Illiberalism · Gilead · Gun nuttery



Gun nuttery

Fig. 1. “Rally Against Gun Control ‘Come and Take it’ flag at the Minnesota State Capitol,” photograph by Fibonacci Blue [pseud.], April 28, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Fig. 2. Foxtrot comic strip by Bill Amend, August 21, 2022, via GoComics, fair use.

That horror [the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre] cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector.[1]

Garry Wills, “Our Moloch,” New York Review, December 15, 2012,

Ashley Fantz, Faith Karimi, Eliott C. McLaughlin, and Tim Hume, “Orlando shooting: All but one victim identified, officials say,” CNN, June 13, 2016,

Gal Tziperman Lotan, Paul Brinkmann, and Rene Stutzman, “Witness: Omar Mateen drank alone at Pulse before attack,” Orlando Sentinel, June 13, 2016,

Josh Marshall, “Matteen Was Regular at Gay Club,” Talking Points Memo, June 13, 2016,

Lawrence Mower, “Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was gay, former classmate says,” Palm Beach Post, June 13, 2016,

Ed Pilkington and Dan Roberts, “Obama and FBI confirm Pulse nightclub shooter was radicalized on the internet,” Guardian, June 13, 2016,

Derek Stoffel, “Orlando shooting: ISIS quick to claim responsibility but it’s likely bluffing, says analyst,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, June 13, 2016,

Josh Marshall, “At Police Academy Fellow Students Thought Mateen Was Gay,” Talking Points Memo, June 14, 2016,

Harriet Alexander and Matthew Bodner, “Who is Maria Butina, the gun activist and student charged in US with spying for Russia?” Telegraph, July 19, 2018,

Campbell Robertson, Christopher Mele, and Sabrina Tavernise, “11 Killed in Synagogue Massacre; Suspect Charged With 29 Counts,” New York Times, October 27, 2018,

Moriah Ella Mason, “Pittsburgh Doesn’t Need More Guns — We Need Less White Supremacy,” Forward, October 29, 2018,

Charles Thompson, “Pennsylvania housed 36 active hate groups last year, ranking 8th in the country: report,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, February 21, 2019,

Jon Delano, “Lawrence Co. Lawmaker Wants To Abolish Concealed Carry Gun Permits,” KDKA-TV, May 7, 2019,

Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh mayor Peduto, state lawmakers call for vote on Pa. gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 9, 2019,

Abha Bhattarai, “‘We’ve got to protect ourselves’: Some threaten to shop elsewhere if they can’t openly carry guns,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019,

Lisa Marie Pane, “NRA sues San Francisco over terrorist declaration,” Associated Press, September 9, 2019,

Jack Crowe, “NRA Sues San Francisco over ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’ Label,” National Review, September 10, 2019,

Bob Bauder, “Judge strikes down Pittsburgh’s controversial gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 29, 2019,

Associated Press, “Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Bills On Firearms During Emergencies And Gas Drilling Regulation,” KDKA-TV, November 26, 2020,

Andrew Chung, “U.S. Supreme Court weighs challenge to New York gun transport limits,” Reuters, December 1, 2019,

Jane Coaston, “The Virginia gun rights rally raising fears of violence, explained,” Vox, January 17, 2020,

Brian C. Rittmeyer, “Wolf allows gun stores to reopen on limited basis during coronavirus shutdown,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 25, 2020,

Stephen Caruso, “Pro 2nd Amendment lawmakers want to let you carry a gun during an emergency,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 7, 2020,

Associated Press, “Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Bills On Firearms During Emergencies And Gas Drilling Regulation,” KDKA, November 26, 2020,

Tim Elfrink, “Lindsey Graham says he needs AR-15 for defense: ‘My house will be the last one that the gang will come to,’” Washington Post, March 29, 2021,

Adam Gopnik, “The New, Conservative Supreme Court Is Returning to the Second Amendment,” New Yorker, May 7, 2021,

Marc Fisher et al., “‘Fear on top of fear’: Why anti-gun Americans joined the wave of new gun owners,” Washington Post, July 10, 2021,

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court looks to medieval England in gun rights case,” Los Angeles Times, November 2, 2021,

Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Majority of Supreme Court appears to think N.Y. gun law is too restrictive,” Washington Post, November 3, 2021,

