Who’s shooting who?

Let’s all get a gun! It’s the self-defense craze that’s sweepin’ the nation. Click that link, and read about a unique family tragedy (aren’t they all? Unique?) out in the ‘burbs, in which a 74-year-old woman killed her 17-year-old grandson, and no one can exactly say why.

She was afraid of the kid, her lawyer said. The kid wasn’t threatening at all, his father said. He said “from Arizona,” I should add, because that’s why the boy was living with his grammy — to finish high school here, which he should have done this spring. His parents had already decamped for sunny Scottsdale, but the boy stayed behind.

Here’s what we learned today: She emptied the clip into him. He was said to have “approximately” eight entrance or exit wounds, two slugs in his body and the 911 operator heard three more shots after he called for help.

I’m interested in knowing a lot more about this case. But the main thing I already know is: Some people shouldn’t have guns. Probably most people shouldn’t have guns. And yet: Everybody and their damn brother has a gun.

Folks, I got a couple irons in the fire at the moment, and have little energy or inclination to blog. How about a picture? The other day I went out looking for Detroit blight, and found myself on the same street where I took the French journalists four years ago. They wanted to see the $1 houses, and they saw some. The street was bad then, and it’s worse now, well over half gone, with the few holdouts looking sad and increasingly tenuous. This one sort of broke my heart, because it’s so classic from the outside. Probably was someone’s dream house, not even that long ago. And now? Well.

It is looking like a beautiful week, however. Enjoy it.

Posted at 4:38 am in Detroit life |

63 responses to “Who’s shooting who?”

  1. alex said on May 22, 2012 at 6:33 am

    The Sunday paper had a big feature on how firearms sales are off the charts again—thanks to the NRA’s recent pronouncement that Obama’s coming for your guns if he gets a second term. (Guess he was too busy during his first term, what with flying around the world appeasing America’s enemies, writing welfare checks to women in Cadillacs and playing elaborate shell games with his Kenyan birth certificate.) There was also a companion piece about a huge rise in the sales of silencers.

    What’s scarier than the proliferation of guns is the relative lack of sanity of the people buying them. In my neighborhood there’s a domestic abuser who’s armed to the teeth, and just the sort of paranoid type who’s ripe for the picking by the NRA. Some day when he offs his family and then himself in a drunken rage, the neighbors will all be telling the 6 o’clock news how they couldn’t have possibly seen it coming.

    If it were up to me, you’d have to submit regularly to mental status exams as a condition of owning firearms just as you have to pass a vision test in order to drive.

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  2. Suzanne said on May 22, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I really think I’d like to move out of the country. It’s getting too strange here.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

    “Probably most people shouldn’t have guns.” Just as most people shouldn’t have lathes, table saws, or belt sanders in their homes. They’re all power tools, and can bite you or even by-standers pretty quickly and decisively if you are inattentive or sloppy.

    Everyone, for the most part, understands that about power tools, but we don’t quite have a national culture of power tool ownership, or a nod in the Constitution to the right to keep and utilize drill presses. Our approach in Scouting is to teach rifle & shotgun safety as a “power tool” type of orientation & familiarization, letting them know that they may never own one themselves, but it’s best if everyone knows how to handle them safely, or be safe around someone else using one. (There is also a useful discipline in learning target shooting, a kind of “Zen and the Art of Archery,” but that’s another subject.)

    I do think that while there are more people piling up the armaments in their homes, the average number of households that have no guns seems to be increasing. Don’t know if that’s a result of living in a different place, or a trend, but I grew up with every home seemingly having a gun tucked away somewhere (and lots of those being one old Luger brought back from serving in Patton’s Army or some other WWII artifact). Now I know aficionados who have half an arsenal in their basements, and are up to speed with the latest non-news about gun confiscation on the horizon, but they’re a small subset of even conservatives I talk to. Generally, I hear people say “I wouldn’t want one in my house.”

