Where Do We Go From Here?

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Kazzy

One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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  1. Avatar zic
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    Her former sister-in law, Marsha Lanza, told the Chicago Sun-Times outside her home in Crystal Lake, Ill., that Nancy Lanza wanted guns for protection. “She prepared for the worst,” Marsha Lanza told the newspaper. “I didn’t know that they [the guns] would be used on her.”

    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/newtown-school-shooters-mother-collected-guns-was-loath-to-let-people-inside-home/2012/12/15/d89c2732-4706-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html?hpid=z3

    Holmes said she even spoke of taking her son to the firing range to practice his aim.

    This makes me feel sick, physically sick to my stomach. As you sow, so shall you reap.

    Members of Nancy Lanza’s regular neighborhood dice game never got inside her home, either — not in 15 years of regular games. Rhonda Collens, a frequent player in the game, said that while the group’s weekly get-togethers moved from house to house, Nancy Lanza’s was always skipped. She never met Adam Lanza, and Nancy never spoke of her children.

    We measure others by our own yardstick. Projection. Perhaps there was no salvation for Nancy Lanza and her sad, sad child. But by asking, Where do we go from here? Kazzy has framed it in an important way. Turning our lives, our schools, our families into the armed fortress that keep others out, as the Lanza household seems to have been, does not seem the right prescription. It just seems like more of the same. Percolate more fear, more distrust, more arming against that other armed crazy.

    What can we do? We can teach our children some important skills; work at honing them ourselves. First is leaning to measure others, particularly others we’re attracted to for both friendship and romance, not by how they make us feel, but by how they treat other people in their lives. Do they have strong family bonds? Do they spread kindness? Or are they isolated? Do they cheat, steal, lie, or hurt? Eventually, how they treat others is how they’ll treat you.

    But when we see others who are isolated, who live in that walled fortress, what do we do? I have not answers. Maybe they’re fine, maybe they’re just introverted. I’ve got family members who are introverted. But they don’t spend their days figuring out how to be prepared against an invasion.

    I do know one thing: the culture of arming, the overriding need to protect yourself from others, needs some examining. The whole gun culture Nancy Lanza lived in, it’s not cool. We need to talk on it. It’s a culture of fear. A culture of victims. Sadly, last week, it created its own self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Be brave. Trust first, instead of fearing. Because that fear? It’s a prison of your own making. And when people trapped in that prison have to bust out, the results too often spew beyond the well-armed fortress you’ve made.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to zic
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      says:

      I think a conversation about gun culture and the fear that often accompanies it would be a worthwhile one. But I’m not sure a conversation about guns themselves will be. The reality is that Lanza stopped himself. People are pointing to his use of an automatic weapon and the ability this offered him to take multiple lives in short order. But had he been using only a semi-automatic weapon, there is no reason to believe he would have caused any less carnage. It simply would have taken longer, though likely not long enough to someone to have intervened. (If any of our more knowledgeable gun folks can explain why I’m wrong here, I’m all ears and will offer the appropriate mea culpas.)

      Maybe we should fan fully automatic weapons. But having done so would likely not have changed the outcome in Newtown. And hemming and hawing over that likely decreases the likelihood that we have the constructive conversations we need.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        I’ve not seen any sources that he used a fully automatic firearm. Full automatics manufactured post-1986 are already banned,though, and automatics manufactured pre86 are legal only for people who hold Federal Firearms licenses and pay a Special Occupational Tax, which is a fairly limited population. It’s possible Mrs. lanza had an FFL, but I haven’t seen any reporting to that effect yet. So-called “assault weapons” are semi-automatic, not fully automatic. They are also still illegal in Connecticut, and my understanding is that all of Mrs. lanza’s firearms were properly registered, so the firearm used here may not have even been an “assault weapon.”Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mark Thompson
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          says:

          Thank you. I just saw something to that effect on CNN. It is my understanding then that the primary difference between the weapon he used (the “Bushmaster) and weapons people might seem to consider more allowable are magazine capacity. Do I have that right?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            Kazzy – you are sort of right. The gun he used and a hunting-oriented rifle function in the same way. They just don’t really make large magazines for hunting rifles because many states have capacity restrictions for hunting and most hunters prefer internal magazines for hunting.

            It all circles back to magazine capacity as the only real restriction on firearms themselves that makes any kind of sense to me.Report

        • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Mark Thompson
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          says:

          That said, a discussion about the level of un justified fear involved in the self-defense rationale for gun ownership is entirely appropriate, especially when we are talking about folks who live in densely populated suburbs and exurbs rather than more rural and semi rural areas.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        The fully automatic weapon is a red herring these days. Furthermore, the argument against large magazine capacity is another red herring.

        These days, semi-automatic firearms re-chamber rounds fast enough to blur the distinction. Ejecting a spent mag and inserting another is trivial. Even in modern warfare, the automatic weapon is only used for suppressive fire and that rarely. The US Army strongly discourages troops from firing long bursts on automatic: it chews up ammunition, the only truly limiting factor in an engagement.

        I contend we ought to seek out the opinions of gun owners and gunsmiths before we start in on the Reasons to Believe. Incidents such as Sandy Hook require thoughtful introspection: we who favour gun control are only bystanders to this debate. It’s the gun owners who have the problem. I return to the murder of Nancy Lanza: if we want to couch this debate in terms the gun owners and gun dealers will understand, we must ask the question: “What might have kept Nancy Lanza from being murdered?” For the gun owners can put themselves in Nancy Lanza’s shoes, that’s no stretch for them. What they won’t accept is finger pointing and tar brushing.Report

        • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          Fully agreed.Report

        • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          Ah yes, nothing a little self-regulation won’t cure.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Dan Miller
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            says:

            What’s needed in this situation is an alternative to the NRA’s idiocy. I believe responsible gun owners and gun dealers would back meaningful reforms. It’s their weapons which are stolen and used in the commission of crimes. It’s their weapons which are turned on them in the heat of an argument. By God, there’s no stronger motive than self-preservation. That’s a meaningful argument the gun owners understand.

            I maintain my positions on this subject: I would rather ask the Mike Dwyers of this world what should be done to prevent the deaths of the Nancy Lanzas of this world on the basis of Consent of the Governed. They’re the people who are going to have to live with such legislation and as a Liberal, I’ll be damned if I’m going to back onerous and ultimately fruitless legislation to limit their rights.Report

            • Avatar Glyph in reply to BlaiseP
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              says:

              Until we see really successful and affordable biometric “smart”guns that can only be fired by their rightful owner, I am not sure how you do this. A 20-yr old man presumably knows where his mother’s guns are kept, and where the safe key (or what the combination) is; and if he doesn’t, he probably has the strength to force her to tell him. Nancy Lanza could have been murdered just as easily with a kitchen knife.

              I tend to agree with DRS elsewhere when she names mass shootings’ subsequent media frenzy (and make no mistake, what we are doing right here is part of that, which is why I generally try to stay out of these, and am breaking my own rules right now – because it’s really really hard not to talk about it, and I am not even 100% sure we shouldn’t) as a, if not the, primary factor in their repetition and escalation – seems to me that this is the fertile soil in which succeeding mass shootings bloom.

              She quoted Ebert, I’d also recommend this.

              The problem there is, I feel even more strongly about the First, than the NRA does about the Second; so I have absolutely no idea what can or should be done about that either.

              Sorry, this fatalistic comment helps no one.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                The more I think about it, the more it seems like until “smart guns” are a common reality (and from what I can tell, they are not quite ready for prime time), no legal regime or enhanced ability to identify the mentally ill will be sufficiently preventative. As long as any person can pick up and immediately fire any gun, how do you control that with laws, in a world where the guns already exist?

                I mean, we wouldn’t countenance a world where any person could start up any car at any time – we use an old, old technology, the lock and key, to control that. Even more important than controlling access, is controlling operation.

                I see from wiki that some gun advocates object to the tech on grounds that it can fail, leaving a user defenseless; but I do not see this as theoretically any more relevant than the fact that a gun can jam (or that a car can fail to start), when you are faced with an axe murderer.

                Again, maybe the tech isn’t quite ready yet; but once it is, I think gun advocates would do well to embrace it wholeheartedly.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                It’s not just the mentally ill. it’s the illegal gun smuggling.Report

              • Avatar Jeffrey Straszheim in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                > Nancy Lanza could have been murdered just as easily with a kitchen knife.

                This is plainly false. It would have been harder to kill her with a knife — which is the whole point of these conversations.

                If knives were as good as guns, then the self-defense crowd would be happy with knives. The fact is, guns are way better at killing people.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Jeffrey Straszheim
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                says:

                Knives are not much worse than handguns when it comes to self-defense. Offense? Sure, a bit harder. You gotta ambush someone with a knife (or have decent aim and throw it).Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jeffrey Straszheim
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                says:

                Knives are as “good” as guns, if the other person is unarmed at the time. It is only once the other person is armed that a knife becomes of equal or lesser “value”. I don’t think her murder was accomplished at distance via sniper rifle, so I maintain a knife would have killed her just as easily (though obviously shooting up multiple people at a school requires guns).

                You are missing I think the point of my comment. I was responding to Blaise’s question about what would have prevented Nancy Lanza’s murder.

                At the start, Nancy Lanza was presumably armed (or at least, had in her possession the guns to have been so). Adam Lanza was presumably not, yet still he managed to get her guns and kill her with them. The point I am making is that a twenty-year-old son can almost certainly physically overpower his mother. He could have killed her with his hands, or a blunt object, or a kitchen knife; or a gun.

                A gun safe would probably have been insufficient to prevent her murder, IOW. Given any element of surprise at all, her (presumably mentally ill and violent) son could have overpowered her and forced her to give up its location and combo or key, with nothing more than his hands or a kitchen knife.

                I doubt he even needed to do this; I’d be surprised if a twenty-year-old doesn’t know the location of the safe, and how to access it already.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                You need to get close to use a knife. A 40 year old woman in decent shape can potentially outrun the threat.
                If it’s dark, all she has to do is blow a fuse or three (easier in a kitchen, admittedly).

                Most of the problem here is trust.

                I know someone who has had his knuckles slashed to hell because he punched the blade of someone else’s knife (who dropped it, obviously). If he had been defending himself against a gun, he’d probably be dead.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kim
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                says:

                Correct, trust is the other factor. This was obviously pre-planned to some degree, and the victim knew her assailant.

                Would I rather meet a mugger in a dark alley with a knife, rather than gun? Yeah.

                If it’s my murderously deranged son, in the kitchen? Probably doesn’t make much difference one way or another.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
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                says:

                How many dangerous implements do you have in the kitchen? How often do you have boiling water on the stove?

                Wielding two knives will make most folks stop twice, I should think. Or at least you could do some damage.Report

            • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to BlaiseP
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              says:

              I think that any regulation that would have prevented this would be so onerous that even I might balk at it, let alone Mike Dwyer. After all, the guns in question were acquired legally, and I can’t imagine any set of rules that wouldn’t sell guns to Nancy Lanza. We could ban semi-automatics and large magazines entirely, but I’m sure that wouldn’t fly with Mike, and I can already hear the howls from Jaybird about jackbooted federal agents breaking down doors to search for illegal guns (he’s got a point, frankly).

              Ultimately, if we want to make guns less common, the impetus is going to have to come from society. We need to make this a country where carrying a gun in public is a shockingly rude act, and having one in your home is similar to putting a car up on blocks in your front yard. We need to eliminate the glamor and the seduction of “Oh, I’ll be a vigilante hero”–it just leads to more guns around, more Trayvon Martins and Adam Lanzas.

              As long as we continue to glorify guns and make it acceptable to own them, this is an inevitability.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Dan Miller
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                says:

                I can agree with that sort of thinking. I want this hypothetical Nancy Lanza Law to be the product of the gun owners themselves. What do they want to see? How about some protocol for securing those weapons. It might not even have to be a law, maybe it would be better if it weren’t — but by God, if the NRA is going to shriek about Takin’ Our Guns Away, I have an answer for those maniacs: it wasn’t some Jack Booted Gummint Thug that took Nancy Lanza’s weapons away. It was her own flesh and blood.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Why did Mrs. Lanza own guns? Do we know that? I am in no way attempting to blame the victim. But if she owned them because she wanted to be safe, the reality is that they made her less safe. And for what reason did she feel unsafe? It is my understanding that Newtown experienced exactly one murder in the ten years preceding Friday. We need to stop sowing fear into our society.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Nancy Lanza’s rationale for owning weapons is not up for discussion, any more than her right to own a kitchen cleaver or a washing machine. This is where Liberals always go off the track and anger everyone else. If we’re to call ourselves Liberals, maybe we ought to take the principle of Liberty more seriously. Our argument as Liberals should be as follows: with rights come responsibilities.

                America done lost its goddamn mind. On one side, the paranoiacs — on the other, the goddamn do-gooders.

                Liberty is always a dangerous word: it means I have a measure of freedom and you can’t stop me from exercising it. As for stopping the sowing of fear into this society, that’s a knife which cuts both ways: the NRA has been able to capitalise on the fears of legitimate gun owners precisely because the Do-Gooders are out there trying to demonise them. It’s gotten so bad we can’t even discuss gun safety and gun control without the instant eruption of flame wars. I asked LoOG to hit the Pause Button on the Gun Debate for 24 hours and to my surprise and delight, we all managed to maintain some civility.

                Kazzy, the last thing we need is to re-establish the old siege mentality asking gun owners Why, thereby casting subtle and aggravating aspersions on their motives. They have the right to own their weapons. They also have the responsibility to secure those weapons and particularly the ammunition for those weapons. That’s the real debate here, folks.

                It’s high time we as Liberals and Progressives started talking less about how these people are paranoid. You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Blaise,

                I’m speaking about broader societal views more than I am speaking about Mrs. Lanza specifically. If people want to own guns, I support their right to. But I think we’d be safer overall if people didn’t internalize a mindset that the world was a dangerous place that required guns. And, most troubling is the way in which our government is chief amongst the sowing of fear and paranoia.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                I’m talking about broader societal views, too. If Liberals are to frame this debate upon honest rhetoric, we will start with the principle wherein Rights Entail Responsibilities.

                While Liberals continue to promulgate stereotypes and ask leading questions about motives, badgering and hectoring and generally annoying the bullpiss out of responsible gun owners, we argue dishonestly. This must change.

                Here we go round the prickly pear
                Prickly pear prickly pear
                Here we go round the prickly pear
                At five o’clock in the morning.

                Between the idea
                And the reality
                Between the motion
                And the act
                Falls the Shadow
                Report

              • Avatar MaxL in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                I am not sure the “Why” question is the important one. At some point, a fascination with deadly weapons is a red flag in itself, yes? If you were aware of your kid’s kindergarten teacher’s enthusiasm for gun, wouldn’t that fact alone make you think twice?

                This isn’t about questioning the right to own a gun, to me ti seems more along the lines of making a simple judgement about the type of person I am associating with. And honestly, someone who finds it pleasing to own a Bushmaster is showing either a fear or fascination with killing that I am not at all interested in being around.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Blaise,

                I think it is both/and.

                Liberals and other advocates of gun control should challenge gun owners to mitigate the need for further gun control.

                I think conservatives and gun owners and advocates should consider the motivations for their efforts. If they want guns for safety, who are they seeking safety from? Is this need justified? The answers to these question shouldn’t impact their rights but should inform their decision making. And because incidents like this show us that gun ownership is not merely a personal decision, I think it is fair to put the onus there.

                Generally speaking, people should have the right to own guns. I just wish so many didn’t feel it necessary, especially when there is so much evidence that it is not.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Kazzy: that line of argument simply won’t work. Every little boy in the playground will pick up a forked stick and play at guns “Bang Bang You’re Dead.” Toy soldiers, fighter aircraft, tanks and forts and suchlike, you of all people should know violence is so hardwired into the male psyche it can’t be evicted.

                So I was over at a friend’s house, many years ago when his boys were small. They had lots of toy soldiers and other such things. So I said “Boys, would you like to play war the real way?”

                “Oh sure!” they yelled.

                Okay, here we are, boys, a whole platoon of men. We’re being sent out on patrol, so here we go outside the wire. Be careful boys, see that dolly running away, that’s the enemy’s scout. They are always watching the gate, waiting for us to exfil. She’s going off to tell the enemy we’ve just left. Want to shoot her? Best not to shoot dollies, eh? Only makes the villagers angry. Oh well, now the enemy knows. Too bad, we can expect trouble now.

                So here we go, down the trail. Watch out for little wires, boys. They’re everywhere out here, nasty landmines, blow your feet off they will. And avoid anything which looks like fresh dirt or suspicious piles of leaves, those have mines, too. Sure wish we had a dog to sniff for them. Dogs are better than people for this sort of job.

                Chug-a-chug-a-chuga. That’s bad news for us, boys. That’s a Dushka. Big machine gun shooting at us. We just might have walked our stupid green asses into an ambush. Get the hell up the slope and into the weeds, boys. But be extra careful, the enemy might have even more mines off the trail, this is probably an ambush.

                Thump… SCREEECH BOOM . Jeebus boys, that’s mortar fire and that’s trouble for us. Everyone start digging and I’m going out there to look at that crater and work out the general direction it came from. And get that radioman over here so I can start a fire mission. SCREECH BOOM. Lord God, they’re blasting us to pieces. Dontcha wish you’d shot that dolly, boys?

                And I’d start flicking over a few green men on the floor. “Kilo Four Two this is Kilo Four Three, adjust fire, over! Taking mortar and machine gun fire at grid coordinates as follows! Request air cover! Request medevac! Request shot and splash, danger close conditions.”

                Boys, that means we’re really screwed. We are pinned down, can’t move, need artillery fire, which won’t get here for at least ten minutes and will probably land very close to us so they have to warn us to get down when it comes. We also need a helicopter to evacuate our dead and wounded. And we have no idea where the enemy is.

                About that time, the Mom comes over, the boys are bug-eyed. “Will you stop that?!” she yells at me.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Blaise,

                Here is my premise:

                The America that most of us inhabit is not a sufficiently dangerous place as to justify gun ownership solely or primarily on the grounds of ensuring safety. Most folks who own a gun for the purpose of protecting themselves or their family are actually increasing the likelihood of harm to come to them. However, we have a collective failure to properly identify and assess threat. Part of this is human nature. But a big part of that is because of a culture of fear and mistrust that is actively furthered by a number of forces, including the government and the media.

                If you want to have a gun because you think it makes you safe, I support your right to do so. But I also think you’re wrong. And I hope/think that if we were better informed about the realities of our world, we’d have FEWER overall guns and less gun violence.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Kazzy: the America I want to inhabit will allow its Mike Dwyers to own their weapons with the certain knowledge their rights are protected in the strongest possible terms. If I also want them to behave responsibly in the strongest possible terms: such responsibility will save their own lives, the most powerful motivator I know to bring some sanity to this debate.

                The danger you describe is already here. An epidemic of gun violence has emerged among us and I want the gun owners to Get Right and secure their weapons against that manifest danger. Sandy Hook and Columbine and all the rest of that dreadful litany is proof enough we cannot continue in our current postures about gun control, especially not by moralising. The data is on the side of gun control. The moralising only obfuscates the problem. It’s high time we quit pointing fingers and push this problem and any hopes for a potential solution into the hands of the gun owners, telling them “You are now responsible for this problem. It’s your guns ending up in the hands of criminals and crazies and it’s your families most likely to be murdered by your weapons. Denial is no longer an option. You deal with this problem. We’re sick of it.”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                “[T]he America I want to inhabit will allow its Mike Dwyers to own their weapons with the certain knowledge their rights are protected in the strongest possible terms. If I also want them to behave responsibly in the strongest possible terms: such responsibility will save their own lives, the most powerful motivator I know to bring some sanity to this debate.”

                I agree. I don’t want to curtail gun rights. But if I spoke with someone and he said that he was going to spend his afternoons slamming his head against the wall to improve brain performance, I’d tell him he was free to do as he wanted but that the chosen approach was not going to yield the desired results. I would say the same thing to a potential gun owner living in suburban Connecticut in a town that has had one murder in ten years who wants to keep a “Bushmaster” to protect herself: “You’re free to do as you choose but you’re choosing a poor course of action.” And I’d happily add on to that: “But if you do choose to buy a gun, you damn well better be as responsible as humanly possible with it.”Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Kazzy – I would say that with the AR crowd (I’m not a member…yet) the incentive is two-fold: Fun to shoot and protection. The protection we’re talking about though is not from a home invasion. It’s from the government or more likely, civil unrest. You might not remember this but the LA Riots were a good example of what can happen when citizens are able to protect their property:

                Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Thanks, Mike.

                Do you think that most people who have the concerns you describe accurately understand the threat that civil unrest or the government presents to them? I’ll fully concede that not everyone’s threat level is identical. Should people living in rural Appalachia look to the LA Riots to inform them of what steps they should take to protect themselves?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                You might not remember this but the LA Riots were a good example of what can happen when citizens are able to protect their property

                For all this stuff about what Liberals don’t remember about the LA Riots, what meaningful responses should the gun-owning community make about civil unrest in Sandy Hook? It’s always rope-a-dope rhetoric from the gun owners, you guys let us whale on the issue of gun ownership as a theoretical right. Well you have the rights. What responsibilities are thus entailed? What meaningful measures are the gun owners offering the rest of us? None I can see. And you wonder why some folks want to take your guns away: the irresponsible rhetoric about civil unrest masks a clear and present danger to school children and the rest of civil society. Something needs to change. And it will start with the gun owners.

                So start.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Blaise,

                There is a very large sub-culture of Americans concerned about civil unrest in the context of a natural disaster or a failure of the government. I think the latter is unlikely in our lifetimes but the former is very real. Imagine an earthquake on the scale of what happened in China a few years ago struck. That is going to overwhelm first-responders and very possibly lead to looting. THAT is the kind of stuff people worry about. You can dismiss that as fear-mongering but I think that is a mistake. A realistic gun conversation is going to acknowledge that and not try to take away certain types of rifles.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Yeah, Mike. And there’s a somewhat larger segment of society now aghast at the civil unrest down at Sandy Hook School. Natural disasters my ass, these civilly unrestive incidents are popping up like turds from a busted septic tank. You can call whatever you’d like a Mistake. I’m asking you to come up with some meaningful response to a repeating pattern of mindless gun violence and all you can come up with is some ignis fatuus out of some dystopian novel. Sandy Hook School is not some fiction. It’s front page news. Either you’re going to respond to reality or you’re not. You are not going to dismiss Sandy Hook School, no you bloody well aren’t.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                There is a very large sub-culture of Americans concerned about civil unrest in the context of a natural disaster or a failure of the government.

