The Guns In America Symposium: Epilogue


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    Way to save the best pic until the last post. So many possibilities.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      We will fight for Sister’s freedom
      And hold our cornettes high
      We will roam free with the Ursulines
      Or die!
      We are nuns!

  2. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Kudos to all involve. And, indeed, a special shout out to Mike D.Report

  3. Avatar Will H. says:

    It’s been pretty fast-moving. I took some time out to watch a couple of movies one evening, and there was a lot that I missed when I came back.

    I can’t say that I’ve really changed my positions so much; but I have come to understand certain issues more fully.

    I’m a bit disappointed that no one called me out on my assertion that the self-assurance of youth was perhaps the greatest threat to our society.
    I am currently devising some concrete proposals to address the need of beating it out of them.Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    This was a really remarkable symposium. I wish that we could bottle what made it work out so well and sell it.Report

  5. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Yes, thank you for letting me participate, I really enjoyed reading everything, and the discussions!

    Of course, now I’ve let myself get way too behind at work…Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I was greatly impressed with the whole symposium but the quality of the guest posts blew me away. It was so good to see long-time commenters with posts on the front page. And the tone of the conversations was unbelievably civil. It really seems to demonstrate that guns are a much different issue than abortion or gay marriage.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Nah. They’re both cultural issues that hit deeply rooted tribal buttons.

      We’ve just never set the table to talk about SSM.Report

      • Avatar M.A. says:

        I think that would be an excellent topic for the next symposium though.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Maybe. I think the next one might actually be something more light-hearted. Something around the arts has been discussed.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            Yes, a thousand times yes, something lighthearted. It’s the new year, time for happy thoughts.Report

            • Avatar zic says:

              I’ve spent my life with musicians and artists; I call myself an artsist, though most might use the term craftsmen instead.

              You get a bunch of us going on the topic of art and creativity and you’ll discover it’s nearly as contentious as guns, SSM, abortion or (at least in our household) what color to paint the bedroom.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            Favorite Marx brother, I’ll get started on my Zeppo essay.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        The post that I thought about, but never wrote, was a non-snarky look at the pain caused to both Gun-rights and Abortion-rights advocates at even symbolic and relatively useless regulations. Leading to an odd situation where the extremes of both positions are the rule of the land for fear of the tiniest crack in the dam letting loose the deluge. I thought, perhaps, it would be an unwelcome conflation, no matter how tempered.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          And I thought about writing about a gun nut.
          Meh, my stories are always too weird to be plausible.
          That’s how you know they’re true.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      It was so good to see long-time commenters with posts on the front page.

      Ditto that. It was very cool, and they all did an excellent job.Report

  7. Avatar Michelle says:

    Thanks Tod and all of you who put this symposium together. Life has left me with little time to participate of late, but I’ve read and lurked and have been impressed by the writing–both original posts and comments. I look forward to the next symposium.Report

  8. Avatar James K says:

    Thanks Tod and Mike, I think the symposium was very successful.Report

  9. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    OK, OK, lighthearted it is.

    Here is a video of my son laughing at me feeding french fries to the dog.Report

  10. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    +1000 to this post, and to the symposium. I’ve little time to read it all, much less contribute, but what I have read was truly beyond “space awesome”.Report

  11. Avatar zic says:

    Wow. I’m still reading and digesting. I hope you can find a way to hook a directory page to the front page here; it’s going to take some time to chew through everything.

    I hope, in a week or two, you’ll run another wrap-up post, too. The topics highly political now, with the trail in CO, Gifford’s PAC, and Biden’s mission. So there will be news, and we’ll have digested things, putting that news into symposium context.

    Never really had a blog experience like this before; it’s new media at it’s best. Thank you for making me, a relative outsider, feel welcomed and respected. Gentlemen. Not ordinary.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      trial not trail. migraine makes them look the same right now.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      Ya know, zic, I’m only a commenter here, and I don’t carry a lot of weight; but here are my thoughts:
      While it is true that the writers & commenters here are mostly male, it’s also true that you’ll find more gays & Canadians here than among the general populace. It’s not the demographics that gives the League its strength, but the diversity of experience and views, and a general sense of comradery.
      It’s a rare occasion where people butt heads here, but it happens. It’s typically over with fairly quickly; we’re here for engagement, not slaughter.