    There’s none here in my home, but I grew up with three in Dad’s workshop. They were all muzzle loading Civil War re-enactor pieces, so if an intruder grabbed one and was going to shoot us, we’d have two minutes to laugh and mock, 30 seconds to call the police, and five more minutes of amusement as he fumbled with the ramrod for the cops to arrive or to stroll out into the street and invite neighbors to watch.

    But all in all, yes: “Probably most people shouldn’t have guns.”

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  4. Connie said on May 22, 2012 at 7:27 am

    The grandma shot grandson story made msnbc.com.

    Our gun situation is like Jeff(tmmo)describes: one black powder pistol, one replica 1850 54 caliber rifle and husband’s childhood bb gun. And no ammunition, so it is not like there is going to be any shooting any time soon.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2012 at 7:48 am

    By the way, while I know some have a severe Lileks allergy, you might want to take a Zyrtec and dive into today’s entry, which has a reminder of a too-little-lamented element of newspaper culture that’s largely vanished: the morgue.


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  6. alex said on May 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I love my home, but if I’d known I was buying right into the middle of a bunch of skank drama I might have had second thoughts.

    After four years, the folks across the street finally had their non-working, freeloading alcoholic houseguest arrested for domestic battery. I was thrilled to watch him being led away in handcuffs. He spent a month and a half in jail because there wasn’t anyone in the world willing to post $750 in bail to spring his sorry ass. Even his own sister said she didn’t want him and to let him just rot. He’s now living with the old lady next door whom I long suspected he was boffing. Despite there being a protective order, the plump and pitiful lady across the street wants him back and they’re meeting like Romeo and Juliet until the order is rescinded.

    Well, at least these people don’t have guns, so far as I know.

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  7. nancy said on May 22, 2012 at 7:56 am

    The default assumption re gun ownership, particularly in Allen County, is “yes, several.” Proceed with that in mind.

    I just found this at the end of the DetNews gramma-shot-me story, which has been rewritten since I first read it:

    Michael Hoffman said his son had been caught experimenting with drugs, but didn’t think it was a problem. Jonathan ate psychedelic mushrooms a few months ago and called the police because he didn’t like the effect, the father said.

    Hello, police? I don’t like these mushrooms.

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  8. James said on May 22, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Mild Jeff:

    The difference is that if you point a table saw at someone and pull the trigger, you don’t kill someone, and possibly the person behind them.

    Also, a table saw can make something. A gun? It can only create tragedy.

    Oh… Check that, it can maybe make an inflated sense of manhood.

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  9. beb said on May 22, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Stories like the grandmother shooting her grandson reminds me of those millionaire teenage boys in California who murdered their parents. I often wonder if their parents ever saw it coming.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2012 at 8:18 am

    James, stipulated. Perhaps I didn’t press down hard enough on the irony pedal, though I do think it is very useful to get people to think about guns as power tools for safety’s sake. There’s a Hollywood-ish attitude on most outdoor firing ranges that makes me uneasy; you can tell pretty quickly if you’re with a group of people who really understand the hazards of sloppy handling of these devices, or if they’re there for the buzz of “I’m shooting a gun, Ma!”

    I’m just thinking about the whole “gun culture” thing and trying to imagine what it would take to denature and dilute it to the point where you don’t have to worry about cheap Glock knock-offs in so many underwear drawers.

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  11. coozledad said on May 22, 2012 at 8:29 am

    What James said. There are numerous studies that show handguns mess with the psyches of the dolts who carry them, and help escalate the confrontations they go seeking into violence.
    Since medical care in this country, insofar as it exists, is jacking the poors up on benzodiazepenes, (with their side effects of disorientation, aggressiveness and delusional behavior)* there should be a solid return on investments in the support industries for hick funerals. But that assumes reservoirs of cash as yet untapped by Eli Lilly, Lil’ Debby, Coors, and satellite TV networks.

    *George Zimmerman was horfing Triazepam or cheezewhizzepam or whatever they’re medicating people with anger issues these days.

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  12. alex said on May 22, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I lost a friend to suicide years ago because there was a gun handy and she was at her wit’s end. Her husband was so jealous and controlling that she wasn’t allowed to see me. “But I’m gay,” I protested. “He thinks that’s just a ruse so that we can have an affair,” she told me.