                Most of these people have a screw loose and probably shouldn’t have guns to begin with.

                Civil unrest in the context of a natural disaster? We’ve had any number of them in recent years. It doesn’t happen, at least on any scale to be noteworthy. Even the reports out of Katrina turned out to be so much embellishment and bullshit.

                A failure of the government? As in, the whole country’s government collapsing at once? The idea is beyond laughable, and if somehow the apocalypse did happen, those idiots who are worried about “civil unrest” in the weekend wacko militias – the “we came unarmed this time” crowd from the Tea Party wacko fringe – would be the ones causing the civil problem, not standing against it.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                If the gun owners are so concerned about civil unrest — and let’s moot some state of affairs where society is breaking down and an armed citizenry would be our only defence against a complete breakdown of civilisation — why can’t we say to the gun owners “okay, youz guyz, you’re our last bastion of defence, how would you go about organising yourselves from the crazies and the looters? Crazies we got now, they’re stealing your guns and blasting away at little kids in schools. Doesn’t that qualify as just what you’re talking about? Can’t we expect you to maintain your own armouries in accordance with your own rhetoric?”

                But NOOOO, that’s too much to ask of the gun community. Even if we’re to take their rhetoric at face value, even if anarchy arrives, how can we count on them not to come around and loot our houses, hmmm? Did that ever enter their field of vision or their scope of rhetoric? If we were to take them up on their own rhetoric, the only safe course of action would be to take their fucking guns away just in case society collapsed and they’d turn into a class of armed predators upon us.

                I do not expect an answer to that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Most of these people have a screw loose and probably shouldn’t have guns to begin with.

                Heh. Time for anecdotal evidence. When I was a kid my father had a stockpile of weapons and ammo in his house across the river from NOLA and the ninth ward. Man, he loved those guns. At the time (he moved later) we were living in on the third floor of a pretty shitty apartment with nothing of value contained within. Except the guns.

                When I got old enough to know what was what, I asked him why we had so many guns in the house. “Because if a bad hurricane hits, all those {{blacks}} from the east bank are gonna come across the river and take our shit.”

                And I looked at him like he was fucking crazy, because we didn’t have any shit worth protecting. Except for the guns.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                “There is a very large sub-culture of Americans concerned about civil unrest in the context of a natural disaster or a failure of the government. I think the latter is unlikely in our lifetimes but the former is very real.”

                I have noticed that many concealed carry types do seem to have a Mad Max mentality. In which, they think we are one step away from Science Fiction Warlord Universe or already living in it.

                Bullshit. The United States is not Somalia or Afghanistan. We have a very active and effective government and civilian society. There have also been a lot of very serious natural disasters in which society did not collapse. Hurricane Sandy comes to mind from this year alone.

                If people think like you described above, they are selling their fellow country people short.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,
                Aye, dissolutions of government is unlikely… so long as we don’t elect another George W. Bush.
                10% likelihood of our government dissolving… in about 2009 or so.
                Unlikely? Sure. But not as unlikely as a plane crash while you’re on it.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                NewDealer,
                Yeah, those crazies?
                the ones with lots of guns and no friends?
                Second to die.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you have to let your insurance agent know that you keep guns in the house? With cars, the more safety features you have the cheaper your car insurance is.

                I can’t believe I am saying this because I do have honest qualms about more gun regulation. I don’t own a gun, the only guns I have ever shot were M16s in the military and some guns I used to target practice with the German military. And might I say I enjoyed almost every minute. Just not when I realized I shouldn’t hold the butt against my jaw. A swollen jaw the next few days was not so much fun.

                But instead of gun regulation by the government, could there be something that could be done through the insurance industry? Or would that only apply if the gun owner could be sued?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s an interesting question. I’m of the opinion our current gun regulations haven’t kept pace with the times. We probably need fewer regulations with better enforcement.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Or would that only apply if the gun owner could be sued?

                Fundamental shift in the psychology of rampages in recent decades: these are, in many senses, an ultimate cry for help. They go out, they explode. They cause a lot of collateral damage in exploding, kill a number of people. And then inevitably, they turn the gun on themselves.

                This guy is an exception – and he keeps trying to kill himself while incarcerated.

                Catching the guy alive is almost never done, and even if you caught him, he’s likely to be judgement-proof, especially if he racks up anything resembling a significant body count. Split someone’s $20k net worth 20 ways, it’s not a restitution it’s a joke.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Dan Miller
                Ignored
                says:

                After all, the guns in question were acquired legally, and I can’t imagine any set of rules that wouldn’t sell guns to Nancy Lanza.

                How about a requirement that guns be kept off-premises if you have a family member with known psychiatric issues? In my area, a number of gun shops rent lockers to people who don’t want to keep their guns at home where underage kids could get to them.

                That’s responsible gun ownership right there and something I wholeheartedly approve of.

                The more we hear about Nancy Lanza, the surer we are she shouldn’t have had a stockpile of guns in her home.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                How about a requirement that guns be kept off-premises if you have a family member with known psychiatric issues?

                only if the mentaly ill family member lives in the house. If the family member doesn’t live in the house they shouldn’t have to give their guns.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Also who tracks the mentally ill? The cops? Who oversees where the mentally ill live and if there are guns present?
                Which diagnoses would this apply to. I don’t think we need to worry to much about agoraphobics going on shooting sprees. And in general the mentally ill don’t commit a disproportionate amount of crime.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Even more; that’s a medical record. It’s protected; doctor’s cannot share it without your signed consent, and then only with the folk you say they can share it with. It’s private.

                One in four Americans suffer some sort of mental illness, or so I read this morning. That’s an awfully lot of people to keep track of, isn’t it? Could even be the beginnings of that chipping program I keep hearing about!

                And I imagine that many of those one in four may also be law-abiding gun owners; so we’re talking abou taking their guns away; they’d have to hide their mental illness or risk losing their rights. I can see many would hide in a closet like the gays used to, and not seek help for their illness. That’s a mighty big closet to build, we’ll need the carpenter.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                so you think the mentally ill should be allowed to guns? or do you think everyone should be prohibited from owning guns because leveling down is the only way to achieve fairness?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Which mental illnesses are you talking about? There are a lot of them. I’ve always counselled the families of people with depression to get guns out of the home to reduce suicide risk. But people with schizophrenia are not more dangerous then the regular population (btw i’ve worked with several people who were schizophrenic and had committed serious crimes. when they were on meds they were safe. off meds they were more dangerous to themselves then anybody else).

                The practicalities of limiting gun ownership by the mentally ill is staggering and not warranted. Unless someone shows some recent stats that show the mentally ill to be more dangerous then the regular population, which would surprise me, then there is actually no reason to do this on a large scale. Families of people who are dangerous to themselves or others should get guns away but that should be done on an individual basis.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, you’re thinking binary, 0 or 1.

                The world’s analog. People aren’t ‘mentally ill’ or ‘sound to own a gun.’ The brain’s a complex thing; and there are sound reasons some people shouldn’t own guns. But how are we going to detect the psychopaths? And psychosis happens in bursts; isn’t always clearly identifiable. It’s not as simple as rounding up the head cases and telling their families they can’t have a gun around.

                In the same way, just because I think we need better gun control, does not mean I advocate taking everyone’s gun away.

                But I think focusing on removing the stigma from seeking treatment for mental illness would be a good start.

                I’d also like to see us study gun culture; I think there may be a significant difference between many ‘responsible’ users and some ‘collectors,’ who need to amass an armory and never feel safe. I suspect there’s actually a form of mental illness; a new one, rather like we’re seeing video game addiction or internet addictions. But we cannot even research that; the gun lobby’s made sure of that, too, by forbidding any spending on stuff that might be construed to restrict gun rights.

                I do know that if law-abiding gun owners don’t stand up with suggestions as an alternative to the free-for-all going on now, the restrictions will not feel as comfortable as they might.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Stigmatizing mental illness is probably about the worst thing you can do to work towards a more effective mental health system. Stigma is one of the reasons there are major problems with our mental health system to begin with.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, you’re thinking binary, 0 or 1.

                The world’s analog. People aren’t ‘mentally ill’ or ‘sound to own a gun.’ The brain’s a complex thing; and there are sound reasons some people shouldn’t own guns. But how are we going to detect the psychopaths? And psychosis happens in bursts; isn’t always clearly identifiable. It’s not as simple as rounding up the head cases and telling their families they can’t have a gun around.

                You see what happened here? I pro gun control advocate asked me if I favored prohibiting the mentally ill from owning guns, I said yes. And I was accused of binary think by other gun control advocates. If I had said no the pro gun control side what have accused me of being an extremist. Is there any way I could have answered that the pro gun control side would be happy with.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Is there any way I could have answered that the pro gun control side would be happy with.

                Yes. Just as you did. I’ll give you a shout out for that.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, I said the answer’s not ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that there are many different ways to be mentally ill, that not all are necessarily a problem when it comes to guns, and that your method would unfairly penalize people, including family members, and actually make it less likely that people who are a danger would get the help they need. A ban drawn by ‘mental health’ would have the potential of creating a tremendous amount of misery for folks; most particularly folks who have to choose between owning a gun and recognizing a family member’s mental health or their own mental health concerns.

                I’m trying to be fair; to say this is a nuanced problem. You accuse me of being unfair to you; I’d suggest you’re being unfair to the 1/4 of the population that will, at some time in their lives, experience mental illness.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, I said the answer’s not ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that there are many different ways to be mentally ill, that not all are necessarily a problem when it comes to guns, and that your method would unfairly penalize people, including family members, and actually make it less likely that people who are a danger would get the help they need.

                It’s not my solution; I wasn’t the one who brought up this issue of mentally ill people owning guns it was your fellow gun control supporter “M.A.”. Why haven’t you accused him of binary thinking for asking the question rather than accusing me of binary thinking for answering it?

                No I’ don’t want to everyone who’s visited therapist from owning a gun only people who condition makes them unable to do so safely. I assumed that’s what “M.A. meant when he asked the question.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                [THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED BY LIMERICK BY MARK THOMPSON]

                Namecalling, cussing, and no point
                Methinks Dan is all out of joint
                Zic has been good and decent
                Even including her most recent
                In the future, Dan, please be more adroitReport

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic has been good and decent
                Even including her most recent

                She still hasn’t explained why called me out on the issue of mental illness and not M.A.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude – you asked her a question. She answered it by making an entirely reasonable argument that the premise of the question was flawed. You’re complaining about her attempting to answer a question that you posed, not that MA posed. Worse, you decided to call her a pretty nasty name in the process.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude – you asked her a question.

                i didn’t ask her anything

                Reread the thread carefully M.A. asked me If I’d be willing to keep guns out of the homes of mentally I’ll people and I said yes. She responded by claiming that keep the mentally I’ll from owning guns was something I proposed rather than something some else proposed and I went I along with.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                I obviously missed something.

                Dan, I didn’t call M.A. out because, while I often agree with his liberal positions, I don’t often agree with how he argues them. He and I both agree that sane gun law is necessary. He argues from the left in an agressive fashion; I’m pragmatic, or at least try to be, though I often fail. So I don’t bother arguing with him, liberal vs. liberal has no appeal to me, there are bigger issues at hand. And in stating my thoughts to you, in response to M.A., I’m also stating my opinions on his position.

                I also don’t believe that I need to argue every jack-assed opinion I see; that I can represent myself by responding occasionally to those opinions.

                I didn’t see the ‘name calling.’ Be my guest, btw, I really don’t care. It’s only a reflection of your worth, not mine. But, and this is the real thing you’ve done that’s peeved me, you presumed I’m male; that that’s the norm for speaking. Shame on you.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                And Dan, looking back over this, my involvement began by pointing out that there’s a legal right to medical privacy, a point I made in response to Greginak.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                I have reviewed the thread….again. I stand by my assessment. Moreover, the decent and normal reaction to being told that “fuckwit” is over the line in this context isn’t to try to rationalize it, it’s to apologize for it.

                Zic: You have the patience of a saint.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, I didn’t call M.A. out because, while I often agree with his liberal positions, I don’t often agree with how he argues them.

                Ok but why did you act as if I was the one who proposed this policy rather than him. It’s not something I’ve thought about in detail just something that I’m open to.

                I didn’t see the ‘name calling.’

                I shouldn’t have called you names.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                And Dan, looking back over this, my involvement began by pointing out that there’s a legal right to medical privacy, a point I made in response to Greginak.

                Right he directed his lecture about stigmatizing the mentally ill at me for agreeing with ma’s proposal rather than at M.A. for bringing it up in the first place.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, if you don’t mind my saying, you’re going out of you way to be a victim. It’s pathetic.

                That whole “I’m a victim” pathology, so often thrown at liberals who are looking to help solve problems, really defines the gun-culture MO. Somebody’s going to rob/rape/pillage. They’re trying to take away my guns. The UNs gonna come confiscate all our guns. I have a right to be armed at all times in case someone comes after me with a gun. Teachers should be armed. on and on and on. Gunaholics.

                “Somebody didn’t argue with me on my terms.”

                Poor pitiful me.

                I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion you’re not worth arguing with, too stuck in your own pity party.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                I have reviewed the thread….again. I stand by my assessment.

                Really show me where I brought up the subject of preventing the mentally ill from owning guns the first person is M.A. in this post. As such many questions about how the mentally ill would be screened should have directed at him not me.

                Can you provide I link to where I addressed her before she accused me of simplistic thinking for simply agree to M.A. policy proposal?

                Moreover, the decent and normal reaction to being told that “fuckwit” is over the line in this context isn’t to try to rationalize it, it’s to apologize for it.

                if you a treated me and Blaise the same but the treatment differential that happens after every exchange I have with him is every time he attacks me then the molds say nothings to him then lecture me for fighting returning favor. Frankly his words to me in this post are more offensive than being called a fuckwit yet you allowed them to stand (you could have edited the insults and left his legitimate posts in place but you chose not). if you guys treated insults directed at me the same way as you treated insults made by me I wouldn’t say anything when you edited a post of mine the crossed the line. But it seems there are different standards depending on what views one has.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan,
                zic does not have editing priviledges.
                Neither do I.
                Please read comment policy for more details.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                <I.Dan, if you don’t mind my saying, you’re going out of you way to be a victim. It’s pathetic.

                That whole “I’m a victim” pathology, so often thrown at liberals who are looking to help solve problems, really defines the gun-culture MO. Somebody’s going to rob/rape/pillage. They’re trying to take away my guns. The UNs gonna come confiscate all our guns. I have a right to be armed at all times in case someone comes after me with a gun. Teachers should be armed. on and on and on. Gunaholics.

                you sound just like conservatives when claim the blacks need to stop whining and shutup.

                I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion you’re not worth arguing with, too stuck in your own pity party.

                Calling people out on intellectual dishonesty is not whining. But you showed your bigotry in the paragraph above. Its funny how apologized for insulting you and you responded by insulting me.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan,
                zic does not have editing priviledges.
                Neither do I.
                Please read comment policy for more details.

                i wasn’t talking about either of you i was talking about Mark Thompson and Tod Kelly who both hold me and Blaise to standards.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan – I don’t know why this is so hard for you to understand; I explained it right off the bat. But one more time before I head off elsewhere – here’s a general rule of thumb for the very, very lax policing of this joint:

                Two people both calling each other morons: No real problem (at least up to a point; we might pull the plug if the flames get so high they interfere with the thread as a whole)

                One person complaining that people should not be allowed to call him inappropriate names long after he has made a habit of calling other people inappropriate names: Some eye-rolling, and pointing out that you should try to play by the rules you demand of others.

                One person not agreeing with the argument of another commenter and calling her a “fuckwit”: Not remotely acceptable.

                I don’t know how I can make it any more plain than that.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Calling people out on intellectual dishonesty is not whining. But you showed your bigotry in the paragraph above. Its funny how apologized for insulting you and you responded by insulting me.

                An apology includes the words, “I’m sorry,” and to be meaningful, must mean that you’re sorry, not that you’re sorry you got caught. I never saw those words, though I did see an admission you shouldn’t have done something.

                But, and here’s the rub: the apology shouldn’t be for calling me a name; but for thinking I you get to control my side of the debate and endless whining when I don’t respond the way you want me to respond. The name calling? That’s just he hissy fit for inability to exert control.

                And so it ends. Bye, Dan.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                This will be my last comment on this topic. I have far, far better things to do with my life than deal with your ridiculous whining. But to recap:

                MA brought up the issue of the mentally ill.
                You responded to MA.
                Greginak responded to you.
                Zic responded to, and supplemented, Greginak.
                You responded to Zic and/or Greginak by asking the strawman question “so you think the mentally ill should be allowed to guns? or do you think everyone should be prohibited from owning guns because leveling down is the only way to achieve fairness?”
                Zic, greginak, and Chris all responded to your question, with Zic responding by saying that the question’s premise was wrong (ie, “binary thinking”).
                You called Zic a “fuckwit” and demanded to know why she responded to you and not MA, a demand that is both improper (people have an absolute, unquestionable right to pick and choose who they respond to) and has absolutely nothing to do with anything that is actually germane to the topic at hand.

                As for your whining about Blaise…..honestly, dude, suck it up. Sure he can be mean and nasty – he proudly admits to that fact, frankly – but he always has a clear and germane point to make that goes along with that in each and every instance. That’s his style, and as long as he’s making an actually germane point, that’s fine.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan – I don’t know why this is so hard for you to understand; I explained it right off the bat. But one more time before I head off elsewhere – here’s a general rule of thumb for the very, very lax policing of this joint:

                Two people both calling each other morons: No real problem (at least up to a point; we might pull the plug if the flames get so high they interfere with the thread as a whole)

                One person complaining that people should not be allowed to call him inappropriate names long after he has made a habit of calling other people inappropriate names: Some eye-rolling, and pointing out that you should try to play by the rules you demand of others.

                One person not agreeing with the argument of another commenter and calling her a “fuckwit”: Not remotely acceptable.

                I don’t know how I can make it any more plain than that.

                I shouldn’t have called zic. With the exception of that incident I have only been uncivil to Blaise and only after putting up with his abuse. Other than my response to zic this morning I have never instigated incivility. If people don’t treat me civilly I won’t treat them civilly if they do treat me civilly I will respond likewise.

                I have never accused someone of being friends with a killer the way Blaise did to me. I think that accusing someone of being friends with a killer is worse than calling someone a fuckwit.

                I think our behavior in this thread was comparable get I was the only one that you called out on it. Are you honestly saying that I acted worse in this thread than he did?Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan – I don’t know why this is so hard for you to understand; I explained it right off the bat. But one more time before I head off elsewhere – here’s a general rule of thumb for the very, very lax policing of this joint:

                Two people both calling each other morons: No real problem (at least up to a point; we might pull the plug if the flames get so high they interfere with the thread as a whole)

                One person complaining that people should not be allowed to call him inappropriate names long after he has made a habit of calling other people inappropriate names: Some eye-rolling, and pointing out that you should try to play by the rules you demand of others.

                One person not agreeing with the argument of another commenter and calling her a “fuckwit”: Not remotely acceptable.

                I don’t know how I can make it any more plain than that.

                I shouldn’t have called zic. With the exception of that incident I have only been uncivil to Blaise and only after putting up with his abuse. Other than my response to zic this morning I have never instigated incivility. If people don’t treat me civilly I won’t treat them civilly if they do treat me civilly I will respond likewise.

                I have never accused someone of being friends with a killer the way Blaise did to me. I think that accusing someone of being friends with a killer is worse than calling someone a fuckwit.

                I think our behavior in this thread was comparable get I was the only one that you called out on it. Are you honestly saying that I acted worse in this thread than he did?Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                MA brought up the issue of the mentally ill.
                You responded to MA.
                Greginak responded to you.
                Zic responded to, and supplemented, Greginak.

                That’s my problem they accused me of being unfair to the mentally Ill rather than M.A. they acted as though I was at fault for responding to him while saying nothing to him if I had originated the proposal to prohibit the mentally I’ll from owning they would have been justified in their response however since I was simply giving a short answer to someone else they should have directed they questions about the policy at the person who originally proposed it and not me.

                As for your whining about Blaise…..honestly, dude, suck it up. Sure he can be mean and nasty – he proudly admits to that fact, frankly – but he always has a clear and germane point to make that goes along with that in each and every instance. That’s his style, and as long as he’s making an actually germane point, that’s fine.

                My problem is the double standard where I’m allowed to be attacked yet cannot return the favor. If he’s allowed to be mean to me then I should be able to treat him the same way without being lectured and having my posts deleted.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan, you’ve taken a dive down a rabbit whole. It happens to the best of us. My suggestion? Let it go for now, and come back to it in a few hours, or even better, tomorrow. I think you’ll find you no longer feel that it’s really that big of a deal.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Taken a dive down a rabbit hole, that is.

                Taking a dive down a rabbit, whole, would be gross.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                “My problem is the double standard where I’m allowed to be attacked yet cannot return the favor. If he’s allowed to be mean to me then I should be able to treat him the same way without being lectured and having my posts deleted.”

                There is no double standard.

                Look…

                We haven’t told you that you to treat Blaise differently; we haven’t deleted any of your posts that called him stupid, moron, asshole, etc. If you and Blaise don’t have anything better to do than call each other asshole all day long, hey, be my guest.

                This morning when I saw your comment complaining that people were calling you names or whatever, I actually took it seriously. To paraphrase Burt, I think of this place as being like our living room and the people who take the time to read and comment our guests. And so I did what I always try do when a newer or less frequent commenter that I don’t know has those kinds of issues: I looked at your commenting history on this site to see if you have been treating others with the same kind of respect you are demanding (in which case I am very likely to step in on a commenters behalf, especially when the person doing the name calling is a contributor), or if I find page after page of comments using words like “asshole” and “Moron” and “fuckwit” (in which case: sorry, but you’re kind of on your own – not enough hours in the day and all that). Unfortunately, your comments came up in the latter category.

