Do you have kids?

Then do not read this story about grief and loss. If you don’t have kids, but you have a heart, don’t read it either.

OK, that covers most people. Republicans and members of the NRA, you can go ahead.


  1. Abdul Alhazred says

    I think there is something unspeakably ghoulish about exploiting grieving parents as ideological human shields as you are doing.

    Shame on you.

  2. pixelfish says

    I read that yesterday and was gutted. Husband and I have been thinking about our Future Offspring(tm) and planning for pregnancy, and yet, I have to admit a qualm passed me over as I read that article. I’m worried about the world I’d be bringing any offspring into, the inability to keep them safe. I realise, yes, that there’s very little I can keep them safe from, guns are just one of many things that could menace them, and still…I hesitate. (And then I worry that I would whiplash so hard into trying to keep my kid safe that they won’t be able to function on their own. Two extremes to worry about.)

    I’ve looked at the gun deaths since Sandy Hook and it bothers me that we’ve had so many deaths as a nation and very little, it seems, has changed. Yet those parents and the families of every one of those 4800+ people have entered into a time where their lives will be marked as Before the Shooting and After the Shooting. :(

  3. Stacy says

    exploiting grieving parents as ideological human shields

    That is an incoherent accusation. What are you trying to say?

  4. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    As a parent, I couldn’t bear to read this article when I saw it in the Post, and I can’t read it now. Back when this happened, I had a darkly cynical post written out in my head about how nothing would change, but I allowed myself to be caught up in the belief that this time would be different.


  5. mikey says

    @ 1: Are you kidding me? No one is exploiting those parents. They are trying to fix a society that is insane, and that cost them their children. And just what the bleeding F**K is reason enough for the dimwitted cowboys of this country to consider even some small concession to sanity?

  6. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Abdul, using the phrase human shield in a conversation about a shooting where adults literally died to cover children with their bodies, simply to make the point that you think grieving parents trying to prevent that same tragedy happening to others makes you the lowest type of person.

    Go fuck yourself, forever.

  7. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says


    Assuming you live in the US, as long as you want the child and are financially secure enough to afford decent health care and a home in a low-crime area, the chance of your child surviving to adulthood and thriving thereafter are higher now than almost any other place and time in human history.

    Of course, if you live in just about any other advanced industrialized nation, the chances are even better.

    Which is to say, if you really want a child, have one.

  8. Anthony K says

    I think there is something unspeakably ghoulish about exploiting grieving parents as ideological human shields as you are doing.

    Shame on you.

    Why, it’s like using the grieving parents of children killed by disease to push for vaccination campaigns. Or seatbelts. Food regulations. Smoke alarms…

  9. sigurd jorsalfar says

    I think there is something unspeakably stupid about Abdul Alhazred.

  10. says

    I’m guessing you had a brain fart and forgot what you meant to say and thus decided to drop that turd instead.
    I hope its not because you chose to be a deliberate ass.

    I don’t begrudge grieving families trying to find some way to cope, but for ‘spiritual mediums’ to go seeking them out just really bugs me.
    ” Others found it in the spiritual medium that contacted victims’ families on Facebook, offering to facilitate a private seance and “connect them with the other side.””

  11. Amphiox says

    Abdul Alhazred once again exposes himself to be a disgusting specimen. Surprise!

  12. silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche says


    I am a parent and I don’t see how PZ was “using” me as a shield for ideological anything. You, however, are clearly a piece of filth. Try not to make everything about you. Try hard.

  13. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I think there is something unspeakably ghoulish about exploiting grieving parents as ideological human shields as you are doing.

    Shame on you.

    “As opposed to masturbating over the thought of so many innocent deaths like you and yours are doing?”

    You dishonest piece of dog shit.

  14. phere says

    As I’m sitting here, a sopping, slimy mess, I’m hating myself for reading that. Not for the pain it brings up. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t shed tears for those babies and families. I’m hating myself because I feel like a failure. I didn’t do enough. Sure, I wrote my congressman. I didn’t do enough. And it’s too fucking late. I didn’t do enough.

  15. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Seriously. I can’t even imagine what it must be like, being so utterly alienated from anything recognizably human that the only thing you can imagine us doing is trying to score points, rather than trying to deal with our human feelings as best we can and call attention to the cost of the malignant stupidity that leads to these atrocities so they can be made to STOP HAPPENING.