    One night when he was heaping emotional abuse on her after they’d had a few drinks, she picked up a pistol from the night stand and told him “Oh yeah? Well fuck you!” and then splattered her brains into his face as his two teen-aged daughters looked on.

    It was a very awkward funeral, not least because her friends and family regarded her husband as the precipitant of this tragedy, but also because people took it so personally that she would leave us instead of just leaving him as she should have done.

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  13. basset said on May 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    As a tree-hugging liberal and owner of multiple guns, I agree with Jeff TMMO and often use the same “power tool” explanation. And I see that James has fallen for the easy and common stereotype. Not to say that some people aren’t idiots, but don’t assume it of everyone.

    Alex, my best fishing buddy did the same as your friend a few years ago. No kids around, but he was fighting with his wife & when she left the room he got his pistol out. He’d been in poor health and a lot of pain for years, no surprise but what a waste.

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  14. nancy said on May 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    And yet, every time there’s another violent crime around here, the call goes up on the social networks: THIS IS WHY EVERYBODY SHOULD GET THEIR CCW PERMIT, AND BE ARMED AT ALL TIMES. Someone will reply, yes, this is true, and I’m buying a gun! From there it’s just a short hop to active fantasizing about the circumstances under which it would be deployed. My favorite of recent weeks was a very strange carjacking attempt nearby, which is too weird to reproduce here, but it moved a Mom (I capitalize because these sorts of moms always seem to be self-capitalized, if you follow me) to declare that she wouldn’t give up her car with her kids in it, and would actively draw down on a carjacker, even if he was armed himself.

    So I’m picturing the scene: The carjacker, brandishing a weapon, demanding she get out of the car. She’s going to, what? Dig in her purse for it? Ask him to hold that thought while she reaches across to the glove box? And let’s just assume she’s wearing a holster and can actually free her weapon and point it at him. Then what? She’s going to exchange gunfire with her children in the back seat? Are you fucking kidding me?

    In a case like this, I’d say, “You can have the car, but let me get my kids out of the back seat. I won’t cause any trouble.” I’d think all but an actively psychotic ‘jacker is going to agree to that, unless they want to risk an additional count or two of a 25-to-life felony. Say that, though, and you’re jeered out of the room.

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  15. Dorothy said on May 22, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I don’t want one in my house and yet we do now, ever since Aunt D. had to vacate her condo after her health scare last month. It’s little and I have no idea what kind it is and I haven’t even touched it yet. And one of Mike’s co-workers told him he was essentially breaking the law by bringing a gun registered in Pennsylvania across state lines to Ohio. So it would have been better to leave it in a vacant dwelling and allow potential burglars to take it?! No thanks.

    After the last two nearly sleepless nights at our house, though, I think we need a bb gun to chase away the friggin’ cats that keep coming over outside our bathroom window, moaning and yammering and making our dogs batshit crazy. I had to lock Augie in an interior bathroom to make him stop his barking and panting and racing up and down the steps between 10:30 and 4:30 this morning. I’m crabby and I know it and it’s going to last all damn day I’m sure.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Call me a knee-jerk liberal, but I have a reflexive opposition to guns that was ingrained by my otherwise conservative parents. I can’t get past guns purpose: to kill or maim. That negates every other argument for me. Sport hunting? It’s about killing. With the possible exception of the truly poor, we don’t need the meat; it’s just about killing. Can someone please explain the upside of killing to me?

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Which is why I love the scene in “The Deer Hunter” when a returned DeNiro, the massive antlered buck clearly in his sights and backlit by sunrise, jerks his rifle up and fires into the air, and says to the universe “Okay. Okay.”

    There’s a reason Marine Force Recon trains you first and foremost to go out on patrol with a knife. Granted, it’s a Ka-Bar, but still. A gun, even Marines know, makes you stupid. They create a thought-suppression field that is hard to overcome even for trained warriors.