                The only comment of yours that was erased was the comment where you called Zic a fuckwit; if she had been calling you similar names back and forth (like Blaise) we might not have bothered.

                I understand that you take back the “ft”, for which I give much, much kudos. Seriously – 99 out of 100 people who lose their temper on a blog like this wouldn’t bother. So many, many kudos.

                In the future, I’m happy to take complaints from you (or anyone) about mudslinging, but if my search shows you flinging a lot of mud yourself don’t expect much to happen.

                Fair? Maybe, maybe not… but that’s just kind of the way it works around here.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          Blaise,

          I agree with you that the full-auto/semi-auto debate is nonsense, but I don’t understand this:

          “Furthermore, the argument against large magazine capacity is another red herring.”

          I think magazine capacity IS a valid talking point. I’m curious why you don’t?Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            The long mags I knew were inherently less reliable, longer spring travel, more likely to jam. I’d rather have two short mags.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              Yeah – but in these mass-shootings and also in gang-shootings (a much more common type of violence) there isn’t a lot of reloading going on. Basically, the magazine only has to work once. What I am saying is that reliability is not a primary factor in these situations, it’s capacity.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for weighing in, Mike. This particular case would likely not have been impacted by magazine capacity, as it appears he would have had the time to reload if need be (and may have actually done so… I heard it reported he took 100+ shots, which makes me think of multiple magazines but I really don’t know). In other cases, limits on magazine capacity might indeed have made a difference.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree it wouldn’t have made a big difference here. In Aurora it would have. And again, in some gang shootings it would. I’m on the fence with regards to magazine capacity. I don’t need big mags for hunting but I do want the option to have them. I know this is right-wing whacko talk, but in places like Libya and Syria I am quite sure the population is glad they could get their hands on large magazines.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                Is there a middle ground? Are there “medium” mags? Perhaps we don’t eliminate all big mags but simply lower the ceiling on them? Again, this is all Greek to me so I’ll defer to your experience and expertise.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure. Mags go from 5-rounds all the way to 100. If people wanted to limit them I think 15 is a reasonable number. Most ARs have 30-round mags these days.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I’m not particularly for limiting mag size. However the “people in Libya and Syria are happy to have big mags” is a poor argument. It has essentially placed the occasional mass murder as the price we have to pay for the ability for some people to daydream about another civil war or rebellion. It is not an argument that paints gun owners as non-paranoid or giving a crap about the consequences of guns in society. Armed rebellions and civil wars are really pretty rare and unlikely, quite a bit more rare than mass murders.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re making too much sense, Mike, heh. See, it’s this sort of comment which reinforces my opinions on this subject: without buy-in from the gun owners, nothing will change.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Mike thanks for saying that. Guns don’t kill people, bullets do. I think limiting magazine size is a crucial part of the debate. Personally, I’d like the burden of argument to shift from arguments limiting large magazines to arguments permitting them. I know that the Patriot-types think that large magazines are necessary to defend themselves from eventual tyranny of big gummint (or something), but that argument doesn’t even get off the ground (or so it seems to me). Short of that, I think the burden ought to be on people to justify why they ought to be permitted.

                Part of my thinking here, obvs, is that self-defense doesn’t require assault weapons and 30-round clips for hand guns and all that. I just don’t know what the argument is against restricting high-capacity magazines.Report

  2. Avatar Dan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    I agree that tighter gun laws almost certainly wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy. What would have helped, frankly, is having fewer guns around, period. It’s a failure as a society that so many people feel they need to “protect themselves” (although statistically they’re doing no such thing). Until we get rid of that attitude–that each individual is responsible for their own safety, and the best way to respond is with deadly force–than this kind of crap will happen every few years, and we’ll have the same tired debate over and over again. It’s the price of living in a “free” society, and I for one don’t think the freedom to own Handheld Devices That Shoot Deadly Metal Pellets At High Speed is worth it.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    “a collective ignorance on mental illnesses and social/emotional/behavioral disorders”

    Though, do we have enough art & science even at the expert level to fight this ignorance?

    That is, compulsory mental health treatment kinda went out of fashion in the latter half of the 20th century for good reason – because the first half of the 20th century was rife with horrific abuses, even from well meaning people. Has the state of medical science actually progressed far enough to reliably “to recognize the difference between everyday anger and homicidal rage?” to understand “the difference between genuine introverts and socially isolated maladjusts capable of gross acts of violence.”?

    I also give you the reaction to 9/11. Do you think we* are either institutionally or sociologically capable of responding with the actual nuance your require?

    *the United States we, but it can be more generalized I think

    (on gun control all I say is what Herr Doctkor T says here and *particularly* what Kevin Carson says in the link through. Prohibiting gun possession and sales will largely have the same effect on poor and/or minority communities that prohibiting drug possession and sales has had)Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      Easy enough to catch borderline personalities before they go nuclear. Lots of warning flags, lots of “why the fuck did you just do that???”

      Paranoid schizophrenics are harder to catch, mostly because they turn into nice, little, well-behaved turtles.

      Dunno about bipolar, or most of the more “emotional” spectrum disorders.

      Canada does a MUCH better job with mental health. We kick the kids to the curb, before they’re better. And then they go kill themselves.Report

  4. Avatar Pierre Corneille
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    says:

    A couple observations:

    1. It seems to me unlikely we can know all the cases where someone who might otherwise have gotten violent sought help and was helped long before such violence would have manifested itself. It seems to me that even if our mental health care system works very well, we won’t necessarily know.

    2. This is very hard to do:

    We should be capable of understanding the difference between genuine introverts and socially isolated maladjusts capable of gross acts of violence.

    I used to work with someone who was very scary. I’m no clinician or expert, but I’ll ask you to take my word for it that he seemed like he might be dangerous. Nothing ever came of it. He eventually got another job and moved to another state and as far as I know there have been no incidents. I think if you ask most, maybe even everyone, who worked with him along with me, they would say they were worried about what he might do. I’m not sure what the right approach would have been. Go to HR? Call the police without any evidence of anything? Befriend him and gently encourage him to get help? Of these, probably only the latter is realistic–and it’s part of what Kazzy is suggesting–but even that is a gamble. I just don’t know what we ought to have done.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pierre Corneille
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      says:

      That is where I think a broader societal shift would be helpful. That might open up other avenues. It might have made that individual more willing to seek out and accept help. It won’t prevent every instance, but it might prevent some. If he himself was better educated on mental illness and did indeed suffer from it, he might have been better equipped to do something about it. The approach you spoke of here seems to be the most common one and the socially accepted, if not encouraged, one… bide your time, keep yourself safe, and hope to stay out of the way; breath a sigh of relief when he moves elsewhere; consider it to be someone else’s problem. I’m not faulting you for doing what you did; it is what probably all of us have done countless times in your life. But I think we should evaluate that as the norm and consider if there are better options.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        There’s a good article here that talks about mental illness and I’m stuck having no idea what to do in the face of such things.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ll get to the article later but my point is that we might be able to raise a generation of folks who don’t feel stuck having no idea what to do in the face of such things. As (I believe?) Pierre said elsewhere, there is still a lot even the experts don’t know about mental illness. There is a LOT of room for improvement on all levels. And it won’t come over night. But there is certainly MORE we can do.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Let me know when you get to the article. It’s one thing to talk about mental illness in adults. It’s quite another to deal with a mentally ill child.

            In your years of teaching, how many mentally ill children have you had in your classroom? (Assuming you can give a number without violating privacy.)Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Trouble getting the link to load; site might be dealing with high traffic given the title.

              I don’t know how many mentally ill children I’ve had in my classroom. It depends on what we consider “mentally ill”… does ADHD count? Generalized anxiety? I’ve had those.

              It wouldn’t surprise me if most forms of mental illness were undiagnosable in young children. And I also know that many forms don’t manifest themselves until later in life, often in late adolescence and early adulthood (perhaps Russell can weigh in on this).

              But I am also not attempting to hold myself up as someone who understands or responds to mental illness particularly well. I am woefully ignorant on the matter. If your point is that mental illness is very, very difficult to respond to, I won’t necessarily argue that. But that doesn’t mean we should not strive for a better and broader understanding, better individual and collective responses, more and better support.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Yes ADHD is a mental illness. Infuriatingly it is way over diagnosed. Lay people don’t like to think of it a mental illness often because they want to think mental illness means crazy mother fisher instead just an ordinary person.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve worked with at least two students who genuinely had ADHD; I’ve had a third I was fairly confident had it; and I’ve had a number who folks wanted to attach that label to but which I felt was unwarranted. I’ve had students with generalized anxiety and one student with an undiagnosed behavioral/oppositional disorder.

                This is where definitions get tricky. I tend to think of things as continuums or spectrums as opposed to binaries. But if these would be considered mental illnesses then, yes, I’ve worked with students with mental illnesses and it is excruciatingly difficult, not only to practically support them in the classroom but to look in their eyes, to have no real understanding of what it is they are thinking and feeling, and to know that you are doing little more than sticking your fingers in dykes.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                mental illness means crazy mother fisher instead just an ordinary person.

                greginak – not disagreeing with what I think is yr central point, because I think we probably agree more than we disagree – but I have been trying to use the word “condition” rather than “illness” (at least for cases that are not debilitating to the person who has it, or that result in violence).

                ADHD may have been (and may still be) an adaptive trait under certain circumstances; and this also pertains to conditions such as Asperger/autism spectrum, and even more severe conditions such as the bipolarity discussed here recently (many, many great works of literature and art and philosophical thought might not exist without the insights that free-association and high energy can sometimes facilitate).

                I am fully OK with calling it an illness once it severely disrupts the life of the person who has it, or others.

                But as long as it’s managed/manageable, I hate to even refer to it as “illness” because of the associated stigma; and because it ignores any potential upsides to the condition at all (for example, there may be certain jobs for which people with ADHD or Asperger’s may be ideally suited; but as long as we think of them as “ill” we won’t even be looking for those, in favor of trying to “heal” them).

                Hope this is clear; if not, please don’t flame me immediately, and I will try to clarify.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                Plenty of things that are/were adaptive traits aren’t things we want people to have to go through.

                Being bipolar is quite adaptive (the mania phase boosts charisma, which is quite helpful in convincing girls to have sex with you.). The depressive phase can lead to suicide.
                I’m not going to say whether it’s better to treat or not to treat, in this case…

                But just because something is adaptive doesnt’ mean it’s always a good thing.

                ADHD may provide a bit of help with “security guards”.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                Glyph, I agree with you for the most part, but because I’m me, I want to add a few things. I think the medicalization of mental illness is one of the most beneficial and one of the most dangerous medical trends of the last century or so. It is beneficial because recognizing that mental illness is, in fact, an illness of the body to be treated by psychologists and physicians, and not a character flaw and a cause for shunning, will over time lead to a much more effective identification and treatment program for disorders of the mind. It is dangerous because we are still working out how to classify and identify mental illnesses, and this leaves way too much up to the discretion of physicians and psychologists. What’s more, since drugs are easy to prescribe, it makes throwing medication at a problem way, way too easy and attractive to physicians. Kid’s not doing as well in school as parents think she should? Give her some drugs. Marriage problems? Maybe the husband’s depressed. Here, have some Effexor.

                Until we become much better at diagnosing mental illness, and develop better systems for determining the level of treatment required based on the impact on people’s lives, we’re going to be in a really, really messy realm in which treating mental illnesses as illnesses is both our best way to help people and our best way of ignoring real problems or even hurting people.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I get this. I sort of feel this way with the whole ‘drug addiction as illness’ paradigm too. Good in some ways, not so good in others.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Until we become much better at diagnosing mental illness, and develop better systems for determining the level of treatment required based on the impact on people’s lives

                We did away with so many assisted-living situations, because they became prisons and abusive to those with mental illnesses (or conditions, or problems, or syndromes, or whatever synonym you want to go with).

                The theory was solid. The execution was poor. We need to try again, rather than letting the streets and the justice system try to take on people with real problems.

                Substituting a judge’s “don’t do that again or we throw you into jail” for the help someone needs won’t end well. Decades of results have shown us that.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                the problem that most concerns me is the drug companies actively interfering with people talking about side effects of their drugs. Some medications are -often- worse than the disease (this is not to say that they don’t help in extreme cases).Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chris
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                says:

                We didn’t get rid of assisted living. We massively downsized mental hospitals where hundreds of thousands of mentally ill were kept. Committing people was made hard and to keep them in the hospital against their will requires a lot of work. What we didn’t do was ramp up support programs and assisted living programs along with downsizing state mental health hospitals.

                I worked in a support program for severely mentally ill folks in the 90’s. We were trying to get people out of the big state psych hospital. It costs just as much to support them in the community as it does to hospitalize them in general. But community living is better in almost all cases. However programs for supporting severely mentally folk in the community are chronically underfunded. There is an obvious solution to things being underfunded of course.Report

              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                The blessed St Ronnie was a major force in shutting down support centers. Many, if not most, had or were reforming from snakepits to clean, modern facilities. But Reagan needed money for Moar War so the budget was slashed.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Glyph,

                I understand and appreciate your nuanced approach. There was an article in the NYT Magazine a few weeks back that looked at a business that hired almost exclusively autistic people because their attention to detail and comfort with repetitive action was seen as a benefit. I didn’t read it but had it described to me. Might be worthwhile.

                Regarding referring to it as an illness or not, we should be mindful that even if folks are appropriately adaptive and live a “normal” or “relatively normal” life, they might still be prone to difficulties even if they aren’t currently manifested. Their exists a potential there that might not exist for others, or at least not to the same degree. Whether we call it an illness or a condition matters less than whether we remain informed and mindful of the realities that these people encounter on a daily basis.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I read that NYT piece, or another like it, fairly recently, that’s why that was on my brain:

                http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/putting-the-gifts-of-the-autistic-to-work/Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                glyph- i don’t have a problem with what you are saying. Behaviours exist on a continuum. Some behaviours that don’t work well in general might be useful in specific situations. Being a bit OCD is helpful when you are a grad student. I am completely on board with looking at the level of impairment a behaviour causes as opposed to the label. That is actually supposed to be one of the biggest keys to diagnosing.

                Most people have some level of maladaptive or problem behaviours. Many of us will realisticly meet the criteria for some MI at some point in our lives. It’s more normal then people want to admit.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Read the article… very powerful piece. It seems to me that it suggests exactly what I am advocating: we need to collectively better understand, respond to, and support mental illness. We likely won’t have any of that in place before “Michael” turns 18. But perhaps so for Michael’s children.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Bipolar expresses itself differently in children, making it harder to diagnose, as well…Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                A good deal of mental illness doesn’t show up until the teen years anyway.Report

              • Avatar Citizen in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                How do you cure narcissism? I often wonder if government gets the citizens it deserves.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pierre Corneille
      Ignored
      says:

      This is a good point, Pierre.

      To run back to 9/11, let’s go back a day prior and arrest 19 men, many of whom are from Saudi Arabia, on a handful of charges. Given what we knew on 9/10, what charges would have made the most sense? Now try to imagine hearing about the bust on the news… and what your response was likely to have been. “Terrorism plot foiled. Students would have used box cutters to fly planes into Twin Towers.” Now, in this case, at least the students would have had expired visas so there was technically a broken law somewhere… but let’s go to the murderer and put him in jail, or in a mental hospital, or *SOMEWHERE*.

      Under what law? How many more people are there out there who would have this hypothetical law apply to them? How many false positives would be thrown in jail, or in a mental hospital, or *SOMEWHERE*?

      And wrestling with that, I understand why gun control laws make the most sense to the most people and provide the most comfort. We imagine that everything would be exactly the same, except without the guns.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        We shouldn’t criminalize mental illness. We should create an environment more conducive to people getting help than the one we have now. If Pierre had real reason to suspect that the individual he spoke of was dangerous, hopefully Pierre would have been able to connect with this person or this person’s other connections to get a better picture of the man. So many aspects of our society actively discourage doing just that. Mind your own business. Don’t inquire. Put on a happy face. Etc.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          If we’re not talking about law, but just talking about changing the culture in general, the best thing to do, I suppose, is create a sitcom about a couple of wacky (but kind-hearted) mentally ill people who are living with mental illness but plowing through it anyway and showing them engaging with the help that we want out there. Show our male protagonist discussing his medications at the lunch table. Show our female protagonist talking about talking to her therapist and her friends being envious rather than catty about having a therapist.

          Have a very special episode dedicated to the things that can go wrong when you change your medication.

          Mental Health has a lot of vocabulary that isn’t in the mainstream. Something like a sitcom could help get it there.

          It’s easier to think about laws or hospitals.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            s create a sitcom about a couple of wacky (but kind-hearted)

            And improbably attractive. The woman, anyway. The man can look like Jim Belushi.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            At dinner last night with Zazzy, I mentioned that having a President with a demonstrably mentally ill or otherwise afflicted child would do wonders for progress. While I never would have supported her, had Palin assumed the Presidency (or even the Veep), it likely would have made a huge change in the lives of people with Downs syndrome.Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              it likely would have made a huge change in the lives of people with Downs syndrome.

              Why? The Palins have never needed assistance. They’ve been able to afford any doctor, any care that they needed.

              It’s the people without (quick and capable) access to the medical system, the ones trying to raise a down syndrome child as a truly single parent of limited means, the ones with an explosive disorder or severe sociological disorder trying to raise that child with other kids in the house, whether or not they can keep their marriage together through the stress or had a marriage to start with. Those are the people who need the help, and aren’t getting it.

              Put Palin on to talk about the “troubles” for her down syndrome child? She can’t relate. She’ll talk about the menial, but not the real challenges, because the skids are still greased for her.Report

            • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              We had a President with advanced Alzheimer’s for a number of years. Didn’t do much to change the conversation that I saw (other than to deny the obvious).Report

      • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        These men were known to be part of a terrorist organization. Just a year or two before, several others of their ilk were arrested in the Millennium Plot. All legally tried (most in Germany, I believe). For that matter, the Sheikh who attempted the first bombing of the World Trade Center was arrested, tried and jailed. All done through normal courts without the fuss of “enemy combatants”.

        One of the foremost crimes of George Bush was cancelling the anti-terrorism protocols developed by the Clinton Administration.Report

  5. Avatar Dan
    Ignored
    says:

    How many people are killed by drunk drivers every year? Please explain why banning guns to prevent guns violence is logical but banning alcohol to prevent drunken driving deaths is not?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dan
      Ignored
      says:

      Dan,

      The OP makes no argument for banning guns. I made one mention to the call for greater gun control while noting it was unlikely to prevent incidents such as what happened in Newtown.Report

      • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, Dan’s response is the knee-jerk reaction that assumes the worst of anybody posing the question about “What can be done?”. It’s gonna take alot more nuance from everbody on this one.Report

        • Avatar Dan in reply to mark boggs
          Ignored
          says:

          I can provide you with dozens of inks from people claiming that the NRA is responsible many people are claiming that they have blood on their hands. Are you denying that many people are calling for gun control in response?Report

          • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Dan
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m simply responding to the accusation against the OP that says it at all argues that “banning” guns was suggested.

            Gun control =/= gun bans.Report

            • Avatar Dan in reply to mark boggs
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              says:

              Find me a control advocate that supported Heller. Find me a control advocate that opposed the gun bans in Washington DC. In the ideal world of gun control advocates all guns would be banned. The fact they are makings smaller demands now is because they are incrementalists not because their end goal isn’t a total prohibition. Every piece o gun control move reduces the distance between us and a total gun ban.

              I never claimed that the op was advocating a ban on guns.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough. I will assume you are asking someone else to “[p]lease explain why banning guns to prevent guns violence is logical but banning alcohol to prevent drunken driving deaths is not?”Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I guess I’m a control advocate who also understands the stupidity of saying that outlawing guns ends all gun violence. Just like you only create more problems in trying to illegalize drugs, you’re only setting up a more problematic situation by banning guns.

                “In the ideal world of gun control advocates all guns would be banned. The fact they are makings smaller demands now is because they are incrementalists not because their end goal isn’t a total prohibition. Every piece o gun control move reduces the distance between us and a total gun ban.”

                I’d put this statement in the same category as M.A.’s below. You’re painting with a very broad brush that only pisses the other side off. Not constructive to assume that every control advocate ultimately wants a ban or that they’re just now going to start chipping away so they can outlaw guns in total down the road.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to mark boggs
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                says:

                Can you find me a single gun control organization that didn’t support the complete gun bans in Dc and Chicago? I know several people who want to ban all guns; don’t tell me these people don’t exist. When you’re in a battle you never concede ground even if the ground you’re defending isn’t that important, why; because if you do you’ll soon find yourself defending the ground that is important. So long as there are people who want to prohibit all guns I’m not going to give them any ground to do so would make it easier for them to accomplish their goals.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                In the absence of any meaningful responses for responsible gun ownership from the NRA and private gun owners, what other option is offered to civil society? It’s manifest the NRA is intent upon the continued bloodbath. It never concedes ground.

                Wonder not that municipalities want to take your guns away. Gun owners have demonstrated a complete lack of responsibility.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Slippery slopes are slippery, no doubt.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                People of all ideologies act the same way. Why do you think progressives oppose means testing social security? Is it because they think that no longer sending Warren Buffet and David Koch a check will be harmful in and of itself? No it’s because they see it, not without justification as the first step in eliminating the program.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                People of all ideologies are sick of you guys playing “Look, shiny object over there!” The line has been crossed. The body count just went up in some quiet corner of Connecticut. And you don’t have anything to say about it except some people want to ban guns. Well, Dan, that number just went up very substantially. Either you’re going to come up with something meaningful to say about it or you won’t. Whining about Progressives is bullshit and you know it.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                What type of gun control other than total prohibition would have stopped this? Why do you think gun control advocates are making noises now, it’s because they want to play on people emotions. Six months from now the shooting will still be a valid data point but people will look at it logically and no t emotionally. This is the same thing that the Bush administration did with the patriot act after 9/11.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                People of all ideologies act the same way.

                What if we didn’t look at the issue ideologically, and instead viewed a state of affairs (gun violence) and the proposed measures to curtail it?Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Stillwater, much of the frustration that we can’t do that; any talk about how to curb gun violence gets hijacked by the second amendment, the need to protect yourself from people meaning you harm, the need to protect yourself from the government, there’s bad cops out there, and the poor-pitiful argument — already too many guns out there, poor-pitiful me, can’t do anything now, just wring your hands together and pray to god.

