (turnabout is fair play, I say). That also automatically lowers my opinion of them, and that in turn reduces my interest in trying to educate them. Eventually I shake my head, and quote Bugs Bunny (“What an ultra maroon!”)

    3) Wishful thinking works well enough for me, but #1 and #2 details a more practical approach to the question I think you are asking.

    #1 and #2 apply to guns, the NRA, religion, politics, and any other topic one might find oneself discussing.

    Finally, while it has been fun and stimulating, this is not my blog, and I fear we’ve already exceeded the practical limits of discussion-through-comments.

    Besides, if I put this much effort on writing (worse yet, trying to think), I should do so for the benefit of my own blog.

    Thanks for the back and forth.

  52. July 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Not directly related and a few days late but EVIL FLUORIDE.

  53. July 27, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    I got into trouble for something similar. I expressed my non-interest in strippers to Penn Jillette in the context of “but I wouldn’t throw a fit over those who are interested”. He took it to the edge and labeled me an extremist. IMMEDIATELY, without clarification, and railed on me with ad hominem attacks. It was pathetic. (This was a facebook thing so I can’t point to it anymore, it’s been removed). But that sort of thing turns back progress and ceases discussion because of all the hard feelings in the way.

    That said, I am SO VERY PLEASED at the people who participated in these comments. You guys are so awesome. (see more I’ll add below)

  54. July 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I have to say how IMPRESSED I am with the quality and civility of this discussion. All the participants have shown wisdom and maturity. I would never slow down such a discussion because it fosters healthy communication and understanding. This is a an example of how people with different life experience and different viewpoints can come together and express those in a respectful environment. THAT’S what I wanted this blog to be. Thank you for helping me make it so.

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