Sarah Jones, “There Will Be More Rittenhouses The forces that created a vigilante also exonerated him,” New York, November 19, 2021,

Kurtis Lee, “Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty of all charges,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2021,

Eric Levitz, “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong: It’s also a threat to the rule of law,” New York, November 19, 2021,

Gloria Oladipo, “Unrest in Portland as Kyle Rittenhouse verdict divides US,” Guardian, November 20, 2021,

Kaleigh Rogers, “Kyle Rittenhouse Bridged The Divide Between The Far Right And Mainstream Conservatives,” FiveThirtyEight, November 23, 2021,

Ruth Marcus, “The Rule of Six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation,” Washington Post, November 28, 2021,

Omar Abdel-Baqui and Ben Chapman, “Oxford High School Shooting in Michigan Leaves Three Dead, Eight Injured,” Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2021,

Maura Dolan, “U.S. appeals court upholds California’s ban on large-capacity firearms magazines,” Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2021,

Joe Napsha, “Wolf draws fire, praise for veto of bill to allow concealed weapons without a permit,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 2, 2021,

Bruce Larson-Moore, “Tomorrow 50 million public school students will face the possible daily threat . . .” Twitter, December 4, 2021,

Teaganne Finn and Haley Talbot, “House Republican posts photo of his family holding guns days after Michigan school shooting,” NBC News, December 5, 2021,

Sophia Bollag, “Gavin Newsom calls for bill modeled on Texas abortion ban to crack down on gun manufacturers,” Sacramento Bee, December 11, 2021,

Lara Korte, “California gun control bill would let shooting victims sue firearm manufacturers, sellers,” Sacramento Bee, January 4, 2022,

Joe Davidson, “Airline passenger traffic dropped in the pandemic. But TSA seized more guns than ever,” Washington Post, March 18, 2022,

Gillian McGoldrick, “After North Side shooting, Pittsburgh’s lawmakers want action on gun control measures, Airbnb regulations,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 19, 2022,

Ashley Parker, Tyler Pager, and Colby Itkowitz, “From Sandy Hook to Buffalo: Ten years of failure on gun control,” Washington Post, May 22, 2022,

Jon Allsop, “A massacre in Uvalde, and the ‘numbing script’ of gun-violence coverage,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 25, 2022,

Kevin Rector, “U.S. gun laws are getting looser, not stronger, despite more mass shootings,” Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2022,

Julia Felton, “Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rules against Pittsburgh gun regulations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 27, 2022,

David Siders, “‘It’s straight out of a playbook’: At NRA convention, conspiracy theories abound,” Politico, May 27, 2022,

Melanie Warner, “Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention?” Politico, May 27, 2022,

Laurel Wamsley, “The U.S. is uniquely terrible at protecting children from gun violence,” National Public Radio, May 28, 2022,

Shawn Hubler, “California Has America’s Toughest Gun Laws, and They Work,” New York Times, May 31, 2022,

Angela Couloumbis and Stephen Caruso, “Pennsylvania’s highest court could give cities the go-ahead to craft their own gun laws,” Public Source, June 1, 2022,

Molly Jong-Fast, “Democrats Should ‘Do Something’ the Way the GOP Does Things,” Atlantic, June 1, 2022,

Abdullah Shihipar, “The Kind of Prayer That Could Make a Difference,” Atlantic, June 1, 2022,

Kanishka Singh and Daniel Trotta, “Nine dead in three mass shootings across United States,” Reuters, June 6, 2022,

Matthew Hutson, “Can Researchers Show That Threat Assessment Stops Mass Shootings?” New Yorker, June 7, 2022,

Paula Reed Ward, “Court says Zappala erred in ignoring criminal complaints on gun legislation,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 7, 2022,

Mike DeBonis and Leigh Ann Caldwell, “Senators strike bipartisan gun deal, heralding potential breakthrough,” Washington Post, June 12, 2022,

Richard Cowan and David Morgan, “U.S. Senate gun bill talks hit snag over mental illness, abuse provisions,” Reuters, June 15, 2022,

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022,

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022,

Eliza Collins and Natalie Andrews, “Senate Negotiators Release Text of Gun Bill,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2022,

Mark Scolforo, “GOP lawmakers block assault-style gun ban for those under 21,” Associated Press, June 21, 2022,