                If we could just even get beyond that shit, and actually talk about gun violence and what to do, I’d be delighted.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                @Dan, I answered your question about what type of regulations here: https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/12/where-do-we-go-from-here/#comment-436645

                Care to respond to it, or are you dodging?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Find me a control advocate that supported Heller. Find me a control advocate that opposed the gun bans in Washington DC.

                Standing right here, now will you stop being so fishing dishonest?

                I thought Heller was wrong in part, right in part. A complete gun ban is a bad idea, on the same level as Prohibition was a bad idea.

                I thought the requirements that guns be kept unloaded or with a trigger lock was in the realm of reasonable regulation, and the reasoning the Supremes came up with otherwise was weak-tea nonsense.

                On the other hand, I’m just fine with requiring that all firearms be licensed and registered, so we know who owns them and has access (and god forbid, ever had to call up a civilian militia, knew what they were bringing with them to the fight). I’m just fine with requiring background checks on all purchases and a periodic background check on license renewals. It does us no good if someone owns a gun, passes the background check, goes off to the military or winds up in a hostage situation somewhere, and then owns a gun while exhibiting severe PTSD symptoms. Put the gun(s) under lock and key while they get psychiatric help, for spaghetti monster’s sake.

                On the other hand, the “MOAR GUNZ” crowd are advocating arming every teacher, “like they do in Israel”, proving exactly two things: that they know precisely fish about Israel, and that they don’t understand that it’s more likely someone will take the gun AWAY from a teacher and use it than the teacher’s actually using it in defense against some outside assailant.

                At least in Israel, we have a reasonable certainty that the teacher is trained in how to use the goddamn gun, because they have mandatory military service. And even there, they’re not stupid enough to have guns running around inside the school building.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                Mandatory military service is waived for conscientious objectors. Of which there are rather a lot in Israel.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dan
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      says:

      We’ve actually done a lot to reduce drunk driving over the past decade or so:

      * The threshold for drunk driving has gone down in, as far as I know, every state
      * Concepts like “designated driver” and it being your job as a host not to let your guests leave your house drunk have been popularized
      * There’s now a huge stigma against it. Stories about how you made it home blind drunk aren’t funny anymore.

      I don’t know what similar measures against gun violence might be. Perhaps there aren’t any. But we sure as hell haven’t tried any. At this point, I’d settle for one PSA from the NRA saying “If you have anger issues, poor impulse control, or general feelings of frustration and helplessness, you need help, not a gun.”Report

      • Avatar Dan in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        Irresponsible use of guns is already stigmatized. Almost no gun owners think that it acceptable to shoot your gun into a crowd of people regardless of whether anyone was injured.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          “Hey, Bill? You’re not thinking straight right now. Put the gun away. Lock it up until you’ve had time to calm down. C’mon, let’s go get a beer and we’ll talk this through. I’m buying.”

          Because friends don’t let friends do something they’ll always regret.

          I’ve never seen that one. Have you?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          I didn’t mention it at the time (didn’t seem relevant) but the picture I used for the gift guide (people with guns having their pictures taken with Santa) had a blog where they discussed such things as trigger discipline for the pictures. (In the comments to that thread, Mike told a story about those Olde Tyme Picture places where he declined to point a (fake!) gun at someone else.)

          The vast, vast, vast majority of gun owners have a litany of things that they say about guns. Every gun is a loaded gun. Do not point a gun at anything you do not wish to destroy. Keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to shoot. Watch television with them and they’ll explain how the police need retraining, how the criminals are more likely to kill themselves than each other, and how the 1911 never jams on television.Report

        • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re not necessarily arguing against a straw person. I’ve seen a lot of knee-jerk calls for gun control in the local news.

          Still, it’s at least possible that mechanisms that might promote gun safety can and ought to take different forms from other mechanisms to promote alcohol and driving safety. For the record, I’m not sure what the answer is.

          Your “rhetorical question” wasn’t a particularly good one, if it was designed to do what rhetorical questions are supposed to do (convince people of a position they might not agree with by asking them a question they already agree on the answer to). You asked Kazzy to “[p]lease explain why banning guns to prevent guns violence is logical but banning alcohol to prevent drunken driving deaths is not?” As far as I can tell Kazzy made no strident argument in favor of gun control beyond suggesting, in the thread and not in the OP, that an assault weapons ban might be part of the answer but that such a ban would have likely not prevented what happened. In fact, I find very few on this thread making an argument for full-fledged bans. In further fact, I find that Kazzy and many of the others are urging us not to overreact but instead to react intelligently.Report

      • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        The threshold for drunk driving has gone down in, as far as I know, every state

        And possibly to the point of silliness, when we have studies showing that at the current thresholds people are just as impaired when technically “drunk” as they are driving overtired or driving under the influence of a number of prescription medications.Report

      • Avatar Dan in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        here’s an NRA gunsafty PSA from 1994, but i’m sure you’ll ignore it.

        Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          Do you generally get good results persuading people by insulting them?

          That was cute (loved the carousel slide projector), and good advice for kids (don’t mess with guns), but it still contains the implicit assumption that any adult can be trusted to use a gun wisely at any time.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          One PSA versus the massive amount of lobbying against restrictions even their own membership agrees with. Hmmmm.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          They say that Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

          Or rather, Eddie Izzard has it right: “…Well I think the gun helps. If you just stood there and yelled BANG, I don’t think you’d kill too many people.”

          More to the point, let’s follow some sane logic for a moment. If guns don’t kill people, people kill people, then there are some people who are predisposed to try to kill other people. And we know that a guy with a knife is not going to manage to go on a crazy spree and take out as many people as a guy armed with a fast-repeating firearm.

          So maybe what we need to do is have some sanity and ask the question: not how do we ban all guns (which I don’t support), but why are the NRA and the “Moar Gunz” crowd so dead-set against reasonable licensing regulations and ownership registration regulations? So dead-set against laws requiring the prompt reporting of stolen firearms?

          Why not address the GOPephant in the room, the question of why we can’t discuss reasonable options that might keep loaded guns out of the hands of the people who should absolutely not be given access to same?Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            I suspect your answer lies somewhere along the lines of the fact that the pro-gun people, generally, do not trust the pro-gun-control people, generally, to stick to being “pro-gun-control” and suspect that a goodly number of them are actually “anti-gun” people.

            So, when something like this happens, and the staunch antigun liberal on their facebook page says, “It’s time to repeal the second amendment!” they take that as a confirmation that that’s what all “pro-gun-control” people actually think.

            Kinda sorta how the pro-life people are generally regarded as “anti-women’s-reproductive-rights” and any issue of a middle ground in access to abortion is immediately regarded as a suspect attempt to erode with an eventual goal of eradication.Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Dan
      Ignored
      says:

      Ever hear of “designated driver” laws? A bar or host can be liable for knowingly letting a guest drive while drunk.Report

  6. Avatar Dan
    Ignored
    says:

    I was asking it as rhetorical question in response to the general attitude that has been expressed by gun control advocates in the past few days. The number of people killed by gun violence and drunk driving is similar, yet none of the people who believe that the number of gun deaths means that we should ban guns are applying the same logic to alcohol and I want to know why not?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dan
      Ignored
      says:

      People are reacting emotionally. The deaths of 27 people in one day, 20 of them children, generates a lot of emotion. We rarely make our best decisions when acting emotionally.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dan
      Ignored
      says:

      There is no general attitude that has been expressed by gun control advocates in the past few days that we should ban guns – possibly to their discredit.Report

      • Avatar Dan in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        Yes there has been do you want me to provide links.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          A few links won’t establish what the general attitude of gun control advocates is. You’re simply wrong.Report

          • Avatar Dan in reply to Michael Drew
            Ignored
            says:

            rahm emanuel Obama’s former chief of staff has said that he favors a complete ban. but no matter how much evidence i provide you”ll ignore it, you’ve already stated that.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dan
              Ignored
              says:

              He probably said it vis-a-vis the city where he is mayor, Chicago, where such sentiment runs high. If you want to make clear you don;t mean to say that the general attitude among gun control advocates is that there should be a national ban on frirearms, I’d happily accept that clarification (and not even claim it’s an emendation to your statement). My purpose is simply to establish for the record that that interpretation of your statement doesn’t reflect reality, because it doesn’t. The general sentiment is to ban certain weapons and to establish various safety and access requirements in law.

              Also, I did not say that I would ignore your evidence. I said that a few links won’t establish your claim about generality of sentiment around fully banning arms. That’s just what a claim about generality means. If you make one that turns out to be disputed, you’ve assumed a very high evidentiary burden.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                He probably said it vis-a-vis the city where he is mayor, Chicago, where such sentiment runs high. If you want to make clear you don;t mean to say that the general attitude among gun control advocates is that there should be a national ban on frirearms,

                Whenever someone brings up the fact that inspire of the bans in Chicago there is still a lot of gun violence the gun control advocate say it is because guns are still legal in other states. I think that most people who work for gun control originations such as the Brady campaign favor a complete ban; however I think that they believe being upfront about it would make it more difficult to achieve their goals so they don’t say so up front. However people who don’t work for those organizations are more upfront about their desires.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                This is the admission of your true basis, such as it is, for the claim you made that I have been seeking.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                Facebook is full of people saying we need to ban guns. Are you claiming that there is large segment of the population that doesn’t favor banning guns? When I stop seeing people suggesting that we should ban guns I’ll believe that the prohibition of guns is not a threat.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Facebook is full of people saying we need to ban guns.

                1. Facebook is full of people who say we ought to allow citizens to own RPGs.

                2. Facebook is full of people who think the Pleiadeans are controlling life on earth.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m claiming that it’s dispositive of the claim that the general view among gun control advocates is for a general national ban that the nearly the only proposals offered by advocates in leadership and policymaking positions are for limited restrictions and regulations.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                here’s an actual quote from Dianne Feinstein who is considered very mainstream. and has been elected to the senate from the largest state country:

                “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it.”

                so long she seves in the senate you can’t the that the fear of a total gun ban is a paranoid fantasy.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Dan-maybe we should have some sort of court type thingee…a sort of supreme type of court that can determine if laws are constitutional. Just a thought.

                Just for the record prohibition of guns is not a threat. Not remotely. It is just as likely to have the gov insist every teacher be armed, which dipshits have suggested.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Feinstein was talking about a complete ban on assault weapons. Not a complete ban on all firearms.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Feinstein was talking about a complete ban on assault weapons. Not a complete ban on all firearms.

                do you have link showing her quoted in that way?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Here:

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWaBOp54TWs

                In fact, it’s where the quote is pulled from – a 60 Minutes story on assault weapons ban. In the story, it notes that Feinstein signed a petition with other Dems stating she was pro-gun but wanted assault rifles banned.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Here:

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWaBOp54TWs

                In fact, it’s where the quote is pulled from – a 60 Minutes story on assault weapons ban. In the story, it notes that Feinstein signed a petition with other Dems stating she was pro-gun but wanted assault rifles banned

                the quote wasn’t anywhere in the interview.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dan
      Ignored
      says:

      “I was asking it as rhetorical question in response to the general attitude that has been expressed by gun control advocates in the past few days. The number of people killed by gun violence and drunk driving is similar, yet none of the people who believe that the number of gun deaths means that we should ban guns are applying the same logic to alcohol and I want to know why not?”

      This is not entirely true.

      Most of the ways that lead to those alcohol deaths are, in fact, against the law prior to the actual actions that led to the deaths you are citing. For example, you are not legally permitted to drive after alcohol interferes with your ability to drive safely period. You are not allowed to be served continuously in a bar, regardless of your state of intoxication. We actually have a tremendous number of laws surrounding the consumption of alcohol, and we make those laws whenever it’s *possible* to negatively impact the safety of the general public.

      We don’t say it’s legal to to drive with a .09 alcohol level up until you kill someone. We do say it’s legal to have a 60-round clip, regardless of your temperament and your ability to get along with others, up until the point you kill someone.

      It’s not an analogy that works that well in your favor.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        Well said Tod!Report

      • Avatar Dan in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        Most of the ways that lead to those alcohol deaths are, in fact, against the law prior to the actual actions that led to the deaths you are citing. For example, you are not legally permitted to drive after alcohol interferes with your ability to drive safely period. You are not allowed to be served continuously in a bar, regardless of your state of intoxication. We actually have a tremendous number of laws surrounding the consumption of alcohol, and we make those laws whenever it’s *possible* to negatively impact the safety of the general public.

        We don’t say it’s legal to to drive with a .09 alcohol level up until you kill someone.

        And it’s not legal to shoot off your gun indiscriminately until you kill someone either that is proper parallel to drunk driving not high capacity magazines.

        We do say it’s legal to have a 60-round clip, regardless of your temperament and your ability to get along with others, up until the point you kill someone.

        There is no screaming for the correct temperament when someone purchases alcohol either. I’ll also point out that I know far more people who favor a complete ban on guns than favor a complete ban on alcohol.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dan
          Ignored
          says:

          “There is no screaming for the correct temperament when someone purchases alcohol either. I’ll also point out that I know far more people who favor a complete ban on guns than favor a complete ban on alcohol.”

          I suspect this has to do with the fact that it’s easier for most people to conceive of positive reasons you might have a case of scotch in your house than it is for them to conceive of positive reasons you would have a semi automatic weapon with multiple 60-round magazines.

          I’m not saying that guns should be banned (I’m on record here saying such many times here), but if you’re going to bemoan and ridicule others not seeing the world the way you do you might make the teensist bit of effort to do the same.

          There are lots of good and effective arguments for not banning firearms. “People who don’t want semi-automatics in their neighborhoods but like to drink a beer are stupid hypocrites” is not one of them.Report

          • Avatar Dan in reply to Tod Kelly
            Ignored
            says:

            I suspect this has to do with the fact that it’s easier for most people to conceive of positive reasons you might have a case of scotch in your house than it is for them to conceive of positive reasons you would have a semi automatic weapon with multiple 60-round magazines.

            Define” positive reason”; I don’t see how getting drunk is a serves any more of a useful purpose than target shooting or hunting.

            There are lots of good and effective arguments for not banning firearms. “People who don’t want semi-automatics in their neighborhoods but like to drink a beer are stupid hypocrites” is not one of them.

            Their argument is that since guns kill a significant number that therefore banning guns is justified and that law abiding gun owners are selfish and are morally responsible for people killed by guns. If the number of people killed by guns means that we should ban guns than logically the number of people killed by drunk driver’s means that we should ban alcohol.Report

  7. Avatar MaxL
    Ignored
    says:

    This made me think of a hypothetical: You are a principle in an elementary school hiring a new kindergarten teacher. During the interview, it comes up that the candidate is also a “gun enthusiast.” Would you offer that candidate the job?

    Or, maybe this is the more gut reactive question: If you found out that your child’s kindergarten teacher was a “gun enthusiast”, would you be comfortable leaving your child with them?

    I don’t trust my own answer at this point because, while it used to to strike me as just an odd interest I didn’t share, a fascination with guns now seems much more dangerous and unwelcome.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to MaxL
      Ignored
      says:

      I am a PreK teacher. At my current school, for the first time I work with outspoken gun enthusiasts. My assistant’s husband is one and while she herself is not a fan of guns, she was trained by her husband to effectively use one and she has a license. I know the dad takes the sons (high school age) to the range.

      It has never given me pause to work with her or alongside others in my school who share similar sentiments to that of her husband. This event has not changed that for me.Report

      • Avatar MaxL in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Not a hypothetical for you at all, eh? I grew up in a small town and I am sure many of my teachers were sportsmen and hunters or were married to one. In my mind, I am drawing a distinction between that and an enthusiast who keeps assault weapons as a way to make them feel more comfortable with the remote threat of a home intrusion. That is an extreme over-reaction, too, yes?

        You would certainly know better than I, but being a grade school or pre-K teacher and having a predilection for deadly weapons strikes me as, I don’t know, incongruous. Someone who perceives threats at that visceral a level, and we all have met them, doesn’t seem like someone who would be naturally able to calm a crisis or a child down.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to MaxL
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t know what type of gun owner my assistant’s husband is. I will say that she is someone prone to panic; she’s not particularly well equipped to remain calm in a crisis. I don’t know that our current expectations of teachers realistically encompass this. Perhaps they should, but dealing with crisis makes up an exceedingly small part of most teachers’ job responsibilities.

          I understand the logic to your question. One thing you should know about teachers is that many of us live wildly divergent personal and professional lives, often (but not always) successfully so. Many people who know me personally/socially don’t believe that I am a highly competent early childhood teacher; it doesn’t jive with the Kazzy they know. Similarly, a lot of my professional colleagues are perplexed to learn about my life outside of work; a similar dissonance sets up. Thus far, I have been capable of balancing these two different sides of my personality. Many other teachers do as well. Just as folks who work in other industries often do. But I’m sure there exist folks who can’t do as well and for whom a particular type of enthusiasm for guns might be cause for concern. Concern not necessarily that they themselves are violent or pose a threat but that they might be of a particular personality type not well suited to be a teacher.

          Which would simply put them in the same boat as all the other woefully ill-prepared teachers in our midst.Report

          • Avatar MaxL in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            I didn’t mean to single out teachers or hold them to an unfair standard, it is just one of those rare careers that is also a calling. It’s not work that many have the sort of character to do well, so I am ascribing some too general assumptions to my guesses about that character.

            The more I think about it, the more I think my question isn’t going to be helpful. Saying people who are interested in in assault weapons are probably the same ones who shouldn’t have them is spinning in a circle. It’s like the old saw, “Anyone who actually wants to be president isn’t fit for the job.”

            For what it’s worth, though, finding out that you are a teacher didn’t surprise me at all.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to MaxL
              Ignored
              says:

              “For what it’s worth, though, finding out that you are a teacher didn’t surprise me at all.”

              You didn’t see me tossing back bourbon (including Grand Pappy’s!!!) and dancing like the various characters from “It’s Always Sunny…” on Friday night. 🙂

              Regarding your question, it is actually similar to one my wife asked me. At dinner on Friday, she asked if any of my colleagues had guns or children with mental issues. I told her I hadn’t even thought about it. It was one of her first questions. Not sure what this says about either of us but you’re not alone in wondering along those lines…Report

  8. Avatar mark boggs
    Ignored
    says:

    I just want to say that, while Blaise is always interesting to read, I’m not sure I’ve ever agreed with him more than I have in this current discussion. Let the gun owners, the folks who don’t want their weapons used against them or anybody else, come to an agreement as to what can be done. Anything else begs the slippery slope “They’re coming for your guns” crowd.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to mark boggs
      Ignored
      says:

      Very decent of you to say so: it seemed to be the only sane approach to the problem. Without buy-in from the gun owners themselves, the rest of us will always get it wrong.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to mark boggs
      Ignored
      says:

      So the rest of America, including the family of the dead, can’t even participate in the discussion unless they buy a handgun first?

      I agree with Blaise in that, indeed, a rational gun-owner would in fact take a look at all this and think “I own lethal weapons, and it appears far more likely I will be shot with them than I will shoot someone else with them. How do I safeguard my weapons such that I am no longer in more danger than some would-be burgler?”. And that irrational gun owners, of which there are many, will view “Holy crap, maybe we should, you know, set some standards on ownership to at least make these rampages a little harder to pull off” as “OMG, OBAMA IS IN YOUR HOUSE STEALING ALL YOUR GUNS”.

      (A friend of mine lamented the idiocy of his fellow gun owners, because they keep driving up ammo prices based on paranoid stupidity).

      But, you know, a large chunk of Americans don’t own a gun. That does not give them a magic shield against bullets, and they really, really, REALLY have as much of a stake in this as anyone.

      What gun-owners really need is to resurrect the gun-culture of a few decades ago, to turn the NRA back into a responsible organization. When Americans look at gun owners and stop seeing sportsmen, hunters, and hobbyists and instead see tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theoriests hoping someone breaks into their house so they can shoot them….

      Well, that’s a problem.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I do get his point, that you need the buy-in of gun-owners. But this is a problem for everyone and I can’t help but wonder why gun-owners don’t need the buyin of, you know, the rest of America.Report

        • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, I wasn’t saying that everybody who doesn’t own a gun be excluded from the debate. Then I wouldn’t be able to participate. 🙂 But, as Blaise points out, people are much more likely to be cooperative if you include them in the debate rather than implicate them and then tell them how they’re going to have it from now on.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s high time we took the gun owners by the ear and firmly twisted it and gently whispered into those ears “Either you come up with a solution, or we will. And you will not like our solution one bit. So Get The Fuck Right and start acting like responsible citizens because at present moment, this entire county is sick of your irresponsible rhetoric.”Report

            • Avatar mark boggs in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              Yeah, what you said.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              That’s the truth. My family were never big on guns — my grandfather owns a single handgun that he actually forgot he had. But I learned to shoot at 10 and fired a handgun at 11 for the first time. I was bad at it and did so very erratically, mostly just for fun and mostly so I’d know how to pick one up safely if I ever needed to.

              It was a sport. We weren’t hunters (fishing, yes. Hunting, not so much). Even as a sport it was…once every few years for a few hours.

              My father in law has a sizeable gun collection, but it’s entirely rifles and shotguns for hunting and 2 handguns — both 22s, for target shooting. He keeps them locked away and while he admits the shotguns with the right loadout might make a decent home defense weapon, the rifles would just punch through the walls. His gear is for hunting, end of story.

              My sister in law and her husband have a pair of handguns — it’s for target shooting, not self defense. Admittedly, her gun was bought solely because it’s ‘cute’ but she knows how to shoot it and does. She has kids. Their guns are in locked cases with the ammo in a safe. Better safe than sorry. She does not kid herself that it’s for self defense.

              Those people are people who should be allowed to buy and own guns. They should be registered, licensed, and subject to annual inspection to verify they’re stored safely (I’m sure several gun ranges would be happy to rent space if you can’t afford a locked case or gun safe), but all of them are serious about safety, about proper usuage, and don’t have any delusions they’re Rambo.