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  18. Connie said on May 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I agree with you Julie, guns are for killing. Many years ago my daycare person’s best friend’s 13 year old son accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with his father’s gun. The only reason that happened is because there was a gun in the house.

    Dorothy, is is my understanding that you can always turn a gun in to your local police station for disposal, no questions asked.

    Anyone watch Storage Wars or Auction Hunters? They find guns regularly. Hester on Storage Wars turns in all found guns.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on May 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

    To paraphrase the late, great Mike Royko: If I could somehow magically fix it so that the gun nuts could shoot each other and only each other, I’d sell them guns at convenience stores.

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  20. Icarus said on May 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Strange story. Demon possession? Alien mind control? I picture this as the news item that would appear in the X-files/Fringe/Supernatural world after the heroes moved onto the next adventure.

    I tell my right-wing conservative friends that I’m the reason they cannot carry concealed weapons. Not that I’m against it in all cases. I’m just the person those laws exist to prevent someone with a temper like me doing something stupid during a road rage incident like pulling out a gun.

    I agree that Hollywood makes it look so easy to point a gun and shoot with any accuracy.

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  21. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Alex, If those folks don’t have guns, it’s more of an anomaly than their not possessing crank.

    And yet, every time there’s another violent crime around here, the call goes up on the social networks: THIS IS WHY EVERYBODY SHOULD GET THEIR CCW PERMIT, AND BE ARMED AT ALL TIMES. Someone will reply, yes, this is true, and I’m buying a gun! From there it’s just a short hop to active fantasizing about the circumstances under which it would be deployed.

    So the kid was supposed to shoot it out with Oldtimer Granny? And voila, George Zimmerman.

    reservoirs of cash as yet untapped by Eli Lilly, Lil’ Debby, Coors, and satellite TV networks

    And Mountain Dew.

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  22. JWfromNJ said on May 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    When I lived out in the country (in N.J. of all places) I used to have a Mossburg 500 shotgun loaded with triple-o buck (bought in Ft. Wayne). I told myself it was for home defense since I had no intention of hunting. Not even sure why I bought it except I wasn’t totally sold on Y2K not causing some problems. One night I heard some rustling sounds in the bushes, and my dog alerted with a low snarl. Someone was moving alongside the house, heading back near our basement area. I grabbed the gun from the locked case, came outside from the other direction, and sure enough there was a guy looking into the basement window. I racked the gun, and the sound of a shotgun being racked is unmistakable even to a novice. Whoever it was took off as fast as possible in the other direction. In retrospect it was dumb – would I have shot if he came closer? I don’t know. I do know the police would have been at least 15 minutes away. We later sold the gun because my oldest son had been obviously playing with it, took the key from my wife when we were away for a few hours, but it wasn’t how I left it.

    We’ve had the discussion again because we have a massive former NFL player who lives across the street, is a raging alcoholic out on $45,000 bail for felony assault on a police officer, among other charges, and he hates us with a passion because my wife called the police on him for pissing in his driveway. His response was to fight the cop, get tased three times, get whacked in the head with a baton a few times, and wrestle the cop for his gun. I ended up assisting in his arrest and now he glares at us and gets crazier as the trial gets closer. You all should be thankful your neighbor issues aren’t anywhere near as exciting. So yeah, I’ve thought about a gun again because that officer’s backup didn’t arrive for 11 minutes, and I’m not sure I could go 11 minutes with him alone if he decides to come over. And this being Florida I’d have the “stand you ground” law which disgusts me on my side…

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  23. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

    A Fischer-Dieskau appreciation:


    including part of Benjamin Britten’s Libera Me, War Requiem, for which F-D was the composer’s choice for the baritone. Impressive performance and beautiful piece of music.

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  24. Mark P said on May 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    The abandoned house really is sad. Too bad there appears to be no realistic chance of rehab.

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  25. Connie said on May 22, 2012 at 11:34 am

    We have an empty foreclosed upon for sale house down at the dead end of our little street (ten houses) and it looks worse every day. More boarded up windows especially. Price is down to $69,000. One of my husband’s walking buddies told him that her daughter looked at it and there have clearly been parties going on. This is an upscale area, but there are a number of rather grand houses sitting empty.