    What the fuck is wrong with you that you see this as a matter of an “ideological game?”



  16. phere says

    And for the asshole at #1, you have it all wrong. This ISN’T ideological for those of us who remain torn apart by those events. We can all too easily visualize those blood splattered classrooms.

  17. ianeymeaney says

    It amazes me that the disgusting pieces of shit we have democratically elected value the power of the NRA murder lobby over the bodies of innocent seven year old children. Fuck you Congress. Fuck you and fuck the NRA. And fuck you, Abdul shitbag. You think it is a bad thing to draw attention to how pathetic our elected representatives are? What kind of reality do you live in?

  18. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    What the fuck are you doing about putting and end to the death of children Abdul Alhazred? What the fucking hell are you doing, you compassionless blot of nematode waste?

    The parents in that story cannot get their son back and rather than curling up and retreating from the world they’ve tried as hard as they can to keep this from happening to other children. By reposting that article PZ is also trying to keep this from happening to other children.

    Unless you’re out there making a credible effort to stop the horror of American gun violence you can go fuck yourself Abdul Alhazred, you nauseating excrescence of a gangrenous toe.

  19. shouldbeworking says

    #15 and #18 have said what I’m trying to put into words and #1 is a turd.

  20. Eristae says

    @#1/Abdul Alhazred

    Yeah, I bet that soundbite makes you feel a lot better than, “The parents of brutally murdered children begged us for even a tiny safety measure against what had happened to their children, and we were all, ‘WTF no, bitches! Crazy people need to be able to buy semi-automatic weapons without a waiting period. Second Amendment FTW! Next up: why won’t they sell me nukes?! ROFL.””

  21. Eristae says


    “The blogger?” For real? You’ve just accidentally managed to find you way to a blog that you totally disagree with (even though you don’t care! you don’t have strong opinions! you aren’t politically minded! oh and ps: Abdul Alhazred is the awesomezors, even though you totally have no connection to each other!) and yet cannot seem to actually discern the name of the person who writes the blog?


  22. PatrickG says

    I don’t know mythbri, it didn’t seem quite fawning and adoring enough. That second comment conspicuously failed to address the glowing good looks and commanding presence of Abdul, after all!

    The blogger is using this example of utter human despair to marginalize anybody who disagrees with his politics as heartless and unsympathetic.

    I’d say he exposed one heartless and unsympathetic asshole right off the bat with this post, yes?

  23. says

    Rapiddominance and abdul:
    One and the same…?
    Two different disgusting fuckwits…?
    It doesn’t matter.
    Did either if you read the entire article linked in the OP?
    I did.
    I’m a fucking sobbing mass of tears.
    Because I think about all the parents, the siblings, the aunts, the uncles, the grandparents, the friends, the teachers, the bus drivers…all the people that loved those children.
    All those people who were loved by those children.
    I cry because their deaths were pointless and senseless.
    I cry because they should be alive.
    I cry because they had their whole lives ahead of them
    I’m not a parent.
    I will probably never have kids.
    Yet I can easily see how similar tragedies could be averted.


    and I hope I never read another comment from you two again.

  24. Nepenthe says

    Well, I think there’s something unspeakably ghoulish about conservatives outright saying that they understand that having no restrictions on guns will lead to thousands and thousands of dead children (and more dead teenagers and even more dead adults), but that that doesn’t matter because Freedom. And it’s even more ghoulish that they will not look at the goods their Freedom has bought, or that the will only accept the grief that they cause if it comes wrapped up in obsequious paper printed with “gun responsibility” and “magazine limits” instead of “my child’s blood is on your hands you fucking asshole”.


  25. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    I smell socks. Horrible unsubtle socks

  26. anchor says

    “I think there is something unspeakably ghoulish about exploiting grieving parents as ideological human shields as you are doing.”

    You THINK?

    How impressive.

  27. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Isn’t the Holocaust museum ghoulish? I mean, exploiting the holocaust and it’s victims as human shields to promote their ideology?

  28. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I don’t know, I’ve seen both nyms before. But in the end who cares?