              The problem IS the guys who think they’re Rambo. Whether it’s dark-skinned thugs breaking into their house, or UN black helicopters, these people bought guns entirely because they believe they’ll have to use them on people. They bought them as lethal weapons against humans, with the full expectation that they WILL shoot someone with them.

              Whether in self-defense, whether to defend their rights, or to overthrow the government or just because — they want to BE Rambo. They’re ready to be attacked. Those people?

              Those guys are about 95% of the problem, right there. They’re the sad, sad, face of gun ownership in America today. Not the millions of hunters and sports shooters, but the crazy UN conspiracy theorists, just waiting to be mugged/raped by black men, nutcases. Because they’re loud, because they’re dangerous, and because they’re the ones doing most of the stupid, lethal crap with guns.

              I’m happy to let hunters, sportsman, and sane people own guns for hunting, sport, or self defense. I’d like to remove the guns from the nutcases hands, though.

              And maybe the NRA should do itself a few favors and try to act more like it’s there for the sportsmen and hunters, and less the would-be-vigilanties and ‘patriots’.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        “A friend of mine lamented the idiocy of his fellow gun owners, because they keep driving up ammo prices based on paranoid stupidity”
        — my friends that own guns simply buy ammo stock. Goes up real quick when a Democrat gets elected. Yay, Obama!Report

  9. Avatar M.A.
    Ignored
    says:

    Let the gun owners, the folks who don’t want their weapons used against them or anybody else, come to an agreement as to what can be done.

    But their answer is always the same. “Moar gunz, moar gunz, moar gunz, arm everyone!”

    It’s not a solution. It’s a pathology.Report

    • Avatar mark boggs in reply to M.A.
      Ignored
      says:

      Even this old, squishy, quasi-liberal shudders at your generalization. And, dare I say, your generalization makes the problem more intractable. Write them all off as “Moar gunz, moar gunz, moar gunz, arm everyone” and then force your solution down their throat.

      I just don’t see how this is helping.Report

      • Avatar M.A. in reply to mark boggs
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve sent a guest post submission to Erik, mark.

        I’m not for banning guns. But I’m not going to give much respect to the “moar gunz” crowd either. They’re not open to an honest discussion. It may be that our gun laws weren’t the problem at all, in fact I suspect that our gun laws were not nearly the factor that the home life issues and mental health issues of the shooter were.

        “Moar gunz” is not an answer, but neither is “ban all guns.”Report

        • Avatar mark boggs in reply to M.A.
          Ignored
          says:

          Cool. I’m down with that. Just like I think Dan (above) has some knee-jerk reactions and assumptions about the fact that “because some control advocates believe X means that they all do”, your implication that most gun owners fall into the (and I’m guessing you misspelled the words to highlight their assumed stupidity) “Moar Gunz…” crowd doesn’t seem to help move the conversation along. In fact, I’d say it hamstrings it back to a bunch of name-calling.

          I certainly claim no exemption to doing the same things in arguing a point, and I hope I’m getting better at not being so much of a dick, it just seems that, especially in this debate, in this climate, that tactic has no success rate.Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            Moar gunz.

            Moar gunz.

            And on and on and on…Report

            • Avatar mark boggs in reply to M.A.
              Ignored
              says:

              And because I can probably find as many articles saying it’s time to do away with guns, would you like me to attribute that position to you? I’m just trying to say the generalizations make the whole thing muddier.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to mark boggs
                Ignored
                says:

                Mark B, I’d like to see those links, if you have some handy. I just did a quick search and didn’t find anything remotely like what you’re suggesting.

                There’s a lot of talk about how liberals want to “take away everyone’s guns”, but I haven’t ever heard a liberal say they thought that would be a good policy or even a desirable one. In fact, I’ve always viewed that as pure propaganda created by the NRA types (and the Patriot community) to justify they’re extremism in interpreting the Secondn Amendment.

                If you have some links to the contrary (and not just some blogger somewhere, but actual proposals that have gained some attention), I’d appreciate it.Report

              • Avatar Dan in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                How about the total gun bans in Chicago and Washington DC do those count?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dan
                Ignored
                says:

                Those laws targeted handguns, yes? Not all firearms, so far as I know. Also, I think in the Chicago case the issue was concealed carry, not ownership. I think that’s the case in DC as well, is it not?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Looks like the DC ban included ownership of handguns and that’s why it was struck down. Fair enough about the extent of the laws in that case, but it didn’t constitute a total ban on ownership of firearms.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                *snort* I wonder what my friend who has both been shot at, and shot folks with a gun in DC would say about the ban.
                Ha.
                I know what he’d say, “DC is a lot safer than when I was there. They hardly need the ban now. And it wouldn’t have worked back then.”Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                While it’s true Liberals have never advocated for a complete disarmament of society, we have allowed the NRA’s lies and exaggerations to go largely unopposed, which is even worse IMHO. The NRA has so completely dominated the debate it’s now a matter of faith that Liberals want to take yer gunz away.

                And when the NRA comes gunning for our politicians, we come gunning for them twice as hard. We own the cities. They own the countryside. We evict their politicians, we damn them as they’ve damned us, we put up our own spokesmen and print up bumper stickers “Responsible Gun Owner on Board.” And we turn this debate around, calling the NRA lobbyists for Irresponsible Gun Owners and Domestic Terrorism. When they start in on this Civil Unrest debate, we call them on it.

                While we grant them a moment’s respite, they slink back into the weeds. We need to put the full court press on the NRA and call gun violence what it is, terrorism. That’s what we had to do with the Civil Rights struggle, it’s what we’re going to have to do with Gun Control. We are going to have to kick their asses up into their shoulderblades and separate them from the Responsible Gun Owners.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                The whole ‘complete disarmament’ thing is just another shiny bauble.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Simply put, it’s a lie. We have tolerated it for too long. Too much stupid and pointless firebreathing on both sides. Liberals haven’t done enough to push back and say to the world at large “We back responsible gun ownership to the hilt. Now gun owners, you tell us what responsible means in that context. Either you come up with an answer or we’ll view you as a threat to civil society and treat you as such.”Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, Stillwater, let me assure and signal to you, I’m firmly in the gun-control camp. That being said, the generalizations used to paint each side as the absolutist side is not helpful. That was my point.

                And, indeed, after a few google laps, I can’t find anything that says Organization X seeks a total ban on guns.

                So apologies where necessary.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to mark boggs
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for that Mark. And I’m sorry if my comment sounded like an accusatory challenge rather than a plea. I hear that stuff all the time, yet I’ve never seen any evidence justifying it. Seems to me it’s part of a myth constructed by Second enders to justify their principled opposition to any regulation whatsoever.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            I’d say that they often want to pull it off into the weeds of which guns to control and suggest they need those guns to protect themselves from the gov’mint. There’s bad cops. That’s been the response here on a few occasions.

            That is a parallel discussions. If they need to protect themselves from the government, great. But we need protection from people with guns, and we need to discuss if there’s an alternative answer then more guns, more guns.

            Apples and oranges. Both fruit, both from trees, different things.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to zic
              Ignored
              says:

              I’ve read comments at this site, from very sane, rational people, that citizens ought to be allowed every type of weapon government is permitted to possess. I guess I see the basic principle in play, sorta, but not really even then. In practice, implementing an idea like that strikes me as insane.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                You should SEE the looks I get at the Stop ‘n’ Shop when I forget to leave my holstered ICBM at home.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                You got a permit for that? Good on ya. I’ve heard those CC-ICBM permits are really hard to get.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                You got a permit for that?

                Must….resist….tired and played-out “That’s what SHE said!” joke…Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph
                Ignored
                says:

                Just last month there was someone here arguing on pure libertarian principle that there’s a right to own nuclear weapons., and restrictions should apply only after it’s used in some criminal fashion. It’s a fine reductio but as far as I can tell was argued seriously.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Bat shit crazy.

                It’s like an addiction. Oh, I’m scared. I’m gonna get me a gun. Still scared. so maybe another gun. Ohh, I like that one, it will make me even safer if I get that one, so I’m gonna get me another gun.

                Junkie behavior. I know lots of sane, civil, responsible gun owners. But there are gun junkies out there. Just like drunk drivers, oxycontin addicts, compulsive gamblers and shoppers, they’ve got a problem, and the rest of us pay for it.Report

              • Avatar Tel in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                The exact same argument about fear and addiction applies just as much to the systematic militarization of the police (who every year demand more powers, better weapons, etc) and could be applied at the international level to military buildup in general. How many wars are we involved in now? It gets hard to count when Syria and Libya are proxy-wars and the first principle of war is to be dishonest about everything.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Tel
                Ignored
                says:

                In other words, humans have an arms-race addiction.Report

              • Avatar Tel in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                I have a pet cat and I can assure you that violence, cunning, and intimidation are not unique to humans.

                All of nature has an arms race addiction, and has done for millions of years.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tel
                Ignored
                says:

                If it makes you feel better, I’d like to take the machine guns away from the police too.

                It’s coloring their attitudes. Half the problem is they think they’re soldiers under seige, not cops patrolling their fellow citizens.

                I’d also like tighter regulations on taser use, but that’s solely because putting a pain stick into an authority figure’s hands seems like the sort of thing that should be, you know, monitored.Report

  10. Avatar Elizabeth Stuart
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks very much for this thoughtful post. I agree and point out that with events like this, we tend to react from (and certainly the media play up) the availability heuristic. These kinds of tragedies move us deeply, as they should, but we should also be aware of all the other much more common ways that children and adults suffer and die (e.g., auto accidents), for which there is little regular uproar.

    BTW, I just discovered Ordinary-Gentleman today (while researching the topic of social inequity) and am really pleased to find such thoughtful dialog on a range of issues here. Thanks.Report

  11. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    Postulate: If the shooter were Muslim, the conversation on the blogosphere would be completely different and people would have completely opposite positions on ‘doing something’

    Fact: The chances of being a victim in either a terrorist attack or a mass shooting incident are vanishingly rare.

    Opinion: The actions we have taken due to the vanishingly rare possibility of being a victim in a terrorist attack have been stupid, counterproductive, expensive, wasteful, liberty reducing, and in some cases, horrific.

    Thesis: ‘Where do we go from here?’ Nowhere. Do nothing. The chances of making things worse given the track record is very real, and what gains may be achieved are minimal, elusive, and may be illusory. (I’m thinking more in terms of being more ‘aggressive’ (scare quotes mine) with mental health treatment than anything with gun control, but it applies to both).

    As I’ve said before (when talking about the two week in a row trouble with different NFL players), gov’t policy needs to be based on data, not anecdotes, even if it is – esp if is – a sensational and tragic news story.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      John Allan Muhammad was just executed. He was a Muslim, after a fashion. Nobody went apeshit over his religion. Terror is as terror does: anyone who advocates the systematic use of violence as a solution to society’s problems is a terrorist by definition. Gangs terrorise areas under their control with guns: that’s terrorism.

      The Gun Nuts want to tell us we should be armed against coercion and abuse of powers. I heartily agree. The coercion I see in the form of gun violence, usually perpetrated upon decent law-abiding people, can easily be seen in the data. We know who’s killing whom. And while a bunch of ignoramuses go on screeching about theoretical threats from an armed constabulary, the massive and manifest threat we face from irresponsible gun ownership can continue unabated.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Hey look,data!

      All of it, by the way, points to a need for stricter licensing and registration regulations.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Do nothing.

      Why not some sensible restriction on extended magazines?Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Or as Balko says, “Laws named after crime victims and dead people are usually a bad idea”:

      http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/07/tragedies-make-bad-laws.html

      As I have posited elsewhere in this thread, this may be a problem that only technological advance (and maybe not even that) can easily solve.

      Way back when I watched The Wire for the first time, one of the things that struck me was the way that it limned that 3 concepts which our society deemed important (democracy, capitalism, and prohibition) acted on each other in a feedback loop to sustain and even exacerbate a bad situation. In that case, it is evident to me that kicking out one (prohibition) would allow the other two forces to reach a better equilibrium with reduced harm.

      In a way, these situations strike me as somewhat analogous – I am a near-absolutist on Free Speech (yet I wish these incidents were not so saturating to our public discourse), pretty strong on the Right to Bear Arms (self-defense being *the* primary right of any person), pretty strong on “Exercising Great Caution Before Declaring Someone Mentally Ill or Dangerous” (given the way that power has been abused in the past, elsewhere and here). But these three laudable concepts are interacting to produce a result that we find unacceptable.

      It’s not readily apparent to me which leg to kick out here, to reach a better equilibrium.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Glyph
        Ignored
        says:

        I disagree, Glyph. What people find unacceptable is the correlation between easy access to weapons of mass destruction (heh, I threw that in for Jaybird) and the deaths of innocent people.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          This list may or not be 100% accurate – but assuming it is reasonably so, rampage killing does not appear to be a particularly American (2 out of 10) nor recent (oldest incident is 1938, and presumably there are older incidents prior to good records) phenomenon.

          (Side note: the picture of #4 should have clued SOMEBODY in that there was a problem).

          What makes us think that anything we have done (or will do) easily impacts the frequency and severity of these incidents very much?Report

      • Avatar M.A. in reply to Glyph
        Ignored
        says:

        https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/12/where-do-we-go-from-here/#comment-436635

        I think I examined your dilemma here.

        Essence: If “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, then we necessarily must conclude that there are some people who in no way, shape or form should be allowed access to guns.

        Would they still be able to theoretically murder with knives, or baseball bats, or something else? Most likely. But the opportunity costs and logistics of those sorts of killings do not equate the the ability to walk into a public place and spray it down with ammunition, seeking to kill as many people in a few seconds or minutes as they could.

        The trick seems to be two legs at once. Correctly identifying those people who should not be given access to guns, and then denying them access.

        I’ll be honest, I’m perfectly ok with erring on the side of caution here, while at the same time I can at least understand your position (given ““Exercising Great Caution Before Declaring Someone Mentally Ill or Dangerous” and the past abuse of such declarations) and the fact that many of the gun nuts of society think that the government might declare them incapable of responsible gun ownership for whatever reason.

        On the other hand, if you’re a Ted Nugent or someone else with a history of violent behavior, as many of the same gun nuts in society are, I have to ask the question: are they afraid of being wrongfully declared unfit for gun ownership, or are they afraid instead that the government would be making the right decision in declaring them unfit?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to M.A.
          Ignored
          says:

          Essence: If “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, then we necessarily must conclude that there are some people who in no way, shape or form should be allowed access to guns.

          I think that we’d all find it much easier to discuss the circumstances under which people should be forbidden from buying guns and who should go to jail if it’s found that they have, in fact, tried to buy one (or worse, did so successfully).

          Here’s a fun fact from a million years ago: I was arguing the gun control argument back in 1998 or so and one of the things I wondered was the circumstances under which someone would not sell a gun to a customer.

          As it turns out, if a woman with a black eye goes into a gun shop and says “I’d like to purchase a shotgun”, technically, the gun store has grounds to say “sorry, legislation prohibits us from selling guns to you”. I called two different gun stores in town and they both explained to me that, yeah, that was something that they ought to do. (Now, both of them then said to me something to the effect of “now, I *PERSONALLY* think that the law overreaches in this and if I found that one of my employees sold such a customer a shotgun after explaining how to use it, I would probably look the other way.”)

          So how’s about it, M.A.? Would you say that a woman with a black eye is a risk for gun violence and ought be denied gun ownership?Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Would you say that a woman with a black eye is a risk for gun violence and ought be denied gun ownership?

            Isn’t that the sort of thing that cooling-off periods and waiting periods were designed to address in law?

            If a woman with a black eye walks into a gun shop, I’m going to wonder how she got the black eye.
            I’m going to wonder if she belongs in the gun shop, or a shelter for abused women.

            “We’re sorry ma’am, but we can’t give you the gun right now, there’s a 7 day waiting period. If you are buying this because you think you need it for self defense, we have the list right here of places to call. We’ll be happy to call up the police, get you an escort if you need to pick up your kids or get anything if you feel you need to get out of a bad situation.”

            Isn’t that a better response than escalating the situation to involving firearms?

            Now it’s possible (but far less likely) that the black eye was incurred in something innocuous. Like she’s in martial arts classes or something, accidents happen. But if that’s the case, a waiting period shouldn’t be a big deal, right?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to M.A.
              Ignored
              says:

              Because you have better solutions such as “you should go to a shelter” or “you should call the police”?

              I’m going to ask you to google Warren v. District of Columbia and Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

              Then I’m going to ask you again: So you would not sell a woman with a black eye a shotgun?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                In Scandinavia, I’d tell her to get really, really drunk. Then go to jail. The odds of anything happening to her there are slim.Report

              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The Talk section of the Castle Rock article claims that Gonzales sued under a “property” law aspect, and was denied on that basis, and the case had nothing to do with criminal law. The opinions cited in the article seem to back this contention up.

                If this is true, it weakens the point you’re making by citing this case.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name
                Ignored
                says:

                What would police failure to enforce a restraining order fall under if not civil law?

                Is the other argument that police failing to enforce a law would be an example of them breaking the law and thus subject to criminal prosecution?Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Also Jaybird, I want to ask you this question again:

            If you’re a Ted Nugent or someone else with a history of violent behavior, as many of the same gun nuts in society are – are they afraid of being wrongfully declared unfit for gun ownership, or are they afraid instead that the government would be making the right decision in declaring them unfit?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to M.A.
              Ignored
              says:

              From my perspective, I’d see government being as good at reducing (if not eliminating) discrepencies between the enforcement of the law for the rich vs. the middle classes vs. the poor when it comes to (even stricter) gun laws as it is when it comes to drug laws.

              M.A., do you feel New York’s “Stop And Frisk” laws are an effective tool for reducing violence?Report

  12. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Blaise,

    “I’m asking you to come up with some meaningful response to a repeating pattern of mindless gun violence and all you can come up with is some ignis fatuus out of some dystopian novel. Sandy Hook School is not some fiction. It’s front page news. Either you’re going to respond to reality or you’re not. You are not going to dismiss Sandy Hook School, no you bloody well aren’t.”

    Sometimes I think you are little bi-polar in your comments as just a couple of hours ago you said I was ‘making too much sense’. And there’s enough hyperbole in your responses to keep a gaggle of teenage girls afloat for a week. This is a repetitive thing with you, compliment one point someone makes and then when you hear another point you don’t like you make it sound as though they haven’t said anything you agree with ever. Very frustrating…

    I’ve said in this very comment thread that I think large capacity magazines are part of the problem and YOU dimissed that. You claim I am ignoring Sandy Hook but that is just ludicrous considering I am engaging in this very conversation. I’ve also spoken about gun control in several FP posts here at the League, which I daresay is more than you have provided even with all that military experience we have heard about for years. I’ve advocated on this very site for stamping serial numbers on bullets as a way of reducing gun crime and all I remember in response was some weird point from you about needing to get degraded ammo off the street.

    A little consistency please.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve said in this very comment thread that I think large capacity magazines are part of the problem and YOU dimissed that.

      The Sandy Hook gunman had 4 guns with him, varying magazine sizes. Aurora shooter, same thing. It’s not the mag size, they just moved right on to the next gun.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m with Mike D on this, fwiw. We can treat each of the relevant issues separately, it seems to me, and capacity is definitely one of the issues.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        M.A. – to be perfectly honest, there is almost nothing in the way of gun law that can prevent mass killings like these. Even magazine capacity only reduces the threat, not eliminates it. I think there is a LOT we can do with regards to mental health issues though.

        When I talk about magazine capacity, I’m primarily talking about gang violence. even there though, easily available handguns are the issue and that is a trafficking problem.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      The interesting aspect of bipolarity is the clarity of vision afforded its sufferers. We do not suffer from delusions nor live in denial. That’s the realm of the paranoiac and the megalomaniac. That which passes, passes like clouds.

      I have said you have every right to own your weapons. I have furthermore said there are responsibilities attendant upon those rights. All fine and good, as far as it goes, I should hope. Now don’t go saying I’m waxing hyperbolic. All those dead children are not hyperbole. A fine law-abiding gun owner lies dead and I do not see you having much to say about that good woman’s death. Seems to me she was a bit optimistic, dare I say foolhardy, in securing her weapons from her troubled son. Well, those who keep tigers must know they have a taste for human flesh. And those who keep weapons must know those weapons are terribly democratic in their taste for human flesh. They just don’t care.

      I haven’t dismissed your issue about large mags. I said, if memory serves — scrollscroll — that you were making too much sense, commending you for that bit of regulation, saying that gun owners would have to come up with the solutions we need as a society.

      And you are ignoring Sandy Hook. I want you to give me a protocol for weapons and ammunition storage and security, one which might have kept Nancy Lanza alive. That you have not done. Nor will you, not while you go on blustering and making personal jibes at my own issues with bipolarity. I freely acknowledge my mental health issues. I don’t own any weapons. I know better. You, on the other hand, have raised certain issues about a collapse of society, ones you might not have raised, for in such circumstances you’d have the weapons and I wouldn’t.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        BP, seems to me you’re being counterproductive here. Mike D is on board with some sensible discussion (maybe even regulation!) of magazine capacity. That’s a wholehelluvalot more than you’ll get from the hard-core second-enders.

        If you’re interested in policies that get closer to your goals, then Mike is a sympathetic interlocutor.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          Magazine capacity did not keep Adam Lanza from murdering his mother. Adam Lanza’s MO seems to have been multiple rounds per victim. So much for magazine capacity. The balance of his rhetoric seems to have been centred on some collapse of society, a state of affairs which argues as much for taking his weapons away before such a collapse as any other.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
            Ignored
            says:

            Blaise – try reading through what i wrote again (scroll, scroll). The ‘civil unrest’ point I made was in reply to kazzy asking why anyone would need a Bushmaster in low-crime Sandy Hook. I was explaining why the AR crowd feels they need them: 1) fun to shoot and 2) the potential for civil unrest. I didn’t say I agree with them completely on the necessity but I DO understand the mentality and I DO think their concerns are valid, especially with what can happen in a natural disaster.

            If we’re talking about gun crime I’ve already laid out plenty of suggestions, but please allow me to recap:

            1) Consider magazine restrictions
            2) Serialize bullets
            3) get serious about mental health issues
            4) Go after gun traffickers, especially in the Southern-to-Northeast corridor and on the West Coast.

            I would add to that the possibility of creating a permit-to-own system which would be free for those that want one but require a full background check and a painless but thorough renewal process every few years.