    In other news, especially for Brian, I just got my hands on an advance reading copy of “The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, a novel” by Stephen L. Carter, to be published in July. Back cover says President Lincoln has survived an assassination attempt – only to become embroiled in an impachment trial, charging that he overstepped his constitutional authority during the Civil War. Sounds more like it is about his legal team members, rather than the trial. First printing is 150,000 copies so publisher’s expectations are high.

    And, btw, Who’s shooting whom.

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  26. Charlotte said on May 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

    The gun thing, ugh. I have two older shotguns in the front closet but no ammo — one was my late brother’s 1st, a little pump-action 20 gauge. They’re just sort of sitting there.
    I grew up around guns — I distinctly remember my grandmother arming us all with bb guns to go out and play (and the 5 of us older cousins taking Jason’s away, since he was only 3). One of those cousins wound up a Jr National Skeet champion and now runs the Honolulu SWAT team for the FBI, but we were never these weirdo gun nuts with the narcissistic fantasies of saving the world (and I tease the FBI cousin that I feel bad for the bad guys. I fought him a lot as a little kid, and he used to bite.) I’m not scared of them, but don’t like them. And after my brother died, I got rid of his handgun asap. Especially since he’d been depressed. At one point that winter I had to ask him to bring all his guns back over to my house.
    Out here we’ve got the whole spectrum. Nutso “sovereignity” gun nuts, a big cult who stocked bunkers (rumor is there’s tanks in there), lots of old-timey gun guys who are into flintlocks, and then just the run-of-the mill types who hunt in the fall.
    They all scare me less than those urban and suburban types who aren’t used to guns and then go buy them. They terrify me.
    Of course, we’ve also got the highest suicide rate in the country. The newspaper euphemism is “died suddenly at home.”

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  27. Jolene said on May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    The house made me sad too, Mark, especially since, living in the DC suburbs, I could see a hundred similar houses any day of the week that, in better repair, would be worth several hundred thousand dollars. Location, location, location.

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  28. alex said on May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm


    I feel your pain. Alas, the Stand Your Ground law only seems to apply when you shoot an unarmed juvenile who isn’t sufficiently deferential when you call him racial epithets. As I read last week about another Florida case, the law doesn’t protect you when you’re a battered woman of color defending herself during a home invasion by an ex who’s under a restraining order. It only seems logical that if you defend yourself against a psychotic NFL player who wants to wring your neck for putting him in the hoosegow you’re liable to have a date with Old Sparky.

    Maybe Bluffton wasn’t such a bad place to be after all.

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  29. LAMary said on May 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    JWfNJ, a neighbor of mine had a similar experience. She heard someone outside in the middle of the night. She got her gun an was ready to shoot. Luckily she saw it was her son who had sneaked out earlier and was coming back in through the window.

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  30. alex said on May 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    So, Nance, why is your alma mater (the other alma mater) handing over a podium to this gasbag?

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  31. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Pretty cool video about Detroit Grand Prix on Bell Isle:


    Tom Waits on that forlorn house:


    I have always wanted to own a Mossberg over/under shotgun, because those guns figure prominently in The Second Coming, by Walker Percy.

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  32. Little Bird said on May 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    My aunts and one of my cousins all bought guns immediately after the last election. Apparently having a black president meant that they all felt threatened.
    It scares me that I share some genes with these people.

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  33. Dexter said on May 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Great topic, but I am throwing this in because I know you folks are a literate bunch.
    John Irving just does not give interviews often. You will enjoy this one. You will be asked for a password. This is it:
    Ron Bennington . Just the interviewer’s name is the password.

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  34. Dorothy said on May 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Connie my husband did call the Sheriff’s office in town two or three weeks ago, and I forget what the officer told him but I think essentially he said as long as we have the registration paperwork handy, we’re okay. No law was broken. (and we do have the paperwork) I think it’s headed for our safety deposit box next time we head to the bank.