    I love these cries of “Manipulation!!!1!!!1!” as some kind of gotcha. It would be one thing if PZ or the author of the linked article misrepresented the facts in order to push an agenda. But they haven’t.

    What they’ve done is show the true cost of the gun culture in the USA. Yup, that’s going to invoke emotions. Well, it will in decent, compassionate folks who care that children are dying on the altar of the right to bear arms. That horror is the fucking point. That’s not manipulation, that’s fact. The only ones reducing this tragedy to political talking points are spongiformed eardribbles like rapiddominance.

  29. Eristae says

    Okay, so the parents of children who were murdered by guns are being used to shield what? Anti-gun sentiment? Yes, because it’s not like they might come to that position on their own. We all know that people who are harmed by something (cancer, drunk drivers, guns) are never moved to combat that thing unless they are being manipulated by some outside source that somehow wants to take down that thing for reasons completely unrelated to any harm that might have been done. Yes, those parents may say they hate guns because their children were killed by guns, but the real reason that they hate guns is because they are in the general vicinity of people who may hate guns for other reasons, reasons that we might not like if we bothered to figure out what they were! It’s not like PZ Myers might be taking a stance against the way our country handles guns because of any actual distaste for the fact that people are killed with guns; no, there must be some other, more mysterious, more nefarious reason that he has for hating guns, reasons that must be hidden behind the victims of gun violence. Shooting massacres are not in and of themselves an argument of anything; no, they are mere smokescreen that must be brushed aside so as not to cloud our vision of the truth that people like PZ Myers hate guns for some evil, self-serving purpose that we aren’t really interested in defining! The important thing here is that PZ Myers and people like him are bad for pointing out that parents might dislike guns after guns are used to kill their children. We should instead be ignoring these parents because . . . er . . . because.

    Take that.

  30. salahhesali says

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    This is no different to me than people who want to ban toothbrushes because their kid chocked on one.

  31. flapjack says

    @ salahhesali –
    Really you can’t see a difference?
    Tell me, how did you ever cope with that segment on Sesame Street… you know, the one which begins “One of these things is kinda different… one of these things is not the same”?
    Let me explain it to you in words you’ll understand…

    Toothbrush – purpose: cleaning plaque and decay from teeth.
    Gun – purpose: exclusively for shooting at targets, some of which move and have a pulse.
    One is an essential part of your daily health regimen. The other isn’t.
    Please don’t try and ever clean your teeth with a gun.

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people… much more efficiently and with higher casualties with a weapon of choice, like say a gun.
    If you really want an equivalent point of comparison try the guy in China who went on a knife rampage the same day and killed one person out of the 30 he stabbed.
    But unlike every other civilised country in the western hemisphere somehow gun ownership is seen to be as much an unalienable right as oxygen to certain lobby groups… why is that?

  32. salahhesali says

    I live in the other hemisphere. We don’t have guns here, we kill each other with axes and ninja swords. Quite efficiently.

  33. Badland says

    @ salahhesali
    Ugh. I wasted five seconds of my life reading your flatulent dump.
    Hint: guns kill people, toothbrushes* clean teeth. There is a difference here that you appear to have trouble grasping.

  34. flapjack says

    @37 – Ah yes, those mass killings I’m always hearing about on the 6 O’Clock news in which someone went on a mass killing spree with an axe/ ninja sword.
    Forgive my cynicism, but somehow these axe/ ninja sword maniacs escaped my attention.
    I wonder why?
    Could it be that the police usually catch them and taser them pretty quick before they can clock up the numbers?

  35. Nick Gotts says

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    This is no different to me than people who want to ban toothbrushes because their kid chocked on one.
    – salahhesali

    OK, it’s no different to you – but have you taken into account the fact that you have shit where your brains should be?

  36. salahhesali says

    flapjack, do you ever watch the news in my country? the 5 o’clock news? No you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t ask that.

  37. Draken says

    we kill each other with axes and ninja swords. Quite efficiently.

    [citation needed]

  38. flapjack says

    Salahhesali –

    Alright, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and take your word for it you live in a country where Kill Bill vol.1 plays out like a documentary.
    First I think we need to establish the country and how come the rest of the world hasn’t noticed this spike in samurai sword inflicted casualties.
    Bear in mind that what I’m having trouble believing is that the body count from axes and samurai swords is the equivalent of the annual death toll in the USA from firearms offences.
    I would assume you have citations for this?
    News clippings and stats to back this assertion up?

