Uzis are not for children #arizona (derr)

In Arizona, there’s a place called Bullets and Burgers where you can have a hamburger, ride a monster truck and then go and shoot a .50 calibre sniper rifle or a machine gun. 

In Viet Nam there are shooting ranges you can visit where they have available AK-47s, M-60s and other war-era weapons to try out. Pay a little cash, shoot off a handful of rounds, the locals earn some money from the legacy of beating America’s arse out of their country, you get to live out your favourite ‘Nam-movie fantasy (or, perhaps & hopefully, get some perspective and insight on the war), everyone’s happy, noone’s dead.

Yesterday, a 9 year-old girl visited Bullets and Burgers with her family and tried out an Uzi at the range. After a single successful shot, the instructor set the weapon to fully automatic. When the girl pressed the trigger the weapon recoiled, sending a bullet into her instructor’s head and fatally injuring him. The video at this Raw Story article shows the instructor did not have his hands on the weapon at the time.

The difference between those places and this tragic scene out of a Paul Verhoeven movie? Most of those Vietnamese ranges have the guns on short chains or mounted with a very narrow firing arc available, both to prevent theft and to prevent precisely the kind of recoil accident that happened when this small child was given an Uzi and told to let rip on full-auto. An Uzi isn’t large but (contrary to what every movie hero of the 1980s taught me) it’s still a two-handed weapon, even for an adult – spitting out 9mm bullets at a rate of 600 per minute produces significant recoil. With the weapon completely unsecured, that kid should’ve been watched like a hawk and the instructor should have had a hand on – not under – that weapon at all times. It’s the least you’d do, even with a kid using an air rifle for the first time.

Of course, aside from the carelessness that cost a man his own life, the existence of a family restaurant with an attached firing range where fully automatic military weapons are as unsecured as laser-tag guns is the base problem, and which needs to be urgently addressed. I am not confident any meaningful action will occur in response to this, however; the American NRA and their fanatical cadre of barrel-polishers routinely show that there are no depths whatever to their depravity when it comes to defending their right to be well-armed, deluded little toy soldiers with invasion fantasies (and, in the specific case of the NRA, their right to be bukkake’d with cash by the craven sociopaths who own gun companies and wish to sell their products as freely as toothpaste and crayons). They’re certainly not above scapegoating a traumatised 9 year-old girl.

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Scott Morrison has just made the boogeyman redundant #auspol

Several children are missing in South Australia after two others were removed from school and placed in immigration detention centres.

Quotes from Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul:

“They’re at the whim of the department.”

“The fact they were snatched out of school is an indication of how (the Department) operates with no concern for the kids involved.

“It’s a general phenomenon at the moment. The department is cancelling visas, bringing people in, sending people back. There is general fear in the community.”

Parents: you may now start terrorising your children into eating their steamed vegetables with the prospect of indefinite detention in a shipping container on a small, hot island where the locals want to kill you and the prison guards can’t stop them.

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America is officially retarded.

Well, ok, sorry, that’s a bit harsh. I don’t mean the entire country and every one of its 300 million citizens (though a fair whack of those people voted for George Bush not once but twice – the jury’s still out on exactly how many and whether either election was actually an actual election) – just whatever’s responsible for the zeitgeist that allows shit like this to happen.

From MSNBC:

Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.


Yep, that’s what it says. Here’s the offending accessory:


Run! She’s got an ICED LATTE!!!



People complained that her scarf reminded them of the black & white kaffiyeh – a traditional Arab head covering, most noticably worn by the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat and, as such, was a symbol of terrorism & America-hate & quite possibly baby-eating. Instead of laughing this off as an ignorant, laughable, ridiculous hysterical, conservative over-reaction, Dunkin Donuts pulled the ad. One particular retarded, paranoid and obviously lackwitted conservative commentator, Michelle Malkin, said that the kaffieyh “has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”





Of course, this is the most retarded scarf-related story in the entire universe. For a start, Ms Ray isn’t wearing a kaffiyeh. That scarf is paisley. It’s black and white and has dangly bits just like a kaffiyeh, but it’s fucking PAISLEY. About as dangerous a pattern as tartan (do people run in the streets of London when they see a kilt? “Bwaugh, it’s William Wallace come to finish what he started 600 years ago! BWAAAAUGH!”). It’s also worn as a scarf should be – around the neck, not on her head like an Arab headscarf. Is Malkin going to raise the alarm if she happens to see some hipster loping arounf town in a pair of these?

That islamofascist over there – the one with the three-day growth, corduroy pants, canvas man-bag and iPod nano full of Death Cab For Cutie albums – has HOUNDSTOOTH ALL-STARS!! He’s come to rape your pets and steal our freedoms!! Shoot to kill!!

But, retarded as this is and as easily dismissed and ridiculed as it is (and has been, repeatedly and thoroughly throughout the instawebs and will probably have a headline dedicated on The Daily Show), it belies a deeper problem that only seems to be worsening in the United Sstates. The neo-McCarthyist, massively ignorant hysterical hyper-reaction is symptomatic of the culture of fear that seems to have pervaded and invaded American culture. It’s not really a recent development – I’m sure many can still recall the Salem-esque McCarthy years and the lengthy, costly fear-mongering of the 50-year Cold War. But the intensity has ramped up significantly in the last 7 years since the attacks on New York & Washington. 9/11/2001 was an deniably shocking and terrible event. However, rather than a sober & rational response, as you might expect from just about any other country in the world, the current administration immediately launched (among other things with which we’re all familiar) a fear-mongering campaign that Goebbels, the ultimate marketeer himself, would be proud of, which capitalised, unashamedly, on everyone’s new-found insecurity. No amount of ridiculous, irrational, racist, bigoted, paranoid hatred is too much for America right now and Malkin’s ejaculations are merely a small sample of it. Look, Ms Malkin & assorted complainants: it’s a black & white paisley scarf. It’s a not fucking suitcase bomb. Priorities, people! How about concentrating on something that’s actually important, like taking your government to task for whipping up a national debt your goddam grandchildren will still be paying for when their kids start high school? Perhaps if this administration (enabled by its knee-jerk gung-ho supporters, cheerleaders-of-death in the media and complacent, complicit populace) weren’t constantly making new, very real enemies basically everywhere they go in the world, people at home wouldn’t be seeing imaginary demons lurking everywhere, including around the necks of cute chicks drinking iced coffee.

I’m almost certain that if this happened in Australia or any other rational, functioning democracy, even if it got past the point of the advertisers scoffing behind cupped hands to each other while politely telling the complainants where they could “register their outrage” and actually became a story (on any program other than tabloid standard-bearer Today Tonight), it would be loudly & quickly ridiculed in just about every corner of the public sphere. You’d be able to hear the howls of derisive laughter, Bruce, clear across the bloody Pacific. Australians know a bona fide bullshit artist when they see one and anyone complaining about this ad would not only be regarded a wowser (and no doubt a bloody god-botherer), they’d likely be labelled mad as a shit-house rat to boot. Seriously, when you see a lady wearing a paisley scarf and immediately think “oh my GOD IT’S THE TERRORISTS!!” there’s a fair chance that you have a very, very tenuous grip, not only on your own sanity but on reality itself. Or, as you might say down here, you’ve got ‘roos in your top paddock …