            So, I’m 100% certain I’ve laid out more than anyone else in this thread including YOU. I suggest at this point you share your own contributions or quit complaining about how gun owners aren’t doing enough.
            I could goReport

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Mike,

              I’m glad you are discussing issues related to violence outside of mass shootings. We rightfully mourn and grief the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults in a single outburst of violence. But we must also remember the young people killed on the streets of Chicago and Baltimore and DC and other cities every day of the year.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Mike, what about ammo?

              The type of ammo he used is (hollow point bullets?) is designed to cause maximum damage.

              The forensics reporting on those children is ghastly, and those bullets are part of why. Is there any justification for this? Certainly not for hunting, is it?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                More anecdotal stuff…

                I was living in a tiny little town in Texas right before the Brady bill took effect, and a buddy of mine convinced me that “now is the time to buy a handgun, before we have to do background checks, and federal paperwork and all that.” There had been a string of drug related violences right around that time, so … I decided to buy a gun along with him. (Even that part of the story may seem strange – two guys deciding to buy guns together. The reason is that he didn’t have a car, and the nearest real town was 80 miles away. He wanted me to drive him there.)

                When we got to the gun-getting place – which was an Ace Hardware store – the guy asked us why we were buying the guns. My buddy said “for self-defense”. The guy looked at the box of shells we grabbed and said “you don’t want these bullets. You want some hollow points. See, a standard bullet will go right thru a guy. It’ll take two, three, shots to knock him down. He’ll keep coming at you. You want a hollow point. It’ll blow a hole in the back of him the size of a grapefruit.”

                Later, when people in our little (tiny) town found out that I bought a handgun, I was somehow included in the group of folks who were (unbeknownst to me) “carriers”. The rhetoric around blowing holes in people was pretty shocking, as well as the reasons they felt justified in “blowing holes”… And somehow I was included as an insider on this desirable end to people’s lives.

                I shot a few rounds with the gun to get a feel of it, then broke it down into three pieces placed in different locations in my house. I didn’t want any part of what it represented. Even as I fully understood that I lived 80 miles away from “law enforcement” and was basically on my own out there in the wilds.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                A lot of people hunt with hollow points. They cause a lot of damage which is desirable if you want a quick, clean kill. I prefer a hard tip for longer range but I’ve hunted with hollow points before myself.

                And for self-defense, yeah, hollow points are the best. that’s what I keep loaded into my concealed-carry pistol. At home I prefer a shotgun.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                I’m really curious: who do you need to defend yourself from?

                I ask from the perspective of someone who spent 4+ years defending herself from a pedophile and stalker. I’m not convinced that self-defense always requires a gun; I think that’s potentially a faulty assumption.

                During those years, I had access to a gun. I knew how to use it. I knew were the bullets for it were. It never crossed my mind. Despite my wishing him dead repeatedly.

                I’ve had to defend myself, and did so. Without the gun. So it would really help me if you could explain who you need to defend yourself from, and why a gun is required to do that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                I travel at times through some very remote areas. If my car was to break down and I had to travel on foot, I want some protection. We also have areas of my city that can be dangerous. My first response is always going to be to flee but in the worst cases I believe in what the Boy Scouts taught me, “Be Prepared”.

                At home there is the very real threat of home invasion. Without going into personal specifics, we have a convicted felon in our extended family that shows up unannounced and unwanted from time to time and causes trouble. Lastly, a very close member of my family had a home invasion while they were sleeping just this year. Again, I hope not to ever have to use a gun in self-defense, but better safe than sorry.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you.

                And for what it’s worth, I’m grateful to you for talking realistically, for taking my liberal concerns seriously.

                I suspect most gun owners were like you, thoughtful and responsible. But I think the trend may be changing, a growing grasping of arms out of fear, paranoia, and a strong desire for abusive control of discussion and situation. I suspect a big part of this is the endless looping of shocking crime stories on the cable news, without anything to help viewers develop a sense of proportion.

                That is not cool, and as a society, I hope we can seriously talk about it.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, I grew up in grizzly country and you don’t need to carry a gun when you’re driving in rural areas on the chance that you might break down. That’s crazy.

                If you are likely to encounter something dangerous like a bear, carry some pepper spray, and know what the hell you’re doing. You don’t need to carry a gun.

                It’s true that some people who live in rural areas have a legitimate need for guns. But we can have incredibly strict gun control (a near total ban if we’d like) and still allow people who live in rural areas to own firearms for personal use as long as they get regular psych tests, pay fees, and regularly account for their weapons. We could also allow people to rent guns from local businesses in rural areas -if they really do need the weapon, either for hunting or defense in the wild- provided they return them to the renter at an agreed upon time.

                Guns in the home for self-defense are a thornier issue. I’d say we need to develop requirements for small handguns that could be legally sold for home defense: a small magazine (maybe 6 rounds), fairly low powered, trigger locks, and an internal GPS that could be used to track the location of the weapon and would automatically sound an alarm to the police if it was taken too far from home.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Shazbot – I appreciate that you brought the kooky policy proposal over to this thread, however I am still uninterested in responding.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                It ain’t kooky in other parts of the world where children aren’t murdered as often as a result of the so-called “kooky” policy.

                You may want to ask yourself why Japan’s policy is kooky when we have all the dead kids. Maybe our gun culture and gun laws are kooky.

                I am unclear why you don’t want to engage when I haven’t insulted you or engaged in any ad hominem or otherwise fallacious argument.

                I merely agree with Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker who argues that there is a question about whether we value easy access to guns over the lives of people, including children. If that touches a nerve, it is on you, not me. I specifically stated, I suspect you share Gopnik’s values, but you somehow think guns make us safer or that guns are necessary for survival, i.e. we disagree on facts not values.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s kooky because it ignores a whole host of things:

                1. 300 million guns. Your policy requires that the overwhelming majority of them be seized. In other words, you’re quite literally asking for a war on guns. As Jim Henley put it last night on Twitter: “A War on Guns a la the War on Drugs would be *an actual war*. Because guns! We don’t need another.”

                2. Your premise is close to tautological, and thus does not admit to constructive discussion – fewer guns means fewer killings by guns. But it doesn’t necessarily mean fewer killings, period. It may or may not.

                3. There’s absolutely no attempt to acknowledge that close to all guns in the US will never be used to harm another human being.

                4. Japan’s gun control laws are not terribly stricter than the gun control laws in, say, South Africa, or other countries with really high homicide rates.

                5. There’s no attempt to grapple with the fact that the overall number of gun-related deaths in the US has been steadily declining for some time; similarly, the end to the ban on guns in DC has not altered the decline in the number of homicides in DC. This doesn’t mean tighter regulation of guns wouldn’t make those rates decline faster, but it does at minimum suggest that a near-total ban such as you propose is way overbroad.

                6. It treats the vast majority of gunowners who use their guns responsibily as the enemy rather than as people whose buy-in you need for any regulation of firearms to have any chance of success. They do not view their firearms as contributing to a problem, and with good reason. Taking their guns away would not even make a dent in the problem.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Begging your pardon, but a person with a car versus someone without one? You’re probably going to get killed anyhow. They’ve got time on their side. And they can pick when to assault you.

                Anyone determined enough can hurt you in a home invasion.

                I think what’s a good thing to keep in mind is “this protects me against someone who isn’t terribly serious”Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Nobody use Japan as a reference.
                South Africa’s the place where people use grenades for self defense.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mark,

                1. I would institute the Japan-style (very effective at preventing murdered children) gun ban slowly and incrementally. There would be large tax rebates for gun buy backs. Moreover, I would make the penalties for gun ownership financial (at least for a long time) instead of jail and a criminal record.

                Moreover, the policy I recommend would allow people to own or use rifles in regulated settings or with the proper license. So, my proposed gun law would not be like the war on drugs, but more like making drugs legally available in the right setting or with a prescription, but not easily available to anyone with little regulation. Everyone would still have a right to own a gun.

                Moreover, two of the main problem with an attempts to ban recreational drugs are that drugs are addictive and (most of them) can be easily manufactured without any sort of large scale factory and smuggled into the country. Thus the ban doesn’t more incentive to not use than addictiveness causes an incentive to use. And the ban cannot stop the flow of drugs in a black market. I agree that it would be hard to stop existing guns from being resold in a black market, but over time the supply would diminish.

                2. See this peer reviewed study of the more recent Australian gun control. https://wcmdemo.sfsu.edu/lca/ott-and-kaufmann-graduate-scholarship

                Note that it says: “Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p?=?0.04), firearm suicides (p?=?0.007) and firearm homicides (p?=?0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. The rates per 100 000 of total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides all at least doubled their existing rates of decline after the revised gun laws.

                Conclusions: Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides. Total homicide rates followed the same pattern. Removing large numbers of rapid-firing firearms from civilians may be an effective way of reducing mass shootings, firearm homicides and firearm suicides.”

                3. Look, I get that some people don’t use guns to kill children. My point is that guns are dangerous and should be regulated such that they are incredibly hard to access except in cases where they are absolutely needed, just like possession of anthrax or small pox, or depleted uranium, can be used to kill easily and should be regulated such that they are incredibly hard to access except in cases where they are absolutely needed. If we allowed collectors to own specimens of dangerous germs (which people would want, IMO), we would be well within our rights to require all sorts of restrictions on their ownership of those germs. The case of guns is no different. (Even if some people didn’t use their anthrax supply to kill, that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Nor do we need to acknowledge that some people might find it cool to own anthrax and do it responsibly in a debate over whether it should be regulated.)

                4. The South African laws in 2004 were badly implemented. http://www.sairr.org.za/sairr-today-1/research-and-policy-brief-why-the-firearms-control-act-failed-and-what-should-be-done-about-it-21st-june-2011

                We would need to make sure that we implemented our laws more effectively than SA, but that is entirely plausible, as most places -like Australia, Japan, the U.K.- have successfully implemented tough gun laws, so we can too.

                5. It is true that the homicide rate in the U.S. is down, but it is still much, much higher than other first world nations that have been peaceful (in terms of civil war, apartheid, violent revolution, etc.) for decades like Canada, Australia, Japan, etc.

                State laws will be ineffective because guns are too easily pushed across state lines. Needs to be national effort.

                6. I agree that the reason that my solution is implausible is that too many voters believe that easy access to a wide variety of guns is more valuable than saving lives. However, once we realize that this is the problem and one of the causes of the high rate of homicide in the U.S., we will be one step closer to solving it.

                Once people understand a fact (in this case the belief that gun access is more valuable than saving lives) people’s attitudes can change quickly and policies that were once “kooky” become obviously sane and righteous. For example, when I was young, legalized gay marriage was kooky. Once people realized the fact that gay marriage was not at all harmful, and banning it was valuing prejudice over care and respect for other human beings, policy preferences changed very rapidly.

                This kind of change is possible with gun control legislation too if we all finally admit that gun access kills people and we need to limit gun access to save lives or commit to valuing gun access more than saved lives.Report

            • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              re “potential for civil unrest”:

              Oh, that pesky “preamble: to the 2nd Amendment! If only we had “well-ordered militias”!!! NOTE: The last “well-ordered militia” we had was the Black Panthers. They did help somewhat in quelling civil unrest, but in the end were done in the way most militias would be.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, that pesky “preamble

                It’s really only pesky to those who would like to limit ownership of guns, because the preamble is not actually justiciable. It explains why they’re putting in a right to own guns, but it doesn’t actually limit that right.

                That’s not a pro-gun perspective; that’s just a decent-knowledge-of-constitutional-interpretation perspective. And I say it’s only pesky to those who’d like to limit guns, because being non-justiciable it doesn’t function as an effective legal argument against those who don’t want to limit guns, but is a perpetual irritant–as an unreachable goal–to those would like like to limit guns.

                I kind of wish the 1st Congress had just written the damn thing a little more clearly. It’s unique among the Bill of Rights in having a preamble, so they either should have done away with that clause or they should have explicitly limited the right to members of an official militia.Report

              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                “It’s unique among the Bill of Rights in having a preamble, so they either should have done away with that clause or they should have explicitly limited the right to members of an official militia.”

                +1 to the 10th power!Report

            • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Let me say that I find your suggestions (from 5:50 PM in case this gets buried) very reasonable. I as a squishy Liberal would certainly endorse them as a MAJOR step in reducing gun violence.

              Agreement, yay!Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        BP – storage is an easy one. Buy a gun safe, lock the door. that’s what I do and that’s what my friends do. You can double-up with trigger locks, which is what I did when my kids were younger.

        And I’m not sure what kind of statement you are looking for about Nancy Lanza. Her son was clearly batshit crazy and she was his first victim. Without knowing the details about how he got her guns I think it is irresponsible to say anything more at this time.

        And again, the only specific policy proposal and I can recall from you is something about degraded ammo. If you’ve said more, perhaps you would care to reiterate here. You can say the responsibility is on gun owners but considering how often you talk about your wartime experience, surely your opinion matters.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          Bully for you, Mike. I hereby dub you a Responsible Gun Owner, one of the Good Guys. That’s exactly the statement I was looking for in terms of reasonable security precautions. I believe such precautions could have prevented the murder of Nancy Lanza.

          And yes, I’m all for Responsible Gun Owners taking their weapons down to a qualified gunsmith and having a few rounds put through them every year — or pulling the firing pins and/or soldering the touch holes and labelling them Historical Armaments, so they can be put in the mantelpiece as beautiful decorations. Furthermore, we are in perfect agreement on old ammunition and bullet identification.

          I’ll put aside your personal gibes about my bipolarity. This is a sensitive subject and I’m all too aware of how many idiots are out there, attempting to impose restrictions on honest law-abiding citizens with no fundamental awareness of the issues involved. I continue to believe the answers to these issues rests solely in the hands of Responsible Gun Owners.

          Pax?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
            Ignored
            says:

            Blaise,

            When I said your comments were ‘bipolar’ I meant that the tone varied a lot from comment to comment. It wasn’t meant as a personal attack as I was unaware that was an issue for you. I would never, ever go there with someone. Poor choice of words on my part and my apologies.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Hey guys,

              I don’t think I need to say that we all know you well enough ’round these parts to trust your character. Mike, I appreciate you owning up and apologizing for accidentally hitting a sore spot with Blaise. Blaise, I appreciate you were able to see there was no ill intent. I hope we can leave it there and maintain a constructive convo.

              Thanks,
              BReport

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Apology accepted. Here’s the point, Mike. If you aren’t a responsible gun owner, and I know you are, nobody is. I’m not condescending to you in so saying: it’s a sovereign fact, not to be disputed. As a society, we are dependent upon people like you to stand up and say “We the gun owners are the repository of society’s trust. We must therefore present ourselves as trustworthy. If the Second Amendment gives us the right and the freedom to keep and bear arms, we must at all times and in all places prove worthy of that freedom and that right.”Report

  13. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    Kazzy, I totally agree with what you say in this post and one of the nicer things that have happened to me lately is becoming much more involved in my community over the last year. It makes the world feel safer when things like this happen to look around and see so many folks I know.

    But, I keep thinking what if? What if nothing would have helped? If the mother is isolating the son from people and stockpiling guns, it seems likely that she’s not getting him the help he may well need. So, what could the rest of the community do that wouldn’t be terribly invasive? People talk about the rest of us needing to be vigilant- and I get that’s not where you’re going exactly- but there are a lot of weirdos out there and most of us weirdos are not dangerous. And we’re none of us fully qualified to know what’s going on in someone else’s heart and mind.

    So, what if this is the future?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      Rufus,

      If the reports are true that Lanza had an altercation at the school earlier in the week, I wonder if further steps would have been justified there. I am in no way casting blame on those involved (who seem to be among the victims), but what did they understand of Lanza’s state of mind? Why didn’t they contact authorities? I realize hindsight is 20/20. But if they were knowledgable enough to recognize certain signs and/or comfortable enough to contact authorities when they sensed trouble in their midst, this might have been prevented.

      But, yea, you can’t stop every possible murderer. But you can probably stop some. And the cost is increased education, increased connectivity within our communities, things that will prove beneficial in a variety of areas and will cost us very little but time and effort. As we saw with the man who was pushed in front of a subway train, folks stood idly by hoping they would not be the victim. That can’t be the norm for our society. We can’t accept that. Sure, there might be some false positives, especially in the beginning. But if we’re thoughtful, deliberate, and careful in our actions, seeking to support members of our community who might be struggling instead of simply jailing or institutionalizing them, we will make progress.

      If I may indulge in some hypotheticals… if the steps I advocate taking had already been in place before this past week… perhaps the schools officials recognize Lanza as being capable of violence during their initial altercation. They recognize that he seems to be struggling psychologically or otherwise seems detached. They alert authorities, included among them specialists in mental health. They visit Lanza to discuss the incident with him. They meet with his mother and do an inspection of the home. They work with Mrs. Lanza to properly secure the weapons. They hopefully can identify and agree on a course of treatment or support for Aaron. If he is unwilling and poses no apparent and immediate threat, they respect this autonomy and plan to follow up within 48 hours. In the meantime, they speak with other members of the community who might know Lanza or who might come into contact with him in the interim time, offering them contact information for those same authorities should any new situations arise.

      Would any of that have guaranteed nothing went down? Of course not. But it sure as hell would have been better than what was done (or, really, what wasn’t).Report

  14. Avatar Tel
    Ignored
    says:

    Where do we go? Here’s my suggestions (same as ever really):

    Insist on proper release of the story when it comes to matters of general public interest. So many newspapers just make stuff up, we normally get, “An investigator spoke to the press on condition of anonymity because he or she was not authorized to speak to the press.” Think about the implication there, someone is given a job to do but is unable follow instructions, but anyway we trust this guy to do the job despite that, and we presume what he says must be true, but don’t ever expect traceability.

    Then everyone is left puzzling over meaningless fragments. People don’t even know what type of guns he was using, apparently he had two 9mm handguns which cannot possibly be described as “assault weapons” but they do plenty of damage at short range.

    If this guy had some mental illness I want to know if he was being treated, I want to know *exactly* what drugs he was taking. Also where and how the guns were stored, did he ever have training? I don’t know the answer to these questions but neither do the senators who are barking about gun control. We have a universal responsibility to demand informed debate.

    Also, demand real statistics, anyone listing the number of mass murder incidents perpetrated with a gun has an absolute duty to list alongside that the incidents where guns have prevented mass murder, and the incidents where other weapons have been used (e.g. explosives). I mean someone only has to derail a train on a bridge and plenty more people will die. Before you dismiss the suggestion, remember that five members of Occupy Cleveland were busted attempting to blow up a bridge, so it isn’t impossible that they might have been successful.

    If you look at the USA murder rate, it is high by Western European standards, but checking the stats shows that the worst three states: District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Louisiana are far more murderous than everywhere else. New Hampshire has lax gun laws and is very safe, so there’s no correlation.

    Finally, insist on some historical context. In terms of average lifespan and safety we are living better than any humans in the entire history of human existence. The biggest, by far, mass murders have been perpetrated by governments (not on one single occasion, but on many occasions). This should be one fact that every school should teach.Report

  15. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    New Dealer,

    ‘I have noticed that many concealed carry types do seem to have a Mad Max mentality. In which, they think we are one step away from Science Fiction Warlord Universe or already living in it.

    Bullshit. The United States is not Somalia or Afghanistan. We have a very active and effective government and civilian society. There have also been a lot of very serious natural disasters in which society did not collapse. Hurricane Sandy comes to mind from this year alone.”

    The U.S. and other Wester nations experience plenty of civil unrest. For example, you could start here:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41372364/Americarsquos_Most_Destructive_Riots_of_All_Time

    My grandfather patrolled the streets here in louisville during the 1968 riots. That kind of stuff could easily happen again.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      Mike,

      To what extent might the tendency towards civil unrest be borne out of the same broader societal disconnect I discuss in the OP? I’m not psychologist, but my hunch would be that people are less likely to riot in a community they feel connected to, responsible to, accountable to. I don’t mean to imply that we’ll all live hunky-dory singing Kumbaya. But we can probably do better than we are in this regard.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Kazzy – are you sure about that? In 1968 African Americans torched their own neighborhoods in response to Martin Luther King being shot. Same for the LA Riots. I never quite understood the logic, but people aparently do sh*t in their own yards form time to time.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          It is a hunch, not a stated theory. I wonder if African-Americans living in a country that denied them basic rights might have led to a feeling of detachment, even within their own community and with their own property.

          I don’t think we’ll ever eliminate the threat of violence or civil unrest. But I bet there are things we can do to lessen the likelihood and intensity of it. Do you think it is mere coincedence that some countries have far more civil unrest than others? Or do you think some are doing something to lessen it? And I would count the USA among those that have less.Report

  16. Avatar Citizen
    Ignored
    says:

    Ever notice that a Bushmaster looks alot like standard issue military? It is now possible to see regular police equipped with fully functional M16’s.

    I often wonder if the government/military/police/Hollywood would switch to muzzle loaders would most of these tragedies be lessened somehow? Marksmanship would become much more important and specialized. Accuracy by volume would be at least reduced. The purchase of ball ammunition could save the tax payers millions.

    When was the last time a mass killing was done by a civilian wielding a musket. There is a mirror that reflects sickness and seldom lies. Hell is a place that has outlawed water.Report

  17. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    BlaiseP,

    I have to give you some serious props. Your comments were fantatic. A monument to thoughtfull consideration on this issue. This whole shooting thing’s a big furball but here you are in this thread posting things like: “I maintain my positions on this subject: I would rather ask the Mike Dwyers of this world what should be done to prevent the deaths of the Nancy Lanzas of this world on the basis of Consent of the Governed. They’re the people who are going to have to live with such legislation and as a Liberal, I’ll be damned if I’m going to back onerous and ultimately fruitless legislation to limit their rights.” Well said.

    You and I may disagree on things, but your factual statements regaring magazines, semi/auto fire, etc. show that you know something about which you speak-something often missing in debates like this.

    Kudos!Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      They’re the people who are going to have to live with such legislation and as a Liberal, I’ll be damned if I’m going to back onerous and ultimately fruitless legislation to limit their rights.

      See, this is where I am in harsh disagreement.

      The NRA, once upon a time, was a reasonable group. They worked for reasonable regulation, worked across the aisle for agreement, and were gung-ho about promoting responsibility with guns.