Eliza Collins and and Natalie Andrews, “Bipartisan Gun Bill Advances in Senate,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022,

Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law on Concealed Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022,

Mike DeBonis, “Senate passes bipartisan gun violence bill, marking breakthrough,” Washington Post, June 23, 2022,

Jon Healy, “Supreme Court throws out New York’s concealed weapons law. Here’s what it means for California,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022,

Jay Michaelson, “The Future of Gun Control Is in Danger,” New York, June 23, 2022,

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court bolsters gun owners’ right to carry a weapon in public,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2022,

Mark Joseph Stern, “Clarence Thomas’ Maximalist Second Amendment Ruling Is a Nightmare for Gun Control,” Slate, June 23, 2022,

Ariane de Vogue, “Samuel Alito lashes out at liberals in guns case as tensions boil over at SCOTUS,” Cable News Network, June 23, 2022,

Saul Cornell, “Clarence Thomas’ Latest Guns Decision Is Ahistorical and Anti-Originalist,” Slate, June 24, 2022,

Marianna Sotomayor, “House approves gun bill, which heads to Biden for his signature,” Washington Post, June 24, 2022,

Paul Duggan, “Gun owners sue D.C., demanding to carry firearms on Metro,” Washington Post, June 30, 2022,

Michael Tarm, Kathleen Foody, and Roger Schneider, “6 dead, 30 hurt in shooting at Chicago-area July 4 parade,” Associated Press, July 5, 2022,

Hannah Wiley, “California enacts sweeping gun control laws, setting up a legal showdown,” Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2022,

Matt Ford, “The Ecstasy of Watching Alex Jones Get Trounced in Court,” New Republic, August 5, 2022,

Andrew Chung, “U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to ban on gun ‘bump stocks,’ Reuters, October 3, 2022,

Robert Moran, “Judge bars Philadelphia from enforcing Mayor Jim Kenney’s ban on guns at rec centers and playgrounds,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 2022,

Joanna Slater, “Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to Sandy Hook families,” Washington Post, October 12, 2022,

Andrea Salcedo, James Bikales, and Joanna Slater, “Judge orders Alex Jones to pay $473 million more to Sandy Hook families,” Washington Post, November 10, 2022,

Jonathan D. Silver, “A deadly tide: Officials blame violence in Pennsylvania on relentless flow of guns,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 20, 2022,

Justin Sherin, “President Nixon & Guns,” Patreon, November 23, 2022,

Ellie Rushing, “Can widespread trauma therapy prevent gun violence? This community leader says yes,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 13, 2022,

Tom Avril, “Renovating abandoned houses reduces the rate of gun violence, Penn study finds,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 14, 2022,

Eric Lutz, “Can Illinois's Assault Weapons Ban Survive Scores of Rogue Sheriffs?” Vanity Fair, January 27, 2023,

Maggie Koerth, “Most Gun Laws Aren’t Backed Up By Evidence. Here’s Why,” FiveThirtyEight, February 6, 2023,

Adam Taylor, “Mistaken address shootings echo killing of Japanese teen 30 years ago,” Washington Post, April 20, 2023,

Kim Lyons, “As Tree of Life shooting trial begins, there’s new hope for changes to Pa.’s gun, hate crimes laws,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, April 23, 2023,

Eric Levenson, Lucy Kafanov, and Nouran Salahieh, “Army sergeant who killed a Black Lives Matter protester in Texas sentenced to 25 years in prison,” Cable News Network, May 10, 2023,

Mark Belko, “‘The makings of an epidemic:’ Officials sound alarm over large number of firearms seized at Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoints,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 11, 2023,

Michelle Watson, “Federal judge rules Oregon gun law doesn’t violate Second Amendment,” Cable News Network, July 16, 2023,

Summer Lin, “S.F. bakery won’t serve cops, police union claims. Store says it’s about the guns, not the cops,” Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2023,

Bonnie Berkowitz, “Double mass shootings over weekend set grim U.S. record,” Washington Post, December 4, 2023,

Danny Hakim, “Wayne LaPierre Resigns From N.R.A. With Trial Set to Open,” New York Times, January 5, 2024,

Jacob Gershman, “Jury Orders Ex-NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre to Pay More Than $4 Million Back to Gun-Rights Group,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2024,

  1. [1]Garry Wills, “Our Moloch,” New York Review, December 15, 2012,

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