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on May 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Chicago cops are getting a little nauseating with their self-congratulation over how they handled the NATO summit. They pushed some unarmed kids down the street, and they’re carrying on like they took Iwo Jima.

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  36. Bitter Scribe said on May 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    John Irving: Meh. He’s a Violence Nerd–the literary equivalent of Quentin Tarantino.

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  37. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm


    I think the Chicago cops are congratulating themselves for not losing it completely and turning into a mob of rioters the way the force did in 1968. So, for not behaving like a pack of rabid mwild dogs, here’s to you CPD. Quite an accomplishment.

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  38. James said on May 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    By the way…

    As a kid I ran around the neighborhood playing “bang-bang.” As a preteen I got my marksman badge from the NRA, and completed a gun safety course.

    But, as they say, when I became a man I put aside childish things, and in my case, that included firearms. I live on the edge of downtown Atlanta, in a high crime area. Do I ever consider carrying? I do not.

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  39. basset said on May 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Guns aside, this oughta stir up the Republican base… a Chinese settlement outside Ann Arbor, built around various residency requirements?


    Gotta love those links, too.

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  40. Dexter said on May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    My ex’s family lived near Waynedale (Fort Wayne, Indiana). It was a suburban sprawling ranch house, and the garage had been converted to a nice family room. Above the doors in both the family room and the living room main entrance were shotguns on racks. I thought they were decoration…I asked Dad if I could get one down and look at it. “Sure, but be careful; it’s loaded and it has the safety off…”.
    He then told me how the family had all been trained to shoot any intruder and ask questions later. After more than forty years I still don’t know how to feel about all that. I am sure they would have shot anybody who broke in, though.

    Someone in my family told me he would have shot himself long ago if he’d had a gun. He is a sort of recluse and he sits alone and drinks himself into pass-out stage every night. So I guess I am against guns. At least for him. I haven’t fired a gun in over fifteen years. I get so mad at my troubled and sometimes verbally abusive adult hangers-on mooching grandsons that I don’t want any guns around here, period.

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  41. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    An entertaining new food blog:


    Make sure to scroll down to the picture of school lunch in Taiwan. Holy crap, real food.

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  42. Dave said on May 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    He’s an alum, Alex. I think he’s given the E. W. Scipps School of Journalism a great deal of money, too.

    I own a .22 rifle that I’ve had since I was maybe 19, it hasn’t been fired in many, many years, it’s put up in the closet. I’ve no use for it but I’ve had it forever, I will probably be acquiring my late uncle’s rifle at some point, the uncle who was lost in WWII. It’s not that I want it much but it’s a family thing and a link to him, something he purchased when he was a teen. Meanwhile, I’ve family members who take delight in having a CCW permit, I’m definitely the odd one out in my family. No, I don’t get it.

    I had a co-worker who was in a bitter argument with his wife, we were told later he said, “I’ll show you”, ran upstairs, grabbed a gun, and that was that. We were all stricken speechless, nobody he worked with could see that coming.

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  43. Sherri said on May 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Honestly, for self-protection in my house, I’d rather have a Louisville Slugger. Harder to miss with it.

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  44. Jolene said on May 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Off-topic, but interesting: Pictures from the recent earthquake in Italy, especially one from a damaged cheese factory. Kind of amazing to see so many wheels of Parmesan in one place. Lots of damage to cultural treasures too.

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  45. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Stand your ground? In FLA, that all depends. Wonder where Wayne LaPierre is on this one.

    Agreed on the baseball bat Sherri, and there are always my Henckels, but if it would fit in our condo this is how I’d go:


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  46. Jolene said on May 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Another interesting digression: A story about shopping in a large Chinese grocery in a DC suburb by Tyler Cowen, an economist who has a second life as an unpaid restaurant reviewer/food critic.