    Just to get the ball rolling here’s the stats on USA gun violence from Wikipedia for 2010.
    “Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicide deaths, and 11,078 firearm-related homicide deaths in the United States.”

    Are you telling us the samurai sword death rate where you’re from comes close to this?

  39. Red-Green in Blue says


    The blogger is using this example of utter human despair to marginalize anybody who disagrees with his politics as heartless and unsympatheticdrawing attention to the close correlation between political preferences or NRA membership and willingness to prevent the passing of legislation that could save thousands of lives a year.


  40. Anri says


    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    This is no different to me than people who want to ban toothbrushes because their kid chocked on one.

    A hypothetical 100% safe-to-people toothbrush would still be a functioning toothbrush.
    A hypothetical 100% safe-to-people gun would be worthless as a gun.
    That’s an important distinction for people who have brains that work.

    On a more real-world note, it’s worth thinking about the fact that the more efficiently and accurately you use a toothbrush, or a car, or a shovel, or a microwave oven, or a backhoe, the fewer people you kill. Whereas, the exact opposite applies to a firearm.

    I live in the other hemisphere. We don’t have guns here, we kill each other with axes and ninja swords. Quite efficiently.

    And the statistics you cited backed that up nicely.
    …and by that I mean, I looked up the statistics on your country and they back up what you said.
    …and by that I mean that you didn’t say where you were from, so your statement reeks of bullshit.

    I will ask, however, do the armed forces of your country carry firearms?
    If so, why?
    (Again, important, functioning, brain, etc.)

  41. howard says

    Also, that comment @1, accusing PZ of exploiting these grieving parents…

    Okay, exploiting people for political ends would be kind of not okay. That is, using them against their will, or exposing things about them that they didn’t want exposed.

    Given that the middle part of the story, the most heart-breaking part, is about how they struggle to find meaning in tragedy, how they WANT to change the gun culture of America, about how they’ve struggled in vain to try to wring something, anything good out of tragedy, only to have the gun culture prevail…


    @1, of course, didn’t read the article, so he can’t possibly comment on the family’s wishes.

    The family said it quite eloquently enough.

    Trying to honor their wishes and help them find a way to bring some good out of unspeakable tragedy–that’s the only way we have left to help this family.

  42. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Cough syrup is regulated and purchasing limited because it can be used to make drugs. guns are not despite that they can be used to make mass murder

  43. w00dview says

    The blogger is using this example of utter human despair to marginalize anybody who disagrees with his politics as heartless and unsympathetic.

    I think anyone who listens to the heartbreaking stories of families affected by this tragedy and says “Nah, we are not going to even REMOTELY try to control the purchase of firearms because FREEDUMB!” IS, in fact a heartless, unsympathetic sociopath. Sorry if that hurts the pwecious fee fees of gun nuts but I think your constant attempts to prevent the smallest chance of reducing these tragedies shows that you care far more about your little pew pew shooters than actual human beings. And that makes you a terrible person. I could give a shit if your ilk are “marginalized”. It would lead to some goddamn sane gun laws in the US for a change. I hope you fuckers get marginalized from here on now, you have been controlling the conversation for too long.

    Selfish man children, the lot of ye.

  44. says


    Why do people like you always have to drop your crap in gun threads?

    I don’t know if you’re ignorant or an uncaring idiot, but guns are killing machines. They help people kill other people quicker and more efficiently in a short amount of time. On top of that. The US has an epidemic of gun violence.
    Toothbrushes are not weapons. Their primary function isn’t to kill people. There is no epidemic of toothbrush choking deaths.

  45. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I live in the other hemisphere. We don’t have guns here, we kill each other with axes and ninja swords. Quite efficiently.

    I didn’t know you could live in a kung-fu movie.

    What are they like for immigration ?

    I’ve always wanted to live in a magical gravity-defying country where people provoke each other in dancelike saber/axe/nuchaku duels.

    Sure they kill each other, but no bystander dies, and it’s at least entertaining. Add broadswords, pikes, morningstars and the occasional hungry mutated beast, and you’ll have a great show.