      At some point this changed. For at least the past 25 years (when they started opposing common sense regulations such as waiting periods in the Brady Bill) the NRA has not been the home of responsible gun ownership and recreation and safety, they’ve been the defenders of the crazies. As Morat put it above referencing the Rambo types, “What gun-owners really need is to resurrect the gun-culture of a few decades ago, to turn the NRA back into a responsible organization. When Americans look at gun owners and stop seeing sportsmen, hunters, and hobbyists and instead see tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theoriests hoping someone breaks into their house so they can shoot them….

      The NRA and the gun owners had their chance. They’ve had 25 years in which rather than work to give us a good definition of responsible ownership, help make the law reflect it, they have stood athwart attempts to make reasonable law and instead misrepresented the argument. The current racist s-bags who are on top of the NRA, who’ve convinced the rubes and morons in their membership that “Obama wantz 2 terk all ur gunz away” causing runs on ammo and purchasing rushes at monthly “gun shows” on that basis, are a part of the problem and to be very blunt, have abdicated their right to be part of the solution thereby.

      We know what the result will be if we leave the question of a reasoned solution up to them, because we’ve been living under their solution for far too long already. We know they won’t participate in an honest discussion. Time to tell them enough is enough, they had their chance, they chose not to participate, so until they can learn to behave themselves it’s time for the responsible members of society to knock some sense into the law. If they are mad at the result, the time for them to participate and compromise was sometime in the last 25 years.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        DailyKos had some responsible gun owners come up with a different organization…
        (kinda like AIPAC versus J Street).
        Some gunowners saw this coming.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not defending the NRA. I am, however, trying to live in the real world, populated by the likes of Mike Dwyer and tens of thousands of responsible weapon owners. Did it ever occur to you how they might feel about this tragedy? Why shouldn’t they have a say in all this?

        Indeed, why shouldn’t they be the ones who confer in a miserable huddle to say “Well, dammit, the NRA has shut down its Facebook and Twitter and the goddamn Congressmen who are supposed to be covering our asses won’t do the Sabbath Gasbag shows and the only guy who turns up to say anything in our defence is that dumbass Louie Gohmert who only opens his piehole to say there ought to be weapons in schools, the stupidest thing he could have said in this moment. Now what? Couldn’t a few of us timidly raise our hands and propose some meaningful countermeasures such as smaller magazines and weapons lockers and identifying ammo and getting the gunsmiths involved and maybe some weapons safety training so kids understand the dangers of these weapons, like Driver’s Ed? Do we really have to put up with these idiots running around waving their arms and proposing moronic legislation in the heat of this appalling tragedy? What did we do to deserve this bullshit? Where are our friends in Congress and the NRA now that we really need them?”

        If I was a gun owner, I’d be so pissed at the NRA just now. It’s pointless damning the NRA, they’ve already disgraced themselves to the point of irrelevance. Yes I am a Liberal and yes I am an American and yes I believe in the Second Amendment as much as the First and Fourth and the Fifth and the Fourteenth. We’re not offered some buffet-style justice system, you’re either in or you’re out. These guns owners are my fellow citizens. And the NRA doesn’t represent them. Let the last few days of silence from those mendacious blowhards at NRA stand as proof positive.

        So who’s going to stand up and be counted? Yes, I want tighter gun safety laws, as evinced in the second paragraph. They are the product of common sense and some human decency. When tyranny comes knocking, it always promises safety to the fearful. But that’s never where it ends, does it? Liberals, have a care, our noble causes are forever bound to society’s current villains. Forget the NRA.

        I firmly reject your assertion about the gun owners. I know better and so do you. Be careful, igniting those straw men, that your own shirt tails don’t catch fire.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          Blaise,

          I still don’t understand this at all:

          “…identifying ammo and getting the gunsmiths involved…”

          Is this really a frequent concern? Bad ammo and guns in disrepair? I don’t know how it applies to the problem of gun crime.Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            If nothing else, having the gun inspected yearly means a yearly verification it’s still owned and hasn’t been sold off under the table unregistered. I don’t see that as a terrible thing.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            It really is, Mike. One of the most significant weapons safety issues is the old revolver that’s been sitting there in the closet, rusting away, loaded with unstable old ammunition, especially there are corrosive primers involved. The problem is heat and moisture as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. A rusty weapon, well, I don’t have to tell you that’s dangerous.

            True, this isn’t a strictly crime-related issue. It’s a safety issue.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          Did it ever occur to you how they might feel about this tragedy? Why shouldn’t they have a say in all this?

          Again: they’ve had 25 years to have a say. They’ve kept their mouths shut this long, why?Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            Here’s the problem in a nutshell, emphasis on the nut part. So let’s say you’re right, that for 25 years, the gun owners have been sitting on their fat duffs, nodding and grinning while the NRA has dominated this debate with dishonest and vindictive rhetoric, menacing any Congresscritter who dares to differ from them.

            So what’s to be gained by saying so? The NRA has run away. Congress, in its usual feckless modus operandi, has run away, too. Are you seriously proposing to damn the gun owners? Are you so eaten up with the same rhetorical vindictiveness that you don’t see an opportunity here? Why? Why? you wail. Love you plenty, M.A. You’re good people. But this I just gotta say: Why is the dumb question, M.A. Once you’ve got Who and What and When and Where answered, Why becomes blazingly obvious.

            The NRA has filled their hearts with fear about Libruls Tryinta Take their Guns Away. And here you come, like those moronic ATF agents marching on the Waco compound, filled to brimming with well-armed crazies, fulfilling the apocalyptic prophecies of their insane prophet. It’s unwise. Even if it were true, it’s not going to win arguments.Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              They can lie all they want and say I’m coming for their guns.

              BUT IT IS A LIE.

              How many times have I said that I don’t think an outright ban on all guns is a good idea? How many times have I said that I think licensing, registration, and yes sanity testing and assessment of those people At Risk To Asplode are the way to go?

              If you say it won’t sink in, if you’re even going to sit here and claim I’m trying to ban all guns, then the discussion’s lost. If you’re saying that the Mike Dwyers of the world are going to claim that I’m saying it, then they’re already no better than the NRA even if the NRA disbanded tomorrow.

              They’ve had 25 years to come up with a reasonable solution, to work with the other side, or to create a sane alternative to the NRA. If instead they’ve sat on their fat duffs letting the NRA demagogue, if instead they are going to turn around and accuse those trying to get something done after trying 25 years of the NRA’s misbegotten and suicidally insane way of “ fulfilling the apocalyptic prophecies” of someone trying to take away all the guns from everyone, you just proved my point about the pointlessness of believing that offering them the 1-googleplexth chance to join the discussion is going to get a different result than we’ve gotten from them for the past 25 years.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                You are, however, saying they’ve abdicated their right to be part of the discussion. Tell me how well that’s gonna play in Peoria.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                It doesn’t matter how it “plays in Peoria.” That’s the ugly truth.

                If we do nothing, like we have been up until now playing the game the NRA’s way, they pull their racist skirts on and scream “Obama wants to terk ur gunz away.”

                If we implement sane laws about licensing and regulation, and 99.9% of gun owners see no restriction more onerous than auto inspections are today while a few gun owners who are the people who really, really, really shouldn’t have had access to guns lose access, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. But “in Peoria”, they are STILL going to lie and claim “Obama (or the Liberals) wants to terk ur gunz away.”

                So it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because they won’t be honest partners in the discussion. It doesn’t matter because even when they have gotten their way, they have lied about the motivations of those who think that there ought to be some sanity in the law and there ought to be some sensible codes to try to keep guns out of the hands of those in whose hands they shouldn’t be.

                It doesn’t matter “how it plays in Peoria”, because Peoria ain’t playing in Sanityland, they’re playing inWackyland.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                “Obama wants to terk ur gunz away.”
                … that wasn’t the NRA putting those ads up. 😉Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                I repeat myself. Forget. The. N.R.A. They’ve had their day and like Brave Sir Robin, when danger reared its ugly head the NRA has turned and fled.

                Now comes our turn. We don’t have to overplay our hand as reformers. We’re going to get some reform out of this — but not if we run around like that scene from Young Frankenstein where the peasants come to the Burgomeister, torches in hand. It’s gonna work out, but only if we get reasonable people in the gun camp on our side. You really don’t get the expression “play in Peoria” do you? If it plays well in Peoria, it plays well elsewhere.

                Peoria is not Wackyland. Not only are you insulting ordinary people and calling them liars, you’re madly dancing the DailyKos Rag. Do you think you’re going to sort out who deserves a weapon and who doesn’t, from your own great font of wisdom? Gosh, I sure wish I had them sort of smarts. And decisions made in haste, in the heat of the moment, they work out so well over time. Yes, we need sane laws. What we do not need is a bunch of bucktoothed, fearful peasants headed off to the castle with torches and dogs.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                “Obama wants to terk ur gunz away.” is that supposed to be funny. I really don’t understand your use of I’m gonna pretend to talk like someone so I can show disdain towards them to emphasize even more that I disdain them. You have good ideas, but to tell you the truth when I see comments like yours it takes everything I can to weed out the disdain from the good comments and focus on the good you do speak. You do yourself no service or the cause you talking about.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                In fact, the NRA is completely dependent on this sort of disdain and rudeness — they’re just waiting for the Liberals to go on saying stupid shit about Peoria and lumping all these law-abiding hunters in with the crazies.

                Then they’ll pounce. “Okay, gun owners, we’re back. Yes it’s us, the NRA. Didn’t we tell you about these folks, how they had no respect for you? They say you’re not honest partners. How’s them apples, law-abiding citizens?”

                And that’s exactly what the NRA are going to do. Mark my words. They’re just waiting for the level of screeching to reach Deep Fat Fry and then they’ll win this argument, not because they have anything good on their agenda — but because their enemies are such idiots.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                BlaiseP, what do you think the NRA have been doing this entire time?

                Check a facebook feed. Listen to the radio. They’re sending out the dogs, baying the song of “Obama the muzlim is going to use this as an excuse to take away everyone’s guns.”

                Doesn’t matter he hasn’t done a goddamn thing that restricted gun “rights” remotely in four years, they’re still baying it up.

                You’re pretending that there are enough responsible gun owners out there to make a difference. Where the hell were they during the Brady debate?

                We propose licensing and registration, for valid reasons, and their response is “Oh my god the government wants to know how many guns I have as a first step to taking all my guns away.”

                There’s no reasoning with the insane.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill Mobile in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                +1 to this. The contempt demonstrated makes me feel more adversarial on gun subjects where there actually might be common ground. Ihave no reason to believe MA and his ilkwon’t press any advantage they get over those he views as contemptuous (which is a pretty wide net) and we’ll end up with something more than what he presently describes. (Oh, wait, I forgot that I am not allowed to mistrust the president on gun control. How racist of me.)Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Did you even read your own citation? It didn’t go unnoticed by the National Rifle Association that, during last week’s presidential debate, President Barack Obama expressed support for renewing the assault weapons ban.

                “I believe in the Second Amendment,” Obama said in response to a question about gun violence. “Part of [the solution] is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced, but part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence.”

                That’s from the October 16th debate. It’s now December 17. A few things have happened between now and then, Rip Van Winkle.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                I challenge you again: WHERE have I ever said I want to ban all guns?

                Liberals don’t want to ban all guns. I have every bit of respect for responsible gun owners, whether they enjoy target shooting or hunting or are actually properly trained and carry in a responsible manner otherwise.

                There are too few of them, and the NRA’s done nothing but cause it to get worse in the past two and a half decades.

                “Ihave no reason to believe MA and his ilkwon’t press any advantage they get”

                My “ilk”? To want sensible laws like licensing and registration? Or are you accusing me of being a closet pro-gun-ban individual, despite my constant position otherwise?

                This is why there’s no having this conversation. Doesn’t matter what anyone says about sensible regulation. The other side’s argued with a strawman for 25 years and isn’t about to stop.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill Mobile in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                “You’re pretending that there are enough responsible gun owners to make a difference”

                This being exactly what I am talking about. It’s like an NRA ad. Why should I expect that he has enough respect for gun rights to stop at licensing and registration?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A., I would love to read your suggestions for resolving our gun crisis.

                Which laws would you like to have passed?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                (patiently) Nobody has accused you of anything but disrespect and calling people liars and saying they’ve abdicated their right to be part of the discussion. And getting your facts wrong about the NRA going into hiding. And annoying the living bullpiss out of several of us who would really like to have a civil discussion about viable options which won’t destroy the Second Amendment.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill Mobile in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                MA, I don’t think you want to ban guns. I do not trust you to be satisfied at licensing and registration. Your contempt makes you untrustworthy on this issue as a good faith participant.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, I’ve been saying this over and over again, but just for you I’ll repeat myself yet again.

                Laws I’d like to see passed regarding guns:

                Licensing. Ownership of a gun requires having a gun operator’s license. Make it renew every X years, tie them to criminal records such that if you’re convicted of certain categories of crimes, your license is yanked. Make it possible for a judge, in cases of criminal defendants on bail, to temporarily order that your guns be placed in storage if it is deemed you are a risk to use them inappropriately.

                Individual gun registration. Guns registered to match a license. Strict civil fines for failure to promptly report the theft of a gun.

                Individual gun registration renewals. A requirement that you take the guns to a licensed shop and have them safety tested, cleaned, test-fired once a year. This would (a) prove you still had the thing and (b) make for minimum standards of maintenance. If you no longer want it to be registered as an active gun, then the licensed shop can disable it permanently and register it as a disabled showpiece instead.

                The most controversial falls into background checks we have currently at least in part: I’d like to see the background checks involve a basic sanity test. Switzerland does it to good results and they have a very high rate of gun ownership otherwise.

                Perhaps less so, I’d like there to be fines and regulations related to storage of the guns. If you have children or other at-risk members of your household likely to be around, a severe fine for failure to have the guns in a combination gun safe or else stored at a rented locker off-site; as I mentioned before, a number of gun shops around my area have rental lockers for people who don’t want to keep their guns at home.

                Now why are these a “plot to take people’s guns away”? I don’t see it. I don’t want to take people’s guns away unless it’s really necessary and I consider the “really necessary” to be a very, very small number of people. But these are all (to me) sensible regulations and would go a long way to keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t be given casual access.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you worry about disparate impact, M.A.?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, disparate impact can happen in any law. Disparate impact happens – and we have to watch and check for it – in the enforcement of traffic laws.

                Insisting that it will automatically happen is not a valid counterargument to making sensible regulation, unless you are prepared to use that argument to eliminate the entirety of law and just go to anarchy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                While I’m certainly prepared to do that, I’m willing to merely say “an unenforceable law is a bad law and shouldn’t be passed in the first place”.

                Because what I see happening with your law is that it won’t be much enforced at all in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc… and it will be used to throw the book at certain classes of arrestees in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, etc.

                As a matter of fact, it’ll look a hell of a lot like the police are “profiling”. But, hey. if it saves even one life, right?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                an unenforceable law is a bad law and shouldn’t be passed in the first place

                First of all, why do you say my suggestions are unenforceable? We certainly enforce drivers’ licenses and auto safety inspections and registration.

                Because what I see happening with your law is that it won’t be much enforced at all in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc… and it will be used to throw the book at certain classes of arrestees in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, etc.

                That’s what you see, not what I see. You’re arguing your perception of the future now.

                What’s your counterproposal? What would you like to see?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, my definition of “unenforceable” in this case is “is it known, beforehand, that not only will not all guns be caught by this but that the majority of guns won’t be caught by this and, thus, when police arrest someone under this law and when prosecutors bring someone to trial under this law, it’ll be, effectively, by their own discretion”.

                Given that there are 70 guns for every 100 people in this country, I’m willing to say that… yeah. This will be a capriciously applied law that won’t apply to me but will apply to “urban youths”.

                You know. Like the seatbelt laws.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. – I agree your proposals are unenforceable. And they don’t take into account the millions of guns floating around the country that aren’t registered or were registered four owners ago and legally transferred repeatedly in private sales.

                And the gun safe requirement, while smart, is also impossible to enforce.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                And they don’t take into account the millions of guns floating around the country that aren’t registered or were registered four owners ago and legally transferred repeatedly in private sales.

                So because the NRA created this problem, the vast majority of gun owners being irresponsible in resisting registration that would have required them to report private sales created this problem, now it’s “too late” to change to a system that would work?

                Do you have any idea how weak an argument that is?

                Hefty fines or punishment for possession of an unregistered firearm.

                A one or two-year amnesty to allow for people to get right with the law and register their weapons, and provisions in the law for good-faith reporting (like BlaiseP did when calling the police dept. regarding the old gun and ammo that needed disposing) of found items.

                Will it get everything right overnight? Nothing ever gets done overnight. Will it get a lot of it done, in the span of a number of years? YES.

                You can’t cause the problem and then claim that it’s now impossible to fix. That is a weak, dishonest, pathetic argument and holds no persuasive power whatsoever.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. – registering the firearm is important however, trying to retroactively register firearms is a logistical and impossible nightmare. As noted, some guns have been transferred multiple times. I own two guns myself that I have no idea who they were originally purchased by, and one was purchaed before registration was even required.

                If the goal is stopping gun crime, note that in most shootings the gun is not left at he crime scene. That’s why I believe microstamping the ammunition is much more important.

                Lastly (and this is the most important point) I will also note that if thousands of gangmembers in the US are willing t risk prosecution for carying concealed handguns on a daily basis, what makes you think they are going to wory about having an unregistered gun?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                however, trying to retroactively register firearms is a logistical and impossible nightmare.

                Nonsense. I just showed you how we go about doing it.

                I own two guns myself that I have no idea who they were originally purchased by, and one was purchaed before registration was even required.

                Great. So you go to your local PD, and register it during the amnesty period like everyone else.

                If the goal is stopping gun crime, note that in most shootings the gun is not left at he crime scene. That’s why I believe microstamping the ammunition is much more important.

                You’re not thinking about it.

                The goal isn’t just identifying guns used to commit a crime. The goal is creating a culture where people are more careful with their guns in the first place, where they keep track of said guns. Make gun ownership hinge on that responsibility factor, the registration and maintenance factor.

                For “solving crimes” where someone was shot, I’m all in agreement with microstamping ammo. That tells us what ammo was used, theoretically, provided the shooter doesn’t have a home reloader.

                For keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, the registration requirement keeps a lot better track of the weapons and who owns them and moreover makes the gun owners at least once a year check to make sure the guns haven’t gone missing and are kept in a reasonably secure fashion.

                I will also note that if thousands of gangmembers in the US are willing t risk prosecution for carying concealed handguns on a daily basis, what makes you think they are going to wory about having an unregistered gun?

                Possibly because the level of punishment is pretty damn low.

                Gang crime is a different beast, which requires serious study and thoughtful responses.

                That being said, registration once in place for a number of years will allow us several useful tools. Gang members caught with stolen guns will allow us to trace the guns back to rightful owners, quite probably showing the path and pattern of thefts. Gang members themselves will need to make the choice of whether adding on gun possession to their sentences is worth it, though as you pointed out gang members are not known for good decision-making skills.

                I’ll also note that your idea of stamping ammunition is likely to fail to gang crime. If they really need more ammo, they’ll just break into a gun store after hours and steal some.

                Gangs are a different beast from the lone, explosive person issue. They’re organized, often to the size of a small militia themselves. I can’t claim that any one, single solution is going to address the issues that cause gang violence and neither can you, but that doesn’t invalidate registration as a tactic to help prevent guns from being accessible to individuals who shouldn’t have access.Report

  18. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    You know, it occurs to me that the one thing that probably would cut down the number of these rampage killings seriously can’t be seriously considered in the digital age, which is simply for the press to stop reporting the names or anything about the people who commit them and focus entirely on the victims. Don’t even identify the killers, so there’s no renown at all. The problem is the Internet would make that impossible.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      The other problem is if I want to identify the next nut that is about to crack, some sort of portrait of or info about the last cracked nut may be helpful.

      You could theoretically leave any identifying info out and simply describe them; but as you say, the Internet would make that impossible.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t know that this is even possible; it’s news, people are curious, and the press (and blogs) are free to report.

      But there is something that might help, and that’s actual context. When the same story is played on loop, it reinforces that story, makes it grow bigger and bigger. Gunner goes on rampage, 27 killed. We keep getting the horror reinforced.

      But those same stories never, ever present another truth: we are, on the whole, safer from violent crime then we’ve ever been.

      I’m not for censoring the press. But I am for suggesting they have responsibility to better put repeatedly looped and built stories into context. Because you never see the headline, “n-million children made it safely home from school today.”Report

  19. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name
    Ignored
    says:

    I think there’s been some great dialogue in this thread (along with the the usual foot-stomping!). Here’s 2 “gun-control” proposals that don’t require ANY guns be “seized”:

    1. restrictions on magazine size. It may not help but it can’t hurt.

    2. ID #s on ammo. That way police can track where and when it was bought and who bought it.

    ——————————–

    3. A bit more draconian, but still fairly doable, I think is requiring trigger locks for all registered guns.

    I think that maybe we can find some common ground here.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name
      Ignored
      says:

      2 strikes me as vaguely irritating for reasons I can’t put my finger on… it strikes me as circumventable to the point where it won’t be useful. But, hey, if it’s cheap and easy to do…

      3 strikes me as “this is something, therefore this must be done”.

      1 isn’t likely to make much of a difference.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        ACS is around. There are several civil liberties advantages: we’ve got a big problem with existing bullet/barrel matching technology. It’s not like the cop shows: people have been wrongly implicated/exonerated using existing technology. Any time you can bring better evidence to court, the healthier the justice system will be.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, sure. But isn’t the bullet likely to be destroyed in the shooting? The casing, of course, wouldn’t be… so we’d be dealing with a casing that would likely have to have its number on the inside of the case… right? Or would it be outside and the possibility of having it scratched off is just the price of admission?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        3 might prevent a fair number of accidents, even if it doesn’t prevent any murders. That would be worthwhile by itself, I think, so long as we don’t fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing something we’re not.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley
          Ignored
          says:

          Surely there is at least one state that has passed a gun lock law.