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  47. Charlotte said on May 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    One of the things I miss most in Montana is the Ranch 99 markets — I love me a good Chinese supermarket. As is, I’m growing my own Yu Choi and Bok Choi in the backyard …

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  48. MarcG said on May 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Here in Europe it is mostly the criminals who have guns, so the other 99.9% of us are pretty safe. I know that many studies have proven that a gun in the house is the number one cause of domestic murders and suicides. But with the NRA seemingly running things, that probably won’t change. If there were that many deaths attributed to some disease, or a car safety feature, the government would be all over it.

    Europeans are currently dealing with the trial of the mass shooter in Norway, and yes, the argument that if the students had been packing, it could have been less bloody. But the guy was wearing a police uniform, for chrissakes.

    Anyway, here in Latvia we have a crazy who thought that he could outsmart the gun/self-defense laws, and decided to test his theory in a local theatre. About a hundred witnesses called him out on it. We all mourn the life lost to a crazy with a gun, which is pretty rare in Latvia. Here is a link:


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  49. JWfromNJ said on May 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I buy almost all of my produce at a Korean green grocer. We have some pretty diverse Asian markets also but nothing Vietnamese. Lately my pick has been a Korean market also for the dozens of styles of Kim Chee,some crazy soup noodle bowls, and korean short ribs.

    I’m hoping to get to the Jamaican market next week to restock my jerk seasoning and grab a few bottles of ting. and of course a few packets of cock soup!


    Sorry, can’t resist a good cock soup joke, or a bad one…

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  50. Deborah said on May 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Wow, those pictures of Italy were unsettling.

    We are about to sign a lease on an apartment in Santa Fe. We are here for the week for the specific purpose of finding a place and I’m glad to have it nearly done. It’s so stressful when you have a limited time frame. We’ve been checking Craigslist and the on-line Santa Fe newspaper for months but it’s totally different to see the places in person. We found a great two bedroom really close to the downtown plaza, but also close to groceries etc. Little Bird will move here July 1st and after I retire in Oct I’ll be coming out every other month or so while we’re building in Abiquiu. My husband will come out here a bit less often because of work and teaching. After today we can take it easy for a few days.

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  51. Jolene said on May 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    It’s almost certainly true that another person w/ a gun could have reduced the death toll in Norway, but that incident was highly unusual not only in its scope but in that the shootings took place over a fairly long period. Most incidents of gun violence start and end so quickly that it’s unlikely the presence of another armed person would do any good.

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  52. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    It’s very strange the way GOPers have been cozying up to the American RC Bishops lately, since Falwell and oral Roberts and all those fundagelicalictment mail fraud crooks have been insisting for years Catholicism is a demonic sect or a cult or whatever, but now it seems that GOPers are selling religious relics. EEWWW, Gross.

    And George Carlin had a prescient vision of Scott Walker:


    edit: Jolene, It’s also quite possible that another person with a gun could have increased the death toll. I’m a pretty good shot on a range, but I wouldn’t want to trust my nerves if somebody else nearby was shooting people in earnest. An ash bat, like Wonderboy, now that would be the ticket.

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  53. David C. said on May 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    My father in law bought an extra shotgun and ammunition to bury in the back 40 when he heard that President Clinton, during his second term, was going to have the Chinese army invade the US under the UN flag, of course, to take away everyone’s guns. How he feels about the current President’s supposed gun grabbing plans, I neither know nor care. I just feel better knowing that I’m three states or one great lake away from him and I only see him every couple of years.

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  54. MichaelG said on May 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    No firearms in my house. I remember when I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC during the late ’60s there would be guys who would take guns to town on the weekend. Most of them ended up using them. The rest of us somehow managed to stay out of any gun related incidents. I think carrying them with some kind of self protective mind set leads to ill advised usage.

    I shop at a lot of Asian supermarkets (including Ranch 99), Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese. They all have different stuff. I’ve never seen anybody but an Asian working in one of them. They cut their meat differently so there are a lot of unfamiliar cuts in the butcher case. Produce does tend to be cheaper than at traditional supermarkets but no better. Produce at the Asian farmers market is outstanding, as the produce at the traditional farmers market. The many types of soy or fish sauce can be overwhelming but I cope. I mean, just buy one. If you don’t like it, buy another kind next time. The lack of cheese is no biggy. I shop at several stores every week anyway. Some of the Asian markets are not as clean as one might prefer and do have a, um, heady aroma. It doesn’t particularly bother me but I can see how it might offend the fastidious.