  46. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    I am going to ignore the stinkers, because no.

    I’ll be honest: I read the article and managed to stay dry-eyed. And then I decided to click through the photos attached.

    And I came to the one showing the family at dinner.

    And I saw the family sitting around a table: mom, dad, daughter, son.

    Sitting at a table with five chairs.

    A table set for five.

    And then I lost it.

  47. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    According to gun people flamethrower is just as dangerous as torch

  48. mythbri says

    After I saw Mark Barden on The Rachel Maddow Show, I learned about the electronic Mother’s Day card that the Sandy Hook Promise group was putting together. I went to the website and signed it, telling them all how inspiring and amazing they were for doing the work for real, meaningful change. But it doesn’t matter. What I say (what anybody says) means next to nothing to them, compared to what they’ve lost.

    I had forgotten, until reading it again in this article, that the Sandy Hook shooter wore ear plugs.

    I can’t imagine that he expected or planned to live after committing so many murders. No need to protect his hearing.

    So I must conclude that he wore them so that he couldn’t hear the screams.

  49. says


    As was succinctly pointed out on twitter in the immediate aftermath of the newtown shooting, “Guns don’t kill people. Yarn also doesn’t knit sweaters, but knitting a sweater sure is a hell of a lot easier when you have access to yarn.”

    In other words, go fuck yourself.

  50. noxiousnan says

    This is just a guess, but I think the creep at 35 & 37 is alluding to living in the UK, where soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by knife weilding terrorists. It was the news comment that made me think so, although it’s hard to imagine someone making such a bullshit equivocation especially after the 11000 US homicides that flapjack noted.

    And if my guess is correct, salahhesali, then please add painfully stupid to the invectives being hurled your way.

  51. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    This is just a guess, but I think the creep at 35 & 37 is alluding to living in the UK, where soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by knife weilding terrorists.

    You think so ?

    Didn’t cross my mind. Wasn’t Rigby attacked with a machete ? Where I come from, machete definitely does not compare to “ninja sword” and “axe”.

    A machete is a rather crude and cheap tool meant for cutting dense foliage. A “ninja sword” (which I guess is any kind of japanese or chinese bladed weapon in this confused fellow’s mind) is a costly and sophisticated weapon.

    But any person who thinks killing with a bladed weapon of any kind is as easy as killing with a gun is quite stupid. Replacing guns with broadswords or sabers would vastly improve homicide statistics, if only because the latter demand much more training to be used with any efficiency, without even factoring in the extreme intimate physical contact involved in attacking someone with a bladed weapon compared to the almost complete detachment when using a gun.

    According to gun people flamethrower is just as dangerous as torch

    And cars are more dangerous than guns.

    Which is why we have all these car wielding maniacs going around mowing people down by the hundreds in countries with sensible gun control laws.

    Or maybe I’m confusing real life with scenes from GTA.

  52. phere says

    Mythri…that broke me all over again. My thoughts can wander into some pretty dark territory and I have such horrible mental movies of those last minutes. I wish I can turn it off. Maybe something is wrong with me. The truth is, no matter how dark my imagination is, the reality was assuredly far more gruesome. I’ve mentioned before, since having a child later in life (41 w/ a 3yo), stories like this just hit you in a way I could have never though possible pre-kid. It’s soooo fucking personal. Not to take away from the childless who are every bit as disgusted and outraged – not in the least. But you hold your child close, smell their hair, feel their fingers wrapped around yours – and you just cannot even fathom how you would survive a Sandy Hook scenario. It is just completely incomprehensible. I think the parts that really got me were when they mentioned his toy he was buried with, and that last picture of the dad watching the video of his baby singing and playing. I can’t deal. And again, I’m disgusted with myself – I just didn’t do enough. I was sick when our representative held a town meeting re: gun control shortly after – I should have dragged my ass down there anyway. I should have kept up with the emails and whatever local efforts I could. Life goes on and it’s so fucking unfair to that community still torn apart by these senseless deaths.

  53. phere says

    And to those who say “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”, firstly, fuck off. Second, I can’t help but think of Eddie Izzard retorting, “Well the guns help. You can’t just go around shouting BANG BANG and have people knocking off dead.” (Or something very close to that.)