          Are there numbers for gun accidents for that particular state (before/after)? Because, seriously, this strikes me as something that would be used only by the people that we don’t need to worry about in the first place.Report

          • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m thinking mostly of kids and to a lesser extent the generally respectable guy who sometimes gets drunk and then show his guns to his friends.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            California has a trigger lock/gun safe law.

            Don’t remember when it passed, but I’ll see if I can answer your question for you. I don’t know that the amount of difference will be significant enough to indicate anything meaningful; I don’t think there are that many in-state gun accidents to begin with.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Also, because there is no chance that a government database can be used beyond for what it was originally intended to be used, I don’t see a problem with either ammo or gun registry databases.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          This is one of those things where people who trust the government trust the government and people who don’t trust the government won’t trust the government.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I have this theory about Trustable Gummint. All these crumb-bum gummint databases don’t hold a candle to the information in your credit history. The government is the least of your worries, most of those bureaucrats couldn’t find their asses in the dark with both hands. FBI has been trying to implement a criminal database for years, still can’t get it to work. But they can get your credit pulls in seconds and they aren’t the only troublesome customers for that data.

            These credit organisations are far less regulated than you might suppose. Now, we have the option of getting a copy of our credit pulls once a year but it’s damned near impossible to change bad information. But returning to the government: Congress is supposed to provide oversight and they’re failing us horribly in this regard. We do have systems in place to watch the watchers but they’re not working. These government databases are proliferating but they’re nowhere near as harmful or intrusive as the stuff in the private for-profit databases. I work with this stuff every day. You wouldn’t believe the stuff in them.Report

      • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I was just thinking aloud, more or less. I’d be interested to hear your ideas on reducing gun violence.Report

  20. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m gonna break my silence on this subject to observe that the thread has by and large been well behaved and constructive so good on everyone for that. I couldn’t be more proud.

    I will now resume my policy of not contributing anything more than the unavoidable minimum attention possible to this abhorrent event and the broken creature who caused it.Report

  21. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    M.A. (pulled down from above)

    What happens when a gun owner fails to report in for his renewal every year? Do we storm their homes? Think about renewing your driver’s license or your car registration. The enforcement mechanisms depend completely on being pulled over at some point and caught. In 20 years of hunting on public land and transporting guns all over the place I have never had a gun checked. Not once.

    Additionally, do you really think the government is going to let people bring in unregistered guns with no chain of ownership and register them as their own property? I suspect if they did you would see a huge rise in theft just prior to the amnesty period.

    Here’s the problem with all of the registration, renewals, etc. You are creating a gestapo regime. Proper enforcement would require gun owners to be tracked more than any other citizen. People will resist that in ways you won’t like.

    I would also note that you are admitting gang violence is a unique creature with unique obstacles but that is the biggest contributor to gun violence in the U.S. So you’re talking about forcing the law-abiding citizens into a very strict regulatory regime while the criminals can take their chances with disregarding it.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      What happens when a gun owner fails to report in for his renewal every year? Do we storm their homes?

      Why not start with a firm letter informing them they are out of compliance, the same as they’d get if they didn’t pay their property taxes on time.

      Issue a bench warrant if they ignore that.

      Why is it you people always jump straight past sensible reactions to “OMG STORMTROOPERS ARE GOING TO INVADE YOUR HOME.”

      Fishing dishonesty, that’s all we get when we propose sensible regulation.

      You are creating a gestapo regime.

      Thanks for godwinning the thread. I can’t say much more than that once you’ve proven you aren’t interested in an honest discussion.

      Proper enforcement would require gun owners to be tracked more than any other citizen.

      For pete’s sake.

      Got a cell phone? Your tower access records and call history can be subpoenaed at any time. The phone company is actually required to keep them on hand in case they WERE to be subpoenaed.

      Gun owners are in possession of the one item we have in society with a point-and-click kill interface. There’s a risk there. Knowing who has what guns, or “tracking” as you call it, is sensible – not a fishing “gestapo regime.”

      So you’re talking about forcing the law-abiding citizens into a very strict regulatory regime while the criminals can take their chances with disregarding it.

      “Criminals ignore the law therefore we should just abolish the law” is fishing dishonest and holds no weight with me. If that’s all you can offer, don’t bother.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        Why is it you people always jump straight past sensible reactions to “OMG STORMTROOPERS ARE GOING TO INVADE YOUR HOME.”

        Fishing dishonesty, that’s all we get when we propose sensible regulation.”
        Oh stop wth the hyperbole. I can stop paying my car insurance, which is legally required in KY and drive for forever so long as I don’t have a run-in with the law. No one comes to my house to collect my car. What you are describing goes well-beyond that. To create a regulatory regime which REALLY does what you want, you will have to send cops into homes to take people’s guns. Period.

        To draw an analogy, would you be okay with putting a breathalyzer-enabled ignition system into every car in the United States at the owners expense to prevent DUIs? And to also require those systems be checked and proved to be still active every year? And if the person didn’t come in to get them checked, what do you do?

        So are your proposals real, or meant to create security theater? And you still haven’t addressed the reality of how you register guns with no chain-of-ownership on file. I guarantee if you follow your plan through to its logical conclusion those guns will have to be surrendered. Good luck with that.

        The thing is, when we’re talking about gun crime the overhelming majority of it is committed by criminals. Crimes of passion are a much, much smaller %. So doesn’t it make sense to point out that the only people that will really be affected by your proposals are the people who were highly to comit a crime in the first place?Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          To answer your question about DUI breathalyzers? Yes. Totally. One hundred percent. Cut .1% out of the defense budget to subsidize it for car manufacturers.

          By the way, the whole, “criminals commit the vast majority of gun crime” argument is disingenuous. Guess what, criminals commit the vast majority of gun crime in Japan, Australia, Sweden, and Germany as well, but it’s still a far lower number than here, because the average dumbass 19 year old who think he’s Al Capone or Ice-T can’t waltz into a K-Mart and buy a pistol.Report

        • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          “To draw an analogy, would you be okay with putting a breathalyzer-enabled ignition system into every car in the United States at the owners expense to prevent DUIs?”

          Yes.

          “And to also require those systems be checked and proved to be still active every year?”

          In CA, we could do that when you do your mandated smog check. Hardly a monstrous violation of liberty.

          ” And if the person didn’t come in to get them checked, what do you do?”

          Revoke their registragtion. If they are found driving their car without registration (or even owning it, if you like), then a fine (maybe much larger than current), adjusted for income, payable through the IRS with it’s levy powers.

          That’s how I’d structure gun laws, too.

          At the same time, I’d offer rewards for complying gun owners in terms of buy backs. (Will cost probably 50 billion in the first few years.)

          These laws aren’t hard to write.

          The only problem is that millions of Americans are hateful and paranoid about living in a sensible gun policy country like Japan.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          Oh stop wth the hyperbole. I can stop paying my car insurance, which is legally required in KY and drive for forever so long as I don’t have a run-in with the law.

          In California, ou can’t register your car without proof of insurance. And you can be pulled over at any time for not displaying this year’s sticker on your license plate. I’d have no problem applying the same regime to weapons openly carried, including hunting weapons.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Schilling
            Ignored
            says:

            I should clarify – you can basically drive here without insurance for 364 days. Then you have to get insurance again so you can renew your tags. The key difference of course is that those cars are on the street every day. There are millions of guns in the U.S. in people’s closets that will never see the light of day. You can’t police that. It would take decades to get them out of circulation. And I can guarantee a LOT of people will not participate. It will be worse than prohibition.

            And I will repeat, the problem with guns isn’t law-abiding citizens. It’s criminals who are not going to comply with this process to begin with.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              This is a valid point; it’s not really reasonable to expect that given a norm and a sudden change, everybody is going to cooperate with the change just on account o’ “it’s the law”.

              We’re talking about criminalizing a *ton* of people. Without a sufficient incentive (punishment), we’re talking about criminalizing a whhhhhooooooole bunch of people… and with a sufficient incentive, we’re talking about jailing a whooooooooole ‘nother bunch of people.

              This has practical problems.Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              I should clarify – you can basically drive here without insurance for 364 days.

              Where the hell do you live? My state’s like Mike Schilling’s. If your sticker is over 1 month out of date, you can be pulled over and ticketed. The cops love to set up sting operations looking for that using a spotter with binoculars (the stickers are color coded to make it Blindingly Fishing Obvious that you have an out of date sticker) because they make good money off the fines and can reach quota quickly.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. – This isn’t rocket science but I will elaborate:

                1) Obtain car insurance

                2) Register car for one year and get your sticker

                3) Cancel insurance

                4) Repeat in 364 days if not caught

                This happens all-the-time. Have you seriously never heard of anyone being hit by an unlicensed driver?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a lot simpler to leave your car unregistered and illegally obtain a sticker (e.g. steal one off another car.) I’d expect that to be more common.

                I’m also a bit surprised that no government agency is notified when a car that’s not registered inoperable has its insurance cancelled without being transfered to another carrier.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              New strict gun laws will need a long phase in period. People with guns for home defense would need to be given a buy back offer and the eventual threat of large fines for non-compliance.

              But if someone has a gun in their home and wants to continually defy the new laws, (and be unpatriotic and criminal), that will be hard to prevent. (For the sake of irony, I will call these people illegal., given the position that many of them lilely hold on immigration).

              But if they do keep their guns in their home, zealously, for fear of breaking the law, that will be tolerable -though less than ideal as their guns could be stolen for nefarious use- under the new law.

              But it is not a big enough problem to give us a reason to not enact strict gun laws and a near-ban.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                And there you have it. It’s not just Conservatives that desire dominance and control, it’s also Liberals. Ruling by fear and threats.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Funny-
                I thought thats exactly what gun violence does- forces us to live under fear and threats.

                As I asked in the other thread-
                Is the threat of gun registration actually more onerous and painful to you than the ever-present threat of being murdered?

                Is it more destructive to society?Report

            • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              I agree with Mike, if only to point out the difference.
              Why would there be such massive resistance to gun registration?
              Because its more onerous than car registration? Nope.

              Its because of the bizarre fixation with guns and their entwining with the sense of ego and self of young men.
              Young men would object less if we proposed mandatory castration.
              Thats why I suggest our first step is to break this bond between guns and manhood.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                “Its because of the bizarre fixation with guns and their entwining with the sense of ego and self of young men.”

                Pish posh. The people who would fail to comply with a draconian gun registration are not going to just be ‘young men fixated on guns’. They are going to be a lot of previously law-abiding citizens who believe the government went too far. Or do you believe that bootlegging during Prohibition was a product of youthful ego problems?Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Prohibition only works when the object is made taboo by society; alcohol and marijuana are good examples.

                In order to make gun registration work, we need to socially ostracize those who are fixated on guns to the point where they are willing to break the law just to avoid registering them
                Further, we can make compliance easy and inexpensive.

                Its one thing for a grown adult to grumble about meddling gummint, when it comes to car registration and mandatory insurance laws and whatnot. But how many of them are willing to become outlaws and risk jail time for it?

                Who would risk everything, just to avoid registering their gun?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                When I think of meth and crack, I think “socially acceptable”Report

              • Avatar Coke-Encrusted Hollywood Exec in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Party at Kolohe’s! Woo-hoo!Report

              • Prohibition only works when the object is made taboo by society; alcohol and marijuana are good examples.

                Wouldn’t social ostracism have a similar dynamic?Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Thats the idea; we can make our society one in which young men are not encouraged to fetishize guns, but are embarrassed and mocked as childish when they do;
                When guns are not so powerful an object of desire, its easier to shrink the pool of people who are willing to skirt the law.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I suspect that it’ll be more like alcohol than you think. People will make public proclamations, of course… but it’ll turn out that they have a handgun in a hatbox in the closet. “I never knew!”, his friends would say. “He always spoke so eloquently against the demon gun!”

                And that’s without taking into account the swaths of the country that will be able to somehow soldier through not being invited to the classy Nascar parties.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                And let’s be clear who’s dying from guns.

                It’s older white males by their own hand, and younger (adult) black males by other people’s hands. Social ostracism would actually do something (by itself) about the former, but the latter are predominatedly located in places where legal sanctions against gun ownership are already in place.Report

            • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              “the problem with guns isn’t law-abiding citizens. It’s criminals who are not going to comply with this process to begin with.”
              Agreed.
              This is a feature, not a bug.

              The best way to enforce laws is to isolate criminals from law abiding citizens. Having a registration of cars that can easily be traced makes it more difficult to use a car in a crime; not impossible, just more difficult. So a criminal who wants to use one needs to make a couple extra steps like stealing a car, switching plates, etc. All of which raise his exposure and risk.
              Having a database of pawn shops and metal salvage lots with strict paperwork requirements does the same for thieves.

              Having a registration databank of guns would work the same; a criminal can still buy an unlicensed gun, but it makes his job riskier and more likely to get tripped up somewhere.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                This.

                “But criminals won’t follow laws, therefore laws shouldn’t exist” is a stupid argument and not one I’m inclined to give the slightest bit of respect ever.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                LWA,

                Those laws are already in place. 80% of the guns used in crimes were obtained through straw purchases. If the person who ends up with the gun is caught that is a FEDERAL crime. And yet it still happens thousands of times per year because enforcement is nearly impossible. What additional penalties are you going to create which trump that?

                As I said, I’ve transported guns for 20 years. I’ve never been checked once. The regime you are talking about to start enforcing this would look pretty similar to the immigration law they wanted in Arizona and the Left hated that.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Again: THEN WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A SOLUTION?

                You’ve been asked over and over. What’s your solution? The wild west? A six-shooter on every hip and a shotgun in every car?

                Road Warrior on the highways?

                Give us your realistic take. What is your proposed solution?

                You’re happy to scream “no no no” to our proposals, time to give us your own proposals already.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                Why does there need to be a change? We’re on a good vector. Crime is going down by itself, including gun crime (including homicides).

                If my intuition is that we’re likely to screw something up if we do something, why is “you know what, we don’t need a national policy” unacceptable?

                How’s this: ending the drug war will allow people to self-medicate in manners much more likely to result in fewer shooting sprees.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike’s given his given his good faith suggestions as to what he thinks would be at least marginally effective and doable repeatedly on this and other threads. You may or may not think those suggestions are adequate, but that doesn’t justify badgering him for more.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. ,

                I already laid them out in detail, but in case you missed it here…

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/12/where-do-we-go-from-here/#comment-436711

                …I will recap:

                1) Consider magazine restrictions
                2) Serialize bullets
                3) Get serious about mental health issues
                4) Go after gun traffickers, especially in the Southern-to-Northeast corridor and on the West Coast.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                1) Consider magazine restrictions

                Sensible.

                2) Serialize bullets

                Not quite so sensible. I agree it’s a wise legal move, but there are still plenty of loopholes. Home reloaders are fairly common. The issue of stolen bullets is obvious – someone could break into a gun store or just a Wal-Mart to get them. Organized criminal gangs are likely to either do this, or else to just get Mexican bullets that aren’t serialized. The really crazy powerful gangs, the ones that are full-fledged militaries, likely already have their own production lines ready or be sourcing chinese or russian (or other countries’) bullets.

                3) Get serious about mental health issues

                Agreed.

                4) Go after gun traffickers, especially in the Southern-to-Northeast corridor and on the West Coast.

                But your complaint about registration was that it wouldn’t stop straw purchases. Why would this? If anything, this would make straw purchases more lucrative and we still have the problem.Report

              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                I saw this when you first posted it, but my comment may have been missed.

                I want you to know that I’m very grateful for this post. I wish JB (and a few others) would post something similar — do they really feel there’s NOTHING we can do? I hope not.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A.

                Less than 6% of the guns used in crimes are stolen. And an even smaller % of those guns were obtained outside the U.S. and brought in illegally. It seems hard to imagine that suddenly retail ammo supplies are going to be raided regularly and that we’re going to create a huge import market for illegally imported bullets.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                This is why we need gunowners on these threads! Thank You, Mike!

                Some Paulist Gun smugglers got shut down by the Secret Service, because it was easier than using ATF to catch ’em.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                What you are describing is a massive loophole n registration, that of straw purchases.

                We have found ways to control the sale of pseudo-ephedrine, nitroglycerin, and other things; its ludicrous to think we can’t control the manufacture and sale of firearms.

                Truth is, there is a powerful lobby devoted to preventing just that very thing. They work tirelessly at destroying or neutering any law that stands betweenthem and unlimited guns-on-demand.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not a loophole. There’s a law in place that makes it illegal. People ignore that law and do it anyway. Now you want another law to make them comply with the first law?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Why not make the law have some real teeth? The law as written is a joke.

                If I want to buy pseudoephedrine, I have to sign my name, have my photo taken, and show two forms of photo ID. That’s for a single box of Sudafed-D.

                In my state I could present a Concealed Carry license (which is non-photo) and purchase a gun with zero registration requirement. I need far less ID to purchase a gun than I do some Sudafed.

                That is fished up and you know it. Straw purchasers get away with it because the law is badly written and needs strengthening.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Do these people who flaunt gun registration laws also flaunt car registration? Taxes? Child support payments? Student loans?

                I doubt it. Those all have been made much more draconian over the years to enforce compliance.

                I can’t renew my architect’s license if I have outstanding child support payments; if I get a state tax refund, any delinquent car registration fees are skimmed off the top before I see it.

                We wring our hands in helplessness only when we don’t really want to accomplish the goal. At this moment, gun safety is on the list of Things That Don’t Matter and that needs to change.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A.

                “Straw purchasers get away with it because the law is badly written and needs strengthening.”

                When you jump through the hoops to buy the Sudafed, is there any policy provision that could prevent you from giving it to someone so they could make meth? Of course not.

                As previously stated multiple times, many of the straw purchases are made in full apparent compliance with the sales laws. What they do with the gun when it leaves the shop is the problem and you simply can’t fix that with new laws.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Mike, do you hold analogous views about abortion?

              You think that the fact there is a strong desire to not register guns and a strong desire to buy or keep guns that violate strict gun control laws is a reason not to implement laws forcing people to register or get rid of those guns. You seem to think that people will respond to strict gun control laws by taking their gun ownership underground and will be criminalized by making guns illegal (even if the penalties are financial and not jail time).

              But if we make abortion less accessible than it is, or if we make it illegal, won’t people still have the same desire to have abortions. Won’t we just drive abortion underground where it will be performed less safely?

              So are you in favor 0f keeping abortion legal, too?

              And if you believe there is and ought to be a legal basis to requiring pregnant women to do X, Y, and Z (e.g. filling out forms, going through a waiting period, getting husband’s consent or parent’s consent, certifying that they saw the embryo on ultrasound, certifying that they read about the issue) in order to get an abortion, or to preventing abortion in certain circumstances (e.g. too many past abortions) don’t you think there is an equally good legal basis for requiring prospective gun owners to do X, Y, and Z (e.g. psych tests and demonstrating need for a gun and proving safe storage to police) and to preventing gun ownership in certain circumstances (e.g. if the person wants to buy a gun other than a shotgun, a pistol with 6 rounds, etc.)?

              It seems to me that you value your right to own guns for your own enjoyment in hunting more than you value a women’s right to do with her body as she sees fit when she is impregnated, in that you are very unwilling to consider violations of the right to own a wide variety of guns easily as acceptable, but you are willing to consider violations of a pregnant women to do with her body as she sees fit as just.

              I am not attacking you, just respectfully pointing out a problem. Feel free to engage with this problem of inconsistency in your view.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                Shazbot,

                You’ve already told me that I value guns more than the lives of children and now you have expanded it to valuing them more than a woman’s right to choose. I don’t know what you’re goal is but I have already told you I am not playing along. Understand?Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                I explictly said that we probably agree on facts and not values.

                Let’s clarify with a hypothetical: if the only way to reduce the overall number of gun-caused homicides (without raising homicides that don’t involve a gun), includign child murders, was to make hunting with your own gun and the ownership of a gun in the home for self defense virtually impossible via a strong gun ban, would you favor the gun ban?

                I bet you will say “Yes” because you value saving lives and the lives of children more than access to guns.

                If you say “No” then don’t you value access to guns more than reducing the homicide rate?

                I suspect our difference is that you think that a reduction in the homicide rate wouldn’t be acheived by harsh, strict gun control measures.

                N.B: I am on the record as admitting that strict gun control won’t happen in the U.S. because people (not necessarily you) don’t want it because they value access to guns more than the reduction in the homicide rate, and because they believe (erroneously, IMO) that a strict gun ban won’t work. Of course, that is ironic because the only reason it won’t work is because they don’t want it to work or think it won’t work.

                I am also on the record as claiming modest gun control measures will be mostly useless.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean we agree on values and not facts. Ugh.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mike Schilling
            Ignored
            says:

            A quibble:

            I have a serious problem with the back end, here, because it’s extremely regressive. Car registration – or any service mandated by the state – right properly ought to be paid for by the state.

            If the state wants me to register my stunningly awesome good looks as a potential weapon, I’d think that’s ridiculous but if they’re paying for it it’s not really all that much of an imposition on my freedoms.

            When they start telling me it’s $500 a pop to register my car, that’s okay with me in the sense that I don’t mind paying $500 to register my car.

            I do mind everybody having to pay $500 to register their car.

            Yes, I know, this means that we remove a usable economic incentive to encourage people to behave in certain ways. Tough. If car registration is the government’s job, it’s in the commons and the commons should pay for it.

            Here endeth the “completely tangential and totally not ever going to happen” rant.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick Cahalan
              Ignored
              says:

              When health care reform first starting getting going under Obama, a friend who worked on the Hill was explaining the mandate to me. I was not to please with the idea of it and said, “Well, if they’re going to make me have it, they’ll pay for it at least, right?” She was flummoxed by this. But it really makes little sense to me that the government can say you HAVE to do something and you HAVE to pay for it. I understand that car registration might be a bit different because you can technically opt not to have a car. But, generally speaking, if someone is going to tell me that I have to have a given thing that I might not otherwise want to have, I think the onus is on them to make sure it is properly secured, including paying for it.

              NOW we end the tangent.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        Why is it you people always jump straight past sensible reactions to “OMG STORMTROOPERS ARE GOING TO INVADE YOUR HOME.”

        Because I’ve been reading Radley Balko for over 10 years now. But you’re right, nobody’s going to invade *my* home because I’m upper middle class and white (and not the Mayor of a Prince George’s County town).Report

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