Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All I Want for Xmas is an AK-47

You really can't make this stuff up. (H/T "Akhilleus"). Deep in the dried up bowels of Arizona, nestled among the headless bodies of Gov. Jan Brewer's imagination, there exists an actual place called the Scottsdale Gun Club. Its big selling point? It's a state of the art conference center/high tech shooting range rolled right into one! Between intense business negotiations and leveraged buyout brainstorming sessions, you can rent an Uzi for $65 a hour -- just a little over a dollar a minute to blow off some steam after you're done shooting your mouth off. From the Gun Club website:
Scottsdale Gun Club’s conference room is utilized for smaller gatherings. The room has a large oval marble table with 8 comfortable leather office chairs surrounding it. It also comes equipped with a projector, PC, and DVD. Also available is a teleconferencing phone so you can reach those outside of the meeting. Food and refreshments are allowed in this room as well. Behind all the action sits a Garwood Mini-Gun and an HK GMG Automatic Grenade Launcher. We don’t think these will be useful for your meeting, but they are great conversation pieces and ice-breakers!
But wait! There's more!  As Akhilleus writes in an email: "In Arizona, you can go to the mall and have your picture taken with Santa while holding automatic weapons. It's Arizona's very own No Child Left Unarmed. AK-47s for everyone! And dum-dum bullets as stocking stuffers!"

You can see actual video here. Don't worry. It's short and sweet, not too graphic, except for the part where a child points his assault weapon at Santa. And, writes Akhilleus, "Don't miss the little kid carrying a grease gun. And look at Santa's face in that video. He looks like he's ready to soil his sleigh."

Awwww. But wouldn't you know -- some grinches are taking all the joy out of the Second Amendment. It's the war against weaponized Christmas, for X's sake! A Baptist preacher from Phoenix named Rev. Brent Loveless told the Christian Science Monitor that the gun-toting Santa surrounded by kids with grenade launchers might not quite jibe with the spirit of the season: “It’s a time when you’re talking about peace and good cheer and things of that nature. (It's) probably a little too much" he ventured to guess.

But the reverend, "probably" thinking of the long-term security of his gospel-preaching gig in Arizona, was quick to add that he likes to hunt and supports the right to bear arms. So I guess he bit the bullet with that addendum.  After all, Arizona has the reputation of being the most gun-friendly state in the Union, having 1200 licensed gun sellers and an actual state gun (the Colt revolver) and a law passed this year requiring that gun history be included in the high school social studies curriculum. A Google search for "Arizona gun stores" produces 22,500,000 results and this map:

Only in Arizona, kids. Only in Arizona. Ho. Ho. Ho.


Anne Lavoie said...

Sounds like the pending National Defense Authorization Act is just the solution we need! Unfortunately it looks at this time to be only targeting those affiliated with Al Qaeda or the Taliban. But that can be amended easily enough.

It just needs one little tweak to state that anyone that has an arsenal of AK-47s or any other assault weapons or weapons of mass destruction be labeled a domestic terrorist suspect and detained indefinitely without charges or trial. (Later we can work on weapons of financial destruction - one step at a time)

What more evidence does Congress or the President need than the millions of Americans who armed to the teeth, terrorizing us with their weaponry? Who ARE they planning to use these weapons against, if not Americans? The government?

If they aren't terrorists and potential enemies to our country, I don't know who is. Time to alert the NRA to send their lobbyists to kill this legislation! Ready, aim, fire!

Rose in Michigan said...

I recall hearing my mother and her sister, almost three decades ago, talking about how glad they were that they had lived when they did, and how glad they were that they were old then (they were approximately the age I am now) and wouldn't live all that much longer.
I didn't understand.
Fast forward to today: my job involves reading all the mainstream (i.e. right-wing) media articles about mega-corporations and global socio-economic-political conditions, so I'm pretty miserable most of the time.
Now I understand.

James F Traynor said...

They are really, really nuts. I'd much rather discuss things with a Siberian tiger or an Alaskan brown bear.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@Karen, and everyone:

Actually, what some cops do with their firepower, in Arizona and elsewhere, is a far bigger problem than how enamored of "heat" are the members of the Scottsdale Gun Club.

We've discussed on this blog the militarization of law enforcement that has occurred in recent decades — a militarization that finds expression even when the cops don't fire a single shot. It's a militarization not only with regard to equipment and training, but also of attitudes, an inevitable accompaniment to those factors. All of that is, of course, highly dangerous to life and civil liberties, because that tips the scales in favor of state power far beyond the usual "benefit of the doubt" from both prosecutors and the general public that the police have traditionally enjoyed. And as we've seen in several locales, it's a power that these state enforcers are quite willing to use, against even completely peaceful protesters exercising fundamental Constitutionally-guaranteed liberties.