      This blather is cut short by the fact that I’m hungry and I need to go to the store:
      In short, I think you’ve been around long enough to be a part of the community, and I hope you stick around. I’ve taken a liking to you.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Me too, WillH.. And I want to hear about your musical career. I like musicians. I refrained from a Spinal Tap drummer comment, though it wasn’t easy, my amp does go to 11. And because losing a drummer that way fncking sncks. I’m still reeling, and if you haven’t, I hope you’ll tell what happened after.

        I may not like an armed citizenry, but I’m no fan of the police state, either. Aging hippie.


        • Avatar Will H. says:

          Here’s some of my guitars.
          I was up to 26 or 27 at one point, then I got rid of a few. I’ve acquired a few more since then (the latest was an old Vox hollowbody that I couldn’t pass up).
          It may seem like a lot, but you have to allow for different pickup configurations, solid-body vs. hollow-body, and tuning variants.

          A lot of mixers go up to 15.
          Those two amps there are supposed to get me up to 130 dB full out.
          There are ways of getting more volume out of it than it’s rated for though.Report

          • Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

            See… that’s what’s wrong with music culture today. You think you have to have this virtual arsenal of guitars. I mean, really… who needs 27 guitars?? And those amps! There’s no legitimate reason for a civilian to have an amp that powerful. That should be limited strictly for military use.

            It wasn’t like this when I was a kid. You had maybe three or four guitars max; a decent electric or two, a hollow-body acoustic, maybe a mandolin if you were into that sort of thing. Now you have to have these fancy “whammy bars” and “fuzz boxes.” And picks should be strictly controlled, perhaps some kind of micro-stamping to track misuse.

            But the real problem that’s responsible for something like 80 or 90% of all musical crime is those damn inner-city gangs and their harmonicas. I know a ban on “axe”-style guitars is popular in some circles but we need to focus on the real problem.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            We have one baby grand piano, about a dozen electronic keyboards plus endless synth boxes and devices and several computers/software for them, several saxes, four guitars, two bases (one electronic, one acoustic), a mandolin, hundreds of harmonicas and several melodicas, a drum kit, various sundry percussion instruments. Mixers, amps, speakers, chords, pedals, mics, stands.

            Enough instruments to arm a band.

            Music is an expensive profession to enter. High bar on equipment and time. All I can say is thank technology that there’s software to write out scores and lead sheets, now.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              *snicker* my friend the composer has jack. Just a computer, a microphone, and a hell of a soundbank.
              He can tell when people poach sounds, too.Report

              • Avatar zic says:

                People poach sounds all the time, it’s considered ‘fair use,’ I believe up to six seconds.

                And some people build sounds from scratch; which is what my son does, mostly using pro-audio software like Ableton Live and Max.

                But I’m interested in live improvisational music. I’ve watched a lot of musicians try to improvise with computers in live performance. Sometimes it works, but only with a tremendous amount of front-end prep, which sort of begins to interfere with the concept of live group improvisation.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                You’ll never get the chemistry from a machine that you do with other people.Report

            • Avatar Major Zed says:

              I have one guitar, one keyboard, one microphone, five computers, and more VST and VSTi plug-ins than I can count.Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              Recording work is different than playing live. You have time to re-tune when recording.
              Live, if you’re in E flat and the next number is a C sharp piece, you have the option of a capo, which I’ve found almost always take a bit of re-tuning. It’s easier to grab another guitar.
              A lot of guys like the Line 6 guitars rather than having several; but I just don’t understand the thing, and I would rather stick to what I know. I’m sorta old fashioned in a lot of ways.
              My tastes changed somewhere along the way. I used to like Melody Makers, and now I prefer ES-175’s (I like the 3/4 body size more these days). And I’ve always been good on a 12-string. I have really tight picking (the one and only person I’ve ever heard that’s been able to do the intro of “The Number of the Beast” absolutely perfect), and I have really strong fingers, so I can do bends on the 12-string.
              I have an acoustic 12-string, an electric one, and a double-neck (which is a Jazzmaster, which is so rare I had to get it).Report