    Inspect your fish carefully. Mostly I buy my fish at Oto’s, the Japanese supermarket. Every item is displayed, jewel like, on a bed of crushed ice. There is no, let me repeat that, absolutely no fish smell at Oto’s. The display is incredible. Their fish is superb if not the cheapest around. Want Kobe or Wagyu beef? Oto’s has both but be prepared to pay. The Japanese have lots of prepared, frozen foods. Oto’s is the cleanest supermarket I’ve ever been to. Amazing place. Their wine selection is the shits, though.

    I guess that since I’ve been shopping at these places for years (don’t forget the Spanish markets) and am accustomed to them they don’t seem strange to me. Familiarity breeds familiarity. One thing at the Asian markets is they all have plastic bags only and the bagger always ties the top in a knot. Drives me nuts.

    All in all I remain convinced that Sacramento is one of the best and most reasonably priced places anywhere to buy food and wine.

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  55. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Postmodern photo.

    What sort of assholes are still going to be worried about peak oil when peak water intervenes?

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  56. Suzanne said on May 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Prospero @52. I find it very humorous, too, that the evangelicals who not that many years ago believed that both Roman Catholics and Mormons were on the short bus to hell, are now their best buddies. I guess it’s the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It does show their true colors, not that people seem to notice.

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  57. LAMary said on May 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I go to Asian, Hispanic and Armenian markets and I find all sorts of great stuff. I get cheese at TJ’s or Costco. I’ve become a real snob about cucumbers and greens. The supermarket varieties have no flavor by comparison.

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  58. MichaelG said on May 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I’m not aware of any Armenian markets around here. I’ve had Armenian brandy which is excellent. What do their stores offer, Mary?

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  59. Prospero said on May 22, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    It’s beyond ludicrous for GOPers to whine about President Obama bringing up Bain Crapital. No more than a few weeks ago RMoney’s Klown Kar Ko-Konspirators were roasting Bain and Mittens absolutely toasty:


    And now it’s out of bounds? STFU you dumbasses.

    Meanwhile, at the Minnesota GOPer state convention, 12 of 13 Ron Paul delegates were blessed to go to the Nat Convention. Actually, 13 of 13 were, but one took it like a gent and stepped aside for a Michele Bachman delegate. Can an entire organization as big as the GOP be non compos mentis? Weeelllll, heh, heh, corporations are people too, my friend.

    We have a relatively large Hispanic population so there are two excellent spanish markets available, both with caricerias. We get incredibly good fresh-made chorico.

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  60. coozledad said on May 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Did this sadass walk straight out of Hal Roach’s studios, or what?
    There are probably a few psychosexual cues being telegraphed by folks who wear horizontally patterned neckties and/or camel colored suits that require an unusually rigorous spirit of scientific inquiry to discuss, and this is probably not the best forum, but I’ll just throw a couple of phrases out as a starter:
    1.Plastic shower curtain.

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  61. Sue said on May 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    When concealed carry was passed in the WI house last year, only one Republican, my reprensentative Don Pridemore, voted against it. In his opinion it was too restrictive, requiring burdensome and unconstitutional things like training. Also I assume it was a safe nay and made him look all principled and brave to his admirers back home.
    I have a bat next to my bed, Sherri. And one next to the dresser and one in the corner by the door, although the one next to the door is a little souvenir one, in case the intruder is from another planet like in that Twilight Zone episode. I believe in weapons for all possible scenarios.

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  62. Crazycatlady said on May 23, 2012 at 12:56 am

    It’s like the Wild West here in Detroit. You never know who’s packing or not.

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  63. beb said on May 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Just last night we had a debate. Was that loud noise we heard a gun, an M-80 firecracker, dynamite or a house blowing up? Here in Detroit there are a lot of options.

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