Sometimes, though, police militarization finds full unjustified expression, gunfire included — usually in the less-affluent and/or minority parts of town.

Read the story of a local example of that at:

I presume that the regulars at Sardonicky will find such deadly abuse of power as outrageous as I do.

WestVillageGal said...

fine piece, Karen.

gotta wonder how Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly might weigh-in on her state's holiday merchandising.

consider: Jared Lee Loughner might have gotten more bang for his buck had he tossed the Tuscon 9mm Glock (ammo, courtesy of his local Walmart) for one of those rentals in Scottsdale.

referencing Shakespeare's Miranda and, much later, Huxley's literary dissonance of same:
" . . . O brave new world!
That has such people in it! . . . "


Valerie said...

@Anne - Brilliant idea!

@Fred - You are so right! What a shocking tale of police overkill - literally!

I thought these two paragraphs in the article on Jose Guerena pretty much tell the whole story -

To Mack, it's just the tail wagging the dog: Law-enforcement agencies "go to all this expense to have SWAT teams, and so they say, 'Well, we might as well use them.' You're talking about millions of dollars' worth of training and equipment. You have to justify having them, so you've got to use them. And most of the time, they are simply not justified or needed.

"If you get people dressed up for a dance," he says, "they want to go dancing. Same with SWAT teams: They're all dressed up. They have those guns. What do you think they're supposed to do with those guns? Just keep them on their laps?"

Thanks, Fred, for keeping such an important issue at the front of our consciousness.

John in Lafayette said...

I can see the commercials now:

"Hi. I'm Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. And nothing ensures the peace better than my Glock 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun!"

"This is Aaron speaking. My brother Moses gets all the credit for bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, but it was really my effective rear guard action that kept Pharaoh's troops at bay, in the bay. And what made it all possible? Our trusty AK-47's."

"Mohammed here. Why did the mountain come to me? You'd come too, if you were staring down the barrel of a Remington repeater!"

"Santa here. I never know what I'll find when I hit the bottom of a chimney. So I always make sure to carry my Colt. It takes a Colt to keep the dogs at bay."

Rim shots, please.

DreamsAmelia said...

Well, not only in Arizona--wasn't it the liberalization of the gun laws, allowing (concealed?) weapons in national parks that allowed Oscar R.O-H to fire a semi-automatic weapon at the White House? And then to walk away and hang out at a hotel in PA to, once again, be turned in only thanks to citizen vigilantism by a hotel employee who recognized his photo?
The Times, as usual, buries the lead halfway in the story:
"It was not clear for several days that someone had deliberately fired at the White House. But the Secret Service has now found at least two bullets."(

But crash a state dinner? We get endless months of minutia about the Salahis, and a WH social secretary gets fired. Whereas an actual shooter is not worthy of more than a few lines on page A26 and results in no firings.

I myself was placed on spot prosecution in front of the WH by 3 overly-militarized secret service men--I was trying to celebrate this blog by having my photo taken at the WH gate with a sign saying, "Read Sardonicky! Revival of the People's Press!"-- I refused to give my name, citing my opposition to unwarranted search and seizure, but I did try to arouse the conscience of the secret service, exhorting them that the only way society changes is through civil debate--and one of the most democratic platforms, open to all, are newspaper comment streams and blogs. You could tell they thought little of ideas, and believed in guns over beliefs, in a horrifying vibe of thuggary. And you could tell they thought I was hopelessly, impossibly naive.

Yet not even the hundreds of thousands of deaths in all the wars of the ages have changed people's minds one iota. You cannot kill Joe Hill or Troy Davis, you cannot maim, beat, or kill people's convictions. The ugly side of prejudice is not diminished by "justice" with guns. The ruthless sadism of economic inequality is not mitigated no matter how many people arm themselves.

Those of us committed to non-violence as the only way have to keep singing, "When will they ever learn," even as we sigh in exasperation that the answer may be never. Holly jolly Christmas, with their AK-47s....You're right Karen, you can't make this stuff up--thanks for another great piece....!

Will said...

Here's Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen's first live TV interview since his skull was fractured by the Oakland police at an Occupy protest in October. He still has a long way to go for a full recovery, but I've got a feeling this determined young man will be back defending us from enemies both foreign and *domestic* very soon.

Valerie said...

@DreamsAmelia - I would love to see that picture!

@Will - Thanks again for a wonderful link. Scott Olsen is an inspiring person! Not just because of what happened to him but his thoughtful words and message are so clear and so true!